In 1941, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende was born near Gaden Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet. Admitted to Gaden Shartse Monastery when he was 12 years old, Kensur Rinpoche received his novice vows from one of the greatest masters of our time, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
Kensur Rinpoche studied the traditional curriculum of the Five Principal Subjects under the guidance of very renowned masters including H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche.
Following His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and many other Tibetans into exile in 1959, Kensur Rinpoche stayed in Buxa in Northeast India for a period of time where he continued his studies of Sutra and Tantra.
Monastic institutions have always been centres of understanding, sharing and developing Buddhist philosophy, art and culture. Not long after the Tibetans escaped from Tibet, they began to plan the rebuilding of their monasteries and nunneries throughout India and Nepal. Kensur Rinpoche was one of the pioneers who took on the responsibility and engaged in work to restore the monastic universities in India. The two great seats of Gaden and Drepung were finally re-established in Mundgod, South India while Sera Monastery was rebuilt in Bylakuppe, Mysore.
Kensur Rinpoche was appointed the General Secretary of the Lama Society, which was founded to serve Gaden and Drepung monasteries. After his term, he was requested to continue. However, Kensur Rinpoche declined in order to focus on his studies of Sutra and Tantra as advised by Kensur Lati Rinpoche.
Kensur Rinpoche completed his studies with excellence and was conferred the prestigious Geshe Lharampa degree, equivalent to a Doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy. With his skill and knowledge of prayers and rituals, he was elected to be the Chant-Master or Umze of Gaden Shartse.
One of Kensur Rinpoche’s many contributions towards the monastic community was to make the common and uncommon rituals and recitation traditions more accessible and comprehensive. This was done through extensive analysis of the original compositions by the ritual masters H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
Kensur Rinpoche also served as the secretary or scribe of the Dorje Shugden oracle in Gaden Monastery, and was responsible for recording the proclamations, advice and answers as spoken by Dorje Shugden during trance sessions. When in trance, Dorje Shugden speaks in an ancient form of the Tibetan language which is only understood by erudite scholars. Thus, this speaks volumes of Kensur Rinpoche’s learning and experience.
After he successfully completed his five-year term as the Chant Master, Kensur Rinpoche travelled to various countries in Europe as well as Mongolia to give discourses and to promote Lama Tsongkhapa’s doctrine and lineage.
In February 2008, Dokhang Khangtsen, a division of Gaden Shartse Monastery became a full-fledged Gelug monastic institution. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende was chosen to become the Abbot to lead this newly formed institution – Shar Gaden Monastery. Having recently completed his term as the abbot, Kensur Rinpoche continues to live in Shar Gaden Monastery, serving the monastic community there and is one of the highly respected elders in the Tibetan Buddhist community today.
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