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Abstract: This essay surveys the sources for the lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal, also known as Mkhar chen bza’. It considers references to such a figure in works from Chronicle of Ba (Sba bzhed), Rnying ma bka’ ma materials on Vajrakīla traditions, Nyang ral’s life of Padmasambhava, and other Rnying ma sources, down to the well-known biography from the Treasures of Stag sham, as well as a recent Bon po version of her life. It also considers what historical works do not mention her, and raises the question of whether she was a historical person or not. The heart of the essay provides detailed information on an important but little-known long biography of Ye shes mtsho rgyal from the fourteenth century by Dri med kun dga’ snying po, a work that is interestingly different from Stag sham’s story but also clearly was a source for him. Among other things, this version of the story makes no mention of any connection of Ye shes mtsho rgyal to the king Khri srong lde btsan. Another intriguing suggestion concerns references to her by Gu ru chos dbang, which hint that yet an older rendition of her lifestory might have been preserved in his collected works which has either been lost or is still to come to light. The essay considers the development of the role of Ye shes mtsho rgyal as a female consort and especially the seemingly feminist figuration of her by Stag sham. It also serves to illustrate the complex process of hagiographical development known also for so many other saints in Tibetan religious literature. Ye shes mtsho rgyal is the foremost female figure of the Rnying ma tradition.1 She shares with Ma gcig lab sgron (tenth-eleventh century) the position of pre-eminent female exemplar with whom Tibetan Buddhist women have been identified, but she far exceeds Ma gcig in significance for Tibetan national self-conception. Her legend has it that she became queen of the pivotal Yar lung king Khri srong lde
1 I am grateful to Amherst College for two Faculty Research Awards, which enabled my travel to Tibet in 1996 and 1998 and my discovery and research on Dri med kun dga’s biographies described herein.
Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, no. 2 (August 2006): 1-27. www.thdl.org?id=T2719. 1550-6363/2006/2/T2719. © 2006 by Janet Gyatso, Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library, and International Association of Tibetan Studies. Distributed under the THDL Digital Text License.
Gyatso: A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal
btsan, only to be bestowed in turn as a gift to the Indian master Padmasambhava in exchange for the master’s tantric teachings to the royal court.2 As consort of Padmasambhava, however, Ye shes mtsho rgyal becomes a master in her own right. In some versions of the story she achieves a veritable independence, in addition to serving as a key mediatrix between Tibetans and their Indian guru in the post-eleventh-century mythology surrounding Tibet’s transformation into a Buddhist land. For close to twenty years western readers have had the luxury of two English translations (and more recently one in French as well) of a detailed and richly interesting account of Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s life.3 Replete with stories of her abduction by suitors, her Buddhist austerities, her eventual purchase of her own male consort, and even her mastery of her own rape, the tale serves, among other things, as a splendid tool for teaching college students about images of women in Tibetan tantric Buddhism. From a historical perspective, however, this hagiography of Ye shes mtsho rgyal leaves some important questions unanswered. It is the work of Stag sham nus ldan rdo rje (b. 1655), a visionary of the seventeenth century, and so was written some nine-hundred years after Ye shes mtsho rgyal would have lived. What sources did Stag sham draw upon in conceiving the narrative? Surely some earlier versions of the story existed. But none are known to Tibetan historiography, and most Tibetan scholars to whom I have ever posed this question had no clue either. More basic yet is the question of whether Ye shes mtsho rgyal is a historical figure at all. The problem is that none of the contemporary epigraphy ever mentions a Ye shes mtsho rgyal, nor a Mkhar chen bza’ (her clan title), at least as far as we know. What follows summarizes my progress in attempting to address these questions, the first in more detail than the second, given the paucity of historical evidence about the eighth century in Tibet.4 In the course of this discussion I will also address a third, larger question regarding the significance of the story of Ye shes mtsho rgyal, both for Tibetan Buddhist narratives about the past more generally, and with respect to the image of the female in Tibetan Buddhist practice. That significance
Mentioned in Clear Mirror Royal Chronicle (Rgyal rabs gsal ba’i me long), interlinear note (added, according to Sørensen, soon after the author’s death): Per Sørensen, Tibetan Buddhist Historiography: The Mirror Illuminating the Royal Genealogies (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1994), 369n1200, 373nn1229-30.
3 Nam mkha’i snying po, Mother of Knowledge: The Enlightenment of Ye-shes mTsho-rgyal, translated by Tarthang Tulku (Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1983); Keith Dowman, Sky Dancer: The Secret Life and Songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyal (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984); and Gyalwa Tchangtchoub and Namkhai Nyingpo, La Vie de Yéshé Tsogyal Souveraine du Tibet (Paris: Editions Padmakara, 1995). The Tibetan text is Stag sham rdo rje, Mkha’ ’gro ye shes mtsho rgyal gyi rnam thar (Chengdu: Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1989).
Much detail and documentation has been omitted from this paper because of limitations on length; this data will be provided in full with my publication of the translation of the Dri med kun dga’ biography.
Chos ’byung me tog snying po sbrang rtsi’i bcud (Lha sa: Bod rang skyong ljongs spyi tshogs tshan rig khang gi bod yig dpe rnying dpe skrun khang. dBa’ bzhed: The Royal Narrative Concerning the Bringing of the Buddha’s Doctrine to Tibet (Vienna: Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. 379.7 In addition there is a relatively early attribution of special Vajrakīla virtuosity to Ye shes mtsho rgyal. Slob dpon padma ’byung gnas kyi skyes rabs chos ’byung nor bu’i phreng ba. This statement is repeated by Nyang ral nyi ma ’od zer. 342.6 Mkhar chen bza’ mtsho rgyal is in any event known to the historian Mkhas pa lde’u (thirteenth century?) as one of eight ladies who did not hold political power but who built royal tombs. [Also in Rnying ma bka’ ma rgyas pa (Darjeeling: Dupjung Lama. See also Bla ma rgyud pa’i gsol ’debs. Phur pa rgyud lugs las chos ’byung ngo mtshar snang byed. 1989). 118. this statement is not to be found in the apparently earlier version of the Chronicle of Ba recently published. who also lists her as one of the queens. 228. 1975).5 However. 1:7. 9 Nyang ral. 7 Mkhas pa lde’u. in Collected Writings of Sog-bzlog-pa Blo-gros-rgyal-mtshan (New Delhi: Sanje Dorji. in Two Rare Vajrakīla Teachings from the Miraculous Lotus-Born Gu-ru Rin-po-che Padmasambhava (Gangtok: Gonpo Tseten. and ’Jigs med gling pa. 1:133-145. 10:241. 54. 1977). She is also credited with the ability to raise the dead: Nyang ral.9 In general. 1976).] See also Sog zlog pa blo gros rgyal mtshan. as found for example in Rnying ma bka’ ma materials. but there are discrepancies in these same sources concerning the names of her parents and suitors. 1982). in Rnying ma bka’ ma rgyas pa.245. There is a brief mention of Mkhar chen bza’ mtsho rgyal in some versions of the Chronicle of Ba (Sba bzhed).Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 2 (August 2006) 3 has in turn some impact on our understanding of how the various versions of her life developed. the references to her aristocratic affiliations in these sources fits with what is said about many other figures from the same period who are also not mentioned in inscriptions but whose existence 5 Sba bzhed ces bya ba las sba gsal snang gi bzhed pa (Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang. Byang chub sems dpa’i sems dpa’ chen po chos rgyal mes dpon rnam gsum gyi rnam thar rin po che’i phreng ba (Paro: Ugyen Tempai Gyaltsen. in Nyang ral nyi ma ’od zer. 2000). 1980). Regarding first the most basic matter – is Ye shes mtsho rgyal a historical figure? – we are still not in a position to assert without doubt that there was an early Tibetan female master of tantric yoga called Ye shes mtsho rgyal or even Mkhar chen bza’. 1980). 7:5-14.8 as well as in the Padmasambhava hagiographical tradition beginning at least by the time of Nyang ral nyi ma ’od zer (1136-1204). 20-22. I can say at least that there is consistency throughout the sources discussed below in locating her birth date in a bird year and her birthplace in the district of Sgrags. 1988). this work seems itself to be responding to the historical question of why there are no inscriptions about her by saying that she was one of the wives of Khri srong lde btsan who was engaged in meditative practice and therefore left no legacy (phyag ris). Rgya bod kyi chos ’byung rgyas pa (Lha sa: Bod rang skyong ljongs spyi tshogs tshan rig khang. and who received initiations from Padmasambhava alongside the king. Dpal rdo rje phur pa’i lo rgyus chos kyi ’byung gnas ngo mtshar rgya mtsho’i rba rlabs. 8 See especially Rdo rje phur pa’i bshad ’bum slob dpon rnam gsum gyis dgongs pa slob dpon chen po padmas mkhar chen bza’ la gdams pa. 1987). Bka’ brgyad bde gsegs ’dus pa’i chos skor (Dalhousie: Damchoe Sangpo. in Slob dpon padma’i rnam thar zangs gling ma (Chengdu: Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang. Interestingly. . 6 Pasang Wangdu and Hildegard Diemberger.
