The oldest brother of Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has died from an illness at the age of 86.
Taktser Rinpoche died on Friday in Bloomington, Indiana the United States, where he has lived since the late 1970s.
Taktser Rinpoche - whose given name was Thupten Jigme Norb born in 1922 in a Tibetan village that is now part of China's northwestern province of Qinghai. He was recognized at the age of three as the reincarnation of an important religious figure(, Taktser Rinpoche, by the predecessor of the current Dalai Lama).
Taktser Rinpoche was the abbot of one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries (Tibetan: Kumbum; Chinese: Ta'er Si) when Communist troops arrived in the area in 1949. After leaving Tibet in 1950, he served as the Tibetan government-in-exile's representative in Japan.
Since the late 1970s, Rinpoche has lived in Bloomington, Indiana, where he was professor of Tibetan studies at Indiana University.
Taktser Rinpoche authored several books and founded a center dedicated to preserving Tibetan religion and culture.
He was also a strong advocate for the independence of his homeland, and co-founded an organization that advocates Tibet's complete independence from China.
He is survived by his wife Kunyang Norbu, and three sons.