Shar Gaden Abbot Lobsang Pendey

The Venerable Abbot Geshe Lharampa Lobsang Pendey was born on 1941 in central Lhasa, near Gaden Monastery in Tibet. At the age of 12, he was admitted to Gaden Shartse Monastery, later receiving the fully-fledged novice vows from Kyabje Song Dorje Chang, along with many other young monks, some of whom are now throne holders or supreme leaders of well known monasteries and Dharma centers in Asia and in the West.

He embarked on monastic training and studied all fields of Buddhist Studies including the Five Principal Subjects of Buddhist Philosophy as a pupil of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Song Rinpoche and Zemey Rinpoche. After fleeing from Tibet in 1959, like many Gaden monks, he temporarily resided in Buxar, in Northeast India, where he continued to keep the momentum of focus on studying Sutra and Tantra.

Most of the major Geluk monasteries were reestablished in South India with Gaden and Drepung Monasteries in Mundgod, while Sera Monastery was reestablished in Bylakuppe, Mysore. He voluntarily got involved in the restoration of these monasteries at the earliest stage in South India. At that time, monks ploughed all the fields for whole days and nights, pulling wooden ploughs hanging around their necks. This tale is still told and heard from older monks. Then he was appointed as a new General Secretary of the Lama Society for nearly a half decade, which was purposely founded in the service of both Gaden and Drepung Monasteries.

Again, the monastic community of Gaden Shartse had chosen him as their new Secretary, but he could not finish the actual term of office, so he had to leave his duty in the middle of the service and instead focused on Sutric and Tantric studies, as Khensur Lati Rinpoche suggested. Shortly afterwards, he was officially conferred a prestigious Geshe Lharampa Degree (doctor in Buddhist philosophy). His unique abilities in monastic rituals and versatility made him the most eligible candidate for the Chant-Master of Gaden Shartse, which has a term of 5 years.

Venerable Abbot Lobsang Pendey (right) was very close to Khensur Lati Rinpoche (center). Here we see the two traveling together. Having great teachers such as Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Song Rinpoche, Zemey Rinpoche and Lati Rinpoche, he is more than qualified to act as the abbot of Shar Gaden Monastery which preserves the holy lineage of Dorje Shugden. Before the ban on Dorje Shugden, such scenes were common place since there was peace and harmony. After the ban friends were separated, harmony was lost and ostracized monks were forced to establish their own monasteries to continue their practice of Dorje Shugden as taught to them by their illustrious teachers. Lati Rinpoche and Abbot Lobsang Pendey were very close and met often. After the ban they were not allowed to meet anymore as Abbot Lobsang Pendey continued his practice of Dorje Shugden and Lati Rinpoche stayed in Gaden Shartse Monastery. Why did Gaden Shartse Monastery have to split and 600 monks leave to form Shar Gaden Monastery? It was due to the ban enforced by the Tibetan leaders in-exile for political reasons. There is no freedom to practice your religion. Dorje Shugden was practiced in Gaden Shartse Monastery for over 400 years by the most illustrious masters and suddenly it was not allowed since 1996. No religious freedom at all. The Tibetan leadership accuse China of restrictions against religious freedom, but the Tibetan leaders in-exile are actually restricting religious freedom themselves.

As anticipated, he was chosen as the new Chant master of Shartse Monastery and the enthronement ceremony was held on that same day on the monastic premises. During his service, he made the common and uncommon monastic rituals and recitation traditions even more accessible and comprehensive by extensive analysis of the original compositions of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Song Rinpoche. He expended all his capabilities, hardwork, etc to preserve and promote this precious tradition that has survived over the centuries.

After the successful completion of 5 years’ duty as Chant Master, he has occasionally visited many countries such as: Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Mongolia and many more, giving discourses on vital points of Buddhism and spreading Je Tsongkhapa’s pure doctrine to as many people as possible, regardless of politics, religion, race, etc, only aiming to benefit needy and suffering people around the world.

At present, he holds the post of supreme spiritual head and instructor of secular matters at Shar Gaden Monastery.

Venerable Abbot Lobsang Pendey assisting Khensur Lati Rinpoche to give his blessings to a young child while traveling together. Before the ban on Dorje Shugden’s practice the monks were united. But after the ban, Dorje Shugden practitioners were forcibly segregated.

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4 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. I noticed that all great practitioners and masters always start their spiritual journey and meet qualified teachers very early in their lives. This I am sure must be due to the good merits, clean samaya and strong aspirational prayers to be of benefit to others in the past. If we are serious about our practice, creating the causes now for this to happen for us by doing our practice sincerely and purely is the key.

  2. It is just really amazing to be reading the background and story of Ven Lobsang Phende like this.

    He is a very kind and courages man. He came forth during the split of the monasteries to be the first Abbot of Shar Gaden. Although he received threats from many, he has never once backed down, he fought through for the monks in the monastery. Never once giving up on them. Instead, Ven Lobsang Phende went around the world requesting for teachings and initiations so that he would be able to bring the knowledge and lineage back to these Shugden monks that are deprived from the monastic education due to their choice of practicing Dorje Shugden.

  3. A very inspiring monk who left Tibet during the conflict of 1959. A courageous monk in the face of confrontation. A very erudite master and umze. Such a very accomplished master and voted many to be the new abbot of a new monastery, Shar Gaden Monastery, formed out of necessity. For Shar Gaden Abbot Lobsang Pendey to do all that, he must have unwavering faith in Dorje Shugden.

    May Shar Gaden Abbot Lobsang Pendey have long life and good health to turn the Wheel of Dharma to benefit many, many more people.

  4. I didn’t know much about Kensur Rinpoche prior to this. All I know is that Kensur Rinpoche is the first Abbot of Shar Gaden Monastery and he was very courageous to take up this role as the rift and split between monasteries were serious and it’s life threatening. I wasn’t aware that Kensur Rinpoche was one of the earliest Sanghas who helped rebuilt the monastery and it’s system in India after everyone fled from Tibet. Kensur Rinpoche is also very humble to everyone and Kensur Rinpoche has everyone’s respect for Kensur Rinpoche’s contribution towards Tibetan Buddhism’s continuity away from Tibet in India and having strong faith to go all the way for Dorje Shugden by being the Abbot of Shar Gaden Monastery. May Rinpoche have long life for the benefit of many.

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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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