Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche was only 9-months-old when he was identified as the incarnation of Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, one of the enlightened Buddhist masters, born in Tibet during the 19th century. Throughout his life, up to the age of 20, Jamgon Kongtrul lived a life of monk, as the head of two monasteries of the Karma Kagyu sect in Kalimpong and Kathmandu. A highly revered position indeed. Until one day, when he realised that he wanted to live a normal life, study, and pursue his dreams like a normal 20-year-old would.
But this wasn’t an easy decision. To give up his position and the monastic life that was imposed to him, when he was too young to make a choice.
But, after a long period of internal and external struggle, the young man finally announced the renunciation of monkhood in a moving Facebook post.
This is first of its kind incident when a Rinpoche, meaning the precious teacher, gave up the life of a monk. The young man, wrote in detail about the struggles he went through before renouncing his position. In his Facebook post he wrote that he had reached a state where things got unbearable for him and he wasn’t allowed to continue his studies.
“I have made this choice as the last resort and I had tried every possibilities to avoids this choice but now I am tired of all these problems repeating and them using the same excuse over and over again. I doubt you all will understand my choice but I hope you do.”
The former monk also wrote about the recurring thoughts of suicide and the pressure he was under that made him harm himself. Jamgon Kongtrul was also disheartened with people accusing him of leaving the monastic life because of a girl and how his friends back in Labrang monastery are being threatened. Hoping that people will understand his decision, he requested that he wanted to be left alone.