Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche passes away, CTA holds prayer service
[Friday, January 10, 2020 23:27]
By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 10: Renowned master from the Nyingmapa tradition Kyabje Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche Jamyang Dhondup has passed away into the state of thukdam on December 30, his monastery Lhundrub Chime Gatsal Ling announced Wednesday. The Tibetan master who is revered as a non-sectarian figure was 91 years old.

His Dharamshala based monastery in a statement on December 8 said that followers will be allowed to seek final blessings after Rinpoche emerges from the state of thukdam. The phenomenon thukdam is described to be a state of meditative practice which occurs during the period of death of a learned master, where the master achieves the process of inner dissolution of five elements and consciousness.

“Rinpoche's activities on behalf of the Buddhist teachings and beings wandering in saṃsāṛa are well known. Rinpoche devoted his entire life to spiritual and secular projects in accordance with the wishes and at the behest of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the all-knowing and all-seeing Lord of Buddhas and crown jewel of all gods and humanity in these momentous times, who has done so much, directly and indirectly, for the Buddha's teachings,” his monastery said.

Followers and other Buddhist institutions and masters such as Tai Situ Rinpoche, the Namgyal Tantric College, Nyingmapa Maha Buddha Vihara among others expressed sadness and conveyed condolences for the passing of the renowned master.

The exile Tibetan government known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration on Friday held a prayer service for Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche and observed a half day closure of all government offices.

Rinpoche came into exile in 1959 following the Chinese occupation of Tibet and was summoned by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for rehabilitation drive to help many exiled Tibetans. He held various positions including the Secretary of the Department of Religion and Culture of the CTA until his retirement in 1987 at the age of 60. The master of varied knowledge also served as a traditional Tibetan doctor helping exiled Tibetans and was also the Dalai Lama’s consultant on Nyingma affairs.