1. Sönam Tsering was constantly at Patrul Rinpoche’s side after Patrul became seventy-one years old. See Khenpo Kunpel’s biography in the Biographical Notes.
2. One of the most illustrious disciples of Khenpo Ngakchung, Chatral Sangye Dorje (bya bral sangs rgyas rdo rje, 1913–2015), passed away at the age of 102. When Matthieu visited Tibet in 1985, he was able to meet Tulku Urgyen Chemc- hog, a close disciple of Khenpo Ngakchung; in 2004, another disciple of Khenpo Ngakchung was still teaching in a mountain retreat at Nyarong, in Kham.
3. The full title of a collection of songs and words of advice, put together retro- spectively by Khenpo Shenga Tenga, who arranged Patrul Rinpoche’s collected works, can be translated roughly as “Authentic Pith Instructions, Spontaneous Vajra Songs, Melodies Free from Elaborations.” It is a collection of written pieces of advice and instructions given or sent to students, poems, and songs of realization (vajra songs). This genre is widely found in Tibetan literature. The selections translated are not all literally songs, and Patrul Rinpoche was not known (unlike Milarepa and Shabkar, for instance) for actually singing such “songs.”
4. A few of his personal possessions are preserved in the home of descendants of Patrul Rinpoche’s sister: a small thangka of Jigme Gyalwai Nyugu (1765–1843), a hand-held prayer wheel, a monk’s shawl (chos gos), a metal pot for boiling tea, and bellows for making a re. There is also a woodblock print of Milarepa’s biography and his Hundred Thousand Songs, given to Patrul Rinpoche by the Great Printing Press of Derge (Derge Parkhang). Patrul Rinpoche’s begging bowl is now kept at Shechen Monastery in Nepal.
5. Collected in editions of six or eight volumes.
6. tshig gsum gnad brdegs. Patrul’s commentary is titled mkhas pa shri rgyal po’i khyad chos (Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King).
7. Dzö Dun (mdzod bdun).
8. Patrul Rinpoche’s birthplace is called Dru Karchung Khohor (gru dkar chung sko ’or) or more commonly Karchung Khormo Olu (dkar chung ’khor mo o lu).
9. The Dza River (rdza chu) becomes the Mekong after it leaves Tibet.
10. The Mukpo Dong (“Maroon-Faced”) clan belongs to the Dongshakar (gdong zhwa dkar) family lineage that produced many ministers to the King of Derge.
11. The Manjushrinamasangiti (Tib. Jampel Tsenjö; ’jam dpal mtshan brjod, literally “Chanting the Names of Manjushri”) is one of the most advanced teachings given by Buddha Shakyamuni, one of the few among the vast number of exist- ing tantras that he taught. Numerous commentaries have been written on this profound text.
12. The Plain of the Mamos (mamo tang; ma mo thang) is not far from Patrul Rin- poche’s birthplace. At the edge of the plain, in a small cli , is the Cave of the White Mule (Drelkar Phuk / drel dkar phug). Jigme Gyalwai Nyugu and Patrul Rinpoche both practiced meditation in this cave, which has two small chamber caves within it. Jigme Gyalwai Nyugu stayed in the upper, smaller chamber and Patrul in the lower one. They both stayed there at di erent times.
13. Labrang refers to the residence of an important lama.
14. Some sections of the wall were made of stones carved with the entire 103 vol- umes of the Tripitaka.
15. The Palge Mani Wall (palge mani dobum / dpal dge ma ni rdo ’bum), located on the Plain of the Mamos, was dismantled during China’s Cultural Revolution. Since it was located in a remote area and made out of heavy stones, the stones were not taken away but were scattered in the area. Khenpo Dönnyi of Gemang Monastery says that local people began to reassemble the wall during the mid- 1980s, inspired by a lama called Gyaltsen Rabyang (Aku Rabyang). Once the wall was reassembled, it was gradually enlarged. Many stone carvers moved into the surrounding area, adding new stones when commissioned by others or simply out of personal devotion. In the 1990s, Akong Tulku commissioned the carving of the Kangyur, the 103 volumes of the Buddha’s teachings. Later, a line of large stupas was erected halfway along the length of the wall by a faithful disciple from Hong Kong known by her Tibetan name, Kachö Wangmo. Then, a lama called Kunga Zangpo (acknowledged by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche as a possible incarnation of Patrul Rinpoche) added many more stupas. Many stones were carved and added through the work of Lama Gangshar of Dzagyal. Today, local authorities will no t permit any further additions to the wall. At present, by our rough estimate, the wall is about 1.8 km (1.1 mi.) long, 4 m (4.4 yd.) high, and 18 m (19.7 yd.) wide. It takes forty- ve to fty minutes to complete one circumambulation, walking at a brisk pace. See the 2005 photograph of the wall on page 000.
16.This is most probably the 4th Taklung Matrul Rinpoche, Ngawang Tenpai Nyima (ngag dbang bstan pa’i nyi ma, also known as chos kyi ’byung gnas phrin las rnam par rgyal ba, 1788–?).
17. See Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones: The Practice of View, Meditation, and Action (Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1993, 2012).
18. “Orgyen” refers to the Kingdom of Oddiyana, the native land of Padmasam- bhava, who was born from a lotus on Lake Danakhosha, now tentatively iden- ti ed as Lake Saiful Muluk in the Kaghan Valley of Pakistan.
19. In Kham and Amdo, Aku (Uncle) is an a ectionate and respectful way to address monks and elder males.
20. Among Patrul’s other teachers were Dola Jigme Kalzang, Jigme Ngotsar (one of four “fearless disciples” of Jigme Lingpa), and Gyalse Shenphen Thaye. From these masters, Patrul received the transmission of Longchenpa’s Trilogy of Rest- ing at Ease, Shantideva’s Way of the Bodhisattva, and the Guhyagarbha Tantra, and instructions on the various traditional sciences.
21. Dzagyal Trama Lung (rdza rgyal khra ma lung). See the photo on page 000.
22. Dodrup Tenpai Nyima, Dewdrop of Amrita; Khenpo Kunpel, Elixir of Faith.
23. In Tibet, to this day, many dedicated practitioners renounce not only worldly a airs but, like Patrul, renounce involvement in monastery a airs as well. They give up all involvements, not wanting to “renounce a small home only to get caught up in a big one.”
24. Excerpt translated from gtam padma’i tshal gyi zlos gar (The Lotus-Grove Play), Collected Works of Patrul Rinpoche, vol. 1 (2003), p. 351.
25. For more details on this topic, see Tulku Thondup, Hidden Teachings of Tibet: An Explanation of the Terma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1986).
26. Tib. byang chub sems dpa’i spyod pa la ’jug pa, also known for short as Chönjuk (spyod ’jug).
27.Patrul received transmissions from the Longchen Nyingthig from Gyalse Shenphen Thaye. From Khenchen Sengtruk Pema Tashi, the rst abbot of Shri Singha Philosophical College, he received teachings on much of the Nyingma Kahma.
28. Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling (zhe chen bstan gnyis dar rgyas gling) Monastery was destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. It was rebuilt in exile in the 1980s in Kathmandu, Nepal.
29. Thirteen Great Treatises (gzhung chen bcu gsum) are thirteen commentaries on the Buddha’s teachings and on the writings of the greatest Buddhist panditas of India (Aryadeva, Asanga, Chandrakirti, Nagarjuna, Shantideva, and Vasu- bhandu). The thirteen treatises are on Vinaya, Abhidharma, the path of the bodhisattva, prajnaparamita, and Madhyamika. The well-known commentaries on these treatises by Khenpo Shenga (Shenphen Chökyi Nangwa), which are also titled Thirteen Great Treatises, revitalized scholarship on these topics; his approach is still widely used in Tibetan philosophical colleges. (See also note 235.) The collection also contains additional commentaries besides the thirteen.
