Some Updates on Rakra Rimpoche Obituary

A number of readers have posted comments requesting information on Rakra Rimpoche’s writings and poetry. Some of his books are available at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA), but many of his shorter works and poems are out of print and unavailable. His heirs have put together a project to publish his collected works, and will make information on this available to those interested.

The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives and Tashi Tsering la, director of the Amnye Machen Institute organized a symposium on Rakra Rimpoche on June 10th. Such well known Tibetan scholars and writers as Naga Sangay Tendar la, Tashi Tsering la, Acharya Karma Monlam la, Sonam Gyaltsen la and Chung Tsering la, spoke at the occasion. I was informed that in spite of monsoon rains the event was a standing room only one. The Dharamshala press was in attendance.

I must thank Lhagang Chodak la for translating my obituary into Tibetan and bringing it out in Khabda. The editors of Khabda website also published articles by Dorje Wangchuk la , Geshe Sonam Yeshey la, and others on Rakra Rimpoche. Tashi Tsering has written a detailed account of Rimpoche’s life and writings which will appear in the next issue of the LTWA Tibetan language journal Tam Tsog.

Rimpoche’s last published writing was an opinion piece he wrote on the 13th of May 2012 for the exile newspaper Tibet Times, less than two month before his death, where he refuted the statements of those opposing Tibetan independence. An English translation of this brief piece is on Rakra Rimpoche was very much a mild-mannered artistic sort, somewhat apolitical, but in his last days he was moved by the heroism of the youth inside Tibet to attempt an intellectual defense of his nation’s freedom, against those who were undermining it.

Chung Tsering la, informed me that he had edited Rakra Rimpoche’s translation of the Panchatantra, the monumental compendium of Sanskrit fables and animal stories, from which Aesops’s, La Fontaine’s and other great collection of such stories have derived their origin. The book was published by the Department of Education of CTA in 2010, and is available free as a pdf download.

One of Rimpoche’s daughters emailed me that when he finally had to go to the hospital he took with him his project to translate Antoine de Saint-Exupéry novella, The Little Prince. (Le Petit Prince) into Tibetan. “He spent his last days in his hospital bed reading this book in English and Hindi, and taking notes. He was busy as ever until the end.”


39 Replies to “Some Updates on Rakra Rimpoche Obituary”

  1. Rakra Rinpoche believes that there is a big gape in Tibetan written language and dialectic language and there should not be that gape any more in future.So,he requested to Tibetan intellectuals to fix that gape. but he himself wrote many articles and translate from other languages in dialectic language which is very harmful to tibetan written language as said by many Tibetan scholars. So,my question is why he wrote in lhasa dialectic which is spoken by only lhasa people? is it really good to Tibetan language or isn’t it make worse?

  2. I have another story about Rakra’s poems. Once he wrote a poem and some of his pupils and acquaintances praise him a lot. But later great scholar Hortsang Jigmey made it clear that that poem is a fake one and some of stanzas are copied directly from Madiyamaka,a Buddhist philosophical book.

  3. Jamyang la, thank you for the information.

    Samkuk, oops I meant Samdup – stupid is what stupid does! Get a life!

  4. Samdup,
    It is pity that u have so much hatred in yourself. Rakra rinpoche is one of the most intellectual tibetan that we have in our is sad that people like u does not know the value of it.

  5. Hortsang Jigme is a disgraced amdowas. He doesn’t even know whether a person is quoting or paraphrasing- leave alone doing a review on a scholarly works.
    Speaker Penpa Tsering is another disgraced Amdowas. If such people represents amdowas at the highest level in Tibetan society, we might have to change our cliche favoring amdowas as an Intelligent people.

    Jamyang la,
    Thank you for the information on this important person of Tibetan literary giants. Indeed, a great loss for all the Tibetan.

    Thanks for the free download too. I’ve started reading it and it was very easy to read.

  6. you should add NG as another disgraceful amdowa. All his points end up being about Kudraks and Jamyang Norbu as if the universe revolves around these two topics. By his reasoning and his recent expose that he was from Amdo, the ones which are under Chinese influence, he considers himself more Chinese than Tibetan. No wonder he is such a loser.

  7. The fact is that weather we like it or not, the Lhasa dialect is the central dialect, and therefore the unifying language of Tibet.

    Every province or village in Tibet, including Dote and Domed understands the Lhasa dialect. This includes the nations of Bhutan and former Sikkim as well.

    The Lhasa dialect is the universal language of the Tibetan world as Hindi is to India. Speak Lhasa dialect and everyone will understand it. This is not the same with other Tibetan dialects.

    Alak Jigme is a disgraceful individual of ill repute. He falsely has accused other acclaimed Tibetans of plagiarism, which is a defamation; and there are serious consequences to pay for.

    Sadly, and ashamedly; our TGIE never did restrict this shameful man from such accusations levied at some of our national contributors.

