Khenpo with Very Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
Khenpo at Namo Buddha

A Biography of Khenpo Sherap Phuntsok

In the region of Nepal’s Nishang Dragkar, Khenpo Sherap Phuntsok was born on August, 1981 to his father Sönam Döndrup and his mother Chözin Palmo. He has an elder brother and two younger sisters.

From the age of eight, he studied reading Tibetan with his father and spent many days of his youth accompanying him as he went to perform Buddhist rituals and recite long life prayers. Once at a young age, Sherap Phuntsok was able to met Khyabje Thrangu Rinpoche when he came to Nishang Karta. At that time, his father asked Thrangu Rinpoche to allow his son to become a monk at Rinpoche’s monastery, to which he happily gave his permission.

In 1992 at the age of twelve, Sherap Phuntsok traveled with his father from Nishang to Boudhanath when he became a monk at Thrangu Rinpoche’s monastery. For the next four years, he studied how to play the wind instruments, the drums, and cymbals, and how to practice all the aspects of the rituals for several tantric texts. He also memorized the texts to be recited and passed the exam to become a chant master.

At the age of sixteen, he had the opportunity to enter Thrangu shedra in Namo Buddha where for five years, he studied the five great treatises, major texts from his own Kagyu tradition, the auxiliary topics, and other writings. After finishing the shedra, at the age of twenty-one, he was made an assistant teacher in the shedra by Khyabje Thrangu Rinpoche in 2001 and subsequently began to teach shedra students the five major treatises and the auxiliary topics.

During this time, he composed a summary of the essential meaning found in the overview of Mikyö Dorje’s Chariot for Traveling the Path of the Dakpo Kagyu’s Madhyamaka Tenets, which greatly pleased Thrangu Rinpoche, and he wrote a foreword for the book. In 2003 at Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery, Rinpoche awarded the title of Khenpo to Sherap Phuntsok, who was then twenty-three years old.

Almost every year when the Kagyu Winter Debates meet in Varanasi, Bodhgaya, and other places, Khenpo Sherap has held, and continues to hold, the responsibility for the classes on logic for Thrangu Rinpoche’s shedra students. In 2005, the Seventeenth Karmapa Ögyen Trinley Dorje appointed him junior chant master for the Great Kagyu Monlam, a position in which he has continued to serve for eight years up to the present.

In brief, from 2001 to the present, Khenpo Sherap Phuntsok has stayed at Thrangu Vajra Vidya Shedra, teaching the students mainly the five great treatises. In addition, at the request of Khyabje Thrangu Rinpoche, he has edited several texts in service to his teacher.