Name: Professor Samdhong Rinpoche (Losang Tenzin)
Father’s name: Late Shri Gonpo Sonam
Mother’s name: Late Pema Khando
Date of Birth: 5th November 1939
Place of Birth: Nagdug, Kham Province, Eastern Tibet
Social Status: Fully Ordained Monk (Bhikkhu Mahathero)
Professor Samdhong Rinpoche was born in Jol, in Eastern Tibet, in 1939. At the age of five, Rinpoche was recognized, by the sublime teachers in the area, as the re-incarnation of the fourth Samdhong Rinpoche, with a formal Enthronement Ceremony held at Jol Gadhan Dhechenling Monastery. Two years later, Rinpoche took vows as a monk and started his education, learning the common subjects—grammar, etc.—and spiritual studies into Lamrim (Stages of the Path to Enlightenment), and other texts, at the feet of the great Teacher, Reverend Ngawang Jinpa, and other six teachers. At the age of twelve, Rinpoche entered the great monastic university Drepung, and learned at the feet of five great Teachers, the major scriptures, besides receiving many commentarial teachings. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet, along with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, Rinpoche was forced into exile, and sought political asylum in India.
In the winter of the same year, 1959, at the age of 20, Rinpoche received the full-ordination vows (Bhikṣu), at Bodh Gaya, from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as the Abbot; His Eminence, the Tutor Kyabjey Ling Dorjechang, as the Ceremony Procedure Teacher; Tsenshab Serkong Dorjechang, as the questioner in secrecy; with the presence of His Eminence, the Tutor Kyabjey Trijang Dorjechang, as the Saṅgha congregation.
In 1960, Rinpoche was specifically advised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to work for the Tibetan Administration, in Dharamshala, where Rinpoche, at the same time, received teachings from His Eminences the two Tutors, and Tehor Kyorpon Rinpoche.
1943: Entered Gaden Dechenling Monastery, Jol, Eastern Tibet.
1944: Recognized as the reincarnation of 4th Samdhong Rinpoche.
Till 1951: Received foundational education at Gaden Dechenling Monastery, Jol, Eastern Tibet.
1952 to 1959: Received higher education at Drepung Monastery, Central Tibet.
March 1959: Took political refugee asylum, in India.
1951 to 1959: Received “Rabjampa” Degree in Buddhist Philosophy, from Drepung Monastery Lhasa, Tibet.
1959 to 1968: Received “Geshe Lharampa” Degree (Equivalent to Doctorate) from the re-established Drepung Monastery, in India.
1968 to 1970: Received “Geshe Ngag-rampa” (Tantric Adept) Degree from the re-established Gyuto Tantric Monastery, Dalhousie, Chamba, HP, India.
Oct 1961 to 1963: Teacher and Spiritual Guide, Central School for Tibetans, Shimla, HP.
1964: Teacher and Spiritual Guide, Central School for Tibetans, Darjeeling, West Bengal.
1965 to 1970: Principal, Central School for Tibetans, Dalhousie, HP.
1971 to 1977: Principal, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (Post Graduate Teachings and Research) Sarnath, Varanasi. (Affiliated to Sampurananth Sanskrit University,Varanasi, as a special wing)
1977 to 28th July 1988: Principal/Director, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (Post Graduate Teachings and Research) Sarnath, Varanasi. (Autonomous Organization under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Culture, Govt. of India).
29th July 1988 to 2nd Feb. 2001: Director, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (Deemed University) Sarnath,Varanasi.
1994 to 1995: National Lecturership, Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), New Delhi.
Vice-President Tibetan Youth Congress (CENTREX) 1970 to 1973
Honorary Secretary Religious and Cultural Department, CTA, Dharamsala.
Member Drafting Committee, Charter for Tibetans in-Exile, and the future Constitution of Tibet.
Chairman Assembly of Tibetan Peoples Deputies. (Two terms, from 1991 to 2001)
Kalon Tripa Central Tibetan Administration. (Two terms, from 2001 to 2011)
SOME IMPORTANT ACADEMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSIGNMENTS
Former Member General Body, Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), New Delhi. (Govt. of India Nominee) (Two term)
Former Member Governing Council, Asiatic Society, Kolkata. (Govt. of India Nominee) (Two term)
Former Member Governing Body, Central Institute of Buddhist Studies, Ladakh. (Govt. of India Nominee) (Three term)
Former Member Governing Body, Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok, Sikkim. (Govt. of India Nominee)
Former Member Governing Council, Nav Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda, Bihar. (Govt. of India Nominee)
Former Member National Advisory Committee for Buddhist Studies, Govt. of India.
