Professor Geshe Ngawang Samten
Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies
Sarnath, Varanasi – 221 007 Uttar Pradesh, INDIA
Tel: +542-2585242, Fax: +542-2585150
Date of birth: 7th July, 1956
Father's Name: Phuntsok Tashi
Mother's Name: Tsering Tsomo
Ven. Professor Geshe Ngawang Samten had assumed the charge of Director of the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath on January, 2001. Following the recommendation of the Society, the nomenclature of the Institute was revised as Central University of Tibetan Studies (Deemed to be University under Section 3 of the UGC Act 1956)with the approval of Government of India, which was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 15th January, 2009, and the notification to this effect was made on 22.07.2009, and accordingly the designation of the Head of the University was revised as Vice Chancellor.
The Government of India has reappointed the Ven. Prof. G. N. Samten to the post of Vice Chancellor with effect from July 17, 2008.
Prof. G. N. Samten is a renowned scholar of Buddhist and Tibetan studies. His contribution to his field of studies is highly recognized in the academic circles within India and beyond. He has been decorated with Padma Shri by the Government of India in the field of education and literature in 2008.
Vice Chancellor's Secretariat
- Shri Nand Kishore Singh
- Shri Sunil Kumar
- Shri Tenzin Sidon
- Shri Tenzin Kunsel
Research Assistant/Personal Assistant
Office of the Vice Chancellor
Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies Sarnath,
Varanasi – 221 007 Uttar Pradesh, INDIA
Tel: 0542-2585242, 2586337, 2581737 Fax: 0542-2585150
Professor Geshe Ngawang Samten
Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies,
Born on July 7, 1956 at Dokhar in Central Tibet, Professor Samten came to India along with his parents after the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959. He studied at the Central School for Tibetans in Chandragiri, Orissa, and thereafter at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies at Sarnath, where he earned the titles of Shastri and Acharya.
He possesses a rare combination of the schooling on modern lines as well as the Tibetan monastic education system. He had his monastic education at Gaden Shartse Monastery at Mundgod in Karnataka. He obtained Geshe Dhorampa and later Geshe Lharampa degree, equivalent to Ph.D. degree in the modern system.
He began his academic career as Research Assistant at Sarnath Institute, and became Head of the Research Department devoted to the restoration of the lost Buddhist texts into Sanskrit, based on the classical Tibetan translations made in ancient times jointly by the Indian and Tibetan Pundits. This unique research activity evinces his erudition both in the classical Tibetan and Sanskrit languages as well as the rare translation skills. As a result of his outstanding achievement in his field, he was promoted to the position of Professor of Buddhist Philosophy. He is also actively engaged in Hindi translations of Buddhist texts in Sanskrit and Tibetan. Professor Samten, with his special interest in the philosophy of Nagarjuna, published the definitive critical edition of the Ratnavali with its commentary as the result of his post-graduate research. He is credited with important publications, such as a critical edition of Abhidhammattha Samgaho, a critical edition of Sanskrit and Tibetan versions of the Pindidrita and the Pancakrama of Nagarjuna, and recently, The Ocean of Reasoning, an annotated English translation of the commentary on Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamaka Karika by the Tibetan master thinker Tson-Kha-Pa, published by Oxford University Press. The Ocean of Reasoning is acclaimed far and wide.
He is instrumental in promoting Buddhist Studies in India. A number of Indian universities have greatly been benefited by his scholarship and insight in formulating courses in Buddhist studies. He strongly advocates to make the education system instrumental in transforming the students through inculcation of value along with development of skills in various fields.
He frequently travels across the continents lecturing to academic audiences in the United States, Europe, Australia, Russia and as well in India. He has been in action at various national and international seminars, workshops and conferences. He has held Visiting Professorial assignments at Hampshire, Amherst and Smith Colleges in the USA and at the University of Tasmania in Australia.
In virtue of his sagacity and wisdom, Professor Samten has been on numerous academic bodies, Universities and expert committees of the Ministries, Government of India, and as a member on the boards of several Institutes in Canada, Thailand, France and Austria. He has also served in the Editorial Board of International Association of Tibetan Studies in Harvard. He is a member of various committees, including the Governing Council, of Association of Indian Universities and also chairman/member of various expert committees constituted by the University Grant Commission of India. In 2008, he has been awarded Padma Shri by the President of India for his distinguished services in the fields of education and literature. He is currently the Vice-Chancellor of Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi.
Professor Geshe Ngawang Samten (b. 1956) is presently the Vice Chancellor of Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi, and has been Professor of Indian Buddhist Philosophy at the University before assuming the high office. He is educated both in the modern system as well as in the Buddhist and Tibetan Studies in the monastic mode. He has such important publications to his credit, as a definitive critical edition of Ratnavali with commentary, Abhidhammathasamgaho; Sanskrit and Tibetan versions of the Pindikrita and the Pancakrama of Nagarjuna; Manjusri, an illustrated monograph on Tibetan Buddhist scroll paintings, and co-authored The Ocean of Reasoning, (Oxford University Press, New York) an annotated English translation of the commentary on Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamaka Karika by the Tibetan master-philosopher Tson-Kha-Pa. And scores of papers in various learned anthologies published in India and abroad. He has been Visiting Professor in various Universities and colleges in USA and Australia. He has also been instrumental in promoting Buddhist Studies in India. Various Indian Universities have sought his guidance and advice in the matter of formulating their syllabi of Buddhist philosophy and researches. He is on numerous academic bodies, Universities and expert committees of the Ministries of the Government of India. In 2008, he was decorated with Padma Shri by the President of India in recognition of his distinguished services in the fields of education and literature.
