Interviewee Profile

Name: Karma Lamthon
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 88

Date of Birth: 1925

Birthplace: Gemokhuk, Kham, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: Monk

Monk/Nun: Previously

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 3B

Date: 2013-12-27

Language: Tibetan

Location: Lugsung Samdupling Settlement, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India

Categories: Buddhist Traditions

Keywords: Buddhist beliefs, childhood memories, customs/traditions, education, festivals, Kham, monastic life, pilgrimage, shamans/mediums


Karma Lamthon was born in Gemokhuk in Kham Province. His brother was a reincarnated lama and his father was a ngagpa 'shaman,' who helped to cure the nomads' sick livestock. Karma Lamthon recalls being taught to read the scriptures by his parents at home. He joined the local monastery as a monk at the age of 8 and shares his experience in the monastery until the age of 20.

Karma Lamthon recounts how he spent three years in meditation at the retreat center of Dolma Lhakhang from age 12 to 15 where he was instructed once each week by his teachers in different meditation practices.

Karma Lamthon talks about his long journey to Lhasa where he witnessed the festival of Tse Guthor, a religious dance performance by monks given at the Potala Palace. He proceeded on a pilgrimage and gives vivid images of various sacred and holy places in Lhasa and surrounding areas. Karma Lamthon renounced his vow of celibacy and left the monkhood. Since he chose to continue his religious practice and retain all of his other vows, he decided to become a nagapa. He gives us a detailed understanding of the tradition and practices followed by nagapa, the rites and rituals they performed, and the ensuing benefit in both this and the next life.

Interview Team:

  • Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
  • Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
  • Pema Tashi (Videographer)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Karma Lamthon on 12/27/2013

Length: 02:01:17

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