Ken Rinpoche Sonam Palsang
Geshe Sonam Palzang was born in Tibet in 1938. He is the son of Mr. Loya. His village name is Medogunga situated in Central Tibet. He became a monk in Tibet in the Gandhen monastery at the age of 8. From 8 to 25 he studied buddhist philosophy in Tibet. In 1959 the Chinese government invaded Tibet and destroyed his monastry because Gandhen was one of the biggest monasteries in Tibet. There were around 5000 monks, who were studying courses in the five major branches of buddhist knowledge.
Very sadly Geshe La and his fellow monks spent 6 months with Tibetan soldiers and fought against the Chinese army. During that time most of his friends were killed by the Red Chinese.
His heart filled with great pain and sorrow due to the loss of his wonderful monastry and loving friends. With a sad mood he left Tibet and came to India at the age of 25. Along with 1500 other monks he studied for eight years at Baksa, near to the border of Bhutan.
From there the Tibetan Government in Exile selected intelligent students and sent them to the Sanskrit University of Varanasi for further studies. The Geshe was also one of them. He studied for nine years in the University and completed his M.A. degree (=Acharya).
After his M.A. degree he went back to the Ganden monastery (South India) to successfully complete his courses of five major branches of Buddhist knowledge i.e. perfection of wisdom, madhayamaka, logic, metaphysics and monastic discipline.
Finally, he attained the highest academic honors available within the Gelugpa system of education. The degree of Geshe is equivalent to the P.h. D. from Universities. Again he completed his Tantric University in Arunchal Pradesh. He has been a member of Shartse Norling College for 34 years.
In 2006 Ken Rinpoche Sonam Palsang was chosen as the Vice Abbot and finally the Abbot of the Gyuto Tantric Monastic University by the Dalai Lama. In spite of his many responsibilities, he always finds time to take care of the Nuns' monastry Jangchup Chosling in Wakha.