You are on page 1of 14

The Phyong rgyas Dpal ri theg chen gling Monastery Founded by Phreng po gter ston Shes rab od zer

(1518-1584): History and Contributions to the Renaissances of the Rnying ma School And to the Non-Sectarian (ris med) Movement
First Version of the Paper delivered at the 12th Conference of The International Association of Tibetan Studies (IATS) 15-21 August, British Columbia University (UBC), Vancouver, Canada

Kyoto Erasmus Program

Marc-Henri DEROCHE Ph.D. Student Kyoto University, Faculty of Letters, Buddhist Studies deroche.mh@gmail.com

Introduction
The intent of this paper is too shed some light on a major but forgotten institution: the Dpal ri theg chen gling Monastery. Dpal ri was once considered one of the six mother Rnying ma pa monasteries with Rdo rje brag, Smin grol gling, Ka thog, Dpal yul, Rdzogs chen. In modern times however it has declined, and has been replaced in this list by Zhe chen. The founder of Dpal ri, Phreng po gter ston Shes rab od zer (1518-1584), responsible for the revision and edition of the Padma thang yig 1 was praised in Charles-Gustave Toussaints Dict de Padma 2:
Et je salue le lama Shes rab od zer, qui dut grandir en quelque hameau glacial, dans lOuest farouche, puis, une fois lourd de savoir et hant par les grandes lgendes, grava lentement de ce dcret les tables au signe du mystre.

Giuseppe Tucci, Tibetan Painted Scrolls, vol. 1 (Roma: La Libreria Dello Stato, 1949), 110-15. Gustave-Charles Toussaint, trans., Le Dict de Padma, Padma thang yig, Ms. de Lithang (Paris: Bibliothque de lInstitut des hautes tudes chinoises, Librairie Ernest Leroux, 1933, reed. Paris : Les Deux Ocans, 1979): 4.
2

More recently, major research on Jigs med gling pa 3 and the revelation of the Klong chen snying thig 4, has noted the importance of the Dpal ri Monastery. Also, research on the classification of the Eight Lineages of Attainment showed that this model was attributed to Phreng po gter ston Shes rab od zer alias Prajrami. 5 Nevertheless, this interesting figure and the institution he founded have remained relatively unknown, probably since they had been almost forgotten inside the contemporary tradition itself, although there are few notable exceptions. 6 This is why I will try to shed some new light on the Dpal ri Monastery, through the history of: 1. Its founder Phreng po gter ston Shes rab od zer, who lived during Tibet's critical 16th century, 2. Its founding in the important historical site of the Phyong rgyas valley, and 3. Its significant contributions to the renaissances of the Rnying ma School and to the nonsectarian (ris med) movement from the 16th century up to the 19th century. Thanks I would like to express my deep gratitude to the people to whom this research is most indebted. I would like to thank very much Samten Karmay, who during his stay in Kyoto University, kindly helped me clarify passages of Shes rab od zers works, his hagiographies and other related texts. I am also very grateful to Nyichang Rinpoche, a Rnying ma pa lama and scholar who splits his time between Japan and Kalimpong where he is presently establishing a new Dpal ri Monastery, for sharing his knowledge about the history of Dpal ri. The CRCAO of the French CNRS allowed me to do a fieldwork research in Phyong rgyas and Dpal ri, central Tibet, in May 2010, thanks to a generous grant. And the Kyoto Erasmus program gave me the chance to attend the IATS conference in UBC, Vancouver, through a very useful grant.

Janet Gyatso, Apparitions of the Self. The Secret Autobiographies of a Tibetan Visionary (Woodstock: Princeton University Press, 1998). 4 Sam van Schaik, Approaching the Great Perfection. Simultaneous and Gradual Methods of Dzogchen Practice in the Longchen Nyintig (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2004). 5 Matthew Kapstein, gDams ngag: Tibetan Technologies of the Self. In Tibetan Literature: Studies in Genre, ed. Jos Ignacio Cabezon and Roger R. Jackson (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1996), 275-89. 6 See Khetsun Sangpo, Biographical Dictionary of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism, vol. 3 (Dharamsala: LTWA, 1973), 755-9. And Tarthang Tulku and Leslie Bradburn, Masters of the Nyingma Lineage. Crystal Mirror Series, vol. 11 (Berkeley: California, Dharma Publishing, 1995), 215, 219-20.

