Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche was born in 1926 in the Amdo region of eastern Tibet. At the age of 8, he was recognized by the tenth Kirti Rinpoche as the first reincarnation of Khensur Kramcho Phuntsog, a former abbot of Kirti gompa in Amdo. At the age of 9, Rinpoche took ordination as a monk. In the mid-1950s, he made the arduous journey with Kirti Rinpoche to Lhasa to continue his studies at Drepung Monastery and avoid the political instability posed by the Chinese in the Amdo area. During this period, he became tsen-shab (debate partner) to Kirti Rinpoche, debating with him and reviewing his daily teachings. After escaping from Tibet in 1959, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche taught Tibetan orphans at the Tibetan Children's Village, Dharamsala, India. At the age of 45, he began a fifteen-year meditation retreat in a small stone hermitage above Dharamsala, big enough for a bed, prostrations, and a stove". Seven years were spent in meditation on Lam Rim, 3 years on 7 point Thought Transformation, and some generation and completion stage tantra. Two years were spent only on generation and completion stages, and in the final 3 years, Rinpoche repeated all of the above. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has said of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche "(He) is a great Kadampa who shows real Kadampa Tradition...so completely renounced. There's not one slightest worldy activity, not the slightest eight world dharmas, no self cherishing thought. Even talking, everything is as much as possible pleasing to sentient being's minds."