30. When Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo (rong zom chos kyi bzang po, 1012–1088), known as Rongzom Mahapandita, was asked about the extent of his study of Buddhist scriptures, he answered, “I can’t say I studied extensively, since most of the texts I read only once. But I also can’t say that I didn’t study, since after reading them just once, I knew them almost by heart.”
31. The Tibetan name of Long-Life Cave is Tsering Phuk (tshe rin phug).
32. Jigme Lingpa had three incarnations: Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, his body- incarnation; Patrul, his speech-incarnation; Do Khyentse, his mind-incarnation. Thus these three were of the same wisdom-mindstream.
33. Abu is an intimate yet respectful way to address a male person.
34. People are often surprised to discover that not all Buddhists are vegetarians. Buddhists of China and Vietnam are usually strict vegetarians; most Japanese and Tibetan Buddhists eat meat. In Tibet, vegetarianism can be di cult, since altitude and harsh climate make growing crops impossible above 12,000 feet. Many Tibetans nonetheless regard eating meat as a regrettable practice. In India, where conditions are very di erent, most Tibetan monasteries have now adopted a vegetarian diet. A few eminent masters, such as Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdröl (see Biographical Notes), have unambiguously promoted abstention from meat-eating, even in di cult environments. More recently, this has been the view of Khenpo Tsultrim Lodrö of Larung Gar (a monastic estate in Kham sheltering 20,000 nuns, monks, and lay practitioners) as well as of Tulku Pema Wangyal (Taklung Tsetrul Pema Wangyal Rinpoche) and many others. From a Buddhist point of view, it is unacceptable to live at the expense of the su ering and death of other beings. In the Lankavatara Sutra, it is said: “Alas, what sort of virtue do these beings practice? They ll their bellies with the esh of animals, thus spreading fear among the beasts who live in the air, in the water, and on the earth! Practitioners of the Way should abstain from meat, because eating it is a source of terror for beings.” Highly realized masters such as Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje have the capacity to liberate the mindstream of an animal whose esh they consume, such that it would not take rebirth in samsara but would be freed in the absolute expanse. Ordinary practitioners cannot do this. For a detailed explanation, see Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdröl, Food of Bodhisattvas: Buddhist Teachings on Abstaining from Meat, trans. Padmakara Translation Group (Boston: Shambhala Publications, 2011).
35. The Guhyagarbha Tantra (rgyud gsang ba snying po, Secret Essence Tantra) is the main mahayoga tantra in the Nyingma tradition. Extensive commentaries on it have been written by luminaries such as Longchenpa, Minling Lochen Dharma Shri, and Lama Mipham Rinpoche.
36. The goal of the path, enlightenment.
37. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s elder brother Shedrup said, “Patrul Rinpoche’s students rst gained a thorough understanding of a root text by using a word-by- word commentary. When beginners start by studying the detailed explanation of a text, their understanding is scattered. By memorizing the outline, one can understand the general meaning, and when reviewing the commentary from there, one’s study will be e ective. These days there are too many annotated commentaries that lack an outline and so don’t produce a good understand- ing.” Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche studied The Way of the Bodhisattva with Khenpo Shenga, a student of Patrul Rinpoche and Öngpo Tendzin Norbu. Khenpo Shenga would teach one page a day of The Way of the Bodhisattva; Khyentse Rinpoche’s tutor made him read the teaching a hundred times. See Brilliant Moon, pp. 31 and 33.
38. When there is not enough time to teach the whole text of The Way of the Bodhi- sattva, it is customary to teach chapters 1, 2, 3, and 10 (respectively on the bene- ts of bodhichitta, confessing one’s faults, cultivating bodhichitta, and sharing accumulated merits).
39. Chöjuk metok (spyod ’jug me tog). In the fall of 1991, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso, b. 1935) spent a week teaching The Way of the Bodhisattva in Dordogne in the southwest of France. A tent large enough to accommodate eight thousand people had been set up in a large meadow on the Côte de Jor near the Centre d’Études de Chanteloube, a Buddhist studies and retreat center. An apple tree grew in that meadow, just next to the teaching throne. Two weeks after the teachings had nished, that apple tree burst into full bloom. Normally, of course, apple trees bloom in the spring, not in the autumn. Matthieu, who at the time had been translating for H. H. Dalai Lama, has kept some of these apple blossoms.
40. According to Khenpo Kunpel’s less-detailed version (Elixir of Faith, p. 391), this anecdote took place when Patrul Rinpoche came down from Dhichung Cave in Ari Forest.
41. Known as a dotse (rdo tshad), it was worth fty sang (srang), a silver coin used prior to 1959. A dotse was about 4 pounds in weight of silver.
42. According to Do Khyentse’s autobiography, rig ’dzin ’jigs med gling p’ai yang srid sngags ’chang ’ja lus rdo rje’i rnam thar mkha’ ’gro’i zhal lung (Sichuan Minorities Press, 1997), and Tulku Thondup’s Masters of Meditation and Miracles (p. 195), Do Khyentse was staying in Lauthang in 1836 when Patrul was twenty-eight years old. Lauthang is in the Gartar Dzong district west of Lhagong Monastery. In recent times, it was the residence of Lauthang Tulku Drachan, an incarnation of Dodrupchen, who died in 1958 or 1959.
43. Four demons (Skt. mara; Tib. düzhi / bdud bzhi): the demon of the aggregates (phung po’i bdud), embodied by the deity Brahma (tshang pa); the demon of obscuring emotions (nyon mong gi bdud), embodied by Indra (dbang phyug); the demon of Devaputra, “son of a god” (lha bu’i bdud), embodied by Devendra (lha dbang); and the demon of death (’chi bdag gi bdud), embodied by Vishnu (khyab ’jug).
44. Tibetan books are made of a collection of long, loose folios, which are wrapped in a cloth when one is not reading the book.
45. Patrul advised Nyoshul Lungtok: “Study all philosophical systems without bias. Bias creates distorted understanding. When you study all teachings impartially, you will know what is true and what is not, you will know what is profound and what is not, you will know what accords with the buddhas’ wisdom-mind, and so forth. From then on, understanding will come through your own insight.” See Khenpo Ngawang Palzang, Wondrous Dance of Illusion, p. 102.
46. Krishnacharya (Skt.; Tib. Nakpo Chöpa / nag po spyod pa), one of the Eighty- four Mahasiddhas of India.
47. Some oral sources assert that Lungtok spent twenty-eight years with Patrul Rinpoche, leaving when he was fty (1851–1879). Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche’s Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems states that Patrul sent Lungtok home in 1869, when Lungtok was forty. Thus, Lungtok would have rst met Patrul in 1848 at age nineteen.
48. Here, “gods” (Tib. lha; Skt. deva) refers to the beings of the realm of form (Skt. rupadhatu) and of the formless realms (arupadhatu), who can remain for a very long time in a state of absorption, in which all perceptions of the outer world stop. This state momentarily protect those gods from ordinary disturbing emo- tions but does not bring them to freedom from ignorance. Accordingly, they don’t exhaust their negative karma and will eventually fall back in the lower realms of samsara.
49. Shamatha, or “calm abiding” meditation, is a stage of concentration in which the mind remains unmoving on an object of concentration. Although this state is of great importance, it by itself cannot overcome ignorance and the conception of self. It must be associated with vipashyana, or profound insight, which allows one to overcome the ignorant belief in the existence of the self and to realize the ultimate nature of the mind and of phenomena.
50. Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche places this episode at Changma Hermitage in Dzach- ukha. Khenpo Kunpel, in Elixir of Faith, places it at Dzogchen.
51. Yeshe Lama (gdod ma’i mgon po’i lam gyi rim pa’i khrid yig ye shes bla) is a teaching by Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa on the practice of Dzogchen, which Patrul frequently taught. It is found in volume 3 of the ve-volume Longchen Nyingthig Tsapö (klong chen snying thig rtsa pod) (New Delhi and Kathmandu: Shechen Publications, 1994).
