To all our family and friends,
As you may have heard we have some very sad news to pass to you.
Our brother Tonden took his own life here at Nalanda Monastery at 17:00 yesterday (15 November).
Venerable Tonden was 38 years old from the UK, and had been living in the monastery for the last five years. He did not leave any message, and nothing indicated that he was about to carry out such action.
It seems that he poured a can of gasoline over his body before setting it alight. Unfortunately, the first people and the emergency services on the scene were unable to help. In the current state of the enquiry, it is not possible to determine with certainty what led him to such an extreme act.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tonden's family and we are working closely with them to take care of their wishes.
Ven Roger mailed us that Rinpoche made offerings and request for prayers to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which are very grateful for. Also, Rinpoche immediately asked Sera Jey Monastery in India to do a special puja for Tonden.
Also other venerated teachers in Portland, London and Paris did prayers and dedications. Geshe Londen from Institut Vajra Yogini came immediately over to Nalanda at the request of Geshe Jamphel our abbot, who was still in Barcelona. The monks & community followed immediately the instructions of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Geshe Jamphel, and did Tara Puja, Lama Chopa and Medicine Buddha Puja. Also the following day a Guru Puja was performed, and later in the day Geshe Jamphel arrived and gave advice and encouragement to the community before we engaged in the Medicine Buddha Puja.
We are touched by the overwhelming supportive emails and telephone calls we have received from all over the world from many Dharma brothers and sisters. We will try to keep you updated with any other information including appropriate arrangements.
Please add Tonden and his family to your prayers and thoughts.
Our thanks go out to our Holy Teachers who show us the Dharma and support us continuously and effortlessly, and special thanks also to Francois and Violet (Directors of Institut Vajra Yogini for their help with the press and other practical arrangements) and Rosette and Anton (monastery friends and psycho therapists)