From Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

In Memory of Gene Smith

Survival of the Buddhadharma depends on vision, courage, determination and strength of the dharma upholders.

We have witnessed in history that there is always an individual and usually an unsung person who would serve and protect the dharma. If we all look back to what he has achieved and done, E. Gene Smith is no doubt such a person. I have always said that Gene Smith has done much more for the dharma, and has achieved much more selflessly than many tulkus and lamas of the present time. I think that time will tell that my remarks are not an exaggeration.

His insistence on joining the last BLHP (Buddhist Literary Heritage Project) meeting even at his frail age and condition alone should be worthy to take as an example, of how dedicated he is to serve Shakyamuni.

The loss of Gene Smith is such a loss for the dharma in general. It is also a loss for me personally, as he has been ever encouraging to me and to all of my activities, such as Khyentse Foundation.

Let us remember him by up-keeping his work and vision.

I also pray that the wishes of Khabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Deshung Rinpoche who are the main gurus of the late Gene Smith be fulfilled in years to come.

From Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, in retreat at Pharping, Nepal, December 19, 2010.

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From Chris

What is this “I” that shines so briefly in the clear cold blue sky so brilliant? lung-ta wafting in the breeze, sparrows twittering, tshampas chanting puja of the passing, lopon’s reading so rapidly. Then all is enveloped in a silence nurturing the next moment of arising.
This locus of self-awareness of all-that-is acknowledges gratefully the myriad threads and interactions that give rise to whatever coherence there is within.
Here is simply life’s essence, being on-going, expanding, exploding, swiftly washing over mind. Tendrils extending to entwine and re-arises the knowing of all-that-is.
— Chris at Yangleshod, 1508 NPT, Fri. 17 Dec.
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From Chosen

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From Maria Montenegro

I met Gene at the AAR conference in 1993 or 4 and later had the great good fortune to work for him through Wisdom and later again with his amazing staff at TBRC in 2003. Gene’s unstoppable generosity and patience, humor, depth, ethical refinement and kindness, will ever be missed, to say nothing of his vast knowledge of Tibetan literature.

Anyone who ever emailed Gene probably got a helpful, thorough, and brilliant reply moments later; he never missed a chance to extend himself whether or not it was 3 a.m. He would drop whatever he was doing to help whoever asked for it. His knowledge and memory were encyclopedic. You could mention the remotest village in Tibet and he could tell you which monasteries, lineages, and masters were associated with it. You could mention a text and he could unfurl for you a blanket of associations: geographical, biographical, historical, philosophical, political, textual, sociological. He was a polyglot and polymath.
Gene’s standards for excellence in the preservation and archiving of Tibetan texts were unparalleled. He truly single-handedly helped save a wisdom tradition, starting long before TBRC, and he never let you know he was doing it himself, with the outstretched arms of his devoted and exceptional staff. He didn’t have a trace of an agenda other than to rescue, preserve, and make readily available the great texts of Tibetan sacred literature. He shunned politics and posturing. He was one of the most unpretentious persons I have ever had the sublime privilege to know.
Gene’s easy lack of self-reference combined with an incisive and vast mind made him a joy to spend time with, and if you were lucky enough to, you would likely witness the many big and small ways in which he cared deeply; he could drop a generous bill invisibly into the hands of a homeless person; he would often pass on flowers brought to him to the Rinpoches and Lamas that would visit TBRC; once he instantly burned a CD of the late great Ngulchu Dharmabhadra’s collected works when he heard that his young Tulku had arrived that evening in New York for a visit with the touring Tashi Lhunpo monks. He did this sort of thing regularly. There was a magical dance of spontaneous goodness issuing from him always.
He was utterly unrehearsed in that goodness, and such was his mastery, that he played down the enormity of his accomplishments completely, always making others feel perfectly at ease on the one hand; and totally challenged on the other because he worked harder than anyone I know. He resisted delegating if he could do it himself.
Gene could always be found praising masters of all lineages, and finding the exquisite qualities of every religious tradition; but he was also unafraid to point out injustices and lapses when they were in gross opposition to the truth or the founder’s intentions. He never allowed himself to become polarized by the controversies and uninformed opinions that often rock Dharma communities. In fact, he often made light of such things, and donated the grand perspective of true humility. For this alone, I will ever regard him as a true bodhisattva, great leader, and impeccable role model.
In Gene’s presence you were brought in direct contact with what it means to consider and deeply engage multiple perspectives. To me this ability is the distinction of profoundly mature individuals, but never exists apart from an equally playful and self-ironic mischief and ease that in his case would crease his face and crescent his eyes with the rays of that unforgettable smile.