52. Threefold sky practice (ngam mkha’ gsum phrug) is an advanced meditation practice of the Great Perfection. As the practitioner gazes into a cloudless blue sky, the immaculate outer sky, one’s inner sky (the luminous crystal central chan- nel, rtsa ka ti shel sgi bu gu), and one’s secret sky (the nature of pure awareness, rig pa’i ngo bo) all merge inseparably as uncompounded appearance-emptiness, indivisibly united, free from all elaborations.
53. Tegchog Dzö (theg mchog rin po chen mdzod). I am not aware of whether the seven volumes of the collection, owned by Nyoshul Lungtok, are still extant at Shugu Shar, where they were preserved until the Communist invasion of Tibet.
54. Chulen (bcud len; Skt. rasayana), or “extracting the essence,” is a means of extracting through deep meditation the quintessence of (depending on the object of concentration) small pebbles, owers, or space, and subsisting upon it. This is said to be one of the eight common siddhis, or accomplishments (thun mong gi dngos grub), the supreme siddhi being enlightenment.
55. Shri Singha was the chief disciple and successor of Manjushrimitra in the lin- eage of the Dzogchen teachings, and a master to Guru Padmasambhava.
56. The symbolism of tormas is complex; generally speaking, white tormas are o ered to peaceful deities and red tormas to wrathful ones.
57. See note 37.
58. Dzakhok refers to the remote inner reaches or back country of Dzachukha.
59. A similar story comes from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He was attending a picnic in the presence of his second main spiritual master, Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö. Seeing that Dilgo Khyentse had forgotten to bring his own tea bowl, Jamyang Khyentse o ered him his own. As in the story of Patrul and the little girl, to be o ered the use of a high lama’s own bowl was nearly unthinkable. Thus, out of respect, Dilgo Khyentse declined the great lama’s o er. Jamyang Khyentse o ered his tea bowl a second time, and again Dilgo Khyen- tse refused. Finally, appearing a bit exasperated, Jamyang Khyentse said, “Take it! It’s not dirty!” When Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was telling this story and got to those words, “It’s not dirty!” his eyes lled with tears. (From Brilliant Moon, p. xxxiii.)
60. Lamtso Nam Sum (lam gyi gtso bo rnam gsum).
61. Je Tsongkhapa, (rje tsong kha pa, 1357–1419).
62. See below a translated excerpt from the Prayer for the Swift Rebirth of Shabkar, in the Collected Works of Patrul Rinpoche (2003), vol. 8, pp. 80–83. Protector, willingly, you displayed your form-body [rupakaya], To bene t beings of this decadent age. Yet, having taken care of your disciples, a icted with bad karma, For a short time, you went to rest in the absolute expanse. How could this be right? To bene t beings of this degenerate age, You, Protector, willingly appeared in human form. Yet, having cared for your bad-karma students for a while, Now you’ve gone; you rest within the absolute expanse. How can this be so? Here, praying with both our eyes lled with tears, Like children calling upon their mother, We, your disciples, are left behind— Suddenly, you went to sleep in dharmakaya. Could this be really true? We are here; tears well up, Like those of children crying for their mother As we make our supplications, We, your students, left behind. All at once, you’re gone; you rest in dharmakaya. How can this be so? . . .............. I did not have the good fortune to behold your face: What is the use for me now, to have two eyes in my forehead? From now on, and for however long I may live, I promise you that I shall endeavor in the essence of the practice. O protector, in whichever pure buddha eld you abide now, Gaze upon me with your compassionate eyes so that we both become indivisible. With not enough merit to see your face in fact, What’s the use of my having eyesight? From now on, for the rest of my life, I vow to dedicate myself to practicing the very essence. O protector, from whichever buddha eld you abide, Look upon me with eyes of compassion, So that we two are indivisible. When I am overcome by demons of bad karma, Lured o by distraction, And the wrong views of ordinary life arise in mind, Please show me your form— In dreams, in meditation experiences, or in this life ; Help me be steadfast on the path that is immaculate and perfect. Like a monkey who tries to imitate a man, I try to ape your life-example of perfect liberation. As I aspire to cultivate the two bodhichittas, Keep me safely in the guard of your compassion, Just as a mother keeps watch over her child.
63. Oral account of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. See also Dilgo Khyentse, Brilliant Moon, p. 135.
64. The Treatise on the Sublime Continuum (Skt. Uttaratantra-shastra; Tib. rgyud bla ma’i bstan bcos) is a profound explanation of the buddha nature (tathagatagar- bha) according to the teachings of the third turning of the wheel of dharma by Buddha Shakyamuni. It is one of the Five Treatises received by the great Indian pandita Asanga in visions from the bodhisattva Maitreya.
65. This Tibetan expression (ey shi re) indicates serious resolve or intent, as in the English phrases “Even if it kills me, I will do this!” or “Even at the cost of my own life, I won’t do this!” Oral communication from Tulku Thondup.
66. Minling Lochen Dharma Shri, Chöphel Gyatso (smin gling lo chen gcung chos dpal rgya mtsho, 1654–1718), wrote two commentaries on the Guhyagarbha Tantra, known for short as gsang bdag dgongs rgyan (Ornament to the Wisdom Intention of the Lord of Secrets) and gsang bdag zhal lung (Oral Instructions of the Lord of Secrets).
67. Yarlung Pemakö is located 15 km (9.3 mi.) from Serta prefecture in Golok. It was a principal seat of the 1st Dodrupchen, Jigme Trinley Özer; the 3rd Dod- rupchen, Jigme Tenpai Nyima; and the present 4th Dodrupchen. There are at present two incarnations of Dodrupchen Rinpoche: one who lives in Sikkim, who is well known around the world, and one who lives in Kham.
68. The Mani Kahbum (ma ni bka’ ’bum) is a collection of teachings and practices focused on Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, written by King Songtsen Gampo.
69. Shukchen Tago is located about 15km (9.3 mi.) from Dodrupchen Monastery in Golok.
70. Jigme Trinley Özer had built there a small monastery, Drodön Lhundrup Ling. He lived there for a while but then moved his seat to Yarlung Pemakö in Serta Valley.
71. The Derge edition of the Kangyur, considered to be the most reliable, contains 103 volumes.
72. There are several species of jolmo (’jol mo, laughing thrush) in Tibet, belonging to the genus Garrulax. The onomatopoeic sounds of its call are rendered as khyö kyi-hu, nga kyi-hu.
73. “Penetrative insight” and “calm abiding” refer, respectively, to vipashyana and shamatha.
74. Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva, rev. ed., trans. Padmakara Translation Group (Boston: Shambhala Publications, 2006), chap. 8, pp. 110–13. © 1997, 2006 by the Padmakara Translation Group.
75. Patrul’s teacher Rogza Sönam Palge was a close spiritual friend of the rst 1st Dodrupchen, Jigme Trinley Özer and of Do Khyentse. It is said that he was able to sit in the lotus position in space; he was able to run so swiftly that he could catch up with deer and wild Tibetan asses. In his old age, Patrul used to send some of his own students to learn the tsalung yogic practices from Rogza Sönam Palge, saying that he was one of the last authentic holders of these precious instructions.
76. Dhichung Phuk (dhi chung phug) in Dokhok (rdo khog), or Do Valley. Ari Forest is about ve miles down the valley from the present Dodrupchen Monastery and about six miles up and across the Do River from Shukchen Tago.
77. Protection cords are thin strings, usually red or yellow, in the middle which a spiritual master ties a double knot upon which he or she blows while reciting some mantras to protect the disciples from both outer obstacles (sicknesses and other adverse circumstances) and inner obstacles (di culties in one’s spiritual practices).
78. Ngalso Kor Sum (ngal gso skor gsum). For an introduction to this trilogy, see Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, Buddha Mind: An Anthology of Longchen Rabjam’s Writings on Dzogpa Chenpo, new ed. (Ithaca, N.Y.: Snow Lion Publications, 1990).