Former Member Advisory Board of Buddhist Studies, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh.
Former Member Governing Body, Acharya Narendra Dev Institute of Pali Studies, Lucknow, UP.
Former Member Board of Studies, Institute of Mahayana Studies, Nagarjuna University, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
Former Member Board of Studies, Dept. of Indo-Tibetan Studies, Shantiniketan University.
Former Member Board of Studies, Department of Asian Studies, Punjab University, Chandigarh.
Former Member Board of Studies, Department of Religious Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab.
Former Adviser World Peace University, USA.
Former Adviser Institute for Asian Democracy, New York, USA.
Former Adviser Global Education Association, New York, USA.
Former Member Executive Body of Association of Indian Universities (AIU). (Six terms)
Vice-President Association of Indian Universities (AIU), for the year 1997.
President Association of Indian Universities (AIU), for the year 1998. (The duration of this Presidentship is only for one year).
President Coomaraswamy Centre for Traditional Studies, Lucknow.
President Ayur Gyan Nyas, Meerut.
Former Member Association of Commonwealth Universities.
Visiting Professor Tasmania University, Australia.
Visiting Professor Hampshire College, USA.
Member Governing Body, Krishnamurti Foundation of India, Chennai.
Member Governing Body, Central Tibetan School Administration (CTSA), New Delhi. (The nominee of His Holiness the Dalai Lama)
Vice-Chairman Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala, HP.
Trustee Member Foundation for Universal Responsibility, New Delhi.
Trustee Member Norbulingka Institute, Sidhpur, Dharamsala, HP.
Chancellor Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies, Government of Madhya Pradesh, India.
President International Buddhist Congregation.
Member Expert Advisory Committee, Ministry of Culture, Govt of India. (Directly appointed from 26th Feb 2014 to 26th Feb 2016.)
For his greatly efficient and far-sighted, beneficial works, in education, culture, social welfare and administration throughout India and abroad, spanning over many decades, His Eminence Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche was presented the degree of D.Litt., by the Universities such as Nav Nalanda Mahavir (Bihar), Tilak Maharastra Vidyapeeth (Pune), Department of Education, Banaras Hindu University (Varanasi), Gujarat Vidyapith (Ahmedabad) etc., but Rinpoche has not accepted them except the delivering of Convocation Address.
THE THOUGHTS AND DEEDS OF PROF. SAMDHONG RINPOCHE
It would not be possible to write in detail the thoughts and deeds of His Eminence Rinpoche. However, try to give here some major important ones in brief.
1) Unwavering faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama
His Eminence Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche is widely revered for his remarkable adherence to the practice of Guru Devotion (Teacher Devotion); as such, Rinpoche follows straight, without the slightest of doubts and skepticisms, the advices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Besides, Rinpoche stands upfront against those who make baseless criticisms and defamation towards His Holiness Dalai Lama; Rinpoche does this so through frank responses, by way of logical explanations. Indeed it can be said that perhaps there is no other person apart from Rinpoche, who understands and implements the profound thoughts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and is thus akin to the Tibetan phrase, “the shoulder below the head, which lifts the head”, serving His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
For instance, when Rinpoche was the Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister), the way Rinpoche considered the priority of important matters, through the democratic system, was that, the advices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama were regarded the foremost, followed by consideration of the resolutions of the Parliament, and others, thereafter. That was because, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is revered by all Tibetans, both those at home in Tibet, and those in exile. Such consideration of His Eminence Rinpoche really is a greatly profound way of thinking.
2) Great regard for the importance of education
As the results of having served as the Spiritual Guide, Teacher and Principal, at various Tibetan schools, and later, as the Principal and subsequently as the Director of the Central University for Tibetan Higher Studies (Now, Central University of Tibetan Studies), Sarnath, a great many of Rinpoche’s students are now staff-members of the Tibetan Administration-in-exile, teaching staff at various schools and educational institutions, spiritual teachers and scholars in various parts of the world. The reverence they have in Rinpoche, and the positive confidence they bear with themselves, are visible to all.
