Does anyone know anything about Tsem Rinpoche?

I watched a few of his talks on Youtube recently, and found him to be incredibly charismatic.

2 Answers 2


Rather than answer your question directly, you might find it helpful to think about these questions instead: How do you know if anyone is a genuine lama or not? How do you know Dalai Lama is genuine? How do you know Khenchen Lama is genuine?

You might also want to ask; why is it important for you that the lama is genuine? How would that affect your relationship with the lama and the teaching?

If I tell you so-and-so is genuine, you can go to the internet and find another person who will say that no, he isn't genuine. If I tell you he isn't genuine, you can also find another person who will say that yes, he is genuine. What determines whether you trust a person or not?

Hope this is helpful

  • It was, thanks. I could have put in a little more thought & reflection before asking my question (makes me cringe tbh)
    – Bill Sax
    Commented Oct 23, 2021 at 3:30
  • I'm thinking it might be helpful to follow the Buddhas advice (or plain old common sense): just try out the teachings if they are clear and make sense, and see if they work.
    – Bill Sax
    Commented Oct 23, 2021 at 11:31
  • 1
    While great and obvious advice, I would actually point out and refute what you said, simply by the fact that a lama is just a title, an honorific or educational title. So the simple fact is to see if this person is a genuine lama, you would need to see his geshe degree, then his references for X amount of years as a teacher (title of rinpoche) and his status as the highest teacher or abbot of a specific sect or monastery....simply that!
    – Remyla
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 15:59

Please read "An abridged biography of H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche". Apparently, he also published an autobiography book entitled "The Promise: A Tsem Rinpoche Biography".

On this page entitled "I’m Requesting Ordination in 1987", you can find info and a Youtube video on Tsem Rinpoche's meeting the 14th Dalai Lama and he is given assurance that he will be ordained a monk by the Dalai Lama, if he goes to India.

Tsem Rinpoche wrote:

Then in December 1987, myself and two other boys had the fortune to spend three hours with His Holiness and senior sangha like His Eminence Denma Locho Rinpoche. That is when I received my ordination vows. His Holiness gave me my vows, cut my hair and touched my robes to bless it.

Can you imagine, His Holiness did this for me!! I was so happy, I had finally become a monk after years of wanting to be one, starting from a very young age. Now, I was 22 and had just became ordained!!! It was a lifetime’s dream come true to be a monk and His Holiness, the highest of the high, ordained me himself!!! I was given the ordination name ‘Tenzin Zopa‘ by His Holiness.

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