Ngawang Sonam Geleg Pelzang

The Virtuous Spiritual Master

The following incarnation, Ngawang Sonam Geleg Pelzang was born in Olka Ribug. From a young age, he was already reciting long Dharani mantras and had clear knowledge of his past life. Soon, students from his previous life came to take him back to his residence in Drepung to be taken cared of.

When he was three, he was brought to Kyisho. There, at the residence of the Lama, Paljor Gyatso, he offered a bit of his hair to this great Lama. In the same year, he recited the Guru Yoga on his throne at the Lhasa Prayer festival, thus filling everybody with tremendous faith.

He then entered Tashi Jong Monastery where he received his novice vows from his older brother, Paljor Sonam Lhundrub, and was given the name Ngawang Sonam Geleg Pelzang.

When he turned 14, the Fourth Dalai Lama Yonten Gyatso came to visit him when he first arrived back from Mongolia. When he turned eighteen, he went to Gaden Podrang of Drepung where, together with the Dalai Lama, he received teachings on the 45 empowerments of the Vajra Garland Mandala from Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyeltsen.

Upon turning twenty, Ngawang Sonam Geleg Pelzang received full ordination from the great Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyeltsen at Drepung. Later, in the summer of that year, he traveled to Tashi Lhumpo to study the great treatises.

His learning was said to have improved by leaps and bounds every day. In particular, he always gave excellent explanations at assembly – this delighted the Panchen Lama who always regarded him highly and often praised him as a virtuous spiritual guide.

Ngawang Sonam Geleg Pelzang went on an extensive pilgrimage to central Tibet, where he travelled to Tsang all the way from Sakya. He went through famous sites like Marlam Gongkar Dorje Den, Jampa Ling, Tsethang and travelled on to Olka and Gyal. From Gyal, he travelled to Kyisho with the Fourth Dalai Lama, Lord Yonten Gyatso, as Guru and disciple, offering him many teachings on Sutra and Tantra.

When the Omniscient Dalai Lama turned 21, he received his full ordination vows at Drepung from Panchen Lozang Chogyen who acted as abbot and Ngawang Sonam Geleg Pelzang as action master.

Ngawang Sonam Geleg Pelzang continued to give many teachings to thousands and led the chanting at the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa. Unfortunately, when he turned 22, he contracted smallpox and passed into clear light. His holy remains were cremated, leaving many relics and deity images which were placed inside a statue of Buddha Amitayus.

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