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From Paldor

A  Journey

I join you all in great sorrow over the loss of our precious Gene Smith.

From the day I met Gene in 1998, and after I started working for TBRC in 2004, I began a journey of good fortune for the past seven years. As an embodiment of wisdom and compassion he gently guided and taught me more in these years than in many lifetimes.

We have lost a great pillar of Tibetology and Buddhism in Gene Smith, but his mind and knowledge will continue living with us.

I pledge to continue to devote all of my work efforts to his mission to the best of my abilities.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Gene, for his  peaceful journey.

I deeply mourn his leaving and will hold him in my heart forever.

May his immaculate benefit to this world remain for a very long time.

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From Chungdak Nangpa

ཏཱདྱ་ཐ། པཉྩ་དྲི་ཡ་ཨ་ཝ་བྷོདྷ་ན་ཡེ་སྭཧ།།

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ།ངོ་མཚར་སངས་རྒྱས་སྣང་བ་མཐའ་ཡས་དང་།།གཡས་སུ་ཇོ་བོ་ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེན་པོ་དང་།།གཡོན་དུ་སེམས་དཔའ་མཐུ་ཆེན་ཐོབ་རྣམས་བཞུགས།།སངས་རྒྱས་བྱང་སེམས་དཔག་མེད་འཁོར་གྱིས་བསྐོར།།བདེ་སྐྱིད་ངོ་མཚར་དཔག་ཏུ་མེད་པ་ཡི།།བདེ་བ་ཅན་ཞེས་བྱ་བའི་ཞིང་ཁམས་དེར།།བདག་གཞན་འདི་ནས་ཚེ་འཕོས་གྱུར་མ་ཐག།སྐྱེ་བ་གཞན་གྱིས་བར་མ་ཆོད་པ་རུ།།དེ་རུ་སྐྱེས་ཤིང་སྣང་མཐའི་ཞལ་མཐོང་ཤོག།འདི་སྐད་བདག་གིས་སྨོན་ལམ་བཏབ་པ་ན།།ཕྱོགས་བཅུའི་སངས་རྒྱས་བྱང་སེམས་དཔག་མེད་ཀྱིས།།གེགས་མེད་གྲུབ་པར་བྱིན་གྱིས་བརླབ་ཏུ་གསོལ།།ཏཱདྱ་ཐ། པཉྩ་དྲི་ཡ་ཨ་ཝ་བྷོདྷ་ན་ཡེ་སྭཧ།།

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From Cameron

I had the extremely fortunate opportunity to meet Gene at Wisdom Publications in the summer of 1999 and become one of his first assistants when the TBRC opened in Cambridge. Despite the fact that I had no idea what he was talking about more than half the time, Gene was incredibly kind and generous towards me. More than anything we would just talk and hang out. He told the most amazing stories and gossip that could never be recalled in a public forum. He was a fabulous connoisseur of great food and drink. Whether it was the Elephant Walk in Cambridge or Basta in New York, everyone knew him, loved him, and he always had endless time and picked up the check. Many will praise Gene for his erudition and work ethic, but he should also be remembered as a consummate gentleman and tremendous friend.

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From Eric

Although i never had the fortune to meet this great man in person, he’s given me and anyone with faith in dharma a gift that can never be repaid. Finally, in passing away, he’s pointed to the most important thing – everything is impermanent, strive on with diligence! deepest sympathies and best wishes to all who knew him, and thank you for carrying on his work.