1. The Founder of Dpal ri Monastery: Phreng po gter ston Shes rab od zer (1518-1584)
1-1. Sources for Shes rab od zers Hagiography I have relied on the following main sources for Shes rab od zer's life: Gu ru Bkra shis chos byung, 7 Gter ston brgya rtsai rnam thar, 8 Nor bu doi shal, 9 Zhe chen chos byung 10 and Rdzogs chen chos byung chen mo. 11 1-2. Historical Landscape of sixteenth century Tibet Shes rab od zer founded the Dpal ri monastery during a critical period marked by recurrent civil wars mainly between Dbus and Gtsang, and by the crystallization of sectarian antagonisms between the different Buddhist orders, who were aligned with the political and economic interests of their respective patrons. It has often been noted that Tibetan sectarianism originated in this troubled time. According to his hagiographies, Shes rab od zer, received a peculiar training in all the main Tibetan Buddhist orders, through a curriculum which seems to the historian to bear the imprints of the sectarian tensions of his time. 1-3. Training in the Four Main Schools of Tibetan Buddhism: Shes rab od zer as a dge bshes and gter ston The training of Shes rab od zer was divided into two phases: 1. From childhood through adolescence, he received scholastic training in the Sa kya and Dge lugs traditions, at the end of which he became Dge bshes Shes rab od zer. 2. Then he entered into the Bri gung order, through which he received Bka brgyud and Rnying ma traditions. He eventually became a gter ston. First, Shes rab od zer entered the E wa Monastery founded by G.yag sde pa chen (12991378), in Thank skya, a location notable, as we will see, in that it lies between Dga ldan
Guru bkra shis Ngag dbang blo gros, Gu ru bkra shis chos byung (Krung goi bod kyi shes rig dpe skrun khang, 1990), 544-50. 8 Jam mgon Kong sprul, Gter ston brgya rtsai rnam thar, in Rin chen gter mdzod, 111 vols. (Paro, Buthan: Ngodrup and Sherab Drimay, 1976-1980), vol. 1, 559-63. 9 Kun bzang nges don klong yangs, Nor bu doi shal (Damchoe Sangpo, Dhalousie, Himachal Pradesh, 1976), 282.6-286.2. 10 Zhe chen rgyal tshab Gyur med pad ma rnam rgyal, Zhe chen chos byung (Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1994), 262-69. 11 Bstan 'dzin kun bzang Lung rtogs bstan pa'i nyi ma, Rdzogs chen chos byung chen mo (Krung go'i bod rig pa dpe skrun khang, Beijing, 2004), 829-35.
7

