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Books Of The Week - Saturday, 22th JUNE 2024

Taken Away The Ordinary Life of  a Lama by Doboom Tulku (Author)

 About the Book
The firstborn of a nomadic couple in Tibet, the child had barely learnt to walk when he was identified as the third reincarnation of Doboom Tulku and taken away from his parents. Inheriting a hermitage and a retinue of office-bearers, this child grew up to become a revered Rinpoche in the Gelukpa tradition. ‘I want to demystify the life of a monk,’ he declares. ‘It was like that of any other.’ And yet it obviously was not. In 1959 he had to wear his heaviest robes and leave Tibet by night across snow-capped mountains. He describes his entry into India and the camp where he stayed. From having a hermitage at his command with staff to manage his affairs, Doboom Tulku had to live with weekly food supplies in spartan accommodation. With catastrophic change thrust on him, the young monk has to decide on the course of the rest of his life in exile. Told movingly but unsentimentally and with care and humour, Doboom Tulku’s life story is also the extraordinary story of Tibetans, especially those from monastic orders, finding their place and purpose in foreign lands.

About the Author
Venerable Doboom Lozang Tenzin Tulku was born in 1942 in Kham in eastern Tibet. At the age of two or three, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous Doboom Tulku. Following this, he was taken to stay at a hermitage near Dargye Monastery where he stayed until the age of twelve. In 1953, Doboom Tulku entered Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, where he studied Buddhist philosophy until the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959 forced him into exile in India at the age of seventeen. For the following decade, Doboom Tulku resided at the lama camp at Buxa Duar, in West Bengal, enduring harsh conditions until he joined the Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies at Sarnath in 1969. Continuing with his studies in Sarnath, he obtained a Geshe Acharya degree in 1972. After obtaining his degree, he worked as a librarian at Tibet House in New Delhi, until he joined the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala as a librarian and research assistant in 1973. By 1981, having gained more experience, he returned to Tibet House, New Delhi, to serve as director, with the mission of promoting Tibetan cultural heritage through Tibet House’s diverse range of programmes. Doboom Tulku served as director of Tibet House for 30 years. Doboom Tulku has also worked with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Private Office and has accompanied His Holiness the Dalai Lama on visits to the USA, USSR, Japan and Mongolia among others. He has published widely, on topics ranging from Tibetan medicine to Buddhist meditation and the Chittamatra Mind-Only School of philosophy. In 1996, he founded the World Buddhist Culture Trust for bridging cultures and promoting religious dialogue and harmony on the basis of universal compassion. He also had a personal interest in the effects of music for spiritual practice and worked hard at setting up the World Festival of Sacred Music, which became a global event.


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