Itanagar: Guru Tulku Rinpoche, an eminent Buddhist monk from Arunachal Pradesh and former abbot of the historical Gaden Namgyal Lhatse or Tawang monastery has been selected for the Padma Shree, the fourth-highest civilian award of the country, by the government of India.
Guru Tulku Rinpoche has been selected to receive the prestigious award under the ‘spiritualism’ category along with Sadguru Brahmeshanand Acharya Swami of Goa.
Born to Yab Lobsang Tshering and Yum Pema Choden on October 19, 1968 at Khamkharong in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, Guru Tulku Rinpoche (54) is believed to be the reincarnation of Late Thupten Kelden Rinpoche, the 11th Merag Lama.
He was ordained as a getshul (novice monk) at the age of nine and as a gelong (monk) when he was twenty. During this time, he studied at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics for 13 years.
Guru Tulku Rinpoche who joined the Drepung Monastic University in south India to pursue higher studies in Buddhist philosophy later completed his doctoral studies in Buddhist philosophies after which he also pursued the Mahayana tantric studies.
In 1998 he started serving at the office of the 14th Dalai Lama following which he was appointed as Abbot of the Tawang monastery in 2008.
He, however, stepped down from the position in 2016 and is the present abbot of Bomdila Lower Gompa or the Thubchog Gatsel Ling.
Instituted in 1954, the Padma Awards that are conferred in three categories – Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri – are the highest civilian awards awarded by the Government of India every year on Republic Day.
A total of 128 people have been honoured with the awards this year including India’s first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat who has been honoured posthumously with the Padma Vibhushan.