and Bri gung. His main Sa skya pa master was Rdo rgyal ba, a disciple of the great Sa skya pa scholar, Gser mdog pa chen kya mchog ldan (1428-1507). But in the same period, Shes rab od zer also spent six years studying Dge lugs scholastic texts, possibly in the nearby monastery of Cha dkar with Dge dun bstan pa dar rgyas (14931568) who in 1565 was to become the 22th throne holder of Dga ldan (dga ldan khrid pa). 12 In 1535, at the age of eighteen, Shes rab od zer left the Thank skya E wa monastery to study in Bri gung with the 17th throne-holder of Bri gung, Rin chen phun tshogs (15091557). 13 Noteworthy, the event is contemporary of an armed anti-gelug pa campaign led in Dbus by the Karma bka brgyud and the Bri gung bka brgyud. Moreover, as soon as he entered into the Brig gung order, Shes rab od zer was requested to make a public defense of the Single Intention (Dgongs cig), the special teachings of Jig rten mgon po (1143-1217) founder of the Bri gung order, against Sa skya paitas critics. Despite these complex sectarian interrelations, Shes rab od zer then became a close disciple of Rin chen phun tshogs, and one of his heirs in the Rnying ma lineage. Bri gung Rin chen phun tshogs, also a gter ston, was himself a disciple of the powerful 4th Zhwa dmar pa Chos grags ye shes (1453-1524) who, with the traditional Bka brgyud lineages, also conferred on him the Rnying ma teachings he had received from the eclectic master and famous historian Gos lo ts ba Gzhon nu dpal (1392-1481). 1-4. Ascetic Life and Revelation of the Treasures (gter ma) Shes rab od zer left for a long solitary retreat in Grog ri rin chen spungs pa, located in Gzho stod gter sgrom 14 where he revealed there his main treasure (gter ma), the Sphere of Liberation, Self-Liberation of Intention (Grol thig dgongs pa rang grol). 15 Later he
Sde srid Sangs rgyas rgyas mtsho dang Rdo rje rgyal po, Dga ldan chos byung baidrya ser po (Krung goi bod kyi shes rig dpe skrun khang, 1991), 84. 13 For the rnam thar of this master, see Bri gung Dkon mchog rgya mtsho, Bri gung chos byung (Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2004), 428-42. For an extensive source, his autobiography: Bri gung pa ratna i ming can gyi skyes rabs mos gus dran pai lcags kyu, the autobiography of Bri-gung-pa Rin-chen-phun-tshogs (15091557) and its continuation by Rin-chen-dpal with Rin-chen-phun-tshogs biographies of Bri-gung-gling-pa Desrab-byung-gnas (1187-1254) and Bri-gung-pa Kun-dga-rin-chen (1475-1524), (Bir, Bir Tibetan Society, 1985). 14 This hermitage is thus located in Ka thog si tu'i dbus gtsang gnas yig (Lhasa: Bod ljongs bod yig dpe rnying dpe skrun khang, 1999), 41. 15 This gter ma was later collected and included by Kong sprul in the Rin chen gter mdzod. The references are given in Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History, ed. and trans. Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom, 1991), 257.
12

established his hermitage in Phreng po (also spelled Phreng sgo or Phrang go), a small village inside Rdo rje brag. 16 He was then known as Phreng po gter ston Shes rab od zer. 1-5. Disciples His famous disciples included: - Rnying ma masters like Byang bdag bkra shis stobs rgyal (1550-1602), Zhig po gling pa gar gyi dbang phyug rtsal (1524-1583); - Bka brgyud hierarchs like Bri gung Chos rgyal phun tshogs (1547-1602) who was the son of his own master, the 5th Zhwa dmar pa (1526-1583), the 9th Karmapa (1556-1603), Brug chen Padma dkar po (1527-1592) who became the holder of the Sphere of Liberation; - the Sa skya hierarch Kun dga rin chen (1517-1584).

2. The Founding of Dpal ri Monastery in Phyong rgyas (Yar klung, Central Tibet)
2-1. Shes rab od zer, Priest (dbu bla) of the Phyong rgyas Rulers After, Shes rab od zer became the dbu bla, the official master or priest of the Phyong rgyas ruler (zhabs drung), Hor bsod nams dar rgyas requested that he establish a Rnying ma monastery in Phyong rgyas. After the ruler passed away, his son and successor Hor bsod nams stobs rgyal established Dpal ri theg chen gling in 1571. Shes rab od zer seems to have remained there until his death in 1584. The genealogy of the Phyong rgyas rulers is known through the autobiography (Du k la) of the 5th Dalai Lama who was born in this family 17. The family is said to descend from the royal Indian lineage of Za hor or Baa hor. The rulers of Phyong rgyas were close and loyal to the Phag mo gru pa ruler. It seems that they tended to play a mediating role between Dbus and Gtsang, and to support all the different Tibetan Buddhist orders.

Nyichang Rinpoche (personal communication, Kyoto, June 2010) and the monks met in Dpal ri in Tibet with other Tibetan specialists of local history met in Rtse thang (personal communications, May 2010), all give this identification of Phreng po inside Rdo rje brag. 17 Tucci, 1949, vol. 1, 643-4.

