In Memoriam: Jeffrey Hopkins (1940–2024)

Dear colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I must inform you that Jeffrey Hopkins passed away in Vancouver (BC) overnight following complications with cancer.

Born Paul Jeffrey Hopkins in Barrington, Rhode Island in 1940, Hopkins attended Pomfret Preparatory School, following which he matriculated at Harvard University. It was there that he met his fellow student Robert Thurman, who in turn, encouraged him to pursue their mutual studies with Geshe Wangyal in Freewood Acres, New Jersey.

After four years of study with Geshe Wangyal and his community of scholars and practitioners, Hopkins matriculated at the University of Wisconsin at Madison to pursue an advanced degree in Buddhist Studies under Richard Robinson. Working closely with the former abbot of the Gomang College of Drepung Monastic University, Kensur Ngawang Lekden, as well as other learned scholars from the Tibetan tradition, Hopkins completed his PhD in 1973, “Meditation on Emptiness,” an extensive response to T.R.V. Murti’s contention that meditation in Prāsaṅgika-Mādhyamika lacked an object, a work that was eventually published by Wisdom Publications in 1983.

Hopkins’s first academic appointment was in the Religious Studies department at the University of Virginia, where he proceeded to build what would become the premier program of studies in Tibetan Buddhism in the Western hemisphere, serving as advisor to eighteen completed Ph.D. and thirty-one masters students, and where he remained throughout the rest of his academic career until his retirement in 2005.

In his personal reflections and autobiographical writings, Hopkins stated that he remembered elements of his previous life as a monk in Tibet, including the manner of his death. In addition, as a child, he maintained that he had a private language in which he thought, and from which he needed to translate into English when speaking with others. Having abandoned his internal language around the age of ten for the ease of communicating in English, it was not until he began his studies with Geshe Wangyal in the 1960s that he realized that the private internal language of his childhood was Tibetan.

Feeling a close personal connection to Tibet, throughout his career, Hopkins performed many additional roles in the larger sphere of Tibetan Buddhism, such as serving as the Dalai Lama’s official interpreter from 1976 to 1996, testifying before the U.S. congress as an expert witness on the Tibetan political situation, as well as organizing conferences and the visitations of leading Tibetan scholars to the University of Virginia for his students to study with.

He was 83 years old.

Paul Hackett

In Memoriam: Zuihō Yamaguchi (1926–2023)

Written by: Chizuko Yoshimizu

Zuihō Yamaguchi, a prominent Tibetologist, passed away on Saturday, April 15, 2023, due to pneumonia. He was 97 years old and had lived a long life, but we still feel the loss of a great pioneering scholar who devoted his life to Tibetology. He discussed not only Tibet’s history and language, but everything related to Tibet, including the calendar, Dunhuang documents, and Religion. His significant contribution to the development of Tibetan studies will be forever deeply appreciated.

He was born in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, on February 21, 1926. He was sent to a temple managed by one of his relatives when he was a child, and “Zuihō Yamaguchi” was the name he was given there. After graduating from Kanazawa College of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering (he was very fond of any sort of machinery and was one of the first among us to start using a computer), he went on to the Department of Literature at Daiichi High School and then entered the University of Tokyo, where he studied Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit Literature, graduating in 1953. He studied the grammatical characteristics of the Tibetan language translated from Sanskrit under the great professors of Sanskrit and Buddhist studies, Naoshirō Tsuji and Hajime Nakamura.

After postgraduate studies, in 1958, at the age of 32, he moved to Paris as a researcher at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), where he studied under eminent Sinologists and Tibetologists, particularly R. A. Stein and M. Lalou, and worked on ancient and medieval Tibetan and Dunhuang texts at the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE) in Paris. He spent six years in France, partly with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation. He was accompanied by his wife, Eiko, and their son was born there. At the time, students from Japan were rare in Paris, and so at times it must have been quite difficult for him. However, his studies under Professor Stein and others were extremely fruitful, and it was during this time that he developed his wide knowledge and critical spirit. In his own words, Professor Stein first charged him with two tasks: collecting the names of persons, places, and monasteries from Tibetan historical books and preparing an outline of the biography of the 6th Dalai Lama. While proceeding with these tasks together with Professor Stein and Jampa Gyatsho (i.e. Dagpo Rinpoche), whom Stein had invited to Paris, he developed a growing interest in the Tibetan calendar and the history of the Dalai Lamas’ regime. For a better understanding of the later history of Tibet, he thought it necessary to understand the earlier history of the Tibetan empire and started studying the Dunhuang documents. At this point, he also expanded his field of study from history to language and the calendar. His colleagues were A.-M. Blondeau, A. Spanien, Samten Karmay, Yoshirō Imaeda, and others, who have all left their mark in the field of Tibetan studies.

With Prof. Hajime Nakamura in front of the statue of J.-F. Champollion in the courtyard of the Collège de France.

He returned to Japan in September 1964 and started his academic career in Japan as a researcher at the Toyo Bunko (Oriental Library) in Tokyo. In 1970, he was appointed associate professor at the Institute for Cultural Exchange Studies of the Faculty of Letters, University of Tokyo, and in 1979 he took up a full professorship there. The Institute for Cultural Exchange Studies was established in 1966 as a transdisciplinary research institute (the forerunner of the current Division of Cultural Exchange Studies, Center for Evolving Humanities, In the graduate school, he belonged to the Department of Indian Philosophy and Indian Literature, where he taught students together with Professors Minoru Hara, Jikidō Takasaki, and Sengaku Maeda. The first person to work as his assistant was Soshū Nishioka, followed by Kimiaki Tanaka. Nishioka, Tanaka, Ryūtoku Kimura, Katsumi Okimoto, and others gathered under his guidance at the Toyo Bunko to investigate the Tibetan documents collected by Sir Aurel Stein, and it became a center for the study of Dunhuang documents in Tokyo.

In 1979, Yamaguchi received his doctorate from the University of Tokyo for “Toban ōkoku seiritsushi kenkyū” 吐蕃王国成立史研究 (A Study on the Establishment of the T’u-fan Kingdom), a revised version of which was published in 1983 by Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, and it was awarded the Japan Academy Prize the following year. In February–March 1981, he was invited by the Collège de France to give a series of lectures titled “La fondation du royaume tibétain d’après les sources anciennes, tibétaines et chinoises.” His Japanese translation of R. A. Stein’s La civilisation tibétaine with Akira Sadakata (published in 1971) received the Japan Translation Culture Prize in 1972. He was nominated a membre d’honneur de la Société Asiatique, France, in 1985 and was also awarded the Nakamura Hajime Eastern Studies Prize in the same year.

Most of Yamaguchi’s articles in the period between 1954 and 1981 were devoted to the study of the ancient history and language of Tibet. Whereas the book mentioned above was the culmination of his research on ancient Tibetan history, the fruit of his studies on the Tibetan language was Chibettogo bungo bunpō チベット語文語文法 (The Grammar of Classical Tibetan; Tokyo: Shunjūsha, 1998). This book is dedicated to R. A. Stein and Hajime Nakamura, both of whom had strongly encouraged him to complete it. Yamaguchi’s reading of all kinds of Tibetan texts provided the foundation for this book. Sample sentences were gathered from a great variety of works, including Dunhuang documents, inscriptions, history books, Buddhist writings, and indigenous Tibetan grammar commentaries, dating from the 8th to 18th centuries. A compact “outline” of Tibetan grammar, Gaisetsu Chibettogo bungo bunten 概説チベット語文語文典 (Tokyo: Shunjūsha, 2002), was also published for the use of students. His elucidation of Tibetan grammar is to a certain degree different from that of Western scholars and draws on Japanese grammar, for the Tibetan and Japanese languages have some similarities in their use of verbs and sentence structure.

Yamaguchi published more than 100 articles in Japanese and about 20 in English or French, among which the most notable are: “Sanjūju, Shōnyūhō no seiritsu jiki o megutte” 『三十頌』『性入法』の成立時期をめぐって, Tōyō Gakuhō 東洋学報 57-1/2, 1976 (English version: “On the Composition of the Sum cu pa and the rTags kyiḥ jug pa,” Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko 47, 1989); “Denkaruma 824nen seiritsu setsu” 『デンカルマ』八二四年成立説 (The Compilation of the lDan dkar ma in A.D. 824), Naritasan Bukkyō Kenkyūjo Kiyō 成田山仏教研究所紀要 (Journal of Naritasan Institute for Buddhist Studies) 9, 1985; “Chibetto reki chijunhō teisū no imi to rekishiteki jungetsu nenpyō” チベット暦置閏法定数の意味と歴史的閏月年表, Naritasan Bukkyō Kenkyūjo Kiyō 13, 1990 (English version: “The Significance of Intercalary Constants in the Tibetan Calendar and Historical Tables of Intercalary Months,” Tibetan Studies, PIATS Narita 1989, Part 2, 1992); Shoōtōshi meijikyō no chosha to seiritsunen” 『諸王統史明示鏡』の著者と成立年, Tōyō Gakuhō 3, 1978 (English version: “On the Author and the Date of the rGyal rabs rnams kyi byung tshul gsal ba’i me long,International Conference on China Border Area Studies, Taipei, 1984); “The Conflict in Early Seventeenth-century Tibet and the Kokonor Mongols,” Naritasan Bukkyō Kenkyūjo Kiyō 16, 1993; “The Sovereign Power of the Fifth Dalai Lama: sPrul-sku gZims-khang gong-ma and the Removal of Governor Nor-bu,” Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko 53, 1995; and “The Emergence of the Regent Sangs-rgyas-rgya-mtsho and the Denouement of the Dalai Lamas’ First Administration,” Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko 57, 1999. His later English papers were translated by his student Rolf Giebel, whom I also thank for improving the English of this obituary.

Yamaguchi also edited books, contributing articles of his own to them: Tonkō kogo bunken 敦煌胡語文献 (Dunhuang Documents Written in Non-Chinese Languages; Tokyo: Daitō Shuppansha, 1985) includes studies of documents in the Uyghur, Khotanese, Sogdian, and Tibetan languages by frontline Japanese scholars at the time, namely, Takao Moriyasu, Hiroshi Kumamoto, Asao Iwamatsu, Yutaka Yoshida, Noriaki Hakamaya, Shirō Matsumoto, Akira Saito, Toshio Hiramatsu, Soshū Nishioka, Katsumi Okimoto, Satoru Harada, Yoshirō Imaeda, and Zuihō Yamaguchi. To commemorate his 60th birthday, he supervised the compilation of the book Chibetto no Bukkyō to shakai チベットの仏教と社会 (Buddhism and Society in Tibet; Tokyo: Shunjūsha, 1986), to which, in addition to some of those named above, his colleagues, students, and young Tibetologists contributed, including Taishun Ueyama, Ryūtoku Kimura, Shōrei Nakayama, Kimiaki Tanaka, Chizuko Yoshimizu, Kazunobu Matsuda, Shunzō Onoda, Yōichi Fukuda, Musashi Tachikawa, Kōdō Yotsuya, Tsuguhito Takeuchi, Yoshirō Imaeda, Rentarō Ikeda, Yasuhiko Nagano, Masahiro Shimoda, Junko Miyawaki, and Shinjō Kawasaki.

At the University of Tokyo, Yamaguchi had three classes: Tibetan grammar for beginners, an undergraduate seminar on Tibetan historical literature, and a seminar for graduate students. The textbook for Tibetan grammar had been handwritten by Yamaguchi himself, for his grammar was first published in 1998. At that time, the only dictionaries available were Jäschke’s and Chandra Das’s Tibetan-English dictionaries. There were many words that were not included in these dictionaries, and so Yamaguchi served us as if he were a living dictionary. In the undergraduate seminar, he read what he wanted to read. We read biographies of the 3rd to 5th Dalai Lamas continuously until his retirement in 1986. He had the students write their translations on the blackboard and cheerfully corrected them in his distinctive voice and intonation, saying, “That’s completely wrong.” Eventually students from the University of Tokyo disappeared from this class, and Junko Miyawaki and Yumiko Ishihama joined from outside. In his last year, I was the only student. With graduate students he read the Grub mtha’ of lCang skya Rol pa’i rdo rje. He pestered the students with questions because he said he was not a specialist in Buddhism. Everyone enjoyed the debates, and lCang skya became a special figure for the students. Noriaki Hakamaya, for instance, said that lCang skya appeared in his dreams. Students received a solid training in how to read Tibetan texts of various kinds.

In January 1986, Yamaguchi retired from the University of Tokyo and moved to Nagoya University. After three years there, he became professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo in 1989 and began commuting to the Naritasan Institute of Buddhist Studies, in which he had been involved as a visiting researcher. This same year, 1989, was the year when the 5th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies Conference was held at Narita, and he was instrumental in bringing the Seminar to Narita.

August 1989, at the 5th IATS (Narita View Hotel); from right to left: H. Uebach, R. Emmerick, Zuihō Yamaguchi, Shoseki Tsurumi (abbot of Naritasan Shinshoji temple), and Chizuko Yoshimizu.

Yamaguchi worked at the Naritasan Institute until about 2016 as well as at the Toyo Bunko. His last appearance in public was May 22, 2016, at a talk event titled “Dr. Zuihō Yamaguchi talks about Tibet and himself,” which was organized by Kawachen Bookstore to celebrate his 90th birthday. He talked about some good memories of R. Stein and his own studies. After the talk, we joined him at a Tibetan restaurant in Tokyo, and I was relieved to see that his appetite was as good as ever, for he really enjoyed his food.

With Kelsang Tahuwa of Kawachen Bookstore, May 22, 2016.

In 1987–1988, Yamaguchi published the two-volume book Chibetto チベット (Tibet; University of Tokyo Press), aimed at general readers interested in Tibet, and it received the Mainichi Publishing Culture Award. This book incorporated all his knowledge of Tibetan studies and became a classic that will be read and enjoyed for many years. I remember that he was always and anywhere reading some Tibetan text, not only in his office but even on the train. He greatly enjoyed and loved reading the Tibetan language. He visited Lhasa once when he was over the age of sixty. Although he suffered from altitude sickness, he enjoyed his stay, for as he repeatedly told me later, “A picture is worth a thousand words” (百聞は一見に如かず). This was the moment when what he had learned from texts came to life before his eyes.

His last book was Hyōsetsu Indo Bukkyō tetsugaku shi 評説インド仏教哲学史 (A Commentary on the History of Indian Buddhist Philosophy; Iwanami Shoten, 2010), in which he brought together his own interpretations of Buddhism. After turning sixty he became obsessed with Buddhist philosophy. His favorite Buddhist masters were Nāgārjuna, Śāntarakṣita, and Kamalaśīla. The Suttanipāta and the Prajñāpāramitāsūtras also provided him with essential sources of Buddhist thought. Although his interpretation of Buddhist philosophy has not attracted much attention, his deep consideration of the fact that our cognition is based on representations of external objects and verbal constructions detached from the flow of time is useful, especially for understanding Madhyamaka thought, and deserves to be listened to. He grew up in a Sōtō Zen temple and through Naritasan also became familiar with the Shingon Buddhism of Kūkai, and so it may have been only natural that he devoted his final years to Buddhist studies.

He told me that when he was young, he had once been impressed by an article he happened to pick up in the library of the Toyo Bunko. He said, “If someone someday comes across an article of mine and is impressed by it, I will chuckle from beyond the grave” (俺の論文もいつか誰かが見つけて、こんな論文があったのか、と感心してくれたら、そのときは草葉の陰で笑うんだ). I wonder if he is chuckling now. Or is it still too soon?

རྒན་དབྱངས་དགའ་དམ་པའི་མི་ཚེ་དང་མྱ་ངན་ཞུ་ཚིག (༡༩༦༤- ༢༠༢༢)


Yangga delivering a lecture. Date and photographer unknown. | དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཀྱིས་གཏམ་བཤད་གནང་བཞིན་པ།

རྒྱལ་སྤྱིའི་བོད་རིག་པ་ལྷན་ཚོགས་ IATS ཀྱི་ཚོགས་མི་དང་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་ལོ་རྒྱུས་སྨྲ་བ་ཕུལ་བྱུང་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་སྐུ་གཤེགས་པའི་སྐོར་སྐྱོ་གདུང་ཆེན་པོས་སྙན་སེང་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་ཡིན། ཁོང་ནི་ངའི་དགེ་རྒན་ཡིན་ལ་སློབ་མ་ཡང་ཡིན།

རྒན་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༢༢ ལོའི་ཟླ་བ་ ༡༢ པའི་ཚེས་ ༡༧ གྱི་ས་སྲོད་ལ་མཆིན་པའི་འབྲས་ནད་རྐྱེན་གྱིས་རྒྱ་ནག་ཁྲིན་ཏུའུ་རུ་འདས་གྲོངས་སུ་གྱུར། དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་རང་ལོ་ ༥༨ ཐོག་དུས་མ་རན་པར་འདས་གྲོངས་སུ་གྱུར་སྐབས་ལྷ་སར་ཡོད་པའི་བོད་ལྗོངས་གསོ་རིག་སློབ་གྲྭ་ཆེན་མོའི་ དགེ་རྒན་ཆེན་མོ་ཞིག་ཡིན། དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ལ་ཐོག་མར་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༥ ཡས་མས་ནས་མཆིན་པའི་སྐྲན་ནད་ཡོད་པར་ངོས་འཛིན་བྱས་ཀྱང་། ཁོང་གིས་ཚེ་མཇུག་གི་ཟླ་བ་མཐའ་མ་འགའི་བར་ཕྱག་ལས་དང་རྩོམ་འབྲི་མུ་མཐུད་གནང་ཐུབ་ཡོད། ཁོང་རྒྱ་ནག་ཁྲིན་ཏུའུ་རུ་ཡོད་པའི་གནས་སྐབས་ཀྱི་རང་ཁྱིམ་དེར་ཚེ་ལས་འདས། དེར་ཁོང་གི་ཆུང་མ་དང་ལྷན་དུ་ཐག་ཉེའི་སྨན་ཁང་དུ་སྨན་བཅོས་བསྟེན་ཆེད་བཞུགས་དགོས་བྱུང་། ཁོང་གི་གཏན་སྡོད་ཁྱིམ་གཞིས་ནི་ལྷ་ས་དང་ནག་ཆུར་ཡོད་ཅིང་། སྨན་ཁང་ནས་ཕྱི་ལ་ཐོན་རྗེས་ཚེའི་འཕེན་པ་རྫོགས་ལ་ཉེ་བའི་མཐའ་མའི་ཉིན་འགའི་རིང་ལ་ནང་མི་ཚོ་དང་མཉམ་དུ་སྡོད་ཐུབ་པ་བྱུང་ཡོད། ཁོང་གི་འདས་ཤུལ་དུ་ཁོང་གི་ཆུང་མ་དང་བུ་མོ་གཉིས་ཡོད།

