Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche
June 4, 1931 – September 17, 2022
Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche was a fully accomplished Buddhist meditation master, renowned teacher, and author. ‘Geshe-la,’ as he is affectionately called by his students, is primarily responsible for the worldwide revival of Kadampa Buddhism in the modern era. From the age of eight Geshe-la studied extensively in the monastic universities of Tibet and earned the title ‘Geshe’, which literally means ‘spiritual friend’. Under the guidance of his Spiritual Guide, Venerable Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, he then spent the next eighteen years in meditation retreats in the Himalayas. In 1977 he accepted an invitation to teach in England. Seeing that there was much interest in Kadam dharma, and having received many requests to continue to teach, he agreed to remain in England. He has written many remarkable books that explain both basic Buddhism and the most advanced practices that lead to enlightenment. Geshe-la strongly emphasized the importance of transforming our daily worldly activities into the spiritual path.
Geshe-la established three unique study programs and over 1100 centers and groups around the world. He also trained hundreds of qualified teachers, including a flourishing ordained community, and created the International Temples Project [ITP] whose mandate is to build Buddhist Temples in every major city in the world.
In August of 2009, Geshe-la retired as General Spiritual Director. This duty is now fulfilled by the current General Spiritual Director, Gen-la Dekyong and the Deputy Spiritual Director, Gen-la Jampa. They lead the International Kadampa Festivals, where thousands of people from all over the world come to listen to the healing and inspiring teachings of Buddhadharma.
On September 17, 2022 Venerable Geshe-la showed the manner of passing away. Though his physical appearance in the world has ceased, his precious legacy will continue through his outstanding dharma books and his devoted disciples who make effort to practice the Kadampa lineage of Buddha’s teachings.
Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong is the General Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU and the Resident Teacher at Manjushri KMC. Gen-la has studied and practised Kadampa Buddhism for well over 30 years under the guidance of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. As one of Geshe Kelsang’s close disciples, Gen-la Dekyong’s teachings emphasize the need and development of strong faith, which will carry us to the state of everlasting happiness. Her kindness exemplifies the essence of the Buddhist way of life. Each year, Gen-la Dekyong teaches at International Festivals, National Festivals, and Dharma Celebrations throughout the world.
Gen-la Kelsang Jampa is the Deputy Spiritual Director of NKT-IKBU and the Resident Teacher at the International Kadampa Retreat Centre, Grand Canyon, in Williams Arizona.Gen-la Jampa is also the Canadian National Spiritual Director. He has studied under Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche for many years and taught internationally for several years. He is greatly admired for his warm personality and clear, inspiring teachings.
Samudra Kadampa Buddhist Centre Teachers
Gen Kelsang Rabgye is the Resident Teacher of Samudra Kadampa Buddhist Centre. He began study of Kadampa Buddhism in the early spring of 1996, in Toronto, and began teaching in Hamilton in January of 1998. He was ordained by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche in 2001. In 2003 Samudra Kadampa Buddhist Centre was formed and became an independent Centre. At the same time Gen Rabgye moved to Hamilton and was appointed Resident Teacher. He teaches both General Program and Foundation Program classes.
Nishaan Parbhoo teaches Monday evening GP classes at the Centre. He is a long time dharma practitioner and is continuing studying Buddhist meditation and philosophy in the Foundation Program. He is known for the clarity and depth of his teachings and their practical application in daily life.