Gendun Chophel was seen as a mysterious Tibetan figure during his liftetime and it remained so for a long time even after his death. He was often projected negatively. This was attributed mainly to Tibetan people's misconception about this man and lack of intellectual development in Tibetan society in those days. Lately, many scholars, both Tibetan and Westerners, have started taking keen interest in his life history. His works are searched and compiled. Books and articles about him are written. People who knew him personally are interviewed and oral accounts about him are collected and compiled. Gradually, the truths about this man are coming to light and the misconception about him is slowly going away. His fans are increasing. More and more people are showing interest in his biography and many scholars are searching for more information about him. This volume contains recollections about Gendun Chophel, a man with formidable intellect and strong patriotism, told by people who had known him closely or lelss intimately at various time during his life or had first-hand information about him. Compiled by the 11th Kirti Rinpoche, the original Tibetan version was published in 1983 by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. The purpose of this English translation is to reach wider readership and provide an important source of information about Gendun Chophel for his fans in general and scholars and others who want to do research on him. The following poem that he composed just before his death gives a glimpse of his life.
"I did not marry and keep a wife in my youth,
Nor did I amass wealth that I need in old age;
I, an impoverished man, am going to die sorrowfully
Holding a fountain pen in my hand!"