Kashimey Geshe Ngawang Jinpa
Ngawang Jinpa, also known as Khen Rinpoche,
was born in 1932, in Ghadhong near Lhasa, Tibet. He was the third
child of the Kashimey family, his father was an official in the
Tibetan government, as were his two brothers. At the age of 7
he joined the Monastic University of Drepung. For 22 years he
studied logic, transcendental wisdom, Madhyamika philosophy,
ethics and metaphysics under Geshe Yeshe Lodhen Rinpoche. As
part of the study program, he was required to memorize over 1000
pages of texts, word for word. He appeared for the examination
of Geshe Lha Rampa in an assembly of some 30,000 monks from Drepung,
Sera and Ganden at the end of 1958, and succeeded in achieving
a place in the topmost order of geshes.
Just afterward His Holiness the Dalai Lama
granted permission for him to take the abbotship of Tharpa Choling
Monastery at Kalimpong in India. During the five years he stayed
in Kalimpong, Rinpoche ensured that every discipline and decorum
in the monastic institution was upheld. Afterwards he went on
to teach at St. Joseph's College in Darjeeling for 33 years.
In 1992 he taught Tibetan and Buddhism at the university in Moscow,
Russia for a year. Later he went to Argentina to work as an advisor
on the film Seven Years in Tibet. His primary duty was
to advise the producer, director and other film personnel in
matters connected with religious practices, etc.
Poetry always was one of Rinpoche's favorite
subjects during his studies and has remained so till now. He
has therefore always made ample time to compose lyrics for Tibetan
songs, many of which have now been preserved in cassettes and
recently on CD.
These days among other projects he works on
translations of news items for the local Tibetan newspaper. He
has been teaching one of the Tibetan advanced classes at Manjushree
Center of Tibetan Culture in Darjeeling, since its founding
Khen Rinpoche at the recording studio.