    Alak Jigme, is the real wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is an embarrassment to the Sangha, not to mention of the many gossips in Dharmasala about his womanizing.

    Sure, he was of great assistance to Amdowas, and only Amodwas. He was never a great scholar, far from being a Khewang.

    One such instance was the late Tsamchoe of Dharmasala (wife of late Aku Cheyang), was a sleeping partner of Alak Jigme, whose husband Aku Cheyang, a friend of the Alak.

    Such gossips of his womanizing are well founded, and can be corroborated among the old residents of Dharamsala. A real disgrace to Amdowas.

  8. Samdup,
    1 when and where Hortsang Jigme said that about Rakra Rinpoche taking some of his verses directly from other resources?
    2 I want you to post Rinche’s peom here and see if they are said quoted or written by Rinpoche?
    3 If you are failed to provid a proof, then your comments should be consired an instigation and jealousy towards Rinpoche and Hortsang Jigme.

  9. Hortsang jigme it’s right now a hot topic at RFA. He is trying to become a staff there while sequestration is going on. If it happens, there is show to follow up, related people are closely watching this issue. There are well knowledge staff within the amdo service and this issue will damage the management.

  10. @8 Sonam Gyatao,

    “Every province or village in Tibet, including Dote and Domed understands the Lhasa dialect.”
    The above statement from SOnam Gyatso is absolutely not true.
    Far from understanding Lhasa dialect easily , majority tibetans from these two regions sometimes have having difficulties to undersatand each other in their own regions duo to a great variety of dialects.

    I think Sanam Gyatso have no clue how diversely we speak different dialects on Tibetan platue although our written systems are same.

  11. @Sonam Gyatso Didn’t you see amkey translator during His Holiness’s teachings? Don’t tell lie such shamelessly.
    Compare to Lhasa dialect Amdo dialect is more popular because all nomads of Kham speak Amdo dialect. And even Tsangpas don’t speak or understand lhasa dialect properly.

  12. @Gesar I am sorry that i don’t remember in which book i read Hortsang Jigmey’s article.
    And i don’t have Rakra’s poem with me right now. So i will show it to you later or ask Gen Hortsang about it.

  13. @ TENZIN Are you saying Tethong won’t give job to Hortsang Jigmey if he know this incident? don’t warn me. I am not Amdowa and I don’t care about Hortsang jigmey’s job. But i will take responsible for what i said above.

  14. For the last time, the Lhasa dialect is the standard Tibetan language understood by all Tibetans, not necessarily spoken. End of topic.

  15. @Sonam Gyamtso: Lhasa Dialect is neither universal throughout cultural Tibetan land nor it is necessary to know that dialect. Written language is not a Lhasan language or dialect, it is a Tibetan language.

    Definitely you need to come out of your small world!

    Critics of Ignorance with sword of Manjushiri

  16. People living in Tsang have no clue what you guys are discussing about..they are lovingly calling CCP Government as “DHA CHEE-YEE SHUNG”.
    Welcome to the new reality.

  17. The language presented here is “Standard Tibetan” spyi-skad /cikä/.[4] It corresponds to the language spoken in Central Tibet in the region of Lhasa, as well as among the diaspora community.

    This language is a variety of the “Central Tibetan” dbus-dkad /ükä/, spoken around Lhasa, which has become the lingua franca among Tibetans. It allows Tibetans living in other regions of Tibet (Amdo, Kham, Ngari, etc) and indeed those residing in China, India, Bhutan, Europe and North America, to communicate with one another whatever their native dialect yul-skad /yü:kä’/.

    The general term bod-skad /phökä’/, “Tibetan language”, [7] is also sometimes used to describe the lingua franca, as are kha-skad /khakä/ spoken language or phalskad /phä:kä/ “ordinary language” – which differentiates it from Literary Tibetan yig-skad /yikkä’/.

    Further, Standard Tibetan is what the Dalai Lama speaks and preaches to all Tibetans. It is highly regarded by Tibetans and recommended by them to those who learn Tibetan. That being Bod Skad or U Skad or plainly Lhasa dialect.

    The founder of the the Tibetan script was Sambhoda, a Lhasan who had based his invention on the Brahmi and Gupta script of ancient India.

  18. lhasa dialect is to serve aristocrats. So there are many shesa in that dialect. they even use shesa from kudraks’s dogs to kawa or pillar; don’t fight with kawa la(respected pillar)! lol

  19. central dialect spoken by some people sound good and real. i like Jamyang Norbu speaking, i also like Tendor’s and Tenzin Tsundue and the like. they’re sounds natural and real. But some lhasa dialect spoken and so cultivated is so outdated and so not cool. such a put on and put off.

  20. If you have happened to travel around different places in Tibet, you will never miss to notice how diversely we speak the langauge of Tibet and they are not only the three dialects of so called Kham, Amdo and Utsang. There are many and they are very variable.
    When i first got in Lhasa and first time heard Lhasa dialect, i thought they were speaking Chinese Mandarin. they speak in a tone very similiar to Mandarine tones.
    I think Lhasa dialect suits very well with women and it sounds elegant when a female speaks, but it loses it’s elegance and beauty when a real man speaks and it make the man loses his manhood.

