Drubchen Namkha Gyaltsen

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Drubchen Namkha Gyaltsen (grub chen nam mkha' rgyal mtshan)

In the very brief sketch of his life by Jonang Taranatha, it says that he was born in a Wood-Bird year. That could however be a mistake of the editors of Taranatha's Collected Works, as the only acceptable Wood-Bird year would be 1465, the year in which Namkha Gyaltsen's main teacher, Nyame Sangye Palsang, passed away. Namkha Gyaltsen's father was Rinchen Sonam, his mother Sonam Drolma. From his earliest years onwards, he would constantly repeat the six syllables of the Great Compassionate One, and loving kindness and compassion towards beings came naturally for him. An understanding of mind-nature and the various meditative absorptions of shamata and vipassyana arose without effort. At age eight, he received novice-ordination from Lama Rinchen Tsultrim. At twelve he began to study the Hevajra tantra. At 18 he went west to Cholung and began studies under Khon Rinchen Gyalwang Dragpa, from whom he also received full ordination. It was this occasion on which actually received the name Namkha Gyaltsen. He then trained himself for several years in the methods of listening, reflection and meditation of both the sutra and tanta approaches and eventually met with his main teacher, Nyame Sangye Palsang. He also met with other illustrious teachers of his time and received teachings and transmissions from them, such as Buton Rinchen Drub, Lotsawa Namkha Drag, Taktse Gyaltsen Palzang and the Indian pandita Vanaratna, etc. In particular he received the complete transmission of the teachings and practices of the Shangpa Kagyu from Nyame Sangye Palsang, and soon the clear and irrefutable signs of erudition and realisation appeared clearly. He beheld many different yidam deities face to face, such as Kalacakra, Hayagriva, Avalokiteshvara, Vajrayogini and so forth, to name just a few. In his dreams he travelled to many pure realms and was welcomed there by dakinis and dharma protectors. His compassion for human and non-human beings was unparalleled. When his master Nyame Sangye Palsang renovated Kuklung monastery (apparently after it had been damaged by an earthquake), he went there as his servant. At age 63 he renovated the residence of Langri Tangpa and appointed a caretaker. He also established the hermitage of Ritro Rabten at Cholung. Eventually he showed signs of sickness and, a few years later, passed away on a tenth day by way of performing the transference of consciousness into the space of suchness, thus merging his mind with dharmakaya itself. Among his main students was also Gyagom Legpa Gyaltsen, to whom he entrusted the transmission of the Shangpa Kagyu lineage in particular.

From the "dpal ldan shangs pa'i chos skor gyi 'byung khungs yid kyi mun sel" by Jonang Tāranātha, vol. 34, pp. 194-285 of his Collected Works, dpal brtsegs bod yig dpe rnying zhib 'jug khang edition [TSD]

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