Ven. Drakyab Tokden Rinpoche

Drakyab Tokden Rinpoche
Drepung Loseling Drakyab Tokden Rinpoche

Venerable Tokden Rinpoche, one of our most revered scholars, was born on 4th May 1944 at Sisor village in Drakyab district of Kham Province, Tibet. Upon his recognition as a reincarnated Lama during his early childhood, Tokden Rinpoche received teachings on Buddhism and Tibetan literature from Gen Rinchen Chödak, one of the main disciples of his own predecessor. In 1952, he initiated his long journey towards Lhasa and joined Drepung Loseling Monastery upon his arrival there. Tokden Rinpoche received his novice vows from Ven. Pema Gyaltsen Rinpoche, the then-abbot of the monastery. Soon after, Tokden Rinpoche began his intensive studies, with his teachers including legendary scholars like Denma Lochoe Rinpoche, Phara Khensur Gen Pema Gyaltsen Rinpoche, Shakor Gen Nyima Gyaltsen Rinpoche and so on.

Tokden Rinpoche also received complete Sutra and Tantra teachings, oral transmissions and empowerments from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche. Unfortunately, his studies were interrupted as the situation in Tibet turned from good to worse overnight. The ever-increasing militants started abusing peaceful monks and high Lamas; monasteries were being bombarded and the people were deployed to inhumane works, hitherto unheard of in Tibet.

Consequently, Tokden Rinpoche was compelled into exile, following His Holiness the Dalai Lama and thousands of fellow Tibetans. He was able to continue his studies as major monasteries including Loseling were re-established in India. Besides his advanced studies, Rinpoche contributed a lot for this monastery with his exemplary works at the Library and School. He was conferred Geshe Degree in 1981.

As per His Holiness’s guidance, Tokden Rinpoche spent his time and energy giving teachings and empowerments to the devotees in the Himalayan regions including Spiti and Ladhak. The people developed deep faith in him and respected him a lot since they found his teachings very encouraging and helpful. Tokden Rinpoche returned several times to these regions as requested by the people.

In 1999, Tokden Rinpoche was appointed as the abbot of Ratoe monastery in Mundgod. Lasting for five years, his abbotship finished with appreciation from the monks as there were many improvements in studies, education system and discipline.

Rinpoche was appointed for the three-years’ deputy abbot post (Lama Uze) of Gyuto monastery in 2003, and followed by three years as the abbot of the monastery. A grand enthronement ceremony was held at Gyuto monastery at the foothill of Dharamsala on 21st April 2005. High Tibetan officials including Kalontripa (Prime minister) Samdong Rinpoche, The Chief Justice of Supreme Court Mr Lobsang Khedrup, Mr Lobsang Nyima, the minister of religious affairs, many other current and former members of Tibetan parliament and representatives from Himalayan regions attended the ceremony. As he always does, Tokden Rinpoche completed both terms with great success.

We highly praise and respect him for his lifelong achievement of serving the Dharma and sentient beings. May he live long!




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