AN EIGHTEENTH CENTURY TIBETAN REVELATION
Submitted to the College of Graduate Studies and Research
in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements
For the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Department of Far Eastern Studies
Steven D. Goodman
c 1983 Steven D. Goodman
PERMISSION TO USE POSTGRADUATE THESES
Title of thesis THE klong chen snying thig: AN EIGHTEENTH CENTURY TIBETAN REVELATION
Name of Author Steven D. Goodman
Department or College Department of Far Eastern Studies
Degree Doctor of Philosophy
In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an postgraduate degree from the University of Saskatchewan, I agree that the Libraries of this University may make it freely available for inspection. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the professor or professors who supervised my thesis work, or, in their absence, by the Head of the Department or the Dean of the College in which my thesis work was done. It is understood that any copying or publication or used of this thesis or parts thereof for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. It is also understood that due recognition shall be given to me and to the University of Saskatchewan in any scholarly use which may be made of any material in my thesis.
Address 4907 Shafter Ave.
Oakland, California 94609
Date March 17, 1984
The author has agreed that the Library, University of Saskatchewan, may make this thesis freely available for inspection. Moreover, the author has agreed that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the professor or professors who supervised the thesis work recorded herein or, in tyheir absence, by the Head of the Department or the Dean of the College in which the thesis work was done. It is understood that due recognition will be given to the author of this thesis and to the University of Saskatchewan in any use of the material in this thesis. Copying or publication or any other use of the thesis for financial gain withot approval by the University of Saskatchewan and the author's written permission is prohibited.
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University of Saskatchewan
First I must thank my mentor Prof. Herbert V. Guenther, Chairman and Head, Department of Far Eastern Studies, for making available to me many of the texts used in this study, and for furnishing peerless guidance through the principla sources of dzogs chen thought. Additionally, I thank the members of my dissertation committee-- Prof. Leung, who taugt me the importance of historical research, and Prof. Perez, who stimulated my interest in oral traditions and modern literary criticism. To the Colege of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Saskatchewan, I am grateful for the generous financial support without which my graduate research would have been considerably more difficult.
A study such as this could not have proceeded without the help of the following Tibetan scholars, who unfailing gave of their time and knowledge, clarifying my many questions. I must thank the klong chen snying thig chos bdag rdo grub chen Rin po che IV thub bstan 'phrin las dpal bzang po, who encouraged me in this study and clarified detains of the klong snying tradition. sprul sku don grub, former Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University, tirelessly explained the structure and practice of the klong snying according to the tradition of rdo grub chen, and resolved many difficult textual points. bla ma mgon po tshe brtan (rig dzin 'phrin las 'od zer), Abbot of gsang chen smin grgyas gling Monastery in a mdo, graciously explained the meaning and significance of many of the klong snying texts. Prof. Namkhai Norbu, Oriental Institute, University of Naples, clarified several aspects of the klong snying transmission as well as providing insights regarding the intrepretation of rdzogs chen thought. mkhan po dpal ldan shes rab, Chief Abbot of the Department of rnying ma Studies, Varanasi University, clarified a number of points on rnying ma history and philosophy. Finally I must thank dar thang sprul sku, Head Lama of the Nyingma Institute (Berkeley, California) for having first aroused my interest in the klong snying tradition.
This study presents a detailed analysis of a Tibetan literary corpus of visionary texts (gter chos), collectively known as the klong chen snying thig, whose revelation was entrusted to the famed eighteenth century rnying ma savant 'Jigs med gling pa (1730-1798). In addition to the standard practices of textual analysis of primary source material, this study utilized the expert knowledge of native Tibetan scholars, gathered through tape recorded interviews and written correspondence.
The first chapter is an introduction to this study, consisting of a general discussion on the nature of revealed texts followed by an account of the special cultural context within which the klong chen snying thig arose.
The second chapter provides an account of the life and education of 'jigs med gling pa, followed by a narrative reconstruction of the key events in the genesis of the klong chen snying thig revelations.
The third chapter describes the social and economic factors which contributed to the propagation of the klong chen snying thig, including short biographical sketches of the major figures who were instrumental in ints transmission.
The fourth chapter discusses the structure of the klong chen snying thig as a literary corpus, including supplemental texts and liturgical arrangements of the corpus. This is followed by an account of the development and textual history of the klong chen snying thig introductory texts.
The fifth chapter gives a brief overview of Tibetan Buddhist practice, followed by an explanation of preliminary practices (sngon 'gro)and their relation to main practices (dngos gzhi). Based on information provided by native Tibetan scholars, an account of the regional differences in the pracice of the klong chen snying thig teachings is given. The study concludes with indications for future research.
Two appendices contain detailed information relevant to this study. Appendix A is a computer generated cross refferenced listing of the texts which comprise the snying thig ya bzhi, compiled by klong chen rab 'byams pa (1308-1363). Appendix B provides a detailed listing of all the texts found in the three volume A-'dzom chos sgar redaction of the klong chen snying thig corpus.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION
- Notes to Chapter 1
- Chapter 2: GENESIS
- 2.1 The life of 'Jigs med gling pa
- 2.11 Birth and former lives
- 2.12 Monastic life and education
- 2.2 Revelation of the klong snying
- 2.21 First three-year retreat at dpal ri
- 2.22 Second three-year retreat at mchims phu
- 2.23 Aftermath and first klong snying empowerment
- Notes to Chapter 2
- Chapter 3: TRANSMISSION
- 3.1 Events subsequent to 1764
- 3.2 'jigs med 'phrin las 'od zer
- 3.3 'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu
- 3.4 Subsequent transmission
- Notes to Chapter 3
- Chapter 4: STRUCTURE
- 4.1 Structure of the klong snying corpus
- 4.11 Basic divisions
- 4.12 Supplemental texts
- 4.13 Liturgical arrangements of the klong snying
- 4.2 Introductory texts to the klong snying
- 4.21 Textual history of the klong snying sngon 'gro
- 4.22 Commentarial literature on the yon tan mdzod
- Notes to Chapter 4
- Chapter 5: PRACTICE
- 5.1 Tibetan buddhist practice
- 5.2 Preliminary and introductory practices
- 5.3 Main practice
- 5.5 Concluding remarks
- Notes to Chapter 5
- Appendix A: snying thig ya bzhi: DETAILED ANALYSIS OF CONTENTS
- A.I snying thig ya bzhi: contents
- A.II snying thig ya bzhi: titles
- A.III snying thig ya bzhi: authors
- Apendix B: klong chen snying thig: TABLE OF CONTENTS
- LIST OF CHARTS
- Chapter 2
- chart 2.1 Succession of former lives
- chart 2.2 Succession of former lives
- chart 2.3 Relation between chos rje gling pa's students and 'jigs med gling pa's teachers
- chart 2.4 Basic sources
- chart 2.5 The 13 gter ston emanations of rgyal sras lha rje
- Chapter 3
- chart 3.1 klong snying lineage (rdo grub chen)
- chart 3.2 klong snying lineage (mKhyen brtse)
- chart 3.3 klong snying lineage (mgon po tshe brtan)
- chart 3.4 Relation between mkhyen brtse incarnations and klong snying
- chart 3.5 klong snying transmission (bdo bde)
- Chapter 4
- chart 4.1 Basic structure of klong snying
- chart 4.2 klong snying refuge tree
- chart 4.3 Schematic outline of refuge tree
- chart 4.4 Identification of figures in refuge tree
- chart 4.5 Structure of klong snying, vol. I (Om)
- chart 4.6 Structure of klong snying, vol. II (Ah)
- chart 4.7 Structure of klong snying, vol. III
- chart 4.8 Structure of klong snying yi dam
- chart 4.9 Texts relating to klong snying dharmapalas
- chart 4.10 klong snying sngon 'gro: stratum I
- chart 4.11 klong snying sngon 'gro: stratum III
- chart 4.12 Six stages in development of the klong snying sngon 'gro
- chart 4.13 yon tan mdzod literature: stratum I
- chart 4.14 yon tan mdzod literature: stratum II
- chart 4.15 Four stages in the development of the yon tan mdzod commentarial literature
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
"le Text y parlant de lui-meme et sans voix d'auteur"
Every major cultural tradition seems to sanction and value visionary texts-- those curious documents regarded as embodying revealed truths, truths not arrived at by the intellectual praxis of a human author. Such revelations, when collected into a corpus, have often served as the primary legitimizing source of a religious tradition. Within the Christian tradition there is of course an enormous literature on the nature of such revelation. For the most part, this literature, and the studies on the underlying theological premises which support it, have been based on noneteenth century methods of textual analysis. The questioning of such methods, especially in the works of Martin Heidegger, has provided for fresh perspectives in the field of contemporary theology and beyond. The general questioning of what kinds of 'truth' are embodied in texts, particularly as formulated by the radical thinkers following in Heidegger's footsteps, most notably Hans-Georg Gadamer and jacques Derrida, has had a decisive impact on the field of literary criticism and is beginning to be felt in the field of intellectual history.
The explosion of interest in critically reexamining fundamental assumptions about the nature of texts and the truths they convey, and hence about the meaning of 'author-ship', has almost exclusively been confined to Western intellectual traditions. The intellectual traditions of the Far East remain virtually unknown, outside the narrow confines of the specialists. This is lamentable, for within the Tibetan traditions alone, there are quite detailed and hermeneutically sensitive discussions on precisely those questions regarding the relation between texts, author, tradition, and truth. Before such discussions can fruitfully be brought into the contemporary context, however, there is the prior need for detailed studies of the social and historical settings within which the Far Eastern traditions of textual revelation flourished.
The purpose of this present study is to investigate one such Far Eastern tradition of textual revelation-- a visionary textual corpus whose revelation occurred in eighteenth century Central Tibet. The visionary cycle which came to be known as the klong chen snying thig was revealed by 'jugs med gling pa (1730-1798). An account of the genesis of the revelation in the context of the life of 'jigs med gling pa is given in chapter two of this study. This is followed by an analysis of its subsequent transmission (chapter three), the structure of the corpus as a whole (chapter four), and the manner in which the teachings embodied in the texts are studied by those within the Tibetan tradition (chapter five).
Before proceeding with the detailed account of this visionary tradition, a few remarks are necessary to establish the background understanding of the cultural context within which the klong chen snying thig arose. According to the Tibetan tradition which came to be known as the rnying ma pa ("the ancient ones"), whose origins can be traced back to the eighth century and are closely associated with the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet, the texts which embody the teachings of Buddhist masters can be divided into nine categories, the most profound of which is known as Ati-yoga or rdzogs chen (Great Perfection). The rdzogs chen teachings are said to have been first compiled into a corpus by dga' rab rdo rje, a figure whose dates are unknown. Subsequently, this corpus was arranged into three sections -- sems sde ('mind section'), klong sde ('creative section'), and man ngag sde ('oral advice section'). In time the man ngag sde section itself was further arranged into outer, inner, profound, and most profound subsections. The most profound sub-section of the man ngag sde is also known as the snying thig ("quintessential").
The snying thig teachings were transmitted to future generations in two ways: through the long lineage of masters imparting textual transmission to their students (ring brgyud bka' ma), and through the shorter lineal transmission of previously concealed teachings (nye brgyud gter ma). This latter method is 'shorter' in the sense that the transmission is regarded as occurring diretly from the intentional focus (dgongs pa) of the charismatic medium Padma Sambhava-- who lived in the eighth century and transformed himself at death into an active and retentive mode called the 'pho ba chen mo (the great transference)-- into those special individuals of future generations who have been entrusted with the task of rediscovering the hidden teachings gter ma. Moreover, the previously concealed teachings are revealed, in a variety of ways, when the circumstances are deemed appropriate. Those visionaries to whom such revelations occur are called gter ston (revealer of hidden teaching).
The necessity for the shorter method of transmitting the snying thing teachings is to maintain a more direct, fresh and easily implemented means of connecting to the essential insights of the tradition, insights perhaps not so easily gleaned from sole reliance on the lengthy and often complicated bka' ma transmissions of the rnying ma tantras. According to the great gter gton 'jigs med gling pa:
"There are four great reasons for concealing Dharma treasures (gter chos): so that the teaching will not disappear; so that the oral instructions [on experientially accessing these teachings] will not be adulterated; so that the sustaining power of the transmission will not disappear; and so that the transmission line will be shorter [more direct]."
Since the time of Padma Sambhava, known to generations of Tibetans as Guru Rinpoche (the revered teacher), many snying thig teachings have been transmitted and subsequently revealed as previously concealed doctrines. The most important collection of snying thig teachings, collected and commented on by the great rdzogs chen scholar klong chen rab 'byams pa (1308-1363), is the snying thig ya bzhi. Largely because of the inspiration of the teachings contained in this collection, and the decisive influence of klong chen rab 'byams pa's own commentaries on rdzogs chen thought, jigs med gling pa came to call his own revelations the klong chen snying thig-- the quintessential teachings of klong chen rab 'byams pa, the snying thig revelations based on visionary encounters with klong chen pa. We must now proceed directly to the study of these revelations of the klong chen snying thig and the life of the visionary to whom their revelation was entrusted.
NOTES TO CHAPTER ONE
1 Cited in Geoffrey H. Harman, Saving The Text (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), p. 7.
2 See John Hick, Philosophy of Religion (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-hall, 1963), pp. 58-77. See also John Hick, "Revelation," [in Paul Edwards, ed., Encyclopedia of Philosophy (New York: Macmillan Publishing and The Free Press, 1967), vol. 7, pp. 189-191]
3 See james M. Robinson and John B. Cobb, Jr., ed., New Frontiers In Theology. volume I The Later Heidegger and Theology (New York: Harper and Row, 1963).
4 See Dominick LaCapra, "Rethinking Intellectual History and Reading Texts," [in Modern European Intellectual History. Reappraisals and new Perspectives (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982, pp. 47-85]. In this excellent essay, six topics are isolated as having special relevance to the field of intellectual history: (1) the relation between the author's life and the text; (2) the relation between the author's life and the text; (3) the relation of society to texts; (4) the relation of culture to texts; (5) the relation of a text to the corpus of a writer; and (6) the relation between modes of discourse and texts.
5 For a model study of one such Far Eastern tradition, on early Taoism and its social background, see Michel Strickmann, "The Mao Shan Revelations," T'oung Pao, 63:1 (1977), 1-64. See also Herbert V. Guenther, "Tantra and Revelation," [in his Tibetan Buddhism in Western Perspective (Emeryville, Calif.: Dharma Publishing, 1977), pp. 196-224].
6 The snying thig transmission is discussed in George N. Roerich, trans., The Blue Annals (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1976), pp. 191-203.
7 For an account of the transmission of the bka' ma and gter ma, see Eva M. Dargyay, The rise of Esoteric Buddhism in Tibet (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1977), pp. 12-81.
8. There are many texts which recount, in a general way, the lives and teachings of the various gter ston. See Eva M. Dargyay, The Rise of Esoteric Buddhism in Tibe, pp. 85-244. See also the references in Chapter two, note 5 of this present study (especially texts #10 - #14).
9 Until quite recently, the only generally available collection of rnying ma tantras was that prepared from a manuscript preserved at gting skyes dgon pa byang Monastery in Tibet, under the direction of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. See rnying ma'i rgyud 'bum (Thimbhu, Bhutan: Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, 1972-), 36 vols. A detailed listing of the contents of this edition, with a historical introduction recounting the stages in its compilation, is provided by Eiichi Kanako, Ko-Tantora Zenshu (Tokyo: Kokusho Kankokai, 1982). Much work needs to be done on the codification of the rnying ma tantras, and the various editions which were prepared in manuscript form and later served as the basis for xylographic editions. Most recently an edition based on a manuscript collection at mtshams brag Monastery in Bhutan, whose arrangement and inclusion of texts differs from the above cited edition of gting skyes Monastery, has begun to be published. See The mtshams brag Manuscript of the rnying ma rgyud 'bum (Thimphu, Bhutan: National Library, Royal Government of Bhutan, 1982- ). A seventeen volume collection of man ngag sde tantras, which constitute the core of the snying thig bka' ma teachings, was published as rying ma'i rgyud bcu bdun (New Delhi: Sanje Dorje, 1977), 3 vols.
10 As quoted by 'jugs med bstan pa'i nyi ma [[[rdo grub chen]] III], las 'phro gter brgyud kyi rnam bshad nyung gsal do mtshar rgya mtsho [in The Collected Works (gsung 'bum) of rdo grub chen 'jugs med bstan pa'i nyi ma (Gangtok: Dodrup Chen Rinpoche, 1974), vol. Nga], p. 428.2. The importance of this text was brought to my attention by sprul sku don grub, who kindly furnished me with his manuscript translation (tentatively entitled "The wondrous Ocean -- A Brief and Celar Explanation of the Transmission of the discovered Dharma Treasures"). The special merit of this work is the fact that it explains the technical terminology associated with the rediscovery of Dharma treasures (gter chos), as well as discussing the correct procedure for would-be gter-stons embarking on the process of rediscovery, and the various distinctions of type among gter-ma. Henceforth this work will be abbreviated as gter brgyud rnam bshad, and the collected works of rdo grub chen III will be abbreviated as Coll. works (D). It is hoped that sprul sku don grubs's annotated translation will soon be published, so as to provide a deeper understanding of what is meant by 'revelation' in the tibetan context. Indeed, a study of the special terminology connected with gter ma, as exp0licated in this work, would constitute a major step in broadening the dimensions of contemporary discussions regarding author 'intentions', and their relation to the textual 'content' (message). The gter brgyud rnam bshad is quite clear that, despite the variety of gter chos, the essential 'message' of these teachings is the pure transmission of a profoundly transformative awareness: "The essence of the discovered Dharma treasure tradition is the entrustment (gtad rgya)-- the transmission of pristine awareness." The essence of this entrustment is that of the focussed intentionality (dgongs pa gtad) of Gurur Rinpoche, which assures the authenticity and integrity of the tradition. (See gter brgyud rnam bshad, pp. 411.3, 440.6f). See also Chapter Two, notes 62, 63.
11 snying thig ya bzhi (New Delhi: Trulku Tsewang, Jamyang and L. Tashi, 1970), 11 vols. This collection contains the earliest surviving snying thig teachings-- the bi ma snying thig of Vimalamitra, and the mkha' 'gro snying thig associated with mkha' 'gro ye shes mtsho rgyal. The close connection between these snying thig teachings and those of the klong chen snying thig is reflected in the fact that they are often referred to as the "earlier" and "later" snying thig teachings, respectively. This important collection has not, to date, been the focus of study. As a prelude to such a study, we have prepared a detailed cross-referencing of its contents (indicating variant titles), with the aid of a computer, and included it in this study as Appendix A. The listing of the table of contents for the klong chen snying thig is given in Appendix B. There are, in addition, other snying thig teachings, including the karma snying thig of rang byung rdo rje [Karma ma pa III], and the padma snying thig of padma dkar po. The karma snying thig teachings were kindly located by Professor Nam khai Norbu, in the large collection of gter chos compiled by kong sprul rin po che under the title rin chen gter mdzod chen mo (full reference given in Chapter two, note 5), See text entitled nyams len lag khrids ma'i khrid ngo mtshar can [in rin chen gter mdzod chen mo, vol. 86, pp. 423-470]. The padma snying thig teachings are in padma dkar po, rdzogs pa chen po'i snying po dril ba padma snying thig [in his The Collected Works (gsung 'bum) of kun mkhyen padma dkar po (Darjeeling: Kargyud Sungrab Nyamso Khang, 1973), vol. 20, pp. 543-569.
CHAPTER TWO: GENESIS
"Into the South will come a sprul-sku named 'od zer who will liberate sentient beings through the profound teachings of the snying thig
Transporting whomever [has established] a bond with him to the Pure Land of the Vidyadharas."
Thus begins the special prophecy of gter ston sangs rgyas gling pa concerning the birth of rig 'dzin 'jigs med gling pa (1730-1798), the famed eighteenth century rnying ma scholar, antiquarian, and visionary. He is already well known to Western students of Tibet for his studies on the tombs of ancient Tibet, and his work on a new edition of the rnying ma rgyud 'bum. It is as a discoverer of Dharma treasures gter ston, however, that he is perhaps most revered by Tibetans, particularly for his visionary revelations which are the mind treasures (dgongs gter) collectively termed the klong chen snying gi thig le (hereafter abbreviated klong snying). Neither the genesis of the klong snying revelations, nor the life of its discoverer have, as yet, been studied in depth. Here I can only sketch out the major outlines which emerge from the abundant sources, giving first an account of the life of 'jigs med gling pa (section 2.1), followed by an account of the klong snying revelation (section 2.2)
2.1 The Life of 'jigs med gling pa
Although a comprehensive account of 'jigs med gling pa's life must await the thorough analysis of the numerous sources, I shall summarize the major phases under the folowing headings: Birth and former lives (2.11), and Monastic life and educations (2.12)
2.11 Birth and former lives
'jigs med gling pa reports that he was born on the 18th day of the 12th month of the Earth-Female-Bird year [6 February 1730], in a remote village in the mountainous terrain south of the Red Tomb (bang so dmar po) in the phyongs rgyas region, as had been prophesied. kong sprul notes that he was born into the rgya brag pa clan, which was one of the six major disciple lineages thugs sras of the 'brug pa bka' brgyud pa.
While still quite young he began to recall fragments of his former lives. Although later sources only give a few prominent names, 'jigs med gling pa himself provides a detailed list (see chart 2.1), and the primary lineage holder (chos bdag) of the klong snying, 'jig med phrin las 'od zer (rdo grup che I), gives a variant list (see Chart 2.2). Information regarding the identity of some of these former lives is given in the notes accopanying the charts.
Chart 2.1 Succession of Former Lives
[source: [['khrungs rabs gsol 'debs]
1. kun tu bzang po [Adibuddha Samantabhadra]
2. spyan ras gzigs [Avalokiteshvara]
3. dga' rab rdo rje
4. kri kri'i sras [Legs par skyes]
5. gcung mdzes dga' [[[dga' bo]]]
6. a kar ma
7. khri srong lde'u btsan
9. lha lcam padma gsal
10. rgyal sras lha rje
11. dri med kun ldan
12. yar rje o rgyan gling pa
13. zla 'od gzhon nu grags rgyal [[[dwags sgam po pa]]]
14. pan chen bi ma'i dngos grub bsam yas pa [[[klong chen rab 'byams pa]]]
15. mnga' ris pan chen
16. chos rgyal phun tshogs
17. bkra shis stobs rgyal
18. 'dzam gling rdo rje [[[chos rje gling pa]]]
Chart 2.2 Succession of Former Lives
[source: rnam thar gsol 'debs]
1. spyan ras gzigs
2. kri kri'i sras
3. dga' bo
4. dgra bcom mtshan bzang ldan
5. dga' rab
6. sri seng
7. dri med bshes gnyen [Vimalamitra]
8. a kar ma
9. rje [[[khri srong dle'u btsan]]]
10. 'bangs [Vairocana]]
11. grogs [Ye shes mtsho rgyal]
12. rgyal sras lha rje
2.22 Monastic life and education
In his sixth year 'jigs med gling pa entered the monastery of gsang mchog dpal gyi ri 'od gsal theg pa chen po'i gling (commonly known as dpal ri), and received the religious name padma mkhyen brtse'i 'od zer, which was bestowed on him by the mtsho rgyal sprul sku ngag dbang blo bzang padma. He then began his formal education, which included a wide range of exoteric subjects as well as specialized training in esoteric aspects of Vajrayana and the basic doctrines of the Mahayana. To all of his study of the Buddha dharma 'jigs med gling pa seems to have brought an unusual degree of enthusiasm and application. As a result his life seems to have been filed with wonderful dreams and visions. As amply recorded in his own record of received teachings (thob yig), he received empowerment and instruction from the many prominent rnying ma and gsar ma teachers who resided in Central Tibet at the end of the eighteenth century. An investigation into the identities of these teachers reveals a close connection which obtained between many of them and the immediately previous incarnation of 'jigs med gling pa, known as chos rje gling pa (see Chart 2.1 #18). Thus it has been possible to reconstruct the teacher-student relations, which are given in schematic form in Chart 2.3 (arrows indicate a direct teacher-student link).
Chart 2.3 Relation Between chos rje gling pa's Students and 'jigs med gling pa's Teachers
[sources: gter ston brgya rtsa, nor bu'i do shal]
[#1] Chos rje gling pa (b.1682)
[#2] rig 'dzin thugs mchog rdo rje
[#3] gter ston dri med gling pa
[#4] lcags zam pa bstan 'dzin ye shes lhun grub
[#5] ngag dbang blo bzang padma
[#6] rwa ston stobs ldan rdo rje]]
[#7] gnas gsar ba kun dga'i legs pa'i byung gnas (1704-1760)
rig 'dzin 'jigs med gling pa
In addition to those teachers of 'jigs med gling pa with links back to chos rje gling pa, there are several others about which we know something. The generalizations recorded in kong sprul's gter ston brgya rtsa are given substance by consulting 'jugs med gling pa's autobiography (rnam thar chen mo) and his previously mentioned thob yig.
The teacher known as gnas brtan kun bzang 'od zer gave 'jigs med gling pa the transmission for his own teaching, called the thus rje chen po padma'i dbang phyug, as well as transmissions of the bla ma dgongs 'dus (the gter chos of sangs rgyas gling pa), and the grol tig dgongs pa rang grol, which is the gter chos of 'phren bo 'gro 'dul gling pa (alias shes rab 'od zer).