རྒན་དབྱངས་དགའ་ནི་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༡༩༦༤ ལ་ནག་ཆུ་འབྲི་རུར་འཁྲུངས་ཤིང་། དེར་མཐོ་འབྲིང་སློབ་གྲྭ་བར་སློབ་གཉེར་གནང་། ཁོང་ལ་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༡༩༨༩ ལ་ལྷ་སའི་བོད་ལྗོངས་སློབ་གྲྭ་ཆེན་མོ་ནས་སློབ་རམས་པའི་ (bachelor’s degree) ལག་འཁྱེར་ཐོབ་ཅིང་། སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༡༩༩༡ ལ་བོད་ལྗོངས་གསོ་རིག་སློབ་ཆེན་ནས་ཀྱང་སློབ་རམས་ལག་འཁྱེར་ཞིག་བླངས། ཁོང་གི་གཙུག་ལག་རབ་འབྱམས་པའི་ (master’s degree) ལག་འཁྱེར་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༠༢ ལོར་བོད་ལྗོངས་གསོ་རིག་སློབ་ཆེན་ནས་ཐོབ། ཁོང་གི་གསོ་རིག་དགེ་རྒན་གཙོ་བོ་དག་ནི་སྐད་གྲགས་ཅན་གྱི་མཁན་པོ་ཁྲོ་རུ་ཚེ་རྣམ་དང་མཁན་པོ་ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས་རྒྱལ་མཚན་གཉིས་ཡིན། སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༠༣ ལ་ཁོང་ཧ་ཝར་ཌི་གཙུག་ལག་སློབ་ཆེན་གྱི་ཨེ་ཤེ་ཡ་ནང་མ་དང་ཨལ་ཊའེ་ཁི་སྡེ་ཚན་ (Inner and Altaic Studies at Harvard University) དུ་འབུམ་རམས་པའི་སློབ་མར་ངོས་ལེན་སློབ་འཇུག་བྱུང་། དེར་ཁོང་གིས་ང་དང་ལེའོ་ནར་ཌི་ཝན་ཌེར་ཁེབ་ Leonard van der Kuijp ལྷན་དུ་སློབ་གཉེར་གནང་ཞིང་། ཕྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༠ ལོར་འབུམ་རམས་པའི་ལག་འཁྱེར་བླངས།

སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༡༩༩༡ ནས་མགོ་བཙུགས་ཏེ་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ནས་བོད་ལྗོངས་གསོ་རིག་སློབ་ཆེན་དུ་སློབ་ཁྲིད་པ་ (instructor) དང་། དེ་ནས་འཆད་ཁྲིད་དགེ་རྒན་ (lecturer) གྱི་ཕྱག་ལས་གནང་། སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༠༠ ལ་ཁོང་སློབ་གཉེར་ལས་ཁུངས་ Dean’s office ཀྱི་འགན་འཛིན་གཞོན་པ་ (Associate Director) ལ་གནས་སྤར་བྱས། ཧ་ཝར་ཌི་སློབ་ཆེན་ནས་སློབ་མཐར་ཕྱིན་རྗེས་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༣ ལ་ཕྱིར་ལྷ་སར་འབྱོར་འཕྲལ་དགེ་རྒན་ཆེན་མོ་གཞོན་པ་ (Associate Professor) ལ་གནས་སྤར་དང་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༨ ལ་དགེ་རྒན་ཆེན་མོའི་མཚན་གནས་ཐོབ། དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ནས་ཧ་ཝར་ཌི་ལ་བོད་ཀྱི་སྐད་ཡིག་དང་བོད་སྨན་སྐོར་སློབ་ཁྲིད་གནང་མྱོང་བ་མ་ཟད། ཁོང་གིས་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༠༩ ནས་ ༢༠༡༠ བར་གྱི་སློབ་ལོའི་སྐབས་སུ་མི་ཞི་གྷན་གཙུག་ལག་སློབ་ཆེན་ (University of Michigan) ཨེ་ཤེ་ཡའི་སྐད་ཡིག་དང་རིག་གཞུང་སྡེ་ཚན་ (Department of Asian Languages and Cultures) དུ་བོད་ཡིག་འཆད་ཁྲིད་ཡང་གནང་མྱོང་། སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༣ ལ་ཁོང་ལ་མི་ཞི་གྷན་གཙུག་ལག་སློབ་ཆེན་དུ་ཕྱིར་ལོག་བྱ་ཆེད་འབུམ་རམས་ཕྱི་མའི་སློབ་ཡོན་ཐོབ་ཀྱང་། ཁོང་ལ་ཨ་རིར་འགྲོ་སྐྱོད་ཀྱི་ཆོག་མཆན་མ་རག་རྐྱེན་དེ་དང་ལེན་བྱེད་མ་ཐུབ། ཉེ་བའི་ལོ་ཤས་རིང་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ནས་ལྷོ་ནུབ་མི་རིགས་སློབ་ཆེན་དུ་གདན་ཞུས་སློབ་དཔོན་གྱི་འགན་བཞེས་མྱོང་། ཁོང་ནི་ད་དུང་བོད་རང་སྐྱོང་ལྗོངས་གནའ་དཔེ་སྲུང་སྐྱོབ་ཆེད་མཁས་ཚོགས་ཆུང་གི་འགན་འཛིན་གཞོན་པ་དང་། བོད་རང་སྐྱོང་ལྗོངས་བོད་སྨན་ཚད་གཞི་གཏན་འབེབས་ཚོགས་ཆུང་གི་ཚོགས་མི་ཞིག་ཀྱང་ཡིན་པ་རེད།

དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ལ་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༩ ལ་པེ་རི་སིའི་རྒྱལ་སྤྱིའི་བོད་རིག་པ་ལྷན་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་བགྲོ་གླེང་ཚོགས་ཆེན་ཐེངས་ ༡༥ པ་ཁོ་ནར་ཆེད་རྩོམ་སྙན་སྒྲོན་གྱི་གོ་སྐབས་ལས་མ་ཐོབ། ཁོང་གིས་ད་དུང་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༦ ལ་ནོར་ཝེ་ཡི་བྷེར་གྷན་ Bergen དུ་འཚོགས་པའི་རྒྱལ་སྤྱིའི་བོད་རིག་པ་ལྷན་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་བགྲོ་གླེང་ཚོགས་ཆེན་ཐེངས་ ༡༤ པའི་ལས་རིམ་དུ་མིང་ཐོ་བཀོད་ཡོད་པ་དང་། དེར་ཁོང་གི་དཔྱད་རྩོམ་ངོས་ལེན་བྱས་ཤིང་སྒྲོག་སྦྱང་དུས་བཅད་བྱས་ཀྱང་། མཐའ་མཇུག་དེར་ཁོང་གི་ཕྱིར་སྐྱོད་ལག་འཁྱེར་ཕྱིར་བསྡུ་བྱས་ཡོད།

ང་རང་སྒེར་ལ་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ངོ་ཤེས་རྒྱུས་ལོན་བྱེད་པར་གོ་སྐབས་བཟང་པོ་ཐོབ། ང་ཐོག་མ་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༠༠ ལ་ལྷ་ས་ནས་རྒྱལ་སྤྱིའི་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་ཚོགས་ཆེན་ཞིག་གི་སྟེང་དུ་ཁོང་དང་མཇལ་འཕྲད་བྱུང་། སྐབས་དེར་ངས་ད་དུང་ཨེམ་ཧར་སི་མཐོ་སློབ་ (Amherst College) ལ་སློབ་ཁྲིད་བྱེད་ཀྱིན་ཡོད་པ་དང་། ཁོང་གིས་བོད་ལྗོངས་གསོ་རིག་སློབ་ཆེན་དུ་གཙུག་ལག་རབ་འབྱམས་པའི་སློབ་གཉེར་ཚར་ལ་ཉེ་ཙམ་རེད། ངོ་མཚར་ལྡན་པའི་ལྷ་སར་འཚོགས་པའི་ཚོགས་ཆེན་དེའི་གཟའ་འཁོར་གཅིག་གི་རིང་། བོད་ཀྱི་ས་ཕྱོགས་གང་ས་ནས་ཕེབས་པའི་གསོ་རིག་ཆེད་མཁས་དུ་མའི་མཉམ་དུ་ང་ཚོས་གསོ་རིག་སྐོར་ལ་བསམ་ཚུལ་བརྗེ་ལེན་ཡང་ཡང་བྱས་པ་ཡིན། ང་རང་ལ་མི་གཞོན་ནུ་དེས་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་སྐོར་གླེང་སློང་བྱེད་སྐབས་ཀྱི་ཞིབ་ཆ་དང་གནད་ལ་འཁེལ་བའི་སྐད་ཆ་ལ་རྗེས་སུ་ཡི་རངས་སྐྱེས་བྱུང་། དེ་ནས་རྗེས་ལོ་དེར་ང་རང་ཧ་ཝར་ཌི་ལྷ་ཆོས་སློབ་གྲྭར་ (Harvard Divinity School) གནས་སྤོ་བྱས་པ་དང་བསྟུན། དེར་ངས་རྒྱལ་སྤྱིའི་ཆེད་ལས་མཁས་པ་གདན་ཞུ་བྱེད་པའི་གོ་སྐབས་དང་མཐུན་རྐྱེན་ཡོད་པ་ཤེས་མ་ཐག་དེ་ལྟར་གདན་ཞུ་ཡང་བྱས། དེ་ལྟར་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༠༢ ལ་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཧ་ཝར་ཌི་ལ་གདན་ཞུས་ཆེད་མཁས་ངོ་བོའི་ཐོག་གདན་ཞུ་བྱེད་ཐུབ་པ་བྱུང་། དེ་རྗེས་ཁོང་ཕྱིར་ལྷ་སར་ལོག་ནས་ཧ་ཝར་ཌི་གཙུག་ལག་སློབ་ཆེན་གྱི་ ཨེ་ཤེ་ཡ་ནང་མ་དང་ཨལ་ཊའེ་ཁི་སྡེ་ཚན་ལ་འབུམ་རམས་པའི་སློབ་འཇུག་སྙན་ཞུ་ཕུལ་ཏེ། ངའི་ལམ་སྟོན་འོག་གི་སློབ་ཕྲུག་ཏུ་གྱུར་བ་རེད། ཁོང་ལ་བོད་ལྗོངས་གསོ་རིག་སློབ་ཆེན་ནས་ལོ་དེ་རང་ལ་གཙུག་ལག་རབ་འབྱམས་པའི་ལག་འཁྱེར་ཐོབ་ཡོད།

དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༠༣ ཡི་སྟོན་ཁར་ཧ་ཝར་ཌི་ལ་རང་གི་འབུམ་རམས་པའི་སློབ་གཉེར་ཆེད་ཕྱིར་ལོག་གནང་། ཁོང་མི་འཇོན་ཐང་ཅན་ཞིག་ཡིན་པ་ནི་རང་ཉིད་སློབ་མའི་ཚུལ་དུ་སྡོད་སའི་སམ་མེར་ཝིལ་ Somerville དུ་རང་གི་ཆུང་མ་དང་བུ་མོ་གཉིས་ལོ་གཅིག་གི་ནང་ལ་ལེན་ཐུབ་པ་བྱུང་ཞིང། དངོས་གནས་བཤད་ན་ཁོང་གི་བུ་མོ་གཉིས་ཀར་གཟུགས་གཞི་བདེ་ཐང་གི་དཀའ་ངལ་ཡོད་པས། ཁོང་གིས་སྦོ་སི་ཊོན་དུ་ཡོད་པའི་ང་ཚོའི་སྨན་ཁང་ཡག་པོ་ཁག་གི་ནང་དུ་དྲག་སྐྱེད་སྨན་བཅོས་བྱེད་ཐུབ་ཡོད།

དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ནས་ཧ་ཝར་ཌི་ལ་ལོ་ངོ་བདུན་རིང་སློབ་གཉེར་བྱས་ཤིང་། ངའི་ལམ་སྟོན་འོག་ཁོང་གིས་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་རྒྱུད་བཞིའི་འབྱུང་ཁུངས་ཐད་ལ་འབུམ་རམས་པའི་ཆེད་རྩོམ་སྤུས་ལེགས་ཤིག་བྲིས། ཆེད་རྩོམ་དེར་ཁོང་གིས་རྒྱུད་བཞིའི་ལེའུའི་ཡོངས་ཀྱི་སྒྲོམ་གཞིའི་གྲུབ་ཚུལ་དང་ལེའུ་རེ་རེའི་ནང་དོན་སྐོར་རྒྱ་གར་ཚེ་ཡི་རིག་པ་དང་ཞིབ་བསྡུར་ནན་པོ་བྱས་ཡོད། ཆེད་རྩོམ་གྱི་ས་བཅད་རེ་འགར་ཁོང་གིས་རྒྱུད་བཞིར་རྒྱ་གར་ཚེ་ཡི་རིག་པའི་ཤན་ཤུགས་ཆེན་པོ་ཐེབས་ཡོད་ནའང་། ས་བཅད་གཞན་པ་ཁག་ཅིག་ཏུ་རྒྱུད་བཞིའི་རྩོམ་པ་པོ་གཡུ་ཐོག་ཡོན་ཏན་མགོན་པོ་ཡིས་ཨེ་ཤེ་ཡ་ཤར་ནུབ་གཉིས་ཀྱི་སྨན་དཔྱད་ནང་འདྲེན་དང་བོད་རང་གི་གསོ་དཔྱད་ཀྱི་རིག་པས་ཁ་སྐོང་མཛད་ཡོད་པ་བརྗོད་ཡོད། དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཀྱིས་རང་གི་ཆེད་རྩོམ་ནང་དུ་སྨན་དཔྱད་ལུགས་སྲོལ་མི་འདྲ་བ་གཞན་པ་རྣམས་དཔྱད་ཡིག་ཁུངས་འཕེར་གྱི་རམ་འདེགས་འོག་གསལ་སྟོན་དང་། ཁོང་གིས་རྒྱུད་བཞིའི་ལེའུ་མང་པོ་ཞིག་ད་དུང་ལྷ་ས་ན་ཡོད་ཅིང་ཁོང་དང་ཁོང་གི་ཕྱག་རོགས་ཚོས་དཔྱད་ཞིབ་བྱེད་ཐུབ་ཡོད་པའི་གནའ་བོའི་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་དཔྱད་ཀྱི་གཞུང་ལུགས་ངེས་ཅན་ཞིག་ལ་བརྟེན་ནས་གྲུབ་ཚུལ་བསྟན་ཡོད། བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་དཔྱད་ཀྱི་གཞུང་ལུགས་དེ་དག་ནི་རྒྱུད་བཞིའི་སྔོན་ནས་ཡོད་ཅིང་རྒྱ་གར་ཚེ་ཡི་རིག་པ་དང་འབྲེལ་བ་མེད་པའི་སྨན་དཔྱད་ལུགས་སྲོལ་གཞན་པ་ཞེ་ཅིག་ལ་གཞིར་བཞག་ཡོད་པར། དེ་དག་ནི་ «བི་ཇི་པོ་ཏི་ཁ་སེར་» དང་ «བྱང་ཁོག་དམར་བྱང་གསལ་བའི་སྒྲོན་མེ།» «སྨན་དཔྱད་ཟླ་བའི་རྒྱལ་པོ་» བཅས་ཡིན་པ་རེད།

དེའི་རྗེས་སུ་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཀྱིས་རྒྱུད་བཞིའི་བྱང་ཁོག་སྟོད་ཀྱི་མཚོན་རྨ་དང་འབྲེལ་བའི་སྨན་དཔྱད་ཤེས་བྱ་ལ་དམིགས་བསལ་དོ་སྣང་བྱེད་མགོ་བཙུགས། དབྱངས་དགས་ཚོད་དཔག་བྱས་དོན་ལྟར་ན། བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་དཔྱད་ཀྱི་ཆ་ཤས་འདི་ནི་དམག་འཁྲུག་སྐབས་མིའི་བྱང་ཁོག་ཏུ་མདའ་ཇི་ལྟར་འཛུལ་ཚུལ་དང་ལུས་ཀྱི་ཆ་ཤས་གཞན་ལ་གནོད་སྐྱོན་མེད་པར་མདའ་དེ་ཕྱིར་འདོན་ཐབས་ཀྱི་གཤག་བཅོས་བྱེད་ལུགས་འདྲ་མིན་ལ་བརྟེན་པའི་ལག་ལེན་དངོས་མྱོང་གི་བོད་ཀྱི་གནའ་བོའི་ཤེས་བྱ་དང་འབྲེལ་པ་ཡོད་པར་ཡིད་ཆེས་བརྙེད།

དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཀྱི་ཆེད་རྩོམ་དུ་འཁོད་པའི་དོན་གནད་གལ་ཆེན་གཞན་ཞིག་ནི། བོད་ཀྱི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་ཁྲོད་རྒྱུད་བཞི་ཐོག་མར་དར་སྤེལ་གནང་བར་མཛད་རྗེས་ཆེན་པོ་བཞག་པའི་བྲང་ཏིའི་རྒྱུད་ཀྱི་སྨན་པ་རྣམས་དང་། གོང་སྨན་དང་ཚ་རོང་ཁྱིམ་རྒྱུད་བཅས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་འཁོད་ཡོད།

