Tibetan Buddhist Master from Sikkim dies from pneumonia in Taiwan

By Deborah Kuo, CNA News, March 4, 2005

Taoyuan, Northern Taiwan -- Tibetan Buddhist master Khenpo Loden Rinpoche died recently of acute pneumonia days after arriving in Taiwan for a Buddhism promotion tour, religious sources said Friday.

The 79-year-old Loden Rinpoche arrived in Taiwan Feb. 22 to promote Tibetan Buddhism but became ill two days later. He was rushed to the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linko, Taoyuan Feb. 24 and died early the next morning, according to a spokesman for the Vajrayana Buddhist Institute, which invited the Rinpoche to Taiwan.

The body of the Tibetan Buddhism master, who was from the Indian state of Sikkim located in northeastern India between Nepal and Bhuttan, was cremated in accordance with Tibetan Buddhist custom. Rinpoche's ashes will be kept in Taiwan for 49 to be worshipped by his disciples before being transported back to Sikkim to be buried.

Rinpoche, who had co-presided over important Tibetan Buddhism rituals with the Dalai Lama, was one of the most revered and influential Tibetan Buddhist masters in Sikkim.