More important was the teacher zhang sgom chendharma kirti who, in addition to imparting the teachings of rgod tshang pa sna tshogs rang grol and other rnying ma masters, seems to have been 'jigs med gling pa's primary teacher for gsar ma doctrines. He is credited with bestowing the transmissions of Atisha's lam sgrom, the bka' 'bum of rgyal sras thogs med, the bde mchog according to lu yi pa, the gsangs 'dus according to the 'phags lugs, and the 'jigs byed according to the rwa lugs.
The teacher smin gling grub dbang Srinatha, who seems to have been a distant relative of 'jugs med gling pa, imparted to him numerous teaching of both bka' ma and gter ma. In addition, kong sprul mentions a teacher named thang 'brog dbon padma mchog grub. According to the thob yig, however, there were actually two teachers styled thang 'brog--thang 'brog pa padma rig 'dzin dbang po, and his nephew thang 'brog dbon po 'gyur med padma mchog grub. It was from the nephew that 'jigs med gling pa received most of the chos rje gling pa transmission.
Only one more teacher is mentioned by kong sprul, one named mon rdza dkar bla ma dar rgyas. According to the thob yig, there was a rdza dkar dar rgyas who received gter transmission from thang 'brog pa and imparted this transmission to 'jigs med gling pa. Curiously, the list of teachers compiled by kong sprul -- and zhe chen rgyal tshab padma rnam rgyal's list, which is identical -- stops here, but at least two important teachers have been omitted.
The teacher sgom ri o rgyan klong yangs [alias 'brug sgam(!) ri bla ma] gave 'jigs med gling pa a number of rnying ma teachings, most importantly the root empowerment for the sems sde (sems sde'i rtsa dbang), based on the form worked out by gyung ston rdo rje dpal bzang po and known as the rdzogs pa chen po rgyal thabs spyi blugs sems sde ma bu bco brgyad kyi rig pa'i rtsal dbang brgyud pa. Another teacher omitted from kong sprul's list was kun bzang grol mchog, who imparted several transmissions, including a gter chos which combines the so called "earlier and later gter kha" and is known as the gter ma gong 'og chu bo gnyis 'dres gyi sngags rgod log tri'i rig gtad dang lung gi brgyud. Having given an overview of his monastic education and some of the teachers and teachings he received, we must now turn to an account of the klong snying revelation, which established 'jigs med gling pa as one of the foremost gter ston-s of the eighteenth century.
2.2 Revelation of the klong snying
Beginning in his mid twenties, 'jigs med gling pa increasingly devoted himself to the cultivation of meditative experiences. The seven-year record of his practices and visions, culminating in the klong snying revelation, is amply set out in his rtogs brjod and the shorter, subsequently written, dakki'i gsang gtam. While the former source devotes more space to events near the end of this seven-year period, the later source is richer in detail on the earlier phases. Both sources, therefore, must be consulted to obtain an overall understanding of the genesis of the klong snying. What follows here is a chronologically structured summary of events. While the poetic quality of the Tibetan diction and imagery cannot adequately be conveyed in English, nor the esoteric significance attached to the various visions sufficiently explained, the general picture of what took place should readily emerge. The account is divided into three phases: 2.21 First three-year retreat at dpal ri (1756-1759); 2.22 Second three-year retreat at mchims phu (1759-1762); and 2.23 Aftermath and first klong snying empowerment.
2.21 First three-year retreat at dpal ri (1756-1759)
Sometime after receiving inspiration from a passage in klong chen pa's mkha' 'gro yang tig, 'jigs med gling pa settled into a three year retreat in the winter of 1756 at shri parvata'i gling dpal ri monastery. Beginning in the tenth month (12 November - 12 December) of 1757, a number of visionary encounters occurred. What now follows is a close paraphrasing of "jigs med gling pa's own account of the events.
One morning at dawn, because of having developed strong remorse for the suffering of others, and as a result of the fruition of the inspiration and blessing of Guru Rinpoche throughout many previous lifetimes, he beheld within a luminescent presence directly in front of him a number of beings, including the Dharmaraja of O-rgyan (Guru Rinpoche) and rig 'dzin 'jam dpal bshes gnyen. From them he received many empowerments, after which they dissolved into him. As a result of these encounters, there spontaneously arose in him a variety of realizations. He became free of the tendency to grasp on to meditative experiences nyams, achieved control over the 'karmic winds' las rlung, and was able to subdue the delusive nature of appearances.
Later, having sharpened his awareness through various yogic practices (brtul zhugs), the worldly appearances of his present life fell away, and he seemed to be cast into a different dimension. he then indistinctly recalled a bit of his past life as mnga' ris pan chen, and remained in that state for awhile.
Thereafter, in a dream he beheld an unusual place which is said to be the Pure Land of bsam pa lhung grub, wherein he saw rdo rje gro lod riding on a dragon, his form radiant and moving. Then he saw a man who seemed to be a monk or a Mongolian hor pa, whereupon he thought to himself that this must be the Dharma protector Dam-can rdo rje legs pa. At that moment the monk addressed him, pointed to the wrathful form of Guru Rinpoche on the dragon, gave a hint as to the significance of the vision, and then disappeared.
After a few days, at dusk on the tenth day of the waning part (i.e. the 25th day) of the tenth month of Fire-Female-Ox year [6 December 1757], the following dramatic events took place. Being moved by great devotion to Guru Rinpoche, to the point of tears streaming down his face, he began to remember bits of hispast lives. In a state of sadness, he thought about how he felt like an orphan doomed to wander in a country where the people behaved in the manner of the lowest caste, and at a time when the Buddhadharma had come to function merely as a reflection of peoples' hatreds and attachments. Then he thought of Guru Rinpoche -- that great being who was even more compassionate than the Buddha Shakyamuni -- who had departed to the Copper Colored Mountain, and he wondered when he would be fortunate enough to meet him. These thoughts caused immeasurable sadness, and he fell asleep crying.
Thereafter, while dwelling in a luminous meditative state, he rode upon a white lion which took him to an unknown place in the sky, finally arriving on the circumambulation path of what he thout to be the bya rung kha shor mchod rten (the Budnath Stupa). While walking through the Eastern courtyard he abruptly came face-to-face with the Dahrmakaya Wisdom Dakini. She gave him a wooden casket in the form of a locket ga'u, saying that to those disciples with pure perception he would appear as khri srong lde'u btsan, but to those disciples tithe impure perception he would appear as seng ge ras pa. She then told him that this locket housed the secret treasures of the dakinis, the profound symbols of Guru Rinpoche, which were the mind treasure thugs gter of the Adibuddha Samantabhadra. Thus ended the vision, leaving him with an electrified feeling bzi bur.
He was quite excited and opened the casket, finding inside five scrolls of golden paper and seven crystal beads. He hurriedly began to open one of the larger scrolls. Finding it to be permeated with the fragrance of camphor, he felt vibrations throughout his entire body and head. Suddenly he thought that the protector of this Dharma treasure was gza' (Rahula), and that it was an extraordinarily sacred teaching, so he became more cautious.
He proceeded gradually to open the scroll a bit further, revealing that it had the external form of a stupa, and was filled inside with the secret symbolic script of the dakinis. Realizing that he could not read it, he tried to roll up the scroll, but instantly the stupa form magically dissolved. whereupon the symbolic script transformed into Tibetan letters, and the scroll became recognizable as a sadhana of thugs rje chen po [the first klong snying gter chos].
At this point he stopped reading and turned instead to the colophon, wondering in whose name this Dharma treasure had been authorized bka' babs, to whom it had been entrusted (gtad rgya) by Guru Rinpoche, and what kind of prophecies there were about this person's past lives. He could clearly read a bit of the colophon, but as he tried to continue reading all the words seemed to arise at the same time, like all parts of a form being simultaneously reflected in a mirror. As a result, he could not read it at that time.
So, with immeasurable delight he proceeded to place several crystal beads in his mouth, picked up the golden scrolls, and decided to return home. Right then a monk appeared beside him, saying that for a long time he had held the thought that these kinds of things would happen to 'jigs med gling pa. jigs med gling pa then realized that this monk was not other than the Dharma protector drang srong chen po (Rahula]].
He next found himself at the Northern courtyard of Bodnath Stupa. Here he proceeded to open another of the golden scrolls, which turned out to be the gnad byang thugs kyi sgom bu [the secondklong snying gter chos]. As a result of this his mind became exceedingly clear, and he was filled with an almost unbearable bliss. He then had the thought that this scroll was indeed genuinely capable of imparting liberation to whomever looked at it (mthong-grol), and that he ought to show it to his own mother. At that very moment, what seemed to be a woman wearing ornaments appeared above him in the sky, and 'jigs med gling pa thought her to be his own mother. She descended to the earth, at which point he whowed her the mthong grol. Her reaction, however, was to inform him that his penchant for being in a hurry to show things that should be kept secret was really a defect. Furthermore, she told him that this Dharma treasure was not only capable of liberating those who saw it, it could also liberate those who tasted it myong grol, and that he should in fact eat it
She induced him to eat all the crystal beads and scrolls. Upon swallowing them all words and their asociated meanings became as fixed in his mind as if they had been printed there, as event to which he reacted with awe. He then awoke from this entire vision, only to find himself in a state of having expanded into the great openness and bliss of recollecting awareness (dran rig bde stong chen po).
Thereafter he related these events to his revered teacher [[[thugs mchog rdo rje]]], who replied that there were indeed many teachings of the Dharma, such as pure vision mind treasures (dag snang dgongs gter), or teachings which form part of the unbroken bridge of genuine Dharma treasures authorized (bka' babs) by the lineage of accomplished ones. He was then instructed to keep these events secret for the time being, after confirming the authenticity of the visions.
At this point in the narrative, as recorded in the dakki'i gsang gtam, 'jigs med gling pa remards that he himself feels there are too many Dharma treasures (gter), and Pure Visions (dag snang), of both good and bad quality, with the result that people have become ensnared by the net of doubt regarding authenticity. He also warns that if one cannot fully comprehend the symbolic script (brda yig) of the Dharma treasure, so that one has the control of empowerment over the great secret treasures of the dakinis, it will lead to grave consequences, such as people regarding the mere occurrence of a bit of 'visionary verse' -- which is only due to a little psychic insight -- as if it were genuine Pure Vision (dag snang). He then remarks that many things of this sort were going on in his day, but in spite of this, if any inspiration has really come to him from the dakas and dakinis, then he must reveal it, for otherwise there would be danger to his life and activities. If it were not for this possiblity of genuine inspiration, he reports, he would be quite content to continue keeping a low profile. Indeed, true to his teacher's advice, he reports that he maintained a strict silence regarding these extraordinary events for seven years.
At this point in the narrative, the dakki'i gsang gtam begins to recount events which took place beginning in Earth-Female-Hare year (1759) at mchims phu, during his second three-year retreat. Before proceeding with that story, however, we must briefly record events from the end of his first three-year retreat, as related in the rtogs brjod.
In his thirtieth year, at dusk of the tenth day of the eleventh month [9 December 1759], he had a dream vision in which he travelled to mchims phu, to an upper cave in the center, known as the residential cave (gzims phug) of Ye-shes mtsho-rgyal. Then, in another vision in the Earth-Female-Hare year (1759), he received some prophetic verses from the stag tshang phur pa, at a place he called the Me thog Cave. In a final series of visions, in which he imagined he was still at mchims phu, he recalled his past lives as the dge slong a kar ma, and rgyal sras lha rje. Finally, some time in 1759, in his thirty-first year, 'jigs med gling pa completed this first three-year retreat. Thereafter he travelled from dpal ri to mchims phu.
2.22 Second three-year retreat at mchims phu (1759-1762)
In the Earth-Female-Hare year (1759), 'jigs med gling pa began a second three-year retreat, this time in the Lhun grub rang-byung Caves -- below bre gu dge'u, at mchims phu. [At this point in the narrative, rtogs brjod mentions the following events, not given in [[[dakki'i gsang gtam]]].
While in retreat he remembered his past lives as chos rgyal phun tshogs and bkra shis stobs rgyal. Later he met with padma tshe dbang rtsal (alias rwa ston rdo rje) and received the rdo rje phur ba empowerment from the gter chos of rwa ston. Thereafter he had visionary encounters with yar rje o rgyan gling pa, and o rgyan bsam gtan gling pa (alias rig 'dzin stag sham rdo rje). He continued to do much yogic practice, resulting in a great clarity, whereafter he composed a stotra, based on the various prophecies he had received, on the 16th day of the 8th month of the year [1760?].
[At this point the narratives of dakki'i gsang gtam and rtogs brjod again converge, both recording his visionary encounters with klong chen rab 'byams pa. First we present the shorter version, based on dakki'i gsang gtam, which we then supplement with the more detailed account as given in rtogs brjod.]
While in luminous meditative states, 'jigs med gling pa beheld the countenance of kun mkhyen ngag gi dbang po [[[klong chen pa]]], the emanation of Vimalamitra, on three separate occasions, thus inspiring him to arrange and write down the great secret Mind Treasure. Then there appeared before him the Supreme Dakini of the five Buddha families [who had previously apeared to him at dpal ri in the form of his own mother], and shw allowed him to decode the symbolic script, which was then transcribed onto white paper. In confirmation that this had been ordained, 'jigs med gling pa then quotes the prophecy contained in the gnad byang to the effect that upon three occasions he will receive the inspiration of vidyadharas, viras, and dakinis, whereupon he will be provided with a key for opening the treasure, and that, furthermore, on the tenth day of the Monkey month fo the Monkey year he will behold the actual countenance of Guru Rinpoche, dispelling all obscurations and granting all blessings.
On the first occasion that 'jigs med glig pa beheld the form (sku gzugs) of bsam yas pa kun mkhyen ngag gi dbang po, it was confirmed that he was indeed authorized to be entrusted (gtad rgya), according to gter prophecy, with teachings which would be the essence of klong chen pa's dgongs gter -- the snying thig and mdzod bdun. At this time he received the treansmission and blessings of the enlightened dimension of embodiment (sku'i byin rlabs), the sustaining power of the actual transmission (don rgyud kyi byin rlabs) for both the words and significance of the lineage teachings.
Thereafter he moved into what was commonly known as the Uper Nyang Cave, so called because it had been the meditation cave of nyang ban ting 'dzin bzang po. After awhile he descended to the so-called Lower Nyang Cave below, whereupon he recognized it as the Me-thog Cave which had appeared in his former vision at dpal ri. Here he remained and composed his Guide to the Nyang Caves (Nyang phug gi kha byang).
While in residence in the lower cave, he had his second visionary encounter with klong che rab 'byams pa. At this time he recieved the transmission and blessings of the enlightened dimensio of voice (gsung gi byin rlabs). He was also entrusted with the teachings of klong chen pa's mdzod chen dbun and shing rta gsum, and empowerd as the Regent (rgyal tshab) charged with the responsibility of preserving the meaning and spreading the teachings of klong chen pa.
After about a month had passed, the third encounter occured. This time klong chen pa appeared in the form of a youthful twenty year old pandita, wearing a pandita hat and seated in the lotus posture. 'jigs med gling pa then requested the impowerment which transmits the sustaining power of rig pa's activity (rig pa'i rtsal gyi byin rlabs 'pho ba'i dbang bskur), and subsequently recieved the transmission and blessings of the enlightened dimension of mind (thugs kyi byin rlabs).
As a result of these transmissions, all clinging to outer and inner experiences fell away. In celebration of this he then composed a song caled dpyid kyi rgyal mo'i rgyang glu. Thereafter, based on his comprehension of the essential meaning of both the shing rta gsum and the mdzod bdun, he composed three works -- kun mkhyen zhal lung, padma dkar po, and gol shol tshar gcod. Afterwards he wrote many additional smaller texts on the essentials of rdzogs chen meditation practice, and in due time all these teachings, which constituted a great mind treasure (dgongs gter chen mo), were arranged in an orderly fashion.
2.23 Aftermath and first klong snying empowerment (1762-1764)
'jigs med gling pa concluded his second three-year retreat in Water-Horse year (1762). In that same year, at the age of thirty-four and in accordance with a prophecy from the mnga' ris zhus lan of gter ston Guru Chos kyi dbang-phyug, he authorized the founding of a new monastery. It was located in the Don-mkhar valley in g.Yo-ru, northeast of bang so dmar po, in a forested area known as byang chub shing gi nags khrod. This monastery became known as tshe ring ljongs, the full name being tshe ring ljongs padma 'od gsal theg mchog gling.
Then at mchims phu, two years later and in accordnce with the gnad byang prophecy, in the [Wood]-Monkey year, on the tenth day of the Monkey month [9 June 1764], 'jigs med gling pa began preparations for revealing the Mind Treasure which would be known as the klong chen snying gi thig le. With elaborate outer and inner offerings, he and others gathered to perform the tenth day ritual according to the gsol 'debs bsam pa lhun grub, the condensed text of the thirteen oral instructions. Due to extraordinary devotion, at the point in the ceremony where one persorms the 'invitation' (spyan 'dren), 'jigs med gling pa beheld with his onw eyes the Dharmaraja of O-rgyan, surrounded by myriad viras, dakas, and dakinis, with showers of Mandarava flowers raining down. He could not stop looking, and with devotion to the point of almost fainting, he joyously greeted this wonder.
Then from the South there separately arrived gifts and offering from each of the three great emanations (sprul sku), accompanied by requests beseeching him to reveal the great Mind Treasure. In a similar manner, the mad yogi of Kong-po, who could not have known about the hidden treasure [due to the strictly kept vow of a seven year silence], did not hesitate to request that the Mind Tresure be revealed. Thereupon 'jigs med gling pa realized that occasion to be the fruition of past deeds, and that the auspicious time had indeed arrived. he then opened the door of empowerment and instruction in the klong snying for the first time by imparting these precious teachings to a group of fifteen fortunate ones.
The dakki'i gsang gtam, whose narrative we have been following, then concludes as follows. From the time of the first klong snying enpowerment (1764), 'jigs med gling pa gradually transmitted the klong snying to qualified disciples, who then began to practice the basic teachings which had been collected and arranged into a coherent corpus. In 1764, in addition to those who had completed the recitation practices (bsnyen sgrub) of outer, inner, secret, and most secret teachings, there were about twenty disciples who had recited the Siddhis Mantra one hundred-thousand times for each of the twelve syllables, basing their practice on the outer sadhana (phyi sgrub) called the yid bzhin nor bu. Thus practicing, the benefit and meaningfulness of this great Mind Treasure became apparent to whomever established a link with it.
'jigs ed gling pa then quotes a prophecy from the gnad byang, which speaks of coming times when the need and appropriateness of helping sentient beings will be evident by the prevalence of a variety of negative circumstances, such as when wicked public officials, people who have broken teir commitments, and all who follow their bad example show contempt toward the assumption of responsibility and obligations incumbent on those engaged in spiritual maturation. He then comments that although difficult circumstances had arisen for him, he realized them to be merely the fruition of his own past deeds, and therefore did not fall under the control of the vagaries of experience created by this fruition. Moreover, he states, he tolerated all hardships and 'reverse actions' -- those occasions when one does good and is treated badly -- by maintaining the same attitude as that of a magician viewing his conjured objects. Finally, declaring that he will not break his vows, and will unwaveringly work for the benefit of all until his death, he exhorts his disciples not to explain the profound teaching they have recieved to those who are improper recipients, but to preserve it like a wish-fulfilling jewel and make its practice and most essential thing.
NOTES TO CHAPTER TWO
1 The various prophecies heralding the birth of 'jigs med gling pa are discussed below, in not 8.
2 Although commonly known as 'jigs med gling pa, he also had the following names: rdogs pa chen po rang byung rod rje'i mkhyen brtse'i 'od zer (often shortened to rang byung rdo rje or mkhyen brtse'i 'od zer, mkhyen brtse'i lha, klong chen nam mkha'i rnal 'byor, and padma dbang chen.
3 See below, notes 7 and 30.
4 'jigs med gling pa's accoung of this work is given in rnying ma'i rgyud 'bum gyi rtogs brjod [Coll. Works (J), vol. III (Ga), pp. 1-499]. Full reference for Coll. Works (J) is given below, in note 5.
5 Two major collections have been used. The first is the reprint reproduction, unfortunately largely traced or hand-copied, of the nine volume sde dge edition of the collected works of 'jigs med gling pa, The Collected Works of Kun mkhyen 'jigs med gling pa [Gangtok: Sonam T. Kazi, 1971], 9 volumes (Ngagyur Nyingmay Sungrab, vols. 29-37), hereafter abbreviated as Coll, Works (J). The klong snying teachings comprise vols. VII (Ja) and VII (Nya) of this collection. The second major collection is a reproduction from xylopgraph prints in the library of the Venerable dil mgo mkhyen brtse rin po che, originally made from a 'dzom chos sgar blocks, of the collected klong snying teachings. Thrre volumes, marked Vol. I (Om), Vol. II (Ah), and Vol. III (Hum), have been published together as klong chen snying thig. Treasured rnying ma pa precepts and rituals received in a vision of klong chen pa dri med 'od zer by 'jigs med gling pa rang byung rdo rje mkhyen brtse'i 'od zer [New Delhi: Ngawang Sopa, 1973]. The three volume a 'dzom chos sgar redaction also appears as vols. 106-108 of the rin chen gter mdzod chen mo [[[kong sprul blo gros mtha' yas]], Rin chen gter mdzod chen mo, a reproduction of the stod lung mtshur phu redaction of 'jam mgon kong sprul's great work on the unity of the gter ma traditions of Tibet, with supplemental texts from the dpal spungs redaction and other manuscripts (Paro: Ngodrup and Sherab Drimay, 1976-], hereafter abbreviated rin chen gter mdzod. More recently, what appears to be a fourth volume of klong snying teachings from an a 'dzom chos sgar redaction, marked simply "klong chen snying thig rtsa pod hrih" on the boards, was issued from the library of dil mgo mkhyen brtse, without a title page or colophonic markings giving the publication date. This volume contains many additional klong snying teachings by 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse'i dbang po, as well as texts by rdo grub 'jigs med phrin las 'od zer [[[rdo grub chen rin po che]] I (1745-1821)], rdo grub 'jigs med bstan pa'i nyi ma [[[rdo grub chen]] III (1865-1926)], and dil mgo mkhyen brtse himself. For the sake of convenience I shall cite the three volume collection under the abbreviation klong snying (a 'dzom), and the supposed fourth volume as klong snying (Hrih). The arrangement and number of texts in the klong snying (a 'dzom) three volume collection is virtually identical to the two volume collection in Coll. Works (J) [vols. VII(Ja), VIII(Nya)]. Because of the vastly superior quality of the a 'dzom chos sgar redaction, however, I will preferentialy cite indivisual texts in that collection only.
In addition to these major collections, a number of individual works have been used. For ease of reference, I have arranged these texts more or less according to their date of composition, and assigned each a number.
Text #1. rdogs chen pa rang byung rdo rje'i don gyi rnam thar do ha'i rgyan [Coll. Works (J), vol. IX(Ta), rnam thar, pp. 501-509], hereafter abbreviated as do ha'i rgyan. This short autobiographical work, written in verse, was composed sometime before 1787, the date given for the carving of its blocks [see rnam thar chen mo, p. 351.6 (listed as text #2, below)].
Text #2. yul lho rgyud du byung ba'i rdzogs chen pa rang byung rdo rje mkhyen brtse'i 'od zer gyi rnam par thar pa [Coll. Works(J), vol. IX(Ta), rnam thar, pp. 1-500], hereafter abbreviated as rnam thar chen mo. The bulk of this text was composed and revised by 'jigs med gling pa; it was completed by padma dbang chen rol pa'i rtsal (alias 'od zer phrin las). It is divided into three major sections: (1) Legs byas yongs 'du'i snye ma]] (pp. 1-37), dealing with his birth and education up to 1757; (2) sgrub pa nan tan dang 'brel ba'i skor (pp. 38-148), begins with events in 1759; and (3) las kyi 'khor dang 'brel ba'i skor (pp. 149-500). This third section is itself divided into three untitled parts: (3a) pp. 149-388, written and revised by 'jigs med gling pa, covers the years 1764-1793; (3b) pp. 389-454, covers up to the end of his life (1798); and (3c) pp. 455-500, written by padma dbang chen rol pa'i rtsal, details the period leading up the death of 'jigs med gling pa, the funeral rites, and subsequent events.
Text #3. rig 'dzin 'jigs med gling pa'i 'khrungs rabs gsol 'debs [Coll. Works(J), vol. V(Ca), pp. 709.3-710.3), reprinted in klong snying (hrih), pp. 11-12. A short verse work composed by 'jigs med gling pa (signed mkhyen brtse'i lha at the request of rje btsun jnana, listing his previous lifes. Hereafter it is abbreviated as 'khrungs rabs gsol 'debs.
Text #4. rig 'dzin 'jigs med gling pa'i 'khrungs rabs rnam thar nyung bsdus [Col. Works(J), vol. V(Ca), pp. 721-728]. Written by 'jigs med gling pa, this text provides background information on his previous lives, as listed in text #3, as well as giving a brief sketch of the major events in his present life. Hereafter it is abbreviated as rnam thar nyung bsdus.
