Tibetan Buddhist scholar conferred Italy’s highest honour

Professor Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche being awarded the commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. Image: Ento Russo

DHARAMSALA, Sept 12: A foremost Tibetan Buddhist scholar, Professor Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche has been conferred with the Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic; Italy’s highest honour.

Professor Namkhai Norbu was presented the award by the Prefect of Grosseto, Cinzia Torraco, on behalf of the President of the Italian Republic, at a conferment ceremony which took place on September 10 in Arcidosso, Italy.

The highest ranking honour of Italy rewards people in the arts, economy, public service, and social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities as well as for long and conspicuous service in civilian and military careers.

“The master has dedicated his entire life to cultural research, to deepening spiritual and philosophical themes. He has always pursued the goal and the dream of peace and his presence in our territory is a great honour. This honour makes him worthy and we are proud that he was awarded this recognition by the President of the Republic,” the Mayor of Arcidosso Jacopo Marini has said after the Buddhist scholar was conferred the country’s highest honour.

The Lion’s Roar reports that the International Dzogchen Community will host a lunch to celebrate their master, as well as the president and founder of the community on September 16, where he will make a brief appearance.

Professor Namkhai Norbu, one of the foremost living Dzogchen masters, was born in Derge, in eastern Tibet in the traditional Tibetan province of Kham in 1938. He has established Dzogchen communities in Italy, the United States, South America, Australia and Russia as well as the International Shang-Shung Institute to preserve the cultural traditions of Tibet.

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