DHARAMSALA, June 12: The 14th Shamar Rinpoche, an influential spiritual leader from Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism and one of the “four heart sons” (four principle disciples) of the late 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorjee suddenly passed away in Germany on June 11, announced the International Bodhi Path Organization.
“With sadness, the International Bodhi Path Organization announces that our founder and spiritual leader, Shamar Rinpoche passed away suddenly on June 11, 2014, in Renchen-Ulm, Germany,” read a statement on the organizations website, bodhipath.org.
He had just completed several days of teachings at his main European seat in Renchen-Ulm, Germany.
Shamar Rinpoche’s official website stated that he died of heart attack.
“At approximately 7:30 am (Central European Time), he experienced a heart attack. Emergency medical services were immediately summoned but nothing could be done. Rinpoche is now in the meditative Thugdam state,” stated Shamarpa.org, the official website.
“Shamar Rinpoche’s unexpected death leaves thousands of his disciples in Asia and the Western world greatly saddened and in a profound state of shock. He touched the lives of countless numbers of people. His accomplishments as a spiritual leader will benefit sentient beings for years to come,” it added.
The 14th Shamar Rinpoche, Mipham Chokyi Lodro was born in 1952 in Derge in the traditional Tibetan province of Kham. At the age of four, he was recognized by the 16th Karmapa as the 14th Shamar reincarnation.
As one of the principle disciples of the 16th Karmapa along with the Tai Situ Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Shamar Rinpoche received the entire cycle of Kagyu teachings from the 16th Karmapa.
After the death of the 16th Karmapa in 1981, the recognition of the 17th Karmapa created a rift within the Karma Kagyu sect as Tai Situ Rinpoche recognized Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa which Shamar Rinpoche disagreed with and chose Thaye Dorje instead as the rightful claimant to the title of the 17th Karmapa in 1994.
On the request of Tai Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche, His Holiness the Dalai Lama confirmed Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa in 1992.
Following his meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 13th of August, 2010 Shamar Rinpoche stated: “I met His Holiness the Dalai Lama at in Dharamsala at His Holiness’ residence. We had a discussion for approximately one and a half hours and had a very important and detailed exchange of views regarding the ongoing Karmapa controversy and its possible solution. Although this matter is not easily resolved, since it is connected to the politics of China and India as well, with His Holiness Dalai Lama’s blessing and support I am confident that there will be an amicable solution, which will be beneficial for the Karma Kagyü lineage, as well as for Tibetan Buddhism in general.”
Khedrup Dakpa Senge (1283–1349), the first Shamar Rinpoche was the main disciple of the third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje who gave his disciple a ruby-red crown and the title Shamarpa (Holder of the Red Crown).
The Central Tibetan Administration in a release yesterday condoled the passing away of the 14th Shamar Rinpoche.
“We are deeply saddened to hear the sudden demise of Shamar Rinpoche and offer our prayers,” said Kalon Pema Chhinjor of the Department of Religion and Culture.
Note: Earlier Tibet Express had mentioned shamar.org as the official web site. The correct official website is shamarpa.org and not shamar.org. The error is greatly regretted.