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Prince Rāmagopalā

Prince Rāmagopalā (rgyal sras dga' byed sa skyong) lived approximately from 1566-1575 as the son of a king of the small northeastern Indian kingdom of Tripurā. His grandfather was the king Mukunda Deva. One of Mukunda Deva’s sons, the prince Rāmabartari, master over the lands of Magadha, Mathurā and Prayāg, was Rāmagopalā’s father, his mother was queen Lakṣmīni. He is described as a very virtuous boy, who was clearly inclined towards the dharma and who sought the advice of buddhist teachers even as a young child. Even at his young age he is described as a "Lord of Siddhas", obviously having demonstrated his realisation on various occasions. The prince's main teacher was the Māhasiddha Megha-nātha, aka Jvala-nātha. In the biographies of Jetsun Jonang Tāranātha (1575–1635) it is taught, that Jetsun Kunga Drolchog (1507-1566) incarnated as this short-lived Indian prince specifically to re-acquaint himself with various Indian vernaculars, in order to be able to freely converse with the great Indian Māhasiddha Buddhagupta-natha whose coming to Tibet he foresaw. After prince Rāmagopalā's early death, he immediately incarnated in Tibet, as the illustrious Jetsun Tāranātha. Indeed, when Tāranātha was barely twenty years old, Buddhagupta-nātha came there and the two met. Over several months Tāranātha received teachings and transmissions from this Indian master, some of which had never before appeared in Tibet. When approximately 23 years old, Tāranātha composed a very brief biography of his previous life as the prince Rāmagopalā from memory.

From the "rgyal bu dga' byed sa skyong gi rtogs brjod" by Jonang Tāranātha, vol. 17, pp. 321-333 of his Collected Works, 'dzam thang edition [TSD]