79. Semnyi Ngalso (sems nyid ngal gso).
80. Suru karpo, or surkar (su ru dkar po; sur dkar), commonly known as balu, is a kind of wild white azalea.
81. Nomads might eat the meat from animals who died early in winter, ones who still had some fat on their bones. However, meat from animals who had died of starvation late in winter was regarded as not worth eating at all (except under dire circumstances).
82. Samten Ngalso (bsam gtan ngal gso).
83. Gyuma Ngalso (sgyu ma ngal gso).
84. The meeting between Do Khyentse and Patrul Rinpoche near Nyenpo Yutse happened in 1856/57 according to Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, and Do Khyentse’s autobiography, rig ’dzin ’jigs med gling p’ai yang srid sngags ’chang ’ja lus rdo rje’i rnam thar mkha’ ’gro’i zhal lung (Sichuan Minorities Press, 1997).
85. This is the Ngotsho Lake in front of the Nyenpo Yutse mountain range (gnyan po g.yu rtse). Nyenpo Yutse is the home of local deities and of a dharma protector belonging to the retinue of Amnye Machen, the powerful dharma protector residing in the mountain bearing his name. On the northern side of Nyenpo Yutse is a lake called Jara Yutso. Here, Do Khyentse and his disciples lived for many years in small hermitages. On the western side there are hundreds of hot springs; each one is reputed to cure a di erent illness.
86. Yumka Dechen Gyalmo (yum bka’ ’gro bde chen rgyal mo), the dakini practice from the Longchen Nyingthig cycle of Jigme Lingpa.
87. The empowerment of manifestive power of awareness (rig pa’i rtsal dbang) guides the disciple toward recognizing that thoughts are, by their nature, noth- ing but the display of pure awareness.
88. A round hat of yellow felt with a fur brim was worn by some government o cials at that time. Wild rhubarb (lcum) grows in some high-altitude meadows.
89. Because the butter was created with her son constantly in mind, out of her great love for him, Patrul felt he might be misusing the o ering were he to accept it.
90. The exact date of Patrul’s mother’s death in relation to this account is uncer- tain. Although phowa is usually performed immediately after someone dies, it occasionally happens that people request a great lama to perform phowa years after the death of the person.
91. That is the tradition, or lineage that came from Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa, and was transmitted through Jigme Trinley Özer (1st Dodrupchen) and Gegong Rogza Palge, as well as through Jigme Gyalwai Nyugu.
92. This is not a known buddha eld. Patrul Rinpoche was just making up this name to emphasize the opulence of the setting.
93.Nadis are the spiritual-energy channels of the physical body. Prana is the wind-energy that circulates through the nadis. Bindu (Skt.; Tib. tigle), is the essence-energy carried by prana as it ows through the nadis. By means of yogic practices involving visualizations and breath control, in various positions, these channels, winds, and energies are puri ed. These include meditations to develop inner heat (tummo) and various physical exercises.
94. A hidden yogi, a term that applies both to Rogza Sönam Palge and Patrul Rin- poche, is a realized being who assumes a modest appearances and who escapes the notice of most people. Hidden yogis can also be hermits who live far away from everything and whose spiritual accomplishments remain unknown.
95. In this context, the “New Treasure” tradition most likely refers to Chokgyur Lingpa’s termas, although it has been suggested that it may refer to the New Treasures discovered by the treasure revealer Rinchen Lingpa (rin chen gling pa, 1295–1375) of Yel-le Gar. In general, New Treasures, or Tersar (gter gsar), are termas found in recent or contemporary times. In the twentieth century, for instance, the treasures revealed by Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje (bdud ’joms ’jigs bral ye shes rdo rje, 1904–1987), are known as Dudjom Tersar.
96. The descent of the actual wisdom deity (jnanasattva) into the visualized deity (samayasattva), which is the body of the recipient participating in the empow- erment ceremony, is often said to induce spontaneous and e ortless song and dance. Such events are mentioned in, for example, the biography of Longchen Rabjam. See Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History (Somerville, Mass.: Wisdom Publications, 2005).
97. Vajrakilaya (rdo rje phur ba) is one of the main wisdom deities practiced in the Nyingma tradition. Vajrakilaya is one of the Eight Herukas (bka’ brgyad), who symbolize various aspects of enlightenment. The practice of Vajrakilaya, a wrath- ful deity associated with “enlightened activity,” is considered to be one of the most powerful ways to dispel outer and inner obstacles on the path to enlightenment.
98. gter ston bsod rgyal las rab gling pa (1856–1926).
99. Treasure revealers (tertöns) may unearth spiritual revelations (terma) concealed in the form of ritual objects invisibly sealed within rocks or other objects by Padmasambhava and others, long ago.
100. Skt. Triyastrimsha, a celestial realm where many devas, or gods, live. Thirty- three is a symbolic number meaning “many.”
101. Patrul always extolled monastic life, as he did in his “In Praise of the Vinaya” (dam pa’i chos ’dul ba la bsngags pa me tog gi skyed mo’i tshal), Collected Works of Patrul Rinpoche (2003), vol. 1.
102. The Buddha predicted that so long as the monastic tradition of the Vinaya remained in this world, the dharma would remain as well.
103. The extremely wrathful form of Hayagriva (yang khros rta nag) is part of the cycle of Tamdrin Sangdu (rta mgrin gsang ’dus) revealed by Chögyal Ratna Lingpa (chos rgyal ratna gling pa, 1403–1479).
104. In Tibetan traditional medical texts, leprosy is said to be caused by the negative in uence of nagas, serpent spirits. The deity Hayagriva (here in a form that holds a sword) is the tamer of these nagas.
105. Demchok Sangye Nyamjor (bde mchog sangs rgyas mnyam spyor), one import- ant cycle of Chokgyur Lingpa’s revealed treasures. See vol. 4 of the new edition of the Rinchen Terdzö (rin chen gter mdzod, Treasury of Precious Termas) (Delhi and Kathmandu: Shechen Publications, 2004–2016).
106. This might have been the 4th Tertön Yonge Mingyur Dorje (gter ston yongs ge mi ’gyur rdo rje, 1628/41–1708), the present incarnation being the 7th.
107. Sangye Lingpa (sangs rgyas gling pa, 1340–1396) is one of the thirteen great lingpas (gling chen bcu gsum), or major tertöns. His Lama Gongdu (bla ma dgongs ’dus) cycle of rediscovered treasures lls thirteen volumes.
108.The Jampal Dzogpa Chenpo (’jam dpal rdzogs pa chen po) of the Rig Sum Nyingthig (rigs gsum snying thig cycle), which is found in vol. 23 of the Collected Treasure Revelations of Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa (Tsike redaction).
109. The quoted dialogue is a combination of the account by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Blazing Splendor, p. 84, and an oral story told by Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche.
110. Rigsum Nyingthig (rigs gsum snying thig).
111. Chokgyur Lingpa’s daughter, Könchog Paldrön (dkon mchog dpal sgron, 1858?– 1939?), who was the grandmother of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche 1919–1996).
112. This story was initially told by Chokgyur Lingpa’s daughter, Könchog Paldrön, famed for her infallible memory; from her it was passed down to various people. The story was told to me by Nyoshul Khenpo. Tulku Urgyen also recounted the story with slightly di erent words. I used the version of Nyoshul Khenpo.
113. Chang me ke mo (chang med ke mo) is an expression in nomad dialect, meaning “nothing at all.”
114. “Orgyen” is an epithet of Guru Padmasambhava. Orgyen is another name for the Kingdom of Oddiyana, where he was born.
115. dam tshig thams cad kyi nyams chag skong ba’i lung bshags pa thams cad kyi rgyud dri ma med pa’i rgyal po. There are several editions, including in vol. 58 of the Nyingma Kama Gyepa (rnying ma bka’ ma rgyas pa) (Kalimpong, India: Dup- jung Lama, 1982–1987).
116. These are texts written in symbolic letters, said to be used by the dakinis, which can only be read by the treasure revealer to whom a particular spiritual treasure has been entrusted by Guru Padmasambhava in the past.