Text #5. rdzogs chen pa rang byung rdo rje'i rnam thar gsol 'debs [Coll. Works(J), vol. V(Ca), pp. 7103-712.3]; reprinted in klong snying (hrih), pp. 13-16. Written by 'jigs med phrin las 'od zer [[[rdo grub chen]]I (1745-1821)], it is a short work, in verse, on the life of his teacher 'jigs med gling pa. Hereafter it is abbreviated as rnam that gsol 'debs.
Text #6. gnad byang thugs kyi sgrom bu [Coll. Works(J), vol. Vii(Ja), pp. 69-78)]; reprinted in klong snying(a 'dzom), vol. I(Om). pp. 67-78. This is the gter chos within the klong snying corpus which contains the various prophecies concerning the klong snying revelations and those individuals who will have a special connection (rten 'brel) with it. Hereafter it is abbreviated as gnad byang.
Text #7. gsang ba chen po nyams snang gi rtogs brjod chu zla'i gar mkhan [Coll. Works(J), vol. VV(Ja), pp. 15-67]; reprinted in klong snying(a 'dzom), vol. I(Om), pp. 17-68. composed after the revelation of gnad byang (which it quotes), it is 'jigs med gling pa's fullest account of the klong snying revelations. Hereafter it is abbreviated as rtogs brjod.
Text #8. klong chen snying gi thig le'i rtogs pa brjod pa dakki'i gsang gtam chen mo [Coll. Works(J), vol. VII(Ja), pp. 1-14]; reprinted in klong snying (a 'dzom), vol. I(Om), pp. 4-16. A shorter version of the klong snying revelations, written after rtogs brjod (to which it refers the reader). Hereafter it is abbreviated as dakki'i gsang gtam.
Text #9. klong chen snying gi thig le'i bzhugs byang dkar chag gi rim pa phan bde'i sgo 'khar 'byed pa'i lde mig by shakya'i dge slong 'gyur med skal ldan rgya mtsho [East Asiatic Library Tibetan Collection, text no. 256, University of California, Berkeley], 15 fols. Written ca. 1878, upon the occasion of a printing of the klong snying corpus in Central Tibet, the blocks subsequently being stored at the monastery of gnas chung sgra dbyangs gling (see fol. 15b4). It is divided into three main sections: (1) a short account of the klong snying revelations and how this particular edition came to be, entitled klong snying mdo tsam (fols 3a5 - 7a3); (2) a dkar chag to the edition, which is divided into two parts and tallies very closely (but is not identical) in content and arrangement with the two volume klong snying collection in Coll. Works(J), entitled bzhugs byang dkar chag (fols. 7a5 - 13a2); (3) a final verse section recounting the benefit of this klong snying printing, entitled phan yon (fols. 13a2 - 14a4), and dedication of merit prayers, bsngo smon (fols. 14a4 - 15b3). I am grateful to ngor thar tse mkhan rin po che bsod nams rgya mtsho (Hiroshi Sonami) for bringing this text to my attention. Hereafter it is abbreviated as bzhugs byang dkar chag.
Text #10. bod du byung ba'i gsang sngags snga 'gyur gyi bstan 'dzin skyes mchog rim byon gyi rnam thar nor bu'i do shal. A concise history of the Nyingmapa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism by rig 'dzin kun bzang nges don klong yangs (rdo rje gsang ba rtsal) [Dalhousie (Himal Pradesh): Damchoe Sangpo, 1976]. Written in 1882, four year before kong sprul's more famous gter ston brgya rtsa (text #11), it makes use of the as yet unidentified source entitled gter ston rgya mtsho'i rnam thar nor bu'i phreng ba, as well as the account of the lives of ger ma masters written by dre'u lhas grub dbang gyung mgon rdo rje (the son of sle lung bzhad pa'i rdo rje). Unfortunately, the section on 'jigs med gling pa's life is quite short (pp. 352-2 - 354.6). Hereafter it is abbreviated as nor bu'i do shal.
Text #11. gter ston brgya rtsa'i rnam thar by 'jam mgon kong sprul blo gros mtha' yas [in rin chen gter mdzod, Paro: Ngodrup and Shesrab Drimay, 1976, vol. 1, pp. 291-759]. Written in 1886, the account of 'jigs med gling pa's life is given on pp. 727.3 (fol. 219a3) - 735.6 (fol. 223a5). Hereafter this work is abbreviated as [[gter ston brgya rtsa).
Text #12. kun mkhyen chos gyi rgyal po rig 'dzin 'jigs med gling pa'i bka' 'bum yongs rdzogs kyi bzhugs byang chos rab rnam 'byed [Coll. Works(J), vol. V(Ca), pp. 1-35]. This text, as printed, is badly mixed up (pp. 2.3-8.6 are identical to pp. 14.2-20.6), yet it contains a wealth of information. It was written by someone named rdo rje rgyal mtshan, apparently ca. 1901 (pp. 27.5, 33.5). This seems rather late for inclusion in the 9 volume sde dge edition of 'jigs med gling pa's collected works. Given the mixed up state of the text (which was traced or handcopied), perhaps a copying error crept in, and the rab byung is the fourteenth (not the fifteenth, as given). The question is left open for now. When properly ordered, the text seems to be divided into four major sections: (1) an account of 'jigs med gling pa's visionary experiences, abruptly beginning with his twenty-fifth year (1754), continuing with a description of the klong snying revelation (1764), and the subsequent events leading up to the first carving of blocks, in sde-dge, for the nine volume edition of his bka' 'bum (in the 1790s) [pp. 1-2.3; 31.1-32.6; 9.1-14.2]; (2) a detailed dkar chag to the nine volume bka' 'bum, entitled bzhugs byang dkar chag [pp. 14.2-20.6 (identical to pp. 2.3-8.6)]; (3) verses on benefits (phan yon) [pp. 20.6-22.5], and dedication prayers (bsngo smon) [pp. 22.5-25.6]; (4) detailed information regarding the gathering of texts and collection of donations for carving the blocks for the bka' 'bum [pp. 25.6-30.6]. Hereafter this text is abbreviated as bka' 'bum bzhugs byang.
Text #13. A Concise Historical Account of the Techniques of Esoteric Realisation of the Nyingmapa and other Buddhist Traditions of Tibet, being the text of snga 'gyur rdo rje theg pa gtso bor gyur pa'i sgrub brgyud shing rta brgyad kyi byang ba brjod pa'i gtam mdor bsdus legs bshad padma dkar po'i rdzing bu, by Zhe chen rgyal tshab Padma rnam rgyal [Leh: Sonam W. Tashigangpa, 1971] (Smanrtsis Shesrig Spendzod, vol. 10). Written in 1910, the author was the literary executor for his main teacher (rtsa ba'i bla ma), the famed ris med scholar 'ju mi pham rgya mtsho (1846-1912). The account of 'jigs med gling pa's life is given on pp. 262.5-267.3, and closely follows the account given in gter ston brgya rtsa in both content and diction. Hereafter this text is abbreviated as zhe chen chos 'byung.
Text #14. gangs ljongs rgyal bstan yongs rdzogs kyi phyi mo snga 'gyur rdo rje theg pa'i bstan pa rin po che ji ltar byung ba'i tshul dag cing gsal bar brjod pa lha dbang gyur la rgyal ba'i rnga bo che'i sgra dbyangs, by bdud 'joms 'jigs bral ye shes rdo rje [The Collected Writings and Revelations of H.H. bdud 'joms rin po che 'jigs bral ye shes rdo rje (Kalimpong: Dupjung Lama, 1979), vol. 1]. Written in 1962 (see p. 844.10), this seems to be a third, slightly revised edition of the work previously published in 1964 and again in 1967. bdud 'joms rin po che cites the gter ston brgya rtsa as a basic source for his accounts of the lves of gter ma masters (p. 523,4). Indeed, his life of 'jigs med gling pa (pp. 636.6-645.6) is virtually identical to that given by kong sprul. Hereafter this text is abbreviated as bdud 'joms chos 'byung.
For ease of reference and by way of summary, the following chart lists these basic sources by abbreviation and date of composition, when known, into three groups.
Chart 2.4 Basic Sources
A. Basic biographical sources by 'jigs med gling pa or disciples
- 1. do ha'i rgyan [ca. 1787]
- 2. rnam thar chen mo
- 3. 'khrungs rabs gsol 'debs
- 4. rnam thar nyung bsdus
- 5. rnam thar gsol 'debs
B. Primary sources for the klong snying revelations
C. Later sources
- 9. bzhugs byang dkar chag [ca. 1878]
- 10. nor bu'i do shal 
- 11. gter ston brgya rtsa 
- 12. bka' 'bum bshugs byang [1901 (?)]
- 13. zhe chen chos 'byung 
- 14. bdud 'joms chos 'byung 
In addition to these Tibetan sources, I have used two English introductions to Tibetan works, written by E. Gene Smith. For an historical overview of 'jigs med gling pa's place in eighteenth century Tibet and a survey of his work, see The Autobiographical Reminiscences of ngag dbang dpal bzang, Late Abbot of Kah thog Monastery (with English preface by E. Gene Smith) [Gangtok: Sonam T. Kazi, 1969] (Ngagyur Nyingmay Sungrab, vol. 1), pp. 9 ff.; hereafter abbreviated as Auto. Rem. See also Kongtrul's Encyclopedia of Indo-Tibetan Culture, Parts 1-3, edited by Prof. Dr. Lokesh Chandra with an Introduction by E. Gene Smith [New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1970], pp. 23 ff, Appendix III A; hereafter abbreviated as Kongtrul Ency.
6 Unless otherwise noted, all European dates have been calculated using D. Schuh's computer generated tables, according to the methods of the so-called "new grub rtsis" of the Phugs-pa school, which the sde srid sangs rgyas rgya mtsho seems to have made official in 1696. See Dieter Schuh, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte Der Tibetischen Kalenderrechnung (Verzeichnis Der Orientalischen Handschriften In Deutschland, Suplementband 16) [Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1973]], pp. 169 ff. and Tabellen. Kong-sprul rightly observes the auspicious coincidence that the 18th day of the 12th month was also the date of klong chen rab 'byams pa's death, seemingly prefiguring the enormous influence this great rdzogs chen master would exert on the visionary life of 'jigs med gling pa. The use of Schuh's tables, however, somewhat complicates the degree of coincidence. According to klong chen pa's biographer chos grags bzang po, the master was born on the 8th day of the 2nd month of earth-Male-Monkey year, and died on the 18th day of the 12th month of Water-Female-Hare year. See kun mkhyen dri med 'od zer kyi rnam thar mthong pa don ldan [in snying thig ya bzhi of klong chen pa dri med 'od zer (New Delhi: Trulku Tsewang, Jamyang and L. Tashi, 1970), vol. 9 (bi ma snying thig, Part 3), part Tsha], pp. 5.4, 61.3. All four Tibetan calendrical systems used by Schuh agree that the birthday converts to 1 March 1308. His date of death, however, is either: (1) 25 December 1363, according to the old grub rtsis of the Phugs pa school; (2) 24 December 1363, according to the byed rtsis based on the Kalacakratantra; (3) 23 December 1363, according the the byed rtsis of 'phags pa; or (4) 22 January 1364, according to the new [[grub rtsis] of the Phugs-pa school.
7 This is tha tomb of King Sron-btsan sgam po. For a description, photograph, and map showing the location, se Alfonsa Ferrari, mkhyen brtse's Guide to the Holy Places of Central Tibet (Serie Orientale Roma, vol. XVI) [Rome: Instituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1958], p. 53, pl. 31, map C. Hereafter this source is abbreviated mkhyen brtse's Guide. For the layout and description of the tomb, see Erik Haarth, The Yar-lung Dynasty (Copenhagen: G.E.C. GAd's Forlag, 1969), pp. 389-391. 'jigs med gling pa developed a great interest in writing descriptions of various holy places in and around the 'phyongs rgyas region. He devoted two works specifically to the srong btsan bang so. See bkara shis srong btsan bang so'i gtam lo rgyus kyi mdzod khang [Coll. Wrks (J), vol. IV(Nga), gtam tshogs, pp. 241.3-263.4], and bkra shis srong btsan bang so'i dkar chag [ibid., pp. 263.4 - 268.6]; see also notes 28, 30, 69 and 83.
8 rnam thar chen mo, p. 9.3 f. rnam thar nyung bsdus (p. 726.1) adds that it was in the Eastern part of bdus (g. yo ru dbus), and Kong-sprul tells us the place was near dpal ri monastery (gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 727.6.), on which, see below, note 28. The prophecy mentioned in rnam thar chen mo, which specifies this area of 'phyongs rgyas as the future birth-place of one named 'od zer, is more fully quoted by 'jigs med gling pa in dpal ri theg pa chen po'i gling gi gtam rdo rje sgra ma'i rgyud mngas [Coll. Works (J), vol. IV (Nga), gtam tshogs], p. 271.3. In the same work (p. 271.5f), he also mentions the birth prophecy contained in the [[[gter lam mkha' ri'i]]] zhu lan of Gu-ru Chos-dbang. Elsewhere, 'jigs med gling pa uotes from the lung bstan bka' rgya ma, a special prophecy from the bla ma dgongs 'dus of Sangs rgyas gling pa, to the effect that one bearing the name 'od zer will be born into the South (see dakki'i gsang gtam, p. 5.2; rtogs brjod, p. 40.2). Kong-sprul adds the names of chos rje gling pa and his disciple rwa ston [[[stobs ldan rdo rje]]] to the list of those who prophesied the birth (se gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 727.5). The chos rje gling pa prophecy is confirmed by a passage in rtogs brjod (p. 40.1); on rwa ston (alias padma tshe dbang rtsal), see rtogs brjod, p. 55.2. One the importance of these two figures, see Chart 2.3 (#1, #6), and notes 26, 33, and 38.
9 gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 727.6. Gene Smith adds that these were 'brug pa masters connected with rwa lung (see Auto. Rem., p. 9). 'jigs med gling pa does in fact mention his connection with the 'brug pa ["rnal 'byor dbang phyug mi la bzhad pa rdo rje'i thugs skyed las chos rje 'brug pa zhes]]" (rnam thar chen mo, p. 8.1)]. Yet in another place, he seems to indicate that his own father was born into a family associated with the 'bri gung pa (see rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 725.4, and below, note 24).
10 kong sprul, for example, mentions that he is the immediate reembodiment (sku'i skye ba de ma thag pa) of rig 'dzin chos rje gling pa -- himself the combined emanation of Vimalamitre, chos rgyal khri srong lde'u btsan, and rgyal sras lha rje -- and that while a young boy 'jigs med gling pa remembered having been chos rje gling pa, and sangs rgyas bla ma as well [see gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 727.3f., and below, notes 18 (Chart 2.5, #1, #12), 26, and 33].
11 dga' rab rdo rje is regarded as the first nirmanakaya manifestation in most works dealing with the rdzogs chen lineages, 'jigs med gling pa's dharmakaya and sambhogakaya forms, respectively, are given in Chart 2.1 as #1. kun tu bzang po (Avalokiteshvara). 'jigs med gling pa recounts the standard events in the remarkable life of dga' rab rdo rj: his "pristine birth" from a dge slong ma, daughter of the Kind Dharma ashva; his receiving the name dga' rab rdo rje for bringing happiness to his father after the defeat in debate with many scholars; the gathering of some 6,400,000 verses of the rdzogs chen tantras, and then arranging them with the aid of a dakini; and his travelling to bsil tshal Cemetery (see rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 722.1f). This summary account can be traced back to the rdzogs pa chen po snying tig lo rgyus chen mo [[[snying thig ya bzhi]], vol. 9 (bi ma snying thig, part 3), part Tha], pp. 89.2ff. Here the mother's name is given as Kudharma, the daughter of King Uparaja and Queen snang bu gsal ba'i 'od ldan ma. The story is repeated in bdud 'joms chos 'byung (pp. 120.2ff), where the mother's name is given as Sudharma.
12 'jigs med gling pa mentions a certain son of Kriki (elsewhere spelled Krkri, Kriki, etc.) who lived in the time of the Buddha Kashyapa and took bodhisattva vows (rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 722.6f). The story seems to have first appeared in the Abhidharma work Lokaprajnapti, where a King Kriki (!) is said to have tken brahmacarya vows in the presence of the Buddha Kashyapa, and to have had a son named legs par skyes (presumably these events occurred in reverse order). The story is repeated in the Blue Annals, where the King's name is spelled Krkri. See 'jigs rten bzhag pa [Lokaprajnapti] in Daisetz T. Suzuki, ed., The Tibetan Tripitaka (Tokyo: Tibetan Tripitaka Research Institute, 1957), vol. 115, pp. 34.5.6ff.; Lokesh Chandra, ed., The Blue Annals of 'gos lotsava gzhon nu dpal (Sata Pitaka Series, vol. 212) [New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1974], p. 18.3f; George N. Roerich, trans., The Blue Annals (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass., 1976), p. 16.
13 jigs med gling pa mentions one called dga' bo (Skt. Nanda) as the younger brother ([g]cung) of the Buddha Sakyanumi (see rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 723.1). This is Gautama Siddhartha's half-brother Nanda, whose mother was Mahaprajapati. Upon learning that Nanda, like his more famous brother, was about to enter the religious life, his grieving father Suddhodana begged the Sakyamuni to amend the Vinaya rules so that henceforth a son must have parental approval before joining the samgha, and the change was then made. The story is told in Mahavagga I. 54.4 - 54.6. See I.B. Horner, trans., The Books of Discipline (Vinaya Pitaka) [London: Luzac & Company, 1957], vol. IV (Mahavagga), p. 104. 'jigs med gling pa recalled this lifetime while in a three-year retreat (1756-1759) at dpal ri (see rtogs brjod, p. 43.5f).
14 jigs med gling pa recalled his life as A-kar-ma toward the end of a three-year retreat at dpal ri (ca. 1759) [[[rtogs brjod]], p. 49.2]. Elsewhere he reports that a dge slong a kar ma ti was 'emanated' (sprul) by King Srong btsan sgam po and sent to India to retrieve a precious self-arisen religious object (rang byon 'phags pa'i sku) [[[rnam thar nyung bsdus]], p. 723.3]. Without naming A-kar ma/A-kar ma-ti, Bu-ston reports that during the time srong btsan sgam po was king, a fine sandalwood statue of an eleven-faced Avalokiteshvara was brought to Tibet, and that this tate was regarded as 'self-originated' (rang byung du byon). See Lokesh Chandra, ed., The Collected works of Bu-ston (Sata-Pitaka Series, vol. 64) [New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1971], Part 24 (Ya), p. 879.5f, and E. Obermiller, trans., History of Buddhism in India and Tibet (Materialien zur Kunde des buddhismus, 19. Heft) [Heidelberg, 1932, rpt. Tokyo: Suzuki Research Foundation, 1964], p. 184. According to tradition, the image retrieved by A-kar-ma was then placed in the interior of the famous statue known as thugs rje chen po rang byong lnga ldan, one of a group of four revered statues which, until recently, resided in the sprul pa'i gtsug lag khang in Lha-sa [see mkhyen brtse's Guide, pp. 39, 86 (n. 40)].
15 'jigs med gling pa briefly recounts the well known details of King khri srong lde'u btsan's reign, in particular, the building of bsam yas monastery and the firm establishment of the Buddhadharma in Tibet (see rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 723.4f).
16 jigs med gling pa recalled his life as Virupa during his three-year retreat at dpal ri (see rtogs brjod, p. 35.6f). Elsewhere he mentions the well known connection between the Mahasiddha Virupa and the Hevajratantra and the sa skya lam 'bras teachings (rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 724.2).
17 'jigs med gling pa briefly recounts that Princess lha lcam padma gsal, the daughter of King khri srong lde'u btsan and disciple of Guru Rinpoche, received the mkha' 'gro snying thig teachings rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 724.1). The mkha' 'gro snying thig gi bla ma brgyud pa'i lo rgyus [[[snying thig ya bzhi]], vol.2 (mkha' 'gro snying thig, Part 1), pp. 11-16]. and mkha' 'gro snying thig gi lo rgyus [ibid., pp. 69-74], give the details of the mkha' 'gro snying thig lineage. The life of the princess, her rebirth as klong chen rab 'byams pa are recounted in bdud bdud 'joms chos 'byung, pp. 214.3ff. The gter-ston o rgyan padma gling pa (b. 1450) was regarded as the fifth rebirth of this princess (see [[gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 460.5). See also, mkhyen brtse's Guide, pp. 45, 116 (n. 152).
18 'jigs med gling pa places rgyal sras lha rje in the time of King ral pa can, and states that according to a Guru Rinpoche prophecy he is to have thirteen emanations as a gter ston (rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 724.2). Kong-sprul reports that rgyal sras lha rje as regarded as a 'mind emanation' (thugs sprul) of khri srong lde'u btsan (gter ston brgya rtsa, p.522.4). Depending on the sources used, the list of these thirteen emanations differs slightly. We have therefore prepared a chart (Chart 2.5) based on the list as given in gter ston brgya rtsa. Each name is followed by the page reference, in parenthesis, where their biography is given. Square brackets are used to record differences according to the list compiled by E. Gene Smith (in Kongtrul Ency., Appendix III A), plus additional comments.
Chart 2.5 The 13 gter-ston Emanations of rgyal sras lha rje
(source: gter ston brgya rtsa)
- 1. sangs rgyas bla ma (pp. 361.4-363.5)
- 2. rgya lo tsa ba rdo rje bzang po (pp. 363.5-364.4)
- 3. gter ston nyi ma seng ge (pp. 367.4-368.3)
- 4. do ban rgya mtsho 'od (pp. 402.4-403.3)
[Smith gives #4 As: gter ston ku sa sman pa (see pp. 373.6-375.4)]
- 5. khyung nag shakya dar (p. 406.2) [Smith lists two: 5a. do ban rgya mtsho 'od (same as our #4) 5b. zur paksri shakya (see p. 403.1, where he is listed only as the teacher of do ban rgya mtsho 'od, and not as a gter ston emanations)]
- 6. [[grwa sgom chos kyi rdo rje (pp. 405.6-406.6)
- 7. yar rje o rgyan gling pa (pp. 419.3-423.3)
- 8. (?) sngags 'chang las 'phro gling pa (pp. 525.6-526.3)
- 9. mnga 'ris pan chen padma dbang rgyal (pp. 552.3-556.6)
- 10. e spe cog gar dbang las 'phro gling pa (pp. 574.4-576.2)
[Smith gives variant spelling: E sbe lcogs]
[Smith gives: spo bo ra zhi gter ston padma rig 'dzin]
- 12. gter ston rog rje gling pa (pp. 428.4-432.6) [Alias chos rje gling pa, dbon rje gling pa, dwags po chos rje gling pa, o rgyan rog rje gling pa, chos rje 'dzam gling rdo rje, bde ba'i rdo rje]
[Smith gives: o rgyan chos rje gling pa]
- 13. padma 'od gsal mdo snags gling pa (pp. 659.4-679.2) [alias 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse'i dbang po, rdo rje gzi brjid; recognized as the 'mind incarnation' (thugs prul) of 'jigs med gling pa]
19 'jigs med gling pa briefly recounts the famous story of dri med kun ldan (the Indian Prince Vessantara) who, due to a vow never to refuse to give anything asked of him, gave away the fortune of his kingdom. As punishment he was exiled, along with his wife Maddi. In time he gave away his wife, and finally even his own eyes, thereby demonstrating he had totally perfected the paramita of giving (see rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 723.3f). These events, based on the Vessantara Jataka, became the basis for one of the most popular plays in Tibet, dri med kun ldan gyi rnam thar. See Vessantara Jataka [in E.B. Cowell, ed., The Jataka or Stories of the Buddha's Former Births (Cambridge, 1895; rpt. London: The Pali Text Society, 1973), Vol. VI, pp. 246-305]; E.D. Ross, ed. and trans., The Story of Ti-med kun den; a Tibetan nam-thar (Bibliotheca indica, n.s., n. 1326) [Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1912]; Jacques Bacot, "Drimed kunden. Une version tibetained dialoguess du Vessantara Jataka", Journal Asiatique, ser. xi, vol. iv , pp. 221-305; Jacques Bacot, Representations theatrales dan les monasteres du Tibet; trois mysteres tibetains: Tchrimekundan, Djroazanmo, Nansal (Paris: Editions Bossard, 191).
20 'jigs med gling pa mentions this famed gter-ston's biography of Guru Rinpoche, [Pdma bka'i] Thang-yig (rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 724.3f). Equally famous are his revelations collectively known as bka' thang sde lnga. See bka' thang sde lnga, An account of the gods and demons, kings, queens, scholar saints, and ministers of the past. Revealed from its place of concealment by gter ston o rgyan gling pa (Paro: Ngodup, 1976). The Guru Rinpoche biography, which has yet to be critically studied on the basis of the extant Tibetan and Mongolian versions, suffered a quite loose, yet poetically inspired translation at the hand of the Breton adventurer Gustave-Charles Toussaint. See Gustave-Charles Toussaint, trans., Le Dict de Padma, Padma thang yig, Ms. de Lithang (Bibliotheque de l'Institut de Hautes Etudes Chinoises, vol. III) [Paris: Librairie Ernest Leroux, 1933], and Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays, trns., The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, Padma bka'i Thang (Everyville, Calif.: Dharma Publishing, 1978). See also note 18 (Chart 2.5, #7).
21 'jigs med gling pa clearly indicates this is dwags sgam po pa, whom he mentions in connection with the naro'i chos drug and phyag chen teachings (se rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 724.4).
