Dhongthog Rinpoche

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Dhongthog Rinpoche (photo by Kurt Smith)

Dhongthog Rinpoche Tenpé Gyaltsen (Tib. གདོང་ཐོག་བསྟན་པའི་རྒྱལ་མཚན་, Wyl. gdong thog bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan) aka T.G. Dhongthog Rinpoche (1933-2015) was one of the foremost Tibetan Buddhist scholars of recent times, noted especially for his work as a historian, lexicographer and prolific author. From 1979 Rinpoche was based in Seattle, USA. He published a number of books in Tibetan and English, especially through the Sapan Institute, of which he was the founding-director.


After being recognized as the fifth reincarnation of Jampal Rigpai Raldri by the Sakya Dagchen Ngawang Kunga Rinchen, Rinpoche studied Tibetan literature and Buddhist philosophy at Dzongsar Shedra. Before leaving Tibet in 1957, Rinpoche was the head teacher of Dhongthog Rigdrol Phuntsog Ling Monastery, Kardze, Tibet. Rinpoche served the Tibetan Government-in-Exile for 13 years before moving to the United States in 1979. In those 13 years, Rinpoche worked at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala and at Tibet House in New Delhi.

He wrote several books, including The History of Sakyapa School of Tibetan Buddhism, The Cleansing Water-drops, The Earth Shaking Thunder of True Word, The History of Tibet, and New Light English-Tibetan Dictionary. In addition, he worked as a translator and editor on the Tibetan version of Sogyal Rinpoche's The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and translated David Jackson's biography of Dezhung Rinpoche into Tibetan.

Ven. Dhongthog Rinpoche passed away on the morning of 13th January, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.


In English

  • Dhongthog Rinpoche, Important Events in Tibetan History, New Delhi, 1968
  • T.G. Dhongthog, New Light English-Tibetan Dictionary, New Delhi, 1973 (1st edition)
  • T.G. Dhongthog Rinpoche, The Light of Knowledge: Modern English Grammar, FIrst Edition 1964, Second reprint with revision 1975
  • T.G. Dhongthog Rinpoche, The Earth Shaking Thunder of True Word, Sapan Institute, 1996

In Tibetan

  • gzab bris kyi rnam gzhag ka dpe dang bcas pa blo gsal dga' skyed, Sapan Institute, 1975
  • ma bcos dngos 'brel brjod pa dus kyi me lce, Paljor Publications, 1979
  • mi mjed 'jig rten khams kyi rnam gzhag gna' rabs pa'i 'dod thsul la dpyad pa rigs pa'i snang byed, Sapan Institute, 1993
  • bden gtam sa gzhi 'dar ba'i 'brug sgra, Sapan Institute, 1996
  • rgyal ba'i bstan la 'khrul pa smra ba'i rdul sel lung rigs kyi byi dor dag byed zegs ma, Sapan Institute, 2000
  • gangs can bod kyi rgyal rabs lo tshigs dang dus 'gyur yo lang la dpyad pa sngon med deb ther gzur gnas dpyod ldan dgyes pa'i dbyangs snyan, Sapan Institute, 2002
  • rtsom bris sna tshogs phyogs bsdus utpal gzhon nu'i chun po, Sapan Institute, 2004
  • tre hor gdong sprul bstan pa'i rgyal mtshan gyi 'dir snang yo lang lo rgyus brjod pa zol med ngag gi rol mo, Sapan Institute, 2004
  • sde gzhung lung rigs sprul sku'i gsung zin phyogs bsgrigs, Sapan Institute, 2004
  • 'jam mgon rgyal ba'i bstan dgra rdul du rlag byed lung rigs gnam lcags thog mda' , Sapan Institute, 2006
  • Dr. David P. Jackson, Translator: Dhongthog Rinpoche, sde gzhung lung rigs sprul sku byams pa kun dga' bstan pa'i nyi ma rin po che'i rnam thar, Sapan Institute, 2006
  • 'thad par smra ba'i gtam mdongs mtha' sil pa'i zlos gar, Sapan Institute

other Sapan Institute publications

  • dge 'dun chos 'phel,rgya gar gyi gnas chen khag l bgrod pa'i lam yig, 1976
  • mkhan po phrin las chos 'phel, rje bla ma 'jam dbyangs kun dga' bstan pa'i rgyal mtshan gyi rnam par thar pa byin rlabs rgya mtsho ngo mtshar gter mdzod, 2000
  • dze smad g.yo rdzun klan ka'i lan, lung rigs rdo rje'i me char 'di, rnying rgan sangs rgyas rdo rjes sbyar, 2004
  • Tulku Yeshi Gyatso, lha chen po khyab 'jug gi 'jug pa bcu'i rtogs brjod snyan pa'i ngag tu bsdebs pa rtsa 'grel dri za'i 'jig rten nyul ba'i lam yig yig, 2004
  • thu'u bkwan chos kyi rdo rje, nor bu ke ta ka'i byi dor, 2004

Further Reading

  • Heimbel, Jörg. The Life and Works of the 5th gDong thog sPrul sku bsTan pa'i rgyal mtshan (b. 1933). M.A Thesis

External Links