Panchen Otrul Rinpoche
|The following article is from the Summer, 2002 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.|
Panchen Otrul Rinpoche was born in Kham around 1939. In 1951, he was taken to Lhasa as a possible re-incarnation of the Panchen Lama who had died in 1937. However due to the political situation at that time a candidate from Amdo was selected. Rinpoche was then given a new title, "Panchen Otrul," which means "Panchen Candidate." He was taken to Drepung Gomang Monastery where he continued his Dharma studies under many renowned teachers.
In 1959, when the Chinese Communists took control of Tibet, Panchen Otrul Rinpoche was put in a concentration camp. In 1960, he escaped to India. There he completed his formal studies, studying Sanskrit as well, at Varanasi University. During this time he helped to design programs of study for Sera, Ganden and Drepung, the biggest Gelugpa Monastic Universities in India and also for The Institute of Tibetan Higher Studies at Samath.
In 1988, he travelled to the U.K. on behalf of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to engage in interfaith dialogue. In 1990, he was invited by Irish Students of Buddhist Dharma to become Spiritual Director of a new centre in West Cavan, Ireland, to which he gave the name Jampa Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre. The Tashi Khyil Trust was established in Northern Ireland at the same time as a fund-raising charity.
In 1995, Panchen Otrul Rinpoche traveled to Mongolia with His Holiness the Dalai Lama who asked him to stay and teach Dharma to the Mongolian people. Since 1995, he has travelled there each year for two months in order to help with the re-establishment of Buddhism in Mongolia.
Panchen Otrul Rinpoche has also travelled to Malaysia, Singapore and Europe in order to teach.
In 2001, he established Asral Charity in Mongolia to oversee his work there and the Maitreya Charity in the USA to join Tashi Khyil and Jampa Ling in raising funds for his work in Mongolia and among Tibetan Refugees in India.