Interviewee Profile

Name: T.G. Dhongthog Rinpoche
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 80

Date of Birth: 1933

Birthplace: Thinkar, Kham, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1953

Profession: Rinpoche

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 24C

Date: 2014-11-14

Language: Tibetan

Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Categories: Culture and History

Keywords: education, Kham, monastic life, pilgrimage, refugee in India -- life as


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.

Interview Team:

  • Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
  • Tenzin Sherab (Interpreter)
  • Tony Sondag (Videographer)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with T.G. Dhongthog Rinpoche on 11/14/2014

Length: 01:12:07

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