22 'jigs med gling pa refers to klong chen pa by his ordination name ngag gi dbang po, and mentions two collections of his teachings, mdzod bdun and shing rta rnam gsum (see rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 724.6f). The contents of these teachings are detailed by zhe chen rab 'byams pa II 'gyur med kun bzang rnam rgyal (1713-1763) in his rgyal ba gnyis pa kun mkhyen ngag gi dbang po'i gsung rab las mdzod bdun ngal gso gsang tik rnams rmad byung 'phrul gyi phyi chos ji ltar bsgrub pa'i tshul las brtsams pa'i ngo mtshan gtam gyi gling bu skal bzang rna ba'i dga' ston (Gangtok: Dodrup Sangyay Lama, 1976), hereafter abbreviated as mdzod bdun dkar chag. This work was written at Zhe-chen in 1755, on the occasion of a printing of klong chen pa's works at rdzogs chen monastery. In addition to discussing the mdzod bdun (pp. 123.1-126.2) and the shing rta rnam gsum (pp. 128.4-130.3), it also contains a brief history of the rnying ma traditions (p. 1-39.1); the life of klong-chen-pa (p. 39.1-56.5); the life of rdzogs chen sprul sku I Padma Rig 'dzin (1625-1697) [pp. 69.2-88.1]; rdzogs chen sprul sku II 'gyur med theg mchog bstan 'dzin (b. 1699) [pp. 88.1ff]; and details regarding the rdzogs chen redaction of klong-chen-pa's works (pp. 104ff). A survey of klong-chen-pa's works is also given in Herbert V. Guenther, trans., Kindly Bent To Ease Us, Part One: Mind ([[sems nyid ngal gso) [Emeryville, Calif.: Dharma Publishing, 1975], pp. xiv-xx.
23 'jigs med gling pa recalled his former life as mnga' ris pan chen while in a three-year retreat at dpal ri monastery (rtogs brjod, p. 45.4) In rnam thar nyung bsdus (p. 725.2), he is mentioned as a transmitter of rnying ma, gsar ma, bka' ma, and gter ma teachings. His life as a gter ston is given in gter ston brgya rtsa (pp. 552.3-556.6) [see note 18 (Chart 2.5, #9)]. [[mnga' ris pan chen (1487-1582) is perhaps most famous, however, for his treatise on the sdom gsum problem, popularly called the sdom gsum rnam nges, which came to be regarded as the authoritative statement of the snying ma viewpoint. As kindly brought to my attention by mkhan po dpal ldan shes rab, it was a dispute over the meaning of a phrase in the sdom gsum rnam nges ["rdzogs pa chen po ye shes spyi yi gzugs"], that finally enabled 'ju mi pham rgya mtsho to defeat his opponent 'ja' pa mdo sngags in a famous debate which had originally centered on the meaning of the ninth chapter of the Bodhicaryavatara. The passage in question is found in mnga' ris pan chen, rang bzhin rdzogs pa chen po'i lam gyi cha lag sdom pa gsum rnam par nges pa [[[ka sbug]](kalompong: Ma-ni rin-ding par-khang, 1962 (?)], fol. 1b3, and the commentary rang bzhin rdzogs pa chen po'i lan gyi cha lag sdom gsum rnam par nges pa'i bstan bcos kyi tshig don legs pa'i 'grel pa 'jam dbyangs dgyes par zhal lung [Ka-sbug (kalimpong): phung gling gsung rab nyams gso rgyun spel par khan, 1962], fols. 5a6ff. For an account of the debate, see Steven D. Goodman, "mi pham rgya mtsho: An account of His Life", Wind Horse (Proceedings of the North American Tibetological Society) 1 (1981), pp. 63ff.
24 'jigs med gling pa recalled this former life while in his three-year retreat at dpal ri (rtogs brjod, p. 50.1). According to rnam thar nyung bsdus (p. 725.4). chos rgyal phun tshogs was the son of the 'bri gung rin chen phun tshogs, and 'jigs med gling pa's own father was born into this line.
25 This former life was remembered while in the tree-year retreat at dpal-ri (rtogs brjod, p. 50.1). rnam thar nyung bsdus (p. 725.5), refers to bkra shis stobs rgyal as a byang gter bla ma. According to the English preface to nor bu'i do shal, he was the author of a work entitled gter ston brgya rtsa'i mtshan sdom gsol 'debs, on which a commentary was written by karma mi 'gyur dbang gi rgyal po of zab bu monastery. This commentary was recently published as karma mi 'gyur dbang rgyal, gter ston brgya rtsa'i mtshan sdom gsol 'debs chos rgyal bkra this stobs rgyal gyi mdzad pa'i 'grel pa lo rgyus gter ston chos 'byung (Darjeeling: Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche Pema Wangyal, 1978). The preface to this work states that the author of the root-text, byang bdag bkra shis stobs rgyal, was the father of the founder of rdo rje brag Monastery, rig 'dzin ngag gi dbang po (1580-1639).
26 'jigs med gling pa recalled this former life at a young age (zhe chen chos 'byung, p. 263.1). In rnam thar nyung bsdus (p. 725.6), 'jigs med gling pa gives the name rig 'dzin 'dzam gling rdo rje, which is an alias for chos rje gling pa [see note 18 (Chart 2.5, #12)]. This gter-ston, of whome 'jigs med gling pa was the 'immediate reembodiment' (see note 10), had several students who were teachers of 'jigs med gling pa (see Chart 2.3). His life is discussed below, in note 33.
27 This is an as yet unidentified Arhant.
28 See do ha'i rgyan, p. 502.4; rnam thar chen mo, p. 106f; and rnam thar nyung bsdus, p. 726.1. All sources agree on his age of entry into the monastery. here and throughout this study, I have recorded ages more tibetico, thus "in his sixth year" would mean, according to Occidental convention, that he was fivce years old. The monastery he entered was originally known as rdor smin dpal ri, or by its Sanskrit name Sriparvata. dpal ri is located near the birthplacr of 'jigs med gling pa, just southeast of bang so dmar po. It was founded by the 'ruler' (hor mi dbang) bsod nams stobs gyi rgyal po, during the time of rgyal dbang kar ma pa VIII mi bskyod rdo rje (1507-1554). 'jigs med gling pa gives a detailed description of dpal ri in dpal ri theg pa chen po'i gling gi gtam rdo rje sgra ma'i rgyud mngas [Coll. Works(J), vol. IV(Nga), gtam tshogs, pp. 268.6-282.6]. See also mkhyen brtse's Guide, pp. 53, 131 (n. 300), Map C; and note 7, above.
29 rnam thar chen mo (p. 11.1) records this event but, curiously, does not mention the name given. The name is recorded in gter ston brgya rtsa (p. 728.2), and zhen chen chos 'byung (p. 263.2). sprul sku don grub kindly informed me that mtsho rgyal ngag dbang blo bzang was head of studies at dpal ri. As one of 'jigs med gling pa's teachers, he is shown in Chart 2.3 (#5); see also note 37, below.
30 His wide study of exoteric subjects bore fruition in his writings collectively called gtam gyi tshogs theg pa'i rgya mtsho [Coll. Works(J), vol, IV(Nga), gtam tshogs pp. 1-543]. As noted by Gene Smioth, both Tucci and Petech have made use of the geographical and historical studies in the gtam tshogs (although they failed to identify correctly the author). Still awaiting investigation, however, are the other writings of the collection, on such diverse topics as anthropology, folklore, gemology, architecture, and nitishastra. See Auto. Re., p. 9; mkhyen brtse's Guide, notes (passim); and notes 7, 69 and 83.
31 For an account of his received teachings (thob yig), see [[snga 'gyur rgyud 'bum rin po che dang[[/mdo sgyu sems gsum gyis mtshon bka' ma'i sgrub phrin/mdzod bdun/snying thig ya bzhi/gter kha gong 'og gtso bor gyur pa'i thob yig nyi zla'i rna cha [Coll. Works(J), vol. V(Ca), pp. 865-890], hereafter abbreviated as thob yig. The thob yid is divided into four main sections:  rying ma Tantras (Maha, Anu, and Ati teachings). [[/ 867-876.2;  klong chen pa's teachings, sub-divided into: [2a] General (shing rta rnam gsum, mdzod bdun, gsang snying 'grel pa), pp. 876.2-878.6; and [2b] Special (snying thig ya bzhi, etc.), pp. 878.6-880.4;  Other rnying ma teachings, pp. 880.4-886.3; and  gsar ma teachings (gsar ma Tantras, various gsung 'bum, etc.), pp. 886.3-890.
32 The sources used for Chart 2.3 are gter ston brgya rtsa, and nor bu'i do shal (see note 5, text #10 for full reference.
33 Under the name o rgyan rog rje gling pa (alias gter chen chos rje gling pa), there is a very useful biography of chos rje gling pa in nor bu'i do sha (pp. 321.3-327.6). This same source is quoted in full in Khetsun Sangpo, Biographical Dictionary of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism [Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1973], vol. IV (The rnying ma pa tradition, Part Two), pp. 415-421. Hereafter this source is abbreviated as Bio. Dict. Listed under the name gter ston rog rje gling pa (alias dbon rje gling pa, bde ba'i rdo rje, there is a biographical sketch give in [gter ston brgya rtsa]] (pp. 428.4-432.6). nor bu'i do shal reports that chos rje gling pa was born in the Water-Dog year, Bio. Dict. adding that it was the eleventh rab byung, which was in 1682, in gru mkhar rdzong in the district of Dwags-po. After receiving the name 'dzam glig rdo rje from one named rje bzang rdo rje, he met many famous masters, including the following:
- A1. zhwa dmar VII ye shes snying po
- A2. rgyal dbang kar ma pa [XI] ye shes rdo rje (1675-1702)
- A3. gter ston rig 'dzin stag sham rdo rje 9alias bsam gtan rdo rje), born in 1655
The gter chos of teacher #A3, from the bka' rdzogs pa chen po padma yongs grol gsang ba'i snying thig cycle, was published under yet another alias. See stag sham nus ldan rdo rje, bla phur sbrags ma'i phrin las gsang ba don grol las tshogs mtshon cha'i phreng ba dang bcas (New Delhi: rta rna bla ma, 1974). See also, note 73, below.
chos rje gling pa had many students, both bka' brgyud pa and rnying ma pa. nor bu'i do shal lists the following:
bka' brgyud pa students
- B1. rgyal dbang kar ma pa [XII] byang chub rdo rje (1703-1732)
- B2. zhwa dmar VIII dpal chen chos kyi don grub
- B3. zhabs drung tro bo rin po che
- B4. 'brug pa rgyal ba mi pham dbang po
- B5. sgam po kun bzang nges don dbang po
rNying ma pa students
- C1. rwa ston stobs ldan rdo rje, alias gter ston rwa ston [see Chart 2.3 (#6), and note 38]
- C2. zhal slob rig 'dzin thugs mchog rdo rje [see Chart 2.3 (#2), and note 34]
gter ston brgya rtsa expands the list of students to include:
- D1. 'bri gung dkong mchog phrin las bzang po
- D2. lhun grub nges don dbang po (dwags po zhabs drung sprul sku)
- D3. dpag bsam dbang po ('brug pa thams cad mkhyen pa)
- D4. rig 'dzin padma phris las [[[rig 'dzin rdo rje brag]] II (1640? - 1718)]
- D5. smin gling rgyal sras padma 'gyur med rgya mtsho
Curiously, gter ston brgya rtsa omits any mention of rig 'dzin thugs mchog rdo rje (#C2), who was the rtsa ba'i bla ma of 'jigs med gling pa. This same source refers to byang chub rdo rje (#B1) as chos rje gling pa's chos bdag, and rwa ston (#C1) as his nang thugs sras gcig pu.
Tradition has it that chos rje gling pa, the twelfth emanation of [[rgyal sras lha rje, ws reborn as 'jigs med gling pa [see notes 10, 18 (Chart 2.4, #12), and 26]. An investigation of the available sources, however, reveals some conflicting evidence. kong sprul reports that chos rje gling pa did not live long, dying in the second month of the forty-fourth year (gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 432.4). Understood to mean "in his forty-fourth year", that would yield the date 1725, some five years before the birth of 'jigs med gling pa. A possible solution, however, might be to take the phrase as meaning the forty-fourth year of the next rab byung cycle, for this would yield the more favorable year 1730, the second month beginning on March 19th. More difficult, however, is the conflicting evidence regarding the place of birth. Whereas 'jigs med gling pa was born in the 'phyongs rgyas region, both nor bu'i do shal (p. 326.4f) and gter ston brgya rtsa (pp. 432.5, 638.1) state that the reembodiment of chos rje gling pa occurred in kong po at dga' chag (variant reading: dga' chags sde), and was recognized by the 'jigs rten dbang phyug [Kar-ma-pa XIII]. This is nicely confirmed by a short text written, on the occasion of his recognition, by kah thog tshe dbang nor bu (1698-1755), entitled grub pa kun gyi gzhung lam rmad 'byung ting 'dzin rgyun dbang snying gi bdud rtsi yang dag bla ma'i rnal 'byor [The Collected Works (gsung 'bum) of kah thog rig 'dzin chen po tshe dbang nor bu (Dalhousie, Himal Pradesh: Damchoe Sangpo, 1976), vol. II, pp. 397-404]. The table of contents for volume II describes this work: "Guruyoga instruction focussing upon Guru Padmasambhava written in 1738 at kong po dga' ldan mamo on the occasion of the recognition of the reembodiment of chos rje gling pa by the 13th Karmapa [[[bdud 'dul rdo rje]] (1733-1797)]." The author of this piece, tshe dbang nor bu, was a teacher of thugs mchog rdo rje, on whom see note 34, and Chart 2.3 (#2). The conflict between tradition and the available sources cannot, at present, be resolved. Perhaps future research will show that, as is not uncommon, there was more than one reembodiment of chos rje gling pa.
34 In Kong-sprul's biography, he is also known as rig 'dzin thugs mchog rdo rje him nag 'gro 'dul and kun bzang phrin las (gter ston brgya rtsa, pp. 630.5 - 632.6). His teachers are listed as follows:
- A1. rig 'dzin chos rje gling pa [who gave his the bla ma dgongs 'dus teachings]
- A2. rig 'dzin tshe dbang nor bu
- A3. rwa ston stobs ldan rdo rje [see Chart 2.3 (#6) and ntoe 38, where he is listed as thugs mchog rdo rje's chos bdag]
- A4. kun bzang rang grol [who gave him the dkon mchog spyi 'dus teachings (thob yig, p. 885.2)]
nor bu'i do shal (p. 327.4f) lists the following students:
- B1. zur mkhar gter ston rin po che
- B2. gter ston kun bzang bde chen rgyal po [alias smon lam rdo rje (gter ston brgya rtsa, pp. 634.2 - 636.2)]
- B3. 'brug thang gter chen
Curiously omitted is the name of 'jigs med gling pa, for thugs mchog rdo rje was his rtsa ba'i bla ma. This lapse is corrected, however, in the alternate list of students compiled by Kong sprul (gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 632.3f):
- C1. rig 'dzin 'jigs med gling pa
- C2. theg gling 'gro don mthar phyin [alias gter ston dri med gling pa (see Chart 2.3, #3, and note 35); here listed as chos bdag for gter chos of thugs mchog rdo rje (phyag rgya chen po ye shes mthong grol)]
- C3. [[kun bzang bde chen rgyal po [#B2, above]
- C4. gnubs nam mkha'i snying po
It was in his thirteenth year that 'jigs med gling pa met thugs mchog rdo rje and received his gter chos, the phyag rgya chen po ye shes mthong grol, thus establishing a close link and eventually coming to regard him as his rtsa ba'i bla ma. Later he received from him the phag mo zab rgya of bstan gnyis gling pa, and many other gter chos. See rnam thar chen mo, pp. 181f; thob yig, pp. 884.5, 885.2, 885.5; and gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 728.4f.
35 dri med gling pa was born in the clan (gdung rigs) of gter ston bde chen gling pa at zur mkhar theg chen gling [see name zur mkhar gter ston rin po che, listed as #B1 in note 34, above]. He received the name karma 'gro don mthar phyin from Kar-ma-pa XII byang chub rdo rje (1703-1732). rig 'dzin thugs mchog rdo rje recognized him as his [[chos bdag. His principal students were 'jigs med gling pa and lcags zam pa bstan 'dzin ye shes lhun grub (see Chart 2.3, #4, and note 36). He imparted both bka' ma and gter ma teachings, including his own gter chos, to 'jigs med gling pa. His gter chos have recently been published in The Collected Rediscovered Teachings (gter chos) of gter ston dri med glig pa [Thimbhu: Kunsang Topgay, 1976], 4 vols. See also, thob yig, pp. 884.5, 885.2, 885.5; and [[gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 632.6-634.2.
36 Recognized as the chos bdag for the gter chos of gter ston dri med gling pa, lcags zam pa bstan 'dzin ye shes lhun grub was a teacher of 'jigs med gling pa and zla ba 'od zer (alias gter ston rang grol ting 'dzin rgyal po). To this latter student, whom Kong sprul names as an emanation of rgyal sras lha rje, he imparted both bka' ma and gter ma teachings (see gter ston brgya rtsa, pp. 640.5-643.4). To 'jigs med gling pa, he imparted transmissions form many traditions, rnying ma bka' ma and gter ma as well as gsar ma teachings. See thob yig, pp. 868.6, 880.6, 881.6, 883.3; and gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 728.6.
37 mtsho rgyal sprul sku nag dbang blo bzang padma numbered thugs mchog rdo rje among his teachers. he received byang gter teachings from him, which he imparted to 'jigs med gling pa (thob yig, p. 888.4). He seems to have been head of studies at dpal-ri monastery where he bestowed the name padma mkhyen brtse'i 'od zer upon 'jigs med gling pa (see above, note 10).
38 Kong-sprul gives a short biography for this gter-ston (gter ston brgya rtsa, pp. 608.6-611.1). He was born into the clan of rwa lo tsa ba chen po mthu stobs kyi dbang phyug in rgyang rtse, province of gtsang. nor bu'i do shal lists him among the students of chos rje gling pa (see note 33, #C1). Kong-sprul adds that after meeting chos rje gling pa, he was recognized as the chos bdag for that gter ston's gter gsar [yet, see note 34, #C2], and performed special practices at the time of this teacher's death. his biography mentions meetings with many of his contemporary illuminaries, including the zhwa dmar and zhwa nag incarnations. He also seems to have received special honors from the powerful ruler pho lha nas (bsod nams stobs rgyal). Indeed, both pho lha nas (1689-1747), and his close friend and biographer mdo mkhar zhabs drung tshe ring dbang rgyal (1697-1763), had close ties with the rnying ma pa. Both had studied at smin grol gling monastery, the latter having been a student of smin gling lo chen Dharmashri (who was murdered by invading Dsungars in 1718). Both did much to restore the monasteries of smin gling and rdo rje brag, in the wake of the [[dsungar excesses. See L. Petech, China and Tibet in the EArly 18th Century (Monographies du T'oung Pao, vol. I) [Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1950], pp. 21 et passim; Luciano Petech, Aristocracy and government in Tibet 1728-1959 (Serie Orentale Roma, vol. XLV) [Rome: Instituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1973], pp. 71-73; and Kongtrul Ency., p. 22.
gter ston rw2a ston rdo rje also met gnas gsar ba ngag dbang kun dga' legs pa'i byung gnas [on whom, see Chart 2.3 (#7), and note 39], and 'jigs med gling pa. To this latter student, he imparted his own phur ba teachings, the rwa ston phur ba (see [[thob yig, p. 885.4). Indeed, rwa ston, who had prophesied the birth of 'jigs med gling pa (gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 727.5), gave the phur ba transmission (under his alias padma tshe dbang rtsal) while 'jigs med gling pa was in retreat at mchims phu (see stogs brjod, pp. 48.2, 55.2f, and body of text accompanying note 71). Rwa-ston's reincarnation occurred in Dwags-po, at bar 'tsho byed, in the clan (dbon rigs) of a pho chos rje.
39 Kong-sprul credits [[gnas gsar ba ngag dbang kun dga' legs pa'i byung gnas with imparting the dge tshul vows to [['jigs med gling pa (gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 728.3). Without providing the name of the preceptor, "jigs med gling pa]] reports that he renounced worldly life (rab byung) in his fifteenth year (do ha'i rgyan, p. 503.1f). This same preceptor is also listed by 'jam dbangs blo gter dbang po (1847-ca. 1914) in the central lineage transmission for the sa skya pa meditation tradition of the lam 'bras slob bshad (information kindly provided by Mr. Ronald M. Davidson).
40 See rnam thar chen mo, p. 17.6; thob yig, pp. 882.4, 883.6, 884.6; and [gter ston brgya rtsa]]., p. 728.3
41 [['gro 'dul gling pa's biography is given in gter ston brgya rtsa, pp. 559.6-563.6.
42 See rnam thar chen mo, pp. 20.4f, 23.3, 43.6; thob yig, pp. 883.5, 885.5, 886.4; and gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 728.5.
43 See rnam thar chen mo, p. 19.6; thob yig, pp. 869.2, 874, 879.3, 880.2, 880.5, 881.2, 884.1; 885.6; and [gter ston brgya rtsa]], p. 728.5.
44 These transmissions included [[chos rje gling pa's yang phur, as well as the khros nag skor, gur drang, rtsa gsum dril sgrub, bla ma rig 'dzin gyi gnas lugs, phyag rdor seng sgrog, and chos bdag bam chang sel bsogs phal che. See thob yig, pp. 869.1, 869.3, 874.6, 877.2, 878.5, 880.4, 885.1, 885.4f; and gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 728.6.
45 See thob yig, p. 881.2; gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 728.6.
46 See thob yig, pp. 870.6, 872.6, 873.1, 874.1, 875.2.
47 See thob yig, pp. 881.5, 882.1, 882.2. On the meaning of the expression "earlier and later gter kha" (gter kha gong 'og), see below, note 49.
48 The inspirational passage quoted by 'jigs med gling pa, begins:
"Above-- intrinsically pure vision
Between-- groupings of the resplendent dimension
Below-- the workings of the six [worldly] life styles"
[[[yar ka dag gi snang ba]]/
bar long sku'i tshom bu/
mar 'gro drug gi 'char tshul/
It is from the mthong snang rin po che 'od kyi drwa ba section of the mkha' 'gro yang tig. See snying thig ya bzhi, vol. 6 (mkha' 'gro yang tig, Part 3), pp. 244.4ff.
49 See rnam thar chen mo, p. 22.2ff, and rtogs brjod, p. 32.3f. dakki'i gsang gtam (p. 6.2) reports that he was engaged in the recitation practice (bsnyen sgrub) which combines the "earlier and later gter kha" (gter kha gong 'og, and is centered on the figure gsang bdag dpa' bo drang srong dri med zhi khro. Strictly speaking, "the earlier and later gter kha" refers to the revelations of nyan ral nyi ma'i 'od zer (1124-1192) and gu ru chos kyi dbang phyug (1212-1270), respectively. Sometimes, however, the expression is taken in a more general sense, indicating relatively earlier and later periods of gter revelation. The biographies for these two, who are counted the first and second of five gter-ston kings (gter ston rgyal po lnga), are given by Kong-sprul in gter ston brgya rtsa, pp. 383.6-393.4.
50 dakki'i gsang gtam, p. 7.1. See also Chart 2.1 (#15), and note 23.
51 In the gsol 'debs le'u bdun ma of rgod ldem can (1337-1409), one finds a description of this Pure Land, associated with the thirteen teachings of Gurur Rinpoche. Se, for example, karma chags med, gsol 'debs le'u bdun pa'i lo rgyus dmigs rim phan yon dang bcas pa (Delhi: kun bzang stobs rgyal, 1975), fols. 24b4ff. See also, the body of the text accompanying note 84, below.
52 This is according to the new grub rtsis of the phugs pa school; see above, note 6.
53 dakki'i gsang gtam, p. 8.3. At this point in the narrative, 'jigs med gling pa refers the reader to rtogs brjod for the details of other events. So as not to disrupt the narrative flow, I have recorded these events separately, in note 56, below.
54 The Bodhnath Stupa is regarded by art historians as having been built in the time of King Ashoka, commemorating a pilgrimage he made to Nepal. See Benjamin Rowland, The Art and Architecture of India (Baltimore: Penguin Bokks, 3rd ed., 1967), p. 158, plate 97a; and A.D.T.E. Perera, "Bodhnath" in G.P. Malasekera, ed., Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Ceylon: The government of Ceylon, 1972), vol. III., fasc.2, pp. 253-254. According to Tibetan tradition, however, the stupa had a magical origin. On the legendary founding of the Bodhnath Stupa, se mchod rten chen po bya rung kha shor gyi lo rgyus thos pas grol ba, edited by the Ven. Dalama Namgyal Dorje (Berkeley: Department of Oriental Languages, Univ. of CAlif., Berkeley, 1967), 39 pp.; and the popularized translation in Keith Dowman, trans., The Legend of the Great Stupa and the Life Story of the Lotus born Gurur (Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973).
55 See Dakki'i gsng gtam, p. 0=9.1; bka' 'bum bzhugs byang, p. 31.5f. The identity of seng ge ras pa has yet to be established.
