Biography – Ling Rinpoche


The 7th Ling Rinpoche

The Yongzin Ling Rinpoche lineage incarnations are innumerable prior to the 1st Ling Rinpoche (1655 – 1702). Since the time as an arhat during the time of Shakyamuni Buddha, twenty-two notable manifestations have been identified, including kings, scholars, yogis and tertons, who are spiritual treasure revealers.  

Read more about the prior 21 incarnations >

His Eminence the 7th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche was born in India on November 18, 1985. He was taken to the Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamsala, after his mother died, and stayed there until His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognized him as the reincarnation of his Principal Teacher, H.H. the 6th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche, who passed away in 1983.

The 7th Yongzin Ling Rinpoche entered Drepung Monastic University in South India in 1990 when he was five years old and began his monastic studies there at the age of ten. Rinpoche received his Geshe degree in November 2016 and enrolled at Gyuto Tantric College in Dharamsala, India in April 2017 for a year of tantric studies that traditionally follows the completion of a Geshe degree. He completed his studies in February 2018. During his studies, the 7th Yongzin Ling Rinpoche spent periods of time in retreat.

In 1991 Ling Rinpoche gave his first teaching in South Korea. Since then he has given teachings and tantric initiations in many countries in Asia and Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia and Russia as well as Tibetan settlements throughout India and Nepal and Himalayan regions including Ladakh and Mon Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh). Rinpoche has also organized and attended many important Buddhist events.

H.E. Ling Rinpoche organized His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s historic series of Jangchup Lamrim teachings on the 18 classic Stages of the Path to Enlightenment treatises. They were held at Sera, Drepung, Ganden and Tashi Lhunpo monasteries between 2012 and 2015 with approximately 40,000 people from 65 to 70 countries attending each year.

Starting in 2004, H.E. Ling Rinpoche also participated in the Mind and Life Institute dialogues held in India between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and scientists on a variety of topics, such as physics, neuroplasticity and destructive emotions. In 2005, Rinpoche has attended international events dedicated to preserving Buddhist traditions, including the World Peace Puja in Bodhgaya, India and in 2011, the International Conference on Vinaya in Varanasi in 2011. In 2017, H.E. Ling Rinpoche joined His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist leaders at a three-day International Buddhist Conference on “The Relevance of Buddhism in the 21st Century”, organized by the Indian Government Ministry of Culture and the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara.

In November 2012 while driving to Goa Airport to greet His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who had arrived to give Jangchup Lamrim teachings, Ling Rinpoche was in a serious car accident that included a fatality. Rinpoche sustained severe injuries that required lengthy surgeries and his complete recovery took several years.

Biography – In Pictures >

Read more of Rinpoche’s Current Activities – Spreading the Dharma >


Yongzin Lingtsang Labrang, Drepung Monastery and many other monasteries requested His Holiness the Dalai Lama to do divination for the discovery of his Principal Teacher, H.H. the 6th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche’s incarnation. They wanted to ensure all the activities, offerings and prayers to the Triple Gems were being done correctly for a speedy discovery of the genuine incarnation of the 6th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche.

The 7th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche’s discovery was one where the child clearly recognized a member of the search party. In August 1987 members of a search party visited the Tibetan Children’s Village baby room and asked a caretaker to see a boy called Tenzin Choephag. She pointed to the child, who was already holding one of the search party member’s hand. Although he was only 18 months old, Tenzin Choephag called the person by name.

He was then given several rosaries to choose from, one of which had belonged to his predecessor, H.H. the 6th Ling Rinpoche. He took the one that had belonged to his predecessor. He selected the rosary using his left hand, with a similar mannerism as his predecessor. When he recited something, while counting 21 beads, the search party was astonished and overwhelmed with joy by the spontaneous action. They interpreted the counting of 21 beads to indicate his 21 previous incarnations, as H.E. the 7th Ling Rinpoche is the 22nd recognized incarnation in the lineage. The young boy also identified other people by name, who had been close to his predecessor.

The next day Losang Lungrig, who served the Principal Teacher, H.H. the 6th Kyabjé Ling Rinpoche, with deep devotion at Yongzin Lingtsang Labrang for many years, went to TCV to meet Tenzin Choephag. The boy gave him a blessing by touching foreheads and then blessed others by placing his small hands on their heads. These gestures were seen as a true sign of his predecessor’s behavior.

When the discovery was reported to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he asked for Tenzin Choephag to be brought to his residence for further testing. His Holiness has remarked, “When I met the boy for the first time, I had no doubts about his identity. He behaved in a way that made it obvious he knew me, although he showed the utmost respect, he acted just as his predecessor had done. It was clear he knew his way around my residence. When he came into my study, he showed immediate familiarity with one of my attendants, who at the time was recovering from a broken leg. This tiny person was very serious when he presented Kusho Lobsang Gawa with a kata. Then in full laughter and childish giggles, he picked-up one of his crutches and ran around carrying it as if it were a flag pole.”

