Akong Rinpoche - Religious Leaders, Career and Family

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Akong Rinpoche's Personal Details

Akong Rinpoche was a Tibetan tulku of the ‘Karma Kagyu’ lineage, who played a vital role in establishing Tibetan Buddhism worldwide

InformationDetail
BirthdayDecember 25, 1939
Died onOctober 8, 2013
NationalityChinese
FamousFounder of the Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland, Religious Leaders, Spiritual, Humanitarian, Leaders, Spiritual & Religious Leaders
SiblingsYeshe Losal
Humanitarian Works
  • Established soup kitchens to feed the homeless.
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Samye Ling Monastery
Birth PlaceKham
Born CountryTibet
ReligionTibetan Buddhism
GenderMale
Sun SignCapricorn
Born inKham
Famous asFounder of the Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland
Died at Age73

// Famous Founder of the Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland

Akong Rinpoche's photo

Who is Akong Rinpoche?

Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche was tulku of the ‘Karma Kagyu’ lineage, who played a vital role in establishing Tibetan Buddhism worldwide. Born in the Chamdo area of Kham, Tibet, he was recognized as the ‘tulku’, or reincarnation of the previous Akong, at an early age. Taken from his family at the age of four, he received traditional religious education at the monastery and specialized in Tibetan medicine before taking up his role as abbot and teacher. Later, he left for exile in India, a journey which made him realize hunger as the most basic of all human needs and strived towards eradicating it. From India, he traveled to the UK where he co-founded Samye Ling monastery in Scotland and later built its London Center (now in a former library). His main work had been the expansion of the work of the ROKPA Charity, principally in Tibet and Nepal, where he established several soup kitchens to feed the homeless in major cities. He brought well over 150 projects into existence, each project being a school, clinic, medical college, self-help program or a scheme to protect the environment. In 2013, he was killed in an attempted robbery while he was visiting some of his charitable projects in China.

// Famous Religious Leaders

Childhood & Early Life

Akong Rinpoche was born on December 25, 1939, at Dharak Village, near Riwoche in Kham, Eastern Tibet.

At the age of two, he was discovered by the search party seeking the reincarnation of the previous (1st) Akong, Abbot of Dolma Lhakang monastery near Chakdado, in the Chamdo area of Kham.

He was taken to Dolma Lhakang at the age of four where he received the spiritual and formal education necessary for him to resume his position as Abbot. Besides his religious studies, he was also trained in traditional Tibetan medicine.

In his teenage years, he toured from one community to another, performed religious ceremonies and treated the sick. Later, he went to the great monastic university of Secchen, where he received the Kagyu Buddhist lineage from Secchen Kongtrul Rinpoche.

Under the guidance of HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, his further spiritual training as one of the holders of the Kagyu lineage was completed and he was certified as a teacher of Tibetan medicine.

Later Years

In 1959, when the Chinese took over the Tibet, Akong Rinpoche fled to India with 300 other Tibetans. After spending time in refugee camps, he was asked to serve as a teacher at the ‘Young Lamas Home School’ in Dalhousie.

In the early 1960s, he was among the first Tibetan tulkus who were brought from exile to Western Europe. Upon arriving in England, he worked as a hospital orderly for several years.

In 1967, he co-founded ‘Samye Ling Monastery’ in Scotland, the first Tibetan Buddhist center in Europe, with Trungpa Rinpoche. In addition, he helped found ROKPA International, an international humanitarian organization that works principally in Tibet and Nepal.

Later, while his friends moved to different countries, he remained in Europe and oversaw the community at Samye Ling. He remained and served in the monastery at Scotland for the rest of his life.

He also founded welfare projects in China, Nepal, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, and established soup kitchens in the UK, Nepal, South Africa, Poland, and Belgium to feed the homeless people.

He also worked towards developing the use of traditional Tibetan medicine in modern times, and founded a project called the ‘Tara Trust’ to develop practical forms of psychotherapy.

In 1992, he led a team within Tibet in search of the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa. This was the first time that exiled Tibetan lamas had risked inviting the Chinese authorities to work with them on the search for a reincarnation.

He focused the rest of his life on developing his social welfare projects within Tibet and other countries, as well as overseeing the teaching community at the monastery he co-founded in Scotland.

He also wrote a book titled ‘Taming the Tiger: Tibetan Teachings for Improving Daily Life’ which aims to help those seeking the truth about suffering and happiness.

Major Works

In 1967 he co-founded the ‘Samye Ling Monastery’, the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre in the West, in a valley in Scotland. He described it as a place full of peace and spirituality, open to anyone of any faith.

He was able to establish over 150 projects in Tibet, which included schools, clinics, orphanages, vocational training centers, and environmental projects, all oriented toward cultural preservation and sustaining the Tibetan language.

Personal Life & Legacy

Later in life, he got married and was blessed with four children.

On October 8, 2013, he was stabbed to death in an attempted robbery in Chengdu, China, along with two other monks, including Rinpoche's nephew, and his driver. The police arrested the three Tibetan convicts who admitted their crime.

His body was cremated at a monastery in Tibet where he was initiated as a monk at the age of four.

// Famous Spiritual

Akong Rinpoche biography timelines

  • // 25th Dec 1939
    Akong Rinpoche was born on December 25, 1939, at Dharak Village, near Riwoche in Kham, Eastern Tibet.
  • // 1959
    In 1959, when the Chinese took over the Tibet, Akong Rinpoche fled to India with 300 other Tibetans. After spending time in refugee camps, he was asked to serve as a teacher at the ‘Young Lamas Home School’ in Dalhousie.
  • // 1967
    In 1967, he co-founded ‘Samye Ling Monastery’ in Scotland, the first Tibetan Buddhist center in Europe, with Trungpa Rinpoche. In addition, he helped found ROKPA International, an international humanitarian organization that works principally in Tibet and Nepal.
  • // 1967
    In 1967 he co-founded the ‘Samye Ling Monastery’, the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre in the West, in a valley in Scotland. He described it as a place full of peace and spirituality, open to anyone of any faith.
  • // 1992
    In 1992, he led a team within Tibet in search of the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa. This was the first time that exiled Tibetan lamas had risked inviting the Chinese authorities to work with them on the search for a reincarnation.
  • // 8th Oct 2013
    On October 8, 2013, he was stabbed to death in an attempted robbery in Chengdu, China, along with two other monks, including Rinpoche's nephew, and his driver. The police arrested the three Tibetan convicts who admitted their crime.

// Famous Spiritual & Religious Leaders

Akong Rinpoche's FAQ

  • What is Akong Rinpoche birthday?

    Akong Rinpoche was born at 1939-12-25

  • When was Akong Rinpoche died?

    Akong Rinpoche was died at 2013-10-08

  • Where was Akong Rinpoche died?

    Akong Rinpoche was died in Chengdu

  • Which age was Akong Rinpoche died?

    Akong Rinpoche was died at age 73

  • Where is Akong Rinpoche's birth place?

    Akong Rinpoche was born in Kham

  • What is Akong Rinpoche nationalities?

    Akong Rinpoche's nationalities is Chinese

  • Who is Akong Rinpoche siblings?

    Akong Rinpoche's siblings is Yeshe Losal

  • Which company or organization was founded by Akong Rinpoche?

    Akong Rinpoche was the founder/co-founder of Samye Ling Monastery

  • What is Akong Rinpoche's religion?

    Akong Rinpoche's religion is Tibetan Buddhism

  • What is Akong Rinpoche's sun sign?

    Akong Rinpoche is Capricorn

  • How famous is Akong Rinpoche?

    Akong Rinpoche is famouse as Founder of the Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland