His Eminence Togdan Rinpoche attains Parinirvana at 85

His Eminence Ladakh Chosjey Togdan Rinpoche, the spiritual leader of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage in Ladakh attained parinirvana at the age of 84 on May 24 at 11:23 pm at his residence, ‘Phodrang Ugyan Dorjey Choszdong’ Saboo.

Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, Brig B D Mishra writes, “I am personally highly aggrieved to have heard of the mahaparinirvana of HE Chosje Togdan Rinpoche, the spiritual leader of Drikung Kagyu lineage in Ladakh. His departure from this earthly abode is an irreparable loss for the Buddhist community of Ladakh and across the globe”.

“His contribution as the Minister of State for Ladakh Affairs and Planning for the benefit of the people of Ladakh will be remembered for ages. Let us all pray for his quick reincarnation so that he continues to guide us and show us the path to salvation”, he added.

Tributes pour in from people from all walks of life and prayed for swift reincarnation.

His Eminence Togdan Rinpoche was born in the year 1939 to Konchok Tsultrim and Kelsang Dolma in Durbuk. A few months later the young boy lost his mother and was taken care of by his aunt. The title Togdan means “endowed with the realization”. The previous Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche Shiwai Lodro recognized the young boy as the incarnation of Togdan Tulku when he was only 18 months old.

In 1951, accompanied by his teacher Gegen Sonam, the young Rinpoche traveled through Sikkim for over three weeks on horseback on his way to Drikung Thil Monastery in Tibet. There he started his training, receiving teachings from renowned spiritual masters and completing many retreats. In the 1960s, he met his root guru H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche in Kalimpong and subsequently organised a great transmission of Rinchen Terdzod by Dudjom Rinpoche in Tso Pema in early 1967. Thereafter, he was appointed by Dudjom Rinpoche as his successor in transmitting this teaching.

Having been recognized by the 36th H.H. Kyabgon Chetsang as the 9th Togdan Rinpoche, Rinpoche was given the leadership of the unbroken Drikung tradition in Ladakh. This included the responsibility for over 50 monasteries and the cultivation of the Drikung tradition in the region.

Rinpoche’s life achievements make him a model example for the dharma practitioner of modern times; attaining excellence in both worldly and spiritual life. His Eminence also served the people of Ladakh as Former MLC and MoS Ladakh Affairs and Planning during the erstwhile J&K state.

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