མཐའ་མར་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཀྱི་བྱས་པ་གལ་ཆེན་ཞིག་ནི་གཡུ་ཐོག་ཡོན་ཏན་མགོན་པོ་རྙིང་མའི་སྐོར་ལ་ཞིབ་འཇུག་བྱས་པ་དེ་ཡིན། གཡུ་ཐོག་རྙིང་མའི་མི་ཚེའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་དང་བྱུང་བ་དེ་ཕལ་ཆེར་དུས་རབས་ ༡༦ ནས་ ༡༧ བར་སྐབས་སུ་གསར་བཟོ་བྱས་ཡོད་པ་མ་ཟད། དེ་ཡང་དེང་སྐབས་ང་ཚོས་གཡུ་ཐོག་གསར་མ་ཞེས་འབོད་ཀྱིན་པ་ཁོང་གི་རྣམ་ཐར་ཡིག་ཆ་སྔ་མོ་དག་ལ་གཞི་བཅོལ་བ་ཞིག་ཡིན་པ་དབྱངས་དགས་ཚོད་དཔག་གནང་ཡོད། དེའི་ཐད་དབྱངས་དགས་མ་མཐར་ཡང་དུས་རབས་ ༡༣ ནས་ཁུངས་སྐྱེལ་ར་སྤྲོད་བྱེད་ཐུབ་ལུགས་བརྗོད་དེ་འདས་པའི་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་ལོ་རྒྱུས་མཁས་པ་དག་གི་ཞིབ་འཇུག་གི་ཕུལ་བྱུང་བཞེད་ཕྱོགས་ཀྱི་རྗེས་སུ་འབྲངས། དབྱངས་དགས་དུས་རབས་ ༡༦ གོང་གི་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་ལོ་རྒྱུས་ཡིག་ཆའི་ནང་དུ་རྙིང་མ་ཞེས་པ་ (གཡུ་ཐོག་གསར་མའི་ཁ་གཏད་) ཞིག་གསལ་གྱི་མེད་པ་གཏན་འཁེལ་གནང་སོང་ལ། ཁོང་གིས་ད་དུང་བོད་ཀྱི་ཡར་ཀླུང་བཙན་པོའི་རྒྱལ་རབས་སྐབས་སུ་བླ་སྨན་པ་གཡུ་ཐོག་ཅེས་པ་ཞིག་ཡོད་སྲིད་པའི་བཞེད་སྲོལ་ལ་དགག་པ་གནང་། གང་ལྟར་ཧ་ཅང་གལ་ཆེན་ཞིག་ནི་ཁོང་གིས་རྒྱུད་བཞིའི་རྩོམ་པ་པོ་ནི་དུས་རབས་ ༡༢ པའི་ནང་བྱུང་བའི་མི་སྣ་སྟེ། དེང་དུས་མཁས་པ་ཚོས་འབོད་པའི་གཡུ་ཐོག་གསར་མ་ཡིན་པའི་ཐད་ཡིད་རྟོན་འཕེར་བའི་གནས་ལུགས་རྒྱུ་མཚན་བཀོད་ཡོད། རྒྱུད་བཞི་ནི་ལེགས་སྦྱར་ནས་བསྒྱུར་བ་ཞིག་མིན་ལ། དེ་ནི་དུས་རབས་ ༡༢ པའི་བོད་ཀྱི་སྨན་པ་གཡུ་ཐོག་ཡོན་ཏན་མགོན་པོས་ཨེ་ཤེ་ཡ་དང་དེ་ལས་བརྒལ་བའི་ཡུལ་ལུང་གི་སྨན་དཔྱད་ལུགས་སྲོལ་དུ་མ་ཕྱོགས་སྡོམ་བྱས་ཏེ་མཛད་པའི་གསར་གཏོད་དང་ཐོག་མའི་བསྟན་བཅོས་ཤིག་ཡིན་པར་འདོད། ཡིད་དབང་འཕྲོག་པའི་དོན་གནད་འདིའི་རྙོག་འཛིང་ཅན་གྱི་ཞིབ་ཕྲའི་རང་བཞིན་ལ་གཟིགས་འདོད་ན། ཀློག་པ་པོ་ཚོས་གཤམ་དུ་གསལ་བའི་དབྱངས་དགའི་དབྱིན་ཡིག་ཐོག་གི་དཔྱད་རྩོམ་རྣམས་ལ་གཟིགས་ཆོག དེའི་གྲས་ཀྱི་གཅིག་ནི་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༤ ནས་བྲིས་ཤིང་གཞན་དེ་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༩ ནས་བརྩམས། དེ་མ་ཟད་ཀློག་པ་པོ་ཚོར་གཤམ་དུ་འཁོད་པའི་དབྱངས་དགས་བརྩམས་པའི་གཡུ་ཐོག་ཡོན་ཏན་མགོན་པོའི་སྐུ་ཚེ་སྐོར་གྱི་དཔེ་དེབ་གསར་པར་གཟིགས་རྒྱུར་འབོད་སྐུལ་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་ཡིན། དེ་ནི་ཁོང་གིས་རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་མི་ཚེའི་ལོ་དུས་མཐའ་མའི་ནང་དུ་དཔར་འགྲེམས་བྱས་ཤིང་། དེའི་དཔར་མ་ཞིག་ང་ལ་ཉེ་ཆར་འབྱོར་བྱུང་། ང་ལ་ད་དུང་དཔེ་དེབ་འདི་ཞིབ་ཚགས་ཀྱིས་ཀློག་ཁོམ་བྱུང་མེད་ནའང་། དེར་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཀྱིས་གཡུ་ཐོག་ཟེར་བའི་མི་སྣའི་བྱུང་རབས་ཀྱི་རྣམ་ཐར་དྲུག་ཧྲིལ་པོ་མཁོ་འདོན་བྱས་འདུག་ཅིང་། གནད་དོན་དེའི་ཐད་ཁོང་གིས་དབྱེ་ཞིབ་གསར་ཤོས་དེ་ཡང་གནང་ཡོད་ཅེས་བརྗོད་ཐུབ།

Yangga at his Harvard Graduation, May 2010. Photographer not known. | དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཧ་ཝར་ཌི་སློབ་ཆེན་ནས་སློབ་མཐར་ཕྱིན་པའི་སྐབས། སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༠

དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཀྱིས་ཆེད་རྩོམ་བྲིས་ཚར་ཏེ་ཧ་ཝར་ཌི་ནས་སློབ་མཐར་ཕྱིན་རྗེས་བོད་དུ་ཕྱིར་ལོག་གནང་ཞིང་། མུ་མཐུད་དུ་འཆད་རྩོད་རྩོམ་གསུམ་གྱི་རིག་གནས་བྱ་བར་ཞུགས་ཞོར་སློབ་ཁྲིད་དང་འཛིན་སྐྱོང་གི་ལས་འགན་ཡང་འཁུར། ཁོང་གིས་ལྷ་སའི་ཡིག་ཚགས་དང་དཔེ་མཛོད་འདྲ་མིན་ནང་དུ་ཉམས་ཞིབ་རྒྱུན་ཆད་མེད་པར་གནང་སྟེ་རྩོམ་ཡིག་ཡང་དུ་མ་བྲིས། ཁོང་གི་མི་ཚེའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་མདོར་བསྡུས་ཆ་ཚང་ཞིག་ད་ལྟ་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱེད་བཞིན་ཡོད་པ་དང་། དེ་བྲིས་ཚར་བ་དང་དགོས་མཁོ་མཆིས་ཚེ་ང་བརྒྱུད་ནས་ལེན་ཆོག ཡོངས་གྲགས་ལྟར་ཁོང་གིས་རང་གི་མི་ཚེའི་ལོ་དུས་མཐའ་མའི་སྐབས་སུ་རིན་ཐང་ཆེ་ཞིང་ཡིག་རྙིང་གི་མ་དཔེ་དཀོན་གྲས་ཚུད་པའི་དཔེ་དེབ་གལ་ཆེན་གསུམ་དཔར་འགྲེམས་བྱས་ཤིང་། པོད་འདི་དག་རེ་རེས་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་བ་རིག་པའི་སློབ་སྦྱོང་ཐད་ལེགས་སྐྱེས་ཆེན་པོ་བཞག་ཡོད།

«བོད་ལུགས་གསོ་བ་རིག་པའི་ཁོག་དབུབ་གཅེས་བཏུས་རིན་ཆེན་ཕྲེང་བ།» ལྷ་ས། བོད་ལྗོངས་བོད་ཡིག་དཔེ་རྙིང་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་ཁང་། ༢༠༢༢ ། ཤོག་གྲངས་ ༤༤༠

«གཡུ་ཐོག་གསར་རྙིང་གི་རྣམ་ཐར་དང་དེའི་སྐོར་གྱི་དཔྱད་པ་དྲང་གཏམ་རྣ་བའི་བུ་རམ།» (གཡུ་ཐོག་གི་རྣམ་ཐར་དྲུག་ཚུད་ཡོད།) ཁྲིན་ཏུའུ། སི་ཁྲོན་མི་རིགས་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་ཁང་། ༢༠༢༢ ། ཤོག་གྲངས་ ༣༦༠

«བི་ཇི་པོ་ཏི་ཁ་སེར་དང་དེའི་དཔྱད་པ་དགྱེས་པའི་གཏམ།» (དཔར་གཞི་གཉིས་ཡོད་པ་དང་། གནའ་བོའི་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་དཔྱད་སྐོར་གྱི་བརྩམས་ཆོས་ཞིག་ཡིན་ལ། དེའི་ནང་ཨེ་ཤེ་ཡ་ནུབ་མ་དང་དེ་ལས་བརྒལ་བའི་སྨན་དཔྱད་ཤེས་བྱ་ཚུད་ཡོད) ལྷ་ས། བོད་ལྗོངས་བོད་ཡིག་དཔེ་རྙིང་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་ཁང་། ༢༠༢༢ ། ཤོག་གྲངས ༣༢༡

གཞན་ཡང་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཀྱིས་སྐུ་འབུམ་དགོན་པར་བཞུགས་ཤིང་ཀན་སུའུ་མི་རིགས་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་ཁང་གིས་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༠༡ ལ་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་བྱས་ པའི་དེབ་ཕྲེང་གཞན་པ་ཁག་ཅིག་གི་ཆེད་དུ་སྨན་དཔེའི་དཀར་ཆག་གཅིག་ཀྱང་ཚུད་པའི་རྒྱུ་ཆ་ཕྱོགས་སྒྲིག་གནང་ཞིང་། ད་དུང་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༧ ལ་ལྷ་སའི་བོད་ལྗོངས་མི་དམངས་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་ཁང་གིས་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་བྱས་པའི་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་གི་ཚན་རིག་ཞིབ་འཇུག་ཐབས་ལམ་དང་རྒྱུད་རིམ་ཞེས་པའི་དེབ་ཕྲེང་གི་པོད་གཅིག་ཀྱང་རྩོམ་སྒྲིག་གནང་།

དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཀྱིས་རྒྱུད་བཞི་ནང་དུ་འཁོད་པའི་སྨན་དཔྱད་ལུགས་སྲོལ་ཁག་གི་ཐད་ལ་ཞིབ་འཇུག་བྱས་པའི་རྩོམ་བྲིས་འགའ་ཞིག་ནས་གཅིག་ནི་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༩ ལ་པེ་རི་སིའི་རྒྱལ་སྤྱིའི་བོད་རིག་པ་ལྷན་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་བགྲོ་གླེང་ཚོགས་ཆེན་ཐེངས་ ༡༥ པའི་སྐབས་སུ་སྒྲོག་སྦྱང་བྱས་པའི་ «ཞང་གཟི་བརྗིད་འབར་དང་ཁོང་གི་བརྩམས་ཆོས་སྐོར་ལ་སྔོན་འགྲོའི་དཔྱད་པ་» ཞེས་པ་དེ་ཡིན། ཁོང་གིས་རྒྱ་ནག་ཏུ་བོད་ཡིག་ཐོག་ «རྫོང་འཕྲེང་འཕྲུལ་གྱི་ལྡེ་མིག་ལ་དཔྱད་པ་» ལ་སོགས་པའི་ཚད་ལྡན་དཔྱད་རྩོམ་མང་པོ་སྤེལ་ཡོད་པ་མ་ཟད། ད་དུང་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་ཆེད་མཁས་གཞན་རྣམས་དང་ལྷན་དུ་མཉམ་འབྲེལ་རྩོམ་ཡིག་ཁ་ཤས་བྲིས་ཡོད། དེའི་ཁྲོད་དུ་ «ཧོང་ལེན་དུག་སེལ་ཐང་གི་འབམ་གྲུམ་ལ་ཕན་པར་དཔྱད་ཞིབ་» དང་། «བོད་ཀྱི་ཆེད་ལས་མཐོ་རིམ་སློབ་གྲྭའི་ལས་ཞུགས་སློབ་ཕྲུག་རྣམས་ཀྱི་སེམས་ཁམས་གནས་སྟངས་དབྱེ་ཞིབ།» ད་དུང་སིན་ནན་ཌི་འོན་ ཨེ་ cynandione A ཡིས་ཀླད་སྐྱོན་འཁར་འགག་གི་གྲིབ་སྐྱོན་སྔོན་འགོག་ བྱེད་པར་དབྱེ་ཞིབ། ཕི་རན་སིར་ France ཡོད་པའི་ཏུན་ཧོང་ཡིག་རྙིང་ཁྲོད་ཀྱི་བོད་ཀྱི་ཕྱུགས་སྨན་སྐོར་གྱི་བྲིས་རྩོམ་གཅིག་བཅས་ཡོད།

ཁོང་གིས་དབྱིན་ཇིའི་སྐད་དུ་བརྩམས་པའི་བྲིས་རྩོམ་ཁོངས་སུ་ཐེ་རེ་ས་ཧོ་ཕེར་ Theresia Hofer གྱིས་རྩོམ་སྒྲིག་གནང་ཞིང་ནིག་ཡོག་གི་རུ་བྷིན་འགྲེམས་སྟོན་ཁང་དང་སི་ཨ་ཊལ་ Seattle དུ་ཡོད་པའི་ཝ་ཤིན་ཊོན་གཙུག་ལག་སློབ་ཆེན་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་ཁང་ (University of Washington Press) གིས་མཉམ་བསྒྲུབ་དཔར་འགྲེམས་བྱས་པའི་ «བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་ལས་ཐ་མལ་ནད་མེད་ཀྱི་ལུས། Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine» ཞེས་པའི་དཔེ་དེབ་ (སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༤ ། ཤོག་གྲངས་ ༡༥༤-༡༡༧) ཏུ་སྤེལ་བའི་ «དཔལ་ལྡན་རྒྱུད་བཞིའི་འབྱུང་ཁུངས་དང་དེའི་མཛད་པ་པོ་གཡུ་ཐོག་ཡོན་ཏན་མགོན་པོའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་ The Origins of the Four Tantras and an Account of its Author, Yuthog Yonten Gonpo» ཞེས་པ་དང་། ཝི་ལིམ་ ཨེ་ མ་རྒི་རད་ William A. McGrath ཀྱིས་རྩོམ་སྒྲིག་གནང་ཞིང་ལེ་ཌེན་དང་སྦོ་སི་ཊོན་ Leiden/Boston དུ་ཡོད་པའི་སྦི་རིལ་རིག་གནས་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་ཁང་ (Brill Academic Publishers) གིས་དཔར་འགྲེམས་བྱས་པའི་ «བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་གི་ཤེས་བྱ་དང་རྒྱབ་ལྗོངས་ Knowledge and Context in Tibetan Medicine» ཞེས་པའི་དཔེ་དེབ་ (སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༩ ། ཤོག་གྲངས་ ༥༩-༨༤) ཏུ་སྤེལ་བའི་ «གཡུ་ཐོག་ཡོན་ཏན་མགོན་པོ་རྙིང་མའི་རྣམ་ཐར་དང་འབྲེལ་ནས་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་གི་འབྱུང་ཁུངས་སྐོར་གྱི་སྔོན་འགྲོའི་རྟོག་ཞིབ་ A Preliminary Study on the Biography of Yutok Yönten Gönpo the Elder: Reflections on the Origins of Tibetan Medicine» གཉིས་ཡོད། བྲིས་རྩོམ་འདི་གཉི་གས་ཀློག་པ་པོ་ཚོར་དུས་རབས་ ༡༢ པར་གསོ་རིག་བསྟན་བཅོས་རྒྱུད་བཞིའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་ཐོག་གི་རྩོམ་མཁན་ངོ་མ་སུ་ཡིན་མིན་སྐོར་གྱི་དབྱངས་དགའི་རྙོག་འཛིང་ཅན་གྱི་རྩོད་གླེང་དང་དཔང་རྟགས་ཞིབ་གསལ་སྤྱན་འབུལ་བྱས་ཡོད། དེ་མིན་པའི་དབྱིན་ཇི་སྐད་ཀྱི་རྩོམ་ཡིག་གལ་ཆེན་གཅིག་ནི་བོད་དང་ཧི་མ་ལ་ཡ་རིག་པའི་དུས་དེབ་ (Journal of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies) (སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༨ ། ཤོག་གྲངས་ ༧༣-༨༧) ཏུ་སྤེལ་བའི་«བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་བ་རིག་པ་དང་གྷི་རིག་སྨན་དཔྱད་བར་གྱི་འབྲེལ་བའི་ཞིབ་བསྡུར་ཉམས་ཞིབ་» དེ་ཆགས་ཡོད།

དབྱངས་དགའི་དོ་སྣང་བྱ་ཡུལ་མང་པོ་ཁྲོད་ཀྱི་གཅིག་ནི་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་ལུམས་བཅོས་ཀྱི་ཐོག་མའི་འབྱུང་ཁུངས་སྐོར་ཡིན། ཁོང་གིས་ནོར་ཝེ་ཡི་ བྷེར་གྷན་ Bergen དུ་འཚོགས་པའི་རྒྱལ་སྤྱིའི་བོད་རིག་པ་ལྷན་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་བགྲོ་གླེང་ཚོགས་ཆེན་དུ་སྒྲོག་སྦྱང་བྱ་རྒྱུའི་ཆེད་རྩོམ་ནི་ «བོད་ཀྱི་བདུད་རྩི་ལྔ་ལུམས་བཅོས་ཐབས་ཀྱི་འབྱུང་ཁུངས་སྐོར་ལ་དཔྱད་པ།» ཞེས་པ་ཡིན། ཁོང་གིས་བརྗོད་གཞི་དེའི་ཐད་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༦ ལ་རྒྱ་ནག་ཏུ་རྩོམ་ཡིག་འགའ་སྤེལ་ཟིན་ཡོད།