    Lhasawas use so many honorific terms and it is so annoying.

  21. The Tibetan dialect spoken by exile Tibetans in India is not even close to Lhasa dialect.

    They may have having difficulties to understand each other if firt time meet and converse.

  22. I wish people can stop employing “character assassination” ploys such as labelling someone as “disgraced Amodowa” etc. It does not reflect well on us collectively as Tibetans.I am sure there are more intelligent ways of debating with each other. Let us avoid ad hominem attacks and character assissination tactics in our debates.

    What ever the dialect, they are all a part of us collectively called “Tibetans”. Let us take pride in our ability to think of ourselves as a united entity called Tibetans, despite the huge diversity. That speaks for the richness of our language and the versatility of our expression.


  23. TCL, they are disgraceful Amdowas, Hortsang, Davano, NG, Samdup and etc because they are making compleletey untrue and hominem attacks on such people as Rakra Rimpochje, Shakabpa and JN. Is it alright to attack these khewangs and character assissinsate them becasue they are UTsang? Should Utsang people just have to shut up when they are attacked by Amdowa’s?

  24. Pasang @28,
    If Hortsang Jigme is wrong about Rakra Rinpoche and Shakapa, you can prove that he is wrong by bringng up evidences and making good reasonings.

  25. Gesar, JN prooved how Hortsang told lie about Shakapa stealing GC’shistory. Read JN’s article of Shakapa’ history book. but such Amdo chamchas of Hortsnag still repeat his lies on this website again and again. About Rakra’s poetry Samdup does not show the actual poetry he say Rakra copied. Just lies again and again. I am going to expose these mfuckers every time they try to lie about our khewangs.

  26. I am feeling very susp;icious that Hortsang, NG, Daveno, Smadup and Amdo gang have policy agenda to character assasinate all great khewangs of U and Tsang, and keep rpeeating like Mani again and again that this was all great work of GC or Dalai Lama or Horstsang himself. They are always doing this on this website all the time. I think they should all be kicked out.

  27. Pasang,
    I only heard that JN doesn’t read well Tibetan scripts as i don’t read and write well English langauge.
    I read JamNor’s but his on the case was not convincing.
    It seems that you are very well versed in both Tibetan and English. Why don’t you express opinions of yours on the charging case against Rinpoche and Shakapa?

  28. I do not always agree with the debating line carrid out by NG on this website.
    However, i would like tosy duo to NG’s sharp wit and unique way of debating, sometimes JN’s pieces on this site gets more comments than others.

  29. I have been alerted that some people are posting numerous comments under multiple aliases. For instance “rangzen” “critics” and “NG” are the same person. And there are others that we are looking into. Opinions of every kind are welcome here, but not when the intention clearly is to harrass and discourage those posting opposing comments and to drown out the overall discussion. This kind of spamming first carried out by Chinese fenqing student groups in the West seems to have inspired “rangzen” “critics” and “NG”, whoever they are.

  30. I also want to add that in future comment with sexual obscenities and profanities will be junked.Furthermore comments that are clearly designed to create division and conflict within our society will be rejected. A final example:
    2013/07/27 at 5:57 am
    All famous writers are from Amdo,all famous singers are from Kham,all self-immolaters are from Kham and Amdo. Most great Lamas are From Amdo and Kham including Gyawa Rinpoche and Panchen Rinpoche. You U-tsangwas have what to be so proud of other than licking Kudraks ass. if the Kudrak system had happened in Amdo or Kham, Khampas and amdo people would have kicked them off before CCP’s invasion.

  31. Jamyang la,

    This is also great piece,but there are still some errors should be corrected.

    For the Rakra Rimpoche’s translation of the Panchatantra, the monumental compendium of Sanskrit fables and animal stories, Chung Tsering didn’t edit the book rather than doing the proof reading, instead, Kunga Gyaltsen la edited the book and he was the editor of that book. It is already on the book if you have read the book.

    Again, you write great pieces, but misinformation is also the problem of your articles for sometimes.

    With best,
    Tenpa from Dharamsala

  32. ཁྱེད་རང་ལ་མིང་དང་ཆེད་མཐོང་ཏོག་ཙམ་ཐོབ་དུས་དུས་རྟག་ཏུ་མདུང་རྩེ་གཏོད་ས་དང་ཁ་གཏད་གཅོག་ས་ནོར་གྱི་མི་འདུག་གམ་སྐུ་ཞབས་ལགས།

  33. ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་རྗེས་མཐུད་ཡོང་བའི་ཆེད་དུ་ངས་སྦྱོང་བཞིན་ཡོད། ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ། གསོན་ཅིང་རླབས་ཆ་ེབའི་དཔའ་བོ་ལགས།

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