I was deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing away of Sogyal Rinpoche this afternoon, 28th August 2019. I knew him from childhood and he remained a friend to me all his life. I first met him when he was studying in Dr. Graham’s Home School in Kalimpong. Every weekend and vacation he went to see his Masters and Khenpo’s to study Dharma. He was sent for western education and he later graduated from the prestigious St. Stephan’s College, Delhi, but the deep impact left by Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro in his childhood never dwindled. His confidence in Dharma and his devotion to his Gurus took him to devote all his life to Dharma. He was teaching Dharma to his fellow students in school as well as in University and continued even when the King of Sikkim sent him to Cambridge University for further studies in the UK.
His greatest delight was to share what he learnt from his masters that helped him so much. He succeeded to bring the essence of Dharma to the modern world in an unparalleled way. His book, ‘Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’ touched millions of people all over the world. I have met people in every nook and corner of the world who told me that his teachings have transformed their lives. He worked tirelessly with his students and he often boasted about how devoted and hard working his students were. He established the Rigpa organisation and succeeded to bring to the West some of the greatest masters of the time.
I have never heard him speak badly about anybody in my life. Even when some of his students complained against him he did not say one bad word against them. He quietly resigned and left. His only wish was that Rigpa would continue to serve the purpose that he established it for and bring genuine Dharma to the people of this world. He repeatedly asked me to come and teach in its centres and support it to grow. I am sure he asked this to many Lamas and Masters. He soon took ill and passed away. I have lost a true friend who I will never cease to miss.