Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche


Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche is the most senior Khenpo in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism outside of Tibet. He was born in Tibet at Riphu, in Derge region of eastern Tibet. He studied under masters and scholars of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He was ordained in 1953 by Shechen Kongtrul Rinpoche. He met his spiritual teacher, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, in Lhasa at the age of seventeen. Khen Rinpoche served His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche as his attendant for about ten years. He went with him to Bhutan and then came to India in 1959. He received most of his teachings from Khyentse Rinpoche including the Guhyagarbha Root Tantra, Longchenpa’s Treasury of Pith Instructions, Kagyud Ngag Dzog, Rinchen Terdzod, Jigme Lingpa’s Yoten Dzod, Lochen Dharmashri’s Explanation on Ngari Penchen’s Three Vows, etc. During the 1950s he also stayed for long periods at Nenang Monastery and Tshurphu, the monastery of the Karmapas, which at that time was home to many great Kagyü masters from Eastern Tibet. While on pilgrimage in Central Tibet, he met Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö at Tsering Jong, the seat of Jikmé Lingpa. While in India, he also studied with His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsöndrü. On various occasions, he also received many teachings and empowerments from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and His Holiness Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche.

In 1968, H.H. Penor Rinpoche invited him to Namdroling Monastery (Golden Temple, Bylakkuppe) to teach Dharma there. Ngagyur Nyingma Institute, the largest monastic University of the Nyingma tradition outside of Tibet, was established at Namdroling in 1978. For the next twenty five years, Khen Rinpoche has been teaching on both Sutra and Tantra at the institute and also led the institute. H.H. Penor Rinpoche conferred him the title of Khenchen (great abbot). He has written several books on Buddhist philosophy and logic and a biography of Guru Padmasambhava. He is sought after by various monasteries across India, Nepal and Bhutan to ordain monks and to confer teachings. Khen Rinpoche travels around the globe giving teachings and empowerments.