Thubten Jigme Norbu

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Thubten Jigme Norbu
Norbu with his brother, the 14th Dalai Lama, in 1996
Born(1922-08-16)August 16, 1922
Taktser, Tibet
DiedSeptember 5, 2008(2008-09-05) (aged 86)
Bloomington, Indiana, United States
Religion Tibetan Buddhism
Nationality American [1]
Thubten Jigme Norbu on the cover of his 1961 book Tibet is My Country: Autobiography of Thubten Jigme Norbu, Brother of the Dalai Lama as told to Heinrich Harrer (translation from German by Edward Fitzgerald) Thubten Jigme Norbu.jpg
Thubten Jigme Norbu on the cover of his 1961 book Tibet is My Country: Autobiography of Thubten Jigme Norbu, Brother of the Dalai Lama as told to Heinrich Harrer (translation from German by Edward Fitzgerald)

Thubten Jigme Norbu (Tibetan : ཐུབ་བསྟན་འཇིགས་མེད་ནོར་བུ་, Wylie : Thub-stan 'Jigs-med Nor-bu) (August 16, 1922 – September 5, 2008), [3] recognised as the Taktser Rinpoche, [4] was a Tibetan lama, writer, civil rights activist and professor of Tibetan studies and was the eldest brother of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. He was one of the first high-profile Tibetans to go into exile and was the first to settle in the United States.


Early life

Thubten Jigme Norbu was born in 1922 in the small, mountain village of Taktser in the Amdo County of Eastern Tibet.

Independence walks

Stupa on the grounds of Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center, Bloomington, Indiana. The Dalai Lama performed the initiation here in 1999, "to promote world peace." Kalacakra stupa.jpg
Stupa on the grounds of Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center, Bloomington, Indiana. The Dalai Lama performed the initiation here in 1999, "to promote world peace."

In 1995, Norbu cofounded the International Tibet Independence Movement (ITIM). He led three walks for Tibet's independence, starting in 1995 with a week-long walk 80 miles from Bloomington, Indiana to Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1996 he led a 300-mile, 45-day walk from the PRC embassy in Washington, DC to the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York City. The following year, joined by Dadon with her 3-year-old son, he led a 600-mile walk from Toronto to New York City, beginning on March 10 (Tibetan Uprising Day) and ending June 14 (Flag Day).

Life in the US

On the grounds of Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center, Bloomington, Indiana Bloomington-TibetanCC-Stupa-9107.jpg
On the grounds of Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center, Bloomington, Indiana

Norbu lived at the Tibetan-Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center with his wife Kunyang. They have three sons, Lhundrup, Kunga and Jigme Norbu, all born in New York. In late 2002, Norbu suffered a series of strokes and became an invalid.

Norbu died at the age of 86 on September 5, 2008, at his home in Indiana in the United States having been ill for several years. His body was cremated in a traditional Buddhist ceremony. [5] His youngest son, Jigme, died at the age of 45 on February 14, 2011, while carrying on his father's work. He was hit by a car in Florida during a walk to promote Tibetan independence and raise awareness of Tibet.


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Thubten may refer to:

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  1. "激进"藏独"分子 借学术分裂祖国--舆情频道".
  2. Thubten Jigme Norbu; Harrer, Heinrich (1961). Tibet is my country: the autobiography of Thubten Jigme Norbu, brother of the Dalai Lama, as told to Heinrich Harrer Thubten Jigme Norbu ; translated from the German by Edward Fitzgerald. Thubten Jigme Norbu ; translated from the German by Edward Fitzgerald. New York: Dutton. OCLC   1084817875.
  3. Martin, Douglas (September 9, 2008). "Thubten Norbu, eldest brother of Dalai Lama, dies". The New York Times . Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  4. Gittings, John (September 7, 2008). "Obituary:Thubten Jigme Norbu". The Guardian . Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  5. Malagon, Elvia (September 12, 2008). "Dalai Lama's brother cremated Thursday". Indiana Daily Student . Retrieved September 12, 2008.