VENERABLE KIRTI TSENSHAB RINPOCHE
of the great Tibetan Masters, of who I was fortunate to receive many teachings
is Ven. Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche.
A short biography:
Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche was born in 1926 in the Amdo region of eastern Tibet.
At the age of 8, he was recognised by the tenth Kirti Rinpoche as the first
reincarnation of Khensur Kramcho Phuntsog, a former abbot of Kirti gompa in
At the age of 9, Rinpoche took ordination as a monk.
In the mid-1950s, he made the arduous journey with Kirti Rinpoche to Lhasa
to continue his studies at Drepung Monastery and avoid the political instability
posed by the Chinese in the Amdo area. During this period, he became tsen-shab
(debate partner) to Kirti Rinpoche, debating with him and reviewing his daily
After escaping from Tibet in 1959, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche taught Tibetan orphans
at the Tibetan Children's Village, Dharamsala, India.
the age of 45, he began a fifteen-year meditation retreat in a small stone hermitage
above Dharamsala, big enough for a bed, prostrations, and a stove". Seven years
were spent in meditation on Lam Rim, 3 years on 7 point Thought Transformation,
and some generation and completion stage tantra. Two years were spent only on
generation and completion stages, and in the final 3 years, Rinpoche repeated
all of the above.
Ven. Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche was abbot of 'Kirti Monastery' in Dharamsala.
He was a very important lineage holder in the Kalachakra tradition, and as such
even a teacher of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche has said of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche:
"(He) is a great Kadampa who shows real Kadampa Tradition...so completely renounced.
There's not one slightest worldly activity, not the slightest eight world dharmas,
no self cherishing thought. Even talking, everything is as much as possible
pleasing to sentient being's minds."
Ven. Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche passed away in 2006.
THE PERSUASIVE DRUM SOUND OF THE SPHERE OF GREAT COMPASSION
INVOKING THE BLESSINGS OF THE QUICK RETURN OF THE INCARNATION
OF THE GREAT VIRTUOUS FRIEND
KIRTI TSENSHAB RINPOCHE
Realm of compassion of all Victorious Ones of the three times
Compassionate deity playfully manifesting the major and minor marks
Treasure of compassion, fortunate destiny of the migrators of the Land of Snow,
Please enable the accomplishment of these pure prayers.
Profound, fearless intelligence of pure wisdom
Eloquent speech of the sublime Dharma
Spreading like a smiling garland of gentle waves
Treasure filled with a wealthy abundance of instructions
The virtuous friend, the great ocean
You are the one I miss from the heart.
Recollecting all qualities of your Holy Body, Speech and Mind
In distress I single-pointedly request:
Please, our Protector, in all lifetimes
Never let us slip from the lasso of your compassion.
Alas! Lacking the virtuous friend who is the sole Refuge
The teachings of the tender Saviour, Lama Tsong Khapa will end.
Migratory beings' happiness will darken like shadows of a setting sun.
Therefore you must come to relieve this sad and urgent plight.
Training over an extensive period of time
You took responsibility for performing the great activities
Of the Buddha's Teachings as well as those of transmigratory beings,
And generated completely the full capacity of the Holy Mind.
Yet do you comprehend the nature of our devastation?
For we, the ignorant thick-skulled ones, are abandoned to a forlorn place
While you enjoy the spheres of bliss and peace!
In this period when five degenerations' faults gather and explode
It is now especially critical that you adopt the armour of zeal.
Since this is the promise of the Heroic Sons of the Victorious One
Quickly reveal again the Emanation Body's Holy Face.
Already the time of the Buddha's teachings has reached the end of the five-hundred.
Almost all the Great Holy Beings who could wishfully descend to this world
have departed to the Sphere of Peace (Dharmakaya).
We, pitiful fledglings, find ourselves left behind - bereft and alone.
Please recall the commitment generated in your Holy Mind:
To assume responsibility to uphold the Lamp of the teachings of the land of Rongchen (region of Amdo).
Smiling face of the Supreme emanation, the creator of day,
Like the rising sun come quickly without delay.
Not degenerating qualities acquired across lifetime's trainings
The smile of the white cooling moon of explanation and attainment
Our only friend who cultivates the Kunu (flower) of the Victorious One's teachings
May the youthful moon of your unmistaken manifestation immediately appear!
Protectors of the words of the Lamas
Guardians of the Buddha's teachings
Special watchers over what has been requested
Great Victorious Active Heroes
And all Powerful Protectors
Please impel the unmistaken incarnation to arise.
In short, by the power of the incontrovertible dependent arising
Of the students' fervent faith,
Together with blessings of the Protectors of the Three Sublime Ones,
Like a wish-fulfilling jewel may our prayers without exception be instantaneously accomplished!
I, the student disciple bearing the name of the incarnated Thashel Kirti, Lozang Tenzin, having heard that at the age of eighty one the incarnation of the Great Virtuous Friend Tsatrug Geshe Tsang, the Holder of the Lineage of the Near Instruction, the Great Abbot Vajradhara Jetsun Lozang Jigme Damcho Pel Sangpo had seriously ailed and Gone Beyond, felt impelled to compose this requesting prayer titled The Persuasive Drum Sound of the Sphere of Great Compassion invoking the blessings of the Quick Return of the incarnation of the great virtuous friend Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche. May my incontrovertible pure prayers to the Three Supreme Ones in general and to the Supreme Arya the Great Compassionate One in particular, be accomplished as here expressed.
It was written in the village of the Sublime realm of Bodhgaya on the 15th of the ninth month 2006.
The most devoted protector, Alak Rinpoche, attendent of Kyabje Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche whose name is extremely rare to mention and who is the embodiment of and kinder than the Buddhas of the Three Times, and the Translator Voula who offered him so many years of service requested me, the Mickey Mouse, Thubten Zopa to translate this Requesting Prayer. With the help of the Venerable Nun Jane, Venerable Tenzin Namdak and Ross Moore I have done so with devotion. Due to the merits may all sentient beings of this world be able to soon see the Smiling Face of the Unmistaken Incarnation, and enjoy again the nectar of Kyabje Rinpoche's teachings, in order to achieve Enlightenment as quickly as possible.
Sera Je Monastery , South India, January 2007.
Last updated:February 6, 2011