56 See dakki'i gsang gtam, p. 10.1, and note 53, above. Up to this point, the entire magical journey to Bodhanth, and the events just narrated, are not recounted in rtogs brjod. Instead, it tells of the visionary encounters with Guru Rinpoche (in the form mtshoskyes rdo rje) and 'jam dpal bshes gnyen, and then goes on to recall a different set of experiences, and then goes on to recall a different set of experiences, beginning with [['jigs med gling pa's remembrance of his former life as the Mahasiddha Virupa [on whom, see Chart 2.1 (#8), and note 16]. It then reports as follows.
In the fourth month (May - June) of 1758, he had a vision of the great gter bdag gling pa, and shortly thereafter received visionary prophecies from the gter chos of chos rje gling pa (his khrom gter), and from the bla ma dgongs 'dus of sangs rgyas gling pa. A bit later, while practicing according to the bla ma dgongs 'dus, a great clarity arose, and he became like a highly sensitive mirror mkhyen brtse'i me long) upon which teachings were clearly reflected. Then one morning at dawn, again while practicing according to the bla ma dgongs 'dus, he clearly heard the neighing of a horse coming from aboce, whereupon Guru Rinpoche bestowed upon him the name padma dbang chen (see rtogs brjod, p. 41.4f).
In the sixth month (July - August) 1758, while practicing according to the gsol 'debs le'u bdun ma (on which, see notw 51), he had a visionary recall of his past lives as mnga' ris pan chen and gcung dga' bo [see Chart 2.1 (#5, #15), and notes 13, 23]. This narrative fragment (rtogs brjod, pp. 43.5-46.1) seems to overlap with the events recorded in dakki'i gsang gtam, p. 7.1f; see also notes 50, 51.
At this point in the narrative, however, the two sources again converge. rtogs brjod (p. 46.1f) gives the following details regarding the thugs rje chen po revelations (the identity of which is discussed below, in note 57). The revelation occurred at dawn, on the morning of the tenth day of the tenth month of the "sama year" [10 November 1758]. Thereafter 'jigs med gling ap composed a short (unnamed) verse prayer. This must be the prayer entitled 'phags pa'i gsol 'debs zhal mthong ma [in klong snying ((a 'dzom), vol. II(Ah), pp. 395-399], whose colophon gives dawn of the tenth day of the tenth month of Earth-Tiger year [10 November 1758] as the date of composition, and is signed klong chen nam mkha'i rnal 'byor."
57 The text in question is a sadhana centering on sdug bsngal rang grol (the klong snying from of Avalokiteshvara), called gsang sgrub thugs rje chen po sdug bsngal rang grol [in klong snying (a 'dzom), vol. II(Ah), pp. 349-358]. The colophon corroborates the year of revelation as Male-Tiger year 91758), and states that a seven-year silence must ensue before it is actually written down (gtan la bab).
58 On the gnad byang, see above, note 5 (text #6).
59 Here, 'jigs med gling pa parenthetically adds that this spiritual being would later be the one to help him decode symbolic script at bsam yas mchims phu. This is an allusion to the help rendered by the Supreme Dakini of the five Buddha families during his second three year retreat at mchims phu.
60 dakki'i gsang gtam, p. 11.6. At this point in the narrative, 'jigs med gling pa refers the reader to the account given in rtogs brjod (pp. 49.2-50.1), where he details the various pure visions (dag snang) wherein he received prophecies regarding his past lives.
61 It seems that 'jigs med gling pa and his rtsa ba'i bla ma communicated by letter.
62 Properly speaking, Pure Vision (dag snang) and Mind Treasure (dgongs gter]]) should be distinguished. Indeed, in the so-called 'Seven Authorizations' (bka' babs bdun) of gter ston zhig po gling pa (1829-1870), the fourth authorization consists solely of dgongs gter, and the sixth consists solely of dag snang (see gter ston brgya rtsa, pp. 653.1f, 653.4f). 'jigs med bstan pa'i nyi ma, in his gter brgyud rnam bzhad (p. 442.1f) clearly sets out the difference between these two types. Generally speaking, there has to have been the prior entrustment (gtad rgya) by Guru Rinpoche for a teaching to be considered dgongs gter. There must be an extremely stable luminous meditative state ('od gsal gyi ting nge 'dzin), without which the highly developed 'intentionalaity' (dgongs pa) cannot occur. Secondly, the symbolic script (brda yig), by means of which the teaching is encoded, must be properly 'dissolved' and priorly sealed and then concealed within the continuum of this special intentionality; otherwise one cannot speak of there being a 'concealed treasure' (gter). Pure Vision (dag snang) occurs when the first factor obtains, but not the second.
63 sprul sku don grub kindly suggested "psychic insight" as a translation for the difficult expression rtsa khams dangs pa'i rang rtsal. What is implied is the more or less automatic and spontaneous on set of a high level functioning (dangs) of one's 'psycho energetic' structures. 'jigs med gling pa's comments here reflect his awareness of a general trait of the Buddhist tradition -- the necessity of being able to distinguish between events which occur merely as a result of (worldly) psychic insight, and those which occur due to genuine spiritual maturation. Even with respect to the latter, however, one is cautioned not to assign any significance to meditative experiences (nyams), lest they become obstacles to further growth. 'jigs med bstan pa'i nyi ma cautions that when neither of the two aspects necessary for a teaching to be considered a dgongs gter are present (on which, see above, note 62), then such experiences belong to the category of nyams chos -- experiences which may arise as a result of spiritual maturation -- and should never be confused with either dag snang or especially the much rarer dgongs gter (see gter brgyud rnam bzhad, p. 422.4).
64 The seven years are counted from 1757 to 1764, the year of the first klong snying empowerment.
65 rtogs brjod, pp. 46.4-49.4.
66 See below, note 69.
67 During his second three year retreat at mchims phu, as foretold in this vision, he met with padma tshe dbang rtsal (alias rwa ston rdo rje) and received a phur ba transmission.
68 See Chart 2.1 (#6, #10), and notes 14, 18.
69 dakki'i gsang gtam, pp. 13.1ff; rtogs brjod, pp. 49.4ff. mchims phu is just northeast of bsam yas. bre gu dge'u, also known as brag dmar ke'u tshang, is in the center of the mchims phu complex. According to the account given by 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse'i dbang po [[[mkhyen brtse]]'s Guide, pp. 8 (fol. 7b), 45f], there are two meditation caves beneath brag dmar ke'u tshang -- the Upper Nyang Cave (nyang phug gong), which had served as a residential cave (gzims phug) for ye shes mtsho rgyal, and the Lower Nyang Cave (nyang phug 'og), which had been used by King khri srong lde'u btsan. According to 'jigs med gling pa's account, as gien in dpal gyi bsam yas mchims phu'i gtam [Col. Works(J), vol. IV(Nga), gtam tshogs, pp. 216.1ff], there seem to be four caves: the cave of Nyang-ban (nyang ban ting 'dzin bzang po], below it a cave used by khri srong lde'u btsan, and two more caves to the right and left of that one, which were residential caves used by ye shes mtsho rgyal. See mkhyen brtse's Guide, pp. 115 (n. 145), 116 (n. 146,156), and Map C.
70 See Chart 2.1 (#16, #17), and notes 24, 25.
71 See Chart 2.3 (#6), and note 38.
72 See Chart 2.1 (#12), and note 20.
73 gter ston stag sham nus ldan rdo rje (alias bsam gtan gling pa) was closely connected with the teachings of chos rje gling pa. See above, note 33 (under entry #A3).
74 rtogs brjod, p. 60.5f. The yar is uncertain, it is either 1759 (yielding the date 7 October 1759), or 1760 (which would then be 25 October 1760). Given the context, the latter date is more probable.
75 See gnad byang, p. 74.2f. The story of these three encounters is first recorded in rtogs brjod (pp. 61.3-66.4) and is briefly mentioned in do ha'i rgyan (p. 506.4f) and rnam thar chen mo (pp. 17.5f, 64.3f). The source for the later accounts, as found for instance in nor bu'i do shal (p. 352.5f) and zhe chen chos 'byung (p. 264.6f), would seem to be bka' 'bum bzhugs byang (p. 32.1f), which they folow in both diction and content.
76 This was the monastic name of klong chen pa, who had been abbot at bsam yas monastery.
77 See note 69, above.
78 See rtogs brjod, p. 65.2f, and bka 'bum bzhugs byang, p. 32.2f.
79 This song is found in Coll. Works(J), vol. V(Ca), pp. 108.1-118.1. It is immediately followed by a short Stotra in praise of the same events, intitled simply tshigs su bcad pa rkyang pa lnga pa (ibid., pp. 118.1-119.2).
80 This is the text whose full title is rig 'dzin mkha' 'gro dgyes pa'i gsang gtam/yid dpyod grub mtha' 'jig pa'i tho lu ma/snying phyung lag mthil bkram pa'i man ngag/gsang bdag dga' rab dpa' bo'i tho glu/kun mkhyen zhal lung bdud rtsi'i thigs pa [[[klong snying]] (a 'dzom), vol. III (Hum), pp. 520 - 546]. It is the don 'grel to the gnas lugs rdo rje'i tshig rkang [ibid., pp. 517-519].
81 This is the next rdo rje theg pa'i smin grol lam gyi rim pa las 'phros pa'i man ngag gi rgyab brten padma dkar po [[[klong snying]] (a 'dzom), vol. III (Hum), pp. 463-516].
82 Better known as the seng ge'i nga ro (the Lion's Roar), this is snying tig sgom pa'i bya bral gyi/gol shor tshar gcod seng ge'i nga ro [[[klong snying]] (a 'dzom), vol. III (Hum), pp. 547-565]. All of the texts mentioned in notes 80-82 form part of the corpus of background material (rgyab chos skor) on the proper comprehension and practice of rdzogs chen meditation.
83 Although most later sources mention the founding of tshe ring ljongs after narrating the events of 1764, the year in which the first klong snying empowerment was bestowed, it is clearly stated in nor bu'i do shal (p. 353.3) that the founding of this monastery took place during 'jigs med gling pa's thirty-fourth year, in Water-Dog yer (1762). See also, rnam thar chen mo, p. 141.3f; and bka' 'bum bzhugs byang, p. 32.4. Although the founding is not mentioned in either rtogs brjod or dakki'i gsang gtam, I mentioned it here in keeping with the chrology of events. 'jigs med gling pa discusses the gu ru chos dbang prophecy in dpal ri theg pa chen po'i gling gi gtam/rdo rje sgra ma'i rgyud mngas [Coll. Works(J), vol. IV(Nga), gtam tshogs], pp. 271.5ff. He also wrote a lengthy work dealing specifically with the founding of this monastery, intitled padma 'od gsal theg mchog gling rten dang brten par bcas pa'i gtam/nor bu'i do shal [Coll. Works (J), vol. IV(Nga), gtam tshogs, pp. 283.1-322.6], as well as a very brief stotra entitled tshe ring yul ljongs [Coll. Works(J), vol. V(Ca), pp. 105.6-106.1]. The monastery, which was located just northeast of bang so dmar po (see mkhyen brtse's Guide, Map C), would become the primary residence of 'jigs med gling pa after the events of 1764. In Giuseppe Tucci, To Lhasa and Beyond (Rome: Institute Poligrafico Dello Stato, 1956), p. 142, the following accound is given:
Near Chongge, in the two valleys branching off the countain were Srongtsengampo's tomb lies, there are two notable convents. The former is called Tseringjong (tshe ring ljongs), and gave birth to a man who detexted some of the books hidden by Padmasambhava. Moise [Lt. Col. Regolo Moise of the Italian Navy Medical Corps] went there and had a look around. He found nothing remarkable, but for a chorten with the relics of the founder. The latter, Peri (dpal ri), rose on the valley to the south, and was a Nyingmapa convent that had known better days and had been restored of late.
84 This is the last chapter of the gsol 'debs le'u bdun ma, on which see note 51, above.
85 These were the sku sprul, gsung sprul, and thugs sprul of padma gling-pa -- all incarnations of klong chen pa. The gsung sprul was known as lho bras gsung sprul, and was one of 'jigs med gling pa's students.
86 This Kong-po yogi, one of 'jigs med gling pa's first students, was named nyang ston bkra ti pa rig pa'i rdo rje, better known simply as nyang ston rig 'dzin (see rnam thar chen mo, p. 158.4, 163.1).
87 This is the text entitled phyi sgrub bla ma'i rnal 'byor yid bzhin nor bu [[[klong snying]] (a 'dzom), vol. (Om), pp. 129-188]. The division of the klong snying into outer, inner, secret, and most secret is discussed below, in Chapter Four. 'ju mi pham rnam rgyal rgya mtsho wrote a commentary on the Seven Line Prayer (tshig bdun gsol 'debs) and the Siddhi Mantra [Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum] of Guru Rinpoche. See gu ru'i tshig bdun gsol 'debs gyi rnam bshad padma dkar po (Varanasi: nyi lcang thub bstan chos grags rgya mtsho, 1971). Recently, a summary translation of this, which incorporates the explanation of the Siddhi Mantra given by rdo grub chen III 'jigs med bstan pa'i nyi ma (1865-1926), ws published in the United States. See, Tulku Thondup, Commentary on the Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche (Cambridge, Mass: Mahasiddha Nyingmapa Center, 1981).
88 This is an allusion to the special prophecy of sangs rgyas gling pa, quoted at the very beginning og this chapter.
CHAPTER THREE: TRANSMISSION
Accroding to tradition, the authenticity and efficacy of a teaching depends on the unbroken continuity of its transmission from qualified teachers to qualified students. This transmission occurs via the three-fold method of authorization (lung), empowerment (dbang), and explanation (khrid). In the years following the first empowerment of the klong snying, in 1764, the transmission of what would become perhaps the most popular and widely practiced gter chos was set in motion. Before we present an overview of the major transmission lineages of the klong snying, we must frist briefly discuss events subsequent to 1764, and how these events set the stage for the successful and widespread propagation of the klong snying teachings.
3.1 Events Subsequent to 1764
In the years following the first klong snying empowerment, 'jigs med gling pa actively propagated its teachings primarily while in residence at his monastery tshe ring ljongs. According to the custom, he did this by the rapid reading of a portion of the klong snying corpus to an individual or group of students, thereby authorizing them to study and contemplate the meaning of the words they had heard. This authorization (lung) in conjunction with an empowerment -- so called because henceforth the student is invested and initiated into a process of spiritual maturation (smin byed) by means of which he is enabled and enjoined to actualize to the greatest degree possible those forces of fundamental authenticity which are his basic nature -- is necessary for the survival and implementation of a teaching. They are necessary but not sufficient for without proper guidance and explanation (khrid) the student is always in danger of mistaking his own fancies for the true meaning of the text or teaching. For these reasons 'jigs med gling pa spent the remaining twenty years of his life teaching and writing explanations and instructional guides to the many facets of the klong snying, as well as granting to ever greater numbers the many impowerments asociated with these teachings.
It seems that his fame soon spread from Central Tibet to many surrounding areas, notably that of the eastern Tibetan kingdom of sde dge already by the year 1779. In this same year, while in retreat, he began to compose his greatest work on the overall structure of buddhist philosophy in general, and rdzgs chen views in particular -- the yon tan mdzod.
Beginning in 1785 'jigs med gling pa reports that he was aided in the project of publishing his works by financial help from rdozgs chen sprul sku III [[[nges don bstan 'dzin bzang po]] (d. 1792)] and that he received help directly from the royal family of sde dge. In the year 1788 he composed his dkar chag to the rnying ma rgyud 'bum, and had decisive meeting with members of the royal family of sde dge. The sde dge king kun grub bde dga' bzang po and his queen tshe dbang lha mo, and their freid 'jigs med phrin las 'od zer were all in Central Tibet in 1788 for the purpose of paying their respects to a number of important teachers, among whom the now famous revealer of the klong snying figured prominently. This meeting firmly established the ties which had already begun some three years previously. Upon this occasion 'jigs med gling pa records that he recognized a special relationship (rten 'brel) existed with the Queen, and soon recognized that 'jigs med phrin las 'od zer [[[rdo grub chen]] I (1745-1821)] was to be the primary lineage holder (chos bdag) of the klong snying teachings.
Two years later, in 1790, the special role of the Queen became more apparent when the young sde dge monarch died and she assumed temporal power. Under her patronage, and with the assistance of rdo grub chen I and rdzogs chen sprul sku III, final preparations were made for the printing of the collected works of 'jigs med gling pa. For the next eight years, 'jigs med gling pa helped organize his large corpus of writings for printing, and continued to actively teach while residing at tshe ring ljongs. It was there that he died, on the third day of the ninth month of the Earth-Horse year [12 October 1798]. Subsequently tradition records that there were three reincarnations of this great visionary: the 'body incarnation' (sku sprul) was recognized as mdo mkhyen brtse ye shes rdo rje (1800? - 1859?); the 'speech incarnation' (gsung sprul) was recognized as rdza dpal sprul o rgyan 'jigs med chos kyi dbang po (1808 - 1887); and the 'mind incarnation' (thugs spurl) was recognized to be 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang po (1820 - 1892).
Although 'jigs med gling pa had many students, only two of them are regarded as of primary importance in the transmission of the klong snying -- the lineage holder (chos bdag) of the klong snying 'jigs med phrin las 'od zer, and 'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu. First we will briefly recount the life of the klong snying chos bdag (section 3.2), and then we will discuss the life of 'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu (section 3.3).
3.2 'jigs med phrin las 'od zer [[[rdo grub chen]] I (1745 - 1821)]
'jigs med phrin las 'od zer (alias kun bzang gzhan phan) ws destined to become the principal lineage holder (chos bdag) of the klong snying revelations, accroding to the prophecy in the gnad byang:
"An emanation of the divine Prince will open the door of the teachings"
[[[lha sras sprul pas chos sgo 'byed]]]
He was born in 1745 in the rDo valley of Golok (mgo log) in Eastern Tibet. He was of the smug po sdong clan and was given the name kun bzang gzhan phan, at the time of his becoming a novice monk, by the famed zhe chen rab 'byams II 'gyur med kun bzang rnam rgyal (1713-1769). Although he studied with many teachers, the influence of rdzogs chen sprul sku III nges don bstan 'dzin bzang po (d. 1792) was decisive, for it was he who predicted that a close relationship would develop between kun bzang gzhan phan and the rig 'dzin 'jigs med gling pa. Indeed, it ws on his third visit to Central Tibet, begun in 1785, that he finally met with the famed gter ston and was proclaimed the primary lineage holder (chos bdag). On his fourth and final visit to Central Tibet, in the year 1793, he found himself amidst the conflict of was between Tibet and Nepalese invaders. In addition to receiving additional teachings and clarification form 'jigs med gling pa, he performed a special rite with the smoke of juniper (bsangs) to ward off the evil effects of the invading army. It was apparently as a result of the success of the rite that he was henceforth known as the great siddha from rDo (rdo grub chen).
Upon his return to Eastern Tibet, his special relationship with the sde dge Queen tshe dbang lha mo developed, and he became her spiritual preceptor. Together they greatly aided in the widespread propagation of the klong snying teachings. he performed many empowerments of both the so-called 'early snying thig' (the snying thig ya bzhi of klong chen pa), and the 'later snying thig' (the klong chen snying thig), as well as the rnying ma rgyud 'bum, and the mdzod bdun. These teachings and empowerments were given ghroughout the province of Khams, at the monasteries of kah thog, rdzogs chen and zhen chen. Through such widespread activity he gathered disciples from the regions of Golok, Amdo, rgyal rong and even Mongolia. Along with 'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu, he travelled in the region of rdza chu kha and helped found the rdza rgya Monastery. Later, in accord with a prophecy of rong ston bde chen gling pa, he built gro don lhun grub Monastery at a place called shug chen stag mgo, in the rdo valley. Afterwards he founded his main monastery, known as padma bkod rtsa gsum mkha' 'gro'i gling, in a small valley called yar lung, within the larger gser valley.
While visiting and teaching at re kong Monastery and other places in Amdo, the powerful Mongolian king chos kyi rgyal po ching wang ngag gi dbang po, who had close ties to bla brang Monastery, became his disciple. Among his other disciples were: rdzogs chen sprul sku IV mi 'gyur nam mkha'i rdo rje (b. 1793); rgyal sras gzhan phan mtha' yas, chos dbyings stobs ldan rdo rje, 'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu, mdo mkhyen brtse ye shes rdo rje, and many others. mdo mkhyen brtse was recognized by rdzogs chen Rinpoche as an incarnation of 'jigs med gling pa himself [the so-called body-incarnation (sku sprul)].
In addition to his widespread transmission of the klong snying and other snying thig teachings, he was himself the discoverer of a dgongs gter known as the dam chos bde chen lam mchog. Thus he lived a quite active life, and by the time he died -- on the thirteenth day of the first month of the Iron-Snake year [15 February 1821] -- the transmission of the klong snying had been firmly established throughout Eastern Tibet and its border regions.
3.3 'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu
Although the sources on the life of 'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu are, at present, meagre, aside from rdo grub chen I he is the only other student of 'jigs med gling pa who figures prominently in the transmission lineage of the klong snying. Although Gene Smith reports that his collected writings take up two volumes, and that he did write an autobiography, neither of these sources has, as yet, been published. He is mentioned throughout the works of his most famous student rdza dpal sprul Rinpoche. As previously mentioned (section 3.2), he seems to have been both a colleague and a student of rdo grub chen I.
'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu resided primarily among the nomadic tribes in the Eastern Tibetan area of rdza chu kha, at the monastery he co-founded with rdo grub chen I, known variously as Phra ma]], rdza rgya, and rgyal dgon. He is credited with imparting the klong snying teachings to the famed 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang po, and many others. Unfortunately, not much else is known of his life. He seems to have been reincarnate as one named kun bzang bde chen rdo rje -- himself a student of dpal sprul Rinpoche -- the incarnation lineage (according to Gene Smith) coming to an end some time in the mid 1950s.
3.4 Subsequent Transmission
Having briefly described events in the lives of the two major disciples of 'jigs med gling pa who were responsible for the transmission of the klong snying, we must now give a presentaion of the subsequent transmission. There are numerous teacher to student transmission 'pathways' for the klong snying, and a complete picture, if ever it could be constructed, would have to await the thorough analyses of the various thob yig (record of received teachings) of the relevang figures. Because of the widesprad popularity of the klong snying, the names which figure prominently in its dissemination read like a varitable "Who's Who" for the last one hundred and fifty years of Tibetan religious life. Therefore we will present only major lines of transmission, in a series of charts, relegating our comments to the notes accompanying the figures mentioned. The first chart is based on the transmission lineage as compiled by sprul sku don grub, and represents the tradition of rdo grub monastery.
Chart 3.1 klong snying Lineage ([rdo grub chen]] Tradition)
- 1. [['jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu
- 2. mi 'gyur nam mkha'i rdo rje [[[rdzogs chen sprul sku]] IV (b. 1793)]
- 3. thub bstan chos kyi rdo rje [[[rdzogs chen sprul sku]] V]
- G. 'jigs med bstan pa'i nyi ma [[[rdo grub chen]] III]
- I. thub bstan phrin las dpal bzang po [[[rdo grub chen]] IV]
Chart 3.2 klong snying Lineage (mkhyen brtse Tradition)
A. rdo grub chen I
A1. mdo mkhyen brtse ye shes rdo rje
A2. gzhan phan mtha' yas
A3. dpal sprul
A4. dbon po bstan dga'
A5. smyo shul lung rtogs
A6. mkhyen po ngag dga'
B. 'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu
B1. 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang po
B2. rdo grub chen III 'jigs med bstan pa'i nyi ma
B3. a 'dzom 'brug pa
B4. rdzogs chen sprul sku V
B5. [[mkhyen brtse chos kyi blo gros
B6. padma blo gsal
Chart 3.3 klong snying Lineage (mgon po tshe brtan Tradition)
A. kun bzang gzhan phan [[[rdo grub chen]] I]
A1. [[[mdo]]] mkhyen brtse ye shes rdo rje
A2. gzhan phan mtha' yas
A3. dpal sprul
A4. thub bstan chos kyi rdo rje [[[rdzogs chen sprul sku]] V]
A5. bla ma lung rtogs
A6. dis mgo mkhyen brtse
B. 'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu
B1. [[['jam dbyangs]]] mkhyen brtse
B2. bstan pa'i nyi ma [[[rdo grub chen]] III]
B3. a 'dzom 'brug pa
B4. mi pham rin po che
B5. mkhan po ngag chung
B6. mi 'gyur nam mkha'i rdo rje
Chart 3.4 Relation Between mkhyen brtse Incarnations and the klong snying Transmission
kun mkhyen 'jigs med gling pa
sku sprul gsung sprul
mdo mkhyen brtse rdza dpal sprul
[[a mdo gtso dpal sprul kun bzang gzhan phan 'od zer]]
'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang po kun dga' bstan pa'i rgyal mtshan
thugs kyi thugs sprul
dis mgo mkhyen brtserab gsal zla ba
'phrin las kyi thugs sprul
'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse chos kyi blo gros
Chart 3.5 klong snying Transmission (based on blo bde)
kun mkhyen 'jigs med gling pa
grub mchog kun bzang gzhan phan [[[rdo grub]] I]
chos rgyal ngag gi dbang po
kun mkhyen tshogs drug rang grol
rig 'dzin don yod rdo rje
rje btsun 'gro drug rang grol
NOTES TO CHAPTER THREE
1 See rnam thar chen mo, pp. 269.4ff.
2 rnam thar chen mo, p. 297.1f.
