The institute was connected with the Tibetan Buddhist community Larung Gar.
A leading Tibetan Buddhist abbot has made a surprising announcement about the closure of his Bodhi Institute of Compassion and Wisdom, which has centres around the world.
Khenpo Sodargye, one of the great abbots of Larung Gar Buddhist Institute, made the announcement on Larung Gar’s website on 30 December 2019. It was written in Mandarin.
Larung Gar Buddhist Institute is the largest and one of the most significant sites in Tibetan Buddhism, with tens of thousands of resident monks, nuns and students.
In recent years Larung Gar has been subjected to a range of restrictions, most notably in 2016 and 2017, when at least 4,000 residents were forcibly removed from the site. Thousands of buildings, many of them homes, were also demolished.
In the announcement, Khenpo Sodargye has stated that some people have “undertaken different activities in the name of the institute” and that some of them are engaged in “illegal activities”.
He is followed by many students throughout the world, including in China. Many of the followers of the abbot were taken aback by the announcement and many others were sad about the closure.
Khenpo Sodargye was interrogated and by Chinese authorities in November 2019, alongside Khenpo Tsultrim Lodro. Both Khenpo Sodargye and Khenpo Tsultrim Lodro were disciples of the founder of the Larung Gar Institute, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok.
Khenpo Sodargye’s statement on the announcement:
I disband the Bodhi Institute of Compassion and Wisdom and all its offices. As a result, regional dharma centres, committees and institutions related to and established in the name of Bodhi Institute will be disbanded. I would like to reiterate that all activities undertaken by these institutions will be suspended, and websites related to them will also be disbanded.
Henceforth, if you come across any kind of announcement made in the name of Bodhi Institute, they are fake. Any type of donation sought in the name of Bodhi Institute has nothing to do with me, and one shouldn’t fall prey to it. If in case such act happens, I will take legal action to identify the culprit.
I will continue to love the nation as well as the religion and be in the service of faithful public. I hope the faithful public will remain honest and be law abiding.
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