SSIUK Lecture “Unifier of the Nation, Regional Statesman, Artist-Monk” An overview of the life of Gyalse Rinpoche Tenzin Rabgye (1638-1696), the 4th Desi (civil ruler) of Bhutan with Dr. John A. Ardussi

In this lecture we will touch on Tenzin Rabgye’s sectarian-inclusive approach to governing Bhutan, following the death of the founder of the state,  Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. We will discuss his most enduring legacies for Bhutan: Taktshang Monastery in Paro, Tango Monastery in Thimphu, and the tradition of Tshechu monastic dances honouring Padmasambhava.

About the speaker

John A. Ardussi, PhD.  Senior Research Fellow at the University of Virginia Tibet Center.

Dr. Ardussi specializes in the history and culture of the Himalayan states and their relationships with Tibet. His PhD thesis Bhutan before the British (Australian National University, 1977) was the first academic study written by a Western scholar on the history of Bhutan, based on Tibetan and Bhutanese written sources. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles on Tibet and Himalayan Studies, including most recently with colleagues Anna Balikci-Denjongpa and Per K. Sorensen a new, illustrated translation of The Royal History of Sikkim (Tib. ’Bras ljongs rgyal rabs), written in 1908 by Chogyal Thutob Namgyal and Gyalmo Yeshe Dolma.



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