#17: Guru Devotion

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H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s previous lives’ devotion to his Gurus led him to meet and receive teachings and initiations from the highest Gelugpa lineage Masters, such as H.H. Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, before turning fourteen years old.

It is certainly no coincidence that his many renowned Gurus include:

  • The Spiritual Head of Tibetan Buddhism
  • H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
  • H.E. Lama Zopa Rinpoche
  • H.E. Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen
  • H.E. Lati Rinpoche
  • H.E. Gangchen Rinpoche
  • Seramey Kensur Lobsang Tharchin
  • H.H. 98th Gaden Tripa
  • H.H. Kyabje Ling Rinpoche
  • H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe
  • H.H. Panang Rinpoche

Rinpoche’s remarkable devotion to each and every one of his Gurus was well-known throughout the monastic community. With his perfect command of English, he would often translate for his Gurus during teachings and initiations and would write hundreds of letters to his Gurus’ sponsors and students.

In particular, Rinpoche closely served H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, even building him a house. As his Changtso (main assistant), Rinpoche attended to H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche in every detail, putting his Master’s health and well-being before all else. This manifestation of Guru devotion, ensuring that the teacher need worry about nothing except teaching, earned him the deep respect of all.

Rinpoche was known for serving his Guru Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche faultlessly, with utmost care and devotion

Rinpoche's house in Gaden Shartse, which he offered to his Guru Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche

I have met many Masters and they were all very kind and I have received so much from them but the one who left the greatest impact, an indelible mark on me for the rest of my life was Zong Rinpoche. This is what has made me go on for many years and this is why I encourage people towards Guru devotion.

Rinpoche with the reincarnation of his root Guru, H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. Rinpoche's faith and devotion in H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was unshakeable

Rinpoche’s unbroken samaya and pure motivation led him to always receive strong support from his Gurus. In one instance, H.E. Lama Zopa Rinpoche performed divination and an all-night special puja for Rinpoche in order that he would get his visa to return to Gaden. This was in Kopan Monastery in Nepal, in the early nineties.

I want you to go Gaden to benefit people. I want you to go to Gaden so I want to help you get down there

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Rinpoche has always received the strong support of all his Gurus, including Lama Zopa Rinpoche

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