Obituary by Prof. Jay L. Garfield (May 2011)

The passing of Acharya Nyima Tsering of Dharamsala, alumnus of the Central University of Tibetan Studies (Shastri and Acharya) and author or translator of seven books on Buddhist philosophy, is a great loss to the Tibetan community and to the many friends of Tibet and students of Budhhism who knew, loved and learned from him.

Nyima Tsering-la was born in Nepal, but lived for most of his life is Mcleod Ganj. After completing his studies at the Central Universty of Tibetan Studies, he taught and lectured in the United States before returning to India to devote himself to translation and to writing texts that made the Buddhadharma and the teachings of Tibetan masters available to Western and Tibetan audiences, a task for which he had a remarkable talent. Nyima-la´s translations and writing, both in English and Tibetan are noteworthy for their precision, their clarity and their poetic elegance. His translations, in particular, are impressive, capturing both the content and the style of the texts he addresses and bridging with ease the gap between the Tibetan and English languages. This facilty in expression is also evident in Nyima-la´s own poetry.

Nyima Tsering-la was not only a gifted scholar, translator, poet and writer. His lectures were well attended and were of great value to students. He had a gift in speech as well as in writing for making complex philosophical and religious ideas clear and accessible, without over simplifying. He was skilled at connecting on a personal level with his students, that personal connection was central to his ability to transmit his insights to students, and so to bring Buddhadharma alive in his teachings.

Nyima Tsering-la was indeed a remarkable scholar, translator and teacher and he will be appropriately remembered in this way by all of those who have benefitted and will benefit in the future from his work. But those of us who knew him will remember him as we knew him: as an uncommonly generous and warm hearted friend; as an enthusiastic colleague; as a cheerful companion; imbued both with compassion when confronted with the suffering with others and sympathetic joy when aware of the accomplishment of others. We may remember his kind words and his infectious humor as much as his depth of insight and commitment to the Dharma, and to remember him in this way is fitting as well:

In his poem " The Divine Female wisdom", Nyima-la concludes:

You are the Mahamudra

which pervades everyone and everything

From your love blissful compassion arises in me

Now i know you are with me everywhere.

We all hope this to be true, and we pray for Nyima-la´s speedy and favorable rebirth.