Dalai Lama’s ex-physician Yeshi Dhonden passes away

Dharamsala: Elderly Buddhist monk Yeshi Dhonden, who was the personal physician of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama for two decades, passed away in his hometown near here in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday, his family said.

Ninety-three years old Dhonden, who was awarded the Padma Shri last year by the Indian government for his contribution towards medicine, died in McLeodganj, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile in Kangra district, some 250 km from the state capital Shimla.

He was the second Tibetan to receive the prestigious award from the Indian government after Geshe Ngawang Samten.

Dhonden was a Buddhist monk and was the Dalai Lama’s personal physician for about 20 years from 1960.

He had gained a reputation over the years for being highly effective and beneficial to patients, particularly as a cancer specialist. He was both Director and principal of the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute until 1979, a post on the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) website said.

Dhonden was known as one of the foremost Tibetan doctors of the world. Over the last 63 years, he had successfully treated patients with all kinds of ailments at his clinic located in McLeodganj.

Old-timers in McLeodganj, which remained almost uninhabited until the arrival of the Dalai Lama along with his followers in 1960, told IANS that Dhonden had come here with the spiritual leader.

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