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Who is Shabkar?

Shabkar Tsodruk Rangdrol (1781-1851), the great Tibetan yogi who espoused the ideals of vegetarianism.

Shabkar’s attitude toward the different schools of Tibetan Buddhism was unclouded by even the slightest trace of sectarian bias. No doubt this was due primarily to his free and independent lifestyle, uncomplicated by institutional allegiances or dependence on benefactors. He lived an entirely hand-to-mouth existence. He had no fixed abode and reduced his own needs to an absolute minimum.

He is often venerated as an emanation of Manjushrimitra (jam dpal bshes gnyen), one of the patriarchs of the Dzogchen lineage of the Nyingma school. He has been recognized as the incarnation of the master Ngulchu Gyalse Thogme, much venerated by the Sakyapas, and as the rebirth of Chengawa Lodro Gyaltsen, a close disciple of Je Milarepa.
The Dharma was for him a matter of personal insight and training, not of allegiance to a school. He loved the Buddha’s teaching in all its manifestations, and his attitude to all traditions was one of unfeigned devotion.

Shabkar was famous for his affection and concern for animals. His attitude was an expression not only of personal sympathy and aesthetic appreciation; it was rooted in his understanding of Buddhist teaching as can be read in the book Food for Bodhisattavs containing two works of Shabkar and his autobiography translated by Matthieu Ricard (references).

• English introduction of Food for Bodhisattvas: PDF (357 KB).
• Shorter Vietnamese version of the introduction: PDF (167 KB).
• Full Romanian translation of Food of Bodhisattvas: PDF (800 KB)