At the 1984 Tibetan National Conference, organized by the Department of Education, Tibetan Administration-in-Exile, Rinpoche had clearly presented his far-sighted views regarding Tibetan education: Both the administration and the system of education in the Tibetan elementary schools had already become unsuitable to the needs of us Tibetans; and, as such, unless a foundational reforms were made on the then education system, there would be no benefits in applying little temporary-fix approaches. Two years later, at the request of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Rinpoche had submitted an extensive plan for deliberations on education, entitled, “A draft outline for teaching, through Tibetan medium, the entire subjects, up to secondary level, in the Tibetan schools in exile.”
Later, when Rinpoche was the Chairperson of the Tibetan Parliament, Rinpoche had on numerous occasions spoken about the need for a new Education Policy, but this important issue did not see any progression ahead. As such, when Rinpoche became the Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister), immediately Rinpoche drafted a National Education Policy, “a matter so dear to heart from a long time ago”, because of concern for Tibet’s future. With the new Education Policy, implemented from the primary level upward, Rinpoche was able to direct the Tibetan education towards a greatly far-sighted direction, where the future generations would be endowed with both intelligence and wholesome virtues, beneficial both in the present and long run.
3) Steadfast implementation of democratic system
His Eminence Rinpoche was a member of The Constitution Drafting Committee, of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, and was the main member, who took the responsibility of preparing the Constitution.
When Rinpoche was the Chairman of the Tibetan Parliament (Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies), Rinpoche transformed the political system of the Tibetan exile into a valid democratic system, forcibly turning it into a rule of law, rather than rule of persons. Not only that, akin to a teacher leading a student by way of explaining each letter, one by one, Rinpoche guided the Parliament through the procedures of a democratic system; Rinpoche single-handedly had to bear the heavy duty of drafting the numerous rules and regulations necessary for the parliamentary system of the exile Administration.
Likewise, when Rinpoche was The Chairman of the Parliament, and later, the Kalon Tripa, because of Rinpoche’s measured leadership in ensuring not to transgress the limits of equal division of powers and check and balance of the three pillars—Legislative, Judicial and Executive—and, by maintaining a very strict observance of non-interference in the offices of the independent organizations that, the Tibetan democratic system has been able to evolve into a valid system of a very high standard.
4) Contribution towards a stable and efficient administration of the Tibetan Administration-in-Exile
During Rinpoche’s terms of Kalon Tripa, Rinpoche worked continuously for making the nature of the Tibetan Administration-in-Exile into a strongly stable and effective one; notwithstanding whether or not the nations of the world formally recognize the Tibetan Administration-in-Exile, Rinpoche has been able to make it into an Administration in which the Tibetans feel, with a great confidence, that they could place their hopes, and present their problems. Besides, because Rinpoche is greatly respected internationally, by many leading people, as an expert proponent of Philosophy and Reasoning, many of them, through the Tibetan Administration, become sympathetic towards Tibet and Tibetans, and genuine supporters.
Likewise, in order that the administration runs efficiently, Rinpoche has from time to time given guidance to the administration staff, and has led by example through implementing them in practice. During his tenure in the Administration, Rinpoche had frankly pointed out areas of possible shortcomings from the part of the administrative staff. The following are some examples.
The shortcomings of (a) not differentiating, in one’s mental attitude, and in inter-personal relations, between The Administration and the individual person; (b) by expecting fruition and acknowledgments for works, becoming disheartened when individual acknowledgments and so forth are not given to a person; (c) the shortcoming of not identifying clearly the collective duties and individual duties, in a structured administration, resulting in the difficulty of getting a process of decision-making which accords with a proper procedure; (d) because of the absence of a well-established system of rule-of-law, decisions are taken based on individual persons; (e) lacking meticulous interest in matters of rules and regulations; (f) because of the absence of a habit of doing research and thorough comparative studies, in matters of planning and decision-making, there is the tendency to take decisions to merely resolve, just for the time being, the problems—or, to merely defer the problems; (g) little interest in the need for financial regulations, conscientious spending of the public fund, and a sound book-keeping of the accounts; (h) with the pretexts of productive results claiming to have come from works done with thoughts of common welfare and with diligence, trying to lessen the punitive measures enforced when failure in duties, and mistakes are pointed out; or losing dedication, and becoming disinterested towards the Government and Administration.
Such clear and transparent summarization could come only from His Eminence Rinpoche’s profound knowledge and experience—would others have such ability!
5) Great efforts put towards unity
When Rinpoche was bearing the Office of the Kalon Tripa, the Administration offered, with immeasurable reverence and recognition, a number of Long-Life offering prayers to the Head Lamas of the various Tibetan traditions. By not holding any bias towards one’s constituent province and sect, rather by genuinely paying equal respect to all constituent-provinces and sects, Rinpoche has contributed greatly towards enhancing Tibetan unity.
