Lakha Lama, Denmark's Tibetan lama, has passed away.
Lakha Lama lived to benefit others
Lakha Lama, Denmark’s Tibetan lama, has passed away. He will be best remembered for his simple way of sharing Buddhist philosophy and his straightforward, warmhearted manner. Lakha Lama was 81 years old.
Lakha Lama was born Thupten Dorjee in Tibet in 1942. At the age of 5, he was enthroned as the 20th reincarnated Lama of Batang in Eastern Tibet and became the spiritual leader of 50,000 people. Despite his high title and the deep respect with which he was surrounded, Lakha Lama remained humble and selfless throughout his life. He always thought of others before himself and was unfailingly generous with his care and practical help for people in need.
In 1959 Lakha Lama fled Tibet to India, where he was reunited with H.H. The Dalai Lama and the approximately 100,000 Tibetans who subsequently fled.
After a few years of university studies in India, Lakha Lama was elected, in 1971, as a member of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile’s parliament, where he did great work organizing Tibetan refugee camps in India.
In 1976 Lakha Lama was sent to a conference in Finland. When he arrived at his stopover in Copenhagen, and realized that he wouldn’t make it in time for the conference, he terminated his journey and contacted his friend, Tarab Tulku in Hörsholm, who gave him shelter.
His luggage carried on to Finland, leaving him with only the monk’s robes he had worn during the journey from India and 40 US dollars in his pocket. He invested in a pair of jeans and stayed in Denmark.
Lakha Lama met his wife, Pia Kryger, in 1982 when he applied for a job in her handicraft business. Madam Pia began arranging Buddhist lectures, courses and teaching tours for Lakha Lama, who quickly became an acknowledged and respected teacher in both Denmark and Sweden.
Lakha Lama had a unique ability to convey complex Buddhist philosophy, making it easily accessible in the Scandinavian context. The profound wisdom he shared in a simple form from his heart touched many people. As Lakha Lama himself expressed it: “I’m not teaching you, I’m simply sharing.”
That sharing was also expressed in the family home. Although Lakha Lama had lived a monastic life, separated from his family, during his childhood in Tibet, he became a caring and practical family man. At home in Söborg he changed his children’s diapers and took care of domestic tasks as a matter of course, until the couple moved in 2019 to Helsingör.
Speaking at her parents’ 40th anniversary, Dicki Lakha reminisced about her parents:
“We grew up in a family where the boundary between the immediate family and everyone else was quite fluid. Your love overflowed to many other people, and the doors were always open. We were completely comfortable with that. Kim and I had a feeling of the fact that there was a greater community than the family, and we were definitely not living the normal Danish model, with a family life behind locked doors.”
Lakha Lama was engaged in interfaith dialogue, cultural events and charity work, and he was never afraid to take action himself. For example, when he as chair for Tibet Charity, launched a project with Danish vets for street dogs in India, Lakha Lama himself took on the dirty work of washing the parasite-infested animals.
Lakha Lama founded several associations in Denmark:
Tibet Charity; Buddhist Forum; and the Buddhist centers, Phendeling in Copenhagen and Ösal Ling in Aarhus. Five times he invited H.H. Dalai Lama to Denmark, most recently in 2015.
In 2020, the association “Simply Sharing” was founded with the sole purpose of sharing Lakha Lama’s philosophy of life and making it freely available on the website lakhalama.org.
Lakha Lama is survived by his wife Madam Pia and his adult children Kim and Dicki.