PaN chen bsod nams grags pa

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PeoplePaN chen bsod nams grags pa

Paṇchen Sönam Drakpa(1478 - 1554) 

The Fifteenth Ganden Tripa, Paṇchen Sonam Drakpa (dga' ldan khri pa 15, khri chen bsod nams grags pa) was born into the family of Nangpa Ralampa (nang pa ra lam pa) that was based near the Tsetang Monastery in Lhoka (lho kha rtse thang dgon pa) in 1478, the earth-dog year of the eighth sexagenary cycle. At the young age Sonam Drakpa received the vows of novice monk from Lechenpo Sonam Tashi (las chen po bsod nams bkra shis, d.u.), who gave him the ordained name Sonam Drakpai Pel (bsod nams grags pa' i dpal).

Sonam Drakpa enrolled at Tsetang Monastery and received his primary monastic education such as reading and writing, and memorization of daily and frequent prayer texts and other root-verses of important texts. He studied Pramāṇa (tshad ma) for some time, and then went to Yabzang (g.ya' bzang) for some clarification on the critical points of the subject with some scholars. There he studied traditional philosophical texts under the tutorship of Choje Dakpo Rabjampa (chos rje dwags po rab 'byams pa, d.u.) and other scholars. He also studied grammar, poetry, composition, and so forth.

Sonam Drakpa travelled to Lhasa and then matriculated at Sera at the age of sixteen. There he studied Abhisamayālaṃkāra, Mādhyamak, Abhidharmakośa, Pramāṇavārttika and Vinaya, the five major subjects of the Geshe Lharampa curriculum, mainly under the three eminent masters: Donyo Pelden (don yod dpal ldan, 1445-1524), the tenth abbot of Sera Monastery; Nyelton Peljor Lhundrub (gnyal ston dpal ' byor lhun grub, 1427-1514) and Tonpa Khetsun Yonten Gyatso (thon pa mkhas btsun yon tan rgya mtsho, 1443-1521). While studying these traditional texts he also received many teachings on tantra. In the meantime he received the vows of full ordination at the age of twenty from Wona Lama Sanggye Zangpo ('od na bla ma sangs rgyas bzang po, d.u.).
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