Obituary: Ven. Tsewang Norbu
Ven. Tsewang Norbu was born in Purang (western Tibet) in 1946. He was from a well-to-do family. His father Amchi Passang was a reknowned doctor in Tibetan herbal medicine. The family has both nomadic and farming undertakings.
His early education was provided by his father, who taught him reading Tibetan scripts. He became a monk at the age of 13, but was unable to properly study religion while in Tibet due to the Communist Chinese suppressions. In 1970 he fled to India and, along with other Tibetans from Purang, was resettled in Tibetan Colony, Mundgod where the Tsechen Damchos Ling Monastery is re-established. Many monks in exile have had to engage in agricultural work, to the detriment of their monastic activities, but due to the kindness of his family Ven. Tsewang Norbu was able to concentrate on his religious studies. He has undertaken the retreat of Four Preliminary Practices, Vajrapani Bhutadamara, Buddha Vairochana and others in the strict Sakya system of rigorous practice.
After the demise of Ven. Jampa Rinpoche in 1989, Ven. Tsewang Norbu took charge of the monastic activities at Tsechen Damchos Ling. He also took responsibility for religious activities at two minor sub-monasteries in Village No. 2 and Village No. 3 in Mundgod. His activities also included visiting local families to support them through times of sorrow and sickness, assisting them with prayers and other spiritual practices.
Ven. Tsewang Norbu has worked for the monastery and the local community all through his life.
He suffered from abdomen cancer and passed away without any pain on 11th September 2002 at 04:15 AM. The monks, especially the young monks, felt as though they were orphaned by his demise. He had been a fatherly figure for the young monks and his care and kindness were exemplary.
The monks of Tsechen Damchos Ling were joined by Khenpo Jamyang Tenzin and monks of Tsechen Dongag Chos Ling to perform the Vairochana Ritual for the deceased. Special prayers were carried out all throughout the 49 days of intermediate transition for his rebirth in higher realms.