Thubten Jigme Norbu (August 16, 1922-September 5, 2008) recognised as the Taktser Rinpoche, was a Tibetan lama, writer, civil rights activist and professor of Tibetan studies and is the eldest brother of the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. He was one of the first high-profile Tibetans to go into exile and was the first Tibetan to settle in the United States.
Historically, Kumbum was also the frequent residence of previous Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas. At Kumbum, Norbu began his training as a monk. At the age of 27, he was selected to serve as the abbot of Kumbum Monastery. At this time, Kumbum was one of the largest monasteries in Eastern Tibet.
Kumbum, however was one of the first areas to be invaded by the army of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The PRC held Norbu under house arrest in the monastery, sleeping in his room and following him 24 hours a day. The PRC demanded that he travel to Lhasa, denounce the Tibetan government, and denounce his younger brother the Dalai Lama, who was then about 15 years old. Norbu pretended to agree with the PRC's demands and, as a result, was able to reach Lhasa to warn his brother of the seriousness of the Chinese invasion.
Norbu decided in 1950 that he would leave Tibet and attempt to educate the world about the atrocities in Tibet and the actions of the PRC.
After leaving Tibet, Norbu worked continually for Tibet in the Tibetans in exile. He served as the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile to Japan and North America. He also served as Professor of Tibetan Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He wrote a number of books, including his autobiography, Tibet Is My Country as told to Heinrich Harrer. During the years, Norbu frequently lectured about the Tibetan situation at seminars throughout the world.
In 1979, Rinpoche founded the Tibetan Cultural Center (TCC) in Bloomington, a center devoted to preserving Tibetan culture and religion. The facility, renamed the Tibetan-Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center (or TMBCC) in 2006, has a Cultural Building, housing Tibetan works of art such as a Medicine Buddha, sand mandala, and Tibetan butter sculptures. The Cultural Building also has a library of Tibetan-related works and a gift shop where visitors may purchase articles made by Tibetan refugees in exile.
His brother the Dalai Lama has visited the TMBCC on five separate occasions. In 1987, he dedicated the Changchub Chorten; in 1996 the Dalai Lama consecrated the corner stone of the Kumbum Chamtse Ling Temple; in 1999, he was at the Center for 12 days when he gave the Kalachakara Initiation for World Peace and Harmony; in 2003, the Dalai Lama dedicated the Kumbum Chamtse Ling Temple in an interfaith ceremony; in 2007 he dedicated a new arch at the temple as well as holding a series of classes over six days.
In 1995, Norbu co-founded the International Tibet Independence Movement (ITIM). He has led three walks for Tibet's independence. In 1995, he led a week-long walk 80 miles from Bloomington, Indiana to Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1996, this was followed by a 300-mile, 45 day walk from the PRC embassy in Washington, D.C. to the United Nations Headquarters surrounded by New York City. The following year, he led a 600-mile walk from Toronto to New York City, beginning on March 10 (Tibetan Uprising Day) and ending June 14 (Flag Day). In 1998, ITIM walked for independence starting in Portland, Oregon and ending in Vancouver. In 2000, one arm of ITIM walked from San Francisco and another from San Diego. The two branches met in Los Angeles to greet the Dalai Lama who was giving a teaching and empowerment at Thupten Dhargye Ling.
Norbu died at the age of 86 on September 5, 2008 at his home in Indiana in the United States having been ill for several years. His body was cremated in a traditional Buddhist ceremony.
Norbu, Thubten Jigme 1922-2008 (Thubten J. Norbu, Takster Rinpoche, Thubten Jigme Norbu, Jigme Norbu Thubten, Tashi Tsering)
Jan 01, 2009; Norbu, Thubten Jigme 1922-2008 (Thubten J. Norbu, Takster Rinpoche, Thubten Jigme Norbu, Jigme Norbu Thubten, Tashi...