By Phuntsok Yangchen
Denma Locho Rinpoche (R) with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Oct. 15, 2014/Photo courtesy:Pasang Tashi
DHARAMSHALA, October 24: A senior Tibetan Lama and a former abbot of the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama's monastery, Denma Locho Rinpoche, breathed his last on Thursday after a brief illness.
Close aides of Denma Locho Rinpoche said he had entered into the state of thugdam
, a meditative state of luminosity. The exact date for his cremation and post death rituals are yet to be decided.
Just eight days ago, Rinpoche called on His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the latter's residence here on October 15, 2014.
Born in Kham, Eastern Tibet in 1928, Locho Rinpoche received his Geshe degree (Ph.D) at the age of 25 from Drepung monastery, once the largest monastic university in the world and home to 10,000 monks, before it's destruction by the invading communist forces.
Locho Rinpoche first visited the United States in 1978 as a visiting faculty at the University of Virginia for one year. Rinpoche served for five years as the abbot of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Namgyal Monastery, and Drepung Monastery in southern India, where he taught the young Ling Rinpoche, reincarnation of the senior tutor to the Dalai Lama.