Rinpoche had envisioned setting up a section, within the Department of Religious Affairs, which would have the powers in carrying out works of all sects, and which could manage issues of preserving, maintaining and making flourish forth of the monasteries of their respective sect; but, this vision did not see progression.
6) Conjoining of Truth and Method, in the Administration
Immediately after having been elected as the Kalon Tripa, Rinpoche had regarded Truth, Non-violence and a genuine Democracy as the three seals of standards, entailing over all works of the Kashag (Cabinet), and which could never be abandoned.
By working hard at all times, day and night, and applying all possible means, through the Middle Way approach, it was able to restore the Tibet-China Dialogue. Not only that, the ‘Memorandum on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people’ and the ‘Notes on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people’ were given to Peoples Republic of China, thereby making it clear before the world platform, what are the actual demands of the Tibetans and the deceits and lies of the People’s Republic of China etc. In this way, the Central Tibetan Administration was able to bring to a logical conclusion the issues between Tibet and China.
7) Special efforts put towards a self-reliant economy
From the time, when Rinpoche was the Chairman of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies, he had, many times, given guidance regarding the financial situation of the Exile Administration, but there did not come about any progression on those advices. Immediately after taking the Office of the Kalon Tripa, therefore, Rinpoche put efforts towards saving the financial situation of the Tibetan Administration-in Exile, which was then in a dire situation of becoming bankrupt.
Based on the policy of truth and non-violence, the businesses belonging then to the Government were privatized, and eventually made the Administration self-reliant on daily expenditures, even if there were no outside financial aids. The land and properties, which were in the name of the Administration, but were of temporary nature lacking proper legal ownership, were made to become under the legal ownership of the Administration, through valid legal documentations. Rinpoche also initiated the checks on the legality of the lands in the settlements, and started a process of legally making a valid ownership.
Likewise, if the cause of Tibet does not see any fruition within a certain period of time in future, it would be difficult to ascertain what the situations would be in exile. As such, by seeing it as very important that the Tibetan Administration-in-Exile should be made into one that is recognized under the law of the host country, and is stable, Rinpoche ensured that the procedures of working of the various registered associations are done in accordance with the law; their constitution and rules that need amendments, in accordance with our needs, were amended; and drafted new Rules and Regulations, where needed, concerning the administrative staff, thereby, gradually, making the needed non-administrative staff members to become part of the respective organisations. Most of the lands, farms, properties and financial assets were transferred into the ownership of the organisations, so that, even if there arises a situation that the Central Tibetan Administration could not continue, many of the exile Tibetan organisations would be able to continue to remain legal and self-reliant. Rinpoche had put much effort into those works.
For the Tibetan settlements to remain stable, and for Tibetan health, Rinpoche, with long-term thoughts, had initiated directing the farming into organic farming. To bring direct and indirect benefits to the public, through the Co-operative Societies becoming stable, Rinpoche had to exert much efforts. But, it often happens that our society is not able to follow the profound advices and guidance—through pre-assessment—given by Rinpoche; we lack karma and merits, what could be done?
8) Reforms towards transparency
During the ten years as the Kalon Tripa, Rinpoche had worked diligently to bring about transparency in the Administration. For example, each of the agendas and resolutions at the Kashag meetings were put into writing, (a) clearly including the backgrounds to the agendum, and whether the resolutions were by consensus or by majority decision; (b) the resolutions from the previous meeting were reviewed and ratified at the subsequent meeting; (c) clearly stating that, under what situation, and with what reasons, the decisions were taken; all put into writing, for all to readily see them. Likewise, keeping of side expense-money, by the various offices, were put to an end, and initiated the seeking of approval from the Assembly of the People’s Deputies, for even one paisa (a cent) needed by the offices. By putting an end to appointment of staffs, without going through the rules and regulations, Rinpoche also made the procedure of staff recruitments through Administrative Services Examinations, and assignment of Representatives to the Tibet Offices abroad are to be done through the procedure of examinations. Rinpoche had to initiate these and many other reforms.