117. Childhood, adulthood, and old age.
118. Patrul Rinpoche here refers to himself. This verse alludes to an old Indian story that is found in the sutras. A jackal fell into a dyer’s cauldron of indigo and came out dyed a beautiful blue color. When he came home all blue, the other animals did not recognize him and took him for a divine being; they made the blue jackal king of all the beasts. One night, while the blue king jackal was proudly oversee- ing his court, all the other jackals began to bay at the full moon. Unfortunately, the blue king jackal could not keep himself from baying at the moon along with the rest, proving he was not divine but was just another jackal. Unmasked, the impostor had to ee for his life.
119. Do and Mar are Dokhok and Markhok, two valleys in the Golok area of eastern Tibet.
120. From Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Blazing Splendor, p. 38.
121. King of Ghosts (gyal ’gong) is a kind of harmful spirit born of entertaining wrong views and produced from the union of two male spirits, gyalpo (rgyal po) and gongpo (’gong po). They are said to often manifest in the guise of monks, hence Patrul’s mischievous remark.
122. Terchen (gter chen) is a title for a major tertön.
123. Kumbum (sku ’bum) literally means “one hundred thousand bodies,” referring to statues and images.
124. Kadampa Deshek, Sherab Senge (ka dam pa bde gshegs shes rab seng ge, 1122– 1192), founder of Kathok Monastery.
125. Bumpa Namsum (’bum pa snams gsum): Yeshe Bum (ye shes ’bum), Dorje Bum (rdo rje ’bum), and Changchup Bum (byang chub ’bum).
126. The 2nd Kathok Situ, Chökyi Lodrö Orgyen Tenpa Namgyal (1820–1879?). See “Kathok Situ” in the Biographical Notes.
127. Dokham Kawa Karpo, one of the most sacred mountains of eastern Tibet, in the Chinese province of Yunnan.
128. In the 1980s, the Dzogchen master Khenpo Munsel told this story to Garchen Rinpoche, a Drigung Kagyu master. At once, Garchen Rinpoche said he wished to do likewise, making a vow to keep no possessions beyond a few basics. Garchen Rinpoche was born in 1949. By the time he nally left Tibet in the 1990s, he had spent twenty-three years in jail, imprisoned by the Chinese. Of his twenty-three years in prison, twenty years were spent in the company of his teacher, Khenpo Munsel.
129. Patrul Rinpoche most often taught straight from his heart, commenting spon- taneously based on his immense knowledge. When he did refer to written com- mentaries, he did so by school. In Sakya monasteries, he used the commentary of Jetsun Sönam Tsemo (rje btsun bsod nams rtse mo, 1142–1182). In Kagyu monasteries, he used the commentary of Pawo Tsuglak Trengwa (dpa’ bo gtsug lag phreng ba, 1504–1566). In Geluk monasteries, he used the “Notes” (zin bris) and Dar Tik (commentary on The Way of the Bodhisattva) of Gyaltsab Dharma Rinchen (rgyal tshab darma rin chen, 1364–1432). In Nyingma monasteries, he used the commentary of the Indian pandita Prajnakaramati, known as Sherjung Lodrö in Tibetan (sher ’byung blo gros), or that of Gyalse Ngulchu Thogme (rgyal sras rngul chu thogs med, 1295–1369).
130. Dromtönpa Gyalwai Jungne (’brom ston pa rgyal ba’i ’byung gnas, 1005–1064), the chief disciple of the great Indian pandita Atisha Dipamkara, who began the Kadam lineage in Tibet.
131. The 84,000 sections refer to the four main categories of teachings contained in the Buddhist Canon: 21,000 sections are said to serve as antidotes to ignorance, 21,000 sections as antidotes to attachment, 21,000 as antidotes to hatred, and 21,000 as antidotes to the subtle aspects of the three poisons together. These three are the most a ictive mental states (Skt. kleshas) among what are known as the “ ve poisons,” which also include pride and jealousy.
132. The nine vehicles (yanas) are the successive teachings that constitute the com- plete path of the dharma: the shravaka-yana, pratyekabuddha-yana, bodhisattva- yana, kriyayoga-yana, upayoga-yana, yoga-yana, mahayoga-yana, anuyoga-yana, and atiyoga-yana.
133. Longsal Nyingpo (klong gsal snying po, 1625–1692), a great tertön and a patri- arch of Kathok Monastery.
134. The “exhaustion of phenomena in the absolute nature” (chos nyid zas sa) is the fourth and nal stage of the Dzogchen practice of thögal, which is itself the pinnacle of the atiyoga path.
135. Tsokchen dupa (tshogs chen ’dus pa), an elaborate sadhana from the Nyingma Kahma that involves a detailed mandala comprising over 720 deities belonging to the nine vehicles (yanas).
136. Among Chöying Rangdröl’s main disciples was Tertön Nyakla Pema Dudul and Drupchen Nyida Kundze (see biography of Chöying Rangdröl in Biographical Notes). He achieved the rainbow body, as did two of his own students, Ayu Khandro (a female master) and Nyalak Rigdzin Changchup Dorje.
137. According to Khenpo Kunpel’s Elixir of Faith. Regarding the Chetsun Nyingthig, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche commented (orally) that Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo revealed two main cycles of Dzogchen teachings: (1) the Chetsun Nyingthig (lce btsun snying thig), based on a reminiscence from when Khyentse Wangpo was Chetsun Senge Wangchok (lce btsun seng ge dbang phyug, ca. 11th–12th c.), who had had a month-long vision of Vimalamitra appearing in space, and (2) the Vima Lhadrup (bi ma lha sgrub), a sadhana focused on three main enlightened masters, Shri Singha, Vimalamitra, and Guru Padmasambhava. According to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, these stand respectively for the “profound” and the “vast” aspects of the Great Perfection.
138. Six of these long-life prayers have survived and can be found in the Collected Works of Patrul Rinpoche (2003), vol. 8, pp. 108–9.
139. sman sgrub.
140. Shavaripa was one of the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas, or greatly realized beings, of India. Shavaripa was originally a hunter but gave up his nefarious activities to embraced the Dharma after meeting the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who appeared to him in person. He became a disciple of the great pandita Nagarjuna and a teacher to Maitripa, two others among the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas.
141. Patrul’s name, Jigme Chökyi Wangpo (Fearless Lord of Dharma).
142. Mipham expressed his profound admiration for Patrul’s work after reading the latter’s commentaries on the Abhisamayalamkara Prajnaparamita (Skt., Orna- ment of Clear Realization of the Perfection of Wisdom; Tib. shes phyin mngon rtogs rgyan), which condense the entire meaning of the long, medium, and short versions of the Prajnaparamita Sutra. The text’s full title is: Abhisamayalankaranamaprajnaparamitopadesha-shastra (Tib. shes rap kyi pha rol tu phyin pa’i man ngag gi bstan bcos mngon par rtogs pa’i rgyan ces bya ba), which means: abhisamaya (mngon par rtogs pa), “Realization(s)”; alankara (rgyan), “Ornament”; nama (zhes bya ba), “Called”; prajnaparamita (shes rap kyi pha rol tu phyin ba), “Perfection of Wisdom”; upadesha (man ngag), “Instructions” (lit. “an up-close look”); shastra (bstan bcos), “Treatise.”
143. Norbu Ketaka (nor bu ke ta ka), lit. “Ketaka Gem.” See The Wisdom Chapter: Jamgön Mipham’s Commentary on the Ninth Chapter of The Way of the Bodhisat- tva, trans. Padmakara Translation Group (Boulder: Shambhala Publications, forthcoming in 2017).
144. snga ’gyur bstan pa rgyas pa’i smon lam chos rgyal dgyes pa’i zhal lung. Later, one of Mipham’s foremost students, Shechen Gyaltsap Pema Namgyal, wrote an extensive commentary on this prayer.
145. One of Tibet’s greatest translators, or Lotsawas, and one of the rst seven monks to be ordained in Tibet. He was one of the main disciples of Guru Padmasambhava.
