One of the most revered and prolific Tibetan Buddhist teachers of modern times, Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, died in the early hours of December 29. He was 84 years old.
A memorial posted on the Shambhala Publications website stated:
It is with the deepest sadness that we share the passing of Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, one of the great lamas of our time, on December 29, 2023. It is also the birthday of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche with whom he maintained a bond deep.
We are helpless. Tulku Rinpoche was one of the last great teachers of his generation, and his deep wisdom, humility, humor and ever-present kindness were a constant source of respite in a world filled with so much suffering.
Tulku Thondup Rinpoche was born in eastern Tibet in 1939. At the age of five, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the famous Dodrupchen Monastery scholar Lushul Khenpo Konchok Dronme. Rinpoche studied in the same monastery, becoming the Dorje Loponor master overseeing tantric rituals, until he fled Tibet in 1958.
After living for 22 years in India, where he taught Tibetan and Tibetan literature at the University of Lucknow (1967-1976) and Visva Bharati University (1976-1980), Tulku Thondup traveled to the United States -United in 1980 and became a visiting scholar at Harvard University. .
During this period, living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, translating and researching key texts of Tibetan Buddhism, particularly those related to the Nyingma school, and teaching throughout the world. Rinpoche is also the author of a wide range of books, including: Buddhist civilization in Tibet (Routeledge 1987); Masters of meditation and miracles. (Shambhala 1996); Hidden Teachings of Tibet: An Explanation of the Terma Tradition of the Nyingma School of Buddhism (Wisdom 1997); Peaceful death, joyful rebirth (Shambhala 2005); And The Heart of Unconditional Love: A Powerful New Approach to Loving-Kindness Meditation (Shambhala, 2015).
“For many of us he was the Buddha of Cambridge, a hidden but fully realized yogi, always emerging from the shadows and pointing out others, especially his teacher Dodrubchen Rinpoche. He was truly a lama's lama, and few people passing through New England would miss an opportunity to visit him and receive wisdom from one of the great scholars and teachers of our time,” explained Shambhala Publications . (Shambhala Publications)
Shambala's statement also noted: "The Massachusetts Mahasiddha Center to which Tulku Thondup was very close wrote that Rinpoche's faithful and perfect companion, Lydia (Segal), said that Tulku did not want prayers for his rebirth. She said people should say all prayers with love and devotion, but most importantly they can say prayers for rebirth in Dewachen. (Shambhala Publications)
Kindness is the idea of wishing complete happiness for others and putting that wish into practice. It is the thought of unconditioned, pure and universal love towards all beings, without attachment, egocentrism or expectation of rewards. — Tulku Thondup Rinpoche