37 Termas of Chokgyur Lingpa

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The 37 Termas of Chokgyur Lingpa and their places of revelation


Here is a provisional description by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, extracted from his "gter chen rnam thar las 'phros pa'i dris lan bkra shis dbyangs snyan bskul ba'i dri bzhon ldeb", vol. Ti of Chokling Tersar pp. 15-52

Here is the way in which is 37 earth termas were revealed in succession: Generally speaking, it is difficult to explain them imprecise detail, since several of them appeared with the seal of secrecy and also the were some that were concealed again as terma, and so forth. What is mentioned here is merely what we, master disciple, have as our shared experience. [26].

List: 1-9

1. To begin, when he [Chokgyur Lingpa] was thirteen years old, during the spring of the year of the female fire ox, he was accepted and given predictions by Uddiyana and consort in actuality at a place called Manikha. In accordance with a prediction, he revealed as his first terma, from White Cliff Small Fortress (brag dkar rdzong chung), the Embodiment of Realization from Prince Lhasey, a vajra and mirror as the sign of his command, as well as 24 sadhanas that were his personal practice. Later on, he gave the mirror to Jamgon Lama (Jamgon Kongtrul) and the vajra to myself (Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo).

2. Following this, gradually, during the winter of his thirteen year, in accordance with the description lists which he found from below Crystal Cliff, at age 14, from the White Stupa of Samye (bsam yas mchod rten dkar po), he revealed in the profound terma but due to the nature of circumstances, he concealed it once more as a terma.

3. At age 20, on the tenth day of the (dbyug pa zla ba) month Of the Earth Monkey, he revealed Tukdrub Barchey Kunsel as the secret terma from beneath the feet of the Great Glorious Cliff at Danyin Khala Rongo(zla nyin kha la rong sgo).

4. That age 21, at known on the tenth day of the (khrum stod zla ba) month in the year of the female Earth bird, he revealed from Nabun Dzong, Misty Fortress (na bun rdzong), the Great Compassionate One Padmo Ushnika, Pema Tsugtor, (thugs rje chen po padma gtsug tor), and many articles including the liberation-by-seeing, the image of the Great Compassionate One made of the owner of the Dharma king. [Note: in some notes is mentioned that this took place during the Dog Year at the age of 22, not when I personally received the first empowerment and reading transmission, he told me it is like this since I asked the details of the story.]

5. At age 27, he revealed as the secret terma, from White ['dzong] Cliff, the practice place of the Precious Master at the summit of Mount Mighty Bow (ri bo dbang zhu’i brag) , the Four Teachings to Dispel Obstacles (bar chad sel ba’i lha bzhi) that are subsidiary at aspects of Tukdrub Barchey Kunsel.

6. At age 28, from the Vow-Holder's Cliff at Soka Karma (karma’i dam can brag), he revealed the Practice in Seven Cycles of Profundity (zab pa skor bdun), including the Peaceful and Wrathful Magical Net of Vajrasattva. [27]. A wonderful profound teaching which is utterly complete in terms of tantra, statement and instruction.

7. In summer, at Yegyal Namkha Dzo, Mount Yegyal Sky Treasury (ye rgyal mnam mkha’ mdzod), which is also known under the name One-Legged Musk Deer, income, he revealed from the great casket of teachings numberless profound Dharma that were primarily it's subsidiary aspects, as well as the two imagery presentations.

8. During the second month of August, once more, from the [gseng] of the head of the Great Splendorous One at the Khala Cliff, the summary-list of Tukdrub (thugs sgrub mdo byang) and the guidebook to the sacred place and so forth as well as samaya articles with the seal of secrecy.

[Note: in the decoded lists for this sacred place, some copies mention that he was 29, but I hold that he was 28. The reason is that at age 29, he decoded the summary-list, so therefore it seems that a writing mistake has taken place.]

9. On the first victorious day in the victorious month, we, master disciple, together revealed as a 'public terma' the Sacred Dharma Dzogchen Desum(dam chos rdzogs chen sde gsum) from the Lotus Crystal Cave (padma shel phug) at Mesho Dzomnang (smad shod 'dzom nang). From then on words, is termas were for the most part revealed in public.


10. On the tenth day of that same month, from the summit of this sacred place, he revealed as a [phral]-terma the magical bone image of the vidyadhara Garab Dorje, as well as the two editions of Heart Essence.

11. When he had reached the age of 29, on the first day of the miracle month, he revealed the summary-list of The Twenty-five Sacred Places (gnas chen nyer lnga) from Mighty Warrior Cliff (dpa' bo dbang chen brag).

12. On the ninth day of that same month, from the Great Secret Cave of Drinyen Dong ('bri gnyan sdong gsang phug), the sacred place that is the body aspects of enlightened qualities, he revealed as a secret terma the Heart Essence of Manjushrimitra ('jam dpal bshes gnyen snying tig).

