The Patron of The WHISE Foundation: The Reverend Dagpo Lama Rinpochee

The Reverend Dagpo Rinpochee has devoted his life entirely to passing on the Dagpo traditions. He is the great spiritual inspirer of the Dagpo Shedrup Ling in Kais, India, but also from many centers inside and outside Europe.

Born in Tibet in 1932, he was recognized at a very young age by the thirteenth Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of an important Buddhist teacher. When he was six years old he went to live in the Bamchö Monastery in the Dagpo region. There he learned to read and write as well as the fundamentals of Buddhism.


The Venerable Dagpo Rinpochee was educated within a pure and strict monastic tradition. At the age of thirteen, he entered the monastery of Dagpo Shedrup Ling to study Buddhist philosophy. Eleven years later, Rinpochee continued his studies in the large university monastery of Drepung near Lhasa and was admitted to Gomang Dratsang, one of the four colleges of the university.

Rinpochee was guided by some of the great Tibetan masters of the twentieth century, including the two mentors of the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Kyabje Trijang Rinpochee and Kyabje Ling Rinpochee, the fourteenth Dalai Lama himself and the Mongolian teacher Geshe Ngawang Nyima. Under their guidance he studied the Lamrim, the five great texts, tantra, received initiations and undertook retreats. In addition, Rinpochee also studied astrology, grammar, poetry and history.

From Tibet to France

In 1959, the Venerable Dagpo Rinpochee fled from Tibet to India. In 1960 he was invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to conduct research into Tibetan language and culture at the French University of Sorbonne. Since then he has lived in France and has become a French citizen.

Since the late 1970s, the Venerable Dagpo Rinpochee has been sharing his comprehensive knowledge of Buddhism with a wide audience. At their request, he teaches in various countries in Europe, Asia and the United States.

In 1978 he founded a dharma center, the Ganden Ling at Veneux-les Sablons in France. His students have since established dharma centers in southern France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. Until recently, he traveled annually to India to maintain contact with his teachers and the monasteries.

In 2005, the Reverend Dagpo Rinpochee's greatest wish was fulfilled. The Relocation of the Monastery Dagpo Shedrup Ling from temporary accommodation in Mainpat in Central India to Kaïs in the Kullu Valley was a fact. This concluded a long-term project. The unique Dagpo traditions can now be safely studied again and in a place that is also accessible to visitors from all over the world.

Of course, the Reverend Dagpo Rinpochee also hopes that the  problems with the buildings be solved as quickly as possible in a sustainable ecological way. The advice given by Venerable Dagpo Rinpochee is very valuable to the monks and to TWF. His most important advice for the moment is: tackle issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible. Then proceed step by step with what is feasible until the desired end result is achieved.


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