When Padmasambhava pronounces her a ḍākinī. she is mentioned in some versions of the Chronicle of Ba as one of the queens of Khri srong lde btsan and a virtuoso of meditative practice. the biographical fragments that are older yet should be summarized. .g. Gter ’byung rin po che’i lo rgyus. known also to Mkhas pa lde’u. the king skeptically questions her abilities by challenging her to travel to Akaniṣṭha and other heavens to retrieve some of his family’s lost royal treasures. and that she later achieved virtuosity in the Kīla sādhanas and could raise the dead. the rest of this essay will study the history and significance of that story. which disappears in the later hagiographies. suggests the king’s doubt or even jealousy about Mtsho rgyal’s tantric practices. Mkhas pa lde’u. Nyang ral describes her simply as the daughter of Mkhar chen dpal gyi dbang phyug. That cult is of course deeply indebted to the story of her life. e.13 A further question about the place of Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s relationship with Khri srong lde btsan in her hagiography concerns the fact that the earliest biographical sketch of her that we have. occurs after her receipt of a Kīla initiation alongside Khri srong lde btsan. which is in Nyang ral’s hagiography of Padmasambhava. for example. As for the history of narratives of her life.10 and her display of mastery by. and Mchims phu bre gu dge’u for secret tantric practices.14 Nyang ral states at the age of sixteen she was taken as a consort by Padmasambhava to Ti sgro. But before describing that. my most dramatic contribution is my discovery of a full-length biography of Ye shes mtsho rgyal from the 1300s which was almost certainly an important source for Stag sham. in Snying thig ya bzhi (Delhi: Sherab Gyaltsen Lama. there might be no particular reason to question the historicity of a queen named Mkhar chen bza’. Sog zlog pa. controlling a fire in the forests around ’Chims phu. In some sources. and especially the “Black Hundred Thousand” (’Bum nag) of the Rnying ma bka’ ma Vajrakīla tradition preserves stories concerning Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s receipt of Kīla teachings along with other aristocratic ladies such as Lcog ro bza’ and Ngam ’dre gsal le.11 Another episode in the Bka’ ma.Gyatso: A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal 4 we do not doubt. She also attained the dhāranī of non-forgetting. Chos ’byung. 22 (245). 134-36. for which reason she could record 10 11 12 13 See note 8 above and note 14 below. It also mentions Mtsho rgyal’s transmission of those teachings to her brother Dpal gyi dbang phyug. this is Mtsho rgyal’s brother. 1975-79). a test she can pass only with the help of Padmasambhava. part 1): 88. In this version Mtsho rgyal stays in Akaniṣṭha for three years. 143. Rdo rje phur pa’i lo rgyus. Rdo rje phur pa’i lo rgyus.. vol. 7 (Mkha’ ’gro yang thig. As suggested also by Dri med ’od zer. See also Sog zlog pa. 14 There seems to be some confusion about the identity of this figure. As already noted. The so-called “Mistress’ Way” (Jo mo lugs). Were it not for the enormous cult that has constellated around Ye shes mtsho rgyal. Bsgrags. Rdo rje phur pa’i bshad ’bum. fails to mention her connection to the king at all. 347-48.12 This interesting episode. “Lady’s Way” (Lcam lugs).
