"Khensur Jampa Tegchok, 84, died in India, October 28, 2014, of natural causes.
The life of Sera Je Khensur Rinpoche Gen Jampa Tegchog (Gen-la), has come to an end. What appeared out of the dharmakaya has merged back into the dharmakaya.
For his many students, there is a darkness inside and a sense of having lost their father.
He had many, many students from the East and West and affected many lives deeply.
Gen-la was born in 1930. I met him in 1979 at Manjushri Institute in the UK, on the day he arrived. I was living there then. I clearly remember seeing him get out of the car wearing a pair of sunglasses like mirrors, which I found quite odd.
He came from Sarnath, near Varanasi, in North India. He was one of the main teachers at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies. His students retained a lifelong appreciation for his kindness. Many of them went on to find good positions and recognized that it was he who had equipped them with the education that made that possible. I don’t think they necessarily appreciated him at the time. Several shared quarters with him. They had the back room and if ever they wanted to leave that room, they had to pass before him and be subjected to a dark, forbidding look that made them really think twice about whether they really needed to go out or not. That was how he got them to study.
He was a good friend of Lama Yeshe. It was Lama who had persuaded Gen-la to come to Manjushri to teach the Geshe Program. He had left a very good position at the Tibetan institute at Sarnath, well-paid and with a good pension. And, of course, he was living in a very holy place. He gave all that up to come to the West. In those days at Manjushri, he probably only got a very meager monthly stipend and certainly no pension. It was quite a sacrifice.
He told me several times, “Mao Zedong said Dharma is poison, so I thought to myself, ‘I think I’ll go to the West to plant some seeds of poison there’.”
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