VENERABLE LAMA THUBTEN ZOPA RINPOCHE
"Rinpoche is someone who follows my
very expansively and with one hundred percent trust.
He possesses unwavering faith and pure samaya;
not only has he pure samaya and faith,
but whatever I instruct, Zopa Rinpoche has the capability to accomplish
So whatever dedications Lama Zopa Rinpoche makes,
I also pray to accomplish this and you should do the same thing.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Sarnath, India, Dec 19 -22nd)
Thubten Zopa Rinpoche was born in 1946 in the village of Thami in
the Solo Khumbu region of Nepal near Mount Everest.
While still a young boy, Zopa Rinpoche was taken
on his uncle's back for a pilgrimage to Tibet. When he arrived north
of Sikkim at the Dung-kar Monastery of Domo Geshe Rinpoche, he startled
his uncle by declaring that he had no intention of returning home
with him. Rather, he wanted to stay at this monastery and devote
his life to studying and practising the dharma.
From that time onwards his diet was kept free of those foods considered
unclean. His education would have continued at Sera Je in Lhasa,
but these plans were also interrupted in 1959. Eventually he found
his way to Baduar where he first became the disciple of Geshe Rabten
and then of Lama Yeshe . Lama Yeshe and Zopa Rinpoche's contact
with Westerners began in 1965 while they were visiting the Ghoom
Monastery in Darjeeling.
1967 the two lamas left India, not for Ceylon as originally planned,
but for Nepal. After a few years, they were able to purchase land
at the top of a nearby hill called Kopan. There they founded the
Nepal Mahayana Gompa Center in 1969. The main building was constructed
in 1971-2, funded almost exclusively by the lamas' increasing number
of Western disciples. When the first meditation course was given
there in 1971, it was attended by about twenty students. By the
time of the seventh course, held in the autumn of 1974, interest
was so great that attendance had to be restricted to 200 meditators,
the limit of the local facilities. In December of 1973 Kopan became
the home of the International Mahayana Institute, an organisation
composed of Western monks and nuns.
In 1972 they purchased land in Dharamsala, the
North Indian hill station that for many years has been the headquarters
of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and since 1971 the site of the Library
of Tibetan Works and Archives. In a house formerly belonging to
Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, they established Tushita Retreat Center.
After the passing away of Lama Yeshe in 1984, Lama
Thubten Zopa Rinpoche became the spiritual leader of the
FPMT, a sizeable Buddhist organisation with over 100 centers
Venerable Rilbur Rinpoche is known to have described
Lama Zopa Rinpoche as, 'one of the hardest working tulkus (recognised
reincarnations of teachers) I know'.
"Real peace and happiness has
to come from the heart, from within.
So therefore, to eliminate wars and destroying each other,
to eliminate famine, disease and earthquakes,
and to eliminate all other disasters an unfavourable experiences,
all this can be stopped by having loving kindness toward each
From having a good heart with loving kindness, negative action
Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche
BRIEF LONG-LIFE PRAYER
You who uphold the Subduer's (thub) moral
Who serve as the bountiful bearer (zö)-of-all,
Sustaining, preserving and spreading Manjunath's victorious
Who masterfully accomplish (drub pa) magnificent prayers honouring
the Three Jewels,
Protector of myself and others, your disciples:
please, please live long!
Requested by Geshe Konchog Kyab on behalf
of the students of Thubten Kunga Center, Florida, USA
Composed by Choden Rinpoche on the fifteenth day of the month
of Saga Dawa, 2000.
Translated into English by Jampa Gendun.
For a much more elaborate biographies more pictures and a collection
of his teachings, see the FPMT
Last updated:May 11, 2015