16

The palace (rdzong) of the Phyong rgyas rulers was associated with the former seat of the imperial dynasty. This place was known as Phying ba stag rtse, the Peak of the Tiger of the place named Phying ba. According to Dunhuang documents 18, Phying ba stag rtse was the residence of the grandfather of Srong btsan sgam po, and it seems that Srong btsan sgam po also used to live there. Though the origins of the Tibetan imperial dynasty are not well known, it seems clear that its seat was in Phyong rgyas just before the Tibetan empire emerged as a great power in Central Asia. 19 This is probably why it was later chosen as the imperial burial site. 20 According to the ancient Tibetan burial rites and beliefs described by Tucci, 21 from this burial place the immortalized emperors were believed to insure the good destiny of Tibet. 2-2. The Symbols of Tibets Ancient Imperium in a Period of Political Fragmentation It seems likely that the Phyong rgyas rulers were very aware of the peculiar legacy of their lands. Moreover, in the 16th century, a time marked by the absence of any central power in Tibet and by Mongol invasions, this legacy still conveyed the ancient symbols of the unity and past glory of the Tibetan empire. The revival of these symbols was undertaken particularly within the Rnying ma tradition. Its treasures revelations maintained a living spiritual link with the imperium and the Great Master Padmasambhava, who had taught the Emperor Khri srong ldeu btsan. It is with this in mind that I believe we should consider the revision and edition of the Padma thang yig that Shes rab od zer undertook in Phyong rgyas under the patronage of its ruler. As Tucci observed, most of surviving official versions come from Shes rab od zers edition made in Phyong rgyas. 2-3. The Founding of Dpal ri theg chen gling by Shes rab od zer under the Patronage of the Phyong rgyas Ruler Hor bsod nams stobs rgyal supported all the construction and endowment of the monastery. The community followed the monastic rules of the Vinaya, and the transmissions of the oral
J. Bacot, F.W. Thomas et C. Toussaint, Documents de Touen-Houang relatifs lhistoire du Tibet (Paris: 1940), 102-32. 19 Christopher Beckwith, The Tibetan Empire: a history of the struggle for great power among Tibetans, Turks, Arabs, and Chinese during the early Middle Ages (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1993, 1987), 11-15. 20 On the identification of the tombs in Phyong rgyas, see Hugues Richardson, Early Burial Grounds in Tibet and Tibetan Decorative Art in High Peaks, Pure Earth, Michael Aris, ed. (London: Serindia Publications, 1998), 219-33. 21 Guiseppe Tucci, The Tombs of the Tibetan Kings (Roma: Is.M.E.O., 1950).
18

and treasures (bka gter) traditions of the Rnying ma pa, with a special emphasis on the treasure of Shes rab od zer, the Sphere of Liberation (Grol thig). Before the destruction of the Dzungars in 1717, Dpal ri Monastery was a flourishing Rnying ma institution. A large number of monks lived there, including around 600 fully ordained monks. 22 2-4. The Succession of Dpal ri Monasterys Abbots After his death, there was no incarnation of Shes rab od zer. According to Mkyen brtsei dbang po, 23 the main succession of the Dpal ri monasterys abbots after Shes rab od zer was the following: - Rgyal sras Karma kun bzang: the son and successor of Shes rab od zer Then Dpal ri became the seat for a succession of Ye shes mtsho rgyals sprul sku with: - Mtsho rgyal sprul sku Rig dzin phrin las rnam rgyal: He was the young brother of Rig dzin ngag gi dbang po (1580-1630) founder of Rdo rje brag monastery, and son of Byang bdag bkra shis stobs rgyal (1550-1602). - Ngag dbang kun bzang padma: In the 5th Dalai Lamas Du k la, we find that the Great Fifth was requested to make prayers after the passing away of this master. 24 - Ngag dbang blo bzang padma: The master of Jigs med gling pa in Dpal ri monastery - Padma chos byor rgya mtsho - Bstan dzin chos kyi nyi ma Later the monastery had already declined long before its destruction during the Cultural Revolution. 25 2-5. The Discourse on Dpal ri Monastery by Jigs med gling pa Jigs med gling pa, who was born very close to Dpal ri monastery and trained there, wrote an account of Dpal ri monastery, the Dpal ri theg pa chen poi gling gi gtam. 26 It does not give
This is the number given in a Tibetan source on local history: Chos phel, Gangs can bod kyi gnas bshad lam yig gsar ma, 4 vols (Beijing : Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2002), vol. 1, Lho kha sa khul, p. 66-7. 23 Jam dbyangs Mkhyen brtsei dbang po, The Collected Works (gsung bum), 24 vols. (Gangtok: Gonpo Tseten, 1977-80), vol. 18, 325. 24 Ngag dbang blo bzang rgya mtshoi rang rnam, 3 vols. (Lhasa: Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, 1989-1991), vol. 3, 228. 25 On some elements concerning the history of Dpal ri during the modern period, see Rdzogs chen chos byung, 829.
22

