Puntsok Tenpa (phun tshogs bstan pa) was the second son of Tenpa Tsering (bstan pa tshe ring, 1678-1738), the king of Dege and fifth abbot of the royal monastery Lhundrubteng (lhun grub steng), Dege Gonchen (sde dge dgon chen). His mother was likely Tsewang Lhamo (tshe dbang lha mo, d. 1744). The year of his birth is not known. He had at least two younger brothers, Lodro Gyatso (blo gros rgya mtsho, 1722-1774) and Sonam Gonpo (bsod nams mgon po, d. 1761). He had at least one sister,Yangchen Dolma (dbyangs can sgrol ma, d.1786).
As a youth, he received the monastic vows from Tashi Lhundrub (bkra shis lhun grub, 1672-1739), the thirty-first abbot of Ngor Ewaṃ Choden Monastery (ngor e waM chos ldan), who gave him the name Puntsok Tenpa. He also studied under a lama named Ngawang Lekpai Jungne (ngag dbang legs pa’i ‘byung gnas), and possibly under his uncle, Sanggye Tenpa (sangs rgyas bstan pa, circa 1638-1710), the third abbot of Dege Gonchen.
In 1739, following the funeral ceremonies for his father, he went to central Tibet. There he received instructions from the Seventh Dalai Lama, Kelzang Gyatso (tA la’i ma ma 07 bskal bzang rgya mtsho, 1708-1757), the Thirtieth Sakya Tridzin, Sonam Rinchen (sa skya khro ‘dzin 30 bsod nams rin chen, 1705-1741), and Pelden Chokyong (dpal ldan chos skyong, 1702-1760), the thirty-fourth abbot of Ngor. He is said to have arrived at Sakya Monastery (sa skya dgon) with a retinue of five hundred people. They brought many gifts, including the Dege edition of the collected works of the Sakya masters, gold and silver items, and brocades. In 1740 he invited Pelden Chokyong to Dege.
Upon his return he was installed onto the throne of Dege, inheriting the Qing Dynasty title of Xuanwei shi (宣慰使), with the golden Imperial seal.
He sent troops to pacify the people of Nyarong (nyag rong), who had caused troubles with their neighbors, effectively putting the Nyarong region under Dege administrative control. This was marked with the construction of a government residence named Trotsa Podrang (khro tsha pho brang).
During his reign the carving of blocks for the Tengyur (bstan ‘gyur) was finished, with the date of 1744 being frequently given for the completion, in 213 volumes.
Puntsok Tenpa passed away in 1751.
Source: The Treasury of lives