Geshe Tenzin Chodrak (Dadul Namgyal)


Venerable Geshe Tenzin Chodrak (Dadul Namgyal) was a prominent scholar in Tibetan Buddhism. He held a doctorate (Geshe Lharampa) in Buddhism and Philosophy from the Drepung Monastic University earned in 1992. He also held a Master’s degree in English Literature from Punjab University in Chandigarh, India.

Author of many articles on Buddhism, Geshe-la was also a professor of Philosophy at Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies at Sarnath, Varanasi, India for seven years. In addition, he was the Spiritual Director of LSLK Tibetan Buddhist Center, Knoxville, USA.

Due to his facility in both Tibetan and English, he served as interpreter and speaker for numerous conferences exploring the interface of Buddhism with modern science, Western philosophy and psychology, and other religious traditions on both a national and international level. His language ability also enabled him to serve as an English language translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama throughout the world.

As a published author and translator, Geshe-la’s credits include a Tibetan translation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Power of Compassion, a language manual, Learn English through Tibetan, and a critical work on Tsongkhapa’s Speech of Gold. He also served as a Board Member for Tibet House, New York.

From 2010 until 2023, he served as Senior Resident Teacher at Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta. Around the same time, he began a full-time position as Senior Translator/Interpreter with the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-based Ethics at Emory University, Atlanta. There he was working in producing a six-year bilingual (English and Tibetan) science curriculum and preparing additional research & pedagogy materials in Modern Science for use in Tibetan monasteries and nunneries.

Geshe-la visited the Abbey many times, inspiring us with his passion for Madhyamaka philosophy and his sheer joy in sharing Buddha’s teachings. See photos of Geshe-la teaching at Sravasti Abbey in 2016.

The Sravasti Abbey community was delighted when Geshe-la accepted our many invitations to join the Abbey’s monastic community. He offered his abundant knowledge, compassion, and humility and was as an excellent role model for new monastics. Upon joining our community, he decided to adopt his ordination name, Venerable Tenzin Chodrak. Read his statement about joining the community in January 2023.

Geshe-la went missing on November 7, 2023. His body was recovered January 3, 2024. The community rejoices in having known and studied with him. We pray for the opportunity to meet with him in the future, again to hear his beautiful nectar of his teachings.

See a playlist of his teachings at Sravasti Abbey.