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Sadness and loss is beyond expression and thought! – From Samten Chhosphel

It is too hard to believe the passing of E. Gene Smith. Sadness and loss is beyond expression and thought!  Yet I console myself and all other friends of Gene that he left us an invaluable treasury of knowledge that will keep him in our heart forever. May he find peace and take a good rebirth among us.
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From Khenpo Sonam

A Mahasattva has left from us but his Mahakarma has remained for us. Such are the traces of a Bodhisattvas. Let us all dedicate the inconceivable merit of his greed deeds. May his emanations come back swiftly! With prayers. Guru Rinpoche Khyenno!

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Gene Smith: Irreplaceable Loss – From Per K. Soerensen

With immense grief we received the news about E. Gene Smith’s passing. Tibetology will never be the same again. Throughout my career I too met Gene many times, in Europe, in USA and in Bhutan. Gene (prior to his amazing work for the preservation of Tibetan scripture and Buddhist culture in general, I heard from my late teacher Erik Haarh (whom Gene praised so much after he once visited the Royal Library of Copenhagen back in the sixties where Haarh worked as librarian) about this selfless Tibetologist. Since then I too benefitted from Gene’s immense learning and collaborative spirit. In 2005 a conference held in Thimphu, Bhutan hosted by the Royal Library of Denmark and the National Library of Bhutan under the title Written Treasuries of Bhutan: Mirror of the Past and Bridge to the Future was dedicated to the enormous contribution of Gene to the preservation of Himalayan literature.
In gratitude Per K. Soerensen, Leipzig.
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From Gede, Sue and Niki

It was with deep sadness that we learned our dear friend Gene had passed away. Words cannot express the sense of loss that we feel and that all those whose lives he touched must now be experiencing. We feel blessed and privileged to have known this remarkable person whose colossal intellect was united with unerring wisdom, great compassion, kindness and a humility that enabled him to listen and respond to all those who came to him seeking refuge.
We send our deepest condolences to his dear family and all friends. He will be sorely missed by all, but we console ourselves that the Gene we knew and loved, the Gene who so lovingly took care of Niki on her visit to New York last February, will always be with us to light our lives.
‘Light spreads: it mingles with the light from other sources of light; it has no boundaries, no prejudices, no favourites.’
Gede, Sue and Niki, Jakarta, Indonesia
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From Pema Kunsang

My last impression of Gene last week (Dec 11) in the transit lounge of Kathmandu airport: he was content, tired but braving each step, carrying only a laptop as hand-luggage, saying he was happy with having passed on his responsibilities to Jeff and the others at Tibetan Buddhist Research Center; a man at peace with himself and with what he had done in this life.
Happy trails, Gene, and thanks for all your work in preserving the Buddhadharma !!!
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From Kathleen Laritz

An offering of sincere gratitude for Gene Smith having walked among us. Even with very few opportunities to chat and visit with him, his remarkable brilliance and humble kindness made a powerful and long lasting impact. Reflecting on Gene – the person – brings warmth, respect and delight, and then to reflect on his life’s work and the awe inspiring difference he has made to the world today and for the world to come, what rises is only gratitude for his caring heart to have walked among us. May joy be with Gene as he has brought joy to others, now and in the future.

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From Ahmed Ramadan

I had the honor to work under the supervision of the late Gene Smith at Library of Congress Office in Cairo, Egypt, in the mid nineties.  What a nice, gentleman and scholar he is! It is a great loss for a scholar, a reflection of an elevated person who, by all means, cannot not easily forgotten. All his friends and I, share with Gene’s family, friends and colleagues a deep aching sense of loss, and condolences.

