Tashi Kailash was
born in 1973, in a household known as Dosa Chugpo. His
late father was Samdup and his mother is Yeshi Dolma.
He has three brothers and three sisters. "Dosa"
is one of the villages in in the Ngari region of western
Tibet and northwest of Nepal. "Chugpo" means
rich in Tibetan. Before the Chinese invasion of Tibet,
Tashi Kailash's household was the wealthiest in Dosa,
owning a large area of land and a great number of domestic
animals. Historically, Dosa Chugpo has always been the
most important sponsor of Limi Tulkus. Continuous incarnations
of Limi Tulku have served as one of the leading spiritual
teachers of the Drikung Kagyu Order of Buddhism in Ngari
Tashi Kailash's childhood
name was Pemba Tashi. At the age of 12, he was ordained
as a monk by Dorzin Wangthang Dorjee, the head of the
Drikung Kagyu Order, in Ngari. He became a monk of Gongphur
Monastery in Purang.
Monastery had been a place of worship for hundreds of
years, but it was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution
in Tibet. Fortunately, many of its precious contents,
such as statues of Buddhas, were deposited in the neighboring
village of Limi, in north-west Nepal. In 1985, following
a policy change by the Chinese government, Gongphur was
rebuilt and the spark of Buddhism has been re-ignited
in the region.
Konchok Tashi was
one of the first of the younger generation in Purang to
become a monk. Under the guidance of an elderly monk named
Leles Phuntsok, he studied ritual performances for seven
years, serving the pilgrims at the monastery and the villagers
of Purang, where the people expect the monks to perform
ritual services for all sort of spiritual purposes.
In 1991, Pemba Tashi
left to India. He knew exactly where he was going and
what he wanted to do because he had already visited India
with his mother. On his admission to Jangchub
Ling Monastery, the main institute of the Drikung
Kagyu Order in India, he took his ordination vow by His
Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and took the ordination
name of Konchok Tashi.
is a unique Tibetan tradition that when a Lama names a
person, he gives them part of his own name. The Drikung
Kagyu Order favours the name Konchok, which has a long
history going back to the first reincarnation of Drikung
Kyabgon Chetsang, Konchok Rana (1590-1654). Konchok is
part of Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang's name, "Drikung
Kyabgon Chetsang Konchok Tenzin Kunzang Thinley Lhundrup".
Therefore, all the monks at the Drikung Kagyu lineage
have Konchok at the beginning of their name. As this sometimes
causes confusion, Konchok Tashi added Kailash to the end
of his own name, referring to where he comes from. Now
he is known as Tashi Kailash and everyone knows that he
has Konchok as the beginning of his name.
Tashi Kailash studied
Buddhist philosophy intensively for nine years. He graduated
in 2000 and was offered the position of Kyorpon. "Khenpo"
is a Drikung Kagyu term, the equivalent of Geshe, in the
Gelug Order of Tibetan Buddhism. It is the highest title
a monk can earn through studying Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.
Those monks who have the title Khenpo usually teach Buddhist
philosophy and hold higher positions in the monasteries.
"Kyorpon" is the second highest title and the
holders also teach Buddhist philosophy and are held in
great respect in the monasteries. Tashi
Kailash taught both the Tibetan language and Buddhist
philosophy in the Drikung Kagyu Institute.
Tashi Kailash is very
important to Senge Tenzin Rinpoche. Senge Rinpoche was
born in 1981 in Purang. His parents and the villagers
noticed something special about the child. In 1990, when
Senge Tenzin Rinpoche was a young boy, Tashi Kailash witnessed
Senge Tenzin Rinpoche's ordination at Gongphur monastery.
In 1993, he made a formal report to His Holiness the Drikung
Kyabgon Chetsang about Senge Tenzin Rinpoche's significant
childhood behavior, in Limi, northwest Nepal. In the same
year, Senge Tenzin Rinpoche joined Jangchub Ling Monastery
in India and for three years Tashi Kailash became his
tutor as well as his servant. In 1994, Senge Tezin Rinpoche
was recognized as the reincarnation of Limi Tulku. On
the most important occasions in Senge Tenzin Rinpoche's
life, Tashi Kailash has been everything to him - tutor,
family, servant, etc. In 1996, Senge Rinpoche went on
a three-year group retreat. Tashi Kailash looked after
all his needs. In 2000, they went together on a pilgrimage
to Dolpo in north-east Nepal. For the last four years,
Senge Tenzin Rinpoche has been running a Dharma in Taiwan
and Tashi Kailash supports and him and helps him with
his dharma activities.
monastic institute such as Jangchub Ling in India has
over two hundred monks and nuns who must be provided with
education, food, shelter and all other facilities. The
traditional Tibetan system of maintaining a monastic institute
doesn't work here because all the Tibetans in India are
refugees and own nothing. Therefore, as with all Tibetan
monastic institutes and organizations, finding foreign
sponsorship has became the key to success in preserving
and promoting Tibetan culture. While Tashi Kailash was
pursuing his training in Buddhist philosophy, he accompanied
a group of monks of the Drikung Kagyu Institute on a world
tour to raise global awareness of the Drikung Kagyu Order
of Buddhism. The group was very successful and, during
the tour, Tashi Kailash was able to meet hundreds of devoted
western and eastern Buddhist practitioners and has made
many friends all over the world. He was also given opportunities
to teach and discuss Buddhism with non-Tibetan Buddhists
In the past four years,
Tashi Kailash has made several trips to America, Europe
and many Asian countries with some of the most respected
Drikung Kagyu masters, including Duwang Rinpoche, Nubpa
Rinpoche and Senge Tenzin Rinpoche. He also went on his
own to teach the Tibetan language and Buddhism in many
countries, including Latvia.
This year, 2004, on
completion of the Drikung Kagyu Monkey Year Teachings
of the Drikung Kagyu Order at Lumbini in Nepal, Tashi
Kailash was formally given the title Khenpo in the presence
of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche,
the respected masters of Drikung Kagyu Order and thousands
of monks, nuns and devotees who had gathered from all
over the world.
In may 2004, Tashi kailash travelled
to Limi, northwest Nepal to organize Senge Tenzin Rinpoch's
visit to Limi. For two weeks, he was able to give some
Buddhist philosophical teachings to the monks of Limi
and to discuss with the abbots of Limi monasteries and
the monks about the monastic situation of Limi.