H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche
In deepest memories
LATE KHENSUR KYABJE LATI RINPOCHE (1922~2010)
His Eminence Kyabje Lati Rinpoche is our dearest late Teacher who established Gaden Shartse Dro-Phen Ling. From the year Rinpoche started GSDPL in 2002, he visited Singapore almost every year – Rinpoche conferred many teachings & initiations for his fortunate students here and benefitted countless students in this region. Lati Rinpoche passed into nirvana on 12th April 2010 at the age of 88. Upon receiving the news, 19 of us from GSDPL flew to Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India to pay our last respects to Rinpoche, and attended days of swift return prayers and rituals the monastery conducted for Rinpoche. Every morning, we went to Lati Ladrang where Rinpoche’s holy body was placed, to make prostrations and pay our respect. Despite the hottest month of April in India, Rinpoche’s body remained fresh and warm, there was no smell detected at all. Rinpoche left behind many special holy relics, including his unburnt eyeball, tongue and heart – symbolic of his pure body, speech & mind. The relics Rinpoche left behind are testament to his pure and high realizations. We are deeply touched by our Teacher’s generous love and compassion for all of us. We have been extremely blessed by his love and wisdom, and we must practise dharma well in order to repay his kindness. We always pray for the swift return of Lati Rinpoche. May he turn the wheel of dharma once again to continue benefiting all beings.
The late Khensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche was born in the Kham region of Eastern Tibet in 1922. After the famous Gongkar Rinpoche (previous incarnation) identified and recognized Him as a reincarnation of a great practitioner, Rinpoche consequently embarked on the fulfillment of His destiny by joining the local monastery in Tibet – at the age of ten.
By 15 years old, Rinpoche was enrolled in Gaden Shartse Norling College, located in central Tibet. It is the most prestigious and renowned school in Tibet, and it was where Rinpoche pursued his study of Buddhist scriptures, and eventually earning Him the highest honours among the foremost scholars of His day. At that time, Rinpoche’s field of study included Pramana Vidya (Logic), Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom), Madhyamika (Middle Philosophy), Abidharma (Treasure of Knowledge), Vinaya (Spiritual Rules and Moral Law).
In 1959, after 19 of intensive study, Rinpoche sat for the Geshe Lharmapa examination. This major examination was held in the summer palace of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, located in the capital of Tibet, Lhasa. Candidates were various scholars and top students from the 3 main monasteries. In the next year, Rinpoche was officially conferred as “Geshe Lharampa” – a qualification which is equivalent to the PHD degree in Indian universities. And in that same year, Rinpoche joined the tantric college in Lhasa, and started intensive study in Tantra since.
Propagating the Dharma
In the following years, Rinpoche taught many young incarnate lamas, as well as gave dharma talks to the mass public. In 1964, Rinpoche arrived in Dharamsala, and was subsequently appointed as Spiritual Advisor to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama – Rinpoche served His Holiness faithfully till his last day.
In 1976, under His Holiness’s suggestion, various universities in America invited Lati Rinpoche over, where Rinpoche gave illuminating dharma discourses to an appreciative public. In addition, Rinpoche taught at Namgyal Gomba (His Holiness’s personal monastery), at the debating college, and has guided and taught many laypeople as well. In the same year, Rinpoche was appointed as the Abbot of the Shartse Norling College of Gaden Monastery, in South India. Rinpoche held this position for eight years – where besides looking after the administration, law and order of the Sangha, Rinpoche also personally taught extensively on all aspects of Buddhism. Rinpoche’s contribution towards Gaden Shartse Norling College is widely recognized by all, and H.E. is deeply respected by many strong devotees all over the world.
Great Inspiration to all
Since His retirement, Rinpoche dedicated His life mainly on dharma practice, as well as propagating the Buddha’s teachings On repeated requests from many countries in Europe and America, Rinpoche has travelled extensively, benefiting dharma students in various parts of the world. To His credit, Lati Rinpoche has authored many important books on Tibetan Buddhism, including: Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth; Mind in Tibetan Buddhism; Meditative States in Tibetan Buddhism.
Rinpoche established GSDPL in 2002, he visited Singapore almost every year, conferred many precious teachings & initiations, and benefitted countless students here. Lati Rinpoche passed into nirvana on the 12th April of 2010. Rinpoche left behind many special holy relics which is testament to his pure and great realizations. We always pray for the swift return of Lati Rinpoche, may he turn the wheel of dharma once again to continue benefiting all beings.
Swift Return Prayers for the late Lati Rinpoche
We encourage all students of Lati Rinpoche worldwide to recite these Swift Return Prayers as much as possible. You could consider including this prayer into your regular daily practice. Let us all unite in strength to pray for Rinpoche’s unmistaken reincarnation to reunite soon, may he once again turn the wheel of dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings.