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Revered Sakya Master Luding Khenchen Rinpoche Dies Aged 91

His Eminence Kyabje Dorje Chang Luding Khenchen Jamyang Tenpei Nyima Rinpoche, 1931–2022

The revered Sakya master, His Eminence Kyabje Dorje Chang Luding Khenchen Jamyang Tenpei Nyima Rinpoche, the 75th head of the Ngor tradition of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism, has died in Bodh Gaya, India. According to an official announcement of his passing, Rinpoche entered “into a deep meditation in Dharmadhatu on Wednesday, in the early dawn of 28 December.” He was 91 years old.

“Here we have a very heart rendering news to share . . .,” Ngor Luding Ladrang in Both Gaya shared in an announcement dated 31 December. “The Lord and protector of all of us, our Root Guru, possessor of threefold kindness, the owner of the ocean of Tantra, The great Bodhisattva, guidance of Vinaya, the great Shasta, His Eminence Ngor Luding Khenchen Vajradhara Jamyang Tenpae Nima Tashi Dakpei Gyaltsen Palsangpo is physically no more with us.”

Many messages of condolence were shared on social media platforms. A dedication on the Facebook page for Ngor Luding Ladrang stated:

It is extremely sad to our world to depart our great master the true Buddha of our world.  Please may you continue to turn the wheel of Dharma from the Dharmadhartu sate. May all beings have the great fortune to follow you life after life until we reach your enlighten state, for the sake of Dharma orphans may Guru Manifest swiftly to manifest to help us sad beings:

Dedication by Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe of Drogmi Buddhist Insitute Australia and Sangha in retreat, we will be lighting candles and offerings for Mahaparanirvana.

Luding Khenchen Rinpoche was born in 1931. He was ordained as a monk at 10 years old by his uncle and root guru, Khenchen Sharchen Jamyang Thupten Lungtok Gyaltsen Palsangpo, and studied under senior masters of the Sakya tradition and other traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. His Eminence was enthroned as the 75th chief abbot of Ngor Ewan Choedhe Monastery in Tibet in 1954. 

The role of the chief abbot was traditionally held for a three-year period, alternating between the four Ngor houses (ladrangs): Luding, Khangsar, Thartse, and Phende. However, because of disruptions to the Ngor monastic system in Tibet, Luding Khenchen Rinpoche held this position for more than 45 years, until March 2000. 

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche with Luding Khenchen Rinpoche at Ngor Luding Ladrang in Bodh Gaya on 8 December. From Ngor Luding Facebook

In 1959–60, His Eminence relocated to India, where he began re-establishing the Sakya lineage—assembling monks in exile from Tibet, he established Ngor Monastery in Gangtok, Sikkim, and re-established Ngor Ewan Choedhe Monastery in Manduwalla, Dehra Dun, in northern India, where he resided.

His Eminence bestowed extensive Dharma teachings, empowerments, oral transmissions and re-established summer retreats in almost all of the Sakya monasteries in India and Nepal, and in Sakya centers around the world. He also returned to Tibet several times, where he helped to re-establish more than 80 Sakya monasteries. Luding Khenchen Rinpoche spent his life teaching and passing on the wisdom of his lineage, and ordained more than 10,000 male and female monastics.

See more

Ngor Luding (Facebook)
Luding Foundation

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