any precise account of the monasterys history but contains an abundance of details about the sacred content of the monastery witnessed by the author: statues, reliquaries, paintings, and set of scriptures. It contains also prophecies about the establishment of Dpal ri and magic stories One story describes that during the Dzungar invasion, the central statue of Mahvairocana (Rnam par snang mdzad) was taken from the monastery to the Palace of the Peak of the Tiger (Phying ba stag rtse). But then the statue cried and became heavy and difficult to move. Later, on the way back to the monastery, the statue became extremely light. This is interpreted to mean that Shes rab od zer was an emanation of Pagor Vairocana who was himself emanating from the Great Solar Buddha, Mahvairocana. One of the specific roles of the Dpal ri Monastery seems to have been for the Phyong rgyas ruler to take care over the Rnying ma temple built in the 13th century upon the Bang so dmar po, Srong btsan sgam pos tomb. After the Cultural Revolution, the Dpal ri monastery has been reconstructed. They are now only four monks associated with Dpal ri, two of them being in charge of the Bang so dmar po.

3. The Contributions of Dpal ri Monastery to the Renaissances of the Rnying ma School and to the Non-Sectarian (ris med) Movement (16th-19th centuries)
3-1. Dpal ri Monastery as a Pole of the Rnying ma Tradition (end of the 16th centurybeginning of the 17th century) After its foundation, Dpal ri monastery became the pole of the Rnying ma tradition. Before the creation of the Rdo rje brag and Smin grol gling monasteries, is was its most important monastery in central Tibet. 3-2. The Phyong rgyas Familial Legacy of the Vth Dalai Lama The 5th Dalai Lama (1617-1682) certainly considered these important Rnying ma connections to be a part of his familial heritage. Though the Dge lugs order came to dominate religious affairs in Tibet as the head of State, the Rnying ma tradition with its symbolic association to the ancient imperium, played a considerable role during the establishment of the Dalai Lamas
26

Jigs med gling pa, Gsung bum, 14 vols. (A dzom chos sgar), vol. 7, 381.6-404.2.

regime by the Great Fifth, which marks the reunification of Tibet. The 5th Dalai Lama, born in the emperors valley in Phyong rgyas, seems to have been predestined to embrace this exceptional vocation. Treasures (gter ma) represented an important part of the State rituals conducted by the Great Fifth. In particular, he used during the rituals statues of Padmasambhava discovered by Shes rab od zer. 27 3-3. The Triad of the Rnying ma Monasteries in Central Tibet, Rdor smin dpal gsum: Sources of the Rnying ma Schools Renaissance (17th-18th centuries) The Rdo rje brag monastery was built in his present location in 1630. Later Smin grol gling was established in 1676 through the support of the 5th Dalai Lama, and was given the official function of performing State rituals. Rdo rje brag, Smin grol gling, and Dpal ri monasteries were known together as Rdor smin dpal gsum, the triad of the main Rnying ma monasteries in central Tibet. Though the eminence and excellence of Smin grol gling soon eclipsed Dpal ri, historically Dpal ri had precedence. 3-4. The Intimate Relation between Dpal ri Monastery and Jigs med gling pa (18th century) After the dramatic destruction of the Rnying ma monasteries in central Tibet in 1717 by the Dzungar Mongols, the Rnying ma tradition was again to revive from Dpal ri monastery and the Phyong rgyas valley through the revelation of Jigs med gling pa Mkhyen brtse od zer (1730-1798). Jigs med gling pa was born just close to the Dpal ri monastery. A small monument still commemorates this great event. It was also in Dpal ri monastery that Jig med gling pa was trained, and where he later had the first visionary revelation of the Klong chen snying thig, before receiving the full revelation at Bsam yas mchims pu. As already noted by scholars 28 during this first revelation in Dpal ri, he was practicing the Rdzogs chen cycle of Shes rab od zers treasure, the Sphere of Liberation (Grol thig). Jigs med gling pa then established his seat in the adjacent valley of Dpal ri, the Dung dkar valley, in the monastery of Tshe ring ljongs. From here, the Klong chen snying thig was diffused throughout Tibet.

