Lam Kunzang Wangdi, popularly known as Lam Nyingku, passed away peacefully at his residence in Genyenkha, Thimphu around 12.30pm on October 6. He was 76.

Born in 1942 and a highly learned tantric master from Bartsham in Trashigang, Lam Kunzang Wangdi was one of the closest disciples of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche.

He served as Sungkhorp to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and the Queen Mothers. Lam Kuzang Wangdi also served as the head of Sangdag Gyepailing Gomdey of Bartsham Chador Lhakhang under Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, representative of Gomchens in the Chhoedey, home ministry (1995-2001), and Ngajur Nyingma in the Chhoedy Lhentshog since 2009.

Lam Kunzang Wangdi was conferred the status of Lama on June 1, 1993 by His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo, in recognition of his deep religious knowledge and an appreciation of the total dedication of his religious practice to the wellbeing of the country.

He began his religious studies under the tutelage of the renowned disciple of His Holiness Dudjom Rimpoche, Bartsham Lam Pema Wangchhen. He then spent many years under the personal care of His Holiness Dudjom Rimpoche, receiving teachings, initiations and blessings.

Lam Kunzang Wangdi received the highest teachings of the Dzogchhen (Atiyoga) tradition and was a recognised master of this great Buddhist tradition. He has also received spiritual instructions from many great Buddhist teachers.

In Bhutan, Lam Kunzang Wangdi was widely known to be highly accomplished in all the important forms of religious practice: reading, writing, painting, sculpture, architecture, astrology, philosophy, grammar, dance, mandala, and in the use of all religious instruments.

Among the many notable deeds, while in service to His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, Lama edited 103 volumes of text, which included Ngajr Kama – the treasure teachings (terchhoe) of previous Dudjom and Gonter (heart teachings) of Chabke himself. He also constructed the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten in Punakha (1992-1999) as per the noble wish of Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck; a Lhakhang in Yongla Goenpa in Pemagatshel (1997-2001) with the statue of Dorji Droloe in the centre, Guru Sorsog Makdhog on right and Juelug Phurpa on the left with 1,000 images of Guru Dorji Droloe on the walls as per the command of His Majesty the Fourth King; established and supported Thadra Gonpa retreat in Thimphu; and envisioned and implemented the plans of the recently constructed Bartsham Chador Lhakhang.

Staff reporter