Talk:Akong Rinpoche

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  • [1] here the Jamgon Kongtrul of Sechen is mentioned.
Austerlitz -- (talk) 19:01, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
But not Jamgon Kongtrul of Sechen who was another much-loved emanation of the first Jamgon Kongtrul. I'll try and find a source for the Sechen tulkus. Rinpoche (talk)18:03, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
oh I see. It's true it does 'mention' the Sechen tulku but the main article in general is about Lodrö Chökyi Nyima one of two candidates fpr Jamgon Kongtrul IV. There's 25 emanations to be getting on with of the first Jamgon Kongtrul if you're asking. Rinpoche (talk) 18:36, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
  • I've provided some references and supplementary material. Hope it's useful. This bio really needs some citations added to make it credible. There is a Wiki entry for Freda Bedi to which reference should be made but I don't have sources other hearsay that attest her sponsorship of Akong Rinpoche. The question of the extent to which Akong Rinpoche wrote the book credited to him may also arise as it so frequently does with works of this nature. Co-authors should be cited if they are known and I have left a space in the template for this. Equally one could hope that the subject's name at least appeared in Tibetan script. Rinpoche (talk) 17:42, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I've found a reference to one Clive Holmes as co-author of 'Taming the Tiger' and have amended the reference accordingly cf. Rinpoche (talk) 23:04, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
  • References to wife and children needed. Rinpoche (talk) 14:21, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
  • I've added the geographical coordinates of Qamdo and would have preferred to add the coordinates of Dolma Lhakang but can't find a reference for them. Perhaps some one can add them or note here. Incidentally Google earth has a very fine 3D model of the original Samye monastery. I added a link in the title of the main photo on the Samye page.Rinpoche (talk) 22:15, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I've renamed 'Riwoche' as 'Riwoq' as spelt by Google Earth and given its coordinates (rather than Qamdo's) as well as removing the link to Riwoche. Please don't reinstate the link - it's the wrong monastery! Rinpoche (talk) 17:40, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I've entered coords for Dolma Lhakang from this source in The Full Wiki (the title is another monastery but Akong Rinpoche's is referenced). I'm a little dubious about since Google just shows a tree there but there is a settlement a little to the west on the pass and it agrees with what I've heard of its location. Surely there are people who've been out there who can upload the coords of both old and the new monastery here. I'll do the rest. Rinpoche (talk) 00:39, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Karmapa Controversy[edit]

Please don't remove the reference to the Karmapa Controversy. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and not a polemic of religious tracts. Rinpoche (talk) 14:29, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Chinese Relations[edit]

Akong Rinpoche seems to have interesting relationships with official Chinese institutions. He works with the No.4 in the Chinese Politbureau (Jia Qinglin), and he was in Lhasa at the invitation of the Chinese during the 60th anniverasry of the "Peaceful Liberation" of Tibet(talk) 15:37, 17 April 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chinawatcher12 (talkcontribs)

Very interesting is also the fact that Akong Rinpoche's relations to the Communist Chinese are so developed that they called him a "living Buddha" - a title that is being given to collaborating lamas.(talk) 19:36, 23 April 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chinawatcher12 (talkcontribs)

Well, yes, but long before Communism the Chinese were keeping tabs on their "living Buddhas". There are/were thousands of them with vast estates together; they had to register their incarnations! Of course there's an issue here with Akong Tarap's diplomacy with the Chinese. It would be good if someone knowledegable about the matter could contribute. Veiled criticism is not very seemly. The Telegraph obituary, which looks to me from John Maxwell ( hey Peter!) of the Birmingham vihara would be a good start. (talk) 20:54, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
These references to non-reliable sources need cleaning up. (talk) 15:13, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
The following estimation in The New York Times's coverage of the slayings of interest. I've cited and archived the source in the article:
Robert J. Barnett, a scholar of modern Tibet at Columbia University, said Mr. Akong’s killing did not appear to be motivated by sectarian or ethnic tensions, or politics.
“Though forceful with Tibetans whom he worked with on his social projects, Akong Rinpoche was very judicious in political matters, avoiding any public assertions in either direction, and is very unlikely to have attracted serious hostility from any side,” Professor Barnett said in an e-mail. “He went as far as anyone has done in recent times in the effort to see if long-term, constructive Tibetan-Chinese coexistence and cooperation can be achieved without either side having to give up its basic principles and commitments.” (talk) 19:36, 11 October 2013 (UTC) (Imogene)

On-going teaching activities[edit]

I regularly volunteer at Kagyu Samye Dzong London, a Tibetan Buddhist centre affiliated to the Kagyu Samyé Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre in Scotland. This centre regularly hosts Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche (that is how they present his full title) as an invited teacher:

There might be some merit in clarifying that although Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, Akong Rinpoche's brother, has taken over his duties as abbott of Kagyu Samye Ling, and now plays a more direct role in overseeing the activities of all the Kagyu Samye Dzong centres affiliated to it worlwide, Akong Rinpoche seems to be still very active in teaching and performing ceremonies in these centres (such as the empowerments that are considered necessary, in the Karma Kagyu lineage, before Buddhists can take up deity practices (sadhanas) such as Green Tara, Guru Rinpoche, Nyungney or Thousand-Armed Chenrezig). MrAgs (talk) 18:37, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Eating boiled leather boots and bags to prevent starvation[edit]

I have checked in Trungpa's biography 'Born in Tibet' in which it describes how both Akong and Trungpa in their escape to India indeed had to boil and eat leather boots and bags to prevent starvation. This can be found on p.224 in the fourth edition. Therefore can the 'unreliable source' [unreliable source?] be removed?

Fountain Posters (talk) 22:41, 4 September 2012 (UTC)


According to Samye Ling's facebook page/twitter Akong Rinpoche has been assassinated today in Chengdu. His nephew and a monk was also killed. The Karmapa's office has sent a condolence message here. (talk) 15:16, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

BBC News coverage, very basic info. (talk) 15:27, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

The majority of online references use the phrase assassinated, or 'assassinated', but a minority say killed or murdered. I have changed (not reverted!) the word murdered to 'Assassinated' in quotes to better fit the sources. We will find out more information as time goes on, but not too much more will come to light, but I would hope that a reference goes up soon with more details. Buckethed (talk) 20:05, 9 October 2013 (UTC) edited to remove speculation I had put in; left the thing re: assassination although I agree we should just leave it as killed, or murdered, unless any new information comes up. Buckethed (talk) 21:25, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Where are the sources that say "assassinated"? The two sources used in the article both simply say "killed". "Assassinated" implies a motive related to the prominence of the person killed. The sources currently suggest that the motive may have been robbery, and don't make any suggestion that he was assassinated. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:34, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
The original source in the Western press appears to be the South China Morning Post (i.e. Hong Kong) newspaper It's original coverage referred just to a 'stabbing', later noting that Samye-Ling had issued an announcement using the word "assassination", which as above notes conveys all sorts of implications. I suggest "stabbed" or "murdered" be reinserted. There is an article about ROKPA International incidentally, rather a worthy foundation, which I shall link in the article.I'm sorry to see the nonsense about Akong Tarap writing books. Of course he didn't, all his life he maintaind only a basic command of English. Like most of these productions they were certainly written by his disciples, and in this case just as certainly not really sourced on his own homilies and advices, since he candidly admitted not to knowing very much about Buddhism. The only Tarapism I think really notable was the story of the unhappy seeker after wisdom who confided to him that he had burned down his parents' house (occupants included or otherwise not recorded), to which he gravely intoned "it doesn't matter", words that at one point were carved into one of the dining-hall's large log tables! (talk) 18:54, 10 October 2013 (UTC) (Imogene)
The Independent today - here - quotes his brother as using the term "assassinated", but uses scare quotes around the word itself. We shouldn't use the word until the sources become clearer. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:25, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, agree. (talk) 20:31, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I also agree, and note the statement of his brother states 'killed' now ( ), and it is likely that 'killed' is the correct term.Buckethed (talk) 22:01, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Regarding the "it was revealed" of the edit suuggesting he was killed in attempt to rob him of the ROKPA funds, I've sourced that to Samye-Ling. The fact is we don't know the circumstances yet. His brother originally referred to an "assassination"; a senior nun at Samye-Ling (Yeshe Jangmo from Denmark) hinted at dark going-ons everyone knew about; and so on. The Free Tibet group are refraining from comment until more details are available. It might have been a robbery, it might have been a turf war (for example there is presently a schism in the Kagyu sect that Akong Tarap represented), it might have been something as mundane as a labour dispute and a flare of temper. On behalf of my community, and implying no criticism beyoned a mild reproach, can I again ask that editors here reflect that the Wikipedia audience is the wider world and not that small minority who are disciples of gurus such as Akong Tarap. Really there are things that editors can do to contribute to the encyclopedia here, for example the ROKPA International (actually founded by the excellent Leah Wyler family hey Leah! and not Akong Tarap) needs maintaining. Thank you. (talk) (Imogene) —Preceding undated comment added 22:09, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
It is sourced to Samye Ling, but it should be noted that the article is from the British Broadcasting Corporation. If we can't regard the BBC as a reliable source, what can we regard as a reliable source? Akong Tulku Rinpoche's death was initially called an 'assassination' but this was quickly reversed. Such interpretations are comming in the 24-48 hours following the death of a significant person. This statement has been reversed. Akong Tulku Rinpoche (his official title) has students, and not disciples. He always maintained a very practial, down-to-earth approach (this is from my study of various internet based sources). He was not worshipped, but he was a very respected Tulku / Tibetan Monk. What happened was not a labour dispute, but an attempt to steal charitable funds. It ended in the death of three people (and the detention of three others, who were the killers). More information will come to light over the coming days, weeks, and months, but the fact that Akong Tulku Rinpoche was in Chengdu to distribute donated funds (from a UK registered charity), and that he was killed in an attempt to steal those funds, cannot be ignored. There appears to be no conspiracy here; Akong Tulku Rinpoche headed the charity, Rokpa International, that he had created. He had access to significant funds simply due to this. The charity did work in many places (for example, running soup kitchens in Scotland, e.g. Glasgow, to 'help where help is needed' (their mission statement). He maintained good