Akong Rinpoche Biography
(Founder of the Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland)
Birthday: December 25, 1939 (Capricorn)
Born In: Kham
Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche was tulku of the ‘Karma Kagyu’ lineage, who played a vital role in establishing Tibetan Buddhism worldwide. Born in the Chamdo area of Kham, Tibet, he was recognized as the ‘tulku’, or reincarnation of the previous Akong, at an early age. Taken from his family at the age of four, he received traditional religious education at the monastery and specialized in Tibetan medicine before taking up his role as abbot and teacher. Later, he left for exile in India, a journey which made him realize hunger as the most basic of all human needs and strived towards eradicating it. From India, he traveled to the UK where he co-founded Samye Ling monastery in Scotland and later built its London Center (now in a former library). His main work had been the expansion of the work of the ROKPA Charity, principally in Tibet and Nepal, where he established several soup kitchens to feed the homeless in major cities. He brought well over 150 projects into existence, each project being a school, clinic, medical college, self-help program or a scheme to protect the environment. In 2013, he was killed in an attempted robbery while he was visiting some of his charitable projects in China.