Ngawang Tashi Bapu

From Indpaedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hindi English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.


The sources of this article

International Campaign for Tibet on February 3, 2006 Save Tibet and


Ngawang Tashi Bapu is …

Venerable Ngawang Tashi Bapu, a Buddhist monk from Arunachal Pradesh, was in 2006 the Umzey or Principal Chant Master of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Drepung Loseling Monastery in India.

He was nominated for the 48th Grammy award in the Best Traditional World Music Category for his album, “Tibetan Master Chants.” in February 2006

He is from the Monpa community in Arunachal Pradesh

Geshe Ngawang Tashi Bapu is the President of the Siddhartha Foundation in India and former Principal Chant Master of the Dalai Lama’s Drepung Loseling Monastery in India—one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world with over 3,000 monks. He has traveled extensively throughout the planet, teaching, performing, and recording with monks from his Monastery.

Early life

Ngawang Tashi Bapu is an Indian monk. He was born on 22nd Feb 1968, in the village of Thembang, state of Arunachal Pradesh, North East India. He was born into a large farming family of three brothers and four sisters.


Lama Tashi entered Drepung Loseling Monastery in June 1983. This monastery was one of the largest and most important in Tibet. After the Chinese invasion of the 1950s, the Drepung Loseling Monastery relocated to South India, where it was slowly rebuilt and now flourishes as a major center for Tibetan Buddhism. One of Lama Tashi’s brothers has also studied at this monastery and received his Geshe degree (the equivalent of a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy) in 2000.

An excellent student, Lama Tashi began to formally study in 1983, a the age of 15.

Himalayan Buddhist (‘Tibetan’) music

He later perfected the Tibetan “Deep Voice”, a multi-phonic singing technique utilized in sacred prayer. Sixteen years later [in 1999], his extraordinary abilities lead to his enthronement as Umzey, or Principal Chant Master, of Drepung Loseling Monastery.

The compassion, wisdom and vocal abilities of Lama Tashi so impressed his teachers and spiritual leaders of the monastery that in 1991 he was chosen as one of the monks to travel the world on the Sacred Music and Dance tour of 1991-1992. For 11 months, he traveled throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada performing on the tour.

Learning the English language and computers

Lama Tashi began studying basic English while in India, but it was through his travels and teaching, that he became fluent in English. He would carry two dictionaries with him at all times and would constantly engage people in conversation in order to better his language skills. During this time, Lama Tashi also met individuals who were able to assist him in developing valuable computer skills. He is now quite comfortable with computers and cyber space. Lama Tashi has helped introduce many monks of his monastery to the Internet and email, thus assisting Tibetan Buddhism into the 2lst century.

Travelling the world

Lama Tashi again toured North America for 19 months beginning in 1996 as part of another tour sponsored by the Drepung Loseling Institute and Richard Gere Foundation. In April 1999, he performed for H.H., the Dalai Lama in Curitiba, Brazil, alongside renowned Brazilian artists like Gilberto Gil. Later the same year, he led multi-phonic chant before H.H., the Dalai Lama at the World Festival of Sacred Music at the Hollywood Bowl in Pasadena, California and at Central Park in New York City.


In December, 1999, Lama Tashi was formally appointed Umzey, or Principal Chant Master, of Drepung Loseling Monastery. The following summer he again visited the United States. He was Head Chant Master of the Monlam Chenmo (Great Prayer Festival), which was presided over by H.H., the Dalai Lama on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, before an audience of over 50,000 people. In January of 2002, Lama Tashi led the prayer as Choyang Umzey at the traditional Great Prayer Festival at Bodhgaya, India where over 250,000 people attended.

Renown as musician

Lama Tashi is among the great multi-phonic chanters currently active and has performed with many well known musicians. He appeared twice at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, in 1997 and 1998, performing with many notables, including: Philip Glass, Natalie Merchant, Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Patti Smith, Ben Harper, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, and Sheryl Crow. In 1998, he performed with Philip Glass at the premier showing of the award winning film “Kundun” at Lincoln Center in New York City. In 2002, he performed with Kitaro at Denver’s City Light’s Pavilion.

Throughout Lama Tashi’s world travels, he has taught extensively and performed and recorded both independently (“THE LOST CHORD”, “CHANT MASTERS” and “MEDICINE BUDDHA”), and with monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery (“SACRED TIBETAN CHANTS”, “SOUNDS OF THE VOID”,“SACRED MUSIC/ SACRED DANCE” and “COMPASSION”)

In addition to his tasks as Principal Chant Master of the Drepung Loseling Monastery, he was also the Head of the Department of Multi-phonic Chant of the monastery, assisting the monastery in using modern Western recording techniques to preserve and archive sacred Tibetan Chants in digital format for generations to come.

After he retired from his position as Umzey he remainedconnected with the Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies in Arunachal Pradesh.

One of Lama Tashi’s most heart felt workings is through the Siddhartha Foundation, a charitable organization which he founded that is dedicated to preserving and invigorating the Tibetan Buddhist Culture. There are several aspects of the Siddhartha Foundation, whose vision incorporates a number of different programs to benefit humanity including: Siddhartha Culture Center, Siddhartha Sponsorship Program, Siddhartha Health Service and Siddhartha Home for the Elderly.

The Grammy nominated album

Tibetan Master Chants was produced in 2005 and includes 12 well known Tibetan Mantras.

Personal tools