Who’s Who in Victoria 2008

Profile of Venerable Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden

In 2008 the inaugural edition of Who's Who in Victoria was published. The book is a tribute to the people who currently make Victoria a place in which to live and prosper, and who play an important part in shaping the State’s identity. It showcases biographies and personal quotes of advice, inspiration and experience.

This is the profile of Venerable Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden published in Who’s Who in Victoria 2008:

LODEN Thubten; Acharya (Hons) (Varanasi), Geshe Lharam (Sera Monastic), Tantric Studies (Hons) (Gyumay); Buddhist Monk, since 1931; s. of: Tobgyal Thubten & Ngawang Lhamo; b. Jan. 1, 1924, Drombu, Tibet, settled Aust. 1976; ed.: Varanasi Sanskrit Univ. (India), Sera Monastic Univ. (Tibet and India), Gyumay Tantric Coll. (India); career: Spiritual Dir Tibetan Buddhist Socy Aust. since 1979, Resident Tchr Chenrezig Inst. Wisdom Culture (Qld) 1976-79; Founder Tushita Publications 1991, Buddhist Spring Festival 1991, Tibetan New Year Festival 1988, Organiser First Aust. Tour Dalai Lama 1981-82; pub.: Path to Enlightenment in Tibetan Buddhism 1993, Meditations on the Path to Enlightenment 1996, The Fundamental Potential for Enlightenment 1996, Essence of the Path to Enlightenment 1997, Ocean of Indivisible Method and Wisdom 1999, Path to the Union of Clear Light and Illusory Body 2002, Great Treasure of the Six Yogas of Naropa 2005, Prayers for the Path of Indivisible Great Bliss and Emptiness 2006; address: Tibetan Buddhist Society, 1425 Mickleham Road, Yuroke Vic 3063.

Victoria: what does it mean to you? “I came to Australia as a refugee more than 30 years ago and since then I have lived most of that time in Victoria. I never ever forget the kindness that has been shown to me by Australian people, especially those in Victoria. During the last 30 years my food has come from Victoria; my clothing has come from Victoria; my shelter has come from Victoria. Always I try to repay that kindness. For that reason I established the Tibetan Buddhist Society, and our beautiful meditation centre at Yuroke, and arranged development of our rose gardens and the construction of our traditional Tibetan temple. At our regular festivals we are delighted to welcome to our meditation centre representatives of the various Buddhist communities established in Victoria, people representing Christian and other religious traditions, community leaders and the general public. When I see families relaxing in the colourful rose gardens or enjoying the serene atmosphere of our temple, I feel very, very happy. Victoria has welcomed so many people from different countries, cultures and religious traditions over many decades. The fact that these people live together so peacefully and share the experiences gained from their own knowledge, beliefs and traditions, is a wonderful example to the rest of the world.”

Your own words or thoughts: “When I was a young boy growing up in a small village in eastern Tibet, I never would have believed that I would have to leave my country as a refugee, or that one day I would live in such a beautiful, fortunate country as Australia. Life is very, very uncertain! But whichever places I have lived or visited, human beings’ essential wishes are the same. Everyone, without exception, whether rich or poor, old or young, interested in religion or not, wants happiness. No one ever wants even a moment’s suffering. Therefore the most important thing is to develop a good heart, and, through compassion, help others as much as possible and avoid harming them. Australians have a good habit, when wishing someone farewell of saying, ‘Goodbye, look after yourself!’ I think this is very good advice. The best way of looking after ourselves is to develop more peaceful, compassionate and generous minds. This makes us happy and also brings happiness to others. Merely looking after oneself is not fundamentally a human quality – even birds, dogs and other animals are capable of doing that! Life is very precious and also quite short. If we spend our time on this earth in developing the special human qualities of kindness, compassion and in looking after others then our life will be useful and meaningful.”