A Brief Life Sketch of the Late Chagzod Ozer Dawa
Chagzod (general secretary) Ozer Dawa was born in a nomad family in the year 1932 at Lhathok under the province of Dokham, Derge in Eastern Tibet. At the age of 11, his parents enrolled him along with his elder brother in Tsurphu Monastery of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. After receiving ordination, he entered into a monastic section known as Zuri Dratshang. In due time, he successfully completed the entire monastic education including prayer recitations and ritual practices. Thus, he was appointed as an Umze (chant master) of the monastery. Thereafter, he also served as a Choyog (monastery attendant) in the main shrine of Tsurphu Monastery. He also selflessly served in the Gonkhang; Tashi Tseringma Temple for three consecutive years as it was customary in the Tsurphu Monastery to depute some Lamas and monks to the Gonkhang for a period of three years on an alternative basis. At that time, late Chagzod La had a keen interest in the three years strict retreat but H.H. the 16th Karmapa called him and asked him to go to the direction of Upper Ngari to be the personal attendant of His Eminence Choeje Chime Rinpoche. In his response to H.H. Karmapa, he replied that he was preparing for the three years retreat. H.H. Karmapa told him that generally, it was a good idea to be in retreat but it would be best that he serves the lama. In addition to that, there is no difference in serving the lama sincerely and to be in retreat. H.H. Karmapa further told him to trust him and think for a few more days. It was learnt that Chime Rinpoche was a strict and shrewd lama. Therefore, his previous attendants took leave from him. In his words, Chagzod Ozer Dawa said, “I was also not sure whether I could serve him or not. However, I could not refuse H.H. Karmapa so as a result I decided to serve Chime Rinpoche. I was 26 years old at that time.”
Both in Tibet and while in exile in Ladakh, Chime Rinpoche took great pains to construct the monastery in Ladakh without minding the hardships he faced. He took complete responsibility of the external and internal affairs of the monastery. Chagzod La exerted all his efforts and made extensive offerings after the Parinirvana of Chime Rinpoche. Apart from that, he also successfully carried out the responsibilities required in the recognition, naming and robe offering ceremony of the young reincarnation of Chime Rinpoche and brought him back to his monastery, Karma Dupgyud Choeling, located at Choglamsar, Leh-Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Since the last couple of years, Chagzod La decided to leave aside other responsibilities besides looking after the Labrang due to his failing health. In addition to that, he had served as an active member in the Local Tibetan Assembly of Sonamling Tibetan Settlement, Choglamsar, Leh-Ladakh for three years.
In totality, he dedicated his entire life for the welfare of religion in general and Karma Kamtsang tradition in particular. Finally, after a prolonged illness, he passed away on 4th October 2014 at about 5.10 p.m. in Ladakh.