- Central School for Tibetans, Chandragiri, Orrisa, 1963-1970
- Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi
- Purva Madhayama (High School) First Division 1971-1973
- Uttar Madhayama (Intermediate) First Division 1973-1975
- Shastri (Undergraduate) First Division 1975-1977
- Acharya (Graduate) Distinction 1977-1980
- Master of Philosophy 1980-1982
- Ph.d equivalent research on Nagarjuna's Ratnavali1982-1988
- Gaden Shastse Monastery, Mundgod, Karnataka, South India Rabjamba degree (BA equivalent) 1994
- Geshe Dhorampa degree (MA equivalent) 1995
- Geshe Lharampa degree (the highest degree in traditional Tibetan Buddhist educational system equivalent to Ph.D in modern system) 1997
- Research Assistant, CIHTS Sarnath 1982-1986
- Editor 1986-1999
- Visiting Professor at Tilak Maharashtra Vidhyapeeth 1998
- Professor 1999-
- Additional Director 1999-2001
- Director/Vice Chancellor 2001-
- Visiting Professor at Hampshire College Massechusettes, USA Spring Semester 1996
- Visiting Professor at University of Tasmania, Australia, fall semester 1999
- Visiting Professor at Amherst College, MA USA one year 2000
- Visiting Professor at Smith College, MA USA 2000
- Catalogue of Rare Thankas (Tibetan scroll paintings) for an exhibition held in New Delhi which was organised by CIHTS and Tibet House, New Delhi. Published in New Delhi by CIHTS in 1986.
- Co-edited the Translation of the Abhidhammathasamgaho. Published by CIHTS in 1989.
- Critically edited the Tibetan version of the Ratnavali and its only Indian commentary in Tibetan translation providing an extensive introduction with four appendices. Published by CIHTS as volume one in 1990.
- Co-edited the critical edition of Sanskrit and Tibetan versions of the Pindikrit and Panchakrama of Nagarjuna. Published by CIHTS in 2001.
- Ocean of Reasoning: Translation of the most comprehensive commentary of Mulamadhaytamika Karika of Nagarjuna, published by Oxford University Press, New York, 2006.
- Gave talks at various Universities, Colleges and Institutions in United States, Europe, Australia, Russia, Thailand and India.
- Contributed several articles in various journals, felicitation volumes, souvenir issues, special series etc.
- Participated several conferences, seminars, workshops etc of national and international level in India and abroad.
- Padma Shri by the President of India in fields of Education and Literature Announced on 26.01.2009 (Republic Day of India) Awarded on 31.03.2009 (Padma Awards Ceremony 2009)
Association With Other Institutions/ Organizations
- Member: Executive Council, Lal Bahadur Sanskrit Vidhyapitha, New Delhi.
- Member: Academic Committee, Jyān Pravah, Varanasi, 2007-
- Member: Expert Committee for Financial Assistance to Buddhist/Tibetan Organization, Ministry of Culture, Department of Culture, Government of India, 2001-
- Member: Research Grant Committee, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi
- Member: TCV College Governing Body, Bangalore, 2006-
- Chairman: Panel of Experts to examine the status, strength and association of Tibetan Medical System (Sowa-Rigpa) with Ayurveda, constituted by Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, 2007
- Member: Committee on Promotion of Buddhist Teaching and Learning, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi, 2008-
- Member: Governing Council, all India Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi, 2008-
- Member: Staff Affairs Committee, Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi, 2008-
- Member: Equivalence Committee, Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi, 2008-
- Member: General Council, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Sikkim, 2008-
- Member: Academic Council, Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi, 2009-
- Member: Court of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, 2009-
- Member: Cultural Committee, Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi, 2010-
- Chairman: Expert Committee to review the centers established during X Plan period for Buddhist Studies under the scheme of EPOCH Making Social Thinker of India, constituted by University Grants Commission, New Delhi, 2010
- Member: Round Table for protection and preservation of indigenous Traditional Knowledge and endangered languages, constituted by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, New Delhi, 2010-
- Member: Board of Management of Central Institute of Buddhist Studies, Leh-Ladakh, 2010-
- Member: National Committee under the chairmanship of Hon'ble Prime Minister to celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Government of India, 2010
- Patron: Research Advisory Board (Academic Council), Parshwanath Vidyapeeth, Varanasi, 2010-
- Member: Advisory Board, School of Philosophy and University of Tasmania, Australia
- Member: Editorial Board, International Association of Tibetan Studies, Harward, and USA.
- Member: Advisory Board, Institute of Tibetan Classics, Canada
- Founder- Member: Executive Council, International Association of Buddhist Universities, Thailand, 2007-
- Member: Advisory Council, Tenzin Gyatso Scholars Program, Tenzin Gyatso Institute, Lerab Ling, France, 2008-
- Member: Governing Body, International Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (Tibet Center-I.I.H.T.S.), Austria, 2008-