སློབ་དཔོན་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཀྱིས་བོད་ནང་གི་རང་གི་སློབ་ཆེན་དང་ཕྱག་རོགས་རྣམས་དང་ལྷན་དུ་གཙུག་ལག་སློབ་ཆེན་དང་གསོ་རིག་བསྟི་གནས་གཞན་ཁག་ལ་ཞབས་འདེགས་ག་ཚོད་བསྒྲུབས་ཡོད་མེད་སྐོར་ངས་མང་པོ་མི་ཤེས་ཀྱང་། ངས་ཁོ་རང་ཚུད་པའི་ལས་དོན་གལ་ཆེན་ཞིག་གི་སྐོར་ཤེས་ཀྱི་ཡོད། དེ་ནི་རྒྱ་གར་སྲིད་གཞུང་གིས་ UNESCO ཡི་གཏན་འབེབས་ལྟར་གསོ་བ་རིག་པ་དེ་བཞིན་རྒྱ་གར་གྱི་དངོས་མིན་རིག་གནས་ཤུལ་བཞག་ (intangible cultural heritage) ཁོངས་སུ་ཚུད་ཐབས་དང་བསྟུན་ནས་རྒྱ་གར་གྱི་ཁྲིམས་ལུགས་སྟངས་འཛིན་དང་བཀོལ་སྤྱོད་བདག་དབང་འོག་ཡོང་བར་ཞུ་སྙན་ཕུལ་རྗེས་བྱུང་ཡོད། དེ་ལྟའི་གསོ་རིག་གི་འབྱུང་ཁུངས་སྐོར་གྱི་ཐོབ་ཐང་རྩོད་ལེན་སྟབས་བདེ་དེ་འདྲར་སུན་འབྱིན་ནུས་མཁན་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལས་ལྷག་སུ་ཡོད་དམ། ཁོང་གིས་ང་ལ་སློབ་སྟོན་ཞུ་ཞོར་འབད་འབུངས་ཆེན་པོས་བོད་ལྗོངས་གསོ་རིག་སློབ་ཆེན་གྱི་ལས་རོགས་མི་འགྱུར་མཚོ་མོའི་མཉམ་དུ་རྒྱུད་བཞིའི་འབྱུང་ཁུངས་བོད་ཡིན་པའི་རྩོད་པ་ཁུངས་དག་གྲ་སྒྲིག་གནང་། དེ་ནས་དབྱངས་དགའ་དང་ལྷ་ས་སྨན་རྩིས་ཁང་གི་དབུ་འཛིན་གཞོན་པ་དང་སྐར་རྩིས་པ་ཡུམ་པ་གཉིས་མཐའ་མར་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༩ ཟླ་ ༡༢ ཚེས་ ༩ ནས་ ༡༤ བར་དུ་ཀོ་ལིམ་སྦི་ཡའི་རྒྱལ་ས་བྷོ་གོ་ཊ་ (Bogota, Columbia) ལ་བསྐྱོད་དེ་ UNESCO ཡི་ཁྱབ་ཁོངས་དངོས་མིན་རིག་གནས་ཤུལ་བཞག་སྲིད་གཞུང་ནང་ཁུལ་ལས་དོན་ཚོགས་ཆུང་ (Intergovernmental Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage) གི་ཐེངས་ ༡༤ པའི་ཚོགས་ཆེན་མདུན་དུ་བདེན་དཔང་ར་སྤྲོད་བྱས་པར། གནད་དོན་དེ་རྒྱ་ནག་གི་འདོད་མོས་ཕྱོགས་སུ་ཐག་གཅོད་བྱས་ཡོད།

Yangga at his home in Lhasa, Losar 2021. Photograph by his daughter Tsultrim Padmo Drushik. | དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ལྷ་སའི་རང་ཁྱིམ་དུ་ལོ་གསར་སྐབས། སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༢༡

ང་རང་དབྱངས་དགའ་དམ་པ་དེས་མུ་མཐུད་ནས་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་ལོ་རྒྱུས་དང་གཞུང་ལུགས་སྐོར་ལ་ཤུགས་རྐྱེན་ཆེ་བའི་ཞིབ་འཇུག་ལས་དོན་རྒྱུན་སྐྱོང་མ་ཐུབ་པ་དང་། སློབ་ཕྲུག་མང་པོ་སྐྱེད་སྲིང་བྱེད་མ་ཐུབ་པར་སྐྱོ་གདུང་སྐྱེ་གི་འདུག དེ་ལས་ཀྱང་ངས་དབྱངས་དགའ་ཞེས་པའི་གང་ཟག་དང་། སྐྱེས་པ། ཕ། གྲོགས་པོ་ཞིག་བོར་བར་ཡིད་སྐྱོ་མྱ་ངན་ཞུ། ཁོང་ཧ་ཝར་ཌི་ལ་བཞུགས་རིང་ངས་ཁོང་དང་ལྷན་དུ་ལས་ཀ་བྱས་པའི་ཁར། རྗེས་སུ་ང་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༦ ལ་ཟི་ལིང་དུ་བསྐྱོད་ཐེངས་ཤིག་ལ་ཁོང་དང་མཉམ་དུ་མཚོ་སྔོན་པོར་ལྟ་སྐོར་འགྲོ་བའི་སྐལ་བ་ལྡན་སོང་། གཞན་ང་རང་ལྷ་ས་སྨན་རྩིས་ཁང་དང་འཛམ་གླིང་ཀྲུང་མཐུན་བོད་ལུགས་གསོ་རིག་ཆེད་ལས་ཚོགས་པ་ཟུང་འབྲེལ་གྱིས་ ༧ གོང་ས་སྐུ་ཕྲེང་ ༡༣ པ་ཆེན་པོས་སྨན་རྩིས་ཁང་གསར་འཛུགས་གནང་ནས་མི་ལོ་ ༡༠༠ འཁོར་བའི་དུས་དྲན་སྲུང་བརྩི་སླད་དུ་གོ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་པའི་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༦ ཟླ་ ༩ ཚེས་ ༡༢ ནས་ ༡༣ བར་གྱི་གསོ་རིག་ཚོགས་ཆེན་ཞིག་ལ་ཞུགས་སྐབས་ལྷ་སར་ཡོད་པའི་ཁོང་གི་ཁྱིམ་ལ་བཅར་ཐུབ་པ་བྱུང།

ངས་རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་ཞིབ་འཇུག་ཆེད་དུ་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་དཔྱད་བསམ་བློའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་སྐོར་ལྟ་ཀློག་བྱེད་སྐབས་ལོ་བདུན་རིང་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ཧ་ཝར་ཌི་ལ་ཡོད་པ་དང་བསྟུན་ནས་ཁོང་གི་མཁས་ཁྱད་ལྡན་པའི་ལམ་སྟོན་དང་སློབ་ཁྲིད་ཀྱི་དབང་གིས་ཁོང་ནི་ངའི་དགེ་རྒན་དུ་ངོས་འཛིན་བྱེད་ཀྱི་ཡོད། དུས་སྐབས་དེའི་རིང་གལ་སྲིད་ཁོང་དང་ལྷན་དུ་གོ་བསྡུར་ལྷུག་པོ་དེ་འདྲ་བྱེད་ཐུབ་མེད་ཚེ། ངས་བྲིས་ཟིན་པའི་དཔེ་དེབ་ «ནང་པའི་འཇིག་རྟེན་གྱི་མི་ལུས་ཏེ་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་དཔྱད་བསམ་བློའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས Being Human in a Buddhist World: An Intellectual History of Tibetan Medicine» (སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༥) ཞེས་པ་ཡེ་ནས་འབྲི་ཐུབ་མེད་ཅེས་བརྗོད་ཀྱང་ཐལ་དྲགས་མེད་སྙམ།

Yangga at Kokonor, 2016. Photograph by Janet Gyatso | དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་མཚོ་སྔོན་པོའི་མཚོ་ཁར་ཡོད་སྐབས། སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༦

དབྱངས་དགའ་ལ་ཧ་ཅང་གི་མི་གཤིས་དྲོན་པོ་ཞིག་ཡོད། ང་དགའ་ཤོས་ཀྱི་དྲན་སྣང་གཅིག་ནི་ཕྱི་དྲོ་ཞིག་ལ་ཁོང་དང་ཁོང་གི་ནང་མི་རྣམས་ངའི་ཁྱོ་ག་དང་ངེད་གཉིས་ཀྱི་ཁྱིམ་དུ་དགོང་ཟས་ལ་ཡོང་དུས་དེ་རེད། ངས་དབྱངས་དགའ་ཡི་བུ་མོ་གཉིས་ཀྱིས་གསོལ་ཚིགས་ཁང་གི་སྒོ་རྒྱབ་ནས་ང་ཚོའི་ཅོག་ཙེའི་མདུན་དུ་བཞུགས་པའི་ཁོང་ལ་ལྐོག་ལྟ་དང་གད་མོ་སློང་བ་དེ་དྲན། བུ་མོ་གཉིས་ནས་མི་རྒན་པ་ཚོའི་ཁ་བརྡ་ལ་བར་ཆད་གཏོང་བཞིན་བསྡད། ཡིན་ནའང་དབྱངས་དགའ་ནི་དེར་ཡིད་བསུན་ཁོང་ཁྲོ་ལངས་རྒྱུ་ཕར་ཞོག ཕར་བུ་མོ་གཉིས་ལ་རང་གི་ཀུ་རེ་རྩེད་དགོད་འགོག་མ་ཐུབ་ཙམ་བྱས་ནས་བསྡད་སོང་།

ངས་ད་དུང་ང་ཚོས་ལས་རོགས་ངན་པ་ཞིག་གི་སྐོར་ལ་གླེང་མོལ་བྱས་པ་དྲན་སོས་ཀྱི་འདུག དབྱངས་དགས་བརྗོད་རྒྱུར། “མི་ཚང་མར་འཛུམ་མདངས་སྙིང་རྗེ་མོ་རེ་ཡོད་པ་རེད། ལས་རོགས་ག་གེ་མོ་དེ་ནི་འཛུམ་མདངས་མེད་མཁན་གྲས་ཀྱི་གཅིག་རེད། ཧ་ཧ་ཧ།” ངས་དེ་ནི་དངོས་གནས་གཏིང་ཟབ་ཅིང་བྱམས་སེམས་ཀྱིས་ཁེངས་པའི་དོ་སྣང་བྱེད་སྟངས་ཤིག་དང་དམིགས་བསལ་དོན་གནད་ཅིག་གིས་བྱེད་སྲོལ་གང་ཡིན་གསལ་སྟོན་བྱེད་པར་བརྩི་ཡི་ཡོད། མི་ཚང་མའི་བཞིན་རས་ལ་སོ་སོའི་མཛེས་སྡུག་ཡོད་པ་རེད།

དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་ལ་མི་ཚེའི་ནང་དུ་དགའ་སྤྲོ་ཆེན་པོ་ཐོབ་ཡོད། ཁོང་གི་དགའ་སྤྲོ་དེ་སྐད་ཤུགས་ཆེ་བའི་དགོད་སྒྲ་ཞིག་ནས་མངོན་པར་བྱེད། ཁོང་གིས་རང་དང་གཞན། བདེན་པའི་བྱ་དངོས་ལ་བལྟས་ནས་གད་མོ་ཡང་ཡང་དགོད། ཁོང་གི་དགོད་སྒྲ་དེ་ངས་ད་ལྟ་རང་ངའི་རྣ་བར་ཐོས་ཐུབ་པ་འདུག འོན་ཀྱང་ངས་ཁོང་གི་དགོད་སྒྲ་དེ་ཡིག་ཐོག་ལ་དབབ་མི་ཐུབ་པས་ཤིན་ཏུ་སྐྱོ། ཉེ་དུས་ཀྱི་དྲན་པ་དགའ་ཤོས་ཤིག་ནི་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༩ ཟླ་ ༧ པར་པེ་རི་སིའི་རྒྱལ་སྤྱིའི་བོད་རིག་པ་ལྷན་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་བགྲོ་གླེང་ཚོགས་ཆེན་སྐབས་ཁོང་དང་བོད་མི་ཚོགས་ཞུགས་པ་མང་པོ་ལྷན་དུ་ཡུལ་སྐོར་ལྗོངས་རྒྱུའི་སྤྱི་སྤྱོད་སྦ་སིའི་ཁང་ཐོག་ལ་བསྡད་པ་དེ་ཡིན། ང་ཚོས་པེ་རི་སིའི་གྲོང་ཁྱེར་ལ་བསྐོར་གྱིན་ཡུལ་ལྗོངས་དང་ཁང་པའི་བཟོ་བཀོད་དག་གིས་ང་ཚོའི་ཡིད་དབང་འཕྲོག་བཞིན་པའི་སྐབས། ང་ཚོ་སྡོད་སའི་སྤྱི་སྤྱོད་སྦ་སི་གང་བོ་ལམ་སེང་ཕན་ཚུན་ཚིག་ངན་དང་ཀྱལ་ཀ་འཕེན་རེས། རང་མགོ་རང་གྲུང་བྱེད་པའི་འགྲན་སྡུར་ལ་ཞུགས། དབྱངས་དགའ་ནི་དེའི་གྲས་ནས་འགོ་དཔོན་དང་རིག་པ་རྣོ་ཤོས་དེ་རེད། ཁོང་གིས་དགོད་བྲོའི་བཞད་གད་སློང་བཞིན་བསྡད་། (དེ་དག་ནས་ཁ་ཤས་ཙམ་མ་གཏོགས་ངས་གོ་ཐུབ་ཀྱི་མི་འདུག་མོད། འོན་ཀྱང་སྤྱི་སྤྱོད་ སྦ་སི་སྟེང་ལ་ཁྱབ་པའི་བཞད་གད་ཀྱིས་ང་ཡང་གད་མོ་བགད་དུ་བཅུག)

Yangga on tour bus in Paris, 2019. Photograph by Janet Gyatso | དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་པེ་རེ་སི་གྲོང་ཁྱེར་དུ་སྤྱི་སྤྱོད་སྦ་སིར་ཡུལ་སྐོར་སྤྲོ་འཆམ་བྱེད་སྐབས། སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༩

དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་མི་གཞན་ཚོའི་གཤིས་སྤྱོད་ཐད་ཚོར་བ་སྐྱེན་པོ་ཡོད། ཁོང་གིས་མི་གཞན་དེ་ལྷག་བསམ་རྣམ་དག་ཡིན་མིན་ཚོད་བགམ་མཐིལ་ཕྱིན་བྱས་ཏེ། གཞན་ཚོའི་རྣམ་འགྱུར་ཇི་ལྟར་སྟོན་ཐབས་བྱེད་པར་དོ་སྣང་ལྷོད་མེད་བྱེད། མདོར་ན། དབྱངས་དགའ་ནི་གསོ་རིག་གི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་སྨྲ་བ་ཙམ་དུ་མ་ཟད། ཁོང་ནི་བརྟག་དཔྱད་བྱེད་ཐབས་ལ་མྱོང་མངའ་ཆེ་བའི་སྨན་པ་མཐར་ཕྱིན་པ་ཞིག་ཡིན། ཡིན་ནའང་རྒྱུན་དུ་ལག་ལེན་ཤུགས་ཆེན་གནང་མེད། སྨན་པ་ཞིག་གི་ངོས་ནས་བསྒྲུབ་དགོས་པའི་དོན་གནད་ཆེན་པོ་ཞིག་ནི་མི་ལུས་ཀྱི་ཕྱིའི་རྟགས་མཚན་ལ་གཞིགས་ཏེ་ནང་གི་གནས་སྟངས་ཁ་ཚོན་གཅོད་རྒྱུ་དེ་ཡིན། དོན་དངོས་ཐོག་རྒྱ་གར་མཚན་ཉིད་རིག་པའི་གཏན་ཚིགས་ཧྲིལ་པོ་ནི་བྱེ་བྲག་ལས་སྤྱི་དཔོག་པ་དང་སྤྱི་ལས་བྱེ་བྲག་དཔོག་དགོས་པའི་སྐོར་ཡིན་པས། དེའི་སྐོར་ཐོག་མར་གནའ་བོའི་རྒྱ་གར་གྱི་སྨན་དཔྱད་བསྟན་བཅོས་ནང་དུ་གསལ་སྟོན་རྒྱས་པ་བྱས་ཡོད།

ངས་དབྱངས་དགའ་ནི་ཆེས་སྤྱང་གྲུང་ཅན་གྱི་གླེང་མོལ་བྱེད་མཁན་ཞིག་ཏུ་མཐོང་ཡོད། ཁོང་དང་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་ཀྱི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་དང་རིག་གཞུང་སྐོར་ལ་བགྲོ་གླེང་གཏིང་ཟབ་ཐེངས་མང་བྱེད་པའི་སྐལ་བ་བཟང་པོ་བྱུང་། ཁོང་གི་སློབ་གཉེར་དེ་ཡང་མཁན་པོ་ཁྲོ་རུ་ཚེ་རྣམ་དང་མཁན་པོ་ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས་རྒྱལ་མཚན་རྣམ་གཉིས་དང་ལྷན་དུ་གནའ་བོའི་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་སློབ་ཁྲིད་བྱེད་ཐབས་ཀྱི་རྗེས་སུ་འབྲངས་ཡོད་པ་ལས་དེང་རབས་དོགས་དཔྱོད་ཀྱི་རིགས་ལམ་འཇུག་ཐབས་ལ་ཞུགས་མེད་ནའང་། ཁོང་ནི་རྗེས་ཐོབ་བློ་རིག་ལ་དོགས་སློང་མི་བྱེད་མཁན་གྱི་སྲོལ་རྒྱུན་མི་སྣ་ངོ་མ་ཞིག་མིན། དབྱངས་དགས་འུར་སྒྲོག་སྙན་ཆའི་ཚིག་བརྗོད་ལ་ཤིན་ཏུ་ནས་དག་ཐེར་བྱེད་ཅིང་གནད་དོན་ལྐོག་གྱུར་ཅན་རྙེད་པར་རིག་པ་ཡག་པོ་ཞིག་ཡོད། ཁོང་ནི་ད་དུང་ལོ་རྒྱུས་རིག་པར་དགོས་པའི་དཔང་རྟགས་ཀྱི་གལ་གནད་དང་གནས་བབ་ཀྱི་གལ་ཆེན་རང་བཞིན་ཤེས་མཁན་ཞིག་ཡིན་ཁར། དཔང་རྟགས་མེད་པ་ནས་བྱུང་བའི་སྐྱོན་གནད་ཀྱང་ཡག་པོ་ཤེས་ཀྱི་ཡོད། ཕྱོགས་མང་པོ་ཞིག་ནས་དབྱངས་དགའ་ནི་ངས་ཁོང་གི་མཉམ་དུ་ཀློག་བཞིན་པའི་དཔེ་དེབ་ནང་གི་སྨན་པ་ཚད་ལྡན་ཞིག་ལ་ཚང་དགོས་པའི་ཚོར་བ་རྣོ་བའི་རིན་ཐང་གི་ལྟ་བ་དང་བསྒྲུབ་ཕོད་ནུས་པ་ལྡན་པའི་དཔེ་མཚོན་འོས་ཤོས་ཤིག་ཡིན། དབྱངས་དགས་ང་ལ་ཟུར་ཟའི་གཏམ་དང་འཕྱ་སྨོད་ཀྱི་ཁྱད་པར་དབྱེ་སྟངས་བསླབས་མྱོང་། དཔེར་ན། ཟུར་མཁར་བློ་གྲོས་རྒྱལ་པོས་རྒྱུད་བཞི་རྩོམ་པ་པོའི་སྐོར་ལ་བཤད་པའི་སྐད་ཆའི་འགྲོས་རེད། ང་རང་གཅིག་པོས་དེའི་གོ་དོན་ནམ་ཡང་ལེན་མི་ཤེས། སྡེ་སྲིད་སངས་རྒྱས་རྒྱ་མཚོས་རང་གི་ཕྱག་རོགས་རྣམས་ལ་མཚང་འབྲུ་བྱས་པར་ཁོང་ཁྲེལ་དགོད་ཤོར་བ་དང་། དེར་ཁོང་རང་གིས་སྐྱོན་བརྗོད་ནན་པོ་བྱས་པ་ངས་དྲན་གྱི་འདུག

