H.E. Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Jampa Yeshe (1928-2011)
In 1927, Kham (Tibet), His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jampa Yeshe was born. When he turned 16, he entered Gaden Shartse Monastery where he excelled in his Buddhist studies under many renowned masters, such as Geshe Lobsang Rinpoche, H.E. Lati Rinpoche and Geshe Lobsang Palden.
During the Chinese invasion in 1959, H.E. Kensur Rinpoche went to India with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. There, he continued his studies and in 1971 was conferred the Lharam Geshe degree (Ph.D equivalent) in the presence of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and many other senior lamas. This was during the Grand Prayer celebration and many Sangha applauded his intelligence and humility.
In 1984, Kensur Rinpoche was appointed as the Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, which he served as for 7 years. It was then that I had the honour of being the secretary and translator for Kensur Rinpoche.
H.E. Kensur Rinpoche is a renowned Dharma scholar and highly realized meditation master. He was known to hold his vows very strongly and under his abbotship, the excellence in Buddhist studies within Gaden Shartse Monastery grew.
Yesterday I got news that my 82 year old teacher, His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Jampa Yeshe entered into clear light. As I type this, Rinpoche still is in clear light meditation. The monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery are doing chanting of sacred texts, prayers, self initiations 24 hours daily non-stop. A Highly accomplished master like this stays in clear light in this manner. His body does not decompose, or lose heat yet clinically passed. His passing strikes me deeply with sadness and a tremendous sense of loss. I have sent two people to represent me to Gaden already. Beng Kooi and Bryan will do the appropriate offerings on my behalf and Kechara.
My sadness and memories of you great teacher swirls in my mind, I’m numb for the moment,
I have not fulfilled everything you have commanded, but I will. I will.
Your speech, knowledge, patience, and example leaves indelible marks
upon my soul,
I cannot forget you, but will honour your presence in my life
with further hard work to bring Dharma to many more.
There is no physical distance between your mind and mine,
but as a child blinded by samsare, I miss you. I love you. I will always long for you.
I entreaty you to forgive me of my transactions that has disturbed your
holy mind in any way known and unknown manner during our relationship,
as they were without intent. May those karmas be purified.
Some say Guru devotion takes away from clear self freedom and entraps
us to another. But your trap is much better than the prison of samsara I falsified freedom within.
Some think Guru devotion is outdated and not for the educated, but
what education in samsara can release me from my mind? Why am I not
My Lord Guru, my burdens, responsibilities, work, and directions for the dharma are a long and lonely road,
without you physically it makes everything more empty, I can only sustain
knowing you are no other than Yamantaka, and my childless attachment to
your physical form deletes my true understanding of your real unchanging nature for the moment. I will rise and do my work harder in your memory.
I have served you, sponsored you, offered you food, residence, and dedications recognized or not, but those are just the outer and simple services which are my duty. But I will serve you by continuing to destroy my self clinging mind that is the source of all my problems. I will serve you by benefitting others courageously even more. This I promise.
May I have the clean samaya to meet you again and again in whatever form you choose to manifest in future incarnations. May I enjoy your Manjushri like speech, your courage equal to Lokeshvara and your unchanging natural mind of Yamantaka. May I again take rebirth as your Dharma servant so that I may gain the attainments you accomplished aeons ago.
~Your silly and worthless student, Tsem Rinpoche
Kensur Rinpoche and myself having audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
My Guru Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche introduced me as the reincarnation of the 72nd Abbot of Gaden Shartse to H.H. the Dalai Lama here. H.H. confirmed my recognition as a Tulku (Rinpoche) and then this picture was taken on top of Gaden Lachi Prayer Hall. I offered His Holiness a Vajrapani statue with other items pictured here…
My two students, Henry Ooi and Dato’ Ruby Khong, paying a visit to Kensur Rinpoche Jampa Yeshe.
Whilst in Gaden, I served as a secretary and translator to my Guru. We’re both pictured here together when he was then the Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He was very well known in the monastic community as a pure monk who holds his vows immaculately. I was walking him back after prayers in the Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall. Kensur Rinpoche lived in a house in the Monastery that I built and offered him. I also lived in the same house with him.
Kensur Rinpoche and I
When Tsem Ladrang was built in Gaden Monastery (sponsored by my birth father, Lobsang Gyatso), I invited Kensur Rinpoche to live with me there. I offered him the biggest room while I happily occupied room in the house below to serve him. I also became the house master where I trained and disciplined the monks in Tsem Ladrang to serve my Guru well. When I left Gaden to reside in Malaysia, I offered Tsem Ladrang Gaden to Kensur Rinpoche and hence, Tsem Ladrang has since been renamed Kensur Ladrang.
Kensur Rinpoche Jampa Yeshe during his prayers in his room.
Kensur Rinpoche Jampa Yeshe with Khensur Kunchok Tsering Rinpoche (the ex-Abbot of Gaden Monastery)
His Holiness Zong Rinpoche offering long life to Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche
Photos from Kensur Rinpoche’s funeral at Gaden Monastery