His Holiness concluded this was the unmistaken incarnation and confirmed his perception with additional divination. When he was requested to name the child, the Dalai Lama chose Tenzin Lungtog Trinley Choephag.

In October 1987 Tenzin Choephag was enthroned in a ceremony on the seat of his predecessor. Everyone present was impressed by his composure and dignity, even though he was less than two years old. His Holiness attended the event and remarked, “I felt a great sense of joy now that Chogtul Rinpoche has come to occupy the seat of Lama Dorjechang. I stayed for lunch with him and as I got into the car to leave, I met his forehead. The young child held on to a part of my robe and wanted to come with me. Once again this re-enforced my faith and conviction that this too was a clear indication of the continuous care and loving kindness of my Root Guru.”

Discovery – In Pictures >


The 7th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche joined Drepung Monastic University in 1990, which was re-established in the Mundgod Tibetan settlement in South India. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Yongzin Ling Rinpoches had all studied there. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was present for 7th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche’s enrollment ceremony. The return and enrollment to the monastery of his predecessors was celebrated with large, traditional religious ceremonies at Drepung, Sera, Ganden, Tashi Lunpo and Gyumey monasteries, for auspiciousness.

Geshe graduation ceremony at Drepung Loseling Monastery – November 2016

His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave the young Ling Rinpoche novice monk vows at His Holiness’ residence at Drepung Lachi in 1993, to continue a monastic lineage. He also received full monk or Bikshu vows from His Holiness exactly 50 years after the Dalai Lama had received them from his Principal Teacher, H.H. the 6th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche. Monks usually receive Bikshu vows when they are 20 years old.

H.E. Ling Rinpoche receiving the Geshe degree – November 2016

Yongzin Ling Rinpoche was asked to lead a Long Life Puja on March 5, 2004 that was organized by the Tibetan Government to commemorate the 50th anniversary of His Holiness taking the Bikshu vows. H.H. the 6th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche had given them to him in 1954 in front of the Jho statue in Lhasa’s Jokhang temple. H.E. Ling Rinpoche was 20 years old at the time, His Holiness gave him the Bikshu vows on March 3, 2004 at His Holiness’ palace in Dharamsala. H.H. the 6th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche had received all his monastic vows from H.H. the 13th Dalai Lama in the Potala Palace.

Geshe graduation at Drepung Loseling Monastery – November 2016

The Gelug tradition emphasizes a deep and intensive study of Buddhist scriptures. Yongzin Ling Rinpoche’s monastic studies began when he was ten years old under the guidance of the Dalai Lama. Geshe Namgyal Wangchen and Geshe Thubten Rapgay served as his two main tutors. During breaks from studying, he has completed private retreats.

Drepung Loseling Monastery

The 13th Dalai Lama established a formal Geshe degree program of advanced training as one of his monastic reforms. A Geshe is a master of five subjects of Buddhist teachings:

  • Perfection of Wisdom Sutras (Prajnaparamita)
  • Middle Way philosophy (Madhyamaka)
  • Logic/Valid Cognition (Pramana)
  • Phenomenology (Abhidharma)
  • Monastic Discipline (Vinaya)

H.E. Ling Rinpoche sat for his Geshe Dhamcha (Public Debate) examination and celebrated his Geshe Graduation Ceremony at Drepung Loseling Monastic University in Mundgod, on 20th & 21st November 2016. The entire assembly of monks from Drepung monastery attended, along with the Abbots and ex-Abbots of many monasteries, and many distinguished scholars and guests. The 103rd Gaden Tri Rinpoche and other eminent guests, including the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Secretary of His Holiness’ Office — Ganden Phodang) and the Minister for Religion and Culture (CTA), joined the Abbot of Drepung Loseling Monastery in delivering inspired speeches recognising Rinpoche’s achievements. The Loseling Tulku Association also offered Rinpoche a further award, acknowledging the completion of Rinpoche’s studies.

After his Geshe Graduation Ceremony, H.E. Ling Rinpoche made offerings to the monks of Drepung monastery. He also visited and made offerings to monks and nuns at several monasteries in South India, including Ganden, Sera, Tashi Lhunpo, Gyudmed and Dzongkar Choede monasteries. He later made offerings to Gyuto Tantric College in Dharamsala. Rinpoche spent the following year at Gyuto Tantric College to complete a year of tantric studies that traditionally follows the completion of the Geshe degree. He completed his studies ay Gyuto Monastery in February 2018.

