News and Views on Tibet

Obituary: Geshe Thubten Ngawang has passed away

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Geshe Thubten Ngawang, the spiritual director of Tibetisches Zentrum V. Hamburg (Tibetan Centre Germany), passed away at 11.06 a.m. on 11th January 2003 at the age of 71. He was suddenly taken ill with cancer at the end of November. He passed away in a clear, peaceful state of mind and in dignity, after the recitation of his morning prayers.

In 1979 Geshe Rinpoche was appointed spiritual director of the Tibetan Centre by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Patron of the Centre. Geshe Rinpoche was a living example of a Buddhist monk and gave teachings on Tibetan Buddhism throughout Germany for 23 years. Through his continual presence he played an important role in the initial establishment and the transmission of the Buddhist doctrine to the West.

As a scholar and meditation master who received most of his religious education in old Tibet, Geshe Thubtan Ngawang belonged to a generation of Tibetan lamas who directly experienced what is most probably the last flowering of their advanced civilization and bear the responsibility for the preservation of the Tibetan religion and culture in exile.

An important concern of his was the friendly exchange with representatives of other religions, scientists and other groups in society. School classes and adult groups visit the Tibetan Centre regularly in order to learn about Buddhism from an authentic source. In 1984 the so-called interfaith dialogue was established at Hamburg University. Geshe Thubten Ngawang played an active role in the discussions with representatives of various religious groups.

In 1998 the Tibetan Centre, under the leadership of Geshe Thubten Ngawang, organized its largest event in Schneverdingen/Lüneburg Heath. Here His Holiness the Dalai Lama taught “Buddhas Weg zum Glück” (Buddha’s path to happiness). At the invitation of Geshe Thubten Ngawang His Holiness resided in the meditation house Semkye Ling for ten days and blessed it with his presence. Before that the Patron had visited Hamburg and the Tibetan Centre at Geshe Rinpoche’s invitation in 1982 and 1991.

From 2000 onwards, alongside his active teaching programme, Geshe Rinpoche continued his preparatory practices for his three-year retreat, which he was planning to begin at the end of 2003.

More information (in German) in

– a biography of Geshe Thubten Ngawang (stages in his life)
– photos in print quality to download
– religious teaching on mind training (healing the chronically sick mind)
– an interview from April 1999 to celebrate his 20th anniversary in Hamburg alongside his active teaching programme Bhiksuni Jampa Tsedroen (Carola Roloff)
Tibetisches Zentrum e.V. * Hermann-Balk-Str. 106 * 22147 Hamburg
Tel. 0172-900-8989 * Fax 040-644 35 15
Email *

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