Denma Locho Rinpoche passes away

Denma Locho Rinpoche in a file photo taken in McLeod Ganj, India, on 14 November 2013.

Denma Locho Rinpoche in a file photo taken in McLeod Ganj, India, on 14 November 2013. File photo/Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Lobsang Wangyal

MCLEOD GANJ, India, 23 October 2014

Denma Locho Rinpoche passed away at his home in McLeod Ganj after a brief illness. He was 86 years old.

Sources said Rinpoche has entered into the meditative state (Thugdam), a phenomenon in which Buddhist masters remain in meditation after death. They could remain in this state for days or weeks.

Rinpoche had a private audience with the Dalai Lama a week ago.

Born in Kham in eastern Tibet in 1928, he was recognised at the age of six as the reincarnation of a famous yogi, Choying Gyatso, from the local Selkar monastery. At age eleven Locho Rinpoche entered Drepung Loseling Monastic College near Lhasa. There he obtained his Geshe degree (equivalent to PhD) at age 25, and then completed his Tantric exams at Gyume Tantric College in 1958.

Following the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, Rinpoche fled to India. He lived in Sarnath for two years, and then spent two years on a research fellowship at Calcutta University before becoming principal of the Buddhist School of Dialectics in Ladakh for six years.

In 1967 he become abbot of a small monastery in Manali before moving to McLeod Ganj, where he lived most of the time. He served as Abbot of the Dalai Lama’s Namgyal Monastery from 1986 to 1991.

Locho Rinpoche received many teachings from the late Venerable Ling Rinpoche (the senior tutor to the Dalai Lama) and became the main lineage holder of all his teachings.

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