Sister Palmo

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Short description

  • karma tshul khrims mkha' spyod dpal mo

Freda Houlston Bedi (1911-1977) was ordained by the 16th Karmapa at age 55. Her dharma name was Karma Tsultrim Khechog Palmo, and she was known as Sister Palmo. This accomplished woman, a former Indian parliamentarian (Congress Party) and mother of Indian film star, Kabir Bedi, was also a sponsor and patron of Tibetan refugees including Akong Rinpoche and Trungpa Rinpoche.
She is remembered by her daughter, Sheila Fugard, in Lady of Realization (Cape Town: Maitri Publications, 1984 (2nd edition) ) and was responsible for having had translated into English many tibetan texts from the karma kagyu tradition, and too the life story of the 8th-century saint, Gelongma Palmo (Bhikshuni Srimati), who introduced the practice of nyungne.
Sister Palmo was ordained as a novice in 1966 by the 16 th Karmapa, the first Western woman ever to formally enter the Tibetan sangha. She then went on, in 1972, to take full bhikshuni vows in the Chinese Mahayana tradition.


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  • for biographical details see : lady of realization by Sheila Fugard, Seattle, Karma Rigdol Publications, 1983.

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