keeping the sacred sacred


  Biography of Ngawang Yeshe Tsultrim Gyatso from the Dictionary of Learned And/Or Accomplished Beings Who Appeared In The Snowy Land  

Ngawang Yeshe Tsultrim Gyatso (ngak-dbang ye-shes tshul-khrims rgya-mtsho)

He was born in the Fire-Mouse year of the 14th cycle, which is the Western year 1816. He passed away in the Water-Pig year of the 14th cycle, which is the Western year 1863, on the way from Beijing to Tibet.

From an early age he requested to be recognized as the Tulku (sprul-sku) of the previous incarnation Losang Yeshe Tenpa Rabgye (blo-bzang ye-shes bstan-pa rab-rgyas). He was enthroned at his seat, then took first ordination, then novice and full ordination vows in sequence. He entered the Choedra (chos-krwa) [school for religious study and debate] at Serje (ser-byes) Monastic College, where he was a marvel of hearing and contemplating the textual tradition of the five groupings of the word of the Buddha [i.e. Valid Cognition, Madhyamaka, Prajnaparamita, Abhidharma, Vinaya].

At the age of 29, in the Wood-Snake year of the 14th cycle, which is the Western year 1845, on the 26th day of the 4th Tibetan lunar month, he took on the responsibility of being regent of the Kashag (bka-shag) Government and looked after the administration of the country for 11 years.

In the Wood-Hare year of the 14th cycle, which is the Western year 1855, Gyalwa Khedrub Gyatso (rgyal-ba mkhas-krub rgya-mtsho) [the 11th Dalai Lama], took over the administration of Tibet but passed away suddenly in the same year on the 15th day of the 12th Tibetan lunar month. Then Reting (rwa-skreng) again acted as interim regent and gave the 12th Dalai Lama Trinlay Gyatso (‘phrin-las rgya-mtsho) the vows of inauguration and ordination.

Unable to withstand Nepalese coercion, he had to grant them some special powers such as the permanent permission for a representative of the Nepalese government to stay in Lhasa. He expelled/demoted Shedra Wangchuk (bshad-skra dban-phyuk), who had taken the rank of a royal minister.

In the Water-Dog year of the 14th cycle, which is the Western year 1862, he went to Beijing, secretly taking with him the seal of the regent, because of the incident known as ‘reducing the expenditures for monastic rites of the Rigdra (riks-krwa) [i.e. the committee consisting of abbots that governs the monastery as a whole] at Drepung (‘bras-spungs)’. But the [Chinese] Emperor, King Tungtre (tung-kre) made him remain neutral.

After he passed away, the Tibetan government handed over his whole estate to Reting (rwa-skreng) monastery. Having thus lent his services to the Kashag (bka-shak) Government for 17 years, he went on to other realms. He was the third in the line of the Retings.

From: ko-zhul grags-pa 'byung-gnas dang. rgyal-ba blo-bzang mkhas-grub (2006). gangs-can mkhas-grub rim-byon ming-mdzod. [Jungnay, Kozhul Dragpa, and Gyalwa Lozang Khaydrub (2006). A Dictionary Of Learned And / Or Accomplished Beings Who Appeared In The Snowy Land]. Swayambunath, Nepal: Padma Karpo Translation Committee


Trouble with the Central Government

In 1862, Radreng was the regent of Tibet and was accused of taking bribery by his political oponents. Losing the struggle, he ran to the central government in Beijing with the seal of the regent. The central government judged him guilty, terminated the lineage of tulku Radreng (i.e., prohibit him to reincarnate), and gave the Radreng Monastery to Dalai Lama. After his passage in 1863, the central government reversed herself in 1877, and proclaimed him innocent, reestablished the lineage of Radreng, restored the Radreng Monastery to the control of the reincarnation of that lineage. Accessed 28th October 2006.



© 2006
Last updated October 2006