Name: Samdhong Rinpoche
Interview Age: 74
Date of Birth: 1939
Birthplace: Nangdug - Jol, Kham, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 23B
Location: Lugsung Samdupling Settlement, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India
Categories: Buddhist Traditions
Keywords: Buddhist beliefs, childhood memories, customs/traditions, Dalai Lama, Kham, refugee in India -- life as, March 10th Uprising, monastic life
Samdhong Rinpoche was born as Lobsang Tenzin in Nangdug, a small village of 12 families. His parents cultivated a small piece of land and reared yaks and dri 'female yaks' for a living. His father had two wives and there were nine children in the family. At the age of three, Samdhong Rinpoche insisted on going to the local monastery with an uncle, who was a monk, and remained in the monastery with him until he was 12 years old.
At the age of 5 he was recognized as the 5th reincarnation of Samdhong Rinpoche. He describes the lineage of Samdhong Rinpoche and what the name means. As a 12-year old, Samdhong Rinpoche left for Lhasa to complete higher studies, which was a tradition for all reincarnated lamas. He recounts the adventurous 75-day journey to Lhasa and his first impressions of the city. He remembers the first time he saw His Holiness the Dalai Lama and explains how he met his future teachers before travelling on to Drepung Monastery.
Samdhong Rinpoche saw the Chinese military presence in Lhasa and heard their propaganda through daily shows broadcast over loudspeakers. Otherwise, the Chinese invasion did not have much effect on monastic life at that time. He heard the bombardment of Norbulingka, the Potala Palace, Sera Monastery and fled with his teachers. Samdhong Rinpoche continued to study the Buddhist scriptures and practice monastic rituals in the refugee camp at Missamari, India.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Pema Tashi (Videographer)
Link: Watch On Youtube
Topic: Interview with Samdhong Rinpoche on 12/31/2013