Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Bhutan - Dungse Rinpoche passes away

«Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
His Holiness Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, a great teacher of the most learned Buddhist lams and a primary holder of the Düdjom Tersar (Nyingma) lineage, passed away peacefully at 10.25 am (BST) yesterday in New York.

Rinpoche, 81, who was reportedly ailing from chronic diabetes, passed away in a hospital in New York, according to a spokesperson from Garab Rinpoche’s office in Thimphu.

An emergency meeting held yesterday afternoon among the followers of His Holiness in Thimphu decided to bring His Holiness’s kudung (body) to Bhutan. “There are many disciples and close followers of His Holiness in Bhutan,” the spokesperson said. “A date has not been confirmed yet.”

His Holiness the Je Khenpo, who is on a religious tour of the eastern dzongkhags, offered 2,000 butter lamps in Lhuentse yesterday afternoon, while the central monk body offered 1,000 butter lamps in Punakha dzong.

Dungse Rinpoche was the chief architect of the Thimphu Memorial chorten, which he built under the guidance of his father, Chabje Dudjom Rinpoche, former head of the Nyingma lineage. It was built in 1974 to honour the memory of the third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928-72).

His Holiness Dungse Rinpoche lived in Bhutan since mid-’50s and has many devotees all over Bhutan. He left Bhutan in the mid-’70s in deferment to the directives of his father, the late His Holiness Dudjom Jigdrel Dorji Rinpoche, to teach in the West. Since then, Rinpoche has been residing in upstate New York.

His Holiness last visited Bhutan in October 2009, on the invitation of Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley.

Expressing condolence on behalf of the people and government of Bhutan, Lyonchhoen said that His Holiness was a great teacher and a wonderful human being, who lived a humble life, setting the highest of examples. “A great bodhisattva has departed, leaving all of us with a deep sense of painful loss and grief. We pray for his swift return to continue his mission to liberate all sentient beings,” Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinley said.

During his month long visit to Bhutan in 2009, His Holiness performed tshogkhors (feast offerings) and badza guru lungs (oral transmissions of Guru mantra) in Paro, Thimphu and in Rangjung, Trashigang.

Dungse Rinpoche, who is the father of Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche and Garab Rinpoche, is considered to be an emanation of Longchen Rabjam (Longchenpa), the 15th century Nyingma scholar, and incarnation of Terton Drimed Odser, who was one of the seven sons of Dudjom Lingpa (1835-1904).

Revered by practitioners of Buddhism all over the world, Dungse rinpoche was a pre-eminent teacher of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and patron of the Vajrayana foundation in California and Hawaii in the US.

By Rinzin Wangchuk

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