Name: Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche, Jangtse Choje
Interview Age: 78
Date of Birth: 1935
Birthplace: Lhatse, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 14B
Location: Lugsung Samdupling Settlement, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India
Categories: Buddhist Traditions
Keywords: escape experiences, Chinese army -- invasion by , refugee in India -- life as, Chinese rule -- life under, March 10th Uprising, monastic life, thamzing/struggle sessions, Utsang, poor/lower class
Jangtse Choje Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche was born in Lhatse in Utsang Province to a poor family. He was the middle child among three siblings and remembers being inducted into monkhood in the local monastery of Lhatse Choedhe at the age of 7. He learned to read, write and then memorize scriptures.
Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche recounts his 20-day journey to Lhasa to join Sera Monastery at the age of 16 where began his study of the various subjects of Buddhist philosophy. He had only partially completed his studies of the Five Great Treatises of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy when the Chinese army attacked Lhasa in 1959. He narrates the bombardment of the Potala Palace, Norbulingka and Sera Monastery, which ultimately forced him to flee from Lhasa.
Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche returned to Lhatse Choedhe Monastery where there was a 2-month calm period before the Chinese arrived. He describes Communist propaganda lessons and witnessed thamzing 'struggle sessions' and the imprisonment of the prominent people. He escaped to India via Nepal and resumed religious studies in exile in Buxar. He helped during the initial days of building the settlement in Bylakuppe and later served as the abbot of Gyumed Monastery. Lobsang Tenzin is presently the Jangtse Choje, second in line to the throne of Gaden, the head of the Gelug lineage.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Pema Tashi (Videographer)