relationships with the Chinese (PRC) government), and aimed to find a 'middle ground' whereby Tibetans and Chinese can live together, without conflict. China continues to develop as a world power (superpower) and the PRC have been increasingly helpful to charities / agencies such as Rokpa. The charity was not a missionary organisation - they did not seek to convert people to Buddhism. As a final note, indeed all sources can be sourced back to an event, or someone saying something, but I would note that Akong Tulku Rinpoche was not known as Akong Tarap for many decades, so it is quite unusual to find him referred to, as such, immediately after his death. Buckethed (talk) 03:30, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Indeed it was from the BBC, but it was nevertheless a news report that should have been sourced to Samye Ling (as of course it was by the BBC) as plainly conflicts of interest might arise. Statements such as "it was revealed" are known in Wikipedia as weasel words, in this case an unsupported attribution, and generally attract [by whom?] templates. As an experienced Wikipedia editor you ought to have known that. I ws merely supplying the source.
I repeat the circumstances are not known. In what you say you merely reiterate the Samye Ling line (as advanced by Akong's brother). It's well known and accepted amongst UK volunteers that they don't get paid for their work at Samye Ling (Akong's joke was "we can't offer wages, but we can offer plenty of jobs"). But Thubten Kunsal, the individual in question, was not a volunteer but a Tibetan monk from Tibet. I don't suppose that in the new dispensation "serf" monks still exist, but nevertheless his circumstances were rather different from that of a Western volunteer. To say he and his associates were trying to rob Akong of ROKPA funds might well be something of a gloss in the circumstances. The official Chinese line for the moment is that it was an "economic dispute" and that might well be significant, especially so in a country where capital punishment is still practised, in the charges eventually pressed against these men. I'm very surprised indeed that a sophisticated editor cannot see the force of that.
Is that a reproach I see in your remarks about Akong's title? The Wikipedia way is that individuals are generally referred to by their family names ("surnames"). So in this case that would be Tarap. But plainly that's rather cold and formal in the context of a slaying, so I chose to call him Akong Tarap. American media are calling him "Mr. Akong". UK media, rather more deferential but also perhaps uninformed, are using "Rinpoche", but that is merely an honorific title (as apparently is "Choje"?) meaning "precious". At the Samye Ling centre he is referred to as "Dr.", but that is also "honorific". While I don't really have any objection to his being referred by default as "Akong Rinpoche" in his article, it is worth noting that it's not really appropiate for an encylopaedic article and there are editors around who will certainly make the necessary adjustments if the issue becomes a "point of view" issue. For myself I see no reason at all why I should use "Rinpoche".
I shall continue to make disinterested edits here. (talk) 07:58, 13 October 2013 (UTC) (Imogene)
I've just noted your edit byline, Buckethed - "let's all be neutral". The position is that the Chegdu police described it as an "economic dispute" and declined to be drawn further. Samye Ling, after first describing it as an assassination, now describe it as a robbery. Both of these are sourced and cited and properly recorded in the article. In your comments here it's plain that you believe the "truth" is that it's a robbery. But getting at the truth is not Wikipedia's function and not its verifiability model. HTH. Are you really involved with LHC? I am somewhat. Oh, and on points of facts 1 Akong's students are disciples in every ordinary sense of the word and better described as 2 ROKPA was founded by the Wylers (end of). (talk) 11:51, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your attention :) What I believe doesn't matter according to the guidelines for Wikipedia (and I agree; what any single person believes isn't always true). Without the rules re: verifiability, Wikipedia would fall apart (look at Ency. Dramatica, which is amusing, but not that reliable!)). I am not involved in the LHC at all (despite being among the top 4 students in Physics in my country), because I chose Medicine rather than science. I still find physics very interesting, and continue to follow the results from the LHC with interest!. Wikipedia states 'no personal attacks', and I don't rate your comment as an attack, but your sentence ending '(end of).' isn't in the spirit of Wikipedia, to be honest. Also, I recognise your comments as coming from another experienced wikipedia editor; therefore, you should log in, to both build up your account and standing in Wikipedia, as well as to avoid people probing your IP (which is one reason I always log in!). I apologise for the delay in response, but have been very busy helping people in need for the last few months, working in public health for a low wage (I will never do private medicine). If you are watching this page, I would ask you to clarify 'Oh, and on points of facts 1 Akong's students are disciples in every ordinary sense of the word and better described as 2 RO. KPA was founded by the Wylers (end of).'; I can get a rough idea of what you are saying, however, your English, and English grammar, are too far removed from 'Queen's English' or English in the English spoken world, that I can't understand what you are trying to say. I don't know if '2' means 'the number two', or 'too' or 'to' (these three options all result in a nonsensical sentence). (I would note that the English Wikipedia is edited by many people like yourself who don't have English as their primary language; with English as my mother tongue, I can speak to almost anyone, but the downside is that, despite knowing one European and one Asian language, most people regard me as another 'English Person' who can't speak their language! :) Hope you are keeping well; Happy New Year, and would like to keep in touch especially re: LHC - especially as the LHC is the world's most advanced particle physics facility, but is based in Europe, and hasn't been turned into a data centre (you will know what I mean!) :) Buckethed (talk) 06:19, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
PS also in reply to; the world isn't out to get you. You only made edits on 13th and 14th October, using an IP address - I assume you had a random IP address. I thank you for going to my introduction page, then for looking at the REVISIONS of that page, and finding my comment 'LHCftw' which was on my intro page 3-4 year ago, and using that to make a comment. The attention to detail makes me feel important! Thank you :) But, in the spirit of Wikipedia, please make future replies using an account, not a bare IP (or proxy IP), in attempt to remain anonymouz. I wish you all the best! :) Buckethed (talk) 06:41, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Dolma Lhakang[edit]