146. Jigme Chöying Ösel (’jigs med chos dbyings ’od gsal, ca. 1825–ca. 1897).
147. This stanza refers to the three consecutives way of progressing toward wisdom: listening, re ecting, and meditating.
148. Before dawn, morning, afternoon, and evening (the traditional division of time when doing retreat).
149. This verse refers to the practice of chö (gcod), cutting through ego, in which one visualizes making o ering of one’s material body, cut into pieces and trans- formed into nectar.
150. Trime Lodrö (dri med blo sgros), “Stainless Intelligence,” is one of the several names that Patrul Rinpoche received. It could refer, for instance, to the name he could have received when taking the bodhisattva vows or when being bestowed a Vajrayana empowerment.
151. Narak Dongtruk (na rak dong sprugs), a practice based on the Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities, found in the collection of the Nyingma Kahma.
152. Longchenpa, gsang snying gi ’grel pa phyogs bcu’i mun sel (Paro, Bhutan: Shechen Publications, 1975), reproduced from a print from the a ’dzom ’brug pa chos sgar blocks.
153. gsang bdag dgongs rgyan, in the Collected Works (gsun ’bum) of Minling Lochen Dharma Shri (Dehra Dun: Khochen Tulku, 1999), vol. 8.
154. This 1.5-inch statue of Manjushri was Mipham’s main support of meditation throughout his life. On other occasions as well, such as when Mipham was composing di cult treatises and had reached a point of confusion, light rays would beam from the heart of the statue to Mipham’s heart. Following this, any confusion would be clari ed. After Lama Mipham’s death, the statue was enshrined within a much larger statue of Manjushri in the main temple of Shechen Monastery in Kham. During the Cultural Revolution, Shechen Monastery was razed to the ground, and all the large statues were destroyed. However, a local person managed to save the little statue; he took it away and kept it hidden. This man told his son that, should Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche ever return to Tibet, the son should retrieve the statue and give it to Rinpoche. In 1987, the son met Khyentse Rinpoche in Derge and gave him Mipham’s lit- tle statue as an o ering. Khyentse Rinpoche was moved to tears. In gratitude, Rinpoche o ered to the man’s son every penny he had with him. This statue is now kept at Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal in a golden stupa with Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s relics.
155. Verse translated by Adam S. Pearcey. Excerpted with kind permission from “Uniting Outer and Inner Solitude: Patrul Rinpoche’s Advice for Alak Don- gak Gyatso” (2014), https://adamspearcey.com/2014/12/21/solitude-patrul- rinpoches-advice-for-alak-dongak-gyatso/ (accessed October 2016).
156. Khenpo Ngakchung was considered to be an incarnation of Gyalwa Longc- henpa, himself the incarnation of Vimalamitra.
157. Tertön Nyakla Pema Dudul (nyag bla padma bdud ’dul, 1816–1872).
158. This saying is quoted in Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, p. 222.
159. Changma Ritrö (lcang ma ri khrod) is named after the many small-sized moun- tain willow shrubs (changma) that grew there.
160. The three realms of existence are the desire realm (Skt. kamadhatu), the form realm (rupadhatu), and realm of formlessness (arupadhatu).
161. “Solitude of body, speech, and mind” is a formula often found in the teachings. It refers to ceasing physical activities, giving up idle speech (or all speech), and letting go the wandering stream of discursive thought until it exhausts itself completely.
162. Usually, Guru Dorje Drolö (gu ru rdo rje gro lod) is depicted as wearing, loose around his neck, a long garland of fty skulls, which symbolize (1) the fty consonants and vowels of the Sanskrit alphabet, which stands for the purity of speech and the fty kinds of puri ed winds (vayu), and (2) the death of the ego and the fty kinds of deluded thoughts that reinforce mental delusion.
163. Padma Tötreng Tsal (padma thod phreng rtsal) is the one of the secret names of Guru Rinpoche, meaning “Powerful Lotus of the Garland of Skulls.”
164. Sacred substances from this very unique ganachakra were preserved and incor- porated into special pills that are still in use to this day. (They were multiplied by mixing medicinal substances with a few of the original pills to make more pills.) These are given to people as blessings and placed inside into statues along with other relics.
165. There are Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava, di erent forms or aspects in which he appeared, as needed to bene t beings, during his life. Dorje Drolö is one of two wrathful manifestations. The eight aspects are Guru Tsokye Dorje (Lake-Born Vajra), Guru Shakya Senge (Lion of the Shakyas), Guru Nyima Özer (Rays of the Sun), Guru Pema Jungne (Lotus-Born), Guru Loden Choktse (Scholar Who Adores Intelligence), Guru Pema Gyalpo (Lotus King), Guru Senge Dradrok (Lion’s Roar), and Guru Dorje Drolö (Vajra Loose-Hanging Belly).
166. It is said that there are two kinds of Dzogchen practitioners: (1) those capable of recognizing the manifestation of self-awareness (rig pa rang snang gi blo can), who realize that all appearances are manifestations of awareness alone; (2) those who still perceive appearances as external objects (snang ba yul gi blo can).
167. The 2nd Mura Tulku, Pema Dechen Zangpo (mu ra padma bde chen bzang po, d.u.), reached a high level of accomplishment. He possessed unhindered clairvoyance, according to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, who met him when the tulku was a child.
168. Today’s Dzagyal Monastery is also the seat of the present incarnation of Jigme Gyalwai Nyugu.
169. The dharma of realization (rtogs pa’i chos) is contrasted with the dharma of the scriptural teachings (lung gi chos).
170. The Lotus Crystal Cave is Pema Shelphuk (padma shel phug), which is located near the top of Pema Ri Thang (padma ri thang), a sacred mountain above Denkhok (’dan khog).
171. gtam pad ma tshal gyi zlos gar, Collected Works of Patrul Rinpoche (2003), vol. 1, pp. 301–55. See Tulku Thondup’s translation in Enlightened Living, pp. 44–97.
172. The actual names of real people and places referred to in the play have been cloaked in allegoric language. See Tulku Thondup, Enlightened Living, pp. 10–11; based on Tshega’s Sheche Zegma (shes bya’i zegs ma, Drops of Knowledge), no. 35 (Beijing: Mirig Pedrun Khang), and on oral tradition told to Tulku Thondup by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
173. The su x -la is a respectful honori c appended to names.
174. Khenpo Pema Wangyal of Gemang Monastery, a direct disciple of Khenpo Kunpel, who was eighty-eight at the time of the completion of the writing of this book, in 2016.
175. Patrul’s collected works include a letter in which he reprimands a tantrika call Kune Phurli and all those tantric magicians who interfere with the natural course of the elements by preventing rain from falling during the rainy season (during festivals, for example): “dbyar kyi char gcod mkhan la spreng ba,” in the Collected Works of Patrul Rinpoche (2003), vol. 1, p. 520–21. What is quoted here is a summary of this letter made by Khenpo Kunpel in his biography Elixir of Faith, p. 451.
176. Collected Works of Patrul Rinpoche (2003), vol. 8, p. 146. The Tibetan text should read “degs snying ’dod” instead of “. . . ’dor.”
177. Ibid., p. 146. The Tibetan text should read gnad med instead of gnang med.
178. Lima is an alloy of ve metals, including copper, tin, zinc, iron, lead, and some- times silver. Statues and other objects made of this alloy are considered to be the best.
179. Others, such as the faithful Jamyang Lodrö from the noble Athub family, also urged Patrul to keep o erings and use them for virtuous purposes.
180. Patrul Rinpoche’s words have proven to be true. See note 15.
181. Khenpo Kunpel, Elixir of Faith, pp. 406–9.
182. According to Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, this story is well known in Tibet and many people still have keepsakes of this barley. Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche’s father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, had a few grains.