9) Through strict supervision of works, to bring about stability in the long run
Whatever the work be of the Administration and of the society, it is greatly important that the initial planning should be sound; during the implementation of the plans, there should be supervision and management; and to review the results. Yet, with some projects involving a very large sum of money, there were not any results, or they remain incomplete, were unsustainable, did not benefit the poorest people, did harms to the environment, and so on. These occurred often; therefore, not long after taking the Office of the Kalon Tripa, Rinpoche changed the Planning Commission to the Planning Council, and established the implementation of the four criteria to be applied to all plans of works: Non-violent, Not harmful to the environment, Benefitting the poorest people, and Sustainability. This resulted in the great benefit of non-mistakes in the direction of the planning of works, and the works turning beneficial to the target public.
In the same way, we can tell from our experiences and from Rinpoche’s advices and addresses, of last many years, how meticulously the supervision and management of the Administration works were carried, for the exile Administration to become stable, by addressing staff from time to time (a) the views the Kashag had (b) the foundation of Kashag’s principle, and through that, the way the Kashag viewed Tibet’s cause; the ways of seeking means to resolve it; the difficulties and obstacles the Kashag encountered; (c) the reasons why some works could not be accomplished etc.
At age 21, His Eminenc Samdhong Rinpoche taught the ordained scholars of the three great monasteries, Tibetan language, at Dalhousie. When Rinpoche was 26, Rinpoche became the Principal of the Central School for Tibetans, Dalhousie. At 38, Rinpoche became the Director of the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, at Sarnath. When we think of them, we can see how from a very young age Rinpoche had the ability to bear the great social responsibilities. However great the achievements Rinpoche accomplishes regularly, not only Rinpoche does not at all speak of them, nor even slightly advertises them, Rinpoche leaves for others the acknowledgment of the achievements, and takes upon himself the responsibility for the mistakes.
As regards food, clothing and shelter, Rinpoche lives by avoiding the two extremes (of luxury and of utter destitution), and abides by needs, and with contentment. All the offerings received during the Administration tenure, Rinpoche always deposited them into the Administration treasury.
In particular, as for the great hardships Rinpoche encountered when implementing the innovations and reforms towards wholesome direction, and in producing a good procedures of the democratic system, when Rinpoche was the Chairman of the Parliament, one can know them by going through between the lines of The Parliament Bulletin, and from the surface of the speeches by Rinpoche.
Likewise, immediately after taking the responsibilities of the Kalon Tripa, when coming to know of the dire situation of the Tibetan Administration-in-Exile—the financial situation was in breach of both the law and morality, and was near to becoming bankrupt, the political management was being run in-the-usual-manner, lacking any innovation, the administration was lacking efficiency and transparency, the education system was heading towards making the students servants, and even the land and the buildings of the Administration were lacking legal ownership status—where others would have become disheartened and lose dedication, Rinpoche, on the contrary, took a firm armor of determination, to remedy them. Under the supreme guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and thinking solely for the long-term welfare of the Tibetan society, Rinpoche worked day and night. Not only that, even now, at a very advanced age of seventy-five, by considering, to serve His Holiness, as the most important thing, Rinpoche stays ever-ready, in unwaveringly diligent at contributing towards the enlightened activities of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Writings of His Eminence Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche
For the welfare of us, the sublime being, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche has kindly done so many greatly far-reaching deeds by body, speech and mind. In the Tibetan spiritual view, the deeds of a sublime being’s speech—the guidance, through writings and spoken words—are considered the supreme deeds. Accordingly, as for Rinpoche’s deeds of speech, if one wonders what are the superior gifts of speech Rinpoche has authored, it would be important to, at first, look at the excellent qualities out of which ensue the sublime speech of His Eminence Rinpoche.
It goes without saying that, Rinpoche possesses an obstructed efficacy of knowledge of all fields of knowledge, Sūtra and Mantra, literature, and so on, and the way of Rinpoche’s thinking is of very highly advanced standard. Mañjunāth Tsongkhapa’s Presenting the Talk of the Three Precious says,
The intelligence discerning the subtle path of reasoning,
The practice of the scriptural systems dawned upon as beneficial instructions,
And the splendor of speech adapt at usage of words:
These [I] see as the three precious, on this earth.
As described in the above verse, Rinpoche has a marvelous power of mental intelligence, discerning subtle reasoning, which analyzes well, through reasoning withstanding the three tests, all subtle and profound fields of knowledge, and which brings about a valid ascertained knowledge. And, because there is not any mistakes in practicing all the contents of the oceans of the vast and profound scriptural systems, due to having them dawned upon the mind as beneficial instructions, the fields of knowledge which Rinpoche has studied and gained experiences are explained to others, correctly, clearly and comprehensively. Rinpoche has a marvelously excellent qualities of speech, peerless in speaking, and adept at usage of literary skills, as if Rinpoche has emerged in the form of The Specific Deity of Speech (Mañjuśrī ).