subject. which adds other places that Ye shes mtsho rgyal stayed.sku ’khrungs so/: Nyang ral. 1979). and friend trio” (rje ’bangs grogs gsum) – that is. 2:343-46. Witness his reference to his son ’Gro ba’i mgon po’s body with the honorific sku.) In this.” Nyang ral. Bka’ brgyad gsang ba yongs rdzogs kyi dbang chog chen mo. Ti sgro is only mentioned by Nyang ral. . Khri srong lde btsan. of which he was probably the principal architect. A key element of that mythos is in fact its emphasis on heterosexual yoga.16 Nyang ral’s own autobiographical material even claims that his wife Jo ’bum ma was an emanation of Ye shes mtsho rgyal. in Zangs gling ma. 193. Rnam thar. 18 . Erik Pema Kunsang (Boston: Shambhala Publications. 2:398. Nam mkha’ snying po. fares better.15 But in other contexts Nyang ral certainly does know Mkhar chen bza’ mtsho rgyal to be an imperial queen.. 198. More significant yet is an important indication that Gu ru chos dbang may have been the first author of a full-length lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal.. although precious little is made of her elsewhere..17 That Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s story is important enough to Nyang ral that he deems his own wife to be her emanation is in keeping with his keenness for the Padmasambhava mythos. Zangs gling ma. Gu ru chos dbang significantly enhanced Mtsho rgyal’s status by converting the already-current phrase “lord and subjects” (rje ’bangs). subject. trans. while he himself was Khri srong lde btsan. Regarding Jo mo mtsho rgyal’s attainment of the dhāranī of non-forgetting.mtsho rgyal gyi sprul pa/ jo ’bum ma’i lus la sku bltams/ spre’u’i lo la. the next major contributor to the Padmasambhava tradition. he put Ye shes mtsho rgyal at the same level as the king and the nobleman who were Padmasambhava’s main students in the myth. He characterizes her as “sgrub rten du ye shes mtsho rgyal gyi sprul pa. the principal facilitator of which in the story is Ye shes mtsho rgyal herself. 354. however. p. Ye shes mtsho rgyal continues to appear in the Treasure literature after Gu ru chos dbang. See also Nyang ral’s question and answer text (zhus lan) between Mtsho rgyal and Padmasambhava. 113. but to the body of his wife (and emanation of Ye shes mtsho rgyal!) with the non-honorific lus. 16 17 See note 5 above. and friend trio” is Gu ru chos dbang’s recurrent gloss for the principal recipients of Padmasambhava’s teachings. “Lord. and states that she became Padmasambhava’s consort at age 13: extracts from this work are translated in Yeshe Tsogyal. to a new compound “lord. all in the same sentence. in Bka’ brgyad bsan ba yons rdzogs (Paro: Ngodrup and Sherab Drimay.. in Bka’ brgyad bde gsegs ’dus pa’i chos skor (Paro: Lama Ngodrup. Bka’ brgyad bde gshegs ’dus pa’i gter ston myang sprul sku nyi ma ’od zer gyi rnam thar gsal ba’i me long. 1990).18 Gu ru chos dbang (1212-70). Rnam thar gsol ’debs. This text switches back and forth between first person accounts told with non-honorific verbs (often in narratives of dreams of meditative experiences) and third person narrative told with honorific verbs.Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 2 (August 2006) 5 the Treasure (gter ma) text of Padmasambhava’s life. Dakini Teachings: Padmasambhava’s Oral Instructions to Lady Tsogyal. for example in his account of Tibet’s kings where he repeats the Chronicle of Ba statement already mentioned.19 (“Friend” is a standard euphemism for tantric consort. I will return to this discovery below. see the colophon. and Mkhar chen bza’. She is entirely 15 Nyang ral. 19 As in Gu ru chos dbang. 1979-80). None of this necessarily means that Nyang ral was a proto-feminist.
22 This is another isolated episode that does not appear in the major biographies of Ye shes mtsho rgyal.” Dri med ’od zer is so prophecied in Dri med kun dga’. 1995. she figures fairly frequently in the Heart-Sphere of the Dakinis (Mkha’ ’gro snying tig). 1975-79) vol. and I wonder about its significance. 11 (Mkha’ ’gro snying thig. 1993). when Padmasambhava summons her after the king faints upon learning of his daughter’s death.20 Although this cycle is officially preached to Lha lcam padma gsal. Mtsho rgyal dbu. in Snying thig ya bzhi (Delhi: Sherab Gyaltsen Lama. Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s main function in the Heart-Sphere of the Dakinis seems to be. the recorder of the Treasure.21 the resuscitated daughter of Khri srong lde btsan. 20 I discussed the role of Ye shes mtsho rgyal in this cycle in “The Heart Sphere of the Ḍākinīs: The Place of the Female in Tibetan Myth.. Although Ye shes mtsho rgyal is not herself the star of this cycle. Padma bka’ thang (Chengdu: Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang. 21 Nonetheless. and the fact that it is the Heart-Sphere of the Dakinis that makes it most appropriate. and not even by name.”23 This is a rather strong claim. in the Blue Annals’ account of the Vajrakīla lineages. although I have not yet found any evidence that he did produce such a work. By being one of the first places in which Great Perfection and consort yoga are brought together and both attributed to Padmasambhava. But a question and answer text (zhus lan) included in the cycle does provide this striking statement about her by Padmasambhava: “Mtsho rgyal. and appears only to be mentioned once. Ye shes mtsho rgyal shows up in a curious detail of the story. “The Heart Sphere of the Ḍākinīs. such as ḍākki’i lam ’bras kyi skor and the key text Zhus len bdud rtsi gser phreng. I have searched all over Tibet and you are the only one I found who is keeping the tantric commitments (dam tshig).” Ye shes mtsho rgyal.25 He does provide a brief overview of her life. in one of his histories of the Heart-Sphere of the Dakinis. David Germano provides detailed information on the history of the Heart-Sphere of the Dakinis cycle in his book manuscript Prophetic Histories of Buddhas. The “poor-minded woman” Ye shes mtsho rgyal takes a white scarf from her head and sprinkles sandalwood water which revives the king. f.Gyatso: A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal 6 missing from Bu ston’s history. part 2): 29. this cycle marks the inception of the full imperial reign of Padmasambhava over the Rnying ma tradition. suggesting that he was drawing on a biographical source different than the ones I have identified so far. 89-90. That in turn entails the momentous significance of Padmasambhava’s own consort activity. Gter ’byung rin po che’i lo rgyus. This overview is fairly idiosyncratic in its names for her parents and birthplace. 62a. The phrase “poor-minded woman” (blo dman bud med) is from a similar story in O rgyan gling pa. But otherwise. 22 Dri med ’od zer..24 It is not surprising that Klong chen rab ’byams pa (1308-1363) appears to be mentioned as one of the prophecied Treasure “holders” of Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s biography. some texts in the cycle are addressed to Mtsho rgyal. Ḍākinīs and Saints in Tibet. a key Treasure cycle put together in the fourteenth century. 24 25 This point develped in Gyatso. the Heart-Sphere of the Dakinis is precisely what makes way for her cult to develop thereafter. . 23 Zhus len bdud rtsi gser phreng.” a paper delivered at the American Academy of Religion. In contrast. as it is elsewhere. however. 536. especially with his Tibetan “friend.
