To mark the 50th anniversary of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö's parinirvana, we have quickly assembled this short compilation from our ever-growing archive of film and photographs. (Make sure that you have the latest version of the Flash video player. You can get the Flash player for free from Adobe. You may need to restart your computer after installing)
Although little known in the West, Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö was of the greatest importance for the spread of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings over the Western hemisphere. At that time in Tibet there was no other master that received the respect from followers of all traditions. Since he himself, following in the footsteps of his predecessor Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, had gathered, studied, practiced and taught all the different lineages of Tibetan Buddhism everyone claimed him as a great teacher of their very own tradition.
As His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama pointed out, during the inauguration of the Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Institute of Dialectics in 2004, he never traveled without boxes to carry all the hats that are necessary to perform the rituals for each one of the major schools. Although he had mastered all of them, he took great care never to mix and dilute the different traditions, but performed every ritual with minute accuracy according to the scriptures. He was known to change even his dress, voice and language according to the background of the author of a text, thus ensuring the authenticity of its transmission.
The early 20th century was not an easy time in Eastern Tibet. Yet despite the turmoil that surrounded him he accomplished a vast number of tasks for the benefit of the teachings. Carried by his prophetic insight their effects were felt not only there and then, but have resonated far into the future and far beyond Tibet.
His incredible learning, his serenity and warmth, his love and respect for the Buddha's teachings and his tireless work to preserve them, combined with his galvanizing personality and charisma had made him a reference point for many of the important lamas that later taught and practiced in countries across the entire world. Many of these teachers have pursued their studies either at Dzongsar or in one of the over eighty other colleges that had been founded by Kham-je Shedra graduates.
When, in the late 1950's, the Tibetans were scattered like 'peas thrown on a drum', both the dharma of transmission and the dharma of realization miraculously managed to survive the destruction of monasteries, libraries, and centers of learning. This almost unprecedented preservation of a wisdom culture under the most difficult of circumstances can be largely attributed to the life and work of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö.
This short film portrays only a few of his many disciples: HH Sakya Trizin, H.E.Dagmo Kusho, Sogyal Rinpoche, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, Alak Zenkar Rinpoche, Ngari Tulku Rinpoche, Khenchen Kunga Wangchuk and Khenchen Appey.
For a longer list of his students, albeit still incomplete, please look here.