3 The root text, entitled yon tan rin po che'i mdzod dga' ba'i char [Col. Works (J), vol. 2(Kha)], was written in 1779, and the commentary, known as the shing rta rnam gnyis, was composed in 1781. The blocks for these works were carved in 1788. See rnam thar chen mo, pp. 300.4, 304.5, 350ff. The shing rta rnam gnyis comprises volumes one and two of his nine volume gsung 'bum -- the bden gnyis shing rta (vol.1) deals with general topics in Mahayana Buddhism, one the model of sngon 'gro (preliminary practices) texts, while the rnam mkhyen shing rta (vol.2) presents a survey of major topics in Vajrayana buddhism with special emphasis on rdzogs chen. The yon tan mdzod and its autocommentary inspired a commentarial literature of its own, which is discussed below, in Chapter Four (section 4.22).
4 Citing the gnad byang [[[klong snying]] (a 'dzom), vol.I(Om), p. 75.2f] fragment: "phyi dus 'gro don dus bab tshe/...", 'jigs med gling pa states that this was a prophecy indication that a special bond would develop between himself and the ruler of sde dge (see rnam thar chen mo, pp. 309f, 328.2f). Around this time he composed a letter to the sde dge ruler entitled spyod pa'i rna rgyan [Coll. Works(J), vol. IV(Nga), gtam tshogs, pp. 128ff]. An account of the rulers of sde dge is given in Josef Kolmas, A Geneology of the Kings of Derge (Prague: Oriental Institue, 1968), hereafter abbreviated as Derge Kings.
5 Derge Kings, p. 137; rnam thar chen mo, pp. 347.5, 357.5ff.
6 See rnam thar chen mo, p. 363.6f; Coll. Works(J), vol. V(Ca), p. 12.5f. He composed a letter to the Queen, indicating her special role, which is found in Coll. Works(J), Vol. IV(Nga), gtam tshogs, p. 142f. The Queen (tshe dbang lha mo]] was regarded as an incarnation of ngang tshul byang chub -- the queen of khri srong lde'u btsan and disciple of Padmasambhava. Her relationship with rdo grub chen I is discussed below, in section 3.2.
7 Derge Kings, p. 140.
8 rnam thar chen mo, pp. 378ff. Derge Kings [p. 141 (fol. 42a1f)] states that the queen directed the ambitious project of printing a number of rnying ma pa works, including a new edition of the snga 'gyur rgyud 'bum, the dgongs gter bka' 'bum of klong chen pa and mkhyen brtse [[['jigs med gling pa]]]. It seems that the influential Central Tibetan family of the house of zur khang helped with local financing of 'jigs med gling pa's works and later helped to coordinate this activity between Central Tibet and Derge. See rnam thar chen mo, p. 379.5; bzhugs byang dkar chag, fol. 15b5.
Although more research must be done, it seems that there were at least four stages in the printing of his works:
 ca. 1790-1798 in sde dge -- the first gathering of his works, under the patronage of the sde dge Queen.
 1860-1878 in Central Tibet -- a two-volume collection of the klong snying revelations, whose blocks were stored in the gnas chung sgra dbyangs gling monastery. See bzhugs byang dkar chag, fols. 7a1f, 15b4; and note 5 (text #9) in Chapter Two.
 1899?-1901? in sde dge. Based on the work compiled in the 1790s, and with additional financial support from patrons in China, his works were published in nine volumes (fifteen glegs bam), and became the basis for what is now available as Coll. Works(J). See bka' 'bum bzhugs byang, pp. 29*1ff, 33.5.
 dates unknown (ca. 1910-1920?)-- the three volume klong snying redaction of a 'dzom chos sgar printery, now available as klong snying (a 'dzom), which was probably done under the supervision of a 'dzom 'brug pa (1842-1924).
9 rnam thar chen mo, p. 464.3; zhe chen chos 'byung, p. 266.3; and Kongtrul Ency., Appendix III A; see also Chart 3.4.
10 See rnam thar chen mo, pp. 159.5ff; bdud 'joms chos 'byung, pp. 644.2ff.
11 The life of rdo grub chen I, and his close relationship with both 'jigs med gling pa and the sde dge Queen tshe dbang lha mo, is discussed in Coll. Works(J), vol. V)Ca_, p. 13.3f; bzhugs byang dkar chag, fol. 6a2f; zhe chen chos 'byung, pp. 267.3ff; gter ston brgya rtsa, pp. 736.1-740.3; Auto. Rem., pp. 11ff; and Kongtrul Ency., pp. 22ff See also rdo grub chen rin po che [IV], deng dus kyi dgos mkho dang bstan pa'i mgo log gi yul spyi dang bye brag lugs gnyis kyi phyogs nas rabs brjod pa [in A shrt Account of Monastic Life in Dodrub (Golok), Khritsho (Derge), and Kyibuk (Tsang) Monasteries (Gangtok: Research Institue of Tibetology, 1976)]. In addition to giving an account of the mgo log nomads, the region of rdo yul, and the customs of rdo grub chen Monastery (founded by rdo grub chen II), this little work presents a brief account of the lives of the successive embodiments of rdo grub chen rin po che. -- (1) rdo grub chen I (pp. 1-5); rdo grub chen II 'jigs med phun tshogs 'byung gnas [who died prematurely of smallpox at age thirty] (p.6f); rdo grub chen III 'jigs med bstan pa'i nyi ma (1865-1926?), pp. 7-12; and rdo grub chen IV thub bstan 'phrin las dpal bzang po (b. 1927), pp. 32-44. Hereafter this work is abbreviated rdo grub rnam thar.
12 The prophecy is given in gnad byang [[[klong snying] (a 'dzom), vol. I(Om)], p. 74.6. The prince named in the prophecy refers to Prince mu rug btsan po, son of khri srong lde'u btsan. The expression "principla lineage holder" (chos bdag) is explained by gter brgyud rnam bshad (p. 440.2f) as referring to the person who has been named in the gter chos as the one responsible for upholding and preserving the particular gter ma in question. According to rdo grub rnam thar (p. 2.5), rdo grub chen I was recognized as the chos bdag on his third visit to Central Tibet, begun in the year Wood-Female-Snake (1785). It was upon this occasion that the name 'jigs med 'phrin las 'od zer was bestowed on him by 'jigs med gling pa himself.
13 Author of the mdzod bdun dkar chag.
14 The life of rdzogs chen sprul sku III is recounted in Bio. Dict., vol. 4. 426f.
15 See above, note 12.
16 See rnam thar chen mo, p. 388.4f; rdo grub rnam thar, p. 2.
17 See above, note 11.
18 See section 3.3, below.
19 rong ston bde chen gling pa, a student of chos rje gling pa, is mentioned in gter ston brgya rtsa, p. 738.3.
20 rdo grub rnam thar, p. 4.10f.
21 rdo grub rnam thar, p. 5.8f. It is said that this king gave rdo grub chen rin po che a pearl umbrella, which eventually found its way to rdo grub Monastery (personal communication from sprul sku don grub). On the importance of this king in the klong snying transmission, see below, chart 3.5 (chos rgyal ngag gi dbang po).
22 See below, Chart 3.1 (#D), and note 36.
23 This disciple is credited with the spread of the snying thig teachings throughout the region of Amdo.
24 See below, section 3.3. It seems that he received klong snying teachings from both 'jigs med gling pa and rdo grub chen I.
25 The sku sprul of 'jigs med gling pa; see below, Charts 3.2 (#A1), 3.3 (#A1), and 3.4.
26 The full list of students is given in rdo grub rnam thar, p. 3.5f.
27 Personal communication, sprul sku don grub.
28 ster ston brgya rtsa, p. 739.2. His reincarnation, rdo grub chen II 'jigs med phun tshogs 'byung gnas, was a student of dpal sprul rin po che [see Coll. Works (D), vol. Nga, p. 134.3], who died young (see note 11, above).
29 Auto. Rem., p. 11 (n. 36).
30 See, for example, dpal sprul rin po che, The Collected Works of dpal sprul o rgyan 'jigs med chos kyi dbang po (nga gyur nyingmy sungrab, vol. 38-43) [ Gangtok: Sonam T. Kazi, 1971-], vol. 1, 173.3; vol. 4. 4, pp. 731-749. Hereafter this collection is abbreviated as Coll. Works (dpal sprul). See also, Charts 3.2(#A3), 3.3(#A3), and 3.4.
31 See Coll. Works (D), vol. Nga, p. 17.6f.
32 Coll. Works (D), vol. Nga, p. 134.4; Auto. Rem., p. 12, n. 36.
33 The chart is a modified version of that given in Tulku Thodup, trans., Prayer of the Preliminary Practice, The Excellent Path of Omniscience of Dzog pa Chen-po Long-Chen Nying-Thig (Gangtok: Mahasiddha Tibetan Buddhist Welface Society, 1980).
34 The letters marked #A through #J indicate those individuals in the main lineage transmissions via the klong snying chog bdag rdo grub chen rin po che; the numbers marked #1 through #5 are individuals who were important, yet not in the main transmission. Solid lines are used to show the main transmission line, and broken lines are used for other transmission pathways. Unless otherwise noted, information of these individuals was provided to me by sprul sku don grub.
35 chos kyi blo gros, also known as rdo bla 'jigs med skal bzang, and skyes bu ye shes rdo rje, is mentioned in rdo grub rnam thar, p. 3.12f. He is credited with being the one to recognize o rgyan 'jigs med chos kyi dbang po (1808-1887) as the rebirth of the dpal dge sprul sku bsod nams sbyin pa. His primary teacher was rdo grub chen I, and among his students were rgyal sras gzhan phan mtha' yas, dpal sprul rin po che, and the Mongolian king chos rgyal ngag gi dbang po. He spread the snying thig teachings throughout Amdo and Mongolia. Tradition reports that he ended his life by exchanging his fate for that of a criminal who had been sentenced to death, claiming to the authorities (of a small Chines town) that he himself was really the guilty person.
36 rdzogs chen rgyal sras gzhan phan mtha' yas, also known as sku zhabs dge mang, was regarded as an incarnation of smin gling gter chen, and spent most of his life at rdzogs chen Monastery. Here he built the famed Shri Seng-ha college, and is credited with making rdzogs chen Monastery into one of the outstanding centers for the study of rnying ma doctrines. He also coordinated the assembly and publishing of the gsung bka' ma, undertaken at the request of smin gling khri chen sangs rgyas kun dga' and dpal sprul padma dbang rgyal. His date of birth, however, is a matter of dispute. Both Bio. Dict., vol. IV, p. 479, and Auto. Rem., p. 10, give 1740. According to information provided by spurl sku don grub, this cannmot be correct. He must have been born in the Iron Monkey year of the thirteenth rab byung (not the twelfth), i.e. in the year 1800. The evidence is as follows. mkhyen brtse ye shes rdo rje became head of rdzogs chen Monastery but soon left after the death of rdo grub chen I (1821), whereupon it ws taken over by rdzogs chen rgyal sras. When the latter died dpal sprul became his successor at Shri Seng-ha bshad grwa. Finally, it is known that he died young, because of the oft-quoted comment of 'ju mi pham rin po che that if it were not for his premature death he would have become an even greater scholar and teacher. Among his students were dpal sprul rin po che and mkhan po padma rdo rje. According to rdo grub chen III, he was reincarnate as gzhan phan chos kyi sng ba (1871-1927), a student of dpal sprul. See Coll. Works (D), vol. Nga, p. 134.4; Coll. Works (dpal sprul), vol. 1, p. 7.5f; zhe chen chos 'byung, p. 268.4f
37 mkhan po padma rdo rje, alias mkhan chen padma dam chos 'od zer, was one of the main abbots (mkhan po) of rdzogs chen Monastery, numbering 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang po, rdo grub chen III, and rdzogs chen sprul sku V among his students. See Bio. Dict., vol. IV, p. 457.8.
38 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang po (1820-1892) was one of the greatest teachers of the nineteenth century, He was recognized as the 'mind incarnation' (thugs sprul) of 'jigs med gling pa [see Chart 3.4]. he received both the empowerment (dbang) and instruction (khrid) on the klong snying from 'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu, and rdzogs chen sprul sku IV, as well as teachings from mkhan po padma rdo rje. His writings on the klong snying are found in klong snying (Hrih). The sources for his life are numerous. rdo grub chen III wrote a lengthy biography [Coll. Works (D), vol. Nga, pp. 1-99]; see also gter ston brgya rtsa, pp. 659.5ff; bdud 'joms chos 'byung, pp. 659-676.5.
39 rdzogs chen sprul sku V both recognized and performed the enthronement ceremony for rdo grub chen IV (See Bio. Dict., vol. IV, p. 457; rdo grub rnam thar, p. 32.2f.). In addition to mkhyen brtse rin po che, Bio. Dict. reports the following teachers: gar dbang blo gros mtha' yas [[[kong sprul rin po che]]], dpal sprul rin po che, and mkhan chen padma dam chos 'od zer [listed as #E in Chart 3.1].
40 kah thog si tu chos kyi rgya mtsho (1880-1925) was a student of 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang po and the teacher of mkhyen brtse rin po che's 'action incarnation' ('phrin las sprul), the famed 'jam dbayngs mkhyen brtse chos kyi blo gros (1896-1959). See Chart 3.4, and Auto. Rem., pp. 17-18, and n. 65.
41 rdo grub chen III 'jigs med bstan pa'i nyi ma (1865-1926) was born into the a lcags 'gru clan, lcags khung family of the gnubs lineage. His fathr was the famed gter ston bdud 'joms gling pa (1835-1903). He was recognized as the rdo grub chen incarnation by rdzogs chen sprul sku IV, mkhan po padma rdo rje, dpal sprul rin po che, mi pham rin po che, kong sprul rin po che, and many others. Early in life he showed special aptitude for teaching, especially discourses of the Bodhicaryavatara. He composed a number of works on the klong snying, which are contained in his five volumes of collected works (gsung 'bum), Coll. Works (D).
42 mkhan po kun bzang dpal ldan, alias dge dgon mkhan po, had as his primary teachers rdo grub chen III, mi pham rin po che, and dpal sprul rin po che. Although his primary residence was at dge dgon Monastery in rdza chu kha, he seems to have helped with the founding of a college (bshad grwa) at kha thog Monastery. He is reputed to have written a commmentary on the yon tan mdzod, but so far his works have not been published. Among his students were rdo grub chen IV, kah thog mkhan po nus ldan (author of a commentary on 'ju mi pham's Mahaya treatise known as the mkhas 'jug, mdo sngags bstan pa'i nyi ma (author of the lta grub shan 'byed), and many others.
43 This famed mkhyen brtse incarnation received klong snying teachings from both rdo grub chen III and kah thog si tu chos kyi rgya mtsho (see above, note 40, and Chart 3.4).
44 rdo grub chen IV thub bstan 'phrin las dpal bzang po was born in 1927 in the gser valley in mgo log. He was recognized as the rdo grub chen incarnation by rdzogs chen sprul sku V, and was enthroned at the age of four in the central temple of rdo grub chen Monastery. He received the klong snying teachings from dge dgon mkhan po kun bzang chos kyi grags pa (alias kun bzang dpal ldan, #H) at dge dgon Monastery in rdza chu kha. In his fifteenth year (1941) he imparted the lung and dbang of the klong snying to about two-thousand monks. In the years 1951-1955 he travelled from rdo grub chen Monastery to sde dge. With the blocks of klong chen pa's mdzod bdun (which had been preserved at his monastery), and presumably additional blocks for the ngal gso skor gsum he obtained in sde dge, he was able to print them after he settled in Sikkim. He reports that in 1940 he was cured of a serious illness by one named a pham gter ston. It was upon this occasion that the gter ston recognized him to be the chos bdag for his gter chos. These teachings have recently been published as a pham gter ston o rgyan 'phrin las gling pa, The Collected Rediscovered Teachings (gter chos) of a pham gter ston (Gangtok: Dodgrub Sangyey Lama, 1976), 4 vols. In the year 1956, due to the changing political situation, he left his monastery, arriving in Gangtok, Sikkim in October of 1957, which has remained his permanent residence to the present. For a more detailed account of his life, see his autobiographical sketch in rdo grub rnam thar, pp. 32-44.
45 This chart is based on the so-called refuge tree (skyabs 'gro'i tshogs zhing) for the klong snying, according to the mkhyen brtse tradition. The circles represent the arrangement of the major figures in the klong snying transmission. Entire refuge tree is shown in Chart 4.2.
46 Also known as 'Ja' lus rdo rje (1800?-1859?), he ws recognized as the sku sprul of 'jigs med gling pa (see Chart 3.4), and is famed for his teachings known as yang gsang mkha' 'gro thugs thig. See Auto. Rem., p. 13 (n. 42), and Kongtrul. Ency., Appendix IIIA.
47 rdza dpal sprul o rgyan 'jigs med chos kyi dbang po was regarded as the gsung sprul of 'jigs med gling pa (see Chart 3.4). He is well known for hisnumerous writings and outline summaries (sa bcad) of various Mahayana topics, being himself especially well-versed in the Bodhicaryavatara. His most famous treatise, however, is the kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung, a work of the sngon 'gro genre which was composed to provide a coherent introduction to the practice of the klong snying teachings. This text and its relation to the structure of the klong snying corpus, will be duscussed in Chapter Four. His collected writings comprise some six volumes and are available in Coll. Works (dpal sprul. rdo grub chen III wrote a short biography [Coll. Works (D), vol. Nga, pp. 101-135] which states that he was born in Earth-Dragon year (1808) and died in Fire-Pig year (1887). His main teacher was 'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu, from whom he received the klong snying transmission, though it sems that he also received klong snying teachings from rdo grub chen I. his biography lists some twenty-four students, including rdo grub chen II, gzhan-phan chos kyi snang ba, a 'dzom 'brug pa, padma dam chos 'od zer, mi pham rnam rgyal, and many others. Although he apparently 'renounced' the institution of incarnations, tradition records that three rebirths of [[dpal sprul were recognized, one of which was known as the a mdo gtso dpal sprul, who figured in the klong snying transmission (see Chart 3.4 and note 58). See also Kongtrul. Ency., pp. 27-28; Appendix III A; Auto. Rem., pp. 13ff.
48 Also known as dge mang rje dbon o rgyan bstan 'dzin nor bu, and dbon po bstan li, he was a student of dpal sprul rin po che, and smyo shul lung rtogs [#A5 in Chart 3.2], and the main teacher of mkhan po yon tan rgya mtsho (author of a commentary on the yon tan mdzod). He was the nephew (dbon po) of rgyal sras gzhan phan mtha' yas (on whom, see Chart 3.1, #D, and note 36). See also, Auto. Rem., p. 14 (n. 47), and Coll. Works (D), vol. Nga, p. 135.3.
49 Also known as rgyal sras byang chub rdo rje, lung rtogs 'phel rgyas bzang po, and lung rtogs bstan pa'i nyi ma rgyal mtshan dpal bzang po, he was a student of dpal sprul rin po che; dbon po bstan dga' (#A4, Chart 3.2) and mkhan po ngag dga' (#A6, Chart 3.2) were his students. See Auto. Rem., p. 16 (n.56), and Coll. works (D), vol. Nga, p. 135.4.
50 kha thog mkhan po ngag dbang dpal bzang, alias mkhan po ngag dga', and mkhan po ngag chung (#B5, Chart 3.3), names smyol shul lung rtogs (#A5, Chart 3.2) and a stobs rin po che [himself a student of dpal sprul], as his main teachers. He was born in 1879 in Khams and died in 1941. His collected writings would fill some ten volumes, yet only individual works have so far appeared. In addition to his autobiography (available as Auto. Rem.,), he wrote a work based on dpal sprul's kun bzang bla ma, known as the kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung zin bris (on which, see Chapter Four), several works on the rdzogs chen practices of khregs chod and thod rgal, and the only extant commentary on 'jigs med gling pa's rdzogs chen practice text, the ye shes bla ma [[[klogn snying]] (a 'dzom), vol. III (Hum), pp. 298-462]. His autobiography ends with the year 1933 and contans a wealth of information on the major figures of rnying ma thought in the first decades of the twentieth century. A more detailed account of his life can be found in Gene Smith's introduction to his autobiography (Auto. Re., pp. 15-20).
51 a 'dzom 'brug pa 'gro 'dul dpa' bo rdo rje 91842-1924?) received the klong snying transmission from dpal sprul rin po che, and also studied with 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang po and 'ju mi pham rin po che. He wrote a detailed introduction to the practces of the klong snying, known as the thar lam gsal byed sgron me (on which, see Chapter Four), He was recognized by mkhyen brtse rin po che as the chos bdag for his snying thig revelations known as the lce btsun snying thig, for which he comosed an introduction. Both of his introductory practice texts were published together in a 'dzom 'brug pa, Two Introductions khrid yig) to rdzogs chen Practice (Darjeeling: Tenzin Wangyal, 1974). He is also well known for the high quality editions produced under his direction at the a 'dzom chos sgar printery, the three volume klong snying edition [[[klong snying]] (a 'dzom)] and the three volume edition of the man ngag sde tantras of the rnying ma pa [[[rnying ma'i rgyu bcu bdun]]], being outstanding examples. Among his many students were a mdo gtso dpal sprul kun bzang gzhan phan 'od zer (se Chart 3.4 and note 58), and rtogs ldan sakya shri (1853-1919), both of whom received the klong snying transmission. It seems that there was a least one recognized a 'dzom 'brug pa incarnation. nam mkha'i nor bu (b. 1938) was recognized as an incarnation of a 'dzom 'brug pa at the age of three (more tibetico) by both dpal yul karma yang srid rin po che kun bzang 'gro 'dul 'od gsal klong yangs rdo rje (1898- ) and zhe chen rab 'byams rin po che snang mdzad grub pa'i rdo rje (1900 -). See nam mkha'i nor bu, gzi yi phreng ba (Dharmasala: bod kyi dpe mdzod khang, 1982), p. 50.10f.
52 This is perhaps rdzogs chen mkhan po blo gsal, a teacher of mkhan po ngag dga'. See Auto. Re., p. 17.
53 Chart 3.3 is based on the klong snying tshogs zhing painted in 1980 by one of my primary informants, mgon po tshe brtan of a mdo, who received the klong snying transmission from the a mdo gtso sprul incarnation (see note 58). He composed a commentary on a klong snying sngon 'gro text by rdo grub chen I (known as the rnam mkhyen lam bzang), the rnam mkhyen mthar gling 'grod pa'i them skas, which is discussed below, in Chapter Four. The arrangement of the lineage figures is essentially the same as that of Chart 3.2
54 Same as smyo shul lung rtogs (#A5, Chart 3.2)
55 dis mgo mkhyen brtse rab gal zal ba (b. 1910) was recognized as the 'mind incarnation' (thugs sprul) of the famed 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang po (see Chart 3.4). One of the most important upholders of the klong snying transmission., and author of some klong snying works contained in klong snying (Hrih), he is also responsible for publishing numerous rnying ma works, including an edition of the rnying ma rgyud 'bum.
56 Same as mkhan po ngag dga' (#A6, Chart 3.2)
57 This chart is based on Kongtrul Ency., Appendix III A, prepared by Gene Smith, but has been modified to include only those mkhyen brtse incarnations who have direct links to the klong snying transmission.
58 kun bzang gzhan phan 'od zer received the klong snying transmission from a 'dzom 'brug pa. He was the rtsa ba'i blam ma of my informant mgon po tshe brtan, and resided most of his life at the retreat center known as chos rdzongs ri khrod. This was a remote place in a mdo, located some two days by horse from the sangs rgyas smin dge gling dgon pa. bla ma mgon po still serves as abbot of this last named place, which was founded by 'jam dbyangs bzhad pa IV kun mkhyen dge bzang thub bstan dbang phyug, and is located within the monastic complex of bla brang bkra shis 'khyil.
59 This chart depicts a little known klong snying transmission in a mdo, and is based on the nye brgyud gsol 'debs of one named simply blo bde, the author of a khrid yig to the klong snying, who claims to have been a student of 'jis med gling pa himself, as well as having studied with zhabs dkar tshogs drug rang grol (see note 61, below). This transmission is important for establishing a student of rdo grub chen I, the previously mentioned Mongolian king ngag gi dbang po, firmly within the klong snying transmission. The nye brgyud gsol 'debs is found in blo bde, rdzogs pa chen po snying thig gi khrid yig go bde bklags chog tu bkod pa lhun grub rtogs pa'i rang sgra kun bzang thugs mdzod gu yangs snying gi thig le (Gangtok: Sherab Gyaltsen Lama, 1976), pp. 91.5ff.
60 this is the Mongolian king who, having received the klong snying transmission from rdo grub chen I, then spread the teachings among the Mongolian nomads of a mdo, particularly around the region of bla brang Monastery. He was also known variously as sog po rgyal po, chos kyi rgyal po Ching Wang, and ngag dbang dar rgyas dpal bzang po. His family donated the land to 'jam dbyangs bzhad pa I for the construction of bla brang Monastery, which was founded in 1710. In gratitude for the teachings received from rdo grub chen I, he presented him with a pearl umbrella, which sprul sku don grub informs me was still present at rdo grub chen Monastery until recently. He also seems to have written several texts, comprising one small volume. His most famous student was zhabs dkar tshogs drug rang grol (on whom, see below, ntoe 61). Indeed, the autobiography of tshogs drug rang grol detals the close association with the Mongolian king, whom he regarded as his rtsa ba'i bla ma. For a discussion of the relation between the family of the Mongolian king and the founding of bla brang Monastery, see J.F. Rock, the Amnye Ma Chhen Range and Adjacent Regions (Serie Orientale Roma, Vol. XII) [rome: Is. M.E.O., 1956], pp. 33-50. See also, rdo grub rnam thar, p. 5.10f.