and interest in.1323-1360) Testament of the Queen (Btsun mo’i bka’ thang) also has her as one of the five queens. in Bka’ thang sde lnga (Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang. Also O rgyan gling pa. his hagiography of Padmasambhava does name her parents. Dri med kun dga’ snying 26 Dri med ’od zer. but again. I was able to photocopy this text in 1996.Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 2 (August 2006) 7 Klong chen pa refers to the standard episodes about her beauty. the king’s gift of her to Padmasambhava. I would like to publish an edition of the Tibetan as well. another visionary active in approximately the same period. knows her as one of the recipients of the Kīla teachings from Padmasambhava.28 O rgyan gling pa is another one of the prophecied discoverers of Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s biography. His biography of Ye shes mtsho rgyal is my dramatic discovery that I alluded to above.) and the other is entitled Ye shes mtsho rgyal gyi rnam par thar pa (so-called at f. usually entitled something like The Lifestory of Yeshé Tsogyel. I discovered a blockprint edition of it in 1996 in Lhasa. and has a few lines summarizing her life as a self-effacing devoted nun disciple of the master.26 Other fourteenth. One is entitled Mkha’ ’gro ma thams cad kyi gtso mo ye shes mtsho rgyal gyi rnam thar (46 ff. in Bka’ thang sde lnga (Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang. 3-4. with a title page labelled simply Mtsho rgyal dbu. Btsun mo bka’ thang yig. mentioning an important vision by Ngag gi dbang po or Padma las ’brel rtsal (= Klong chen pa) of Ye shes mtsho rgyal and her consort.29 If neither Klong chen pa nor O rgyan gling pa have a full biography of our heroine. 10:630. 43a). and her participation in the recording of Padmasambhava’s teachings. and the author of the very prophecies of Klong chen pa and O rgyan gling pa just mentioned. This work may well be the oldest full length story of her life that survives. 232-33. such a work by him is not currently in evidence. When I went back in 1998 I found that the first ten folia of this copy are now missing. Gter ’byung rin po che’i lo rgyus. 1986). her own tantric virtuosity. at which the ministers were displeased: see note 2 above.27 O rgyan gling pa’s (c.and fifteenth-century Treasure sources show varying degrees of knowledge about.30 is the revelation of a lesser-known Treasure discoverer. adding she had no offspring. I later found other versions in Lhasa as a well. The work. See also Khro rgyal rdo rje. See also pp. However. 29 30 O rgyan gling pa. I am preparing a translation of the text which I plan to publish. in Rnying ma bka’ ma rgyas pa. her consort activity with Padmasambhava. if I can obtain a copy of two other manuscript editions of the text which I now know exist. Padma bka’ thang. The only thing that Bsod nams rgyal mtshan’s (1312-75) Clear Mirror Royal Chronicle says about her is to list her with the other consorts of Khri srong lde btsan. 28 O rgyan gling pa. Slob dpon rnam gsum gyi dgongs pa phur ṭī ka ’bum nag lugs kyi dbang chog lag len du bsdebs pa mtsho rgyal zhal lung. 1986). Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s life (I am setting aside her frequent appearance in visions and sādhanas). I was only able to copy a few pages of the two . 105. I base the following on a block print of this text in 63 folia that was kept at the Public Library of Lhasa. I also saw two cursive script (dbu med) manuscripts of the same work in Lhasa in 1998. seems to represent a quantum leap forward in the fortunes of Ye shes mtsho rgyal. 86-90. with the help of Jake Dalton. She continues to be Padamsambhava’s interlocutor in a question and answer text of the Treasures of Rdo rje gling pa (1346-1405) and Sangs rgyas gling pa (1340-1396). 705. 27 The interlinear notes do add that she was offered by the king as a consort of Padmasambhava. 109. Rgyal po’i bka’ thang. 128.
Gyatso: A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal 8 po. Thugs rje chen po ye shes ’od mchog. who names a kun dga’ in the prophecy of the discoverers of Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s lifestory and clearly follows Dri med kun dga’s story line in several of his own chapters of her life. one chapter from Dri med kun dga’s work. Words and locutions are often changed and one of the manuscripts even provides an entirely different name for the heroine’s father.. Sangs rgyas bstan pa’i chos ’byung dris lan nor bu’i ’phreng ba (Gangtok: Dzongsar Chhentse Labrang. only one of the four summaries currently available of Dri med kun dga’s own life even mention that he had a lifestory (rnam thar) of Ye shes mtsho rgyal. (Dalhousie: Damchoe Sangpo. Zab mo’i gter dang gter ston grub thob ji ltar byon pa’i lo rgyus mdor bsdus bkod pa rin chen baiḍurya’i phreng ba. 32 Kong sprul specifies that this was a female year. Note that the listing for “Trime Kunga” in the index of The Nyingma School (vol. 1:935.p. Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom Publications. It was surely known to Stag sham. and was a teacher of ’Jigs med gling pa. ed. Dudjom Rimpoche’s (Bdud ’jom rin po che) history fails to give a biographical sketch of Dri med kun dga’. so it seems likely that his birthdate is in the fourteenth century as indicated. Biographical sketches of him are as follows: 1. n.d. Bod du byung ba’i gsang sngags snga ’gyur gyi bstan ’dzin skyes mchog rim byon gyi rnam thar nor bu’i do shal (A Concise History of the Nyingmapa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism) (Dalhousie: Damchoe Sangpo. viz. Gene Smith.31 He was born in a fire pig year. 129a-130b. 391-93. Kun bzang nges don klong yangs.). Bstan pa’i snying po gsang chen snga ’gyur nges don zab mo’i chos kyi ’byung ba gsal bar byed pa’i legs bshad mkhas pa dga’ byed ngo mtshar gtam gyi rol mtsho (n. 4. while Gu ru bkra shis specifies a male year.: Jamyang Khentse. 2) refers the reader to Trime Lingpa (Dri med gling pa) but this identification is incorrect: it reflects a contemporary tendency to confuse Dri med kun dga’ with Dri med gling pa. 1970). 31 He also has a Treasure cycle on Avalokiteśvara: Dri med kun dga’. in Rin chen gter mdzod chen mo (Paro: Ngodrup and Sherap Drimay. . Gu ru bkra shis. 1991). He also wrote a biography of Mitrayogin called Bstan pa gsal ba’i sgron me. 2 vols. manuscripts. who lived in the eighteenth century.32 probably 1347. as evidenced by the varying manuscript editions of the work still extant in Lhasa. but this seems to be an error.34 Nor has a single Tibetan scholar whom I have queried orally about Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s lifestory heard of Dri med kun dga’s writing about her. Kong sprul blo gros mtha’ yas. I am preparing a separate article on an incomplete and simplified paraphrase attributed to Padma gling pa. 34 35 Kun bzang. 1976). Mkhyen rab rgya mtsho. 33 E. his biography of Ye shes mtsho rgyal seems to have been all but forgotten in recent centuries. The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History. 1976). although it does quote him (as does Kong sprul) on the question of how many Treasure discoverers there will be: Dudjom Rimpoche. and one of which is Klong chen pa. 3. 12. 1981). 1:529-532. 2:736-42. introduction to Kongtrul’s Encyclopaedia of Indo-Tibetan Culture. The Bon po rendition of Mtsho rgyal’s life is discussed further below. 2. 1323-1360). and O rgyan gling pa (c. trans. ff.” who seem to be rough contemporaries.33 Curiously. But it was certainly in circulation at one time. The other biographical sketches do not specify. Nor bu’i do shal. Sangs rgyas ye shes. He is regularly listed as one of “the three Dri meds. who we assume is Klong chen pa (1308-1363). gives Dri med kun dga’s birth date as 1357. since the prophecy in his Ye shes mtsho rgyal biography mentions Dri med ’od zer. 1978). We can assume he lived no earlier than the sixth twelve-year calendrical unit (rab byung). Lokesh Chandra (New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture. The three versions of the text have interesting differences. and no later than Padma gling pa (1450-1521). and it also spawned a partial paraphrase attributed to Padma gling pa as well as a recent Bon po version. Parts 1-3.35 Moreover.
