A new head of the Geluk lineage of Tibetan Buddhism has taken over the position. On October 26, 2009, the 102nd Gaden Tripa Thubten Nyima Lungtok Tenzin Norbu had his Sarjel (first audience) with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, according to the Voice of Tibet radio. It reports that His Holiness the Dalai Lama took the opportunity to talk about the new Gaden Tripa during an event at Norbulingka Institute in Dharamsala to mark the release of a set of his biographies.
His Holiness said the 102nd Gaden Tripa, who is from Ladakh, is a dedicated individual who has done much for the Buddha Dharma. He said Rinpoche had kept aloof from party politics and is respected by everyone in Ladakh.
The Gaden Tripa is an appointed position and is the highest position in the Gelug lineage. The 102nd Gaden Tripa Thubten Nyima Lungtok Tenzin Norbu was born in Ladakh in 1937. At the age of four, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the Se Rinpoche of Rizong monastery and thereafter came to be popularly known as Rizong Rinpoche.
He had his initial education in Ladakh, and, as is the practice among Himalayan Buddhists, in 1945, he was sent to Tibet for further Buddhist studies in the monastic institutes there. His education was interrupted following the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 and he continued the same among the Tibetan refugee community in India. He gradually rose up in the heierarchy and in 1984, His Holiness the Dalai Lama appointed him as the abbot of Drepung Loseling Monastic University.
On September 1, 1995, he was appointed to the position of Jangtse Choeje, the second highest position in the Gelug lineage. A detailed biography can be seen at the website of Loseling Monastery.