183. Bumchen (bum can), “vase breathing.”
184. Clear light (ösel / ’od gsal) is one of the Six Yogas of Naropa. The clear light is a nonconceptual state, free of mental constructs, akin to the realization of dharmakaya. Highly experienced practitioners who have trained in this yoga are able to maintain a state of luminosity throughout the time of deep sleep.
185. In Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche’s version of this story, the lama is named Nyukma Tulku. Nyukma (snyug ma) means “bamboo.”
186. Dza Trama Tulku Kunzang Dechen Dorje (dza thra ma sprul sku kun bzang bde chen rdo rje, d.u.).
187. Jigme Tenpai Nyima, the third Dodrupchen, was born in 1865, and Do Khyentse passed away in 1866.
188. Tsoknyi Rigdzin Chögyal Dorje of Nangchen (tshogs gnyis rig ’dzin chos rgyal rdo rje, 1789–1844).
189. See note 37.
190. Excerpt translated from gtam padma’i tshal gyi zlos gar (The Lotus-Grove Play), Collected Works of Patrul Rinpoche, vol. 1 (2003), p. 350.
191. See Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, p. 201.
192. Zurchungpa Sherab Trakpa (zur chung pa shes rab grags pa, 1014–1074) was a very accomplished master who once spent thirteen years in strict medita- tive retreat. For a teaching by Sherab Trakpa, see Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Zurchungpa’s Testament: A Commentary on Zurchung Sherab Trakpa’s Eighty Chapters of Personal Advice, trans. Padmakara Translation Group (Ithaca, N.Y.: Snow Lion Publications, 2006).
193. As both the son and lineage holder of Chokgyur Lingpa, Wangchok Dorje had been expected not to take a vow of celibacy but instead, for the sake of his family bloodline, to be a householder like his tertön father, with children to carry on his lineage.
194. See note 152.
195. To Öngpo Tenga he gave teachings on the Root Verses on the Middle Way by Nagarjuna, and to others he taught as well the commentary on The Three Vows by Ngari Panchen Pema Wangyal (the commentary is titled Ascertaining the Three Vows), The Way of the Bodhisattva, the root text and commentary of Resting at Ease in the Nature of Mind by Longchenpa, and other teachings.
196. In addition to Pema Trinley’s testimony: In 1980, after returning to Tibet, Tulku Orgyen Tobgyal met a nun at Neten Monastery (the traditional seat of Chok- gyur Lingpa) who was more than a hundred years old. She had been in her twenties when she heard of the death of Wangchok Dorje.
197. This refers to the age of ve degenerations (snyigs ma lnga). The “age of resi- dues” (snyigs dus) is characterized by a degeneration in (1) life span (tshe), (2) general karma (las), (3) the view (lta ba), and (4) the faculties of beings (sems can), as well as by (5) an increase of the obscuring emotions (nyonmong / nyon mongs; Skt. klesha).
198. Dorje Phagmo of Yamdrok (yar ’brog rdo rje phag mo) was a daughter of a noble family. She had been one of the nal candidates during the search for the reincarnation of the Samding Dorje Phagmo.
199. Kudung (sku gdung) is the “body relic” of a great master who has passed away, either before the cremation ceremony or in case it is embalmed and kept without being cremated.
200 . The Jowo of Lhasa, a statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, is the most venerated statue in Tibet. It had been blessed by the Buddha himself, taken to China, and eventually brought to Tibet by Gyaza Konjo, the Chinese queen of King Songtsen Gampo. It is housed in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa.
201. Khenpo Kunpel, Elixir of Faith, p. 437. Whenever Patrul himself went to pay homage to Gyalwai Nyugu’s relic, he used this prayer: In all my future lives, May I never fall under the spell of bad companions; May I never harm even one hair of one sentient being; May I never be deprived of the light of the sublime dharma; May whoever has been connected with me in any conceivable way— Through listening to my teachings, Seeing me, hearing me, touching me, talking with me, or even thinking of me— Be puri ed of even the most serious negative action. May he or she nd the doors to lower realms of existence shut And take rebirth in the exalted pure land of the Potala Buddha eld of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion.
202. Lushul Khenpo Könchog Drönme (klu shul mkhan po dkon mchog sgron me, 1859–1936) from Dodrupchen Monastery, also known as Khenpo Könme.
203. This practice is known as Zhingdrup (zhing sgrub).
204. Rigdzin Dupa (rig ’dzin ’dus pa), the sadhana of the Longchen Nyingthig cycle, focused on the mandala of Guru Padmasambhava, his twenty- ve disciples, and the Eight Vidhyadharas.
205. Samye (bsam yas) was Tibet’s rst Buddhist monastery, built by Guru Padma- sambhava under the patronage of King Trisong Detsen. Khangri Thökar (gangs ri thod dkar) is the famous hermitage of Longchen Rabjam in Central Tibet, where he composed many of his treatises, including the Seven Treasuries.
206. On one occasion, while teaching, Patrul said, “Regarding the in nite good qual- ities of a pure land and the ease with which one can be reborn there through supplication prayers, Vajrasattva’s Eastern Buddha eld of Manifest Joy is peer- less. Next, in the west, Sukhavati, Amitabha’s Western Buddha eld of Great Bliss, is supreme.”
207. Yanlagjung (yan lag ’byung) is the Tibetan name of the arhat Angaja (Skt.), one of the Sixteen Arhats at the time of the Buddha.
208. In fact, apart from the prediction of being reborn in Vajrasattva’s buddha eld,[[ED: a tulku of Patrul Rinpoche did appear in Tsö in Amdo. See page 00. x-ref to
209. These are the rst ve of the twenty-one exercises in the Longchen NyingthigEDN on trulkhor. msp. 78,
210. When great practitioners pass away, by snapping their ngers they request thebeginning: wisdom deities who have been abiding in the mandala of their bodies to depart“Many to their respective buddha elds. Likewise, a few days before passing away, Dilgoyears later, a tulku Khyentse Rinpoche was seen snapping his ngers near di erent parts of hiswas born body, thus requesting that the peaceful and wrathful wisdom deities residingin this in the various places of the mandala of his body to leave his body, as it wouldregion of soon be lifeless. Tsö...”]]
211. Dudjom Rinpoche, ri chos bslab bya nyams len dmar khrid go bder brjod pa grub pa’i bcud len, rendered in English as Extracting the Quintessence of Accom- plishment: Oral Instructions for the Practice of Mountain Retreat, Expounded Simply and Directly in Their Essential Nakedness, translated and published by Konchog Tendzin [Matthieu Ricard] (Darjeeling: Ogyen Kunzang Chöling Monastery, 1976).
212. Thukdam (thugs dam), the meditative absorption of an advanced practitioner after death.
213. Palshu Lama Tseli was evidently one of Patrul’s disciples, about whom no fur- ther information is available.
214. Dakini (Skt.; Tib. khandroma / mkha’ ’gro ma, lit. “moving through space”). A dakini is the embodiment of wisdom in female form. There are several levels of dakini: wisdom dakinis, who have complete realization, and worldly dakinis, who possess various spiritual powers. The word Dakini is also used as a title for great women teachers and as a respectful form of address to the wives of spiritual masters.
215. The famous Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna (1st–2nd c.) wrote his Let- ter to a Friend in Sanskrit under the title Suhrllekha (Tib. bshes pa’i spring yig). It is advice written in the form of verse, addressed to Nagarjuna’s friend King Gautamiputra. Nagarjuna’s Letter to a Friend: With Commentary by Kangyur Rinpoche, trans. Padmakara Translation Group (Ithaca, N.Y: Snow Lion, 2005).
216. The Five Treatises of Maitreya: (1) Tib. mngon rtogs rgyan (Skt. Abhisamayalam- kara), (2) mdo sde’i rgyan (Mahayanasutralamkara), (3) rgyud bla ma (Uttaratan- tra), (4) chos dang chos nyid rnam ’byed (Dharmadharmatavibhaga); (5) dbus mtha’ rnam ’byed (Madhyantavibhaga).
