Katok Tsewang Norbu

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'Katok Tsewang Norbu' (Wylie: kaḥ thog tshe dbang nor bu) (1698–1755) was a Nyingmapa (follower of the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism) who championed the view of 'extrinsic emptiness' or Zhentong (Wylie: gzhen-stong) which he propagated amongst his tradition. His seat was the Katok Monastery of Tibet.

Contextualising Zhentong[edit]

After the suppression of the Jonang school and its texts and the texts of Sakya Chokden by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century, various Shentong views were propagated mainly by Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lamas. In particular, the 8th Tai Situ Rinpoche (Situ Paṇchen Chökyi Jungné (si tu paṇ chen chos kyi 'byung gnas) (1700–1774)) and Katok Tsewang Norbu (kaḥ thog tshe dbang nor bu) (1698–1755), close colleagues and Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lamas respectively, were very instrumental in reviving Shentong among their sects. He influenced his student Situ Panchen in the study, who accordingly spread his beliefs; according to 2003's The Budda from Dolpo, "[i]n the end it would be Situ more than anyone who would create the environment for the widespread acceptance of the Zhentong theories in the next century.[1] This revival was continued by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, a 19th-century Rime ('non-partisan') scholar and forceful partisan of Shentong, and were also advanced recently by the eminent Kagyu Lamas Kalu Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.


  • Rigpa Shedra (July 24, 2008). 'Katok Monastery'. Source: [1] (accessed: Sunday August 17, 2008)