The Dalai Lama’s teacher's autobiography offers glimpses into the young Dalai Lama's spiritual upbringing and his escape from Tibet.
Trijang Rinpoche was born to an aristocratic Tibetan family in 1901 and quickly recognized as the reincarnation of a very important high lama. Eventually appointed a mentor to the young Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Trijang became one of his most trusted confidants. His status gave him a front-row seat to many of the momentous historical events that befell Tibet. Rinpoche observes the workings of Tibetan high society and politics with an unvarnished frankness, including inside details of encounters between the Dalai Lama and Mao Tse Tung, Jawarlal Nehru, Pope John Paul II, and Indira Gandhi. Most widely known as a yogi with deep and profound, lifelong religious training, Trijang was also a statesman, a preserver of culture, a poet, writer, and artist. His autobiography is a beautifully written tour-de-force account of Tibetan life in the twentieth century, including intimate details about the upbringing of the Dalai Lama.
"Not only was Kyabjé Trijang Rinpoché (1901–81) a tutor to His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, he was also the root guru of a great many of the lamas responsible for introducing Tibetan Buddhism to Westerners beginning in the 1960s. This autobiography—documenting his extensive learning and his tireless deeds disseminating the teachings he had mastered—will therefore prove inspiring and invaluable to those who have benefited, both directly and indirectly, from this transmission of insight. It is also highly recommended for the background it gives to this transformative period of twentieth-century history."
– Jonathan Landaw, editor of Introduction to Tantra
“Kyabjé Trijang Rinpoché, a rare master of all fields of Tibetan Buddhist learning, was one of the most influential lamas of the twentieth century. This beautifully written and elegantly translated autobiography reveals not only the vast scope of his enlightening activities but also the historical context in which they took place.”
– Alexander Berzin, founder and author, Berzin Archives, studybuddhism.com
"Kyabjé Trijang Rinpoché, the junior of the two great gurus of the Dalai Lama, was universally recognized as one of the greatest Buddhist tantric masters to escape to India following the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet in the 1950s. He was also amazingly humble and down to earth. His story is not only a personal autobiography but a glimpse into the beauty and wonder that was Tibet. It is a story filled with emotional peaks as high as the Himalayas and the emotional lows that came with the loss of homeland and subsequent destruction. A must read for anyone interested in Tibetan culture, history, and spiritual life."
– Glenn Mullin, author of The Fourteen Dalai Lamas: A Sacred Legacy of Reincarnation