217. “From his mind” refers to a spontaneous expression of his wisdom, a distillation of the essence of the teachings, and a commentary based on his vast knowledge, with excerpts drawn from his memory and a explanations formulated in a way that is not just the repetition of written texts committed to memory.
218. Nying je (snying rje), usually translated as “compassion,” literally means “Lord of the Heart.” The Sanskrit term for compassion is karuna.
219. The four powers (stobs bzhi): The power of regret for past misdeeds, the power of taking support of their teacher or a deity, the power of using a speci c med- itation as antidote for their negative actions, and the power of determination to henceforth stay aloof from such negative actions.
220.The Three Roots are three objects of reliance for Vajrayana practitioners: the Lama (or Guru), the Yidam (tutelary deity), and the Dakini (or dharma protector).
221. Drime Özer (dri me ’od zer), “Stainless Light,” is one of Longchen Rabjam’s names.
222. Khyentse Özer (mkhyen brtse ’od zer), “Light Rays of Wisdom and Kindness,” is of the main names of Jigme Lingpa.
223. Fearless (Jigme) bodhisattva, scion (Nyugu) of the Victorious Ones (Gyalwai), thus refers to Patrul’s Rinpoche root teacher, to whom this supplication mostly refers.
224. The four immeasurables (tshad med bzhi) are loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and impartiality.
225. Four ways of attracting disciples (bsdu ba’i dngos po bzhi): A teacher gathers disciples by (1) his generosity, (2) the fact that his teachings are attuned to the minds of his disciples, (3) his ability to introduce disciples to the practice leading to liberation, and (4) the fact that he himself practices what he preaches.
226. The “twofold purity” refers to the fact that the buddha nature is both primor- dially pure and pure from adventitious stains, ephemeral veils that prevent ordinary beings from realizing it.
227. “Pristine simplicity that crushes delusion into dust”: Zang thal is a synonym for ma ’gags pa, “unobstructed,” but according to Tulku Pema Wangyal Rinpoche it can also be explained as zang kha ma thal du ’byung. Zang kha ma, “natural condition,” refers to ma bcos pa’i gdod ma’i gnas lugs, the unmodi ed simplic- ity of the primordial nature; and thal du ’byung, “reduce to dust,” refers to the annihilation of deluded thoughts, ’khrul pa’i rnam rtog.
228. Literally “Samantabhadra activity.” This term denotes boundless enlightened activity. Samantabhadra (Kuntu Zangpo; kun tu bzang po), one of the Eight Bodhisattvas (here we are not referring to the primordial Buddha of the same name) emanates countless rays of light. At the tip of every light ray is an ema- nation of himself, which in turn emanates countless rays of light, at the tip of each of which is yet another emanation, and so forth, thus lling the entire space with emanations that perform the buddha-activity.
229. Tsa tsa can also refer to a small clay gure of a deity made with a mold. These gures are used as objects of devotion (since they contain relics and written mantras) or as ways to mold the ashes of a deceased person into clay, to be placed in a sacred place or a pure natural setting, so as to dispose of the ashes in a meritorious way.
230. The Nyingthig Yazhi (snying thig ya bzhi, Fourfold Heart Essence) is a multi- volume collection of most profound teachings on the Great Perfection.
231. The Yeshe Lama is the main Great Perfection teaching of Jigme Lingpa (see note 51). The Khandro Nyingthig (Heart Essence of the Dakinis) is a cycle of teachings that is part of the Nyingthig Yazhi.
232. Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, p. 195.
233.In his biography of Önpo Orgyen Tendzin Norbu (Önpo Tenga), Khenpo Shenga mentions that Shenphen Thaye died when his nephew Önpo Tendzin Norbu was fteen. If Shenga is correct, then Tendzin Norbu’s dates are 1851– 1910 (and not 1851–1900, as often quoted). This would put Shenphen Thaye’s death in 1865/66. Some author place it in 1855 or 1856, which seems incompat- ible with Tendzin Norbu’s dates, or (according to the Tibetan scholar Karma Delek’s biography of Shenphen Thaye) in 1869/70, in which case Önpo Tenga should have been eighteen or nineteen when his uncle passed away.
234. Probably the 6th Minling Trichen, Gyurme Pema Wangyal (’gyur med padma dbang rgyal).
235. Sometimes masters initiate a particular way of commenting upon an important text, for which there has been no such tradition. From then on, the disciples will not explain these texts in their own ways but perpetuate as faithfully they can the explanation given by their master. Sometimes they even made notes between the lines of texts, and these notes were copied from generation to generation.
236. Probably the 33rd throne holder of Sakya, Pema Dudul Wangchuk (pad ma bdud ’dul dbang phyug, 1806–1843).
237. Tigle Gyachen (thig le’i rgya can), the “Sealed Quintessence,” a guru yoga focused on Longchen Rabjam, written by Jigme Lingpa.
238. On the meaning of “rediscovered,” see the glossary entry for terma.
239. There are varied opinions regarding the family relations between Patrul Rin- poche and Khenpo Kunpel. This is due to the fact that when Tibetans speak of a “family member” (punkyak / spun kyag), they mean people related through blood. They use a di erent term for people related by marriage (nyering / nyes ring) and don’t consider them real kin. According to various sources (including Khenpo Jampel Dorje from Ari Dza Monastery), Khenpo Kunpel was the son of Che Seri, who was a brother of Che Tsondru, himself the husband of Patrul Rinpoche’s sister. So Khenpo Kunpel was not related to Patrul Rinpoche by blood, but through his sister’s marriage.
240. The Expanded Redaction of the Complete Works of ’Ju Mi-pham Series, 27 vols. Published by Lama Ngondrup and Sherab Drimey (Paro, Bhutan, 1984–1993), now with Shechen Publications.
241. The tshe bdag phyag rgya zil gnon from the cycle of ’jam dpal khro chu dug gdong nag po’i sgrub skor, a collection of spiritual treasures from the discoveries of Gya Zhangtrom (rgya zhang khrom).
242 A place in Denkhok Valley where Mipham Rinpoche spent many years in retreat and where he eventually passed away. This is also the place where Dilgo Khy- entse Rinpoche was born and blessed by Mipham Rinpoche throughout the rst year of his life. This story and the accompanying ones were told to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche by Lama Ösel, who was Mipham Rinpoche’s faithful atten- dant and a great practitioner in his own right.
243. The mala (phreng ba) that Mipham Rinpoche used during that retreat, made of rudraksha beads, was kept by Khenpo Jönri of Juniong until he past away in 2015. It is now with his niece.
244. The dates for Orgyen Tendzin Norbu are usually given as 1851–1900. However, in the biography of the master written by one of his closest disciples, Khenpo Shenga, it is said that Önpo Tenga passed away in the Male Earth Bird Year, which was 1910, and that he was then in sixtieth year. Since Önpo Tenga himself is quoted saying that sixty was the life span predicted by his teachers, there can be little doubt about the year of his passing away.
245. This would put Shenphen Thaye’s death in 1865/6. (Various authors put it either in 1855, which seems impossible, or, according to Karma Delek, in 1869/70, in which case Önpo Tenga should have been eighteen or nineteen when his uncle passed away.) Khenpo Shenga’s biography also says that Önpo Tenga met Patrul when he was seventeen, which ts well with the rst mention of Önpo Tenga in Patrul Rinpoche’s biography that can be estimated at around 1868. Shenga also writes that Önpo Tenga was Patrul’s disciple for thirty years. Since Patrul Rinpoche passed away in 1887, if all the above dates are correct it seems that this should be corrected to twenty years.
246. dpal ldan bla ma dam pa shes bya kun mkhyen shrih nirma ka’i gsung ‘bum gyi bzhugs byang ‘dod ‘byung rin po che’i za ma tog. The Precious Vessel That Ful lls All Wishes, being the table of contents of the collected writings of the glorious, supreme, and omniscient Shri Nirmanakaya (Patrul). In the Collected Works of Patrul Rinpoche, vol. 1.
247. Told to Matthieu Ricard.