27

Samten Karmay, Secret Visions of the Fifth Dalai Lama: The Gold Manuscript in the Fournier Collection (London: Serindia Publications, 1988), 39, 42, 62. 28 Gyatso, 1998, van Schaik, 2004.

3-5. The Epistles of Shes rab od zer: Sources of Mkhyen brtse and Kong spruls NonSectarian (ris med) Movement (19th century) As remarked by Gene Smith, 29 a continuity exits between Jigs med gling pas activity and the emergence of the non-sectarian movement of Mkhyen brtse, Kong sprul and others. Its seems then that through Jigs med gling pa, an important legacy of Shes rab od zer was also passed on to Mkhyen brtse and Kong sprul. Shes rab od zer wrote in the Palace of Phyong rgyas, two epistles on the study, meditation and reflection (thos bsam sgom): - The Ambroisia of Study and Reflection (Thos bsam chi med kyi bdud rtsi), which exposes the Ten Great Pillars of Exegesis (bshad ka chen bcu). 30 - The Ambrosia of Meditation (Sgom pa chi med kyi bdud rtsi) which exposes the Eight Great Lineages of Attainment (sgrub brgyud chen po brgyad). 31 These epistles were sent from the Peak of the Tigers Palace, symbol of the ancient imperial dynasty, to all the important religious figures of that time. These epistles were largely commented by Mkhyen brtse. 32 Mkhyen brtses commentary then formed the basis of the dkar chag of Kong spruls Gdams ngag mdzod, 33 an important work for understanding the goals of the ris med movement. 34 The Eight Lineages as paradigm of the Gdam ngag mdzod are the Rnying ma pa, Bka gdams pa, Shangs pa bka brgyud, Lam bras, Mar pa bka brgyud, Zhi byed, Sbyor drug, Rdo rje gsum gyi bsnyen sgrub. At the 1st International Seminar of Young Tibetologists in London (2007), I had the opportunity to present the passages of Shes rab od zers epistles, which may be the first exposition of the model of the Eight Lineages of Attainment. 35 These epistles
Gene Smith, Jam mgon Kong sprul and the Nonsectarian Movement. In Among Tibetan Texts: History and Literature of the Himalayan Plateau, ed. Kurtis Schaeffer (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2001), 235-72. It was first written as the introduction to Kongtruls Encyclopedia of Indo-Tibetan Culture, ed. Lokesh Chandra (New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1970). 30 Phreng po gter ston Shes rab od zer, Gsung bum, 1 vol. (Gangtok: Gonpo Tseten, 1977), 231-42. 31 Gsung bum, 243-66. 32 Gsung bum, vol. 6, 327-74. 33 Matthew Kapstein (1996) gave the reference of Kong spruls quotation of Shes rab od zers verses: Gdams ngag mdzod, vol. 12 (Delhi: N. Lungtok and N. Gyaltsen 1971), 645-46. He also translated this part of the dkar chag of the Gdams ngag mdzod in Tibetan Technologies of the Self, Part II: The Teachings of the Eight Great Conveyances. In The Pandita and the Siddha. Tibetan Studies in Honour of E. Gene Smith, Ramon N. Prats, ed. (Dharamsala: Amnye Machen Institute, 2007), 110-29. 34 Smith, 2001. 35 Marc-Henri Deroche, Phreng po gter ston Shes rab od zer (1518-1584) on the Eight Lineages of Attainment. Research on a Ris med Paradigm. In Brandon Dotson, Kalsang Norbu Gurung, Georgios Halkias, and Tim Myatt, eds; Contemporary Visions in Tibetan Studies. Proceedings of the First International Seminar of Young Tibetologists (Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2009), 319-41.
29

10

which form important parts of the Phyong rgyas Dpal ri monasterys forgotten legacy, are at the heart of my Ph.D. research and I will present their whole content and analysis in a future occasion.

