Pema Dorjee

Tibetan Lama Geshe Pema Dorjee has dedicated his life to helping disadvantaged people in the Himalayan region. There, he has organised numerous charitable projects with emphasis on the poor, the elderly, street children, the sick and the disabled. He currently runs 13 charitable projects including support for education, community improvement, health and environmental development. Amongst these is the establishment of a Nunnery/ Girls’ School in Lumla, Aarunachal Pradesh, India.  For many years Geshe Pema Dorjee has given teachings, lectures, workshops and individual counsel to a great number of students and supporters around the world to raise funds for his many projects. Tara Bodong is part of a network of small charitable organisations in more than 10 different countries that support Pema Dorjee’s mission.

Lifelong commitment

Geshe Pema Dorjee was born in 1951 to a nomadic family in Shillong on the border of Tibet and India. Like many other Tibetan families of the time, they found refuge in India after they were forced to flee in 1959 after the invasion of the country. After many years of study at the Tibetan Homes Foundation School and the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala, Pema Dorjee worked as a teacher for Tibetan Language and Culture. Soon he became Principal of the Tibetan Children´s Village School (TCV), a school for 2,500 refugee children and only three years later he became Director of the institution.

In 1995, as a result of his continued studies in Buddhist philosophy he was awarded the Geshe degree (equivalent to a Ph.D.) from the Drepung Loseling monastery. In 1989, at the behest of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, Geshe Pema Dorjee together with friends and supporters established Pelmo Choeding Monastery in exile (in Kathmandu, Nepal) one of the great legacies in the history of the Bodong tradition. In 2003 he founded the Bodong Research and Publication Center near Thekchen Choeling Temple, Mcleod Ganj in Dharamsala and he became its director.

Geshe Pema Dorjee has devoted his life to a great number of charitable projects such as creating schools, establishing regional support, medical aid and individual care, never ignoring any occasion to help and to show compassion. To him living a meaningful, happy life is a direct result of showing love and compassion. He is trustee of the Bright Horizon Children´s Home.


Reviving the Bodong Tradition

His Holiness the Dalai Lama advised Geshe Pema Dorjee to revive and promote the Bodong Tradition, an important tradition in Tibetan Buddhism that had become almost extinct. As a director for the Bodong Research and Publication Centre in Dharamsala, Pema Dorjee visited many remote areas of Nepal and Northern India to carry out research.

After some years of preparatory work and communication in 1989 the Pelmo Choeding Monastery (“porong gompa”) in exile was established. With regard to reviving the Bodong Tradition a specific study program was developed which included a program for religious rituals, study of basic principles of Buddhism and Tibetan language. Finally, together with the Porong Community the education of young monks at Pelmo Choeding Monastery in Kathmandu was initiated. The monastery has become an essential foundation for the revival of the Bodong Tradition and is well connected to the Research and Publication Center in Dharamsala (India). Here, commentaries are selected, study syllabi formulated for the learning centers and research studies progress along the lineage. “It is essential for all of us to work hard for this monastery to become a good learning center for the followers of the Bodong Tradition.” says Geshe Pema Dorjee.


Projects and work in progress

Pema Dorjee currently runs 13 charitable projects in the Himalayan Region focusing on the following issues:

  •  Health and medical care (organisation of medical supplies, illness prevention, medical information and aid). This includes bringing medical specialists, doctors and nurses to the restricted regions of Lumla, India and Rathankot, Nepal, as well as taking seriously ill villagers to hospitals in Delhi.
  • Community improvement (e.g. the successful establishment  of a Community Hall in Rathankot, Nepal in 2010)
  • Agriculture and Environment – sending agricultural specialists to remote villages, building and maintaining greenhouses, garbage collection etc.
  • Education – establishment of a Nunnery/ Girls’ School in Lumla, Aarunachal Pradesh, education of young monks at the Pelmo Choeding Monastery in Kathmandu.
  • Further projects in progress include setting up homes for street children in Kathmandu, helping the elderly and weak, supporting a rehabilitation center for addicts in Kathmandu and promoting handicraft made by refugee women in Tibetan settlements.



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