and the two escape to Bsam yas ’chings phu (i. ’Chims phu). Vars. and occasionally “Gu ru rin po che” in this work. Oḍḍiyāna) in this work. What is clear is that he produced a considerable saga. for example in the clever and yet deeply-felt exchanges between the courting Zur mkhar38 prince and the reluctant heroine. She refuses both. leaving behind two magical automatons for her frustrated suitors.e. . Kong po lhun grags. In the second chapter. After being roughed up by her father’s own ministers. After one month. and is rescued by a youth with a topknot who turns out to be Padmasambhava. Zur mo mkhar.Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 2 (August 2006) 9 concerning Mtsho rgyal’s rescue of the evil Shita (var. a white woman appears at the door of her hut and leads her on a long visionary journey to Padma bkod (this is a notably early reference in Tibetan 36 37 38 Var. The Tibetan prince pursues her there and attempts forcibly to bring her back to his kingdom. Later he went to Bsam yas ’chims phu where he had various Treasure revelations. or in the dramaturgical segways facilitated by magical skulls and flying carpets that transport the heroine from one scene to the next.37 Why this particular figure was inspired to write a full-length lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal is far from clear.. Zung mo mkhar. and reportedly there is another version of this smaller work in Lhasa as well. she is finally banished from the kingdom and takes up residence in a forest retreat. Padmasambhava/Oḍiyana transmits Great Perfection teachings to her and instructs her to practice in ’Chings phu for twelve years while he goes to India. In some ways reminiscent of the moving account of emotional travails in Aśvaghoṣa’s Buddhacarita.. Rather he preserves what I would say is a distinctively Tibetan aesthetic. Dri med kun dga’s tale nonetheless mimics few of the Indic kāvya literary devices that we sometimes find in other Tibetan Buddhist narratives. The biographical sketches of Dri med kun dga’s life tell us little beyond the facts that he was born in Grwa phyi mda’ khang dmar and studied at Grwa phyi chu bzang. was published separately in its own block print edition. as well as “Padmasambhava. preferring to practice Dharma. Padmasambhava/Oḍiyana gives her a magical ring to wear on her hand. the work is an interesting precursor to such literary masterpieces as the fifteenth-century Gtsang smyon’s biography of Mi la ras pa. or in the preoccupation with visionary journey and tests of skill and endurance. This place was further established by his disciple Mtshan ldan gzhon nu sangs rgyas. Here is an overview of the story: After a brief description of her royal family and birth in a village in Sgrags in central Tibet.” “Oḍiyana mkhan po Padmasambhava. and finally stayed in Kong po lhun brag36 where he built a retreat center for tantric practitioners (sngags pa). The latter is almost always called “Oḍiyana” (i. which I also found in Lhasa. when her hand is sought by a prince of the Indian kingdom “Bhidzara” and by the Tibetan prince from Zur mkhar. and Zungs mo mkhar.” or other variants on the name Padma. Shantipa) from hell. the story begins in detail with the events of her sixteenth year.e. but she prays to the deities. with beautifully portrayed characters and a sustained story line that are rare in Tibetan writing.
however. The reader is also told that the author of the biography is Bandhe sangs rgyas ye shes. Dri med kun dga’ names his heroine Lha lcam padma lcam. . After succeeding in a variety of feats. like the fact that her first suitor is from India rather than the Dpal gyi gzhon nu of Mkhar chu described by Stag sham. There are other curious differences too. 59a . receiving a didactic message along the way about the inexorability of karma and its result. The final chapter elaborates that same prophecy and the degenerate times that lie ahead. “Lady” (Lha lcam). She is then challenged to prove that she can help other beings by descending to hell to rescue the evil Shita/Shantipa. the first time this name appears in the work. just like Samantabhadrī. But perhaps the most significant divergence represented by the Dri med kun dga’ biography is. Much of the basic outline of this story will be familiar to those who have read the Stag sham version. Most noticeably. A question and answer (zhus lan) session ensues. and he finally leaves. or Lha lcam for short. She returns to ’Chings phu and after a year is robbed by seven bandits whom she then converts to Buddhist practice. f. The fourth chapter briefly lists the many other places in Tibet where Padmasambhava/Oḍiyana gave her teachings from the nine yānas. In the third chapter she returns to ’Chings phu and finally meets Oḍiyana again who is back from India.39 I wonder too about the signficance of making Sangs rgyas ye shes the imputed original author of Dri med kun dga’s story. Furthermore. where she is usually either Jo mo or Mkha’ ’gro. the wrathful deity who challenged her to the test names her Mkha’ ’gro ye shes mtsho rgyal. There are. In the sixth chapter she receives teachings and prophecies of her future emanations in Tibet. In the fifth chapter. again. Here she witnesses many frightening austerities. after which twenty-five women become siddhas. which becomes the vehicle for the master to expound on tantric and Great Perfection practice. Mtsho rgyal dbu. who tells Stag sham’s biography. she goes 39 Dri med kun dga’. She then becomes a buddha. Here the five who will “hold” her biography are listed. including beheading a tiger. all lessons to help her develop her own faith and diligence in practice. Rather. thereafter she is almost always called by that name instead of the title used up to that point. a title virtually unknown for Ye shes mtsho rgyal elsewhere. several salient differences. Then Padmasambhava and Ye shes mtsho rgyal spend another sixty years together taming beings. who gives her the secret name Mkhar chen bza’ and cavorts in bliss with her. who hides it as a Treasure. She proceeds with the bandits on a magic carpet to the place Oḍḍiyāna where they all receive peaceful and wrathful deity practice (zhi khro) initiations from a vidyādhara. she only gets her well-known clan title Mkhar chen bza’ at the end of the work. rather than Nam mkha’ snying po. she is joined by a slew of other aristocratic women to receive more Great Perfection teachings. the complete lack of any reference to Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s marriage to Khri srong lde btsan. which she does. and is exhorted to hide Padmasambhava’s Treasure texts. she gains access to an elaborate palace where she receives esoteric initiations from several vidyādharas and buddhas. as a secret initiatory name. and her most common name Ye shes mtsho rgyal also only appears at the end. At the close of the episode.Gyatso: A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal 10 literature to this hidden land).