Not only that, as if Rinpoche “has been bestowed upon an extra share of mental intelligence, by the doer of wholesome actions (karma)”, Rinpoche’s wisdom is profound, clear and fast, and has skills of mental intelligence which are subtle, wise, vast, and superior to others. The following are the excellent characteristics of Rinpoche’s speech.
On whatever fields of knowledge—Buddhist or Non-Buddhist—when Rinpoche is to give an address, or a talk, Rinpoche eschews completely the approach of being contended with partial and an approximate presentation, rather explains the subject in its entirety.
Profound, Subtle and Decisive
When explaining subjects that are profound and difficult to understand, Rinpoche, by having done analysis through a wisdom that is decisive as to the modes of things, gives profound explanations which clarifies all, “illuminating the extents, and piercing the depth”, as a Tibetan phrase goes.
Detailed, Clear and Wise
On any topic, when explaining, Rinpoche does so by going through the prelude details, the origins of the term/name labeled so, the reasons behind them, the background details, all complete, that, Rinpoche makes clear all aspects about the topic.
Profoundly Weighty and Difficult to Fathom, the Depth of thoughts
Sometimes, when it is an exceptional place and time (circumstance), in accordance with the nature of the topic, Rinpoche explains, in a very serious way of thinking, by which the listeners are not able to assess the depth of Rinpoche’s thinking.
Sharp, Swift and Decisive
On many occasions, where others are unable to understand, nor have gained experiences, on very important and intricate subjects, in the mirror of Rinpoche’s sharp and clear mental abilities, the subjects appear in completeness; through having gained an ascertained understanding, by valid cognition, Rinpoche explains accordingly.
With a very well-thought-out visions beneficial in the present, near future and in the long run, Rinpoche’s advices are comprehensive, not leaving any unexplained.
Rinpoche explains things appropriately—in limits—and without mistakes, as regards the collective and individual, direct and indirect, the interpretive and definitive, thoughts for immediate and the ultimate benefits to others, and so forth.
Unobstructed, free of mental blockage
There are not any occasions Rinpoche does not know, nor realizes, any fields of knowledge, even to the common sight of people in general.
In brief, over many decades, Rinpoche has given unsurpassed noble gifts of perfect explanations, with a Speech that covers all aspects, and in various languages, delighting the adepts, gifts which are splendor to the ears of the clear-minded (intelligent persons), bestowed at many places and constantly on many occasions. So many are the legacies of the vast, numerous and marvelous deeds of speech by Rinpoche, which certainly can remove the thirst of hopes of the intelligent ones, who are interested in knowledge, and are single-pointedly diligent at learning the fields of knowledge.
As regards written works, being one of the three activities of adepts (Explaining, Debating and Writing) if one looks at the excellent qualities of Rinpoche’s mental intelligence, it would be inferred that, similar to the learned and wise deeds of spoken Speech, there would be many volumes of commentaries and explanations from Rinpoche, on Buddha’s Words and the commentarial texts. But, due to Tibet’s situation coming to a crises of its survival or perish, both in terms of its temporal life and spirituality, not only Rinpoche had to undertake works concerning Education of the Tibetan society, but had to shoulder Tibetan Administrative works, continuously, like an endless ripples of a river, making Rinpoche fully occupied and unimaginably busy. As such, Rinpoche did not at all have any leisure to present a legacy, so far, of a vast deed of writing, as an adept. This can be understood from Rinpoche’s own words,
Body’s natal blood was dropped in the Land of Snows,
Most of my life has been spent in the Land of the Exalted (India);
Having entered the spiritual gate (ordained), karma has put me on temporal works.
Nonetheless, in between busy daily schedules, Rinpoche has written many works, as a common treasure of the world; writings which have come from the matchless excellent mental intelligence, and from an altruistic sense of responsibility for the sole good of the world. These writings were sun-like guidance for diverse people and organizations needing guidance as regards spiritual and temporal matters; they show exactly the important features of valid views and conducts.
In addition to the list of writings by His Eminence Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche published in the latter two Felicitation volumes (Vol.2 and Vol.3), of the year 2000, the other writings can be grouped in three parts, in three languages:
a) Those specifically written, as the splendorous skills of writing reached perfection; and those spontaneously written.
b) Commentaries on Buddhism, Culture, Politics, etc. (Transcripts).
c) Speeches and Talks on diverse subjects, covering all major fields of knowledge. (Transcripts).
a) These are in Tibetan, Hindi and English.
