Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen

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Tenzin Gyaltsen Negi
Other namesKhunu Rinpoche
Negi Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen
DiedFebruary 20, 1977
ReligionTibetan Buddhism
SchoolRimé movement
Lineagekagyud nyingma
Other namesKhunu Rinpoche
Negi Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen
Senior posting
TeacherKhenpo shenga , khenpo kunpal ,kathok situ , Drikung Agon ,Dzongsar Khentse

Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen (Wylie: khu nu bla ma bstan 'dzin rgyal mtshan), 1894–1977,[1] known also as Negi Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen (bo|wne gi bla ma bstan 'dzin rgyal mtshan), Tenzin Gyaltsen (bstan 'dzin rgyal mtshan), and various other names like Kunu (khu nu) Rinpoche, Kunu Lama and Negi Lama (ne gi bla ma),[2] was born in 1894 in the village of Sunam which lies in the forest-clad Kinnaur district of India in the western Himalayas.[1] Khunu Rinpoche was neither a tulku nor a Buddhist monk but a layman (Wylie: dge bsnyen, Skt. upāsaka) who took the lay practitioner's vows .[1]

He is renowned as one of the influential teachers in the Rimé (non-sectarian) movement within Tibetan Buddhism.[citation needed] A foremost scholar of Sanskrit and Classical Tibetan, Khunu Rinpoche traveled widely in Tibet and India disseminating essential teachings of Buddhist philosophy.

His students include Drikung Khandro, Khenpo Konchok Gyaltsen, Lamkhen Gyalpo Rinpoche and the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.[3] Although the Dalai Lama had other highly qualified teachers and debate partners for religious matters, he used to clarify philosophical concepts in discussions with Khunu Lama.[1] Among several teachings that the Dalai Lama received from Khunu Rinpoche was the celebrated Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra or Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life by Shantideva. The Dalai Lama called him the "Shantideva of our time."[1] and often mentions him when teaching.

His seminal work on bodhicitta was translated and published under the title of Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea: Verses in Praise of Bodhicitta by Wisdom Publications in 1999.[4]

He died at Shashur Monastery in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh at the age of 82 on February 20, 1977.[1]

Two reincarnations of Khunu Lama have been identified, both of whom are teachers in the Buddhist tradition.[citation needed] Jangchhub Nyima was born to a Tibetan father and Danish mother and currently teaches in India and Denmark.[citation needed] Tenzin Priyadarshi was born into a family of Brahmin parents in Bihar, India and is known for his continued interest in Sanskrit Buddhist literature and was the first Buddhist Chaplain at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Dodin (1993).
  2. ^ Dodin, Thierry. "Negi Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen – A preliminary account of the life of a modern Buddhist saint". Recent Research on Ladakh, 6. Bristol, 1996. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  3. ^ Rinpoche, Kyabje Lama Zopa. "Khunu Lama Rinpoche's Story". Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  4. ^ Rinpoche, Khunu (2000). Vast as the heavens, deep as the sea : verses in praise of bodhicitta. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 978-0861711468.
  5. ^ "The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 7 September 2018.


  • Dodin, Thierry (1993). "Negi Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen: A preliminary account of the life of a modern Buddhist saint". In Osmaston, Henry. Recent research on Ladakh 6: Proceedings of the Sixth International Colloquium on Ladakh, Leh 1993. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass (published 1997). ISBN 8120814320. OCLC 243896748.

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