We have just received the sad news that Dzongsar Ngari Tulku, one of Sogyal Rinpoche's closest childhood friends and an important tulku from Dzongsar Monastery, passed away yesterday following a tragic accident in Germany. Rinpoche has asked the sangha to think of him in their practice and prayers.
Here is an extract from an interview Rigpa students conducted with him several years ago:
Question: Was there a particular incident that you remember when you got to know Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö? When you felt like you had an interaction with him, for the first time?
Ngari Tulku: Oh yes, oh yes. I was a very cowardly boy from my childhood and I was really very scared of dying. Until, at a certain time, it became almost unbearable. And I wanted to go to see Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, but it was also not a very proper time. But I went to see him, almost in tears. He was walking in his wang khang, the initiation room, and he saw me coming in, and he sat down and said: "What's happened to you? What's happened to you?"
Then I said to him: "Rinpoche, Rinpoche, now you must help me. Because, you know, everybody's dying. Everybody's going to die. I'm going to die, I know. But how can I make it so that I will never die? Because I don't want to die."
And Rinpoche was really looking at me and laughing. He said: "Yes, everybody is dying. You're right. I will die. You will die. Even the Buddha Shakyamuni passed away as well. But, you know, when you get older, you will understand this: physical dying is one thing, but spiritual continuation is another thing. And in that there is also a point at which you don't die."
And I said to him: "Do you think that I'll understand this?" He said: "Yes, you will understand one day."
As small as I was, that was a great moment for me. And I must also have returned back happily with that understanding. And I think it is also very useful for us all.