Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
Geshé Rabten: The Life of a Sera Monk
by José Ignacio Cabezón
August 13, 2008

Introduction

Geshé Rabten (from The Life and Teaching of Geshé Rabten).1

Geshé Rabten (dge bshes rab brtan, 1920-1987) was a renowned scholar-practitioner of the Byes College of SeraSe ra Monastery. He was born in KhamKhams, eastern Tibet, and for twenty years he made SeraSe ra his home. After completing most of his studies there, he fled Tibet in 1959. He did his final examinations in Buxador, India, and obtained the degree of geshé lharampadge bshes lha ram pa. Geshé RabtenDge bshes rab brtan became abbot of the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Switzerland in 1975, but he had already been teaching European and American students since 1969. In what follows, Dr. Alan Wallace, one of Geshé RabtenDge bshes rab brtan’s first Western students, interviews his teacher. The portion of the text excerpted here begins just after Geshé RabtenDge bshes rab brtan arrived at SeraSe ra from his home-region of KhamKhams. This wonderful selection gives you a real sense of what it meant to be a SeraSe ra monk, and provides you with a glimpse of the zeal, dedication and warmth of an amazing contemporary Buddhist teacher.

From: Geshe Rabten, The Life and Teaching of Geshé Rabten: A Tibetan Lama’s Search for Truth, trans. and ed. B. Alan Wallace (London: Georges Allen and Unwin, 1980). With the permission of Dr. Wallace.


[1] Geshe Rabten, The Life and Teaching of Geshé Rabten: A Tibetan Lama’s Search for Truth, trans. and ed. B. Alan Wallace (London: Georges Allen and Unwin, 1980), 1.
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Geshe Rabten: The Life of a Sera Monk, by José Ignacio Cabezón

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Initial Training in Sera
  3. Monastic Life and Education
  4. Training as an Elder Monk
  5. Glossary
  6. Notes
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