Is it really bad karma for us to discuss how Jamgon Kongtrul died?

Picture of a road in Sikkim, India the old man instagramed, speaking of how Jamgon Kongtrul died, to illustrate this episode of Pulp Buddhism in which the Naropa Prairie Dog Players discuss this most taboo of subjects for Tibetans, whether Rinpoche was murdered or he committed suicide on that road in Northern India on April 26th, 1992…

Sally begins.

“Nobody tells me what I can’t discuss here.”

Virginia replies.

“Obviously, Tibetans beg to differ.”

Virginia continues.

“Tibetans believe the death of Jamgon Kongtrul is none of our business.”

Karl replies.

“Good luck with that.”

Sally replies.

“Who do these people think they are?”

Caroline replies.

“Get used to it.”

Caroline continues.

“We’ve had to deal with Tibetans telling us what to do for over thirty years now.”

Virginia replies.

“It is their religion we are talking about.”

Virginia pauses.

“If Tibetans believe it is bad karma for us to talk about the death of Jamgon Kongtrul.”

Virginia adds.

“We need to respect that.”

Sally replies.

“Fair enough.”

Sally pauses.

“Then explain to me why after whatever happened to Jamgob Kongtrul that Situ Rinpoche accused the Shamarpa of murdering Jamgon Kongtrul.”

Karl replies.

“Tibetans have no issue with telling us what to think.”

Karl continues.

“What they take issue with us is our thinking for ourselves.”

Allen replies.

“Well played.”

Jonathan replies.

“It clearly isn’t bad karma for us to discuss what happened.”

Jonathan pauses.

“On April 26th, 1992 Jamgon Kongtrul was either murdered or he committed suicide.”

Jonathan adds.

“For as long as we don’t talk about what happened we will never be able to get beyond this point in our history with Tibetans.”

Virginia adds.

“Good luck with that.”

End scene. Fini.

Another episode of Pulp Buddhism brought to you by the Naropa Prairie Dog Players and by viewers like you, thank you for your support.



Filed under Buddhism

13 responses to “Is it really bad karma for us to discuss how Jamgon Kongtrul died?

  1. Lama Karma

    Blow it out your ass! You making bad karma!

    • Samantha

      That’s disgusting!

      Keep going Bill!!!

      WTF is going on here?

    • Caroline replies.

      “Thank you Lama Karma.”

      Virginia replies.

      “Do you really think this person is Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s nephew?”

      Caroline pauses.


      Caroline pauses.

      “If someone wants to pretend they are Lama Karma here.”

      Caroline adds.

      “Bring it on.”

      Sally replies.

      “Does Lama Karma think he can tell us what to do?”

      Virginia replies.

      “He is Khenpo Karthar’s nephew.”

      Virginia continues.

      “What is he here for if not to tell us what to do?”

      Sally replies.

      “I’ve met Rinpoche’s nephew.”

      Sally continues.

      “He isn’t the boss of me.”

      Caroline replies.

      “The person pretending to be Lama Karma obviously believes otherwise.”

  2. actually I was very unprecise in my last post, sorry, it was late and I’m no native speaker (and no Tibetan) There’s no problem to discuss why /how the marvelous Jamgön Kongtrül died, but quite bad karma just to repeat in an unreflected way the nonsense that it was Shamarpa.

    If it was a murder and not just an excessive drive with his brand new car (that’s what I think!), the other camp would have had as well a reason. Ogyen Topgyal Rinpoche states that Kongtrul indeed had doubts about the autheticity of the “prophecy letter Anyway Kongtrül proposed to go Tibet to verify. As he was on a more neutral stand both Shamarpa/Situ & Gyaltsab camps were OK with that. If he would have journeyed to Tibet and had seen that Ogyen Trinle was not the Karmapa, what then?

    Shamarpa had already obtained in 1988 the confirmation of Chobgye Tri Rinpoche that Karmapa Thaye Dorje was the reincarnation of Karmapa, he was convinced of his choice, so for him there was no risk that KOngtrül would go to Tibet, he was sure about his choice.

    (Some facts:
    Kongtrül dies on april 26th. Instead of being in deep grief of the death of this great master, only some days after Akong was already on the way to Tibet:
    On may 5th a meeting between tsurphu labrang and chinese functionaries
    they were shown a copy of the prophecy letter which was sent by Akong from Nepal where he waited for his visa to Tibet (according to Lea Terhune).

    • Virginia replies.

      “Oh my, hello to you, too.”

      Allen replies.

      “Does anyone want coffee?”

      Jonathan replies.

      “That’s his way of saying he wants a cup of coffee.”

      Sally replies.

      “Does that work?”

      Allen replies.

      “It’s just me talking to myself.”

      Caroline replies.

      “What did happen to Jamgon Kongtrul?”

      Jonathan replies.

      “From the get go Situ Rinpoche blamed the Shamarpa.”

      Allen replied.

      “This was when the disagreement between Situ and Shamar Rinpoches became a thing for me.”

      • “But one thing I don’t understand” Alien went on

        “How thruthworthy Khenpos could just write letters with blantant lies”

        “You mean the one with monastery in Namo Buddha in Nepal who wrote so many smart books about buddha nature and everything?” Extraterreste answered

        “Yes” Alien went on “He wrote the famous letter ( in which he interpreted the 16th Karmapas prophecy, where the late Karmapa says in 1944 that after his flight, in the bird year we will be happily together again”

        “Oh yes I remember, that letter convinced me much at that time, it was impressing that the 16th Karmapa predicted so exactly his arrival in the bird year, in June 1992 in Tsurphu!” Carla Maria von Sinnen replied

        “so what” Extraterreste wants to know

        “The letter was signed: In the bird year january 1994”

        “I don’t understand”

        “He signed the letter in the bird year in February 1994 saying that the arrival which took place in June 1992 was in the bird year as well.” Alien atates.

        “Quite a long year from June1992 to February 1994, another miracle of the Karmapa?” Carla asks

        “Well said. The bird year went in reality from February 1993 to February 1994 . So the enthronement wasn’t in the bird year, but the arrival of Karmapa Thaye Dorje in Delhi in January 1994 and his happy reunion with his disciples like Shamarpa was” Alien replies

        “So Thrangu Rinpoche confirmed with that that Thaye Dorje was the Karmapa”

        “I don’t understand anything any more” Victor Hugo concludes

        End fini finished oh my basic goodness

        • Jonathan replies.

          “Someone is writing a fan fiction using you as a character.”

          Allen replies.

          “Accept no substitutes, folks.”

          Jonathan replies.

          “One Allen is enough, please.”

  3. Jane

    Perhaps we should also discuss the bad taste of certain power hungry rinpoches for spreading vicious rumors against their rivals.

  4. dear alex, why is it wrong to critizes major lineage masters? They have driven the precious boat of the Karma Kagyü in a desaster! And one needs as least to understand that all this slander and gossip (and here this blog participates) is poison. I mean Situ said that Shamar is a demon… Imagine, its incedible. Thrangu said his disciples will end up in the Vajra hell if they don’t follow Ogyen Trinle! This is deep Middle Ages. They willingly translated the prophecy of the 5th Karmapa wrongly to blame Shamar and Topga for this big mess (Michel Martin under guidance of Thrangu if I remember well.). etc etc Both sides did stuff like this. This has to be puirfied by them and we can’t do it for them! But it is right we better should calm down so that the two sides can come togehther again.

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