Dharamshala: 37 days have passed since Gelong Ngagrampa Gendun Tsering, a senior Buddhist scholar and an acclaimed tantric master of Gyuto Tantric Monastery was declared clinically dead, but has since shown no signs of physical decay or depletion.
Gelong Ngagrampa Gendun Tsering is believed to be in what the Tibetan Buddhists describe as the rare meditative state of Thukdam. Read the exclusive report of the Department of Religion and Culture here.
Thukdam (Tib: ཐུགས་དམ་) is a Buddhist phenomenon in which realised master’s consciousness remains in the body despite its physical death. Though they are declared clinically dead, their bodies show no signs of decay and are found to remain fresh for days or weeks without preservation.
According to Tibetan Buddhist literature, there is a certain glow on their face and a warmth in their body as a normal living person would. Thukdam is a Tibetan word with “thuk” meaning mind and “dam” standing for samadhi or the meditative state.
The scientific inquiry into this phenomena has already begun a few years ago under the initiative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (Read more)
A brief biography of Gelong Ngagrampa Gendun Tsering:
Born in 1935 in Kham’s Markham county, eastern Tibet to parents Ngawang Gyaltsen and Lhayang, Gendun Tsering received his primary education at the age of 7. At age 10, under abbot Jetsun Lama Dhampa, he was ordained a lay practitioner vow. At age 11, he was ordained a monk under abbot Japa Rinpoche and continued his monastic education. At 19, Ven Gendun Tsering pursued his monastic training at Deprung Loseling Monastery. At 21, he was ordained monastic vow under Kyabje Thubten Lungtok Namgyel Trinle.
A few years later in 1959, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama escaped into exile many Tibetans followed, including himself who then settled in Dalhousie where he made every effort to restore and preserve Tibetan Buddhism in exile.
In 1974, he moved to Bomdila where he continued his commitments to preserving Tibetan Buddhism and later undertook a range of responsibilities including composition and compilation of important Buddhist literature at the Gyuto Monastery in Dharamshala.
Read the original report in Tibetan here.