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Life of Chokyur Lingpa

Life of Chokyur Lingpa

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Published by Nga Wang

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Published by: Nga Wang on Jan 12, 2013
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01/12/2013

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The Life of 
Chokgyur Lingpa
as told by
Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche
translated byTulku Jigmey Khyentse and Erik Pema Kunsang
Rangjung Yeshe Publications
 
The Life of Chokgyur Lingpa2
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
The Dharma was first introduced to Tibet by King Lha Totori then furtherestablished during the reign of King Songtsen Gampo. Later, King Trisong Deutsenbenefited Tibet greatly by inviting many great masters such as Guru Rinpoche,Vimalamitra, and others so that the Dharma became very widespread.Trisong Deutsen had three sons. The second, Lhasey Lotsawa, also known asMurub Tsenpo, was later reborn thirteen times as a tertön. The great tertön TerchenChokgyur Lingpa was the last of these incarnations.Chokgyur Lingpa was born in Nangchen, a province of Kham in eastern Tibet.His family name was Kyasu. His father was called Pema Wangchuk and his motherTsering Yangtso. Born in the year of the Ox, auspicious signs must have occurred atthe time of his birth, but there is nothing clearly stated about such occurances. Hisfirst name, given by his parents, was Norbu Tendzin.As a boy, he herded the cattle. One day at a place named Manika he met a lamain the form of an Indian mendicant (
atsara
) who asked him what his name was. “Myname is Norbu Tendzin,” he answered. “What is this place called?” “Manika,” hesaid. “What is the name of this valley?” “It is called Arya Nang,” he answered. “Thatis very auspicious,” the Indian mendicant declared, “You will become quite well-known in this world.” The mendicant was Guru Rinpoche.As a youth, Chokgyur Lingpa learned some reading and writing from his uncle,but he did no higher studies. He found a
tsa-tsa
[footnote]* one day and put it in hispocket. As he was passing the house of a big family, many dogs attacked and bithim. Some people came to check whether or not he was wounded. When they undidhis belt the tsa-tsa dropped down and hit a stone. Out of the tsa-tsa came a roll of paper: the inventory of all his termas.Chokling went to Dragkar Dzongchung after this and revealed a terma containinga small vajra which had been the practice support of Lhasey, Trisong Deutsen’ssecond son. This vajra is now in the reliquary of the young Chokling Tulku in Bir.The terma also contained a small mirror and a crystal which had been Garab Dorje’spractice support. Together with these were twenty teachings meant to be practiced
 
The Life of Chokgyur Lingpa3
by him alone and not to be passed on to others. This was Chokgyur Lingpa’s firstterma.According to local tradition, Chokling then became a monk at Parmi Gönpamonastery. Taklung Matrul, the first lama he met, gave Chokling novice vows. Fromthe eighth Pawo Rinpoche, Tsuklag Chökyi Gyalpo, he received the empowermentof 
 Lama Gongdü
, a terma of Sangye Lingpa. “It is of utmost importance that youpractice this,” Pawo Rinpoche advised him.For a long time he stayed at Parmi Monastery which belonged to the DrikungKagyü school. Later, local laws required that he go and become a monk at NangchenGar, the monastery under the king of Nangchen. Each major family had to send oneson to that monastery. Kyasu, as a big family, also had to send a son. Thus,Chokgyur Lingpa went to Nangchen Gar, a Drukpa Kagyü monastery. Although hewas finding many termas at this time, he kept them very secret, telling only ChögyalDorje, who was also a tertön himself.In Nangchen Gar, Chokling received thorough instructions in the tantrictraditions. Becoming an adept in
cham
, the tantric dances, he was made the danceleader. One dance called
Purba Tsarcham
, which was performed regularly, is stilldone in Khamtrül Rinpoche’s monastery in Tashi Jong in India.Once while leading the tantric dances Chokling had a vision of Guru Rinpocheand the twenty-five disciples performing another dance in which he joined, causingthe other dancers to make mistakes. When the leader is wrong all the others followthe mistakes. Everyone was very astonished and the disciplinarian came to beatChokling. Such a thing had never happened before at that monastery and as a resultChokgyur Lingpa was expelled.Next he went to Derge and stayed at Jamgön Kongtrül’s monastery. No oneconsidered him a tertön at this time and when he told some people that he was, hewas mocked and nicknamed Kyater, or the tertön of Kyasu, his family name. GuruRinpoche had predicted that he would remain unrecognized and unknown until theage of twenty-five.At twenty-five, Chokgyur Lingpa met Palpung Situ Rinpoche, also known asPadma Nyinche Wangpo, prophesied by Guru Rinpoche to be his own genuineincarnation. Guru Rinpoche had said, “If you ask his advice and place your full

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