དབྱངས་དགའ་ཡང་ཆེད་ལས་ཤེས་ཡོན་ཅན་ངར་མ་ཞིག་རེད། ཁོང་གིས་ཁོང་ལྷ་སར་ཕྱིར་ལོག་རྗེས་བོད་རིགས་སྨན་པ་དང་ཆེད་མཁས་ཚོར་ང་ཚོས་བཤད་བཞིན་པའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་ཐོག་ནས་བདེན་པ་ཡིན་པར་འདོད་པའི་གཡུ་ཐོག་རྙིང་མའི་སྐོར་གྱི་སྒྲུང་གཏམ་རྣམས་ལ་དོགས་འདྲིའི་གཏམ་བཤད་ཅིག་བྱས་པར། ཆེད་མཁས་རྒན་པ་འགས་ངུ་ངུག་བཏོན་སོང་ཞེས་ང་ལ་བརྗོད་བྱུང་། དུས་སྐབས་དེར་སེམས་སྐྱོ་བ་ཞིག་ཡིན་ནའང་། གཏམ་རྒྱུད་འདིས་མཚོན་ཐུབ་པ་ནི་ཉན་མཁན་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་ངུ་ངག་འདོན་པའི་ཆེད་དུ་ཁོང་གི་གཏམ་བཤད་ཀྱིས་ཉན་མཁན་རྣམ་པར་ཡིད་ཆེས་རྙེད་དུ་བཅུག་ཡོད་པ་གོར་མ་ཆག དེ་ཡིས་ཁོ་ཚོ་རང་ངོས་ནས་དོན་དངོས་དང་། དཔང་རྟགས། ལོ་རྒྱུས་རིག་པའི་གནས་ལུགས་ལ་གདེང་འཇོག་བརྩི་བཀུར་བྱེད་པ་མཚོན་ཞིང་། དེ་དག་ནི་བོད་ཀྱི་སྲོལ་རྒྱུན་གསོ་རིག་སློབ་ཁྲིད་བྱེད་ཐབས་དང་སློབ་གཉེར་གྱི་རིན་ཐང་ཉག་ཅིག་ཡིན།

ངས་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༢༢ འགོ་སྟོད་ཙམ་ལ་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་སྨན་ཁང་དུ་སྨན་བཅོས་ཆེད་དུ་འགྲོ་དགོས་པ་ཆགས་སྐབས་ཁོང་གི་གཟུགས་པོའི་གནས་སྟངས་ཚབས་ཆེན་ཆགས་ཡོད་པ་ཤེས་རྟོགས་བྱུང་། ང་ལ་གློ་བུར་དུ་ཁོང་འདས་གྲོངས་སུ་འགྱུར་ཉེན་ཆེ་སྙམ་སྟེ་ཞེད་སྣང་སྐྱེས། ང་ཚོས་ཟླ་རེར་ཕར་ཚུར་འབྲེལ་མོལ་བྱེད་ཀྱི་ཡོད་པས། རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་ཞེད་སྣང་དེ་ཁོང་ལ་འཕྲིན་ཐུང་ཞིག་བརྒྱུད་དེ་བསྐུར་པ་ཡིན། ཁོང་གིས་ང་ལ་ “ང་བློ་བདེ་པོ་ཡིན། ངས་ནད་གཞི་འདིར་སེམས་ཁྲལ་དེ་ཙམ་བྱེད་ཀྱི་མེད། དེ་ངའི་ལས་དབང་ལ་རག་ལས་ཡོད།” ཅེས་ལན་བརྒྱབ་བྱུང་།

སྐབས་དེར་ཁོང་གི་སློབ་ཕྲུག་འགའི་མིང་ང་ལ་ངོ་སྤྲོད་བྱས་བྱུང་། ད་དུང་སློབ་ཕྲུག་ཡག་ཤོས་རྣམས་ཀྱི་མིང་ཡང་བཤད་སོང་། དེང་སྐབས་སློབ་ཕྲུག་མང་པོ་ཡོད་སྲིད། ངེད་གཉིས་ཀྱིས་ལག་བྲིས་དཔེ་ཆ་གལ་ཆེན་འགའ་གང་དུ་ཡོད་པའི་སྐོར་ཁ་བརྡ་བྱས། ཁོང་གིས་ང་ལ་པོ་ཏ་ལར་ཉར་ཚགས་བྱས་པའི་གསོ་རིག་དཔེ་རྙིང་དཀོན་གྲས་ཕལ་ཆེ་བ་ཉེ་ཆར་དཔར་སྐྲུན་བྱས་ཟིན་པ་དང་འཛམ་གླིང་ས་ཕྱོགས་གང་སའི་དཔེ་མཛོད་ཁང་དུ་འགྲེམས་སྤེལ་བྱས་ཟིན་པའི་སྐོར་བརྗོད་བྱུང་། ཡེ་ཤེས་དབྱངས་འཛོམས་དང་ཡུམ་པ་གཉིས་ཀྱིས་རྩོམ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་པའི་ «གངས་ལྗོངས་སྨན་རྩིས་རིག་མཛོད་ཆེན་མོ་» ཞེས་པའི་དེབ་ཕྲེང་གཙོ་བོ་དེ་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༦ ལ་པེ་ཅིང་གི་བོད་རིག་པའི་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་ཁང་གིས་པར་དུ་བཏབ་ཅིང་དེར་པོད་ ༡༣༠ ཡོད། པོད་ ༣༠ ཅན་གྱི་དེབ་ཕྲེང་གཉིས་པ་ «ཀྲུང་གོའི་བོད་ལུགས་གསོ་རིག་རྩ་ཆེའི་དཔེ་རྙིང་ཀུན་བཏུས» ཞེས་པ་ཉི་མ་ཚེ་རིང་གི་ལམ་སྟོན་འོག་གསོ་རིག་སློབ་གྲྭ་ཆེན་མོས་ཕྱོགས་སྒྲིག་བྱས་ཤིང་སྤྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༡༣ ལ་ལྷ་སར་བོད་ལྗོངས་མི་དམངས་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་ཁང་ནས་དཔེ་སྐྲུན་གནང་ཡོད།

རྒན་དབྱངས་དགའ་ལགས་རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་རེ་བ་དང་ལམ་སྟོན་གནང་དོན་ལྟར། ཁོང་གི་སྐུ་ཕུང་ཁྲིན་ཏུའུ་ནས་རང་གི་གཅུང་པོས་གདན་འདྲེན་བྱས་ཏེ། རྒན་དབྱངས་དགའ་རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་རེ་བ་ལྟར་གནས་མཆོག་བསམ་ཡས་མཆིམས་ཕུར་ཞུགས་འབུལ་གནང་ཡོད།

ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས་པད་མོ་དྲུ་ཤིག་དང་། ཀརྨ་སྟོབས་ལྡན། ཝི་ལིམ་ མ་རྒི་རད། གཡང་འབུམ་རྒྱལ། སུན་པེན་ཧོ། ཡུམ་པ། མི་འགྱུར་མཚོ་མོ། ཌོ་ནལ་ཌི་ལོ་པེ་ཛི། ཧན་ན་ཧ་ཝི་ནེ་ཝིག། ལེའོ་ནར་ཌི་ ཝན་ ཌེར་ ཁེབ་རྣམས་ནས་དམ་པ་ཁོང་གི་སྐུ་ཚེའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་དང་མྱ་ངན་ཞུ་ཚིག་འདི་འབྲི་བར་གནས་ཚུལ་མཁོ་འདོན་གནང་བར་བཀའ་དྲིན་ཆེ་ཞུ།།



Obituary and Tribute to Yangga (1964-2022)

Yangga delivering a lecture. Date and photographer unknown.

Written by Janet Gyatso

It is with deep sadness that I report the death of Yangga (Dbyangs dga’), ground-breaking historian of Tibetan medicine.  He was my teacher, and my student. 

Yangga passed away from liver cancer on the evening of December 17, 2022, in Chengdu, China.   At the time of his untimely death, at the age of 58, Yangga was Professor (Dge rgan Chen mo) at Bod ljongs Gso rig slob grwa chen mo (University of Tibetan Medicine) in Lhasa [see:].  Yangga first contracted a liver tumor in around 2015 but he was able to keep working and writing until the last few months of his life.  He died at his temporary home in Chengdu, China,  where he was living with his wife in order to be near a hospital where he was being treated.  His permanent home was in Lhasa and Nagchu.  He was joined by his family in the last days after he left the hospital to be able to die at home. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.  

Yangga was born in Driru (‘Bri ru) County, Nagchu City, in 1964, where he was educated through high school. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Tibet University in Lhasa in 1989, and another bachelor’s degree from University of Tibetan Medicine in Lhasa in 1991.  He earned a master’s degree from University of Tibetan Medicine in 2002.  His main teachers in medicine were the famous Khenpo Troru Tsenam (Mkhan po Khro ru rtse rnam) and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyaltsen (Mkhan po Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan).  In 2003 he was accepted into the doctoral program in Inner and Altaic Studies at Harvard University, where he worked with myself and Leonard van der Kuijp, and earned his PhD in 2010.

Beginning in 1991 Yangga served as an instructor and then a lecturer at University of Tibetan Medicine.  He was promoted to Associate Director of the Dean’s office in 2000.  After returning to Lhasa upon graduating from Harvard, he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2013 and full Professor in 2018.  Yangga also taught Tibetan language and medicine at Harvard University, and he served as Lecturer in Tibetan in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan during the 2009-2010 academic year.  In 2013, he was offered a postdoctoral fellowship to return to the University of Michigan but was unable to accept because he did not receive permission to travel to the United States.  In recent years Yangga was Visiting Professor at Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu.  He was also Deputy Director of the Tibet Autonomous Region Ancient Books Protection Expert Committee, and a member of the Tibetan Medicine Standardization Technical Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Yangga was only able to present a paper at the International Association of Tibetan Studies (IATS) on one occasion, in Paris 2019 at the 15th IATS Seminar.  But he was also on the program for the 14th IATS Seminar in Bergen in 2016 as well.  His paper had been accepted and scheduled, but he could not attend at the last minute because his passport for travel was revoked. 

I myself have had the great fortune to get to know Yangga well.  I first met him in Lhasa at the International Conference on Tibetan Medicine in 2000.  At that time I was still teaching at Amherst College, and he was finishing his masters’ degree at the Tibetan Medical University.  During the week of that amazing conference in Lhasa, with scores of very learned medical scholars from all over Tibet, we spoke about medicine often.  I was quite impressed by the nuance and precision in this young man’s manner of discussing scholarship on Tibetan medicine.  And so the following year when I moved to Harvard Divinity School, and I suddenly found myself with the privilege and resources to be able to invite international scholars as visitors, I did so.  Yangga was thus able to come to Harvard as a visiting scholar in 2002.  Then he went back to Lhasa, and applied into the doctoral program at Harvard in Inner Asian and Altaic Studies, and he was admitted as my advisee.  He gained his master’s degree from University of Tibetan Medicine in the same year.

Yangga returned to Harvard in fall 2003 to start his doctoral work.  Capable a person as Yangga was, he also managed to get his wife and two young daughters to join him in Somerville, where he lived as a student, within a year’s time.  In fact, both children had medical conditions, which Yangga was able to have fixed here in Boston, at our excellent hospitals.

Yangga proceeded to study at Harvard for seven years.  He wrote an important doctoral thesis under my direction on the sources of the Tibetan medical classic Rgyud bzhi.  In that thesis he provides a detailed comparison of the Rgyud bzhi’s overall chapter structure, as well as the contents of each of those chapters, with the Indic medical classics of Ayurvedic tradition. He shows how in some portions of the work, the Rgyud bzhi is closely dependent on Ayurvedic knowledge. However, in other chapters, its author Yuthok Yontan Gonpo (Gyu thog Yon tan mgon po) was drawing on other medical traditions from both western Asia and East Asia, as well as a range of indigenous medical knowledges on the Tibetan plateau.  Yangga identified many of these other medical streams in his thesis with textual precision.  He showed how large sections of the Rgyud bzhi are indebted to certain old Tibetan medical works — still extant in Lhasa and to which he and his colleagues there have had access — that predate the Rgyud bzhi and are themselves indebted to various medical traditions not related to Ayurveda. These include Biji poti kha ser, Byang khog dmar byang and Sman dpyad zla ba’i rgyal po. 

Next Yangga turned to pay particular attention to the medical knowledge in the Rgyud bzhi on wounds to the upper body.  Yangga estimated that this section of Tibetan medicine was connected to empirical knowledge in ancient Tibet regarding how arrows enter the torso in military conflict, and the various surgical procedures to remove them without causing collateral damage in the body.

Yet another important aspect of Yangga’s thesis concerns the families in Tibetan history that were most active in transmitting the Rgyud bzhi in its early years, including the Brang ti lineage of physicians, as well as the Gong sman and Tsha rong families.

Finally, Yangga’s very important contribution was his investigation into the figure of Yuthok Yontan Gonpo the Elder. Yangga speculated that his lifestory and even very existence might have largely been created in the 16th-17th centuries, based on earlier biographical writings which are really about the person whom we now call Yuthok the Younger.  In this Yangga was following previous research by outstanding critical Tibetan historians of medicine from the past, with evidence starting in the 13th century at least.  Yangga confirms that there is no reference to an “Elder” (as opposed to a “Younger”) Yuthok in pre-16th century Tibetan medical historiography. He also rejects the possibility that there was a physician named Yuthok who served in the royal court of the Tibetan Yarlung dynasty.  But most of all, he sets out convincing reasons to attribute the authorship of the Rgyud bzhi to the 12th century figure whom modern scholars have been calling Yuthok the Younger.  The Rgyud bzhi was not translated from Sanskrit and is rather a creative and original treatise by the 12th century Tibetan doctor Yuthok Yontan Gonpo, drawing on many medical traditions in Asia and beyond.  For the intricate details on this intriguing issue, the reader can consult Yangga’s English articles listed below, one from 2014 and the other from 2019. Even more so, the reader is commended to Yangga’s new book on the life of Yuthok Yonden Gonpo, also listed just below, which he published in the last year of his life, a copy of which I have recently received.  I have not yet had the chance to read this book closely, but can say that Yangga provides here six biographical sources for the figure of Yuthok in full, and presents his most up-to-date analysis of the whole issue.

Yangga at his Harvard Graduation, May 2010. Photographer not known.

After finishing his thesis and graduating from Harvard, Yangga returned to Tibet and continued to pursue his scholarly work at the same time that he took up teaching and administrative duties.  He continued his deep research in the various archives and libraries of Lhasa, and wrote many articles. A full c.v. of his works is being prepared and may be requested from me when it is ready.  Most notably, he published three substantial books, including editions of valuable and rare original documents, during the last year of his life.  Each of these volumes make major contributions to the study of Tibetan medicine.

Bod lugs gso ba rig pa’i khog dbub gces btus rin chen phreng ba, Lhasa: Bod ljong bod yig dpe rnying dpe skrun khang. 2022. 440 pp.  (Selected rare historical writings on Tibetan medicine).

Gyu thog gsar rnying gi rnam thar dang de’i skor gyi dpad pa drang gtam rna ba’i bu ram. Chengdu: Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2022. 360 pp. (Research on the Elder and Younger Yuthok Yontan Gonpos, including six Yuthok biographies).

Bi ji’i po ti kha ser dang de’i dpyad pa pa dgyes pa’i gtam, Lhasa: Bod ljong bod yig dpe rnying dpe skrun khang. 2022. 321 pp.  (Two versions of, and research on, an early medical work in Tibetan which presents medical knowledge from Western Asia and beyond.) 

Additionally, Yangga edited and compiled material for other volumes, including a catalogue of the medical texts held at Sku ‘bum Moastery, published by Kan suʼu mi rigs dpe skrun khang in 2001, and a volume on the scientific research methods and procedures of Tibetan medicine published by Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, in Lhasa in 2017.

Some of Yangga’s work on the multiple medical traditions converging in Rgyud bzhi was addressed in the paper he delivered at the 15th IATS seminar in Paris in 2019, entitled “Preliminary Investigations into Shang Siji Bar [Zhang gzi brjid ‘bar’] and His Medical Works.”  He has published numerous other scholarly articles in Tibetan in China, including a study of rDzong ‘phreng ‘phrul gyi lde mig.  Additionally, he is co-author of numerous articles with other scholars of Tibetan medicine, including an analysis of the anti-rheumatic effects of huang lian jie du tang from a network perspective; an investigation and analysis of employment psychology of students in Tibetan professional colleges; an analysis of cynandione A’s anti-ischemic stroke effects; and a piece on Tibetan veterinary documents from Dunhuang in France.

Among his publications in English are “The Origin of the Four Tantras and an Account of Its Author, Yuthog Yonten Gonpo ” in Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine, ed. Theresia Hofer,New York: Rubin Museum of Art in conjunction with Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2014, 154-177; and “A Preliminary Study on the Biography of Yutok Yönten Gönpo the Elder: Reflections on the Origins of Tibetan Medicine,” in  Knowledge and Context in Tibetan Medicine, ed. William A. McGrath, Leiden/Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2019, 59-84.   Both of these essays will give the reader a good idea of the intricate arguments and evidence Yangga amassed and analysed to establish the historical authorship of the medical classic Rgyud bzhi in the 12th century.  Another important article in English is his “A Comparative Study of the Relationship between Greek and Tibetan Medicine” in Journal of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, 2018, 73-87.

Another area of Yangga’s many interests was the origins of the medicinal baths tradition in Tibetan medicine.  The paper he had planned to deliver at the IATS conference in Bergen was entitled “Study on the Origin of Tibetan Five Nectars Medicated Bath Therapy.”  He has published about the matter in several articles in China in 2016. 

