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<-Back to WTN Archives Tibetans pray for rebirth of Buddhist master (IANS)
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Friday, January 9, 2004

6. Tibetans pray for rebirth of Buddhist master (IANS)

January 09, 2004

Dharamsala - The Tibetan government-in-exile in this Himachal Pradesh town
is mourning the passing away of a well-known Tibetan Buddhist master in
China and praying for his speedy rebirth. Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, 67, the
chief abbot of the Serthar Buddhist Institute, passed away in a hospital in
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in China earlier this week on

"The sudden passing away of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok will be mourned not only
by the Tibetan people but by his international followers," said Samdhong
Rinpoche, a senior official of the Central Tibetan Administration (CAT).

The CAT offered prayers for the soul of the well known Tibetan Buddhist
master and sent its condolence to his students and disciples the world over.

"Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok had been suffering ill health since the summer of
2001 when the Serthar Buddhist Institute that housed more than 8,000 monks,
nuns and lay students was dismantled and the inmates evicted from the
place," claimed Thubten Samphel, spokesman of the Tibetan government in

At its peak, the Serthar Buddhist Insititute attracted over 8,000 students.
Nearly 1,000 disciples were from mainland China. Students and disciples came
from as far away as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. "Since 1999,
Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was interrogated three times by officials from the
Sichuan United Work Front department and the central government Religious
Bureau about his connections with the Dalai Lama," the spokesman alleged.

Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was born in the Dhok region of Dhokham in 1937. At the
age of two, he was recognised as Terchen Lerap Lingpa. When he was 22, he
became a fully ordained monk.

In 1980, he started a small hermitage, which grew into the Serthar Buddhist

With the help of the late Panchen Lama, Tibet's second ranking spiritual
leader, Serthar Buddhist Institute acquired the status of an academy. This
meant that the institute did not have to follow the regulation of having to
impose upon itself a fixed ceiling on the number of students, unlike other
regular Tibetan monasteries.

In 1990, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok travelled to India, where he met the Dalai

Since then, he travelled to many countries, including Nepal, Bhutan, the US
Canada, England, France, Germany, Taiwan and Hong Kong where he taught
extensively on Tibetan Buddhism and culture.

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Nepal hands over 21 Tibetan refugees to China (RFA)
  2. Dalai Lama is 'shunned' by Blair (BBC)
  3. Blair 'snubs' Dalai Lama (TG)
  4. Advani endorses Dalai Lama's Ayodhya call (RC)
  5. Role for Dalai Lama in solving Ayodhya dispute? (TNN)
  6. Tibetans pray for rebirth of Buddhist master (IANS)
  7. Khenpo's Demise Shocks ATPD, Kashag (TN)

Other articles this month - WTN Index - Mail the WTN-Editors

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