2020 - Update from Nepal
It is with great personal
sadness I must report that the Rinpoche (High Lama) passed away invt
he early hours of Saturday 10 October, he was in his mid eighties. He
was in Namche, he hadcome down from Tengboche the week previously because
the weather was becoming very cold. On Monday 12 October the Rinpoches
body was draped in the yellow cloth used by Lamas and carried by Lamas,
other Sherpa devotees and relatives along the trail back up to Tengboche,
where as per Sherpa tradition, his body will lie for six more weeks.
I have seen further reports that the final last rites will be performed
on the 49th day after his death. Many hundreds of Sherpas from Khumbu
and elsewhere are expected to be at Tengboche for the cremation which
is Sherpa tradition. The Lamas of Tengboche will decide whether the
body should be cremated, or buried with a small stupa to be built over
I have been involved with Tengboche and the Rinpoche for many years
since 1991 when as part of an expedition from the UK we helped with
the reconstruction of Tengboche after it was burnt down in 1989, this
was blamed on an electrical fault from the new micro-hydro which had
It was on this expedition that I met with the Sherpa people. Pasang,
the leader of the group of Sherpa who were organising all the assistance
we were involved in, and I became good friends and later in 1992 Nepal
Trekking was formed and I have been involved with Nepal and Tengboche
ever since then, visiting Nepal and Tengboche twice a year during the
March/April and the October/November seasons, meeting with the Rinpoche
almost every time, sometimes even, on the occasions I was alone, not
with a group, I was invited to have lunch or dinner with the Rinpoche
in his private residence, always a special experience.
Now this year, 2020, I have not travelled to Nepal this season because
of the Covid-19 virus situation. I was there in Mar./Apr, but as explained
in earlier updates this was all cut short by the rising virus problem
at that time. Now, to date there are several thousands of new positive
cases being recorded each day, and approaching 800 deaths.
Since Mar/Apr 2018 I have not been able to get up to Khumbu and Tengboche,
because of various difficulties when I was in Nepal, mostly due to rearranged
flights to Lukla, that had to be made from another airport several hours
drive away from Kathmandu, and it proved very inconvenient.
So I am very sad to hear about the Rinpoche but also very proud to have
known him for many years.
In Sherpa Buddhism Rinpoche’s are a reincarnation. So now we must hope
that his reincarnation will be found soon.