61 Better known as zhabs dkar tshogs drug rang grol (1781-1850), this a mdo bla ma seems to have attempted a synthesis of dge lugs pa and rnying ma pa teachings, as is evident, for instance, by the figures depicted in the beginning folia of his autobiography. The captions to these figures read: "chos sku'i kun tu bzang po"; "longs sku'i rdo rje 'chang"; "sprul sku'i shakya thub pa"; "tsong kha pa"; "mi la ras pa"; and, finally, "chos rgyal ngag dbang wang". His autobiography, which comprises two lengthy volumes, was recently published in zhabs dkar tshogs drug rang grol, The Collected Works of zhabs dkar tshogs drug rang grol (Paro: Lama Ngodrub and Shesrab Drimay, 1980), vols. 102; hereafter abbreviated as zhabs dkar rnam thar. He received the initiatory name tshogs drug rang grol at the time of the klong snying transmission by the Mongol king. His autobiography is rich in detail ragarding his received teachings. The include dbang, lung, and khrid on bskyed rim, gtum mo, thabs lam, khregs chod, and thod rgal; khrid on the mdzod bdun and shing rta chenmo gsum; and lung, dbang and khrid on the ye shes bla ma, and the mkha' 'gro snying thig (see zhabs dkar rnam thar, vol. 1, pp. 72ff). In addition to being the teacher of blo bde (see note 59), he also gave teachings to dpal sprul's student mdo sngags rgya mtsho (alias 'gya ba a lags, 'ja' pa mdo sngags) from dbang mda'. mdo sngags rgya mtsho was famous for debating with the renowned rnying ma scholar 'ju mi pham (on which, see note 23 of Chapter Two), and was a teacher of rdo grub chen III and the four main mkhan pos of rdo grub chen Monastery. He is perhaps most well known for his poetic composition on the practices of khregs chod and thog rgal, known as the mkha' lding gshog rlabs [published as 'od gsal rdzogs pa chen po'i khregs chod lta ba'i glu dbyangs sa lam ma lus myur du bgrod pa'i rtsal ldan mkha' lding gshog rlabs (Dalhousie: gsung rab nyams gso rgyun spel par khang, 1968). As kindly brought to my attention by Mr. Matthew Kapstein, he also is responsible for receiving five 'magically manifested texts' (sprul pa'i glegs bam), one of which was entitled o rgyan sprul pa'i glegs bam (Delhi: Tsering Wangyal, 1975).
62 rig 'dzin don yod rdo rje and his student rje btsun 'gro drug rang grol are, as yet, unidentified figures.
CHAPTER FOUR: STRUCTURE
In this chapter we will present an analysis of the structure and contents of the klong snying corpus as a whole, using the three volume redaction klong snying (a 'dzom) as our basic reference. It should be borne in mind, however, that this corpus is not 'closed'; new texts and commentaries, notes and introductory guides have been written relating to the klong snying from the time of 'jigs med gling pa's death, in 1798, up to present times. Furthermore, there exist different arrangements of the basic texts, interspersed with supplemental texts, to suit the liturgical requirements of local monastic mulieux within which the klong snying teachings are studied and practiced. On the whole, the texts gathered together in klong snying (a 'dzom) relate to the so-called main practices and doctrines (dngos gzhi); only a few texts in this primary corpus deal with introductory or preliminary aspects (sngon 'gro). Yet from the time of rdo grub chen I onward, sngon 'gro texts on the klong snying have been written in profusion, some of them achieving a fame in their own right by becoming classic examples of the sngon 'gro genre, studied by Tibetans of every school and sect. Although the structural arrangemnt of the corpus is in fact closely tied to considerations of its implementation -- through empowerments and practice -- the discussion of klong snying practice is reserved for Chapter Five. Here we present, first, an account of the structure of the corpus as a whole (section 4.1), followed by an account of the development and textual history of the klong snying introductory texts (section 4.2).
4.1 Structure of the klong snying Corpus
This section is divided into three sub-sections: an account of the basic divisions of the corpus and how that is reflected in the arrangement of texts (4.11); a brief survey of the literature regarding supplemental texts (4.12); and a discussion of several examples of liturgical arrangements of the texts (4.13).
4.11 Basic Divisions
'jigs med gling pa arranged and transmitted the klong snying teachings in four basic divisions; a. outer (phyi); b. inner (nang); c. secret (gsang); d. most secret (yang gsang). kah thog mkhan po ngag dbng dpal bzang has elaborated on these divisions, linking each of them with a major sadhana from the klong snying corpus and characterization of the sadhana:
a. Outer Sadhana (phyi sgrub): bla ma'i rnal 'byor, which is the nirmanakaya sadhana (sprul sku'i sgrub pa).
b. Inner Sadhana (nang sgrub): rig 'dzin 'dus pa, which is the sambhogakaya sadhana (long sku'i sgrub pa).
c. Secret Sadhana (gsang sgrub): thugs rje chen po, which is the dakini sadhana (mkha' 'gro'i sgrub pa).
d. Most Secret Sadhana (yang gsang sgrub): thig le rgya can, which is characterized as the sadhana by means of which one evenly settles into the state of the innermost teacher (bla ma) -- pristine awareness (ye shes bla ma mnyam bzhag gis sgrub pa).
These four divisions are themselves grouped within a portion of the corpus which is concerned with so-called peaceful manifestations of the teacher (rig 'dzin zhi ba). This is shown in the following chart (Chart 4.1), which provides the most inclusive structural divisions of the klong snying corpus into Male Knowledge Holders (rig 'dzin yab ka) [subdivided into peaceful manifestations (zhi ba) and wrathful manifestations (drag po)], and Female Knowledge Holders (rig 'dzin yum ka).
Chart 4.1 Basic Structure of klong snying
I. rig 'dzin yab ka
A. rig 'dzin zhi ba
1. bla ma'i rnal 'byor (phyi sgrub)
2. rig 'dzin 'dus pa (nang sgrub)
3. thugs rje chen mo (gsang sgrub)
4. thig le rgya can (yang gsang sgrub)
B. rig 'dzin drag po
1. dpal chen 'dus pa
2. rta khyung 'bar ba
II. rig 'dzin yum ka
1. bde chen rgyal mo (rtsa sgrub)
2. seng ge gdong can (gsang sgrub
Before proceeding with the analysis of which texts in the klong snying corpus are grouped within the divisions of Chart 4.1, it will be useful to show the symbolic representations ('deities'), which are visual encodements of the klong snying teachings. There are some fifteen such encodements shown in the so-called refuge tree (skyabs 'gro'i tshogs zhing), the visualization of which constitutes part of the introductory practices. Chart 4.2 shows the arrangement according to the mkhyen brtse tradition, followed by Charts 4.3 and 4.4, which explains the basic arrangement and identify the fifteen 'encodements' (numbered 1 to 15).
Chart 4.2 klong snying Refuge Tree (mkhyen brtse tradition)
Chart 4.3 Schematic Outline of klong snying Refuge Tree
Chart 4.4 Identification of Figures in Refuge Tree
Lineage holders I: see Chart 3.2 [#A - #A6]
Lineage holders II: see Chart 3.2 [#B - B6]
Figures a - m: Transmission lineage for rdzogs chen
a. kun tu bzang po
b. rdo rje sems dpa'
c. dga' rab rdo rje
d. shri seng ha
i. ye shes mtsho rgyal
k. khri srong lde'u btsan
l. klong chen rab 'byams pa
m. 'jigs med gling pa
Figures 1 - 8: klong snying Yi-dam (tutelary deities)
[note: omission of seng ge gdong can ma]
1. thugs rje chen po [[[sdug bsngal rang grol]]]
2. Vajra Heruka [[[yang dag]]]
3. 'jam dpal gshin rje gshed
4. che mchog Heruka
5. yum ka bde chen rgyal mo
6. rta mgrin
7. phur ba
8. rta khyung 'bar ba
Chart 4.4 (continued)
Figures 9 - 15: klong snying Dharmapalas (protectors of teaching)
9. tshe ring ma
10. gza' [Rahula]
11. mgon po
12. ma mgon [Ekajati]
13. dam can rdo rje legs pa
14. ngan ne ma (dur khrod bdag mo)
15. gyu sgron ma
It now remains for us to describe, in general, how these fifteen 'encodements' of the klong snying teachings, and the basic divisions into rig 'dzin yab ka and rig 'dzin yum ka are reflected in the corpus of received texts. The detailed contents of klong snying (a 'dzom) is given in Appendix B, to which the reader may refer for the titles of the individual works. Here, and in the following charts, the texts are indicated by their number within the volume, or by a syllable (for each volume) followed by a number. Thus, for example, "#1-4" means the first through fourth text in the indicated volume; "Om" stands for volume I, "Ah" stands for volume II, and "Hung" stands for volume III. Charts 4.5 to 4.7 show the distribution of texts within the divisions and sub-divisions of Chart 4.1; Charts 4.8 and 4.9 show the textual distributon with respect to the fifteen 'encodements' listed in Chart 4.4.
Chart 4.5 Structure of klong snying volume I (Om)
1. Introductory texts [#1-4]
2. rig 'dzin yab ka [#5-16; #45-54]
A. rig 'dzin zhi ba
1. bla ma'i rnal 'byor [#7]
2. rig 'dzin 'dus pa [#11-16]
B. rig 'dzin dra po
1. dpal chen 'dus pa [#45-54]
3. rig 'dzin yum ka [#17-45]
A. bde chen rgyal mo [#17-36]
B. seng ge gdong can [#37-45]
Chart 4.6 Structure of klong snying volume II (Ah)
1. rig 'dzin yab ka
A. rig 'dzin zhi ba [#14-18; #20]
3. thugs rje chen mo [#14-18]
4. thig le rgya can [#20]
B. rig 'dzin drag po [#1-13; #21-23]
1. dpal chen 'dus pa [#1-13]
2. rta khyung 'bar ba [#21-23]
Chart 4.7 Structure of klong snying volume III(Hung)
1. Texts on transference of consciosness ('pho ba), [#1-2]
2. Texts on yogic practice (rtsa rlung), [#4-7]
3. Texts on cuting attachment (gcod), [#8-9]
4. Special rdzogs chen texts, [#10-13]
5. Texts on introductory practices, [#14-16]
6. Basic rdzogs chen klong snying practice text, the ye shes bla ma, [#17]
7. rdzogs chen philosophical texts, [#18-22]
8. Assorted additional texts, [#23-31]
Chart 4.8 Texts Relating to klong snying yi dam
0. seng ge gdong can [Om 37-45]
1. thugs rje chen mo [Ah 14-18]
2. Vajra Heruka (yang dag) [Om 52]
3. 'jam dpal gshin rje gshed [Om 50]
4. Che mchog Heruka (dpal chen) [Om 46-49; Ah 1-13]
5. yum ka bde chen rgyal mo [Om 17-36]
6. rta mgrin [Om 51; Ah 19]
7. phur ba [Om 53]
8. rta khyung 'bar ba [Om 37-45]
Chart 4.9 Texts relating to klong snying Dharmapalas
9. tshe ring ma [Ah 46-49; Hrih, pp. 503-516]
10. gza' (Rahula) [Ah 45]
11. mgon po [Ah 52]
12. ma mgon (Ekajati) [Ah 38-44
13. dam can rdo rje legs pa [----]
14. ngan ne ma (dur khrod bdag mo) [Hrih, pp. 87-88]
15. g yu sgron ma [Hrih, pp. 517-524]
4.12 Supplemental Texts
A collection of supplementary texts, intended for those who practice the klong snying sadhanas, was recently published in Sikkim by Lama Dodrup Sangyay. Of the ten texts in this collection, three deal with instructions on esoteric yogic practices, and the related asanas, according to the klong snying tradition of rtsa rlung (see Chart 4.7, Hum 4-7). In addition this collection includes reproductions of the major mandalas and gtor mas used in the ritual preparation for sadhanas, and commentaries on the practice of the yum ka sadhana [see Chart 4.1, #II.1 bde chen rgyal mo; and texts Om 17-36], and yang gsang sadhana [see Chart 4.1, #IA4. thig le rgya can; and text Ah 20].
There seems to have been only oen commentary ever written on 'jigs med gling pa's major rdzogs chen practice text, the ye shes bla ma (see Chart 4.7, Hum 17), the tika by kah thog mkhan po ngag dbang dpal bzang. In additionm he authored three works dealing with the same subject matter as the ye shes bla ma, primarily the rdzogs chen practices of khregs chod and thod rgyal. The Amdo teacher blo bde write a guide (khrid yig) to rdzogs chen practices, according to the klong snying tradition, which cloese parallels the ye shes bla ma. there are, in addition, nmerous supplemental texts scattered throughout the colected writings of the various klong snying teachers.
4.13 Liturgical Arrangements of the klong snying
As mentioned in the introduction to this chapter, the klong snying corpus has been arranged in different ways to suit the liturgical requirements of local monastic traditions. Although it would be difficult to find all the different arrangements, given the local nature of their distribution, at least three have come to our attention. The most prominent is that of the rdo grub chen tradition. Secondly, there is a liturgical arrangement reproduced at the order of dil mgo mkhyen brtse rin po che in Bhutan, reflecting the mkhyen brtse traditon of the klong snying. Finally, an arrangement which includes supplemental materials by such notables as karma gling pa and mi pham rnam rgyal, consisting of some forty-nine texts (647 pages), was recently issued by Tsewang Namgyal of the Kyichu Temple in Paro (Bhutan). We have not yet been able to determine which klong snying tradition this liturgical arrangement represents.
4.2 Introductory Texts to the klong snying
The klong snying corpus contains only a few introductory texts; most were compiled or written after the death of 'jigs med gling pa. Our discussion of these texts deals first with the textual history of the klong snying sngon 'gro literature (section 4.21), followed by a discussion of the commentarial literature on the yon tan mdzod -- 'jigs med gling pa's lam rim to the klong snying corpus (section 4.22).
4.21 Textual History of the klong snying sngon 'gro
An analysis of the available klong snying sngon 'gro literature reveals the existence of some fourteen texts, written or compiled in six chronological strata. Among the works of klong chen pa, two have been identified as bearing on the development of the klong snying sngon 'gro: sngon 'gro sems sbyong bdun gyi don khrid, and thun mong gi sngon 'gro rin po che'i pra khrid. What we shall designate as the first stratum in the textual history consists of five works by 'jigs med gling pa. Each text has been assigned a number, as shown in Chart 4.10.
Chart 4.10 klong snying sngon 'gro: Stratum I
- 1. thun mong gi sngon 'gro sems sbyong rnam bdun gyi don khrid thar pa'i them skas, composed in 1761.
- 2. rdzogs pa chen po klong chen snying thig gi thun mong gi sngon 'gro khrid kyi lag len la 'debs lugs.
- 3. phyi sgrub bla ma'i rnal 'byor yid bzhin nor bu.
- 4. rdzogs pa chen po klong chen snying thig gi thun mong ma yin pa'i sngon 'gro'i khrid yig dran pa nyer gzhag.
- 5. thun mong dang thun mong ma yin pa'i sngon 'gro sogs ngag 'don 'thor bu'i skor.
The texts of Stratum I, with the exception of #5, which is more in the way of notes and supplementary prayers than a coherent text, formed the basis for the editorial work done by the klogn snying chos bdag rdo grub chen I. He used material from #1 and #2 for a cohesive structuring of the common (thun mong]]) preliminary practices, and texts #3 and #4 for his presentation of the special (thun mong ma yin) preliminary practices. Thus these texts were woven into what is regarded as the classic structure and arrangement of klong snying sngon 'gro verses by rdo grub chen I, author of:
- 6. rdzogs pa chen po klong chen snying thig gi sngon 'gro'i ngag 'don khrigs su sdebs pa rnam mkhyen lam bzang.
This is the only text in what we designate as Stratum II; all subsequent texts are elaborations of #6, and closely follow its structure.
Stratum III consists of five texts, three by 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse dbang po and two by dpal sprul rin po che. They are given numbers, as shown in Chart 4.11.
Chart 4.11 klong snying sngon 'gro: Stratum III
- 7. klong chen snying tig gi sngon 'gro'i ngag 'don rnam mkhyen lam bzang gsal byed. [by mkhyen brtse]
- 8. sngon 'gro'i dmigs rim snying por dril ba zab don bdud rtsi'i snyingku ldeb. [by mkhyen brtse]
- 9. sngon 'gro mdor bsdus byang chub lam bzang. [by mkhyen brtse]
- 10. rdzogs pa chen po klong chen snying thig gi sngon 'gro'i khrid yig kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung. [by dpal sprul]
- 11. sngon 'gro'i dmigs rim bsdus pa. [by dpal sprul]
Text #7 is a slightly expanded version of #6; #8 is a short text concerned with the visualizations (dmigs rim) which accompany sngon 'gro practice; and #9 is the shortest extant version of any klong snying sngon 'gro text. It was apparently written by mkhyen brtse rin po che for those lay persons who did not enjoy a life-style conducive to long hours of meditative practice. Text #10, known to generations of Tibetans as the kun bzang bla ma, is a classic of the sngon 'gro genre, and is often studied by Tibetans of every doctrinal persuasion. It was composed on the basis of oral explanations furnished by 'jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu, dpal sprul's rtsa ba'i bla ma. Text #11 is a short work on the necessary visualizations.
The remaining strata consist -- at this point in our research -- of one text each. Each is assigned a number:
- 12 klong chen snying thig gi sngon 'gro'i khrid yig thar lam gsal byed sgron me by a 'dzom 'brug pa.
- 13. rdzogs pa chen po klong chen snying thig gi sngon 'gro'i khrid yig kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung gi zin bris by kah thog mkhan po ngag dbang dpal bzang.
- 14. rdzogs pa chen po klong chen snying thig gi sngon 'gro'i 'bru 'grel rnam mkhyen mthar gling 'grod pa'i them skas by bla ma mgon po tshe brtan.
Text #12 was written by dpal sprul's student a 'dzom 'brug pa (d. 1924?) and is closely modelled on #11. Text #13, by mkhan po ngag dga' (d. 1941) is actually a series of notes (zin bris) to the kun bzang bla ma (text #10), and contains general observations on the study and practice of the klong snying teachings. Text #14 was composed by one of my primary informants, the Amdo teacher bla ma mgon po. It alone of all fourteen texts provides a word by word commentary ('bru 'grel) on the klong snying sngon 'gro verses composed by rdo grub chen I (text #6) and expanded by 'jam bdyangs mkhyen brtse dbang po (text #7). The following chart (Chart 4.12) schematically presents these six strata and the fourteen above-named texts, showing their interrelation. The dates given for each stratum represent the terminus ad quem for the composition of all texts represented in the stratum. Arrows indicate direct influence of text in the composition or structural arrangement of subsequently written text.
Chart 4.12 Six Stages in Development of klong snying sngon 'gro Textual History
4.22 Commentarial Literature on the yon tan mdzod
After the klong snying revelations 'jigs med gling pa composed a massive two volume work, greatly influenced by the writings of klong chen rab 'byams pa, on the philosophical background necessary for those individuals engaged in the introductory (sngon 'gro) and main (dgnos gzhi) practices of the rdzogs pa chen po klong chen snying thig. This work, known as the yon tan mdzod, consists of a root text and a commentary divided into thirteen chapters. It is a classic presentation of rdzogs chen philosophy and, as shch, spawned a commentarial literature of its own. We have be able to locate nine tets concerned with the [[yon tan mdzod, composed in four chronological strata. As was done in the previous section (4.21), we will here give a numerical listing of these texts, followed by a chart showing the interrelations between texts of different strata.
Chart 4.13 yon tan mdzod Literature: Stratum I
- 1. yon tan rin po che'i mdzod dga' ba'i char
- 2a. yon tan rin po che'i mdzod kyi rgya cher 'grel pa bden gnyis shing rta.
- 2b. yon tan rin po che'i mdzod kyi rgya cher 'grel pa rnam mkhyen shing rta.
All the texts in stratum I were composed by 'jigs med gling pa. The root text of the yon tan mdzod (text #1) was composed in 1779; the two volumes of commentary (texts #2a and #2b) were written in 1781. The second stratum comprises those works which are the earliest extant commentaries on the work of 'jigs med gling pa. Five texts belong in the second stratum, two of which are commentries on difficult points (dka' 'grel) [texts #3, #4]; the other three being structural outlines ( #5-#7).
Chart 4.14 yon tan mdzod Literature: Stratum II
- 3. yon tan rin po che'i mdzod kyi dka' gnad rdo rje'i rgya mdud 'grel byed legs bshad gser gyi thar ma by sog po bstan dar.
- 4. yon tan mdzod kyi dka' 'grel nyin byed snang ba by dpal sprul rin po che.
- 5. yon tan mdzod kyi 'chad thabs yid kyi me long by dpal sprul rin po che.
- 6. yon tan mdzod kyi spyi don sa bcad rgyas bsdus mtshams ba 'brig po ltar byas pa by dpal sprul rin po che.
- 7. yon tan mdzod kyi bsdus don 'byed 'grel me tog gi phreng ba by dpal sprul rin po che.
The author of text #3, sog po bstan dar, was a student of rdo grub chen I (d. 1821), and rdzogs chen rin po che]] IV (b. 1793). He was therefore a contemporary of dpal sprul rin po che (d. 1887), author of texts #4-#7. The remaining two strata contain only one work each, and are as follows;
- 8a. yon tan rin po che'i mdzod kyi 'grel pa bden gnyis gsal byed zla ba'i sgron me by yon tan rgya mtsho.
- 8b. yon tan rin po che'i mdzod kyi 'grel pa zab don snang byed nyi ma'i 'od zer by yon tan rgya mtsho.
- 9. yon tan mdzod kyi mchan 'grel by klong chen pa ye shes rdo rje (bka' 'gyur rin po che.
yon tan rgya mtsho, a student of dpal sprul rin po che, based his commentary on two of his teacher's works, texts #4 and #6. The last, and most recent, commentary was by the late bka' 'gyur rin po che, who died in the mid 1970s.
following the conventions for Chart 4.12, where the dates given for each stratum represent the terminus ad quem for the composition of the texts in question, we conclude this chapter on the structure and arrangement of the klong snying corpus, by presenting a chart showing the four stages in the development of the commentarial literature on the yon tan mdzod (Chart 4.15).
Chart 4.15 Four Stages in the Development of the yon tan mdzod Commentarial Literature
NOTES TO CHAPTER FOUR
1 The detailed table of contents for klong snying (a 'dzom) is given in Appendix B.
2 The meaning of the terms sngon 'gro and dngos gzhi are discussed in Chapter Five.
3 See Chapter Two, note 87.
4 See kha thog mkhan po ngag dbang dpal bzang, rdzogs pa chen po klong chen snying thig gi sngon 'gro'i khrid yig kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung gi zin bris (spang dgon, Bhutan: n.p., 1969?), fols. 189a2 ff.
5 Based on information provided by sprul sku don grub.
6 The seven figures in the circle labelled "lineage holders I" [in Chart 4.3] are identified and discussed in Chapter Three, Chart 3.2 [#A-#A6], and notes. The figures in the circle labelled "lineage holders II" are identified and described in Chart 3.2 [[#B-EB6]. Taken together these figures constitute the main transmission line, according to the mkhyen brtse tradition, of the klong snying from the time of 'jigs med gling pa onwards. The figures marked "a" to "m" are the major figures in the rdzogs chen klong snying]] transmission, from the Adibuddha Samantabhadra [[[kun tu bzang po]]] to 'jigs med gling pa.
7 Volume III (Hung) differs in content and structure from the other two volumes. It contains texts relating to the practice of rtsa rlung and rdzogs chen, plus additional material relevant to these practices. The detailed contents are found in Appendix B; here we present the basic divisions.
8 The numbering is given according to that of Chart 4.4, with the addition fo seng ge gdong can, who seems to have been accidently omitted from the otherwise complete refuge tree depicted in Chart 4.2. Here we have arbitrarily asigned her the number "O".
As there are few texts in the main klong snying corpus dealing with the Dharmapalas, we have included here texts found in the fourth volume supplement to klong snying (a 'dzom, klong snying (Hrih), and marked them "Hrih", followed by the relevant pages.
10 klong chen snying thig gi sgrub skor gyi lhan thabs dang dpe'u ris sogs bcas (Gangtok: Lama Dodrup Sangyay, 1977).
11 kah thog mkhan po ngag dbang dpal bzang, rdzogs pa chen po ye shes bla ma'i spyi don snying thig ma bu'i lde mig kun bzang thugs kyi tikka (New Delhi: B. Jamyang Norbu, 1971).
12 See his Three Works On The Structure of rdzogs chen (Atiyoga) Practice (New Delhi: B. Jamyang Norbu, 1972).
13 Reference given in Chapter Three, note 59.
14 See, for instance, the four texts on klong snying sadhanas written by [[rdo grub chen III in Coll. Works (D), vol. Nga, pp. 449ff.