Ahmed Ramadan

Yale University Library

New Haven, CT 06520

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From Sachu

མདང་ནུབ་གྲོགས་པོ་ཞིག་གི་ངག་ནས་E. Gene Smith་དགོངས་པ་རྫོགས་པའི་ཡིད་སྐྱོ་བའི་གནས་ཚུལ་དེ་ཐོས་འཕྲལ་བདག་ནི་ཡིད་ཅིག་མ་ཆེས་ཏེ།དེ་མ་ཐག་ཏུ་བོད་ཀྱི་ནང་བསྟན་དཔེ་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་དྲ་ཐོག་ཏུ་བལྟས་པས་ཤིན་ཏུ་ཡིད་སྐྱོ་བའི་གཏམ་དེ་དངོས་སུ་མིག་ལམ་དུ་ཤར།ཀྱེ་མ་ཀྱེ་ཧུད།འགྲོ་བ་མིའི་རིགས་སྤྱི་ལ་མཛད་རྗེས་བླ་ན་མ་མཆིས་པའི་མཁས་པའི་དབང་པོ་ཞིག་རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་མཛད་པའི་འཕྲོ་མ་རྫོགས་པར་འདི་ལྟར་གློ་བུར་དུ་གཤེགས་པ་ནི་བདག་སོགས་འཛམ་གླིང་སྐྱེ་འགྲོ་ཡོངས་ཀྱི་གྱོང་ཆེན་པོ་ཞིག་སྟེ།གཏམ་འདི་ཐོས་ནས་ཆུ་ཚོད་དུ་མའི་རིང་ལ་ཁོ་བོའི་ཡིད་ནི་མྱ་ངན་གྱིས་གདུངས་ཏེ་ཅི་བྱ་གཏོལ་མེད་དུ་གྱུར།ལོ་ངོ་དྲུག་གི་སྔོན་ལ་བདག་ལ་སྐྱེ་བུ་དམ་པ་འདི་ཉིད་མཇལ་བའི་སྐལ་བ་ཐོག་མར་ཐོབ།ཡིན་ན་འང་དེའི་སྔོན་ནས་ཡིག་ཐོག་ནས་འབྲེལ་བ་བྱུང་སྟེ་ཕན་ཚུན་ཤིན་ཏུ་འདྲིས་པའི་གྲོགས་པོར་གྱུར།མཇལ་བའི་ཉིན་མོར་དམ་པ་འདི་ཉིད་དང་བཀའ་མོལ་གནང་དུས་ཁོང་གི་ཡོན་ཏན་གྱིས་བདག་གི་ཡིད་འཕྲོག་ཏེ་རང་དབང་མེད་པར་གུས་པའི་མེ་ཏོག་སྙིང་གི་དཀྱིལ་དུ་བཞད།གངས་ཅན་གྱི་སྐད་དུ་བཞུགས་པའི་གནའ་རབས་ཀྱི་ཡིག་ཆ་དང་།གསུང་འབུམ།ལོ་རྒྱུས།རིས་སུ་མ་ཆད་པའི་མཁས་པ་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་མཛད་པའི་བསྟན་བཅོས་རྣམས་ལ་གནས་གང་དུ་བཞུགས་པ་དང་།རྩོམ་པ་པོ་སུ་ཞིག་ཡིན་པ་དང་།འཁྲུངས་འདས་ཀྱི་ལོ་རབས་སོགས་ལས་བརྩམས་ཏེ་དྲི་བ་སྣ་ཚོགས་ཞུས་ཡང་དེ་དང་དེའི་ལན་ཚང་ལ་མ་ནོར་བ་དང་ཡིད་ཀྱི་རེ་བ་སྐོང་ནུས་པ་ཤ་སྟག་གསུངས།ནང་པ་ཞིག་གི་ཐོག་ནས་བལྟས་ན་སྐྱེ་བུ་འདི་ནི་གདོན་མི་ཟ་བར་བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའ་ཞིག་ཡིན་རྒྱུ་རེད་སྙམ་པའི་འདུ་ཤེས་དབང་མེད་དུ་སྐྱེས།མི་སུ་དང་འཕྲད་ནའང་དགའ་བའི་འཛུམ་གྱིས་བསུ་ཞིང་གང་ནུས་ཅི་ལྕོགས་ཀྱིས་གཞན་ཕན་ཁོ་ན་སྒྲུབ་པས་དུས་འདའ་བ་ཞིག་མཆིས།བོད་ཀྱི་རིག་གནས་ལ་དོན་གཉེར་ཅན་ཞིག་ཡིན་ཚེ་དེ་ལ་མཁོ་བའི་དཔེ་ཆ་རྣམས་དངོས་སུ་གནང་བ་དང་།སྐྱེས་སུ་བསྐུར་བ་དང་།ཞིབ་འཇུག་གི་ལས་ལ་སྐུལ་བ་སོགས་སྐྱེ་བོ་ཕལ་བའི་བློ་ལ་མི་དཔོག་པའི་སྤྱོད་པ་ལྷུར་མཛད།
