Ganden Tripa 甘丹赤巴 / 甘丹寺法座持有者

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Ganden Tripa (Tib. དགའ་ལྡན་ཁྲི་པ་, Wyl. dga' ldan khri pa) — The holder of the throne of Ganden Monastery, the Ganden Tripa, is the seniormost scholar and head of the Gelugpa School, and the direct successor Je Tsongkhapa. The route to the position of Ganden Tripa is a democratic one, as expressed in the Tibetan proverb: “if a mother's son has the right qualifications, then the Ganden throne is open to him”.[1]


Ganden Throneholders serve for a term of seven years, and candidates are either the Sharpa Chöjé, the former abbot of Gyütö, the Higher Tantric College, or Jangtsé Chöjé, the former abbot of Gyümé, the Lower Tantric College. Since the position alternates between these two, it usually takes up to fourteen years to become Ganden Tripa having become either Sharpa Chöjé or Jangtsé Chöjé.[2]

The present Ganden Tripa is Thubten Nyima Lungtok Tenzin Norbu (Wyl. thub bstan nyi ma lung rtogs bstan 'dzin nor bu), aka Rizong Rinpoche, the 102nd Ganden Tripa.


  1. Or: "If a mother's son has perseverance, Ganden's throne has no real owner." (a ma'i bu la snying rus yod na/ dga' ldan khri la dam phrug med/)
  2. Chö Yang (1996) p.60

Further Reading

  • "Interview with the Hundredth Holder of the Ganden Throne Jetsun Lobsang Nyima" in Chö Yang: The Voice of Tibetan Religion and Culture No. 7, 1996. pp. 59-62