Kun dga’ from the east (= Dri med kun dga’?). for example. when he commits the very abuses of the heroine that land him in hell in the first place. of future discoverers of her biographies: Dri med kun dga’s work provides five names and Stag sham’s a full nine. 62a. lists nine: Chos dbang. and a brief one hidden at Lho brag gnam skas can. 41 Dri med kun dga’. a purported record of teachings received (gsan yig) (30 and 84). a long one hidden at Zab bu ri rtse. and narrates them with independent wording. Mtsho rgyal dbu.41 As is well known. Stag sham’s prophecy also states here that there will be three versions of the lifestory. although this is impossible. biographies of Padmasambhava (169). is not to be recognized in the biography by Dri med kun dga’ either.40 Some of these incidents are indeed to be found in detail in Dri med kun dga’s biography. Bkra shis from La stod. and longer accounts of her serving many ḍākinīs and travelling through sixty-two pure lands (183). prophecies in the Treasure literature often recount what has already happened. rather what is actually indicated is that Dri med kun dga’ summarizes a section of an older source that Stag sham also drew upon but in more detail. nor does it make the detour into Tibetan history and competition with the Bon pos that Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s story becomes the site for in Stag sham’s and other later versions of her life. a longer account of her vision of pure lands (89). Stag sham knows of some incidents in the life of Ye shes mtsho rgyal which he does not recount but only mentions briefly. For example. but later only refers with one line to Mtsho rgyal’s rescue of him. and finally three women. and her tour of various pure lands and sight of gruesome self-mutilations. a medium one hidden at Lho rong Khams. Oṭiyana gling pa of Gra mo yar.Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 2 (August 2006) 11 immediately from her struggles with her suitors into the orbit of Padmasambhava. Ra dza from Sham po. However. More broadly. Rdo rje who is called Dpa’ bo from Lho rong (= Stag sham?). but quite different in style and structure. . what this difference means is that Dri med kun dga’s story lacks the leitmotif of the outraged Tibetan ministers. makes reference for other accounts of the life of Ye shes mtsho rgyal are a Lung byang chen mo (230). although Dri med kun dga’ makes a lot of Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s rescue of Shita/Shantipa. and Dri med kun dga’ snying po of Gra mda’ khang dmar (= Dri med kun dga’). Dri med ’od zer of Mon bu thang. various passages in Dri med kun dga’ curiously seem to be dependent upon certain elements in Stag sham. devoting an entire chapter to it. her extraction of Shita from hell. mentions Shantipa several times in the early torture scenes. Each version also gives very different weight to the many episodes that they share. referring the reader to other sources for details. Rnam thar. The stories are otherwise closely related. some of the names 40 Among the sources to which Stag sham. Stag sham. It seems on reflection that they both are dependent upon yet some other version(s). like her serving of many ḍākinīs. on the other hand. Stag sham. Padma badzra of Bkra shis gzhong lung. longer accounts of her journey into hell and rescue of Shantipa (184). so we can presume that these prophesied figures actually represent previous redactors of biographies of the heroine upon which the present one draws. which is Stag sham’s version. Rnam thar. Further clues about the sources of Dri med kun dga’ and Stag sham’s biographies might be had from their prophecies. But other incidents that Stag sham mentions. placed in the mouth of Ye shes mtsho rgyal herself. mentions these names: Chos kyi dbang phyug from the area of Lho mon. f. Moreover. 238. he fails to mention this evil minister in the earlier part of the story. Rdo rje from Spu bo.
Hopefully the single quoted passage is not all of the earlier text which survives now. but it is likely. for he is regularly referred to as Chos dbang. from the oevre of one Chos dbang. In any event. does indeed refer to an actual previous biographer of Ye shes mtsho rgyal. oddly enough.42 One of the manuscript versions of Dri med kun dga’s biography quotes a passage from what is called the Collected Works of Chöwang (Chos dbang bka’ ’bum)43 in the course of describing Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s death (which. this rendition of Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s life in the Collected Works of Chöwang was still available when this particular version of Dri med kun dga’s work was being copied. It certainly contrasts strikingly with the lengthy and glorified description of her death in our most well-known hagiography of Mtsho rgyal by Stag sham. Like Dri med kun dga’. focusing as it does upon the psychological and personal dimensions of Mtsho rgyal’s story. It is not certain that this person is the famed thirteenth-century Treasure discoverer (gter ston) Gu ru chos dbang. The simple account of Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s death from the biography of Chos dbang probably represents an early moment in the development of the Mtsho rgyal story. Mtsho rgyal dbu. otherwise unknown to us at present.Gyatso: A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal 12 provided may refer merely to hypothetical individuals. which were revealed as Treasure by Bde chen dbang mo in 1918 and included in the recent Ling shan edition of the Bönpo Canon 42 He is mentioned in both Stag sham. cast largely as the drama of an individual woman on a journey to enlightenment. on the morning of the tenth of the second month. 62a. all of the names are abbreviated and therefore rarely definitive. . f. Nonetheless. there is exciting evidence that at least one of these names. 45b-46a: chos dbang bka’ ’bum las/ des slob dpon rnga yab la gshegs te/ lha lcam thugs skyo bas ngang nas lho brag mkhar chur bsgrub pa la bzhugs pas/ zla ba gnyis song ba’i tshes bcu’i snga dro nyi zer la chibs te slob dpon dang dbyer med ’od kyi zhal yas su gshegs so zer ba ’dug go/ 44 45 This might indicate that the entire passage on her death is a later interpolation. This rendition is part of a collection of biographies of female tantric masters. studied recently by Donatella Rossi. Mkha’ ’gro ma thams cad kyi gtso mo ye shes mtsho rgyal gyi rnam thar. ff. and in any case. 43 From Dri med kun dga’. This fortuitous interpolation provides definitive evidence of yet another biography of Ye shes mtsho rgyal. and Dri med kun dga’. which has also come to our attention. she rode a sunbeam and merged indistinguishably with Padmasambhava in a mansion of light. Chos dbang calls her Lha lcam. dri med kun dga’s biography would seem to represent a middle point in this development. a certain Chos dbang. The quotation states that after Padmasambhava left for Rnga yab gling.45 Then. is not described at all in the other versions of Dri med kun dga’s work44). By the time the story is told by Stag sham. virtually every detail of Mtsho rgyal’s life has become an indication of her glorified sainthood and her status as a key player in the grand drama of the conversion of Tibet to Buddhism. Lha lcam (Mtsho rgyal) lived and meditated in Lho brag mkhar chu for two more months. Rnam thar. 238. This grand status is only further consolidated in a twentieth-century Bon po version of Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s life.
as I believe they are. Rnam thar gsang mdzod. at least in part. But it goes way beyond Stag sham’s detour into the Buddhist-Bon po contest under Khri srong lde btsan to insert into the narrative of Ye shes mtsho rgyal’s life also a detailed Tibetan geography.46 Bde chen dbang mo’s version of Mtsho rgyal’s life sees her story from the perspective of the hagiography of Padmasambhava. her self-regard is great. to attend briefly to the influence of Mtsho rgyal’s femaleness on the development of her lifestory. We might first of all be tempted to ask. the needs of women are served by the creation and presentation of a female heroine. In addition.49 Feminine weakness is even made to be intrinsic to her eminence: even the important Kīla 46 Bde chen chos kyi dbang mo. as many western adherents of Tibetan Buddhism have done. whether Mtsho rgyal’s story evinces a proto-feminism in Tibetan religion. live women. and a female perspective is frequently represented. Yes. she avers. If these two points are at the heart of the Ye shes mtsho rgyal cult. Several such women are operative today in Tibetan religion. In the modern Bon po rendition it is clearer than ever how the king’s gift of Ye shes mtsho rgyal to Padmasambhava as a sexual yogic consort is essential for tantric religion to be brought to Tibet. 47 See especially Bde chen. as already found in Stag sham.47 It makes her the first (and virtually only) Tibetan to receive Padmasambhava’s tantric transmission directly. Typically female predicaments are dramatized in the story. Rossi’s essay is due to appear in the Proceedings of the Eighth Seminar of the International Association of Tibetan Studies. “Yeshe Tsogyal: Enlightened Consort. Our heroine herself points to her inferiority to men on many occasions – as a woman. Female Role Model. 189: ff. Mtsho rgyal dbu. no. f.Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 2 (August 2006) 13 (Bon po bka’ ’gyur). And it serves violently – but effectively – to disrupt the patriarchal propriety of the old order. Alas. 26b. One of the few ways to recognize a talented woman in Tibetan religious society has been to declare her an emanation of Ye shes mtsho rgyal. I would like in conclusion.48 The answer is mixed. in the Bon po bka’ ’gyur (Ling shan [Lixian] edition. 49 Dri med kun dga’. 4 (Winter 1987): 1-18. Rita Gross. and her wisdom is small. that is. for example. and a recap of virtually every major episode in the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet and its interaction with Bon – all to serve the ecumenical New Bön (Bon gsar) program for a Bon po-Buddhist reconciliation. a theogony. we cannot help but notice how both are saturated with the significance of her gender. There can be no question that the story of Ye shes mtsho rgyal not only provided for Tibetans a template for the ideal female religious life. such a heroine most certainly became a role model for real. at best. her birth is low. Mkha’ ’gro rgya mtsho’i rnam thar gsang ba’i mdzod. and I suspect that creating such a female model was a motivation for all of our biographers of Mtsho rgyal. 224b is missing in the copy of this text owned by University of Oslo! See.” Tibet Journal 12. 224a seq. But making a place for recognition does not eradicate misogyny. then. as it were. f. her female gender. a royal history. 48 . 1985). 196b-278a. it also created a reference point for the identification and legitimation of female hierarchs and masters. c. Great Teacher. many such statements can also be located in the Stag sham version.
