DHARAMSALA, 28 Aug: Sogyal Rinpoche, the founder and former head of Rigpa, an international network of centres and groups offering the Buddha’s teachings across the world has passed away.
The 72-year-old Dzogchen Lama of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism has passed away earlier today in Thailand around noon where he has been reportedly receiving treatment for colon cancer.
“Sogyal Rinpoche’s health deteriorated rapidly on Wednesday after he suffered a pulmonary embolism and he died at around 1pm here in Thailand,” read a post on his official Facebook page that broke the sad news.
Sogyal Rinpoche authored the highly acclaimed book ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’ which has sold more than three million copies and has been printed in 30 different languages.
Sogyal Rinpoche was born in 1947 into the Lakar family in Trehor region of the traditional Tibetan province of Kham.
Rinpoche was recognized at an early age as the incarnation of a great master and visionary saint of the nineteenth century, Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa (1856-1926), a teacher to the thirteenth Dalai Lama.
He received the traditional training of a Tibetan lama under the close supervision of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö besides studying under many other great masters of Tibetan Buddhism from across all schools of Tibetan Buddhism such as Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche and Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
In 1971, Rinpoche travelled to England and gradually in 1975, he founded Rigpa, an international network that now has over 100 Buddhist centres and groups spread across 23 countries around the world.