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Rinpoche, also spelled Rimboche and Rinboku (Tibetan: རིན་པོ་ཆེ, Wylie: rin po che, THL: Rinpoché, ZYPY: Rinboqê), is an honorific term used in the Tibetan language. It literally means "precious one", and may refer to a person, place, or thing—like the words "gem" or "jewel" (Sanskrit: Ratna).[1]

The word consists of rin (value), po (nominalizing suffix) and chen (big).

The word is used in the context of Tibetan Buddhism as a way of showing respect when addressing those recognized as reincarnated, older, respected, notable, learned and/or an accomplished Lamas or teachers of the Dharma.[2] It is also used as an honorific for abbots of Buddhist monasteries.

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  1. ^ Shakspo, Nawang Tsering (1999). "The Role of Incarnate Lamas in Buddhist Tradition: A Brief Survey of Bakula Rinpoche's Previous Incarnations". The Tibet Journal. 24 (3): 38–47. ISSN 0970-5368. JSTOR 43300761.
  2. ^ Yu, Chun-Fang (March 2000). "The Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche: The Trials of Telo Rinpoche: A Stranger in My Native Land:The Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche.;The Trials of Telo Rinpoche.;A Stranger in My Native Land". American Anthropologist. 102 (1): 158–159. doi:10.1525/aa.2000.102.1.158. ISSN 0002-7294.

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