f.55 Stag sham’s empowerment of a female figure is virtually unprecedented in Buddhist literature. Mtsho rgyal dbu. but in a later episode they both rob and rape her. Stag sham has Padmasambhava insist that Mtsho rgyal must obtain her own male consort. 61b: lta ba skye dman mtho. . 21. Sog zlog pa. On a trip to Tibet in 1998. Cf. and it is intriguing indeed. Stag sham depicts her relations with Padmasambhava and others in exuberant prose. 53 54 Stag sham. 114: sems bskyed ldan na mo lus lhag. There. Most striking of all.53 Stag sham also makes the quite unprecedented move of depicting in detail a rape scene. Rnam thar.50 The extended travails and self-denials of Dri med kun dga’s ascetic Mtsho rgyal are explicitly designed as a corrective to the female tendency for weak endurance and little faith. Mtsho rgyal dbu. Mtsho rgyal dbu. the very degenerate age that emanations of Mtsho rgyal are predicted to ameliorate. 55 Dri med kun dga’ mentions “Atsarya sale” only in passing as one of the male siddhas at the end: Dri med kun dga’. his depiction of female-dominant consort yoga provides a welcome development from the treatment of consort yoga in the earlier Padmasambhava-Mtsho rgyal question and answer literature. However. These dismaying attitudes in the tradition of Mtsho rgyal are not surprising. Rdo rje phur pa’i lo rgyus. Mtsho rgyal dbu. 43a-44b . Dri med kun dga’ has her eventually taking them to Oṭiyana (Oḍḍiyāna).51 Here. 55b. Dri med kun dga’.Gyatso: A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal 14 traditions that are traced to Mtsho rgyal are said to have been created because she asked for a teaching that would be appropriately brief for her poor female mind. Padmasambhava counters Mtsho rgyal’s complaint about the difficulties of being a woman with the assertion that ultimately a woman’s body is in fact superior to a man’s for gaining enlightenment. apparently forgetting that Ye shes mtsho rgyal is herself a female and would probably be more interested in recognizing the ideal male 50 51 52 Rdo rje phur pa’i bshad ’bum. f. f. given the abundant misogyny in so much of Buddhist literature. usually a taboo topic. and another of whom she acquires in Tibet. Dri med kun dga’. 138-39. Dri med kun dga’s version has Mtsho rgyal spending much more time rehabilitating the bandits than in Stag sham’s story. a good example of which is in fact to be found in Dri med kun dga’s biography. Whereas Dri med kun dga’ alludes to Mtsho rgyal’s coupling with several vidyādharas only elliptically. they do serve to make the several strikingly pro-woman statements in Stag sham’s version all the more astonishing. a learned male mkhan po who was the head of a academic college (shes grwa) for nuns opined that the recent appearance of such institutions for women was a sign of degenerate times. Stag sham has some confusion here for in one episode seven bandits only rob her. Padmasambhava instructs Mtsho rgyal on how to recognize the ideal female consort. which is what she does in the Stag sham version for the seven rapists: Dri med kun dga’. In particular. one of whom she famously buys in Nepal and then trains and uses in Tibet. ff. so low is women’s esteem that their mastery of Buddhist philosophy is taken as one of the signal markers of the degenerate age52 – ironically. In a much-remarked passage found so far only in Stag sham. 26b. and would address the particularly female problem of exaggerated desire. and rarely described in traditional Tibetan Buddhist literature.54 But Stag sham in general is very candid about sex. Dri med kun dga’s story recounts only that seven bandits rob her.
57 I continue to try to locate other indications of woman-focused consort yoga. as usual. as well as to search for the rest of the pieces in the history of the lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal.” . tailored for a male audience.Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 2 (August 2006) 15 consort.56 But instead. Mtsho rgyal dbu. ff. this and other question and answer texts seem to be using Mtsho rgyal merely as a vehicle to convey teachings that are. 56 57 Dri med kun dga’. I discuss this problem in “The Heart Sphere of the Ḍākinīs. 48b-49a.
English translation. and type. THDL Phonetic rendering of the term.Gyatso: A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal 16 Glossary Note: Glossary entries are organized in Tibetan alphabetical order. All entries list the following information in this order: THDL Extended Wylie transliteration of the term. Ka Wylie kun dga’ kun bzang kun bzang nges don klong yangs kong po lhun grags kong po lhun brag kong sprul blo gros mtha’ yas klong chen pa klong chen rab ’byams pa bka’ brgyad bde gshegs ’dus pa’i gter ston myang sprul sku nyi ma ’od zer gyi rnam thar gsal ba’i me long Phonetics Künga Künzang Künzang Ngedön Longyang Kongpo Lhündrak Kongpo Lhündrak Kongtrül Lodrö Tayé Longchenpa Longchen Rapjampa Kagyé Deshek Düpé Tertön Nyang Trülku Nyima Özergyi Namtar Selwé Melong 1308-63 English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Person Author Author Place Place Author Person Person Text Kagyé Deshek Düpé bka’ brgyad bde gshegs ’dus pa’i chos Chökor skor bka’ brgyad gsang ba Kagyé Sangwa Yongdzokkyi yongs rdzogs kyi dbang chog chen mo Wangchok Chenmo bka’ brgyad gsang ba Kagyé Sangwa Yöngdzok yongs rdzogs bka’ thang sde lnga bka’ ma bkra shis Katang Dé Nga Kama Trashi Text Text Text Text Text Person Place Term bkra shis gzhong lung Trashi Zhonglung sku Kha Wylie khams khri srong lde btsan khro rgyal rdo rje mkhan po mkha’ ’gro mkha’ ’gro rgya mtsho’i rnam thar gsang ba’i mdzod Phonetics Kham Tri Songdé Tsen Trogyel Dorjé khenpo Khandro Khandro Gyatsö Namtar Sangwé Dzö English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates ku Type Place Person Author Term Person Text . Sanskrit and/or Chinese equivalent. dates when applicable.