13. When the fifteenth day, he revealed from the summit of Sengchen Namdrak, Great Lion Sky Cliff, which is the sacred place for the activities of enlightened qualities, the description lists for profound termas, [28] together with the Heart Essence of Tsogyal (mtsho rgyal snying tig).

14. On the 19th day, from the lower part of the upper cliff, to revealed the Sacred Dharma in Six Parchments (dam chos shog sde drug pa), including Lungchen Dorje Kopa and so forth, the secret volume, Orgyen Rinpoche's crown, Prince Lhasey's seal, robes of Buddha Shakyamuni, Dharma medicine from Garab Dorje, and other articles. The teachings, image and sacred substances he revealed as public terma.

15. On the 20th, from the Rinchen Barwa, Blazing Jewel, of that same cliff, he revealed an amulet box with Dharma medicine from the king and twenty-five disciples (rje 'bangs nyer lnga) as well as one cycle of teachings.

16. On the 22nd, from the cliff that resembles the King of Healing, he revealed a terma of medicine and also a piece of yellow parchment. The medicine he gave to meet and the yellow parchment he kept secret. All the termas at this cliff were without exception in public termas.

17. On the road leading to Lhonda, he revealed at the Dakini Crystal Cave of Dzimey ('dzi smad mkha' 'gro shel phug), a guide to the sacred place written on the robe of Khenpo Bodhisattva and the ear rings of Gyalwa Choyang, and other things.


18. From the Vajra Quartz Cave of Kerong (Ke rong rdo rje cong phug), he revealed longevity substance from Uddiyana and consort, a casket made of zi, as well as several description lists.

19. During the waning part of the [smin] month, during Sunset on the sacred 25th day when dakinis gather, he revealed from the Lotus Power Cave (padma'i dbang phug) at the sublime place of Khandro Bumdzong (mkha' 'gro 'bum rdzong), the four major Dharma cycles of the Great Compassionate One who Overturns the Depth of Samsara (thugs chen 'khor ba dong sprugs), as well as the cycle of sacred substances.

20. Inside the Bumdzong lake ('bum rdzong mtsho), he was personally entrusted by the naga mara Khala Raksha with a stone casket containing the cycle of Dharma protectors (chos skyong dgongs 'dus).

21. From the personal throne of Orgyen in the innermost part of the Bumdzong Secret Cave ('bum rdzong gsang ba'i brag phug), he revealed the Tara statue known as Self-Existing Compassion, pills made from the flesh of the brahmin Prabhahasti, the Six Practice Cycles of Zurza (zur bza'i thugs dam skor drug), [29] and in particular as I personally requested him with a description lists, he also revealed the pre-eminent cycle Lotus Magical Net of the Great Compassionate One (thugs chen padma sgyu 'phrul drva ba) containing tantra, statement and instruction, and others.

22. At the age of 30, in the year of the male Earth Horse, he revealed, from the upper gate to the Mansion of Sporting Mamos at the resplendent site of Ogmin Karma, the General Summary of the Mamos (ma mo spyi bsdus) as well as pills for enlightened body, speech and mind.

23. On the tenth day of the (dbyug pa zla ba) month of that same year, I exhorted him, in accordance with my own previous vision and predictions I had received, and therefore he (Chokgyur Lingpa) revealed from Blazing Jewel Cliff at the mountain of Tsikey Norbu Punsum, Three Brothers at Kela (tsi ke nor bu spun gsum), the Dharma cycle of Lamey Tukdrub Yishin Norbu Sampa Lhundrub, the Guru's Heart Practice Wishfulfilling Spontaneous Fulfillment of Wishes (thugs sgrub yid bzhin nor bu bsam pa lhun grub ma'i skor), together with the image that represents guru Rinpoche.

24. During the (smin zla ba) month, he revealed from the Blazing Light Cliff of Goto (go stod 'od 'bar brag), the sacred substance known as Trinley Rolpa, together with the framework for the drubchen, the Wishfulfilling Jewel of Dharma protectors, and also the cycle of for the great guardian king Namtosey.

25. At age 31, on the tenth day of the monkey month of the female Earth Sheep, from Tsadra Rinchen Drak (tsA 'dra rin chen brag) -- the Jewel Cliff which resembles Tsari of Devikoti -- the upper retreat above Palpung, he revealed the cycle on Sangtig Nyingpo (gsang thig snying po), the guide book for the sacred place, as well as the sacred substance known as Jewel Crest, which is the pill that contains relics from all sugatas.


26. During the early winter of that year, from Meseng Rinchen Sheldrak, the Jewel Crystal Cliff of Gato Meseng, he revealed a sa-tsa the upper part of which was made of gold while the lower part of turquoise and which inside had one single large relic-pill which was magically produced from Guru Rinpoche's tooth. As well, he revealed many description lists containing the major and minor sacred places of Tibet and numerous termas, including the guide book for Doti White Snow Mountain, [30] some of which he decoded into writing while others were left without being propagated.

