Khyongla Rato Rinpoche
Khyongla Rato Rinpoche is a reincarnate lama and scholar of the Gelugpa order of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche was born in the Dagyab region of Kham, in southeastern Tibet. In 1928 senior Gelugpa monks divined that a five-year-old boy living in this remote part of Tibet was the reincarnation of the ninth Khyongla. On his sixth birthday monks on horseback took him from his parents home to a monastery some distance away where he was installed as its spiritual head. For over three decades he lived the sober life of a monk, studying at the most famous monasteries in Tibet and earning the Lharampa Geshe degree. In 1959 along with thousands of monks as well as the Dalai Lama, he fled on foot over the Himalayas to safety and to a radically different life in India, Europe and eventually in the United States. In 1975 he founded The Tibet Center, the oldest Tibetan Buddhist Center in New York City, USA.