15 klong chen snying thig gi chos tshan sna tshogs (Gangtok: Deorali Chorten, 1973), 198 pp.; and kunmkhyen rdzogs chen pa rang byung rdo rje 'am /rig 'dzin 'jigs med gling pa'i dgongs gter klong chen snying thig gi chos sde rnams gtso bor byas pa'i 'don cha nyer mkho (Gangtok: Dodrup Chen Rinpoche, n.d.), 12pp. the first reference is a reprint of a liturgical arrangement the blocks for which are preserved at the Deorali Chorten in Gangtok, which is the present residence of rdo grub chen Rinpoche IV. the second reference was kindly furnished by [[sprul sku don grub[[, and is a detailed dkar chag to the rdo grub chen liturgical arrangement of the klong snying corpus.
16 Liturgical Texts of the klong chen snying thig Rites (Paro, Bhutan: Dodrup Sangay Lama, 1976), 576 pp.
17 klong chen snying thig gi 'don cha'i skor (paro, Bhutan: Tsewang Namgyal, 1979).
18 sngon 'gro sems sbyong bdun gyi don khrid [in snying thig ya bzhi, vol. 1 (bla ma yang tig), pp. 511-520; thun mong gi sngon 'gro rin po che'i pra khrid [in snying thig ya bzhi, vol. 10 (zab mo yang tig (part 1)), pp. 189-195.
19 See klong snying (a 'dzom), vol. III(Hung), pp. 121-229.
20 See klong snying (a 'dzom), vol. III(Hung), pp. 230-263.
21 See klong snying (a 'dzom), vol. I(Om), 129-138.
22 klong snying (a 'dzom), vol III (hung), pp. 264-297.
23 klong snying (a 'dzom), vol. III(Hung), pp. 663-658.
This is a collection of additional material which presupposes a knowledge of text #3 (see p. 646.1).
24 For a discussion of the common and special preliminary practices, see Coll. Works (dpal sprul), vol. 5, pp. 1-565.
25 See Coll. Works(J), vol. VII (Ja), pp. 237-265.
Curiously, this important text is not in the klong snying (a 'dzom). The colophon (p. 264.3f) clearly states that rdo grub chen I wrote this on the basis of 'jigs med gling pa's works. This was recently translated by Tulku Thondup (see reference in Chapter Three, note 33).
26 Published in Gangtok: sngags rigs 'dzin bal po chos grags, 1966, 25 fols.
27 In klong snying (Hrih), pp. 581-608.
28 In klong snying (Krih]], p. 579.1-579.6.
29 there are many editions of this popular work, See Coll. Works(dpal sprul), vol. 5, pp. 1-565. More recently there was a facsimile reproduction of the 1951 Lhasa edition published by Ngodrup in Paro, Bhutan, 1976.
30 In Coll. Works (dpal sprul), vol. 5, pp. 565-587.
31 Several edition of this work have been published. We have used the dbu can version reproduced from the library of the late A-pho Rinpoche of Manali. It was published by Damchoe Monlam in Manali (H.P.), India in 1976.
32 See reference in note 4, above.
33 Published in deharadun, India by snga 'gyur rig gzhung slob gnyer khang, 1973.
34 In Coll. Works (J), vol. II (kha), 121 pp.
35 Coll. Works (J), vol. I (Ka).
36 In Coll. Works (J), vol. II (kha), 877pp.
37 Published by Ngondrup and Sherab Drimay in Paro, Bhutan in 1978.
38 In Coll. Works (dpal sprul), vol. 4, pp. 97-236.
39 In Coll. Works (dpal sprul), vol. 2, pp. 193-199.
40 In Coll. Works (dpal sprul), vol. 2, pp. 199-240.
41 In Coll. Works (dpal sprul), vol. 2, pp. 241-330.
42 Published by Sonam T. Kazi, Ngagyur Nyingmay Sungrab, bol. 26, in Gangtok, 1969.
43 Published by Sonam T. Kazi, Ngagyur Nyingmay Sungrab, vol. 27, in Gangtok, 1971.
44 Published as: yon tan mdzod kyi mchan 'grel. The original autograph of bka' 'gyur rin po che. Collection Archives, vol. 3. (Paro, Bhuta: Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche Padma Wangyal, 1982).
The teachings of the klong snying, whose genesis, transmission, and structure have been the subject of investigation in previous chapters, are regarded as exemplary manifestations of the skillfulness and compassionate concern for the welfare of all beings exhibited by the one known as 'the second Buddha' -- Ruru Rinpoche. As a 'mind treasure' (dgongs gter) entrusted to the safe keeping of the dakinis and authorized by Guru Rinpoche to be revealed at the proper time by 'jigs med gling pa, the klong snying is understood by Tibetans to be a particularly efficacious teaching of the Buddhadharma. As is the case with all teachings of the Buddhadharma, it consists of two aspects -- the texts themselves (lung gi chos), which are the means by which the subject matter is communicated, and the understanding and experiential realization (rtogs kyi chos) which occurs as a result of hearing, thinking about, and putting into practice the instructions and explanations of qualified teachers whose wisdom is embodied in the texts. To what end is the practice of these teachings directed? As with all Buddhadharma, despite the enormous diversity of genres -- be it sutra or tantra, bka' ma or gter ma -- they are all said to have but one taste: the 'taste' of complete liberation from the incessant patternsof suffering and unsatisfactoriness.
In this, the last chapter of our study, we will present first some general remarks on Tibetan Buddhist practice, to establish the necessary background (section 5.1); second, a section on preliminary and introductory practices (5.2); third, a section on main practices (5.3); fourth, a discussion on regional differences in the practice of rdzogs chen and klong snying teachings, based on conversations with several Tibetan informants (5.4); and fifth, a concluding section with indications for future research (5.5).
5.1 Tibetan Buddhist Practice
Although the Buddhist tradition has always acknowledged the existence of a variety of individual capacities amongst practioners, those inhabitants of countries which predominantly follow the Mahayana (which until quite recently included Tibet), admit of the existence in each and every human being, whether practioner or not, of an in-built program for moving the individual toward ever-greater degrees of freedom and health. This program is 'hard-wired' into the human condition; its execution is that movement which is technically termed the path (lam), and phenomenologically characterized as the pursuit of spiritual maturation (theg pa). The relation between the path and the pursuit of spiritual maturation is nicely brought out by the rnying ma scholar mi pham rgya mtsho, who says: "One speaks of the path, principally, as the pursuit of spiritual maturation, the sustaining uplift which enables one to begin moving toward one's goal." The movement experientially entails the removal of adventitious impediments to the ever-expandable actualization of one's in-most potential, culminating in the condition of self-sustaining optimization (sangs rgyas). Freed from all restrictive limitations based on contextually dependent judgements, and their inherent fragility, the qualities which are characteristic of fully developed human potential naturally expand, becoming dominant and self-sestaining. This is the conception of practice and its result according to the Mahayana. It is the foundational understanding for practices of Tibetan Buddhism, which are regarded as the swift, skillful, and easily implemented fruition of the Mahayana, known as Vajrayana.
In general, the practice of Buddhism in Tibet consists mainly of a multitude of ritually structured contemplative exerscises (sadhana) which utilize an intentional language whose symbolic content includes specially encoded configurations (mandala), gestures (mudra), aesthetically compelling forms (devata), and utterances (mantra). Properly understood, these sadhanas and their complex structures are the in-most nature of human beings, realized in and as refined and optimized processes. That is, these practices involve the experiential accessing of a human being's in-most nature understooks as a process of continuing refinement and optimization.
How is such optimized refinement (which liberates one from everything unsatisfactory) achieved? What are the steps to be taken in every practice? For the correct approach to any practice, it is said one must based oneself on the three reliances (dam pa gsum). The first is the reliance on application (sbyor ba), which consists essentially of activating the intentionally directed attitude of engaging in such practice for the purpose of aiding all beings to achieve the fullest realization of their in-most potential. The second is the reliance on the actual practice itself, with an undistracted concentration devoid of extraneous considerations (dngos gzhi dmigs med). The third is the reliance on the conclusion of the practice, which consists of the dedication of whatever benefits may have resulted from the practice to the service and welfare of all beings (rje bsngo ba).
Ideally, every endeavor in the life of a practitioner is undertaken with a mindfulness of these three reliances, be it the reading of a book, the drinking of tea, or the act of walking. More narrowly, however, these three reliances are applied in the context of practices especially designed to familitate one's spiritual maturation. In a condensed formulation, there are siad to be essentially two phases to any practice-- the preliminary or introductory phase (sngon 'gro), and the main phase (dngos gzhi).
5.2 Preliminary and Introductory Practices
An account of the variety and types of preliminary practice literature would require a separate study of its own. Here we shall restrict our remarks to a discussion of the relevance and necessity of such practices, according to rnying ma and rdzogs chen sources.
What is meant by 'preliminary practice' (sngon 'gro)? The generally accepted meaning is that they are preliminary in the sense of coming before the main practices (dgnos gzhi). In a deeper sense, however, it refers to all practices and study done before the actual achievement of complete liberation from recurrent practices deemed necessary before proceeding with main practices? They are said to stabilize one's motivation to persevere on the path of spiritual maturation by purifying and cleansing one of those obscurations which impede progress. The analogy used by klong chen pa is that of having been formerly afraid to approach the dangerous highway, but now fearlessly proceeding. Preliminary practices are likened to a good escort, or a convoy whose presence allays fears regarding troubles on tthe long journey ahead. The purpose of the preliminaries is to free one from suffering by linking up to that path which leads beyond suffering, specifically beyond the attachment to experiencs of body, speech, and mind.
klong chen pa provides a hermeneutical definition of the term sngon 'gro. "Former" (sngon) refers to one becoming freed from the defiling actions which arose in conjunction with our body, speech, and mind, and have accumulated over countless former eons. "Proceeding/going" ('gro) refers to the student's need for proceeding with training and initial advice regarding the main practices, so that the essential import of these practices will effortlessly arise, thereby assuring that the student is actually in the process of going beyond suffering. The preliminaries are necessary for making the main practice go well, so that one may proceed in a confident manner without obstcles. They help one overcome obstructions and quell disturbances in the functioning of the body, speech and mind. This is their general purpose. Their special purpose is to free one's Being from its restricted patterns by releasing these patterns into the dimension of authentic embodiment (sku), authentic utterance (gsung), and authentic spirituality (thugs). We have only discussed the import of preliminary practics in a general way. A detailed discussion, with reference to each aspect of the preliminaries, would necessitate a separate study. Instead, we shall proceed to a general discussion of the main practices.
5.3 Main Practices
Having completed the preliminary practices, the student is deemed sufficiently stable and sesoned to embark on the main practices (dngos gzhi). klong chen pa characterizes the main practice as a method for bringing about, in the actual conditions of one's life situation, an awareness which cannot be defiled or diminished by adventitious circumstances. klong chen pa furnishes a hermeneutical definition of the term dngos gzhi, literally meaning "substantial/essential" (dgnos) "ground/foundation" (gzhi). He stresses the fact that there must be both something essential to the practice as well as a (philosophical) ground for it to qualify as a main practice in the true sense. If the practice has a foundation or ground (gzhi), but nothing essential (dngos) to actually engage in, that is likened to there being a fancy palace with no king. klong chen pa forthrightly criticizes those so-called followers of rdzogs chen who parlance may be roughly equated with the underlying structure and dynamics of the universe as a whole -- insures that nothing needs to be 'practiced' by the student, for reality is, by its very nature, already completely perfect (rdzogs chen). To such people klong chen pa derisively responds that they will die ordinary deaths.
There are other people who maintain that it is sufficient for there to be something essential to engage in, and that there is no ground or philosophical basis which can support it. This position is likened to one having seen the king but not being able to give an account of his defining characteristics. klong chen pa cautions those who engage in the main practices of the rdzogs chen against thinking that it is sufficient to just 'experience' the esentaials, dispensing with a knowledge and study of its characteristics. Because of the subtle nature of such experience, it is easy to confuse it with other experiences which may naturally arise in the wake of practice. One needs to be able to distinguish between transient insight and the enduring and sustaining experiences which are characteristic of authentic breakthrough. Because the capacity for delusion is enormous, one needs the guidance of a trained teacher who has genuinely experienced such a breakthrough and has studied those texts which describe the pitfalls which attend the path of spiritual maturation.
5.4 klong snying Practice
Based on the information provided by a number of native Tibetan scholars, it is clear that there is a great deal of flexibility in the actual practice of the preliminary and main phases of the klong snying. The differences are based primarily on differing monastic and regional customs, and are not regarded as substantial. A detailed account of the specific monastic traditions within which the klong snying is studied and practiced cannot yet be written. It will have to await the gathering of the relevangt anthropological, social and economic data. Here we shall present, instead, a general outline of fklong snying practice.
After successful completion of the preliminary practice, the student is ready to begin the main klong snying practices. At rdo grub Monastery, the seat of the klong snying chos bdag, this consists of a year retreat during which one intensively studies and practices the so-called 'three roots' (rtsa gsum). The retreat begins with an empowerment ceremony (dbang bskur), conducted by the head of the monastery, serving as a formal initiation into the practice. Tehreafter, for ten days -- divided into four period pf practice per day -- one engages in a refresher couse in the preliminaries, so as to assure a smoothtransition into the substance of the retreat. This is followed by the so-called 'recitation retreat' (bsnyen sgrub), a strictly observed period of practice during which one intensively stives to being to life -- by recitation of the relevant mantra in conjunction with the appropriate visualization -- the inner essence and spiritually sustaining force of that particular practice, symbolically represented as an aesthetically moving form (lha). The practice is done repeatedly until the sustaining force of that 'form', representing the refined and optimized potential of the student, has become stable. This process is overseen by a senior guide (mkhan po), to correct defects of practice and advise the student on how to cope with any obstacles which might arise. When the retreat is successfully completed, the student then practices a shortened version on a daily basis, so as not to lose the benefits of the retreat.
The practice of the three roots constitutes the main klong snying practice at rdo grub monastery. In other locales completion of the preliminaries may lead to practices other than that of the three roots. One may take advanced training in yogic practice (rtsa rlung), or proceed directly with rdzogs chen meditative practices. In both cases, however, one does so only if, in the opinion of one's spiritual guide, one is sufficiently prepared. If the student is deemed ready, he may then be given instruction on the rdzogs chen view of 'mind" (sems khrid), during which he learns to experientially distinguish the difference between the transient and enduring characteristics of mental processes. This is then followed by a direct introduction into that fundamental awareness which underlies all mental processes (rig pa'i ngo sprod), through a special empowerment known as (rig pa'i rtsal dbang). According to the klong snying tradition of rdzogs chen practice, the primary textual source is the ye shes bla ma. rdzogs chen retreats based on this text are usually held during the summer months. Generally speaking, such a retreat begins with special preliminary practices, through which one learns to experientially distinguish the diffeence between one's restrictive patterns of behavior and one's authentic modes of abiding ('khor 'das ru shan). One then proceeds to the main practices of rdzogs chen, known as khregs chod and thod rgal, which aim to impart to the student direct simple means for stabilizing the experience of his in-most natural awareness (rig pa).
5.5 Concluding Remarks
With this brief survey of the practices associated with the klong snying tradition, we come to the conclusion of our study. We have attempted to present, in the precious pages, a detailed account of the genesis, transmission and structure of one of the most popular religious traditions of Tibet. The original impetus for such a study was the simple fact that nowhere in the literature on the cultural traditions of Tibet coult one find any study which took as its single focus a textual tradition whose origin was based on revelation (gter chos). Such a study as this can never be a closed matter, for we are dealing with a living traditon. Indeed, without the active cooperation of native Tibetain scholars, much of the detail of this study would will be terra incognita.
Aside from filling in gaps in our knowledge of the specific historical contexts where the klong snying tradition has taken root, there remains a perhaps greater challenge. The challenge consists of finding the appropriate language and methodology for rendering comprehensible to those trained in the Western intellectual traditions the detailed analyses of human experience, and the range of human possibility, which are envisioned and embodied in the klong snying corpus. In any pioneering field, where one fights for the emergence of fresh perspectives on the human condition, one is encumbered at every turn by outmoded terminology and the enadequate philosophical analysis upon which it rests. This is especially so for a non-Western cultural tradition which assumes, as a matter of fact, that what goes by the name fo 'human being' is an open-ended possibility whose only real reestraints are the self-imposed limits of imagination and experience. Put more directly, what is the possible relevance of a thousand year old tradition of exploration and experimentation to those of us in the twentienth century who are bearing witness to the denigration of the humanities, both within and outside of academia? There can be no single response. Suffice it to say that there are glimmers, here and there, of interest in the claim of psychological transformation -- the possiblity of such transformation being the sole raison d'etre of the klong chen snying thig tradition.
1 The terms lung gi chos (Skt. agamadharma) and rtogs gi chos (Skt. adhigamadharma) are discussed in Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakoshabhasya ad VIII 39a-b. See Louis de la Vallee Poussin, trans. L'Abhidharmakosa de Vasubandhu (Paris: Paul Guethner, 1923-1931), Chapitre 7, p. 218.
2 The liberating taste of the buddhadharma is proclaimed throughout the sutra and vinaya literature. See Etienne Lamotte, Histoire du Bouddhisme Indien, Bibliotheque du Museon, vol. 43 (Louvain: Publications Universitaires, 1958), p. 156.
3 This in-built program is technically termed bde bar gshegs pa'i snying po (the energy-matrix which thrusts towards optimum fulfillment), one which see Herbert V. Guenther, trans., Kindly Bent To Ease Us (Emeryville, Calif.: Dharma Publications, 1975), vol. I, p. 266, note 5; p. 281, note 1.
4 See mi pham rgya mtsho, mkhas pa'i tshul la 'jug pa'i sgo (Kalimpong: gsung rab nyams gso rgyun spel bar khang, 1963), fol. 76a1.
5 On the relationship between Mahayana and Vajrayana, see Herbert V. Guenther, Treasures on the Tibetan Middle Way (Berkeley: Shambala, 1971), pp. 51-57.
6 'Refinement and optimization' renders the technical term byang chub. On the range of meaning of this difficult term, see herbert V. Genther, trans., Kindly Bent To Ease Us, vol. I, p. 257, n. 19; p. 266, n.5. For a discussion of the ritual structure of Tibetan Buddhist practice, se Stephan Beyer, The Cult of Tara. Magic and Ritual in Tibet (Berkeley: Univ. of Calif. Press, 1973). For a detailed study of mandala, mantra, and devata, from the viewpoint of rdzogs chen, see Herbert V. Guenther, Matrix of Mystery (Boulder: Shambhala, forthcoming).
7 The three reliances (dam pa gsum) are discussed in Coll. Works (dpal sprul), vol. 5, p. 49.4f.
8 There is an enormous literature in Tibetan dealing with preliminary practices. The nineteenth century bibliographical work known as the tho yig, composed by a khu rin po che shes rab rgya mtsho (1830-1875), lists some two-hundred and fifty works, classified by genre into texts on attitudinal refinement (blo sbyong), graduated phases of spiritual maturation (lam rim), and instruction on proper viewpoint (lta khrid). See Lokesh Chandra, Materials For A History Of Tibetan Literature, Part 3, Sata-Pitaka Series, 30 (New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1963), pp. 514-522.
9 These previous remarks are based on discussions with the learned rnying ma scholar mkhan po dpal ldan shes rab (February, 1981). See also, Judith Hanson, trans., The Torch Of Certainty (Boulder: Shambala, 1977), pp. 9-24.
10 These and the following remarks are based on klong chen rab 'byams pa, theg pa'i mchog rin po che'i mdzod (Gangtok: Dodrup Chen Rinpoche, n.d.), vol. 2, pp. 135.5ff.
11 The release of these restrictive patterns into their authentic dementions carries one beyond suffering to a condition of self-sustaining optimization (sangs rgyas), commonly termed "Buddhahood". See Herbert V. Guenther, trans., Kindly Bent To Ease Us, vol. I, p. 256, n. 17; p. 285, n. 13.
12 Each phase of preliminary practice serves to motivate the student to persevere in the arduous task of overcoming self-imposed limitations. In the context of klong snying preliminary practices, the necessity of each phase is discussed in Coll. Works (dpal sprul), vol. 5, pp. 553.1ff.
13 These and the following remarks are based on klong chen rab 'byams pa, theg pa'i mchog rin po che'i mdzod, vol. 2, pp. 144.2ff.
14 For a discussion of the rdzogs chen conception of Ground (gzhi), see Herbert V. Guenther, trans., Kindly Bent To Ease Us, vol. III, pp. 5-11.
15 In the context of the main practices of the klong snying, the most famous text describing the pitfalls and delusion of rdzogs chen meditative practice is the so-called "Lion's Roar" (senge ge'i nga ro), one which see Chapter 2, note 82.
16 The listing of my informants is given on the Acknowledgement page of this study.
17 The general account presented here is based primarily on the practice of the klong snying at rdo grub monastery, as described by sprul sku don grub and rdo grub chen rin po che IV.
18 The three roots (rtsa gsum) are the teacher (bla ma), tutelary deity (yi dam), and attendant spiritual forces (mkha' 'gro), on which see Herbert V. Guenther, trans., Kindly Bent To Ease Us, vol. I, p. 273, n. 3 For the klong snying tradition these correspond, respectively, to the rig 'dzin 'dus pa, dpal chen 'dus pa, and yum ka bde chen rgyal mo (see Chapter 4, Chart 4.1).
19 Regarding empowerment (dbang bskur) for the klong snying the following information was kindly furnished by rdo grub chen rin po che IV (May, 1981). The root empowerment (rtsa dbang) for the practice of the rig 'dzin 'dus pa is the rtsa dbang rgyal thabs spyi blugs [see Appendix B, text Om #5 (pp. 86-91)]. At [[rdo grub monastery a 'compiled text' (chog 'grugs) by rdo grub chen I is used, intitled rig 'dzin 'dus pa'i dbang chog 'grigs su byas pa mkhyen brtse'i zhal ngom. In practice an empowerment of deities (lha dbang) is inserted into the liturgy of the main impowerment. The specific lha dbang used is the lha bdang padma ra ka'i phreng ba. (Ideally one should receive this empowerment for the practice of furuyoga.) The root empowerment for the practice of the yum ka teachings is entitled bdag 'jug dbang don rab gsal ba [see Appendix B, text Om #22 (pp. 322-328)]. At rdo grub monastery they use the compilation by rd grub chen III entitled yum ka'i dbang gi mtshams sbyor mu tig chun po. The root empowerment for the practice of the dpal chen 'dus pa teachings is entitled bdag 'jgu dbang don rgya mtsho [see Appendix B, text Ah #4 (pp. 49-70)]. In actual practice a lha dbang is inserted into the liturgy of the root empowerment text. At rdo grub monastery the use the so-called Nine Deities Empowerment (dpal dgu) from the ngan song sbyong ba empowerment text entitled dbang gi spyi don snying po don gsal.
20 For a discussion of the function and importance of empowerments in the rdzogs chen context, see klong chen rab 'byams pa, snying thig ya bzhi, vol. 2, pp. 1-189. On the rig pa'i rtsal dbang, see klong snying (a 'dzom), vol. III (Hung), pp. 354.2ff. For a discussion of how to enter into the practice of the rdzogs chen snying thig, see Coll. Works (dpal sprul), vol. 5, p. 554.6f. Here one finds mention of instruction in sku gsum, sems khrid, and rig khrid. These three aspects of practice are explained in klong chen rab 'byams pa, theg pa'i mchog rin po che'i mdzod, vol. 2, pp. 137.6ff, and klong snying (a 'dzom), vol. III(Hung), pp. 302.6ff.
21 See Appendix B, text Hung #17 (pp. 298-462); see also chapter 2, note 82; chapter 4, notes 11, 13.
22 On a recent attempt to study the claims for psychological transformation as embodied in the Tibetan tradition, see Daniel P. Brown, "A Model For the Levels of Concentrative Meditation," The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25, No.4 (1977), 236-273. For a more sophisticated study, which carefully tried to control for cultural differences in the interpretation of intra-psychic phenomena, see Daniel P. Brown and Jack Engles, "The Stages of Mindfulness Meditation: A Validation Study," Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 12, No. 2 (1980), 143-192. See also the following excellent studies: Richard J. Davidson and Daniel P. Goleman, "The role of Attention in Meditation and Hypnosis: A Psychobiological Perspective On Transformations of Consciousness," The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25, No.4 (1977), 291--308; and Margorie Schuman, "The Psychophysiological Model of Meditation and Altered Staes of Consciousness: A Critical Review," in The Psychobiology of Consciousness, ed. Julian M. Davidson and Richard J. Davidson (New York: Plenum Press, 1980), pp. 333-378.
snying thig ya bzhi: DETAILED ANALYSIS OF CONTENTS
Section I. snying thig ya bzhi: Contents pp. 164-190
Section II. snying thig ya bzhi: Titles (alphabetically listed) pp. 191-228
Section III. snying thig ya bzhi: Authors (alphabetically listed) pp. 229-233
This analysis is based on the edition: snying thig ya bzhi, 11 vols. Reprinted by Trulku Tsewang, Jamyang and L. Tashi. New Delhi, 1970.
Note on format:
Section I. The pagination follows the above listed edition. The symbol ** indicates either (a) variant title name, or (b) name of cycle within which title exists.
Section II. Names of title divisions (into part, book, etc.) refer back to Section I for full context.
Section III. Only those authors not obviously kun mkhyen dri med 'od zer are listed. Works listed by them should be located first in Section II, then in Sention III to determine full context.