1 Those in Tibetan language are of three categories
i Concerning Buddhism
A detailed and extensive Introductory Preface to the Comparative and Annoted Edition, in modern scholarship, of Abhisamayālaṅkara (The Ornament of Clear Realisations) and its Commentary.
While overseeing the work as its Chief Editor, writing a detailed Introductory Preface to the Comparative and Annoted Edition of His Holiness the Second Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gedhun Gyatso’s Commentary on Saying Mañjuśrī Name (Mañjuśrīnāmasaṅgīti).
An Introductory Preface—characterized by perfection in research—to Vajracchedikā (Diamond Cut Discourse), a Sūtra on Perfection of Wisdom.
Editorial Prefaces, in Tibetan and Hindi, to over a hundred publications of Central Institute of Tibetan Higher Studies.
Extensive, Middling and Abridged Commentarial Explanations of Maṇḍala Offering at major Long-Life Ceremonies for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Complete translation into Tibetan, from Hindi, of King Milinda’s Questions.
Written in Tibet, and in incomplete form, A Dialectical Critique to Gedhun Choephel’s Adorning Nagajuna’s Thought.
ii Concerning Education
A Draft Plan for Teaching all Subjects Through Tibetan Medium, Up to Secondary Level, in all Tibetan Schools in Exile—A Future Plan.
Two superior guidelines of Education Policy.
Sambhota Play (Theatrical Drama Script)
A Play on the trio: The Abbot, The Teacher and The Spiritual King (Theatrical Drama Script).
A Play on Atīśa (Theatrical Drama Script).
Tibetan Literature; Introductory Preface to Golden Plains Narration; Introductory Preface to Gitanjali (Compilations of Poems); The Extensive Commentary to The Anthem of Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath; Introductory Preface to the novel A Great Interest; Address to the National Conference of Tibetan Writers—on the topic of Freedom and Literature; On Democracy (mang-gtso) and Subservients’ Government (dmangs-gtso); Address on the founding anniversary of Sakya College; Introductory Preface (Entitled, Three Words on Self-Talk) to the first volume of Jamtse Volumes, of Rinpoche’s works.
iii Concerning Politics
Truth Insistence (Satyagraha; in both Tibetan and English languages); Tibet: A Future Vision (in both Tibetan and English); The Prelude and Background, for The Constitution; The Future Constitution of Tibet, and The Rules; the numerous documentations in the Parliament; the numerous Addresses of Kashag and The Assembly of People’s Deputies, on the occasions of Tibetan Democracy Day and the 10th March Commemorations; Directives and Advices given from the Office of the Kalon Tripa; the multitude of Speeches as the Chairman of the Parliament, put into writing; Advices and explanations on Self Rule, the present dire situation of Tibet, our duties, the general and specific achievements of the Tibetan Administration, clarification on the interpretation of the rules concerning election of People’s Deputies, Socialism—which were later transcribed.
2 Writings in Hindi language comprises of four catergories
i Concerning Buddhism
The Middle View and Nāgārjuna; Some Important Things for Analysis, Regarding The Profound Dependent-Arising; Analysis of the Perceptionist (The Mind Only) School of Buddhism—and its needs and benefits; and other works.
ii Concerning Education
The legacy of Kāvyādarśa (The Poetry Mirror) Upon Tibetan Vocal Arts Literature; The third and the fourth Scenes of the Play, Thonmi Sambhota; the second branch of the Play, Atīśa; and many other works.
iii Concerning Politics
Tibet’s Present Situation, and its Future; A Specific View on Human Rights; Secularism and National Unity; and many other works.
iv Interviews in Hindi
Relations between Buddhist Arts, Practice and Culture; The Struggle for Tibet’s Cause is Concordant with Science; Spiritual and Non-Spiritual Struggles Which Had Taken Place in Tibet’s History; Truth may encounter obstacles, but it will never lose.