Conclusion
Though the Rnying ma tradition never played a major political role in the later Tibetan history, it nevertheless exerted a continuous influence during all the Tibetan history, and was central in the very formation of Tibetan identity. In particular, from the Phyong rgyas valley of the emperors, Dpal ri monastery followed by Rdo rje brag and Smin grol gling, contributed significantly to the vision of the 5th Dalai Lama. Later, through the Rnying ma renaissances and Jigs med gling pa, the influence of the Rnying ma and Dpal ri traditions continued to exert their influence on Mkhyen brtse and Kong sprul, through the newly organized gter ma traditions and the eclectic epistles of Shes rab od zer. I hope that this short history of the past glory of Dpal ri monastery has managed to shed some new light on these points, as well as on the fascinating Phyong rgyas valley. On this subject there still remains much to be explored.

Bibliography
Tibetan sources Ka thog si tu'i dbus gtsang gnas yig, Ka thog si tu. Lhasa: Bod ljongs bod yig dpe rnying dpe skrun khang, 1999. Gangs can bod kyi gnas bshad lam yig gsar ma, Chos phel. 4 vols. Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2002. Gangs rii khrod kyi klog pa nyan bshad pa rnams dang spong ba bsam gtan pa rnams kyi snyan du bsrings pa thos bsam dang bsgom pa chi med bdud rtsi ldeb, Jam dbyangs Mkhyen brtsei dbang po (1820-1892). In The Collected Works (gsung bum). Vol. 6. Gangtok: Gonpo Tseten, 1977-80, 327-74. Gangs rii khrod kyi spong ba bsam gtan pa rnams kyi snyan du bsrings pa bsgom pa chi med bdud rtsi, Jam dbyangs Mkhyen brtsei dbang po (1820-1892). In Jam dbyang mkhyen brtsei dbang poi gsung rtso gces sgrig. Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1989, 337-66. 11

Gu ru bKra shis chos byung, Gu ru bkra shis (b. eighteen century). Beijing: Krung goi bod kyi shes rig dpe skrun khang, 1990. Dga ldan chos byung baidrya ser po, Sde srid Sangs rgyas rgyas mtsho dang Rdo rje rgyal po. Krung goi bod kyi shes rig dpe skrun khang, 1991. Sgom pa chi med kyi bdud rtsi, Phreng po gter ston Shes rab od zer (1518-1584). In Gsung bum. Gangtok: Gonpo Tseten, 1977, 243-66. Ngag dbang blo bzang rgya mtshoi rang rnam, Ngag dbang blo bzang rgya mtsho (16181682). 3 vols. Lhasa: Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, 1989-1991. Rnying mai skyes mchog rim byon gyi rnam thar (Norbui do shal), Kun bzang nges don klong yangs (b. 1814). Dalhousie, H.P.: Damchoe Sangpo, 1976. Thos bsam chi med kyi bdud rtsi, Phreng po gter ston Shes rab od zer (1518-1584). In Gsung bum. Gangtok: Gonpo Tseten, 1977, 231-42. Gdams ngag mdzod, Jam mgon Kong sprul blo gros mtha yas (1813-1899). 12 vols. Delhi: N. Lungtok and N. Gyaltsen, 1971. Bri gung chos byung, Bri gung Dkon mchog rgya mtsho. Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2004. Bri gung pa ratnai ming can gyi skyes rabs mos gus dran pai lcags kyu, the autobiography of Bri-gung-pa Rin-chen-phun-tshogs (1509-1557) and its continuation by Rin-chen-dpal with Rin-chen-phun-tshogs biographies of Bri-gung-gling-pa Des-rab-byung-gnas (11871254) and Bri-gung-pa Kun-dga-rin-chen (1475-1524). Bir, Bir Tibetan Society, 1985. Rdzogs chen chos byung chen mo, Bstan 'dzin kun bzang Lung rtogs bstan pa'i nyi ma. Krung go'i bod rig pa dpe skrun khang, Beijing, 2004. Zhe chen chos byung, Zhe chen rgyal tshab Gyur med pad ma rnam rgyal (1871-1926). Chengdu: Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1994 Zab moi gter dang gter ston grub thob ji ltar byon pai lo rgyus mdor bsdus bkod pa rin chen bai ryai phreng ba (Gter ston brgya rtsai rnam thar), Jam mgon Kong sprul blo gros mtha yas (1813-1899). In Rin chen gter mdzod. Vol. 1. Paro, Buthan: Ngodrup and Sherab Drimay, 1976-1980, 291-759. Shes bya mdzod, Jam mgon Kong sprul blo gros mtha yas (1813-1899). 4 vols. Delhi: Shechen Publications, 1997. Also 3 vols. Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1982. Gsung bum, Phreng po gter ston Shes rab od zer (1518-1584). 1 vol. Gangtok: Gonpo Tseten, 1977. The Collected Works (Gsung bum), Jam dbyangs Mkhyen brtsei dbang po (1820-1892). 24 vols. Gangtok: Gonpo Tseten, 1977-80. 12

