Ngawang Samten
Born (1956-07-07) 7 July 1956 (age 66)
Dokhar, Tibet
Known forCentral University for Tibetan Studies
AwardsPadma Shri

Ngawang Samten is a Tibetan educationist, Tibetologist and the vice chancellor of the Central University for Tibetan Studies.[1] Besides editing publications such as Abhidhammathasamgaho, Pindikrita, Pancakrama and Manjusri, he is the co-translator of Je Tsongkhapa's commentary on Nagarjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā.[2] The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2009, for his contributions to Education.[3]


Ngawang Samten was born in the Central Tibetan town of Dokhar on 7 July 1956 but grew up in India since the age of three when his parents migrated to there in the wake of the 1959 Tibetan uprising.[4] His early schooling was at Chandragiri, in Odisha, after which he did higher education at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, (the present day Central University for Tibetan Studies CUTS), from where he passed the Shastri and Acharya grades. He also pursued his monastic education at Ganden Shartse Monastery, Mundgod, Karnataka, and secured the Geshe degrees of Dhorampa and Lharampa, the latter one, a doctoral degree equivalent to a PhD.[4] He started his career as a research assistant at his alma mater, CUTS, and rose to the position of the head of the Research Department. During this period, he was involved in the translation of ancient Buddhist texts into Sanskrit. His post graduate research on the philosophy of Nagarjuna was later published by him as a critical edition of Ratnavali (Precious Garland), with his own commentary.[5]

Later, Samten became the director of the Research and Publications Division of CUTS before being appointed as the vice chancellor of the institution.[6] His efforts have been known to have assisted many universities in designing their curricula in Buddhist Studies and have helped in popularizing the topic in India.[4] He has published three critical editions of Buddhist texts, Abhidhammattha-sangaha, Pindidrita and Pancakrama of Nagarjuna, all with his own commentary. His work, The Ocean of Reasoning, is an Oxford University Press-published English translation with annotations of the commentary of Mūlamadhyamakakārikā written by Je Tsongkhapa.[2] He is a former member of the Editorial Board of the International Association of Tibetan Studies and has served as the visiting professor at the Hampshire College, Amherst College, Smith College and the University of Tasmania, besides travelling many places in India and abroad for delivering orations[7] and participating in seminars, conferences and workshops on Tibetan Buddhism.[8] He also serves as the Principal Teacher at Vajrayana Institute, New South Wales.[9] In 2009, he received the civilian honour of the Padma Shri from the Government of India for his contributions to Education.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "Academic Convenors" (PDF). 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Rje Tsong Khapa (Author), Jay L. Garfield (Translator), Geshe Ngawang Samten (Translator) (2006). Ocean of Reasoning: A Great Commentary on Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika. Oxford University Press. p. 632. ISBN 9780195147339. ((cite book)): |author= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Professor Geshe Ngawang Samten" (PDF). Sanchi University. 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  5. ^ "Geshe Ngawang Samten on Rigpa Shedra". Rigpa Shedra. 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  6. ^ "Ven. Prof. Geshe Ngawang Samten". Tibet Center. 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  7. ^ "Speeches delivered by Venerable Prof. Geshe Ngawang Samten, 27 May 2007". International Association of Buddhist Universities. 21 January 2008. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  8. ^ "Prof. Geshe Ngawang Samten on Tibet Center". Tibet Center. 2016. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  9. ^ "Classes with Geshe Samten". Vajrayana Institute. 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.

Further reading