19th Bakula Rinpoche
Most Venerable 19th Bakula Rinpoche, Thupstan Chognor Palzangpo was a distinctive scholar and adept of great endowment and exceptional talent. Born into a noble family of Matho on 19th May, 1917 in Ladakh, India, he was recognized by His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of Bakula, one of the sixteen Arhats of Shakyamuni Buddha’s time. He received education in the great Drepung Loseling in Tibet.
Kushok Bakula, the most respected Lama of Ladakh, statesman, and renowned international diplomat of India, dedicated his life for holistic development of Ladakh, especially for improving living condition of Scheduled Casts and Tribes in India. He was a rare combination of scholar, monk and politician .His support, passion and determination played an important role in the field of education and sustaining their own ancient Himalayan cultural heritage in the precarious political environment of the of Jammu and Kashmir..
In 1986, in appreciation of his distinguished services of high order to the nation, the president of India awarded him the nation’s second highest honour, “Padma Bhushan”. In 1990, he became the Ambassador of India to Mongolia and rendered his service for over ten years not only as ambassador but also as a guiding spirit for Mongolian people. He passed away in New Delhi on 4th November, 2003. It was a great loss to the nation and especially to the world of Buddhist community.