In 1976, an erudite young lama of the Gelugpa tradition, His Eminence Achok Rinpoche was born in Bomdila, Eastern India. Whilst he was in his 6th month of schooling at the Benjamin Nursery School in Kalimpong, West Bengal, Achok Rinpoche was recognised as the 4th incarnation of Achok Rinpoche of Lithang, Tibet by His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, the junior tutor to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Upon his recognition and following in the footsteps of his two earlier predecessors, the young Achok Rinpoche was received at Sera Mey Monastic College, part of the reconstructed Sera Monastic University (currently located in Bylakuppe, Southern India) where until the age of 10, he focused on the memorisation of basic ritual texts.
The following year, at the age of 11, Achok Rinpoche commenced his formal education in Buddhist philosophical studies according to the Gelug tradition. Under the personal guidance of his Guru, His Eminence Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche, who is the current Abbot of Serpom Monastery, the young Lama flourished in his studies which included the traditional subjects of Madhyamika, Abhidharmakosa, Paramanavarttika and Vinaya,
In 1998, at the age of 22, Achok Rinpoche sat for the examinations of the Gelugpa Cultural Society and obtained the Geshe Lharampa degree with the highest honours, making him the youngest monk to obtain such a high honour outside of Tibet.
Despite his youth, Achok Rinpoche is an extremely qualified Lama who has received a multitude of teachings, transmissions and initiations from many attained masters. It is a great testament to his sincerity and ability to turn the wheel of Dharma that, when tasked by Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche to give a series of initiations in Serpom Monastery for both monks and lay devotees in his stead, Achok Rinpoche did so flawlessly, conferring the empowerment and commentary of Yamantaka which he had received from Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche and Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk. This important, young teacher also conferred the initiations of White Manjushri and Medicine Buddha on the following day.
Achok Rinpoche currently lives in the United States of America and gives regular teachings at the Gadenpa Buddhist Center in Long Island City, New York.
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