Hayagriva Buddhist Centre in Perth, Australia, recently welcomed Geshe Ngawang Sonam as resident teacher. To introduce Geshe Sonam to the FPMT community, the center offers a video interview, in which Geshe Sonam, who was born in 1963 in Tibet, shares stories from his life and reflections on his years at Sera Je Monastery as well as talks about his relationship with his mother.
At age 5, Geshe Sonam, with only his two older brothers and parents, fled Tibet over the mountains to India. He was ordained as a monk at age 10. In 1995, after 22 years of study at the famous Sera Je Monastery in Bylakuppe, Mysore, India, Ven. Sonam was awarded the prestigious academic title of Geshe (equivalent to a graduate level degree in Buddhist philosophy). The Geshe degree requires the ongoing demonstration of complete knowledge of the five major treatises: the Perfection of Wisdom (as elaborated upon by Maitreya in the Abhisamayalamkara); Chandrakirti’s commentary on Nagarjuna’s root text on Madhyamaka; Dharmakirti’s Pramanavartika – Compendium on Valid Cognition; Vasubhandu’s Abhidharmakosha; and Vinaya – studies in monastic discipline.
Find the video interview with Geshe Ngawang Sonam on www.mandalamagazine.org.