In 1983, at the age of 22, Geshe Jamphel and five of his friends fled over the Tibetan/Nepalese border despite freezing mountainous conditions and minimal provisions. His main aim was to obtain an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and receive his advice.
The journey took around two months to reach the Nepalese border, and from there he travelled to Dharamsala in Northern India where His Holiness has his residence.
Thereafter, Geshe-la went to Sera Monastery in Southern India, which is one of the three great monasteries, and enrolled at Tsethang Khangtsen, with Gen Kyopon-la as resident teacher. Geshe-la followed all the rules of the monastery and studied collected topics and other related subjects for three years with masters such as Dhenma Khensur Ngawang Lekden and Tehor Geshe Pema Gyaltsen. He went on to study the root Abhisamayalamkara text, as well as the Indian and Tibetan commentaries, including commentaries by Jetsün Chökyi Gyaltsen such as ‘An Overview of Abhisamayalamkara', ‘The Conclusion on Abhisamayalamkara', and ‘The Commentary on Abhisamayalamkara'.
Geshe-la memorised the root text and commentaries and closely studied the gross and subtle Cittamatrin view, and in his second year of Abhisamayalamkara he was awarded first place in Rikchung [debate competition], and thereafter, he studied Abhisamayalamkara for a further six years.
By following two more spiritual teachers over a period of three years (Tsangpa Gyume Khensur Lobsang Tenzin and Tehor Gyume Khensur Lobsang Delek), Geshe-la memorised the Madhyamika root texts and studied ‘An Overview of Madhyamika' by Jetsün Chökyi Gyaltsen, as well as all the commentaries by Je Tsongkhapa and his two main disciples, in particular, ‘The Mirror Reflecting Clearly the Views of Madhyamika'. Through continuously studying and analysing the Madhyamika scriptures, he became one of the brightest students in his class.
When he was in the Vinaya class, Geshe-la studied and analysed the commentaries, ‘The Rays of the Sun' and ‘The Precious Garland of Vinaya', and memorised the text ‘The Clear Meaning of Light' by Jadel Geshe Kelsang Namgyal. Until the official attainment of his Geshe degree, he alternatively recited this text and the root text of Abhidharmakosa.
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