Dharamsala — Staff and students of Sarah College of Higher Tibetan Studies gathered on Saturday, July 22nd, to celebrate the 20th death anniversary of Rinpoche Dungkar Lobsang Thinley, who worked tirelessly throughout his life in different parts of the world to preserve and promote the culture of Tibet.
Gen Jampa Samten, an associate professor of Indian history, Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan history at the Central University for Tibetan Studies was the Chief Guest of the event, and Tashi Tsering, a scholar in Tibetan history and the founding director of Amnye Machen Institute, was the guest of honor. Additional guest speakers included Karma Samten, Sonam Gyaltsen, and Naga Sangye Tandar.
A compilation of Rinpoche’s articles and other writings which was compiled into a book was launched at the event before the start of any speech. The organizers of the event also included a short documentary showing pictures and videos of Rinpoche.
All of the speakers spoke on the achievements and works of the scholar and how all Tibetans should look take him as an aspiration and follow his footsteps. Rinpoche, a very selfless man who has dedicated more than 30 years of his life teaching students all around the world spreading Tibetan Buddhism and knowledge.
With many books to his credit, Dungkar Rinpoche’s most recognized work is the Dungkar's Encyclopedia or Dungkar Tibetological Great Dictionary.
Chief guest Jampa Sampten said, “We must recognize his contribution as he has compiled this dictionary from his years of experience with his students and according to the needs of the students,” said Professor Jampa Samten, “With his dictionary, he had bestowed something which was not there earlier. He had spent 28 years collecting data and spent around 40 years compiling it. So, it is imperative that we acknowledge his dedication and hard work.”
Naga Tandar said “the generation today considers people who are fluent in 2 languages (Tibetan and English) as a well educated person, which is wrong. Because there are millions out there who are fluent in 3 or 4 languages. We should have a good fundamental knowledge in all areas of studies. Rinpoche is a perfect example here”.
Known as the most important Tibetan historian of the 20th century, Rinpoche was born in Kongpo in 1927 and at the age of four was recognized as the 8th reincarnation of Dungkar Rinpoche, head of Dungkar Monastery. He later joined Sera monastery in Lhasa, where he studied under Trijiang Rinpoche, junior tutor to the Dalai Lama. By the age of 30 he attained his Doctorate degree in Buddhism (Geshe Lharampa) by the age of 20, continued working for Tibet all his life until he died in a hospital in Los Angeles in 1997 after a battle with cancer.