Erdene Baatar Ochir - 27th April 2022

Ngawang Tendar

Series: Mongolian authors writing in Tibetan language preserved at the National Library of Mongolia

Ngawang Tendar (Ngag dbang bstan dar, 1758-1840?), a.k.a. Aǧvangdandar

The sun or moon may be eclipsed on the full or new moon day,
Yet, it will be immediately free as soon as the waxing or waning period begins.
The bodhisattvas in their final incarnation may get impeded once,
Yet, they will tear down cyclic existence within this very life.
  – A Fest of Human Virtues (Mi chos dga’ ston)

Ngawang Tendar was born in the Alxa region of Inner Mongolia. At a young age, he joined a local monastery before eventually traveling to Lhasa to study in Drepung Gomang, where he earned the Geshe Lharampa degree. Upon return to Alxa, Ngawang Tendar established a monastery there, yet even in his fifties, he disguised himself as an ordinary monk in order to hide his true identity as a senior scholar while he studied rare subjects in Amdo’s Labrang and Kumbum monasteries. Oral tradition has it that while he composed a significant number of writings, his collected works were published as a single volume in Kumbum Monastery, which did not include many of his works, especially those in the Mongolian language. In addition to his unique contribution to the Geluk scholasticism, he is also believed to have written a commentary to the Nyingma master Jikmé Lingpa’s Treasury of Precious Qualities (Yon tan mdzod).

A full biography is available on Treasury of Lives and biographical information is available at Lotsawa House

ALL is actively preserving the National Library of Mongolia where the writings of these fascinating scholars exist.

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