Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche

Khenchen Pema Sherab RinpocheKhen­po Pema Sherab was born in 1936, at Riphu, a place in Dege Jom­da, in the Kham Province to Dor­je Dhondup and Tse Tso. When he was eight, he stud­ied read­ing and writ­ing Tibetan from his uncle Lama Choe­sang while herd­ing cat­tle. At four­teen, he went to Lhasa and stud­ied under mas­ters and schol­ars of all schools of Tibetan Bud­dhism. While receiv­ing teach­ings, he ren­dered ser­vice to his teach­ers and stud­ied with great enthu­si­asm, day and night.

In 1953, Shechen Kongtrul Rin­poche bestowed novice vows upon him. In 1959, he fled from Tibet to India. He met H.H. Dil­go Khyentse Rin­poche, from whom he received most of his teach­ings includ­ing the Guhya­garb­ha Root Tantra, Longchenpa’s Trea­sury of Pith Instruc­tions, Kagyud Ngag Dzod (Trea­sury of Tantra teach­ings of Kagyu Lin­eage), Rinchen Ter­d­zod, Jigme Lingpa’s Yon­ten Dzod (Trea­sury of Enlight­ened Qual­i­ties), Lochen Dharmashri’s Expla­na­tion on Ngari Penchen’s Three Vows enti­tled, Fruit of the Wish-ful­fill­ing Tree, Patrul Rinpoche’s Words of My Per­fect Teacher, and many oth­er sutra and tantra teach­ings.

On var­i­ous occa­sions, he has received many teach­ings includ­ing the Rinchen Ter­d­zod Empow­er­ments and its oral trans­mis­sion from H.H. Dud­jom Rin­poche and H.H. Penor Rin­poche. He received all the teach­ings relat­ed to Jang-ter (North­ern Trea­sure Teach­ings) from H.H. Tak­lung Tsetrul Rin­poche.

In 1968, His Holi­ness Penor Rin­poche invit­ed him to come to Nam­drol­ing to teach the Dhar­ma. Though at that time, the insti­tute has not estab­lished, Khen­po spent a few years teach­ing the tra­di­tion­al com­mon and uncom­mon fields of study to small monks of the monastery.

Since the estab­lish­ment of the insti­tute in 1978 until 2003, for 25 years, Khen­po Pema Sherab has been teach­ing in this insti­tute out of com­pas­sion and kind­ness to the stu­dents. Dur­ing his tenure, he has whole­heart­ed­ly ren­dered his price­less ser­vice with­out thought of eight world­ly con­cerns and has stayed in the insti­tute all these years, for­bear­ing all hard­ships for the preser­va­tion and dis­sem­i­na­tion of Buddha’s teach­ing in gen­er­al and the Nying­ma doc­trine in par­tic­u­lar.

The teach­ings that he has dis­pensed include the com­mon tra­di­tion­al sci­ences of Tibetan gram­mar, spelling and poet­ry. Among the uncom­mon tra­di­tion­al stud­ies, he has taught pri­mar­i­ly the Thir­teen Great Trea­tis­es, Jigme Lingpa’s Yon­ten Dzod (Trea­sury of Enlight­ened Qual­i­ties), Mipham Rinpoche’s Osel Nying­po; a com­men­tary to Guhya­garb­ha Tantra, Longchenpa’s Ngal­so Kor­sum (Tril­o­gy of Rest­ing in the Nature of Mind), Do Tshog Chen Dupa (Sutra that Gath­ers All Inten­tions and Great Accu­mu­la­tions), Rong­zom Mahapandita’s Thegchen Tsul Jug (Enter­ing the Mahayana Path), Mipham Rinpoche’s Gal Len Nam Sum (The Tril­o­gy of Replies to Crit­i­cisms) and many oth­er teach­ings that illus­trates the dis­tinct view, med­i­ta­tion, con­duct, and fruition of the Nying­ma Lin­eage.

For the ben­e­fit of future gen­er­a­tions, he has com­posed many books on Bud­dhist phi­los­o­phy includ­ing a biog­ra­phy of Guru Pad­masamb­ha­va, an Expo­si­tion on Two Truths, Lorig and Tagrig, Sun of Mind; an expo­si­tion of Log­ic and many oth­ers. All in all, he has tak­en the respon­si­bil­i­ty to man­age the insti­tute with great com­pas­sion to this day. Hence his kind­ness is unfath­omable.