3 Writings in English language comprises of three categories
i Concerning Buddhism
1 Buddhist Meditation; 2 Religious Harmony; 3 Contribution of Buddhism to the Culture of Peace; 3 The Social and Political Strata in Buddhist Thought; 5 Uncompromising Truth for a Compromised World—Tibetan Buddhism and Today’s World.
ii Concerning Education
1 Presidential Address, Association of Indian Universities; 2 Tibetan debates.
iii Concerning Politics
1 Tibet: A Future Vision; 2 Truth Insistence (Satyagraha); 3 Lecture on Satyagraha; 4 Tibetan People’s Self-Determination: Fact or Fiction; 5 The Basic Crisis and Remedy; 6 Address, at the World Parliamentarian Convocation on Tibet—Third.
b) Commentarial teachings on scriptural texts has three categories
1 Concerning Buddhism
The Lamp of the Path to Enlightenment; A Letter to a Friend; The Precious Garland; The Perfect Explanation Opening the Eyes of the Fresh-Minded; The Three Principal Aspects of the Path; The Thought Training: The Wheel of Sharp Weapons; A Praise to Mañjuśrī; Explaining the essential meanings of Vyakhyayūktī; Entrance Door to Valid Cognition (Nyayapraveśa); and other works.
2 Concerning Education
The Anthem, of the University; Tutorials on Sakya Paṇḍita’s A Treasury of Well-Spoken [Advices]; and other tutorials.
3 Concerning Politics
A Guide to Tibet’s Future Administration, and The Essential Meanings of the Constituion; The Rules of the Tibetans in exile.
c) Speeches and Talks on diverse subjects comprise of four catergories
1 Concerning Buddhism
Teachings on: Going for Refuge and Generating Enlightenment Mind; The Three Trainings; Tripiṭaka (The Three Categories of Buddha’s Words); The Three Vehicles; The Three Capable Practitioners; The Four Classes of Tantra; The Two Truths; Dependent Arising; Calm Abiding and Special Insight; The Six Perfections; Cause and Effect of Our Actions; View of The Middle Way School and The Mind Only School; The Two Vehicles; The Four Tenets; The ways of being aware of death and impermanence; Meditation; and many others.
2 Concerning Education
The ten fields of knowledge; Literature; Education Policy; Culture; The goals of the University, and its future path; Preservance of Culture (Knowledge Stores); The Wholesome Trained Habits; The State of Education in Tibet; The History of Tibetan Literature; Hopes in the young generation of Tibetans; Changes in Tibetan Language and Writing; The importance of Tibetan language for world in general; and many others.
3 Concerning Politics
On the Constitution and The Rules; The Future of Tibet; International parliamentary conference; The Political Philosophy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama; The need for political views and dedication towards Tibet’s Cause; the officials Addresses and Speeches, during the Chairpersonship of the Assembly of People’s Deputies, and during the tenures of the Kalon Tripa; The strength of the Tibetan Unity; Public speeches at Bylakuppe, Mundgod, Hunsur, and other places; Advices given at the three major monastic universities, and monasteries; Introduction to the Tibetan Administration, and its public scrutiny; Political stands of the Tibetan youths; Public referendum in the event of absence of changes in Tibet, despite international pressure upon China; Address at the national conference of the Democracy Party; Address at the conference of Tibetan Youth Congress; the Address, on Referendum; Kashag Address, at the inauguration of the first major Tibetan national Conference; Talks on History and other subjects; and many others.
4 Diverse topics other than the above
Appeal speech, for the need of fund for Tibet’s Cause; Reports, of works carried out during officials visits to Englang, Norway and the United States; Advice given to the Volunteer Social-Service Workers; Advice, during a cordial visit to Old People’s Home; About the United States of America; Historical narration on Dharamshala; The ways of protecting the Environment, through a Middle Way approach to finance and wealth; Origins of the United Nations, the need for it; Protecting the Environment; and many others.
There are many of Rinpoche’s Addresses, Speeches and Advices of the above-liste catergories, also in Hindi and English, but they are not listed here, for concern of running into many words.
The works, which are indicated as Transcripts, were Addresses, Speeches, Advices and tutorials given in Tibetan language, at Tibetan communities, mostly those given to the scholars and students at the University at Sarnath, Varnasi.
There are the Six Volumes of His Eminence Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche’s Speech, published by Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre. They comprise of (a) the important speeches and Questions and Answers, in the Parliament, during Rinpoche’s tenure as the President of the Eleventh and the Twelfth Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies, (b) the Responses given in the Parliament, during Rinpoche’s carrying of the responsibilies of Kalon Tripa, of the Twelfth and the Thirteenth Kashag; (c) the important speeches and guidance given at conferences, intensive trainings, etc.
There are many works not listed here in this Essential Biography.