"La Gen" is demeaning

posted Oct 29, 2016, 6:14 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
By Tenzin Trinley (Madison, Wisconsin)

 Dear Editors of TPR

I read Sonam Wangdu’s article (Hope Endures When Truth is Upheld) with interest.  It is well written without any pretentious terminology. I remember him when he served as an assistant to Sawang Liushar who was the first head of Tibet Office in New York in the early sixties.  

My purpose for writing this letter is simply to correct Sonam Wangdu’s portrait of the  word, “La-Gen”. Sonam mentions that it is a term used by disciples for a teacher. The titles used by disciples for their teachers are Gen Rinpoche or Gen-la. 

La Gen is used to refer to older generation of monks who have gained seniority by age and not necessarily known for their scholarly recognition or influence. It is sometimes used with a derogatory pitch. 

So of all the people, reference of La Gen to His Holiness is not only grossly wrong but purposefully demeaning.

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