Tenzin Norbu Namseling, the sixth Khado Rinpoche, is the son of Namseling, as aristocrat and finance minister of the former Tibetan government. In 1958, the elder Namseling was sent to the south of Tibet to negotiate with the Khampas, or Tibetan resistance fighters, but joined them instead. After helping safeguard the Dalai Lama on his passage from Tibet to India in the historic 1959 escape, Namseling went to Sikkim, where he passed away in 1973.
In Tibetan tradition, each historical Khado Rinpoche is the incarnation of a lama, or holy teacher, who manifests generation after generation in order to be a source of spiritual strength for his people. The spiritual lineage of Khado Rinpoche is embodied in many famous deeds. The immediate predecessor of the sixth Khado Rinpoche was a close friend and ally of one of Tibet’s last regents, Reting Rinpoche, who withdrew from office in 1941 and who was imprisoned and killed four years later when he attempted to resume his government post. Khado Rinpoche was imprisoned at the same time, and his possessions—monasteries, houses, and a hermitage in the vicinity of Lhasa—were confiscated by Namseling on behalf of the government. Released from prison after the death of Reting Rinpoche, Khado Rinpoche went to Changtang, the northern plains of Tibet, where he had several other large monasteries. He passed away there.
Namseling had five daughters and was ecstatic when finally his wife bore him a son. It is said that he loved this baby very much and carried him around in his arms everywhere, only to find that this beloved son was actually the incarnation of the man whom he had imprisoned, Khado Rinpoche.
Namseling’s son grew up in dire poverty during the 1960s in Tibet. At the age of 16 he became a political prisoner under communist rule during the Cultural Revolution. He spent three years in solitary confinement. After his release, he found that his mother had been sentenced to ten years in prison because his father had tried to send the family money from Sikkim. Khado Rinpoche then went to work to care for his sisters and family. He still does so.
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