Gsung bum, Jigs med gling pa (1730-1798). 14 vols. A dzom chos sgar.

Academic studies Bacot, J., Thomas, F.W. and Toussaint, C. Documents de Touen-Houang relatifs lhistoire du Tibet (Paris: 1940). Beckwith, Christopher. The Tibetan Empire: a history of the struggle for great power among Tibetans, Turks, Arabs, and Chinese during the early Middle Ages. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1993 (1987). Deroche, Marc-Henri. Phreng po gter ston Shes rab od zer (1518-1584) on the Eight Lineages of Attainment. Research on a Ris med Paradigm. In Brandon Dotson, Kalsang Norbu Gurung, Georgios Halkias, and Tim Myatt, eds; Contemporary Visions in Tibetan Studies. Proceedings of the First International Seminar of Young Tibetologists, Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2009, 319-41. Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigkrel Yeshe Dorje. The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History, Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (eds. and trans.). Boston: Wisdom, 1991. Gyatso, Janet. Apparitions of the Self. The Secret Autobiographies of a Tibetan Visionary. Woodstock: Princeton University Press, 1998. Jamgn Kongtrul Lodr Thay, The Treasury of Knowledge. Book Eight, Part Four: Esoteric Instructions. A Detailed Presentation of the Process of Meditation in Vajrayana. Sarah Harding (trans.). New York: Snow Lion, 2008. Kapstein, Matthew T. gDams ngag: Tibetan Technologies of the Self. In Tibetan Literature: Studies in Genre, Jos Ignacio Cabezon, Roger R. Jackson (eds). Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1996, 275-89. - Tibetan Technologies of the Self, Part II: The Teachings of the Eight Great Conveyances. In The Pandita and the Siddha. Tibetan Studies in Honour of E. Gene Smith, Ramon N. Prats (ed.). Dharamsala: Amnye Machen Institute, 2007, 110-29. Karmay, Samten. Secret Visions of the Fifth Dalai Lama: The Gold Manuscript in the Fournier Collection. London: Serindia Publications, 1988. Richardson, Hugues. Early Burial Grounds in Tibet and Tibetan Decorative Art in High Peaks, Pure Earth, Michael Aris, ed., London: Serindia, Publications, 1998, 219-33. Sangpo, Khetsun (mKhas btsun bzang po), ed. Biographical Dictionary of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. Dharamsala: LTWA. 1973. Smith, E. Gene. Introduction. In Kongtruls Encyclopedia of Indo-Tibetan Culture, Lokesh Chandra (ed.), New Delhi International Academy of Indian Culture, 1970. 13

- Among Tibetan Texts: History and Literature of the Himalayan Plateau, Kurtis Schaeffer (ed.). Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2001. Tarthang, Tulku and Bradburn Leslie. Masters of the Nyingma Lineage. Crystal Mirror Series, vol. 11. Berkeley: California, Dharma Publishing, 1995. Toussaint, Gustave-Charles. Le Dict de Padma, Padma thang yig, Ms. de Lithang. Paris: Bibliothque des hautes tudes chinoises, Librairie Ernest Leroux, 1933. [Trans. from the French by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays as The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava. 2 vols. Emeryville, CA: Dharma Publications, 1978.] Tucci, Giuseppe. Tibetan Painted Scrolls. 3 vols. Roma: La Libreria Dello Stato, 1949. - The Tombs of the Tibetan Kings, Roma: Is.M.E.O., 1950. van Schaik, Sam. Approaching the Great Perfection. Simultaneous and Gradual Methods of Dzogchen Practice in the Longchen Nyintig. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2004.

14