Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on Je Pabongka

About Zong Rinpoche….


Kyabje Zong Rinpoche- "Kyabje Phabongka had such vast qualities it is difficult to comprehend them" Zong Rinpoche- “Kyabje Phabongka had such vast qualities that it is difficult to comprehend them”

Zong Rinpoche was one of the foremost Lamas of his generation, and a life-long Dorje Shugden practitioner besides…

“(Zong) Rinpoche was born in Kham in 1905. He went to Lhasa when he was eleven years old to study at Shartse. He studied effortlessly and became renowned as a powerful and irrefutable debater. A learned geshe at that time said that ‘even if Shri Dharmakirti had been present, he would not have been able to debate better than that.’

After graduating as a high ranking Lharampa geshe at the age of twenty-five he moved on to the Tantric College of Gyuto. In 1937 he was appointed abbot of Shartse, a position he held for nine years.

Rinpoche was known as a strong, detached and wrathful lama. He had impeccable knowledge of all rituals, art and science, and he never hesitated to give reasons to others why this action or that painting was wrong.

He was renowned for his ‘many actions of powerful magic,’ as a result of which ‘the most marvellous, indescribable signs occurred.’”

Wisdom: Magazine of the FPMT, Number 2, 1984.

In 1916 ( Zong Rinpoche) went to Lhasa to study the dharma at Shartse college (of Ganden Monastery), where he studied the sutras of the Prajnaparamita, Madhyamika, the Abidharma and the Vinaya. He quickly became famous as a sharp analyst and master of philosophical debate. In 1929 he successfully completed his geshe examinations and was awarded with the highest degree, the Geshe Lharampa title …. in 1937 he became abbot of the Shartse college.

So his name spread all over the country of being a powerful tantrika and he gave many empowerments and teachings on those subjects with a special emphasis on the tantras of Heruka, Hayagriva, Yamantaka, Gyelchen Shugden, Guhyasamaja, Vajrayogini, Green Tara, Mahakali, White Tara, Vaishravani and others. …

He was one of the last teachers of the old generation with the aura of authority and a kind of aristrocratic touch or vajra pride. In his teachings he followed very strictly the original texts. But, concerning his age, he was very open and patient to us Westerners, always kind, polite and helpful to answer our many questions concerning detailed tantra explanations.”

From the Biography of Zong Rinpoche by Hans Taeger (

Zong Rinpoche On Je Pabongka

(From: Chod in the Ganden Tradition The Oral Instructions of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche By Kyabje Zong Rinpoche Snow lion 2006)

Vast qualities…

Kyabje Phabongka had such vast qualities that it is difficult to comprehend them. Sincere and pure practitioners should consult the birth stories of this high lama. Je Phabongka was an emanation of Krishnapada. Krishnapada was a great mahasiddha, a scholar and realized being …

An actual bodhisattva…

…When he was young, he received lamrim teachings from Dagpo Lama Jampel Lhundrub, and when the customary ritual for generation of bodhichitta was held at the end of the teachings, he actually generated bodhichitta. When this happened, Jampel Lhundrub ordered a throne to be set up for the young Phabongka. On hearing the Sevenfold Cause-and-Effect instructions for the first time, his mind was greatly moved, and he wept.

Je Pabongka was Heruka himself….

Kyabje Phabongka was also an emanation of Heruka Chakrasamvara, but degeneration of the times and jealousy of ordinary beings have made it difficult to become aware of his tremendous qualities. There are many biographies of Kyabje Phabongka that make his realized qualities very clear.

A Dalai Lama acknowledges a great teacher…

The thirteenth Dalai Lama requested Kyabje Phabongka to give the yearly lamrim teachings in 1925, instead of asking the Ganden throneholder, as was customary. Usually these teachings lasted seven days, but these lasted for eleven days. These were my first teachings from Kyabje Phabongka. Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang was also present at these teachings.


3 thoughts on “Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on Je Pabongka

  1. dharmaprotector

    Your last quote, about the 13th Dalai Lama acknowledging Je Phabongkhapa as a great teacher is further supported by this quote from the 14th Dalai Lama’s book The Union of Bliss and Emptiness (p. 80):

    The tradition which was explained by Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche is very good. Because there are many different explanations regarding the lineage gurus, the former Dalai Lama asked Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche for clarification on this topic.

    I think both of these challenge Geoffrey Samuels claim that “in fact the two men where not personally close.” If you don’t like someone, you don’t invite them over the Ganden Tripa to give teachings or ask them to explain the particularities of Lama Chopa!

  2. Gyantso

    i knew that lama when he came to Spain for the second time, i even recieved several initiation, now that i m getting retired from my job, i want to practice them. I am collecting information of him now, thanks a lot

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