The Nyingmapa monastery Lhundrub Chime Gatsal Ling on Wednesday announced the passing into parinirvana of the noted lineage holder and Dharma teacher Kyabje Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche on 30 December.
In a written statement dated 8 January 2020, the administration of the Dharamsala-based Lhundrub Chime Gatsal Ling observed that Rinpoche’s passing had deliberately not been publicly announced until this week:
In the early hours of Monday, December 30, 2019 (the fourth day of the eleventh lunar month of the Tibetan year 2146), due to the shortcomings of our collective merit as students and dependents, the learned and accomplished master His Eminence Kyabje Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche passed into parinirvana, demonstrating the manner in which one dissolves all externally apparent structures into the original expanse of inner luminosity.
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.
Up to now, we have kept this sad news of Rinpoche’s passing into parinirvana a secret as Rinpoche rests in thukdam meditation. Rinpoche continues to remain in a state of luminosity even as we perform the Vajrasattva gaṇapuja. We invite all to join us in purifying our lapsed samaya and praying that all obstacles on the ground and paths towards Buddhahood be pacified so that we might quickly see the moon-like visage of our late master and he might turn again the vast and profound wheel of dharma for us and others.
The Lhundrub Chime Gatsal Ling statement concludes with a request that all well-wishers wait until after Rinpoche emerges from thukdam before attending to pay their respects.
Born on 29 December 1928 in the traditional Tibetan region of Kham, Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche Jamyang Dondrup was recognized as an incarnation of the third Khamtrul, Gyurme Trinle Namgyal (1879–1926), at the age of eight. Having fled the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959, Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche played a pivotal role in the early years of the Central Tibetan Administration and the rehabilitation of Tibetan refugees in India.
In 1962, the Dalai Lama summoned Rinpoche to assist in establishing the Tibetan community-in-exile. He subsequently served as under secretary of the Department of Religion and Culture based in Dharamsala from 1966, remining with the department until his retirement in 1987, helping to resettle monks from refugee camps bordering Bhutan to southern India, and helping to establish institutions that would preserve Tibetan culture and identity. In 1971 he was appointed as chief of staff for the department, and in 1980 he became secretary. Upon Rinpoche’s retirement, the Dalai Lama asked Rinpoche to remain in Dharamsala as a consultant for His Holiness on Nyingma affairs.
In 1991, Rinpoche founded Lhundrup Chime Gatsal Ling in Mcleod Ganj. In 2005, a second monastery was established in Sidhpur, inaugurated on 12 April 2009 by the Dalai Lama. Rinpoche has given countless teachings to Buddhist followers. As a teacher of Dzogchen, Rinpoche taught on the Tendrel Nyesel terma in Lerab Ling, southern France, in 1992, and on the Yang Nying Pudri terma in Dzogchen Beara in western Ireland in 2000.
The Central Tibetan Administration, the Tibetan government-in-exile, led by Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, today expressed condolences to Rinpoche’s followers and prayed for his enlightened activities and aspirations to continue with a swift rebirth.
CTA holds prayer service for Kyabje Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche (Central Tibetan Administration)
Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche (Facebook)