Education – In Pictures >

Current Activities – Spreading the Dharma

Upon the successful completion of his Geshe studies, His Eminence Ling Rinpoche’s focus turned to traveling the world and spreading the Dharma through giving Buddhist teachings and initiations, public talks and interviews, and engaging with great interest in Buddhist and inter-faith conferences and various community events. Throughout his extensive travels, Rinpoche was delighted to connect with Tibetan communities around the globe.

Activities in 2016

In 2016, in addition to the rigorous studies and preparations required for his Geshe examinations, Rinpoche visited and gave teachings and initiations in Australia for the first time, gave teachings and initiations and presided over a three-day Grand Puja event in Singapore, and conducted a teaching tour of Canada and the USA, including giving Buddhist teachings at MIT in Boston. Rinpoche also visited Ladakh and participated in the Great Summer Debate Festival along with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, at the invitation of Thiksey Rinpoche and Thiksey Monastery.

Following his Geshe Graduation Ceremony at Drepung Monastery, Rinpoche visited and made traditional offerings at the major monasteries and nunneries in South and North India, before attending teachings with H.H. Dalai Lama in Bodhgaya, including an audience with His Holiness on 19th December.

Read more News of Rinpoche’s Activities in 2016 >

Activities in 2017

H.E. Ling Rinpoche visited Israel for the first time in March 2017, where he gave teachings and initiations, led a retreat, and visited many historic Christian and Jewish holy sites. On his return to India, Rinpoche attended the International Buddhist Conference on “The Relevance of Buddhism in the 21st Century,” in Rajgir, Bihar. In April, Rinpoche enrolled at Gyuto Tantric College in Dharamsala, to complete a year of advanced monastic studies. During this period, Rinpoche met with H.H. Dalai Lama, gave teachings and initiations at Tushita Meditation Centre Dharamsala (FPMT) and attended the International Buddhist Confederation’s General Assembly in Delhi. In July and August 2017, Rinpoche visited Mongolia for the first time for an extensive teaching tour. During his time in Ulaanbaatar, Rinpoche enjoyed a productive meeting and conversation with Mongolia’s President Battulga.

Read more News of Rinpoche’s Activities in 2017 >

Activities in 2018

In the winter of 2017 to 2018, H.E. Ling Rinpoche visited Bodhgaya where he attended teachings with H.H. Dalai Lama and gave teachings and initiations at Root Institute for Wisdom Culture (FPMT). In March 2018, Rinpoche visited and gave teachings and initiations in Perth, Western Australia for the first time, before returning to teach in Singapore. In May and June, Rinpoche visited Europe for a series of teachings and events, including a week of giving an oral transmission and commentary on Lama Tsongkhapa’s Lam Rim Chen Mo at Instituto Lama Tzong Khapa in Tuscany (Italy), and a visit to France.

Rinpoche visited Japan twice in 2018, where he gave teachings and attended celebratory events on the occasion of H.H. Dalai Lama’s birthday. Rinpoche then conducted an extensive teaching tour of the USA’s San Francisco Bay Area and Mexico for the first time, including giving teachings and initiations in California, Oregon and Washington. During this tour, Rinpoche visited Silicon Valley and gave talks at Google, Apple and Electronic Arts. Rinpoche gave a public talk at the University of California at Berkeley and participated in an inter-faith conference at the University of Portland.

Later in 2018, Rinpoche visited Arunachal Pradesh in Northern India, where he gave many teachings and initiations and bestowed the novice vows for the first time to a group of young monks. In December 2018, Rinpoche returned to Bodhgaya for teachings and an audience with H.H. Dalai Lama.

Read more News of Rinpoche’s Activities in 2018 >

Activities in 2019

H.E. Ling Rinpoche visited and taught in Israel again in early 2019, before embarking upon another extensive teaching tour in Europe, including Holland, Spain, the UK and France. During Rinpoche’s first visit to London, representatives of the UK Office of Tibet arranged and accompanied Rinpoche on a tour of Parliament House, where Rinpoche had an opportunity to meet with Members of Parliament.

In June 2019, Rinpoche returned to Mongolia for the 11th General Assembly and 50th Anniversary of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace, titled “Rejuvenation and the Way Forward.”

H.E. Ling Rinpoche then commenced another extensive teaching tour including more than fifteen locations around the USA and Canada. Rinpoche gave TV interviews, held talks with police officers in Houston, visited Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York City, New England including Boston, spoke at the Texas Children’s Hospital, and enjoyed a VIP tour of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), where Rinpoche spoke about “Diversity & Inclusion.” In Washington DC, Rinpoche visited the US State Department (Office of International Religious Freedom), participated in an Interfaith Dialogue at the US Institute of Peace, and visited and blessed the office and staff of the International Campaign for Tibet.

