Lerab Lingpa Tertön Sogyal

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las rab gling pa gter ston bsod rgyal

Terton Sogyal.JPG

Short Biography

Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa (1856-1926). The great tertön Lerab Lingpa Trinlé Thayé Tsal, or Tertön Sogyal, was the body emanation of Nanam Dorje Dudjom, the speech emanation of Vajravarahi and the mind emanation of Guru Padmasambhava. He was born in the year of the Fire Dragon of the fourteenth calendrical cycle (1856) in Upper Nyarong in Kham. He quickly learned to read and write, and received teachings from Nyakla Pema Dudul and from Patrul Rinpoche and Khenpo Pema Vajra at Dzogchen Monastery.

From the age of 13 to 18, he stayed in retreat. During this time he saw many things directly through the power of his clairvoyance. Whilst in retreat, he deciphered a terma in the coded script of Yeshe Tsogyal. After the retreat, he travelled to Kathok with Lama Sonam Thayé and others and received empowerments from Tenpé Gyaltsen and other transmissions from Kathok Getsé Tulku. Later he went to Dzahka Sangak Rabten Ling and received instructions on the preliminaries and main practice of Longsal Nyingpo from Choktrul Rinpoche Kunzang Namgyal. He then went to receive instruction on the Longchen Nyingthig from Patrul Rinpoche’s disciple, Nyoshul Lungtok Tenpé Nyima. Later, he received detailed teachings on the Guhyagarbha Tantra from Mipham Rinpoche for a period of several months.

In the Male Earth Mouse year (1888), he met the Thirteenth Dalai Lama for the first time in Lhasa. They went on to meet several more times, and the Dalai Lama became one of his main students and Dharma heirs. In 1895 he revealed the terma of Yang Nying Pudri together with Jamgon Kongtrul. In time, this Vajrakilaya practice became one of the regular practices of the Dalai Lama’s own monastery, Namgyal, and His Holiness composed a manual for practising it as a drupchen.

He returned to Lhasa several more times in the following years, and travelled widely, revealing more termas including Tendrel Nyesel, 'Dispelling Flaws in Interdependence', which became one of the most widely practised among his revelations.

In the year of the Wood Mouse (1924) he offered the remainder of his termas to Dodrupchen Jikme Tenpe Nyima. At the end of their meeting the two masters exchanged white scarves, something they had never done before, and then each said, “I will see you again in the pure land.”

During the Wood Ox (1925), he re-concealed all those termas which remained incomplete and made aspirations to meet with them again in future. Finally, the great tertön displayed the signs of passing into nirvana on the tenth day of the first month of the year of the Fire Tiger (1926).

He was one of the most prolific tertöns in history, his collected terma revelations filling almost twenty volumes. Several of his original written works, most notably his commentary on the Chetsun Nyingthig, have also survived.

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