དམ་པ་འདི་ཉིད་ཀྱིས་མི་ཚེ་གང་བོར་ཡུལ་གངས་ཅན་གྱི་སྐད་དུ་བཞུགས་སོ་ཅོག་གི་གསུང་རབ་ཀྱི་གླེགས་བམ་མཐའ་དག་རྒྱ་བོད་བལ་གསུམ་གྱི་གཙོ་བྱས་པའི་འཛམ་གླིང་ཡུལ་གྲུ་མཐའ་དག་ནས་སྒོ་དང་ཐབས་ཤེས་ཡོད་དགུ་བཏོན་ནས་གཅིག་ཏུ་བསྡུས་ཤིང་བསྡུམས་ཏེ་དཔར་དུ་བསྐྲུན་པ་མ་ཟད།ཉེ་བའི་ལོ་ཟླའི་རིང་ལ་དཔེ་ཆ་དེ་དག་ཐམས་ཅད་གློག་ཀླད་དུ་བཅུག་སྟེ།དྲ་ཐོག་ཏུ་གཟིགས་ཐུབ་པ་དང་དཔར་ཐུབ་པ་བཅས་ལག་སྐྱེས་མཐའ་ཡས་པ་སྩལ།དམ་པ་འདིའི་མཛད་རྗེས་ལ་རྟེན་ནས་དེང་སེང་གངས་ཅན་གྱི་སྐད་དང་ཡི་གེ།ཆོས་དང་རིག་གཞུང་ལ་དོན་གཉེར་ཡོད་མཁན་ཞིག་ཡིན་ཚེ་དཔེ་ཆ་བཙལ་བ་ལ་དཀའ་ངལ་ཅི་ཡང་མེད་པར་བྱས།རང་རེ་བོད་ཀྱི་ཁ་དཔེ་ལ།ཨ་མའི་བུ་ལ་ཡོན་ཏན་ཡོད་ན།དགའ་ལྡན་ཁྲི་ལ་བདག་པོ་མི་འདུག་ཅེས་བཤད་སྲོལ་ཡོད་པ་ལྟར།དེང་སེང་E. Gene Smith་ཡིས་བཀའ་དྲིན་ལ་རྟེན་ནས།འདི་ལྟར་བཤད་ནའང་མ་བདེ་བ་མེད་པར་གྱུར།ཨ་མའི་བུ་ལ་དོན་གཉེར་ཡོད་ན།དཔེ་ཆ་བཙལ་བར་དཀའ་ལས་མི་འདུག       འདི་ཁོ་ནའི་བཀའ་དྲིན་ཡང་གངས་ཅན་པ་ཡོངས་ཀྱིས་འཇལ་བར་སླ་བ་མ་ཡིན་ནོ།     ད་ནི་རང་རེ་གཞོན་རབས་ཡོངས་ཀྱིས་འདུན་པ་སྔར་བས་ཀྱང་རྒྱ་ཆེར་བསྐྱེད་དེ་ཡུལ་གངས་ཅན་གྱི་སྐད་དང་ཡི་གེ        ཆོས་དང་རིག་གཞུང་གི་ངོ་བོ་ཡུན་དུ་གནས་པ་དང་སྐལ་བ་སྟོང་གི་བར་དུ་མི་ནུབ་པའི་རྒྱལ་མཚན་སྲིད་མཐར་ཡང་བསྒྲེང་བའི་ཆེད་དུ་E. Gene Smith་ཡིས་སྒྲུབ་པའི་དཔེ་མཛོད་དུ་བཞུགས་པའི་དཔེ་ཆ་མཐའ་དག་ལ་ཞིབ་འཇུག་དང་ཐོས་བསམ་སྒོམ་གསུམ་བགྱིས་ཏེ་ལེགས་པར་ཤེས་པར་བྱས་ན་དམ་པ་འདི་བའི་དགོངས་པའང་སྤྱོད་ལམ་དེ་ག་རང་གིས་རྫོགས་པར་ཡིད་ཆེས་བརྟན་པོ་ཡོད་ལ།དམ་པ་ཉིད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་དྲིན་གྱི་ཆ་ཤས་ཡང་སྤྱོད་ལམ་འདི་ཉིད་ཀྱིས་འཁོར་བའི་ཡིད་ཆེས་ཡོད།
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From Alak Zankar Rinpoche Tudeng Nima

