Rabgyä Rinpoche Celebrates His 25th Birthday

The young Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche


“This manifestation of the Buddha has no equal. If you are really determined to tame your mind, he will even give you his heart.”

Geshe Rabten about Gyalchen Dorje Shugden


Just before the end of last year, the young incarnation of Geshe Rabten, now known as Ven. Tenzin Rabgyä Rinpoche, celebrated his 25th birthday in the splendid, blessed company of other very high lamas.

The birthday celebration was held on November 4, 2012, in Rabten Choeling Monastery, at Le Mont-Pèlerin, Switzerland. Gonsar Rinpoche and many Dorje Shugden lamas were also in attendance at this auspicious event, including Geshe Tsultrim, a scholar from Gaden Jangtse, Geshe Thubten Trinley, and Geshe Buga. There was even a traditional lion dance to celebrate this event.

The previous incarnation, Geshe Rabten Rinpoche, was a truly erudite and highly attained Gelugpa master and Dorje Shugden lama. Born in Tibet in 1920, he studied and taught at Sera Je Monastery in Lhasa before he left Tibet with H.H. the Dalai Lama in 1959. In 1964, H.H.  the Dalai Lama selected Geshe Rabten Rinpoche and the Venerable Lati Rinpoche out of hundreds of Geshes to become his new Tsenshabs (philosophical assistants/debate partners).

Geshe Rabten had many outstanding disciples, including Lama Thubten Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Thomtok Rinpoche, Geshe Pemba, Geshe Thubten Trinley, Geshe Tenzin Gonpo and Geshe Thubten Ngawang among others. The very well-known Gonsar Rinpoche of Switzerland – who has risen to become one of the most prominent lamas of the west with a huge student following – was among his closest disciples. Geshe Rabten was eventually sent by the Dalai Lama to teach in the West and founded Tharpa Choeling Center (now known as Rabten Choeling) for Higher Buddhist Studies in Switzerland in 1979, where he resided as a full-time spiritual director before he passed away in 1986.

Three years after he entered clear light, his close disciple H.E. Gonsar Rinpoche found Geshe Rabten’s incarnation who was known as Kelsang Tsering, the son of Mr. Tenzin Dargye and Mrs. Pasang Gyalmo. Kelsang Tsering was confirmed as the true incarnation of Geshe Rabten Rinpoche by many different lamas, including H.H. the Dalai Lama himself. Kelsang Tsering was given the name Ven. Tenzin Rabgyä Rinpoche and now lives at Rabten Choeling under the tutelage and care of H.E. Gonsar Rinpoche

All of us at DorjeShugden.com join in the celebration of the birthday of this young incarnation of a great Dorje Shugden lama, who will continue the great works of his previous life as he comes of age. May Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche always have long life and excellent health, and may all his teachings and practices bring the blessings of the lineage to millions.

We rejoice to share with you some photos taken during the birthday celebrations.




More photos of this auspicious event:

A beautiful poster promoting Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche’s birthday celebrations

Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche’s birthday was a grand celebration that saw many guests, lay and ordained

Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche and H.E. Gonsar Rinpoche liberating animals

Offering serkym to the Dharma Protector

Reciting prayers together with other monks and high lamas, such as H.E. Gonsar Rinpoche (to the right of Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche)

Reciting prayers together with high lamas and the holy Sangha

The birthday celebration for Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche included a traditional lion dance

Traditionally, lion dances symbolize “scaring” away obstacles and bringing swift success

Set against the beautiful Swiss mountains, Rabten Choeling was a perfect place for a holy birthday celebration

Many lay and ordained devotees came to make offerings and join in the celebrations

The lions certainly put on a lively show!

The blessings of the snow lions came to the birthday too

Acrobatic lion dancers offer up their talents and best skills!

A joyous photo of the high lamas and happy snow lions!

A beautiful photo for posterity, with Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche (seated center) and his tutor H.E. Gonsar Rinpoche (seated second from left)

A beautiful opportunity for the lion dancers to collect merit as they danced today for Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche

H.E. Gonsar Rinpoche offering khatas to the lion dancers

Many members of the Sangha were present for the celebrations

Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche (seated second from left) enjoys a happy moment with other high lamas

A grand celebration with many high lamas and the sacred Sangha

A birthday like this is a happy occasion for both Sangha and lay people

Senior masters joined in the birthday celebrations

Many joined in to make offerings (note the beautiful incense burner to the corner) and prayers

A beautiful shot of the many friends who joined the celebrations

Celebrating the birthday of a lama is to rejoice in a great being’s tremendous work to benefit others through the Dharma

H.E. Gonsar Rinpoche, who found the incarnation of Geshe Rabten

A relaxed moment between H.E. Gonsar Rinpoche and Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche

H.E. Gonsar Rinpoche (right) with senior lamas at the celebration

H.E. Gonsar Rinpoche, Spiritual Director of Rabten Choeling Monastery and tutor to Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche

Beautiful scenery from Rabten Choeling Monastery

View of the lake from Rabten Choeling

The beautiful Rabten Choeling Monastery in Switzerland

H.E. Gonsar Rinpoche offering Body, Speech and Mind to Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche

H.E. Gonsar Rinpoche makes a mandala offering to Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche

It is always extremely auspicious to make offerings on a lama’s birthday, requesting him to live long and turn the wheel of Dharma

Other guests make offerings to Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche

Students and friends queuing up to make khata offerings to Ven. Rabgyä Rinpoche

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  1. Great Yansi Rabghye Rinpoche.please continue without interferences Your diamond Dharma work.paolorossi4444

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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