Ven. Geshe Tsultrim was born in Chating, Kham, Tibet. The members of his family were ardent Dharma practioners. Geshe-la’s parents and grandparents were devoted students of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche.
From an early age, Geshe Tsultrim was interested in the study of Dharma. When he was 12 years old, he entered the local monastery. He was very happy that he had this opportunity to become a monk.
His early development was guided by his uncle who was a highly regarded scholar and monk. He began his education along with many other young boys living in the monastery, learning grammar, reading and writing.
Then, as he became older, he followed the traditional Gelugpa approach to studying with the memorization of texts and mastery of the art of debate. At the age of 19, his uncle advised him to go to Gaden Jangtse Monastery in Lhasa. The Chinese army were beginning to enter the border regions of Tibet and it was thought that Lhasa would be more peaceful and conducive to Dharma study and practice. But this was not to be the case.
In 1959, two years after Geshe-la arrived in Lhasa, the Chinese invaded Tibet and marched into the heart of the land, the capital city. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, fled the country a few days after and took refuge in India. Many people followed him.
Geshe Tsultrim, who was about 21 at that time, was among them. The Indian Government extended help to the Tibetan Refugees. The monks were sent to Baxa, where the living conditions were very difficult. The monks, weakened by the exodus and not accustomed to the heat and diseases of India, were prone to many sicknesses. Many of them even died.
In contrast to this, Baxa was also a place of incredible spirituality. The monks received teachings from many great masters who had gathered there. Since they had little else but what they had on their backs, they turned their minds solely to the study of Dharma. The majority of monks witnessed the destruction of their homeland and thus realized directly the impermanence of all things. This further motivated them to practice Dharma.
Geshe Tsultrim stayed in Baxa for nine years. Then, 1500 monks were chosen to go to a new Tibetan settlement in South India. Geshe-la was included in this group. He stayed in South India for two years. He then left for Varanasi University, where he achieved his Acharya degree.
Returning to Gaden Monastery, he worked towards and completed the Geshe Lharampa degree. This was followed by one year of study and practice at Gyume Tantric College.
A dedicated and compassionate teacher, Geshe Tsultrim has been responsible for the education of many monks, particularly those of a very young age, guiding them through to maturity. During his stay in India, he was the teacher of more than 400 students.
He then left for Singapore, where he taught for several months. He has also been a resident teacher in Tashi Rabten Monastery in Austria and traveled extensively through Europe, giving teachings on Buddhist philosophy in France, Italy, Czech Republic and Switzerland.
Some of his most eminent students are His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Ven. Zawa Rinpoche, His Holiness Serkong Dorje Chang Chogtrul Rinpoche, His Holiness Serkong Tritrul Rinpoche and Ven. Zakhen Rinpoche.
After a two-year absence, Geshe Tsultrim is now back in Quebec in order to assist in Geshe Khenrab Gajam’s undertakings.
Source: Tibetan Buddhist Temple (http://www.khenrab.org/geshe.htm)