Venerable Dhongthog Rinpoche (1933-2015)
Venerable Dhongthog Tanpi Gyaltshan passed away peacefully at home in his sleep on January 13, 2015 at approximately 4:30 a.m. (PST) in Seattle, Washington. According to Tibetan astrological readings, final rites were performed on the third day following his passing, soon after which two rainbows appeared consecutively amid grey cloudy skies.
According to the Tibetan calendar, Rinpoche was 83 years old. Dhongthog Rinpoche is celebrated as one of the most prolific Tibetan Buddhist scholars in modern times. Rinpoche was born on December 29, 1933 into the Thinkhangtsang Family from Kardze, Tibet as the oldest of seven children.
As a child Rinpoche was recognized as the fifth reincarnation of Jampal Rigpai Raldri by His Holiness Sakya Dagchen Ngawang Kunga Rinchen Rinpoche of Dolma Palace, and was subsequently enthroned at Dhongthog Rigdrol Phuntsog Ling Monastery in Kardze, Tibet. Rinpoche studied Tibetan Buddhist literature and philosophy at the renowned Dzongsar Institute, Dege (Tibet) under the tutelage of His Holiness Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö. Rinpoche also had the honor of receiving teachings from some of the most renowned Buddhist masters.
Dhongthog Rinpoche spent over a decade serving the Tibetan Government-in-Exile at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala and the Tibet House in New Delhi. Rinpoche is also known for writing the first English-Tibetan Dictionary, The New Light English-Tibetan Dictionary (1973), and numerous publications on Tibetan literature, history and philosophy.
Rinpoche moved to Seattle, Washington in 1979 at the invitation of His Holiness Sakya Dagchen Rinpoche. Rinpoche eventually established the Sapan Institute in 1987, to continue his life-long commitment to publishing scholarly works and the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism and language.
His literary works include: 'English-Tibetan Dictionary', 'The History of Sakyapa School of Tibetan Buddhism', 'The Timely Shower, The Timely Flame', 'The Peacock’s Joyful Dance', 'The Cleansing Water-drops' and 'The Earth Shaking Thunder of True Word' - also available in English. In addition, Rinpoche worked as a translator and editor on the Tibetan version of Sogyal Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and translated David Jackson’s biography of Dezhung Rinpoche into Tibetan.
In the early 1990s, Rinpoche and his personal attendant, the late Gonpo Dorjee, made a monumental trip back to Dhongthog Rigdrol Phuntsog Ling Monastery in Kardze Tibet for the first time since leaving in the 1940s. Rinpoche leaves behind devoted monks at Dhongthog Rigdrol Phuntsog Ling Monastery. Rinpoche is survived by his wife, two sons, daughter and extended family.
Condolences can be sent to the family at: Dhongthog Family, 28617 15th Ave. South Federal Way, WA 98003. Donations towards the continuation of Dhongthog Rinpoche’s life long work and legacy can be made to: Sapan Institute C/O Ceon Ramon, 2742 32nd St. NE - Seattle, WA 98115
At the advice of His Holiness Sakya Trizin, Ku-dung
cremation service will be performed in Seattle, Washington. Friends and community members are welcome to attend the ceremony to pay their last respects. The event information is below:
Date: January 21st (Wednesday) 2015
Time: 10:00am - 11:30am
Washington Memorial Park
16445 International Blvd. Seatac, WA 98188
With warm prayers,
Dhongthog Rigdrol Phuntsog Ling Monastery