Sometimes you wish that you had never gotten the news… In life there are those you may meet once, whom you never forget and hope to meet again. One of these persons was Shamarpa, the 14th Reincaration of the Red Hat Lama Shamarpa Ripoche, Mipham Chokyi Lodro.
His passing away at a far too young age, 62, left many among his students and friends in huge sorrow and distress. Up to the very last moment he was teaching, sharing his knowledge with the others, until his heart suddenly stopped on 11th June 2014 in Germany.
He was the first Lama that we interviewed for Diva, and we did indeed have a passionately interesting open conversation. Unlike many Lamas, Shamarpa was not a political person, his main aim was to teach and be there for the people, reflect on ways of leading a better life.
One of his books, was dedicated to a new form of democracy, and he had developed a new model of governance. He wished to see a democracy free of corruption, with good governance, and where religious leaders would not get involved in politics.
Another topic close to his heart was the protection of animals, therefore he set up the Infinite Compassionate Foundation. He wanted to teach people not to be brutal on animals. When people are brutal towards animals, it is important to teach them that animals too feel pain, that they have feelings, and this was the reason for anther book. His theory was simple but convincing…
You cannot turn the whole of the world’s population into vegetarians, but you have to think that, if you are buying meat, the animal in question should have had a good life first. Pig, chicken, cow, whatever you eat, you must give them a good life until a certain age. This is the reason why we should ban veal, for the calf is too young to kill. If you must then slaughter them, this should be done humanely and without pain. This is the work of the foundation.
While thinking back on one afternoon, when your friend Arnaud brought you to the UN, all I can say, dear Red-Hat Lama, is may you rest in peace and may your teaching have left an imprint in people’s mind for ever… In Africa people say, may the Angles open the doors to Paradise, and take good care of you… I had hoped to meet you again, to talk and learn meditation from you, but — who knows? — perhaps we shall have a chance to meet in anther life.