Biography of Rabten & DhargyeyBoth these teachers were born in Eastern Tibet in the 1920s and excelled at their monastic studies at Sera, near Lhasa, even though they never received the intensive training given to recognized reincarnate lamas. After the Chinese takeover of Tibet (in which of course they lost everything they had ever known) they settled in the McLeod Ganj/Dharmasala area of northern India, the seat of the Dalai Lama in the foothills of the western Himalayas.
Geshe Dhargyey taught western students at the Institute of Tibetan Studies, otherwise known as the Library, in the small town of McLeod Ganj. Geshe Rabten lived several thousand feet higher up on the mountain in an old cow shed, and had many Tibetan students studying under him in strict retreat.
The teachings in 'Advice from a Spiritual Friend' were translated and edited by Brian Beresford in the early 70s.
In 1977, Geshe Rabten was invited by some Western students to travel to a dharma center in Switzerland near Geneva (Tharpa Choeling, now named Rabten Choeling after him). He remained there until his death in 1986.
Geshe Dhargyey was invited to move to New Zealand to teach in the mid-1980s and remained there until his death in 1995.