Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Buddhist Masters




(First Paragraph)

Jigme Rigpai Lodro ('jigs med rigs pa'i blo gros), the Sixth Tseten Zhabdrung (tshe tan zhabs drung), was born on May 31, 1910, the twenty-second day of the fourth month of the iron dog year in the fifteenth rab byung cycle. He was the second youngest of eight children born to his father Yang Cai, whose Tibetan name was Lobzang Tashi (blo bzang bkra shis), and his mother, Lhamotar (lha mo thar). His birthplace, Yadzi (ya rdzi), is more commonly known today by its Chinese name, Jishi Town (Jishi zhen 积石镇) in today's Xunhua Salar Autonomous County of Qinghai Province. Although his patrilineal descent was Chinese, in his autobiography, Tseten Zhabdrung stated, “Starting with my father's generation , my ancestry is a mix of Chinese and Tibetan ethnicity; but if I base my own ethnicity on written and spoken language, habits and residence, then I am exclusively Tibetan.” At age two, he was recognized by Amdo Zhamar Paṇḍita Gendun Tendzin Gyatso (a mdo zhwa dmar paNDita dge 'dun bstan 'dzin rgya mtsho, 1852-1912) of Ditsa Monastery (lde tsha) as the reincarnation of the Fifth Tseten Zhabdrung (tshe tan zhabs drung 05). He had been called “the grandson of Tsering Dondrub (tshe ring don grub)” until this time, when he was given the name Lobzang Chopel (blo bzang chos 'phel) by a Rebkong Nyingma lama called Alak Namkha Tshang (a lags nam mkha' tshang).


Posted Open Access with the permission of the author and the publisher.

Original Publication Citation

Willock, N. (2010). The sixth Tseten Zhabdrung Jikme Rigpai lodro. In The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Buddhist Masters (pp. 1-6). New York: Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.