Rinpoche was warmly welcomed back to Ladakh in September 2019 for an extensive tour including teachings and initiations at Thiksey Monastery in Leh, Likir Monastery and Kargil. In Wakha-Mulbekh, Rinpoche presided over the consecration of the newly built Tashi Lhakhang Prayer Hall (attended by numerous government officials and dignitaries) and gave talks to youth and school children. Rinpoche then visited and gave initiations and teachings in Tingmosgang, Teh Village, Saspol, Nimmu Village and Pethup Monastery. On return to Leh, Rinpoche gave talks and blessings to students and teachers at Jamyang School, the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) and Siddhartha School in Stok, and to residents of the Tibetan Elderly Home in Choglamsar. On 22nd September, Rinpoche was honored as the Chief Guest of the Ladakh Union Territory Celebration, held at Thiksey Monastery. In October 2019, H.E. Ling Rinpoche travelled to Nepal for the first time, where he consecrated the new Lama Goan monastery in Pharping, gave teachings and initiations in Kathmandu, and visited many temples, monasteries and holy sites. In November, Rinpoche returned to India and joined H.H. Dalai Lama and all of the head Lamas of Tibetan Buddhism at Gyuto Monastery for a Buddhist Conference organized by CTA, on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of Je Lama Tsongkhapa’s parinirvana and enlightenment. In December 2019 Rinpoche travelled to Arunachal Pradesh for the Indigenous Faith Day celebrations, before returning to Drepung Monastery in South India for the Conference on Aryadeva’s 400 Verses, celebrating the 600th Anniversary of Je Lama Tsongkhapa’s parinirvana and enlightenment. At the end of the year, Rinpoche embarked upon his first teaching tour in Taiwan.

Read more News of Rinpoche’s Activities in 2019 >

Activities in 2020

H.E. Ling Rinpoche continued his extensive teaching tour of Taiwan in early 2020, before returning to visit Japan. Rinpoche then travelled to New Zealand for the first time, for a series of teaching events, initiations and public talks. Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and Rinpoche’s concern for the safety and well-being of his students and the general public, the remainder of Rinpoche’s NZ tour and his planned subsequent visit to Australia had to be postponed. Rinpoche returned safely to India where he continued to pray for the countless individuals and communities around the globe suffering the impact of the pandemic. Rinpoche engaged in several online dialogues, conferences and interfaith events during this time, from his residence in India.

Read more News of Rinpoche’s Activities in 2020 >

Activities in 2021

H.E. Ling Rinpoche continued numerous beneficial activities while in India, during the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, Rinpoche shared an encouraging message at the International Buddhist Confederation’s Vesak Day Celebration to provide hope and remind us about the importance of staying positive and optimistic, and to appreciate our fortunate situation. It’s been a sad time yet with a positive attitude, we will be motivated to help others, to be kind to them and to bring happiness to those around us. Rinpoche expressed that this is the time to put our practice of compassion and love into action.

In July, on the occasion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 86th birthday, H.E. Ling Rinpoche presided over the opening ceremony and consecration of Delek Hospital’s new Emergency Room and Outpatient Department (OPD) in Dharamsala and gave a talk to the hospital’s doctors and nurses.

In October, H.E. Ling Rinpoche participated in a celebration for the auspicious occasion of Ashwin Poornima (Buddha’s descent from Tushita Heaven), organized by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, UP Government and the International Buddhist Confederation. The Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and many other dignitaries from around the world were in attendance. Rinpoche participated in the celebration and inauguration of the new international airport at Kushinagar in the presence of Honorable Prime Minister Modi. The Honorable Prime Minister Modi offered prayers to the Sacred Buddha Relic brought from Sri Lanka and during the celebration, the Honorable Prime Minister Modi offered robes to H.E. Ling Rinpoche, and Rinpoche offered a blessed khata to the Honorable Prime Minister.

Also in October, H.E. Ling Rinpoche participated in an enriching dinner meeting in Delhi, invited and hosted by Shri G. Kishan Reddy – the Honorable Minister of Culture, Tourism and Development of the Northeastern Region in India and the International Buddhist Confederation. On December 25th, to commemorate the anniversary of His Holiness the 6th Kyabjé Yongzin Ling Rinpoche’s Parinirvana, H.E. the 7th Ling Rinpoche made a Tsog offering in front of the embalmed holy body of His Holiness the 6th Kyabjé Ling Rinpoche which is housed at His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharmasala.

Read more News of Rinpoche’s Activities in 2021 >