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The Life and Works of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu
Liz Granger: The Mirror
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu was one of the last great masters of Dzogchen to have been born and fully educated in Tibet, before the 1950s. He was soon recognized as a great, reincarnated lama. This short biography is divided in two parts: the first retraces his steps from his birth in the Tibetan autonomous region of Kham until his flight from Tibet to Sikkim, reporting also teachings and initiations he received from his Masters. The second part starts when he arrived in Italy in 1960, invited by Professor Giuseppe Tucci, the greatest Italian Orientalist of his time, to work at the IsMEO, now the Italian Institute for Africa and the Orient (IsIAO). In the 1970s Chögyal Namkhai Norbu began to give explanations of Dzogchen teachings to his first students. Interest soon became widespread and having received invitations from all continents, he began to travel and give more explanations throughout the world, founding the worldwide Dzogchen Community, whose main objective is to let the public know and develop an understanding of Dzogchen, as well as preserving Tibet’s extraordinary cultural patrimony.
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s Birth and Life in Tibet
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, one of the foremost masters of Dzogchen, belonged to the last generation of Tibetans to have been fully educated in Tibet. He was born on December 8th, 1938, the first boy after three sisters, in Geug, a small village inhabited by only seven families. Geug was part of the kingdom of Derge, in Kham, Eastern Tibet. His father, Tsewang Namgyal, of the Trokhe family, was a high government official. His mother, Yeshe Chodron, was the sister of the Dzogchen Master Khyentse Chökyi Wangchug Rinpoche (1910–1960).