Geshe Rabten (1921-86) was born in Dargye in eastern Tibet. He studied at Sera Monastery in Lhasa, where he gained renown as a great scholar, debater, and meditation master. In 1959, he escaped to India, where he became the spiritual teacher of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. In the mid 1960s Geshe Rabten was appointed as a religious assistant to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. On His Holiness's request he began teaching Dharma to Westerners in Dharamsala in 1969, and he went to live and teach in Switzerland in 1974. He founded Rabten Choeling Center (originally Tharpa Choeling) in Switzerland in 1979, where he lived and worked as spiritual director until he passed away in 1986.