While I do not know much about the service that Professor Yangga performed for his school and with colleagues inside Tibet at other universities and medical centers, I do know about one big effort in which he was involved.  This came after the bid on the part of the Indian government to claim gso ba rig pa as an Indian “intangible cultural heritage” as specified by UNESCO and therefore under Indian jurisdiction and copyright.  Who better to refute that too-simplistic claim about. the origin of gso rig than Yangga himself?  He consulted with me while he was laboriously preparing the appropriate arguments for the Tibetan origin of the Rgyud bzhi, together with his colleague at University of Tibetan Medicine, Mingji Cuomu. Then Yangga and Yum pa, astrologer and Vice–President of the Lhasa Men-Tsee-Khang (Sman rtsis khang), finally travelled to Bogota, Columbia in 2019 from 9th to 14th December to testify in front of the 14th session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage within UNESCO, and the case was decided in the favor of China.

Yangga at his home in Lhasa, Losar 2021. Photograph by his daughter Tsultrim Padmo Drushik.

I mourn the thought that Yangga will not be able to produce more ground-breaking work on the history and theory of Tibetan medicine, and be able to mentor many more students.  But more sorrowfully yet, I mourn the loss of Yangga the person, the man, the father, the friend.  In addition to working with him throughout his time at Harvard, I later had the fortune to tour Lake Kokonor 2016 with him on a visit to Xining.  I also visited his family at their home in Lhasa when I attended another medical conference in Lhasa, this time hosted on 12–13 September 2016 by the Lhasa Men–Tsee–Khang, along with the Tibetan Medicine Committee of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Sman rtsis khang in Lhasa by the 13th Dalai Lama.

I consider Yangga to have been my teacher because of his expert guidance and instruction when I was reading the history of medical thought in Tibet for my own research, over a period of seven years while he was at Harvard.  It is no exaggeration to say that I could never have been able to write the book that I did, Being Human in a Buddhist World: An Intellectual History of Tibetan Medicine (2015), without the extensive discussions we had during that time.

Yangga at Kokonor, 2016. Photograph by Janet Gyatso

Yangga had an extremely warm personality. One of my favorite memories is from one evening when he and his family were at my husband’s and my home for dinner.  I remember Yangga’s two little daughters hiding behind the door to the dining room as he sat at our table, peeking out and giggling at him. They kept interrupting the adult conversation we were carrying on at the table. But Yangga was not at all annoyed; in fact he could barely hold back his own giggles at their pranks. 

I also remember a conversation we once had about a negative colleague.  Yangga opined, “Everyone has a beautiful smile.  XX is one of the rare few who doesn’t,  hahahaha!”  I actually regard that as a profound and  compassionate observation — as well as a case of the exception proving the rule.  Everyone’s face has its own beauty.

Yangga took a huge amount of joy in life.  He expressed it with a deep and resounding laugh, and he laughed a lot — at himself, at others, at whatever was true. I can hear that laugh in my head right now; too bad I cannot convey it on the page.  A favorite memory from recent times is of sitting with him and many of the other Tibetan delegates to the Paris IATS meeting in July 2019, on the roof of a sight-seeing bus.  As we floated around Paris and admired the wonderful sights and architecture, we simultaneously were engaged in a bus-wide contest of trading insults, barbs, and smart-aleck comments, mostly about each other.  Yangga was one of the ringleaders and sharpest in the group.  He came out with some hilarious observations (only a few of which I could truly follow, but the infectious laughter all over the bus had me laughing anyway).

Yangga on tour bus in Paris, 2019. Photograph by Janet Gyatso

Yangga had a very keen sense of people’s character.  He plumbed the depth of their sincerity, and was attuned to how they try to come across.   After all, not only was Yangga a historian of medicine, he was a full-fledged physician who had learned well the art of diagnosis, although he did not practice often. A big part of what a doctor needs to do is to read your outer signs for what they portend about what is going on inside of you. Indeed, the entire field of logic in Indian philosophy, including the arts of induction and deduction, had its first major articulation in the classical Indian medical works. 

I found Yangga to be a most intelligent conversation partner, and enjoyed many deep discussions with him about Tibetan history and culture.  He was not completely traditional in the sense of being unwilling to question received wisdom, although his education with Khenpo Troru Tsenam and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyaltsen was indeed very much in line with old Tibetan medical pedagogy rather than modern critical academic method.  Yangga was very critical of rhetoric, and had a talent for spotting unspoken agendas.  He was also deeply aware of the importance and status of evidence — and the implications of the lack thereof — in historiography.  in many ways Yangga was a perfect example of the keen values and capabilities that the very texts I was reading with him were promoting as the virtues of the ideal doctor.   Yangga taught me to recognize sarcasm and irony, for example, in the way that Zur mkhar ba Blo gros rgyal po portrayed the authorship of Rgyud bzhi, which I never would have recognized on my own.  And I remember him chuckling on many occasions at the audacity of some of Sde srid Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho’s own barbs about his colleagues and his fierce criticism thereof.

Yangga too was fierce as a professional academic.  He told me that when he returned to Lhasa and gave a talk to an audience of Tibetan doctors and scholars on the paucity of evidence that our stories about Yuthok the Elder are historically true, some of the elder scholars in the audience wept.  Poignant as the moment was, the story also shows that in order to weep, his audience must have been convinced by him.  And that shows their own basic respect for facts, evidence, and historiographical reasoning — all mainstay values in traditional Tibetan medical pedagogy and scholasticism.

I perceived the gravity of Yangga’s physical condition by early 2022, when he had to return  to the hospital for more treatment. I was gripped by a sudden fear he might die.  I shared my fear with him in a text message — we were corresponding on about a monthly basis.  He wrote back to me, “My mind is fine.  I am not so worried about the disease.  It depends on my own karma.”

He also told me at that time the names of some of his students, including his best ones, of which there are now many.  And we discussed the location of some important manuscripts, although Yangga reminded me that the majority of the rare ancient medical manuscripts that were preserved in the Potala have recently all been published and distributed to libraries around the world. The main set, edited by Ye shes Yang ‘dzoms and  Yum pa, is entitled Gangs ljongs sman rtsis rig mdzod chen mo,  Bejing, Bod rig pa dpe skrun khang, 2016 and consists in 130 vols. A second set of 30 volumes, also from the Potala, is entitled Krung go’i bod lugs gso rig rtsa che’i dpe rnying kun btus or China’s Traditional Tibetan Medical Texts, and was compiled by Gso rig slob grva chen mo under the direction of Nyi ma Tshe ring and published in Lhasa in 2013 by Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang.

According to his own wishes and instructions, Yangga’s body was brought back from Chengdu, carried by his younger brother.  It was cremated in the great holy site of Samye Chimphu, according to Gen Yanggala’s own wishes.

Deep thanks to Tsultrim Padmo Drushik, Karma Topdhen, William McGrath, Yangbum Gyal, Sun Penghao, Yumpa, Mingji Cuomo, Donald Lopez, Hanna Havnevik, and Leonard van der Kuijp for providing information contributing to this Obituary.

IN MEMORIAM: Erberto Lo Bue (1946-2022)

John Bray and Amy Heller

Erberto Lo Bue, who passed away in November 2022, was a distinguished scholar of Tibetan and Himalayan art history. His wide range of interests included contemporary sculptors from Nepal and Ladakh, the art of the Great Stupa in Gyantse and the love songs of the Sixth Dalai Lama.  In the course of his career, he prepared some 200 longer and shorter academic publications, including research papers, monographs, exhibition catalogues and edited volumes. His final post was as Associate Professor at the University of Bologna, and he remained active in research and writing long after his retirement in 2012.

Erberto in front of his birthplace, 2019. Photo: Guido Vogliotti.

Erberto was born in Torre Pellice in the alpine foothills of northern Italy on 30 July 1946. His father, Francesco Lo Bue, was a teacher of Latin and Greek who also served as a minister of the Waldensian Church. The Waldensians are a small denomination that dates back to the 12th century and later became aligned with the Reformed tradition of Protestant Christianity. Erberto was the eldest son, followed by two younger sisters.

According to Erberto himself, he had two distinguishing features as a child: the first was an insatiable sense of curiosity, and the second was a desire to impose order and tidiness, first on the things in his own room and then on the rest of the house. In these two qualities we can perhaps discern his future vocation for scholarly enquiry combined with a parallel vocation as an exhibition curator, selecting, documenting and explaining the best work of his chosen artists.

Francesco Lo Bue, who passed away when Erberto was only nine, always insisted that his son should make up his own mind on religious matters. Ultimately, Erberto never sought baptism but he took pride in his father’s legacy, especially including his role in Italy’s anti-fascist resistance between 1943 and 1945. He also remarked that his own links with the Waldensians had increased his sympathy for other minority groups in both Europe and Asia, including Tibet.

Growing up in Torre Pellice, Erberto developed a love of nature and of hiking. He retained these loves throughout his life, while extending his horizons through increasingly adventurous travel. Shortly before his final year at high school, he travelled by train and hitchhiking to England and Scotland before embarking on a fishing vessel bound for Norway, and then travelling through Scandinavia to Germany.

After his high school education, Erberto studied for a Laurea (honours degree) in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Venice. His choice of subject was motivated by the desire to be able to communicate as effectively as possible wherever he travelled. He graduated with a thesis related to Anglo-American literature and his degree course also included the study of French and German.

Alongside his Italian mother tongue, Erberto felt a particularly close relationship with the English language, perhaps partly because his paternal grandmother had been from England. In his editing work he was always punctilious on the finer points of English grammar and style, sometimes to the point of appearing old-fashioned. He must have been one of the few people still living in the early 21st century who habitually used expressions such as “on the third inst.”, meaning “on the third day of the current month”.

In 1968 Erberto moved from Venice to Switzerland where he initially worked for Vittorio Chiaudano, whom he later described as “an Italian eccentric then interested in parapsychology” (Lo Bue 2014). Later in the same year, he was employed as a secretary and advisor to the widow of the Italo-Swiss painter Charles Rollier (1912-1968), who drew much of his inspiration from Hinduism and Buddhism. Rollier’s library served as Erberto’s first introduction to Indian and Tibetan art. Subsequently, his taste for travel took him further and further east. In the summer of 1969, he travelled overland to Turkey and the following year to Iran and Afghanistan.

An exhibition on Tantra at the Hayward Gallery in London in 1971 provided a further stimulus for Erberto’s growing Asian interests. In 1972, he submitted to Chiaudano a project aimed at putting together a collection of Tibetan and Himalayan traditional objects to be purchased in Britain as well as Nepal and India, and to “organize sale-exhibitions in Switzerland with the aim of reinvesting the earnings in the purchase of representative items of finer and finer quality” (Lo Bue 2014). This is what led to Erberto’s first visit to Nepal in 1972, and to his lifelong interest in the work of Newar sculptors in the Kathmandu valley. He made further visits to Nepal in 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1977. In 1977 he embarked on a research degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.

At SOAS, Erberto’s senior supervisor was the eminent Tibetologist David Snellgrove (1920-2016). At one of their first meetings, Snellgrove made clear that there was little point in studying Tibetan art unless one had the linguistic competence to study the associated Tibetan-language religious texts. Erberto took this observation as a guiding insight that determined the course of his research as well as his relationship with his own students. Alongside Snellgrove, Philip Denwood served as Erberto’s main Tibetan teacher, and he later worked with Erberto on the translation of key Tibetan texts.

Erberto working on the Dharmamandala Sutra, 1986. Photo Stella Rigo Righi.

Erberto’s Ph.D thesis, which he submitted in 1981, was on “Himalayan Sculpture in the XXth Century. A Study of the Religious Statuary in Metal and Clay of the Nepal Valley and Ladakh.”  His overall argument was that the study of 20thcentury Himalayan art was not only a subject worthy of serious historical research in its own right but might also help to shed more light on the history of Tibetan and Himalayan art in general. He often returned to the theme of contemporary Buddhist artists in both Nepal and Ladakh in his later work.

Erberto continued his friendship with Snellgrove after completing his Ph.D: he was responsible for introducing him to Torre Pellice, where he bought a house following his retirement from SOAS.  Snellgrove had been a former student of the Italian scholar Giuseppe Tucci (1894-1984) whom Erberto regarded as a foundational figure in modern Tibetan studies. He praised Tucci as “the first scholar who placed the history of Tibetan art within its political and cultural context on the basis of a systematic analysis of original sources, both historical and religious, local as well as encyclopaedic” (Lo Bue 2007). Erberto was proud to place himself in the same academic lineage.

After completing his doctorate, Erberto held a series of temporary research and teaching positions at the Universities of Turin and Milan as well as the Centro Piemontese di Studi sul Medio ed Estremo Oriente (CeSMEO) in Turin. From 1983 Stella Rigo Righi became his life-long companion, often accompanying him in his Asian travels.

Alongside his teaching, Erberto continued to curate exhibitions on Tibetan and Himalayan art, as well as conducting a series of research expeditions, notably to Central Tibet, Kham and Mustang, as well as return visits to Ladakh and the Kathmandu Valley. From 1997 to 1999 he taught in Istanbul on behalf of the Italian Foreign Office. In 1999 he moved to the University of Bologna, where his students remember him as a brilliant and inspiring teacher. Erberto was responsible for the Indology course at the Department of Linguistic and Oriental Studies, and taught Indian and Central Asian art history as well as classical Tibetan. He retired from Bologna as an Associate Professor in 2012.

Erberto (right) in Kham, together with a local guide, in 1997. Photo: Stella Rigo Righi.

Erberto always insisted on high standards for himself, his students and the researchers whose work he edited. When confronted with what he considered to be poor or sloppy scholarship, Erberto responded with a sense of pain, indignation and even outrage.  In print, his words sometimes seemed severe. However, the Erberto whom one met in person was always more engaging than the author of his emails. Expressions of scholarly dismay would be tempered by a shrug, a laugh and a wry smile.

Erberto will be celebrated because of his major contribution to the study of Tibetan art and civilisation.  He will be remembered for his devotion to his chosen field, his insistence on high standards, his compassion, and his joie-de-vivre. Among those who knew him best, he will be missed most of all for his immense personal warmth.

He is survived by his wife Stella Rigo Righi as well as his two younger sisters and his stepson Paolo Buissa (son of Stella Rigo Righi).



Unpublished Ph.D thesis

1981. Himalayan Sculpture in the XXth century: a Study of the Religious Statuary in Metal and Clay of the Nepal Valley and Ladakh. Ph.D thesis. School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. DOI:

Books and exhibition catalogues

1983. sKu-thang. Tibetan Paintings from the Fifteenth to the Twentieth Century. Florence: Mario Luca Giusti.

1990. Gyantse Revisited. With Franco Ricca. Florence: Casa Editrice Le Lettere Turin: CESMEO.

1991. Tibet: dimora degli dei. Arte buddhista tibetana e himalayana dal XII al XX secolo. Milan: La Rinascente.

1993. The Great Stupa of Gyantse. A Complete Tibetan Pantheon of the Fifteenth Century. With F. Ricca. London: Serindia, London.

1994. Le Montagne Sacre. Antica Arte del Tibet. Modena: Museo d’Arte Medievale e Moderna.

1994. Tesori del Tibet: oggetti d’arte dai monasteri di Lhasa. Milan: La Rinascente,

1998. La preziosa ghirlanda degli insegnamenti degli uccelli [Bya chos rin-chen ’phreng-ba]. Milan: Adelphi.

1998. A Tibetan Journey. Dipinti dal Tibet XIII-XIX secolo. Milan: Emil Mirzakhanian.

1998. Tibet. Templi scomparsi fotografati da Fosco Maraini. Turin: Ananke

2001. Art of Tibet. Milan: Renzo Freschi.

2011. Images of Devotion. Religious Sculpture from Nepal, Tibet and India. Como: Capriaquar & Studio Nodo, Pescara.

2012. Gods and Demons of the Himâlayas. London: Rossi & Rossi.

Edited collections

2001-2003. Contributions to the History of Tibetan Art, special double issue of Tibet Journal 26, Nos. 3-4; 27, Nos 1-2; 27, Nos. 3-4; 28, Nos 1-2.

2010. Wonders of Lo. The Artistic Heritage of Mustang. Mumbai: Marg.

2010. Tibetan Art and Architecture in Context. Proceedings of the Eleventh Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Königswinter 2006. With Christian Luczanits. Andiast: International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies.

2011. Art in Tibet and the Himalayas. Issues in Traditional Tibetan Art from the Seventh to the Twentieth Century. Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Oxford, 2003.Vol. 10/13. Leiden: Brill.

2014. Art and Architecture in Ladakh. Cross-Cultural Transmissions in the Himalayas and Karakoram. With John Bray. Leiden: Brill.

2014. Il Tibet fra Mito e Realtà. Tibet Between Myth and Reality. Atti del Convegno per i centenario della nascita di Fosco Maraini. Florence: Leo S. Olschki.

Articles and book chapters

1983. “Traditional Tibetan Painting in Ladakh in the Twentieth Century.” International Folklore Review 3, pp. 52-72. London.

1987. “The Dharmamandala-sutra by Buddhaguhya”. In Orientalia Iosephi Tucci Memoriae Dicata, pp. 787-818. Edited by G. Gnoli and L. Lanciotti Roma, IsMEO.

2000. “On Some Inscriptions in the Temples of the ‘bum-pa’ of the Great Stupa at Gyantse.” East and West 50, No. 1/4, pp. 387-437.

2002. “Newar Sculptors and Tibetan Patrons in the 20th Century”. Tibet Journal 27, No. 3/4, pp. 121-170.

2005. “Lives and Works of Traditional Buddhist Artists in 20th Century Ladakh. A Preliminary Account.” In Ladakhi Histories. Local and Regional Perspectives, pp. 353-378. Edited by John Bray. Leiden: Brill.

2005. “Yama’s Judgement in the Bar do thos grol chen mo: An Indic Mystery Play in Tibet”. Tibet Journal 30, No. 2, pp. 9-24

2007. “A 16th-Century Ladakhi School of Buddhist Painting.” In Buddhist Art: Form & Meaning, pp. 102-116. Edited by Pratapaditya Pal. Mumbai: Marg Publications.

2007. “The Gu ru lha khang at Phyi dbang. A Mid-15th Century Temple in Central Ladakh”. In Discoveries in Western Tibet and the Western Himalayas, pp. 175-196. Edited by Amy Heller & Giacomella Orofino. PIATS 10. Vol. 8. Leiden: Brill.

