The guru of Vajra master of Pangboche monastery, Lama Geshe Odiyaana Vajra Rinpoche, passed away (entered into parinirvāṇa) in the morning of February 13 at the age of 87, in the Sherpa village of Pangboche, on the way to Everest Base Camp.
Lama Rinpoche was well known and revered among some of the climbers of Mount Everest. He becomes the best ranking Lama within the region, which also held a Buddhist doctorate. Climbers passing his home could visit receive his blessings earlier than they ascended the Everest.
The holy body relic of Lama Rinpoche has be kept at his residence in Pangboche for ceremonial offerings. The relic has been accessible for public audience from February 18 and will continue to be so till February 21.
The relic will then be cremated on February 22 with traditional processions, followed by Vajrayana Buddhist rites of fire pūjā based on sadhanas of Desheg Kundue (Red-Chenrezig), Minling Dorsem (Vajrasattva), Naro Khachö (Vajrayogini), and Konchok Chidue (Guru Rinpoche). The fire pūjās would be carried out from all four directions of the cremation tomb.
His devotees have been welcomed to pay homage, supplicate and receive blessings.
From birth, Rinpoche was the recipient of blessings, empowerments, initiations and teachings mainly from Root Guru Vajradhara His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin. Also from many of the foremost masters and scholars of this age, including His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, the late H.E. Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, H.E. Luding Khenchen Rinpoche and the late H.E. Dezhung Rinpoche.
Khöndung Ratna Vajra masters all the major rituals of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism, which he learned under the guidance of his father His Holiness the Sakya Trizin. Rinpoche is considered to be one of the most highly qualified lineage masters of both the esoteric and exoteric teachings of philosophy and meditation according to the Sakya School. He is renowned for his erudition and the clarity of his teaching.
In 1980 he began his formal education under the tutorship of Ven. Rinchen Sangpo.
Later in 1980/81 Ratna Vajra Rinpoche received for the first time the cycle of the precious uncommon Lam Dre teachings from His Holiness the Sakya Trizin.
On 8th October 1981 in the presence of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, his tutor, and prominent members of the Sakya Centre, he took his first oral examination on the Remembrance of the Triple Gem, The Three Heap Sutra, The Confession Sutra, the Extended Lineage Guru’s Prayers and several other texts.
He then embarked on the basic monastic curriculum of studies, consisting in Tibetan reading, writing, grammar, memorisation and recitation of basic prayers, and rituals. In 1986 he performed his first retreat on Vajrapani Butadramara together with his mother, Her Eminence Gyalyum Kushok.