Geshe Yeshe Tobden was born in 1926 to a family of wealthy farmers in Ngadra, a village one day's walk south of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and became a monk at age twelve. After the Chinese invasion of his homeland in 1959, he was arrested, but escaped, and spent two years crossing the Tibetan Plateau on foot until reaching the border with India. He completed his geshe studies in India, and spent several years teaching at the university in Varanasi. When he was forty-four, he told the Dalai Lama of his desire to live out his days in meditation retreat, for, from his boyhood, he had deeply desired the realization of reununciation, bodhichitta, and emptiness. Released from his duties at the university, he made his main residence a one-room hut above McLeod Ganj, the town in India where the Dalai Lama lives. There he lived for the remainder of his life, apart from a few teaching tours abroad, notably to fledgling Buddhist centers in Italy where these teachings were delivered. Geshe Yeshe Tobden passed away in McLeod Ganj in 1999.