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Lama teaching at Kopan, 1974, © Lama Yeshe Wisdom ArchiveSuch tantric teachings as Lama Yeshe received provide a powerful and speedy path to the attainment of a fully awakened and purified mind, aspects of which are represented by a wide variety of tantric deities. Some of the meditational deities into whose practice Lama Yeshe was initiated were Heruka, Vajrabhairava and Guhyasamaja, representing respectively the compassion, wisdom and skillful means of a fully enlightened being. In addition, he studied the famous Six Yogas of Naropa, following a commentary based on the personal experiences of Je Tsong Khapa.

Among the other teachers who guided his spiritual development were Geshe Thubten Wangchug Rinpoche, Geshe Lhundrub Sopa Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten and Geshe Ngawang Gedun. At the age of eight he was ordained as a novice monk by the venerable Purchog Jampa Rinpoche. During all this training one of Lama Yeshe’s recurring prayers was to be able some day to bring the peaceful benefits of spiritual practice to those beings ignorant of the Dharma. This phase of his education came to an end in 1959. As Lama Yeshe himself has said,

© Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive"In that year the Chinese kindly told us that it was time to leave Tibet and meet the outside world."

Escaping through Bhutan, he eventually reached northeast India where he met up with many other Tibetan refugees. At the Tibetan settlement camp of Buxa Duar he continued his studies from where they had been interrupted. While in Tibet he had already received instruction in Prajnaparamita (the perfection of wisdom), Madhyamika philosophy (the middle way) and logic. In India his education proceeded with courses in the Vinaya rules of discipline and the Abhidharma system of metaphysics. In addition, the great bodhisattva Tenzin Gyaltsen, the Kunu Lama, gave him teachings on Shantideva’s Bodhisattvacaryavatara (Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life) and Atisha’s Bodhipathapradipa (Lamp of the Path to Enlightenment). He also attended additional tantric initiations and discourses and, at the age of twenty eight, received full monk’s ordination from Kyabje Ling Rinpoche.

© Lama Yeshe Wisdom ArchiveOne of Lama Yeshe’s gurus in both Tibet and Buxa Duar was Geshe Rabten, a highly learned practitioner famous for his single-minded concentration and powers of logic. This compassionate guru had a disciple named Thubten Zopa Rinpoche and, at Geshe Rabten’s suggestion, Zopa Rinpoche began to receive additional instruction from Lama Yeshe. Zopa Rinpoche was a young boy at the time and the servant caring for him wanted very much to entrust him permanently to Lama Yeshe. Upon consultation with Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, this arrangement was decided upon and they were together until Lama’s death in 1984.

Lama Yeshe’s reincarnation, Ösel, was born to Spanish parents in 1985.

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