2007. “Giuseppe Tucci and Historical Studies on Tibetan Art”. Tibet Journal 32, No. 1 pp. 53-64.

2009. “Notes on Sky-burial in Indian, Chinese and Nepalese Tibet.” Mountains, Monasteries and Mosques. Recent Research on Ladakh and the Western Himalaya, pp. 221-237. Edited by John Bray & Elena De Rossi Filibeck. Supplement No. 2 to Rivista degli Studi Orientali 80 (New Series).

2011 “Newar Artistic Influence in Tibet and China between the 7th and the 15th century Rivista degli Studi Orientali 84, Supplement 1:25-62.

2014. “The Painting of Charles Rollier: the Influence of Indian culture on a European Artist”. Marg, a Magazine of the Arts 65, No. 3, pp.

2014. “In Memory of Vittorio Chiaudano (1935-1996): 20th-century Buddhist and Hindu Statues from the Nepal Valley Belonging to the Aniko Collection on Loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum”. Tibet Journal 39, No. 2 pp. 3-35.

2016. “A Tibetan ‘Mahābodhi’. The Main Image in the dPal khor chos sde of “rGyal rtse”. Rivista degli studi orientali. Nuova Serie, 89, pp. 133-146. Studies in Honour of Luciano Petech: a Commemoration Volume.

2017. “Tshe ring dngos grub, a Ladaki Painter and Astrologer”. Tibet Journal 42, No. 1, pp. 3-12

Mireille Helffer: a life devoted to music and ritual

Isabelle Henrion-Dourcy and Katia Buffetrille

Mireille Helffer passed away on Tuesday 17 January 2023. We would like to pay tribute to the friend who accompanied us over the years and to the pioneering researcher whose work sparked interest among young people. In 2017, we presented her with a collection of articles on the occasion of her 90th birthday.[1] In the introduction to the volume, we recounted her personal history, her encounters and her passions in life. Here we take up part of this text to evoke a woman whose enthusiasm for music led her to study Tibetan in order to penetrate the depths of this ‘musical offering.’

Helffer did not explicitly decide, let alone intend, to become an ethnomusicologist specialised in the Tibetan world. This is simply because, as she set out in life, like all the pioneers of her generation, the multidisciplinary fields such as ethnomusicology, and the ethnographic study of the Himalayas did not exist, at least institutionally. As she herself puts it, she ‘was swept along by events.’ Her research bears witness to a path which, through encounters and collaborations, but also by virtue of her perseverance in  pursuing a largely solitary field of study, developed over more than half a century and has inspired several generations of researchers. Three main stages in her career can be singled out. She initially devoted herself to the study of Nepalese bards (Gāine) and, more broadly, to the popular music of Nepal. She then turned to Tibetan culture, proposing an in-depth analysis of the musical aspect of bards singing the Gesar epic, based on recordings made in France. Finally, from the 1970s onwards, she strived to understand the ritual music of Tibetan Buddhism, based on materials collected from monks exiled in India and Nepal. Her numerous publications on musical notations and monastic musical instruments are indispensable references. Her work as a musicologist and anthropologist never eschewed a rigorous philological method. The foundations of her training lay in history and texts, supplemented by years’ practice of museography at Musée Guimet, which explains the privileged place that texts and iconography occupy in her work. It is perhaps precisely in the relationship between the written word and sound that the essence of Helffer’s reflections lies, whether it be the relationship between text and music (as in the epic) or the rapport between music and notation (as in musical notations), which occupied a large part of her research. 

Helffer was born in 1928 into a non-musical Catholic family. She took piano lessons at Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris and met the pianist Claude Helffer at the Jeunesses Musicales. They married when she was 18 and had four children within the space of eight years. However, encouraged by her husband and influenced by post-war feminism, she decided to pursue her studies, which led to a particularly rich, committed and productive intellectual career. Although she was not predestined to become a specialist of the Tibetan world, it was her early academic choices that led Helffer to Upper Asia.

Her career began in 1947 when she enrolled for a degree at the Sorbonne, which included certificates in music history, aesthetics, ethnology and Indian civilisation. During Olivier Lacombe’s course in Indian philosophy, it became clear to her that knowledge of Sanskrit was essential for understanding Indian culture. Thus, in the early 1950s, alongside her classes on the history of music, she enrolled in Louis Renou’s Sanskrit class, to which all students interested in South Asia converged. It was there that she met Alexander Macdonald, with whom she would later collaborate for her first articles. The two of them also attended Rolf Stein’s lessons at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, which were devoted to the Tibetan epic. Helffer’s first steps in Tibetology were thus part of a classical and textual training. It was thanks to her knowledge of Sanskrit that Philippe Stern, chief curator at Musée Guimet, asked her to join the museum’s music section, which he created in 1953: ‘He invited me to be in charge of the record collection he had deposited at Musée Guimet. I started listening to all these records and, little by little, I found myself captured by Asian music,’ she recalls. She was taken on as a project manager for national museums, then, from 1961 onwards, as a CNRS researcher assigned to Musée Guimet where she remained there for many years, keeping her office even after being assigned to the Musée de l’Homme’s ethnomusicology department (1968). During the first years of her assignment, she was still a student. It was a formative period that made her receptive to questions regarding the written word, archives and archiving in music, which prefigured her future research on musical notations, iconography and instruments. She classified the recordings deposited in the collections, puchased records and created the sound programme to accompany exhibitions of objects in the museum. For many years she was the only musicologist working at the Musée Guimet, which enabled her to work simultaneously on various Asian musical traditions. 

In the early sixties, she was mainly interested in the classical music of India but her scientific research took her to Nepal. It was there that she did her first fieldwork (1966-1970). It was during that period that French scholars first carried out ethnological research in Nepal, with a marked interest in oral and popular literature. Some colleagues from the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) had brought back recordings – in particular of Gāine songs – and they didn’t know what to make of them. They invited her to join their projects. Helffer’s early work thus stemmed from collaborations with A. W. Macdonald on the subject of the Gāine, then with M. Gaborieau on the Hudkyā singers. This collaborative work culminated in the recording Castes de musiciens au Népal (1969), which features songs recorded by four researchers (M. Gaborieau, M. Helffer, C. Jest, A.W. Macdonald), and comes with two booklets, one in English, another in French, containing translations (prepared with the help of M. Gaborieau) of the songs as well as musical notations. This was an important scientific milestone that was highlighted in an exhibition at Musée de l’Homme entitled Népal, hommes et dieux. Helffer chose the musical illustrations for the objects and slides shown during this exhibition (December 1969-March 1970).

It was also at Musée Guimet that she made recordings with Lozang Tenzin, known as the Hor pa, a Tibetan who had taken refuge in France since the early 1960s and who could sing the epic text of Gesar, for which Rolf Stein had published a summarised translation of Ling’s version. It was on this recording that she based the musicological analyses developed in  her thesis (1972) published in 1977 under the title Les chants dans l’épopée tibétaine de Ge-sar d’après le Livre de la Course de Cheval. Version chantée par Blo bza bstan ’jin. It is a monument of meticulousness and rigour that sheds light for the first time not on the textual dimension of the epic, but on its living and performing dimension, on the musical work carried out by the bard. The quality and originality of this contribution was also recognised by her colleagues working in the People’s Republic of China, since her work was translated into Chinese in 2004. 

It was again at Musée Guimet that she discovered ‘a document containing Tibetan musical notations whose system intrigued me; it almost became an obsession.’ Indeed, this discovery was to be the driving force behind the next three decades of her research, this time devoted to monastic music. From then on, she would no longer work with professional or mendicant musicians, but would instead devote herself to meticulously deciphering the graphic vocabulary and writing conventions of these graphic representations with the help of learned monks. After having inventoried all the notations of this type in the manuscripts housed by the major Western libraries, she met a monk in 1972 at the Tibetan Institute in Rikon, near Zurich, who was able to read these notations and chant them. Noting the interest shown by her Tibetan colleagues in these studies, she carried out a first exploratory mission to a Tibetan monastery in India (1973), followed by numerous other surveys among several religious lineages. 

The year 1987 marked a turning point in her career, when she was at Payül Monastery in Bylakuppe, South India, to study the hitherto relatively neglected Nyingma musical traditions. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche performed an initiation ritual (lung) in the presence of many Nyingmapa dignitaries. Among them was Rabjam Rinpoche, abbot of Shechen Monastery in Bodnath, Nepal. He told her about the great difference in the musical traditions in his monastery and invited her to come and study them. “I accepted the invitation and since then never left Shechen where I was able to witness the whole tsechu ritual. I sat in a corner with the text and did not move. Little by little, year after year, as I attended these rituals, always the same ones, I was able to follow what was being done on the ritual text”.

Helffer’s second book, Mchod-rol. Les instruments de la musique tibétaine (1994) offers once again an impressive synthesis of many years of research, and its contribution lies just as much in the wealth of the materials exploited and described as in the methodology that the author had to apply in order to arrange it. The book presents and analyses instruments from several museum collections in Europe, America and Asia, relating them not only to a rich iconography, but also to the Tibetan texts themselves, from the various religious lineages – all original and unpublished sources, often difficult to access and interpret. In her conclusion, Helffer explains the ritual role, within Tantric Buddhism, of this ‘musical offering.’

In her article entitled ‘Quand le terrain est un monastère bouddhique tibétain’ (1995), Helffer explains at length the conditions of her successive investigations, her methodology, which was always fundamentally empirical, the way she recorded the music (how to record a long tantric ritual during an entire performance? ), the challenges of understanding the rituals (linguistically and culturally), the warm welcome she received or the painstaking work she carried out on these notations at a time (1975 to 1985) when the number of publications or collections on musical notations rose sharply, and thus increased the amount of written documentation to be taken into account.

Her third and final book, Music from the Roof of the World: The Sound World of the Tibetan Culture (2004), is an extended translation of a book that was previously published in Italian in 2000. It takes stock of a whole career of research. It presents for the first time, and with exemplary clarity, the whole range of Tibetan musical traditions, both religious and popular. It is a work of reference unequalled to this day. 

Helffer’s initial training in the extensive exploration of these large areas of Tibetan rituality was at the crossroads between musicology, ethnology and Tibetology, taking into account the rigour and the approach of each of these three disciplines. She was  associate member of the team Langues et cultures de l’aire tibétaine (CNRS, ESA 8047), which later became Tibet, Bhutan and the Tibetan cultural area (TBACT) of the research unit Centre de recherche sur les civilisations de l’Asie orientale. She always took part in the team’s ‘Rituals’ seminar chaired by Katia Buffetrille. Helffer was also one of the main initiators of a solid training course for young researchers in ethnomusicology. She created the first ethnomusicology courses at the University of Paris X-Nanterre (1976) and was one of the founding members of the French Society of Ethnomusicology (SFE) in 1983. From 1985 to 1989, she directed the Department of Ethnomusicology at the Musée de l’Homme. She retired in the mid-1990s but continued to participate actively in various seminars, to publish and to follow the work of students.She was a pioneering researcher and a passionate teacher, supervising many students and taking on administrative tasks. Mireille has left behind the vibrant memory of a person who listened to others and was always ready to help, whether in word or in deed.

[1] Katia Buffetrille et Isabelle Henrion-Dourcy) 2017 Musique et épopée en Haute-Asie. Mélanges offerts à Mireille Helffer à l’occasion de son 90eanniversaire. Paris, L’Asiathèque.

In Memoriam: Chen Qingying (October 1941-April 11, 2022)

Chen Qingying

Mr. Chen Qingying, former director and researcher of the History Institute of China Tibetology Research Center, Beijing, passed away on April 11, 2022 in Chengdu at the age of 81. He was born in October 1941, in Nanchong City, Sichuan Province. In 1958, he moved to Qinghai with his family. He successively studied in the High School Affiliated with Qinghai Normal University and the Department of Physics of Qinghai Nationalities University, where he earned a BSc. degree. He also started learning Tibetan at the Qinghai University for Nationalities. After graduating in 1964, he worked as a teacher at the Delingha Middle School and Haixi Normal School for Nationalities in Haixi Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

In October 1978, Mr. Chen Qingying was admitted to the Department of Minorities and Languages ​​of the Central University for Nationalities, Beijing. Majoring in Old Tibetan and studying Tibetan Dunhuang literature, he obtained an MA degree in October 1981. From October 1981 to March 1984, he was engaged as an assistant researcher in Tibetan studies at the Institute of Tibetan Studies, Central University for Nationalities. In March 1984, he was transferred to the Institute of Tibetan Studies, Qinghai Academy of Social Sciences, where he was inter alia responsible for the compilation of a catalogue of Tibetan books of Sku ‘bum Monastery and doing research on its historical relics. In 1986, he served as an associate researcher and deputy director, and in 1987 he was appointed director of the Tibetan Studies Institute of the Qinghai Academy of Social Science.

Mr. Chen Qingying then transferred to the China Tibetology Research Center in August 1993 and served there as the director and researcher of the Institute of History and Religion. From 2000 to 2004, he was the director and researcher of the History Institute and concurrently served as the doctoral tutor of the Central University for Nationalities and the Southwest University for Nationalities. Within the years 1993 and 2004, he was Visiting Professor at the Department of Ethnology, National Chengchi University, Taiwan, from October 1995 to January 1996, and from February to December 1999, he conducted cooperative research at the Harvard-Yenching Institute, Cambridge, MA, as a Visiting Scholar. From February to June 2004, he was a Visiting Professor at the Department of Religious Studies, Foguang College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Taiwan. He retired in 2009.

Mr. Chen Qingying’s scholarship is virtually unrivalled. He has no equal in his numerous translations of Tibetan biographical and historical literature in terms of their accuracy and sheer volume. His fluency in both spoken and written Tibetan and his knowledge of Chinese materials have allowed him to finish extraordinary translations of difficult works such as the Rgya bod yig tshang, many of which still serve as classics for historians of the Yuan period, and the three-volume autobiography of the Fifth Dalai Lama. In addition, he has published more than 100 academic papers. In the course of his academic career, he was the recipient of numerous awards for his academic excellence. Among other publications, one can mention, with Wang Xiangyun, “Tibetology in China: a Survey”, in Images of Tibet in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Monica Esposito (ed.), École française d’Extrême-Orient, 2008, pp. 611-681.

Mr. Chen Qingying devoted his life to the development and progress of Tibetan Studies and made countless outstanding contributions to the field. 

His passing is a great loss for those who share his passion for the study of things Tibetan.


Leonard van der Kuijp

Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies
Harvard University



In Memoriam: Dr Isrun Engelhardt (1941–2022)

Isrun Engelhardt (photo: Emanuel Engelhardt)

With the passing of Isrun Engelhardt (née Schwartz) colleagues in Tibetan studies have lost a devoted historian and independent researcher of more than thirty years’ standing. She will be remembered for her articles on the Capuchin missions to Tibet, the 1938-1939 Schäfer expedition to Lhasa, the Tibetan Melong newspaper and “the Buddha from Space”. Equally, colleagues and friends will greatly miss Isrun’s kindness and constant readiness to share information, and to assist colleagues with her great investigative skills.

Isrun was born in Arnsdorf in the foothills of the Riesengebirge Mountains. In the 1950s she moved with her parents and siblings to Icking, south of Munich, and continued to be based there for the rest of her life. She passed away at her beloved home in Icking on 2 March 2022 after a long struggle with cancer.

Isrun came from a scholarly family and was a distant relative of the German sociologist Max Weber. From her youth onwards she struggled with severe health problems but never allowed these to restrict her in following her passions: historical research and mountaineering.

In 1974 Isrun earned her doctorate at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Her thesis carries the title Mission und Politik in Byzanz. Ein Beitrag zur Strukturanalyse byzantinischer Mission zur Zeit Justins und Justinians, and discusses the politics of the Byzantine missionary enterprise in the sixth century AD. In the course of her studies, she met her future husband Hans Dietrich Engelhardt who later became Professor of Sociology and Social Work at the Hochschule München. Their son Emanuel was born in 1979.

Since there were few employment opportunities for Byzantine scholars, Isrun at first worked as a career advisor for high school and university graduates. After Emanuel’s birth she worked at a children’s library as a volunteer. In 1986/1987 she undertook professional librarianship training in Frankfurt.

Meanwhile, her research interests began to shift towards the Himalayan region.  With her husband, also an enthusiastic mountaineer, she went on her first trekking tour to Nepal in 1973. They were impressed by the kindness and religious devotion of the Tibetan refugees whom they met and, as a result, became interested in Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. They therefore seized the opportunity to visit Ladakh when it was opened to foreign tourism after 1974. Several more visits and trekking tours followed, and in 1994 Isrun went on her first trip to central Tibet. These personal encounters with the peoples of the Himalayan borderlands and the Tibetan diaspora led Isrun to resume her academic career with some four years studying Tibetan at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn in the early 1990s.

Isrun taking part in an interview, Dharamsala, 1997. Photo: Bianca Horlemann

Since Isrun had already established her academic credentials with her doctorate, she never felt the need to register for a further degree in Tibetan Studies. However, she received a research grant from the prestigious Gerda Henkel Foundation for a project on the 1938-1939 German expedition to Tibet led by Ernst Schäfer, showing how it was caught in the crossfire between politics and scientific research. The fruits of her work include the beautifully produced edited publication Tibet in 1938-1939 (2007), which highlights the photographs taken by expedition members in Sikkim and Lhasa.

Isrun was often called to distinguish between “fact and fiction” regarding the expedition’s links with the Nazi administration as well as the alleged esoteric aspects of its work. In this regard, one of her most notable contributions was her 2017 article on the provenance of the “Buddha from Space”, a statue which had apparently been fashioned out of metal deriving from a meteorite. Numerous press articles and blogposts suggested that the statue had been taken from Tibet by the Schäfer expedition in 1939. Isrun convincingly argued that the statue had most probably been designed and made for the eccentric Russian orientalist and artist Nikolai Roerich (1874-1947).

Alongside her work on the Schäfer expedition, Isrun took particular pleasure in the history of the Melong (Yul phyogs so so’i gsar ‘gyur me long), the monthly newspaper published from Kalimpong between 1925 and 1963 by Gegen Dorje Tharchin (1890-1976). In a series of articles, she drew out the distinctive characteristics of the paper and its editor, including its reporting of international news, its innovative use of cartoons and Tharchin’s “one-man war against Mao”. The Melong provides valuable insights on a range of topics linked to 20th century Tibet and Isrun readily shared these with other researchers.