The article for Dolma Lhakang has been deleted; I can't find a deletion review - instead it was deleted unilaterally by an admin. Can anyone contribute some wikipedia-level references re: Dolma Lhakang; once we have these references, the page can be replaced (including the media that I have saved on my computer) with appropriate references to stop this happening again! Thank you :) Buckethed (talk) 06:02, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't think Dolma Lhakang (i.e. Akong's temple - there is a famous monastery of that name near Lhasa) can be very notable. That's probably why it was deleted. Is that geolocation in the article really correct? I know the temple is being redeveloped, but in a different more accessible location. Out of curiosity some years ago I tracked down the original Dolma Lhakang on Google Maps from a private communication by a trekker who had made the trip. I don't recall it being the location given in the article. You could see a building and some cultivated fields beside it, unlike the location given in the article. Unfortunately I didn't keep a note of the location. This is a Flickr photo of the new site. From the same photographer this is the old site, which I can confirm from images I have seen elsewhere. If you'r feeling energetic you might like to contact the photographer Sam Scoggins to see if he can provide geolocations. (talk) 03:31, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
The geolocation is essentially correct, but it's too high up and should be about 500 mm to the west down the valley, where there is a settlement. Nevertheless the location is very remote, high above Qamdo. The original Akong was not a lama but a hermit. There were (and still are) are a very large number of these throughout Tibet. This one was especially respected by the local people and after he died a request was made to locate his reincarnation. Thus the late Akong Rinpoche was found. In the early days he was the attendant of Chogyam Rinpoche. After Chogyam came into conflict with the governing body of the Samye-Ling community at Eskdalemuir and relocated in the United States, Akong took an increasingly important role in the development of Samye Ling and by the early 1970s effectively oversaw all the Kagyu centres in Europe. It's not correct to say he brought Tibetan Buddhism to the UK, but that is not to denigrate his real significance. (talk) 05:17, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Doctor Title (PHD)[edit]

Dear friends,

Akong Rinpoche is often referred to as Dr Akong Rinpoche, but I can't find in any of his biography that he actually studied at an university. Who can tell me where he obtained the title? Is it a honorific PHD? best yeshe — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yeshe108 (talkcontribs) 13:20, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

As I understand it he qualified in traditional Tibetan medicine and was authorized to teach this by HH 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, no a Dr in the western sense.Billlion (talk) 16:54, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

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