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Nomination of the 101th Ganden Tripa, supreme head of the Gelugpa lineage
WTN - January 23, 2003 11:30
Press Release - Thar Deu Ling Buddhist Association.
Paris, January 22nd 2003.

On January 20th 2003 His Holiness the Dalai-lama announced in BodhGaya at the conclusion of the Kalachakra empowerment the appointment of Khensur Lungri Namgyel rinpoche as the 101th Ganden Tripa.

The Venerable Khensur Lungri Namgyel Rinpoche is a former abbot of two of the most important monastic institutions of Tibetan Buddhism, the Gyutö Tantric College and Ganden Shartse Monastic University.

The Ganden Tripa position is the highest of the Gelug lineage: its recipient is the supreme spiritual head of the Gelug school founded in Tibet in the 15th century by the great yogi-scholar and saint Dje Tsong Khapa.

The Gelug school (better known in the West as the Yellow Hats) is among Tibetans the lineage which counts the most devotees and monasteries. The famous monastic institutions of Ganden, Sera and Drepung as well as the two Tantric Colleges of Gyutö and Gyumed belong to that lineage. Numerous illustrious spiritual teachers practiced within that lineage, such as the Dalai-lamas themselves or the Panchen-lamas, also.

The position of Ganden Tripa is traditionnally conferred upon the most accomplished spiritual Masters of the Gelug lineage; previous holders were Gyeltsap Dje and Khedrup Dje, the two main students of Dje Tsong Khapa, the Third Panchen Lama Sönam Drakpa, or more recently the late two tutors of His Holiness the Dalai-lama: Kyabje Ling rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang rinpoche.

The 101th Ganden Tripa, the Venerable Khensur Lungri Namgyel rinpoche was born in 1927 in Kham (eastern Tibet). Ordained at eight years old, after fifty years of meditative practices and studies he was elevated by H.H. the Dalai-lama as successively abbot of Gyutö Tantric College (in 1983), and as abbot of Ganden Shartse Monastic University (in 1992). In 1986 he was the special envoy of H.H. the Dalai-lama to the oecumenical meetings of Assisi in Italy convened by H.H. the Pope John-Paul II. He is a French national and has been living in Paris, France for more than 20 years. He transmits the Buddhist teachings of his lineage in a Dharma Center, Thar Deu Ling ( ) which he founded in 1980.

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