Buddhist Digital Resource Center (formerly Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center) mourns the passing of Tulku Thondup Rinpoche. He was a highly realized master who devoted his life to preserving and sharing the authentic Dharma in its two aspects, the realized Dharma and the scriptural Dharma. Rinpoche's transmission of the realized Dharma was inconceivable and only his peers can fully appreciate it. Rinpoche's great service to the preservation and dissemination of the scriptural Dharma has benefitted millions in Tibet and globally.
In addition to the skillful means of writing and translating, Rinpoche also sustained the scriptural Dharma in these dark times through his long term support for BDRC. Tulku Thondup Rinpoche was a founding board member–he joined in 1999 at the inception of the organization–and helped guide the organization as a director for nearly 20 years. Rinpoche's generous, ecumenical, and innovative vision for the preservation of the Dharma and Tibetan literature deeply influenced the formation of BDRC such that it now has the largest digital library of Tibetan Buddhist texts in the world and distributes them freely.
Tulku Thondup Rinpoche provided tremendous moral support to the organization during the
sad and uncertain period after Gene Smith's passing in December 2010. In particular, Rinpoche eulogized Gene's legacy and blessed all of Gene's admirers during his memorial service at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. Rinpoche began his address with many kind words about Gene, noting that they met forty-five years prior in Darjeeling. Rinpoche then led the large assembled crowd through a Dzogchen instruction by Garab Dorje. It was a profound teaching on contemplation for all those present in the nave of that solemn cathedral. Rinpoche then closed with a heartfelt dedication of the merits accumulated by Gene "throughout his life through his noble activities."
Tulku Thondup Rinpoche giving a talk at BDRC as part of the Berman Speaker Series in June 2015.
Rinpoche remained on BDRC's board of directors for another seven years and personally ensured its longevity in the absence of its founder. When BDRC moved to Cambridge in 2012, our offices were in Harvard Square, less than a mile from Rinpoche's apartment overlooking the Charles River. In the summer of 2015 Tulku Thondup Rinpoche gave a public talk at the BDRC offices about his recently released book The Heart of Unconditional Love: A Powerful New Approach to Loving Kindness Meditation. Rinpoche will be dearly missed. The entire BDRC family celebrates Rinpoche's life and joins in the prayers for his rebirth in the Pure Land of Dewachen.