I used to sit at his side and ask for stories.
When I was barely ten years old.
While painting Thankas of many colours
He told me folk tales of Tibet
The epics of Ling Gesar
And life stories of great masters
So colourful and inspiring
Not even slightly distracted from his work.
I have forgotten the big books
That I struggled to study and memorise
But those stories are still fresh in my mind
Giving guidance at every turn of my life.
He was a great artist.
A master in the creation of spiritual symbolism.
He continued to paint Thankas
Until he could no longer see.
He was a great friend to me,
With his kindness and concern;
He helped me to see my pitfalls
Even without mentioning them.
Today he left his body
At the ripe old age of a hundred and one
To continue his work of art
For the benefit of another set of beings.
I know he will be well wherever he goes,
But I will miss him till to my last breath.
By Ringu Tulku
These words spontaneously arose in my mind when I heard the news that my life long friend Sherab Palden Beru passed away in Samye Ling, Scotland on 29th November, 2012.
Read also: Prayers for Sherab Palden Beru