Palyul Monastery in the traditional Tibetan region of Kham, now Sichuan Province, has issued a statement informing the Tibetan Buddhist community that the respected lama Kyabje Thupten Palzang Rinpoche, one of the most senior lineage holders of the Palyul tradition, attained parinirvana on 10 January.
In a letter shared with Buddhistdoor Global, the Kudung Organizing Committee of the monastery stated:
With great sadness, the Kudung Organizing Committee of Palyul Monastery, Sichuan Province, wishes to inform all our dharma brothers and sisters around the world that Kyabjé Thubten Palzang Rinpoche, the sublime illuminator of the Ngagyur Nyingma tradition and our root guru of unfathomable kindness, passed into parinirvana on January 10, 2021 (27th day of 11th Tibetan month), dissolving the display of his enlightened body into inner space. This undoubtedly represents a huge loss for the general Buddhist tradition and the Nyingma lineage in particular.
Following guidance given on January 13, 2021 (New moon day of the 11th Tibetan month), by Kyabje Sangye Tsering Rinpoche, reincarnation of the Omniscient Ngagi Wangpo, once Rinpoche awakens from his thukdam (meditative state), his kudung (precious holy body) will be taken to Palyul Monastery and grand prayer offering ceremonies carried out according to the tradition. On February 3, 2021 (21st day of the 12th Tibetan month), a cremation ceremony based on the jinseg (four activities fire ritual) will be conducted.
We request all concerned to make fervent supplication prayers for the fulfilment of His Eminence Kyabje Thubten Palzang Rinpoche’s noble aspirations to accomplish the great purposes of benefiting sentient beings and propagating Buddhadharma as long as space endures and, for the sake of all sentient beings, that the moon-like face of his reincarnation may be swiftly born.
Born in 1936, Kyabje Thubten Palzang Rinpoche was recognized by Khenpo Ngaga Rinpoche. As a young monk, he studied under the direct guidance of Khenchen Ngaga, and received teachings and empowerments from many realized masters.
Tulku Rinpoche spent the majority of his life in Palyul, Kham, overseeing the reconstruction of Palyul Monastery, and collecting and preserving numerous ancient texts, including the Nyingma Kama teachings, many of which were nearly destroyed. The preserved texts were collected in the Palyul Library and were re-carved into wooden blocks. Tulku Rinpoche was also able to preserve some of the original wooden printing blocks of the Nam Chö that had escaped destruction after being mistaken for firewood.
The original, pre-1959 library held wood blocks for 50 volumes. As a result of Tulku Rinpoche’s work, and with the addition of the Kama teachings, the library today houses printing blocks for more than 110 volumes and as such may be the world’s largest repository of wood block library for texts related to Kama collected in one place.