A Loving Bodhisattva

Our friend Gene Smith lived amongst us as an extraordinary person who will be missed by all who had the honor of knowing him.

It was in London, in 1997,  that I met with Gene for the first time.  I was deeply impressed by his vast knowledge and his humble manner.  I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him after I came to the United States.  He impressed me every day in all respects. He had such rigorous scholarship and he worked so hard, even to the neglect of his meals and sleep. He was a true linguist and a master of so many languages; Sanskrit, Tibetan, Arabian, Russian, Mongolian etc. As a Buddhist, he was a working dictionary for all lineages and all traditions.

Gene was like a human computer with limitless knowledge. He was blessed with Manjushri’s wisdom and he shared it without hesitation. In his heart, filled with immense loving kindness, grew the seed of bodhicitta manifesting from Avalokiteshvara. His hands possessed unique competence, empowered by Vajrapani. To everyone who met him, he was a loving Bodhisattva.

Although all of our hearts are heavy with sorrow, his sudden passing should be cause for us to turn grief into strength and our minds to practice. We should continue to follow Gene’s example by living our lives meaningfully and beneficially.

I would like us to gather together to pray for him and I would like us to work continuously to fulfill his life time mission.

Best wishes,
Tudeng Nima

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Reflecting on the life of Gene Smith

I heard this sad news from Zenkar Rinpoche and it shocked me so much!

I did not have the privilege to meet with him in person, but I admired him deep in my heart as a true Bodhisattva.

He supported all of our projects in China in whatever way he could.

Through him, we found the very rare and precious texts that we were searching for long time;
Through him, we were updated with always the most advanced technology for preserving those texts;
Through him, Paltseg books were introduced to major libraries and universities in west;
Through him, over 15000 volumes of Tibetan texts were donated to Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu, China where these texts are available for both Tibetan and Chinese students. As a Chinese Tibetan Buddhist, I am so grateful. I pray, more people in China will be benefited from learning Dharma. Through him who opened the door and made it all possible.

He was road when we need to travel; He was bridge when we need to cross river;
He was a friend who knew when and how to provided what you needed.

I pledge to devote myself to learn from him, to follow him, which will be my lifetime task.

Nicole Fan
Secretary to Zenkar Rinpoche

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Always Remember

Gene was a very generous and kind person, especially towards Tibetan Lamas.  He dedicated his life to preserve the old Tibetan traditions.

With his guidance and advice the Yungdrung Bon Library established a digital scanning and printing program for Tibetan texts.

His hard work will always be remembered in all the Tibetan monasteries and libraries around the world.

We pray for his eternal peace.

We miss you Gene.

Khedup G Datsang

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