Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Teacher (Lama) - Ngagwang Yontan Gyatso

བླ་མ། 喇嘛
(item no. 89711)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1960 -
Lineages Sakya and Ngor (Sakya)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Monastic

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Ngagwang Yontan Gyatso (1902-1963), the 69th Abbot of Ngor Evam Choden Monastery, Khangsar Labrang. He is also widely known as Drugpa Khenpo. This composition was painted by Tarig Rinpoche Jamyang Damcho Nyima in the 1970s. Images of Drugpa Khenpo are believed to be a protection from any harm caused by Dorje Shugden.

Ngagwang Yontan Gyatso believed that he was the re-incarnation of Sakya Tridzin Wangdu Nyingpo. He is also famous for being a staunch opponent to the practice of Dorje Shugden and well known for physically removing any images of the deity from Sakya Temples and others. At the time of visiting Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, in Gangtok, Sikkim, in 1959, Khyentse Rinpoche informed Drugpa Khenpo that his spiritual duty was to return to Tibet and safeguard the religious teachings. Khyentse Rinpoche further informed him that he, Ngagwang Yontan Gyatso, was one of four special individuals important for the continuation of spiritual practice and culture in Tibet.

Yontan Gyatso remained in Tibet after 1959 and passed away in the Kham area in the early 1960s. The Karma Kamtsang teacher the 4th Karma Thinley (b.1931) is the nephew of Drugpa Khenpo and spent much of his youth with the eccentric uncle.

(See the article - The 'Bhutan Abbot" of Ngor: Stubborn Idealist with a Grudge against Shugs-ldan, by David Jackson).

Jeff Watt 3-2003

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Tradition: Sakya Teachers
Subject: Ngor Tradition (Teachers)