It is with great sadness that we report that our great teacher the 14th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche has died. Rinpoche had been travelling to different countries in Europe to teach his students, and had just completed several days of teachings in Germany. On June 11, 2014, Rinpoche died suddenly of a heart attack, at his main centre in Renchen-Ulm, at the age of 61.
Rinpoche then entered the meditative Thugdam state, in which masters of Buddhist meditation can practice after death, and remained there for 2 days. On the auspicious full moon day of Saga Dawa, when Buddha Shakyamuni entered into parinirvana, Rinpoche left his meditation state with all the signs of enlightenment. Rinpoche’s students and many lamas who had come from all over the world immediately began prayers for his swift rebirth, so that we can again benefit from his teaching and blessing.
Rinpoche’s kudung (physical body) will be taken in procession from the Renchen cemetery on the evening of Thursday 19th June. His Holiness Karmapa Thaye Dorje is in Renchen Ulm, and will accompany Shamar Rinpoche’s remains back to India once the traditional practices are complete.
The unexpected death of Shamar Rinpoche is a great shock for his thousands of students in Asia and the Western world. He touched the lives of countless numbers of people. His accomplishments as a spiritual leader will benefit sentient beings for years to come.
In his final teaching, given just a few days ago, Shamar Rinpoche said: “You don’t need to be afraid of death if you know how to practice in death.”