27. From the Turquoise Cave of Gato (sga stod g.yu brag), he revealed the longevity-substance of White Tara from Vimalamitra known as Moon Essence, and also the Tuktig Nyingpo the seal of secrecy of which he maintained with utmost strictness (bi ma la mi tra'i sgrol dkar thugs tig snying po).

[Note: this sacred place had been opened by Dudul and a guide book for it exists. He also identified the sacred place for activity of enlightened body to be Hedrak, which is one of the 25 major places according to Terchen Rinchen.

28. When he had reached the age of 36, on the tenth day of the waning Saga Moon in the year of the male Wood Rat, from the Turquoise Cliff (g.yu 'bal brag) situated on the southern slope of Mount Yegyal Sky Treasury (ye rgyal nam mkha' mdzod), he revealed the profound and extensive Dharma cycle of tantra, scripture and instructions belonging to Kabgye Deshek Kundu (bka' brgyad bde gshegs kun 'dus), the Eight Sadhana Teachings That Embody All Sugatas, together with a statue representation and sacred medicine.

29. From the Cave known as the Longevity Wall Cave (tshe zhal brag) known as Longevity Increasing Cave, which is situated on the western slope of that same mountain, he revealed some extraordinary substance for longevity coming from Guru Rinpoche and consort, as well as teachings and others, including the tantra of longevity and the sadhana for Amrita Kundali (tshe rgyud) (bdud rtsi 'khyil ba'i sgrub thabs).

30. At the age of 38, on the 25th day of the [dbyug pa] month of the year of the Fire Tiger, both of us, master and disciple together, met at Karmo Tagtsang -- the Immortal White Tiger's Lair of Rongmey (rong me 'chi med dkar mo stag tshang). On the 27th day he revealed, the Sublime Dharma in Five Essential Cycles (dam chos snying po skor lnga) and other things from the right side of the Secret Cave.

31. Following that, he destroyed/undid the Cave's 13 consecutive seals and, in the morning of the 9th day during the waxing part of the [smin] month, he revealed the Tukdrub Dorje Draktsal (thugs sgrub rdo rje drag rtsal) from the left side of the Secret Cave. At dawn on the tenth day, he revealed the personal Vajra scepter of Guru Rinpoche and other things. Note: Lamrim Yeshe Nyingpo. [31]

32. Om the excellent tenth day, from the Invincible Wild Lion Turquoise Lake (ma pham seng rgod g.yu mtsho), he created to be amazing feat of, among other things, revealing without any hindrance a great treasure.

33. At the age of 39, on the third victorious day during the waning part of the [dbo] month of the year of the Fire Rabbit, from Dzongsho Deshek Dupa - the Palace Where Sugatas Assemble of Dzongsho (rdzong shod bde gshegs 'dus pa), the sacred place of hidden qualities, he revealed the (phyag tsh'a) of the Abbot, Master and Dharma King, together with a parchment scroll.

34. On the tenth day during the waxing part of the [nag pa] month, from the sublime place known as Pema Shelri, Lotus Crystal Mountain (padma shel ri), he revealed the sacred substance in the form of the pill Swirling Expanse, which liberates by sight and is venerated as being one of the (btsas) of the Buddhadharma. In addition, he also revealed the profound parchment of the Dakini's Secrets.

35. On the 11th day of that month, we, master and disciple together, from the Garuda Nest Cliff (khyung tshang brag), which is the sacred place of the dakinis mind, revealed The Heart Essence of All Knowledge-Holders (rig 'dzin yongs rdzogs snying tig) together with their sacred substance contained in a casket of stone with a [le'u tshan] and the terma casket for the Heart Essence that Embodies the Herukas (he ru ka 'dus pa'i thugs tig), which at the shape of a curved knife.

36. On the second victorious day during the waxing part of the saga month, from Snowy Hermitage of Great Bliss at Rudam (ru dam gangs khrod) which is the primary sacred place of enlightened qualities, he revealed the Sublime Bliss that Equalizes the Buddhas, the guide book for the Snowy Ranges of Rudam, and a stone casket with three compartments containing the sacred substance of the Nectar That Embodies All Herukas. (Also:) (bde mchog sangs rgyas mnyam sbyor)

37. On the fifteenth day of the (gro bzhin zla ba) month, due to my persistent encouragement based on the description list I had received, during the journey towards Lhasa, he went specifically to the Cliff of Three Brothers of Kela (ke la nor bu spun gsum brag) where he revealed the Sublime Dharma in Seven Jewel Cycles (dam chos nor bu skor bdun), as well as the ornaments of Guru Roaring Lion, [32] an image that represents the Guru and other things.