Tulku Zangpo Drakpa

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སྤྲུལ་སྐུ་བཟང་པོ་གྲགས་པ།
sprul sku bzang po grags pa
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Short biography

Terton Tulku Zangpo Drakpa, lived in central Tibet and was a follower of the Kagyu school, born in Latod (la stod). Zangpo Drakpa was the rebirth of King Trisong Desten's son Mune Tsepo. Spending many years in retreat, Zangpo Drakpa was disturbed one morning by the appearance of a young man who urged him to leave his retreat in order to reveal certain treasures.

Zangpo Drakpa dismissed this as just some meditation disturbance. In fact, this was no ordinary boy but the protector of the region of Gondu. He urged Zangpo Drakpa to find the treasures intended for him. Some days later Zangpo Drakpa decided to visit a nearby village. In route, he saw an old, dirty yogi sitting by the roadside who began to mock him, finally challenging Zangpo Drakpa to a debate about Buddhist teaching. Zangpo Drakpa agreed and found that this grungy vagrant could match him point by point.

Thinking that he should make a connection with him despite his appearance, Zangpo Drakpa searched in his bag for a white scarf to offer. As he looked up, in place of a beggar was Padmasambhava himself. As Zangpo Drakpa prostrated, Guru Padma spoke to him: "Zangpo Drakpa, I sent the protectors and you didn't listen. Finally, I had to come here myself. This is your time. Please go and find these teachings!" Padmasambhava gave a list of teachings he was to bring forth as well as the explanations for them.

Subsequently, Zangpo Drakpa revealed over fifty-five scrolls of teachings. Among these was The Seven Chapter Supplication to Guru Rinpoche. He realized that this text was intended for someone else. Accordingly, in the first month of the snake year (1365, C.E.) he gave the scrolls to three of his disciples. They were instructed to travel east of Zang Zang mountains.

Zangpo Drakpa told them that they would encounter a yogi who would be carrying either a rosary or a statue of Vajrakilaya. He would also be talking from the outset of their meeting about the king of Gungthang and the state of affairs in Tibet.

On the eighth day of their journey, the three companions were sharing a meal by a stream at the end of the Daglung Monastery. A man came up carrying a rosary and a statue of Vajrakilaya whom they invited to eat with them. He accepted and having sat down, immediately began to decry the state of Tibet and bemoan the welfare of the royal house in Gungthang. The companions immediately gave the stranger the scrolls and a letter from Zangpo Drakpa. Thus Rigdzin Godem came in possession of a list of treasures and the key to opening them. The key is known to us as le'u bdun ma, or the Prayer in Seven Chapters.

Literary Works

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Alternate Names & Spellings

Other Resources

  • Rigdzin Godem
  • gter ston bzang po grags pa - the terton {mang lam ri khrod pa bzang po grags pa} [IW]
  • gter ston bzang po grags pa - (14th cent) - discoverer of {gsol 'debs le'u bdun ma} [RY]
  • gter ston bzang po grags pa - 14th cent. Syn {mang lam ri khrod pa bzang po grags pa} [RY]
  • mang lam ri khrod pa bzang po grags pa - tertön and incarnation of {lha sras}, revealer of {le'u bdun ma}, the famous supplication to Padmasambhava in seven songs. Also known as {gter ston bzang po grags pa} [RY]
  • gsol 'debs le'u bdun ma - o rgyan gu ru padma 'byung gnas kyis rdo rje'i gsungs 'khrul pa med pa'i gsol 'debs le'u bdun ma - reverential petition to Padmasambhava - said to have been concealed by prince mu khri btsan po - rediscovered by gter ston bzang po grags pa and set down by rig 'dzin rgod kyi ldem 'phru can. [RY]
  • o rgyan gu ru pad ma 'byung gnas kyis rdo rje'i gsungs 'khrul pa med pa'i gsol 'debs le'u bdun ma lo rgyus dang bcas pa - reverential petition to Padmasambhava - said to have been concealed by prince mu khri btsan po - rediscovered by gter ston bzang po grags pa and set down by rig 'dzin rgod kyi ldem 'phru can. [RY]

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