His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness the Panchen Lama


Khen Rinpoche - The Abbot

The Abbot is the superior of the monastic community.  Abbots are selected from and elected by the monks of Tashi Lhunpo, and appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  The Abbot has the highest academic qualification in the monastery.  When an Abbot is to be chosen, three or four names are offered to his Holiness the Dalai Lama, who will make the final appointment after completing various divinations and rituals.  The Abbot is also President of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery and takes responsibility for the overall running of the monastery, for special prayers and teachings, as well as taking on the work of memorising many long texts for special occasions.

The Present Abbot - Khen Rinpoche Zeekgyab Tulku

Tehor Khanze Zeekgyab Tulku, Tenzin Thupten Rabgyal, was born on 8th October 1983 to Mr Pasang Tsewang and Mrs Youdon in Kolapur, South India.  In 19186, His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognized him as the 5th reincarnation of Kachen Lobsang Thupten Nyendak Namgyal (4th Zeekgyab Tulku).

Rinpoche was received at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, South India, on 14th September 1986 with a formal ceremony led by many Tehor Lamas and monks.  After his Enthronement Ceremony at Tashi Lhunpo, Rinpoche started learning Tibetan reading and writing and the memorization of prayers.

In 1989, Zeekgyab Rinpoche received his Novice vows from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and then His Holiness instructed Zeekgyab Rinpoche to go to Gaden Jangtse Monastery to start his formal education.  Upon his arrival at Gaden Jangtse Monastery, Khensur Jetsun Lobsang Choney was appointed as his Teacher. From that day onwards, Rinpoche started the study of the five major Buddhist Texts under his Teacher’s guidance.  Also, during this time, Rinpoche completed all his examinations at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery. Rinpoche received his Fully Ordained vows from His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  In 2000, after six years of studying the Prajnaparamita, Rinpoche gave his examination in front of the Monks Assembly of Gaden Jangtse Monastery.  

From 2007 to 2009, Rinpoche was teaching the Buddhist texts at Gaden Jangtse Monastery.  Then in 2008 due to poor health, Rinpoche was instructed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to complete his Geshe Examination.  To qualify for the Geshe Degree, the student must undergo the vast and extensive traditional monastic studies on the five major treatises of Buddhist philosophical texts: The Perfection of Wisdom (as elaborated upon by Maitreya in the Abhisamayalamkara); Chandrakirti's commentary on Nagarjuna's root text on Madhyamaka; Dharmakirti's Pramanavarttika — Compendium on Valid Cognition; Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakosha; and Vinaya (studies in monastic discipline).  In 2010, Rinpoche went to Gyudmed Tantric Monastery to study Tantra for one year.  Also, in that year, Rinpoche completed his Kachen Examination at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.

Since 2011 Rinpoche has been teaching at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.  At the end of 2018, Rinpoche received confirmation of his appointment as Abbot of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  On 11th February 2019 Rinpoche was officially enthroned as the 5th Abbot of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in India.

Chantzod - The Administrators

The Administrators of the monastery are elected every three years by the community of monks.  They are responsible for the day-to-day running of the monastery, including finance, health, provision of food, transport, education and external affairs as well as assisting the President or Abbot with administrative and academic matters.  

Tsokschen Geykoe Chenmo - The Disciplinarian

Geykoe la or the Disciplinarian is also elected b y the monks of Tashi Lhunpo and assists the Administrators in internal administrative matters.  He is responsible for discipline in the monastery and takes responsibility for the special prayers.

Tapon or Chabril - Assistant to the Geykoe

The Tapon (ta - look, pon - leader) assists the Geykoe in internal affairs and in particular the organisation of the special rituals performed by the monks when they offer prayers at the request of members of the public in return for donations, which are the main source of the monastery's income.

Omze - Chant Master

Omze la is elected by the monks as a result of his special memory of the texts and the quality of his voice.  He is responsible for the chanting of the prayers and the content of the prayer sessions in the temple from day to day.

Kachen Choera - Debate Master

Kachen Choera supervises the debate in the monastery and organises morning and evening debate sessions and the higher monastery philosophy exams.  He is responsible for arranging for monks to travel to other monasteries for debate.

School Principal

The Principal is responsible for running the monastery school which is attended by nearly 200 children, with the assistance of the Head Teacher, he sets the exams, selects teachers, and takes responsibility for the running of the school.


All the monks have a 'home teacher' who acts like a parent, making sure that each has everything practical that he needs.  He also gives students texts to memorise, and checks their progress daily.  Philosophy teachers are Tashi Lhunpo Monks who have studied to a high level of Buddhist philosophy and instruct a group or class in Buddhist studies outside normal school hours every day.

The administrators regularly meet the teaching staff to discuss all aspects of the monastery's work, the allocation of funds and any other matters.  An annual audit is carried out in March, during which the finances are scrutinised and accounts approved.