Lachen Gongpa Rabsal

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The Great Preceptor Lachen Gongpa Rabsal

བླ་ཆེན་དགོངས་པ་རབ་གསལ།
bla chen dgongs pa rab gsal

Short biography

  • Lachen Gongpa Rabsal 893-. Tibetan Vinaya master who preserved the Vinaya lineage during the period of disruption in ninth century [RY]
  • Lachen Gongpa Rabsal "The Great Master of Brilliant Realization". The most influential figures in the youth of Gongpa Rabsel, the son of a Bon family at that time known as Muzu Labar, where also three of the most important masters in the Nyingma lineage's Mulasarvastivadin Vinaya system. The “Three Men from Kham” Mar Shakyamuni, (smar sha kya mu ne) of Tolung, Yogewe Jungne (g.yo dge ba'i 'byung gnas) of Photongpa (pho thong pa) and Rabsel (rab gsal) of tsang, where from the Pal Chuwori (dpal chu bo ri) monastery of Chokru Lu Gyaltsen (cog ru klu'i rgyal mtshan). After asking for monk vows and then reading a vinaya text, Mar acted as the preceptor and Yo acted as master, in giving the young man his novice vows at which point he became know as 'Shakya Gewa Rabsel' or just 'Gewa Rabsel'. The need for five fully ordained monks for the performance of full Gelong monastic vows

sent Gongpa Rabsel out in search of Lhalung Palgyi Dorje, who at that time was in Den, to request his attendance and help in the ceremonies, Palkyi Dorje said, because of killing the evil king Langdarma, he could not be part of five and offered to help find someone who could. He send the two Hva-shang monks Kewang (ke lbang) and Gyiphen (gyi phan) of china, to assist Mar, Yo and Rab in the ceremony. Thus Lachen received, preserved and spread this system of vinaya.

After studying the vinaya Mar Shakyamuni, he continued to study vinaya with Gorong Senge and the Prajnaparamitra with Kawa O'chok. He studied the Dzogchen Semde with Yudra Nyingpo (g.yu sgra snying po), and throughout this entire time he and the group of Mar, Yo and Rab along with the two Chinese monks Kewang and Gyiphen all stayed together. After they moving to Mount Dentuk in Amdo, the ten known as "The Ten Men of U and Tsang", arrived requesting ordination, but do to the ages of the senor Gelongs, Gongpa Rabsel was appointed preceptor, aided by his student Drum Yeshe Gyaltsen, and the five acting as Masters of Ceremony. Lume Tsultrim stayed to study the vinaya text for a year with the Great Lama, thus Gongpa Rabsel appoint him as a preceptor.[BL]

Literary Works


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Alternate Names & Spellings

Other Resources

  • (b.953 d.1035) [TBRC]
  • 892-975 /KS and Dudj or 832-915? /952-1035 [MR]

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