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Geshe Thupten Phelgye (1956 - )

Born Dorje Thinley in the Riwoche District of Kham, Tibet, in 1956, Geshe-la's family began their two year escape to India when he was only three-years-old. A monk by the time he was seventeen, he went on to earn a doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy from the Sera Monastic University in 1991. After doing advanced studies at Gyumed Monastery, Geshe-la spent five years in retreat in the Dhauladur mountain range in the Himalayan foothills above Dharamsala.

In 1998, not long after emerging from his retreat, Geshe-la founded the U.C.M. The organization's mission statement reads:

The Universal Compassion Movement (UCM) is a charitable trust whose mission is to bring people together to engage in compassionate practice on behalf of unfortunate sentient beings who cannot speak of their wish and their rights to live in peace. Our main focus, as a movement, is to ease the suffering of those helpless animals who are slaughtered for meat, ritual sacrifice, the cruel sport of hunting, abuse in farms and industries and wherever they may suffer.

Geshe-la has been an indefatigable proponent of vegetarianism. In 2003, as a representative of the Gelug tradition in theTibetan Parliament-in-Exile, he brought a bill before the other members of Parliament calling for vegetarianism to be more strongly encouraged among Tibetans. It passed.

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  Geshe Thupten Phelgye