Isrun was the most encouraging of colleagues, taking as much pleasure in other people’s discoveries as her own. Perhaps her most outstanding characteristic was her generosity in sharing source materials, often going far out of her way to make them available to individual researchers as well as the wider scholarly community. Among many other examples, she contributed to the Tharchin Collection at Columbia University’s Starr Library, using her own funds to purchase photograph albums from the Tharchin family and delivering them to New York in person. Similarly, she worked hard to collect copies of the Himalayan Times, which was published in Kalimpong, for the period 1947 and 1963: these are now available online through the University of Heidelberg.

Isrun kept in touch with her colleagues and friends through an extensive e-mail correspondence and – above all – through her participation in conferences and workshops. She took part in all the IATS conferences from the Seventh Seminar in Schloss Seggau (Austria) in 1995 until the 14th Seminar conference in Bergen (Norway) in 2016. In addition, she participated in many colloquia organised by the International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) as well as other more specialist workshops. Her final visit to India was in 2015 for a conference in Kalimpong on “Transcultural Encounters in the Himalayan Borderlands”. On the same occasion, she took the opportunity to make a side visit to Bhutan.

In Kalimpong with Trine Brox and Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen. 2015. Photo Markus Viehbeck

Isrun was always excellent company, and her conference contributions were unfailingly insightful, often drawing out fresh angles from previously neglected or undiscovered materials. However, many of us will remember her most fondly from her presence at some evening gathering – glass of wine at hand – following a long day’s academic discussion in Gangtok, Ulaanbaatar, Kalimpong, Oxford or Pistoia.

Isrun’s academic legacy includes a long list of high-quality scholarly publications. More than that, her colleagues and friends will remember her personal qualities with warmth and gratitude.

Bianca Horlemann and John Bray


  • (1974). Mission und Politik in Byzanz. Ein Beitrag zur Strukcturanalyse byzantischer Mission zur Zeit Justins und Justinians (Miscellanea Byzantian Monacensia 19). Munich: Institut für Bynzantinistik und Neugriechische Philologie der Universität München.
  • (2007) (ed.), Tibet in 1938-1939. Photographs from the Ernst Schäfer Expedition to Tibet. Chicago: Serindia.
  • (2017). Un mythe occultiste démasqué – les prétendus liens entre le Tibet et le National-socialisme. Saint-Genis-Laval: Akbrieia.

Articles and book chapters

  • (1999) “Zur Ent-fremdung des Europäers: Gastfreundschaft und Abbau von Fremdheit in den Beziehungen von Tibetern und Europäern im 18. Jahrhundert.” In Aneignung und Selbstbehauptung: Antworten auf die europäische Expansion, ed. byDietmar Rothermund. München: Oldenbourg, 183-202.
  • (2001) “Perlen, Pelze und Pistolen: Facetten des Geschenkaustausches zwischen Tibetern und Europäern vorwiegend im 18. Jahrhundert.” In Tractata Tibetica et Mongolica. Festschrift für Klaus Sagaster zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. by Karénina Kollmar-Paulenz and Christian Peter. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 85-102.
  • (2002) “The Closing of the Gates: Tibetan-European Relations at the End of the Eighteenth Century.” In Tibet, Past and Present: Tibetan studies 1: PIATS 2000: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Leiden 2000, ed. by Henk Blezer and Abel Zadoks. Leiden: Brill, 229-45.
  • (2003) “The Ernst-Schaefer-Tibet-Expedition (1938-1939): New Light on the Political History of Tibet in the First Half of the 20th Century.”In Tibet and Her Neighbours: A History, ed. by Alex McKay, London: Edition Hansjörg Mayer, 187-230.
  • (2004) “Tibetan Triangle: German, Tibetan and British Relations in the Context of Ernst Schäfer’s Expedition, 1938-1939.” Asiatische Studien 58/1, 57-114.
  • (2005) “Between Tolerance and Dogmatism: Tibetan Reactions to the Capuchin Missionaries in Lhasa, 1707-1745.” Zentralasiatische Studien (ZAS) 34, 55-97.
  • (2005) “Schäfer, Ernst.” In Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) Band 22, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2005, S. 503-504.  [Online-Version]; URL:
  • (2007) “Tibet in 1938–1939: The Ernst Schäfer Expedition to Tibet.”In Tibet in 1938-1939: Photographs from the Ernst Schäfer Expedition to Tibet, ed. by Isrun Engelhardt, Chicago: Serindia, 11-61.
  • (2008). “Mishandled Mail: The Strange Case of the Reting Regent’s Letters to Hitler.” Zentralasiatische Studien (ZAS) 37 (2008), 77-106.
  • (2009) “Nazis of Tibet: A Twentieth Century Myth.”In Images of Tibet in the 19th and 20th Centuries, ed. by Monica Esposito. Paris: EFEO, 63-96.
  • (2009) “Die Ernst Schäfer Tibetexpedition 1938–1939.” In Brennpunkt Tibet März, ed. by Klemens Ludwig.
  • (2009) “Tibet und der Nationalsozialismus: Fakten und Fiktionen.” In Tibet und Buddhismus 3.
  • (2010) “Tharchin’s Melong.” In Hartmut Walravens (ed.), The First Tibetan Serial: August Hermann Francke’s La-dvags-kyi-ag-bâr (1904 – 1907): Facsimile of a Unique Set in the Archives of the Evangelische Brüderunität, Herrnhut. Neuerwerbungen der Ostasienabteilung. Sonderheft 22. Berlin: Staatsbibliothek, 1-22 (separate pagination).
  • (2011). “Praise for Sikkim from 1938: Sikkim in Original Quotes by the Ernst Schäfer Expedition.” In Buddhist Himalaya: Studies in Religion, History and Culture. Volume II: The Sikkim Papers, ed by Anna Balicki-Denjongpa & Alex McKay. Gangtok: Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, 191-206.
  • (2011) “Reflections in The Tibet Mirror:News of the World, 1937-1946.” In Mapping the Modern in Tibet, ed. by Gray Tuttle. Andiast: IITBS, 205-64.
  • (2012) “Tharchin’s One Man War with Mao.”In Studies on the History and Literature of Tibet and the Himalaya, ed. by Robert Vitali. Kathmandu: Vajra Publications, 2012, 183-209.
  • (2013) “The Holy City of Lhasa: Dream and Destination for Sven Hedin and Ernst Schäfer.” In Nordic Ideology between Religion and Scholarship, ed. by Horst Junginger and Andreas Åkerlund. Frankfurt/M: Peter Lang, 207-24.
  • (2013) “Tharchin’s Tibet Mirror: A Christian Oriented Newspaper?” In Historical and Philological Studies of China’s Western Regions 6, edited by Shen Weirong. Beijing: Science Press, 129-55.
  • (2015). “Italian Capuchins as the First Western Healers in Lhasa, 1707-1945.” In In Tibetan and Himalayan Healing. An Anthology for Anthony Aris, ed. by Charles Ramble and Ulrike Roesler. Kathmandu: Vajra Books, 195-210.
  • (2017) “The Strange Case of the ‘Buddha from Space’.” In Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines 42, October 2017, 39-67.
  • (2018). “The Quip as the Whip: Political Cartoons in the Melong.” In Cahiers du Mirror, ed. Françoise Wang-Toutain and Marie Preziosi. Paris: Collège de France, 41-57.
  • (2019) “L’évolution de l’image du Tibet dans la pensée et les écrits de Nicolas Roerich: d’une spiritualité exaltée à un chamanisme dépravé.” In Autour de Nicolas Roerich: art, ésotérisme, orientalisme et politique, ed. by Dany Savelli. Slavica Occitania 48, 201-37.
  • (2020) “An Indigenous Tibetan Name for Mount Everest?” In On a Day of a Month of the Fire Bird Year. Festschrift for Peter Schwieger on the occasion of his 65th birthday, ed. by Jeannine Bischoff et al. Bhairahawa: Lumbini International Research Institute, 245-64.

In Memoriam: Nima Dorjee Ragnubs ར་ནུབ་ཉི་མ་རྡོ་རྗེ་ལགས། (1934–2021)


༡༩༣༤ – ༢༠༢༡

༄༅། ༢༠༢༡ ཟླ་ ༩ ཚེས་ ༢༡ དེ་ནི་སེམས་ཤིན་ཏུ་སྐྱོ་པོའི་ཉི་མ་ཞིག་ཡིན། དེའི་ཉིན་མོ་བྲག་གཡབ་མ་དགོན་ར་གནུབ་ཚང་གི་བུ་ཉི་མ་རྡོ་རྗེ་ལགས་ཨ་མེ་རི་ཀར་འདས་གྲོངས་སོང་འདུག  ཁོང་གི་སྐྱེས་ལོ་ ༡༩༣༨ ཡིན་ནའང་། ལག་ཁྱེར་ནང་ ༡༩༣༤ འཁོད་པར་བརྩིས་ན། རང་ལོ་བརྒྱད་ཅུ་གྱ་གསུམ་རེད།

            ང་ཆུང་ཆུང་དུས་ནས་ར་གནུབ་ཉི་མ་རྡོ་རྗེ་ལགས་ངོ་ཤེས་ཀྱིན་ཡོད། ང་གཉིས་མཉམ་དུ་རྩེད་མོ་རྩེས་པ་རང་དྲན་གིན་མི་འདུག  ཁོང་གི་མི་ཚང་དེ་ལ་“ར་གནུབ་ཚང་“དང་། “ར་གནུབ་དཔོན་ཚང་“ཡང་ཟེར་བ་རེད། བྲག་གཡབ་༧སྐྱབས་མགོན་སྐུ་ཕྲེང་བཞི་པ་དང་། ལྔ་པ་གཉིས་ཀ་ཁོང་ཚོའི་ནང་ལ་འཁྲུངས་པ་རེད། ང་ཆུང་ཆུང་སྐབས་ལ་ཁོང་ཚོའི་ནང་ལ་ཞག་པོ་ཁ་ཤས་བསྡད་མྱོང་། ར་གནུབ་ཚང་ནི་བྲག་གཡབ་ཀྱི་དཔོན་ཁག་གྲས་ཡིན་ཙ། ཁོང་ཚོ་མི་ཚང་ཆེན་པོ་རེད་ལ། ཁང་པའང་ཆེན་པོ་འདུག  ཁང་པའི་མིང་ལ་“ར་གནུབ་རྒྱས་ཁང་“ཟེར་བ་རེད། རྒྱས་ཁང་ཟེར་བ་ནི་ཕལ་ཆེར་ཕོ་བྲང་ཟེར་བ་དང་གཅིག་པ་རེད།

ཉི་མ་རྡོ་རྗེ་ལགས་ཀྱི་ཕ་ནི། ར་གནུབ་དྲུང་ཡིག་བློ་བསྟན་རེད། ང་ཚོ་བྲག་གཡབ་བླ་བྲང་གི་དྲུང་ཡིག་བརྒྱད་ཀྱི་ནང་ནས་ལེགས་གྲས་ཤིག་དང་། མི་གོ་ཆོད་པོ་འབྱོན་ཐང་ལྡན་པར་བརྩི་གིན་འདུག  ༡༩༥༢ ལོར་ང་རང་ལྷ་སར་འགྲོ་དུས་ཁོང་ཡང་བླ་བྲང་གི་ལས་བྱེད་ཁོངས་སུ་མཉམ་དུ་ཡོད། ལྷ་སའི་བྲག་གཡབ་བླ་བྲང་གི་ཕྱག་ཁང་ནང་ལོ་ཤས་ལས་ཀ་བྱས་ནས་བསྡད་པ་རེད།  

            ཉི་མ་རྡོ་རྗེ་ལགས་ཀྱང་ང་རང་བྲག་གཡབ་ནས་ལྷ་སར་སློབ་གཉེར་བྱེད་སར་འགྲུལ་བཞུད་སྐབས་དེར་མཉམ་དུ་ཡོད། ལྷ་སར་འབྱོར་ནས་ཁོང་རྭ་སྟོད་དགོན་པར་སྒྲིག་ཞུགས་ཐོག  སློབ་གཉེར་ཡག་པོ་བྱས་སོང་།

རྗེས་མ་རྒྱ་གར་ལ་འབྱོར་ནས་ཝཱ་རཱ་ཎཱ་སིར་སློབ་གྲྭ་ཆེན་མོར་ལེགས་སྦྱར་སྐད་ཀྱང་སྦྱངས། དེ་རྗེས་སློབ་གྲྭ་དེའི་དཔེ་མཛོད་ཁང་ལ་ལས་ཀ་བྱས་ཤིང་། རིག་གཞུང་སྣ་ཚོགས་ལ་དོ་སྣང་དང་། མཐོང་རྒྱ་ཆེ་བས། ཤེས་ཡོན་སྣ་འཛོམས་ཡོད་པའི་མཁས་པ་དང་། ལོ་རྒྱུས་སྨྲ་བ་པོ་ཞིག་ཆགས་སོང་།

            ཁོང་ནས་ཕ་ཡུལ་བྲག་གཡབ་ལ་བལྟ་བསྐོར་ཕྱིན་པ་དང་། ར་གནུབ་ཚང་ཡོད་སའི་ཕྱོགས་ཀྱི་གྲོང་གསེབ་དེར་སློབ་གྲྭ་བཙུགས་པ་རེད།

ཁོང་ནས་ལོ་མང་པོའི་རིང་ལ་དཀའ་ལས་བརྒྱབས་ནས་བྲག་གཡབ་ཀྱི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་རྒྱས་པ་ཞིག་བྲིས་སོང་། དེའི་སྐོར་ཁོང་ནས་ང་ལ་ཡང་ཡང་འབྲེལ་བ་བྱས་བྱུང་ལ། དེའི་ཆེད་དུ་ང་ཚོའི་སར་རྗར་མེ་ནིར་ཡང་སླེབས་སོང་། ང་རང་ཁོང་སྡོད་ས་་་ནིའུ་ཡོརྐ་དང་། ཁྲ་ཁོ་མ་་་གཉིས་ཀ་ལ་ཁོང་དང་། སྐུ་ཟླ་ཐུག་སར་ཕྱིན་ནས། ཁོང་གཉིས་ཀྱི་ནང་ལ་ཉིན་ཤས་རེ་བསྡད་པ་ཡིན།  ད་ལྟ་ཁོང་གི་དེབ་དེ་མི་ཁ་ཤས་ཀྱིས་རྩིས་འཁོར་(གློག་ཀླད་ཀྱང་ཟེར་)ནང་བཅུག་ནས་ཞུ་དག་གཏོང་གིན་ཡོད་རེད། དེ་ནི་ཁོང་གི་བྱས་རྗེས་ཆེ་བའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་ཀྱི་ཡིག་འཇོག་ཅིག་ཡོང་གི་རེད། 

ང་ཚོའི་མི་རབས་ཀྱི་གྲགས་ཅན་མི་སྣ་གཅིག་མེད་པར་གྱུར་པ་འདི་ལ་ཕངས་སེམས་ཆེན་པོ་འདུག་ཀྱང་། མི་རྟག་པའི་རང་བཞིན་ལ་འགྱུར་བ་གཏོང་ཐབས་ཡོད་མ་རེད། ཁོང་གི་སྐུ་ཟླ་གཙུག་ལག་སློབ་དཔོན་་་ལི་ཟ་སྦེ་ཐི། སྦར་ནེ་ཌི་་་ (Prof. Elisabeth Benard ) སྐུ་གཟུགས་བདེ་ཞིང་། ཐུགས་སེམས་ཧ་ཅང་སྐྱོ་པོ་མེད་པ་དང་། རིག་གཞུང་གི་ཕྱག་ལས་གནང་བཞིན་འདུག་པས་དགའ་པོ་ཡོད།

བྲག་གཡབ་༧སྐྱབས་མགོན་སྐྱེ་ཕྲེང་དགུ་པའི་མིང་འཛིན་བློ་ལྡན་ཤེས་རབ་ཀྱིས་བྲིས། ༢༠༢༡།༢།༨ ཕུལ།

Nima Dorjee Ragnubs 1938–2021

The 20th of September 2021 is a day marked by great sadness for me. It is the day when Nima Dorjee, son of the Ragnubstshang family associated with the Dagyab Magon Monastery in Yemdun, passed away in the United States. Nima Dorjee was born in 1938, even if his passport suggests 1934, and was eighty-three years old at the time of his passing. His family, known as Ragnubstshang or Ragnubs Pontshang, and the Fourth and Fifth Dagyab Khyabgons were born in this family. 

I knew Nima Dorjee from early childhood. Even though I do not recall playing with him, I vividly remember visiting his family estate situated within Dagyab principality. The extensive family lived in a four-storied house known as Ragnubs Palace. 

At the time, Nima Dorjee’s father, Loden, worked as the Ragnubs secretary and was known as one of the most gifted and capable staff members. As part of the Labrang, the monastic estate, he accompanied me on my trip to Lhasa in 1957. Loden remained for one year, working in the Dagyab Labrang treasurer’s office. In 1954 Nima Dorjee travelled to Lhasa to enrol at Rato Monastery, where he successfully took up a course of study in Buddhist philosophy and logic. 

Once he arrived in Indian exile in 1959, he received a scholarship from the Sampurnan Sanskrit University in Varanasi to study Sanskrit and Buddhist philosophy. Upon completing his studies, he became a librarian at the university’s manuscript library. He indeed became an expert in historical disciplines based on his lively interest in different cultures, various fields of knowledge, and his ability to cultivate a broad perspective on the topics he studied. 

In 1969, Khyongla Rato Rinpoche, a relative of Nima Dorjee, invited him to come to the United States. Throughout his life there, he worked in different occupations. He particularly enjoyed working at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art in New York. During his time there as a Tibetan art historian, he co-authored Treasures of Tibetan Art: Collections of the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art.

In 1995 he visited Dagyab and founded two schools in Ragnubs Village and in a nearby village. Schools, which then flourished for 20 years.

As the outcome of many years of arduous research, he began to write a history of Dagyab, and it was in this context we renewed our contact. He visited me in Germany, and I also visited him and his wife in New York and Tacoma. With the manuscript now typed up, proofread and copyedited, I am much looking forward to the publication of this significant historical contribution. 

The passing away of one of the most significant figures of our generation fills me with a deep sense of grief and the clear awareness that there is no way to exert influence on the nature of impermanence. To his wife, Prof. Elisabeth Benard, I would like to express my most heartfelt condolences, my hope that she may not be overwhelmed by sadness, and my very best wishes for her good health. In concluding, I would also like to use this opportunity also to express my appreciation for her academic contribution. 

Loden Sherab, the Ninth Dagyab Kyabgon

Translated by Chandra Chiara Ehm