Mayor Mark Kruzan of Bloomington, Indiana honored Taktser Tulku also known as Thubten Jigme Norbu (His Holiness The Dalai Lama's Oldest Brother, Retired Indiana University Professor, Founder Tibetan Cultural Center, and Cofounder International Tibet Independence Movement) with a lifetime achievement award today, Friday, September 17. The text of this award follows. Professor Norbu was recognized for His unwavering dedication to preserve and share the Tibetan culture, His tireless effort to garner worldwide support to restore Tibet's independence, and His longterm commitment to enrich the people of Central Indiana.
Mayor Kruzan bestowed on Professor Norbu the highest award granted by his office. The award ceremony took place at the Chamtse Ling Interfaith Temple located on the grounds of the Tibetan Cultural Center (Bloomington, Indiana). A number of dignitaries were also present to demonstrate their appreciation to Professor Norbu for His accomplishments, including John Mellencamp and Elaine Irwin Mellencamp. Letters (see below) from prominent government officials were also shared with those in attendance.
Thubten Jigme Norbu
WHEREAS, Tashi Tsering was born approximately 82 years ago in Taktser; a
small, peasant, mountain village in the Amdo Province of Eastern Tibet. Born on the 16th day of the 8th month of the Water-Dog year; and
WHEREAS, at age three, Tashi was recognized by The 13th Dalai Lama
(Thubten Gyatso) as a very famous reincarnate Lama, known as Taktser Rinpoche or Taktser Tulku; and
WHEREAS, The 13th Dalai Lama bestowed on Tashi the spiritual name Thubten
Jigme Norbu, Thubten meaning Buddha's teaching, Jigme meaning "fear not," and Norbu meaning "jewel"; and
WHEREAS, at the age of eight, the 23rd incarnate of Taktser Tulku was
taken to His spiritual home of previous lives, Kumbum Monastery in Amdo; and
WHEREAS, located right next to China’s border, Kumbum was one of the first
areas to be envaded by the army of The People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Rinpoche was forced out of Kumbum; and
WHEREAS, The PRC demanded that Rinpoche travel to Lhasa, denounce the
Tibetan Government and denounce His younger brother, His Holiness The Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso); moreover The PRC demanded that He kill His brother, The Dalai Lama; and
WHEREAS, after months of denying the request Rinpoche pretended to agree
with The PRC’s demand and set off for Lhasa and was able to escape His captors; and
WHEREAS, Rinpoche decided in 1950 that He would leave Tibet and attempt to
educate the world about the atrocities in Tibet and the actions of The PRC, and secure support for Tibet from the world's governments; and
WHEREAS, Rinpoche served since the early 1960's as Professor of Tibetan
Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington and since His retirement has founded the Tibetan Cultural Center (TCC) in Bloomington, the first international, inter denominational Buddhist Temple known as "Chamtse Ling," and many other organizations including the Indiana based International Tibet Independence Movement; and
WHEREAS, Rinpoche has continued to be a loud, strong, steady and outspoken
voice for Tibet’s independence; and
WHEREAS, Rinpoche has greatly enriched the culture and people of
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mark Kruzan, Mayor of the City of Bloomington, do hereby honor
Thubten Jigme Norbu
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Seal of the City of Bloomington this 17th day of September 2004.
Mark Kruzan, Mayor, Bloomington, Indiana
Letters from Government Officials
Dear Thubten Jigme Norbu,
Many, many thanks for your lifetime of leadership and advocacy for the Tibetan people and identity. Throughout your life, you have educated the world on the culture of Tibet. The sacrifices you made and the hardships you endured throughout your journey are a true testament to your dedication to Tibet and its people.
Your service at Indiana University and your contributions to the entire state are greatly appreciated. While teaching Tibetan Studies, you provided your students with an invaluable education. Additionally, by founding the Tibetan Cultural Center, the Chamtse Ling Temple and the Indiana-based International Tibet Independence Movement you will enlighten countless visitors and followers.
We live in a time where violence and intolerance permeates the world. Your extraordinary efforts to share the Tibetan culture with the world by establishing cultural centers and organizing awareness walks reminds us all that cultural understanding is not only important, but necessary in the world today.
Sincerely, Evan Bayh
Member, United States Senate
Please accept my warmest congratulations as you receive the Mayor’s Encomium.
Your contributions to the cultural life of the city of Bloomington make you worthy of this distinct honor.
I join with Mayor Mark Kruzan and the people of the city of Bloomington as they recognize you for your tireless efforts.
Do not hesitate to contact me if I may be helpful to you in any way.
Sincerely, Baron Hill
Member of United States Congress
Dear Professor Norbu,
As Governor of Indiana, it is my pleasure to congratulate you as you are honored today for your spiritual dedication, hard work and valuable contributions, not only for the City of Bloomington, but also for humanity.
During your life, you have been a strong, steady and outspoken voice for Tibet’s independence, traveling and talking throughout the United States and the world on behalf of the people of Tibet. You are to be commended for your unwavering commitment, attitude of altruism and upstanding spiritual leadership. By improving our communities as you have in your lifetime, we all can improve our country and world.
I would like to say thank you for founding the Tibetan Cultural Center, the Chamtse Ling Temple, and the Indiana-based International Tibet Independence Movement. It is through distinguished individuals of great wisdom, understanding, strength, and peace, such as yourself, that our lives are uplifted.
Best wishes for a lifetime of fulfillment and happiness in all your endeavors.
Sincerely, Joseph E. Kernan
Governor, State of Indiana