the monastic seat of the Tai Situpas. With his disciple Tenpa Tsering, the King of Derge, he established the Derge Printing Press which produced over half a million wood block prints of such fine quality that the major ones have been reprinted in modern editions and circulated to Tibetan archives in libraries throughout the world. He was a doctor, an astrologer, a poet and an artist who developed new styles of Tibetan thangka painting. Students of his went on to excel in these various fields, and from that time onwards Palpung Monastery became an important center of learning and culture.

His work was continued by the 9th Tai Situpa. Pema Nyingche (1774-1853), who fostered an important renaissance of Buddhist thought in the stimulating intellectual climate of Palpung. Pema Nyingche possessed the talent of recognizing future brilliance in young minds; one of his main disciples was Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye, (1813-1899), a scholar of phenomenal accomplishment, and author of over 200 definitive texts which consolidated much of the learning of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

By the time of the 11th Tai Situpa, Wangchuk Gyalpo (1886-1952), Palpung had a solid reputation for spiritual, scholarly and artistic excellence and authority. Several important incarnate emanations were in traditional residence in addition to the Tai Situpa himself. Palpung was the administrative center for over 13 monastic states, located in different areas of Tibet and was the head of 180 major monastic establishments, all of which looked to the Tai Situpa for guidance in their spiritual and temporal affairs. The 11th Tai Situpa led an active life of teaching and spiritual leadership. Through his command, he established peace in tribal conflicts as well as peace among smaller kingdoms of Eastern Tibet. He was the main teacher of the 16th Karmapa, the supreme head of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.

The current and 12th Tai Situpa was born in 1954 in Palyul District of the Derge Kingdom, to a family of farmers. He was recognized according to traditional methods and enthroned at Palpung Monastery at the age of 18 months. When he was six years old, political conditions