Name: T.G. Dhongthog Rinpoche
Interview Age: 80
Date of Birth: 1933
Birthplace: Thinkar, Kham, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1953
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 24C
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States
Categories: Culture and History
Keywords: education, Kham, refugee in India -- life as, monastic life, pilgrimage
Tenpe Gyaltsen Dhongthog Rinpoche was born in Thinkar Village in Kham Province and was the eldest of five siblings. His was a farming family that earned their livelihood cultivating barley, wheat and peas in their fields. He joined the Dhongthog Rigdrol Phuntsog Ling Monastery at the age of 7 when he was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous Dhongthog Rinpoche. At age 13, T. G. Dhongthog Rinpoche joined the Ngor Institute where he took his monk's vows and received teachings from lamas. He was first taught reading and writing, then learned many Buddhist scriptures.
T. G. Dhongthog Rinpoche went on a pilgrimage to India to visit the sacred Buddhist sites like Bodh Gaya, Nalanda, and Varanasi. However, on his return journey he did not travel beyond Lhasa after he was informed that the Communist Chinese had arrived in his hometown and were mistreating the Tibetan people. He soon decided to return to India.
T. G. Dhongthog Rinpoche talks about his education in India where he learned English and Hindi. He then compiled the first Tibetan-English dictionary. He relates the various translation works he carried out and books he has written including his autobiography. He worked for the Tibet House, Delhi and the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Sherab (Interpreter)
- Tony Sondag (Videographer)