Sonam Yeshe Wangpo

The Supreme Spiritual Friend

After Panchen Sonam Drakpa passed away, he took rebirth as Sonam Yeshe Wangpo near Tölung Lampa in Tibet. From birth, he spoke with clairvoyance and seemed to remember people and events of his past life.

After he was recognized, he was brought to Drepung Monastery and presented to the Omniscient Sonam Gyatso, the Third Dalai Lama, who was a student of Panchen Sonam Drakpa, the boy’s predecessor. The Dalai Lama cut off a bit of the boy’s hair in a ritual and gave him the name Sonam Yeshe Wangpo. The young boy then went to Kyormo Lung and was able to make dedications, prayers and give teachings easily at a young age. This caused many to develop faith in him as the actual incarnation.

From a very young age, Sonam Yeshe Wangpo pursued his studies at Chakar Dratsang, where he studied the great treatises with Damcho Pelbar. He finally received his full ordination in front of an assembly of great Abbots, masters and monks including the Third Dalai Lama.

When the Dalai Lama traveled to Mongolia, Sonam Yeshe Wangpo, who was just a young man then, followed along as part of his retinue. A lot was accomplished during these travels to Mongolia as the Dalai Lama converted Altan Khan to Buddhism; this paved the way for all of Mongolia to become Buddhist.

Upon their return, they traveled to monasteries like Chokor Ling at Chamdo. At Chamdo, Lord Sonam Gyatso, the Third Dalai Lama, became the peacemaker between warring factions. Through his mediation, they even started to work together to build a Buddha Shakyamuni statue in a temple at Lithang.

Throughout the journey, the young Sonam Yeshe Wangpo composed verses to praise his Lama and commentaries on the teachings. He also gave various teachings during this period.

For the remainder of his life, Sonam Yeshe Wangpo made a lot of offerings to the Sangha of Ganden, Sera, Drepung Chakar and other smaller monasteries. He was invited to ascend the throne of Kyormo Lung Monastery and become its Abbot, which he accepted.

He also continued to give many teachings and was later further requested to ascend the throne of the monastery in Chamdo. However, he entered clear light that year when he was only 37 years old. After his cremation, numerous relics and deity images were found in his ashes and these were placed in a stupa that was kept in Chokor Gyal Monastery.

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  1. I enjoy reading about great Lamas and their subsequent reincarnations. Then it is sad to read they pass away early in age. What I learned here is his role with Third Dalai Lama to bring Buddhism to Mongolia.

    I used to think that from Panchen Sonam Drakpa it was to Tulku Drakpa Gyetlsen. Apparently not… my ignorance. Please read this link too and find out more:

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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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