’dul ’dzin Ga Wylie gu ru bkra shis gu ru chos dbang gu ru rin po che Phonetics Guru Trashi Guru Chöwang Guru Rinpoché 1212-70 English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Kharchu Kharchen Pelgyi Wangchuk Kharchen Za Kharchen Za Tsogyel Khepa Deu Khyenrap Gyatso Khyenrap Gyatso.Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 2 (August 2006) 17 mkha’ ’gro snying tig Khandro Nyingtik mkha’ ’gro snying thig mkha’ ’gro ma thams cad kyi gtso mo ye shes mtsho rgyal gyi rnam thar Khandro Nyingtik Khandroma Tamchekyi Tsomo Yeshé Tsogyelgyi Namtar Heart-Sphere of the Dakinis Textual Collection Text Text mkha’ ’gro yang thig Khandro Yangtik mkha’ ’gro ye shes mtsho rgyal Kandro Yeshé Tsogyel Text Person Text Khandro Yeshé mkha’ ’gro ye shes mtsho rgyal gyi rnam Tsogyelgyi Namtar thar mkhar chu mkhar chen dpal gyi dbang phyug mkhar chen bza’ mkhar chen bza’ mtsho rgyal mkhas pa lde’u mkhyen rab rgya mtsho mkhyen rab rgya mtsho. Person Person Place Place Place Place Person Text Text gra mda’ khang dmar Drada Khangmar gra mo yar Dramoyar grwa phyi chu bzang Drachi Chuzang grwa phyi mda’ khang Drachi Da Khangmar dmar ’gro ba’i mgon po rgya bod kyi chos ’byung rgyas pa Drowé Gönpo Gya Bökyi Chönjung Gyepa rgyal po’i bka’ thang Gyelpo Katang rgyal rabs gsal ba’i me long sgrags bsgrags Nga Wylie ngag gi dbang po Phonetics Ngakgi Wangpo English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Gyelrap Selwé Melong Drak Drak Clear Mirror Royal Chronicle Text Place Place Type Person Author ngag dbang blo gros Ngawang Lodrö . Person century? Author Author Type Author Author. Dündzin Place Person Person Person thirteenth Author.
Ngadak zer. Person Term Term rje ’bangs grogs gsum jé bang drok sum Nya Wylie nyang ral Phonetics Nyangrel English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Author. and friend trio Mistress’ Way English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Chimpu Dregu Geu Chingpu Chimpu Place Place Place Type Person Person Person Religious Practice Author. Person nyang ral nyi ma ’od Nyangrel Nyima Özer zer nyang ral nyi ma ’od Nyangrel Nyima Özer.Gyatso: A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal 18 ngam ’dre gsal le rnga yab rnga yab gling sngags pa Ca Wylie lcam lugs lcog ro bza’ Cha Wylie Ngandré Sallé Ngayap Ngayap Ling ngakpa tantric practitioner Person Place Place Term Phonetics Cham Luk Chokro Za English Lady’s Way Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Religious Practice Person Phonetics English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Person Person chos kyi dbang phyug Chökyi Wangchuk chos dbang Chöwang Collected Works of Chos-dbang chos dbang bka’ ’bum Chöwang Kambum chos ’byung chos ’byung me tog snying po Chönjung Chöjung Metok Nyingpo Text Text Text Text chos ’byung me tog Chöjung Metok snying po sbrang rtsi’i Nyingpo Drangtsi Chü bcud mchims phu bre gu dge’u ’chings phu ’chims phu Ja Wylie jo ’bum ma jo mo jo mo mtsho rgyal jo mo lugs ’jigs med gling pa rje ’bangs Phonetics Jombumma Jomo Jomo Tsogyel Jomo Luk Jikmé Lingpa jé bang lord and subjects lord. mnga’ bdag rnying ma rnying ma bka’ ma rnying ma bka’ ma rgyas pa Nyingma Nyingma Kama Nyingma Kama Gyepa 1136-1204 Author. subject. Person Author Organization Text Text .
Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 2 (August 2006) 19 snying thig ya bzhi snying ma bka’ ma rgyas pa Ta Wylie ti sgro gter ston gter ’byung rin po che’i lo rgyus gter ma stag sham stag sham rdo rje stag sham nus ldan rdo rje bstan pa’i snying po gsang chen snga ’gyur nges don zab mo’i chos kyi ’byung ba gsal bar byed pa’i legs bshad mkhas pa dga’ byed ngo mtshar gtam gyi rol mtsho Tha Wylie thugs rje chen po thugs rje chen po ye shes ’od mchog Da Wylie dam tshig dri med dri med kun dga’ dri med kun dga’ snying po dri med gling pa dri med ’od zer bde chen bde chen chos kyi dbang mo bde chen dbang mo rdo rje gling pa rdo rje phur pa’i lo rgyus rdo rje phur pa’i bshad ’bum Nyingtik Yazhi Nyingma Kama Gyepa Text Text Phonetics Tidro tertön Terjung Rinpoché Logyü Terma Taksham Taksham Dorjé Taksham Nüden Dorjé Tenpé Nyingpo Sangchen Ngangyur Ngedön Zapmö Chökyi Jungwa Selwar Jepé Lekshé Khepa Gajé Ngotsar Tamgyi Röltso English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Place Treasure discoverer Term Text Treasure Term Author. Person Person Person Author. Person Author Person Text Phonetics Tukjé Chenpo Tukjé Chenpo Yeshé Öchok English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Text Text Phonetics damtsik Drimé Drimé Künga Drimé Künga Nyingpo Drimé Lingpa Drimé Özer Dechen Dechen Chökyi Wangmo Dechen Wangmo Dorjé Lingpa Dorjé Purpé Logyü Dorjé Purpé Shembum English tantric commitments Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Term Name Author. Person Author Author Person 1346-1405 Person Text Text .
Gyatso: A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal 20 rdo rje phur pa’i bshad ’bum slob dpon rnam gsum gyis dgongs pa slob dpon chen po padmas mkhar chen bza’ la gdams pa Na Wylie Dorjé Purpé Shembum Loppön Nam Sumgyi Gongpa Loppön Chenpo Pemé Kharchen Zala Dampa Text Phonetics English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Person Author Text Text nam mkha’ snying po Namkha Nyingpo nam mkha’i snying po Namkhé Nyingpo nor bu’i do shal rnam thar rnam thar rnam thar gsang mdzod Norbü Doshel Namtar namtar Namtar Sangdzö lifestory Term Text Text rnam thar gsol ’debs Namtar Söldep Pa Wylie padma bka’ thang padma bkod padma gling pa padma badzra Phonetics Pema Katang Pema Kö Pema Lingpa Pema Badzra English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Text Place 1450-1521 Person Person Person Person Person Person Text padma las ’brel rtsal Pema Lendreltsel dpa’ bo Pawo dpal gyi dbang phyug Pelgyi Wangchuk dpal gyi gzhon nu Pelgyi Zhönnu dpal rdo rje phur pa’i Pel Dorjé Purpé Logyü Chökyi Jungné lo rgyus chos kyi Ngotsar Gyatsö Balap ’byung gnas ngo mtshar rgya mtsho’i rba rlabs spu bo Pha Wylie Phonetics English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Puwo Place Type Text phur pa rgyud lugs las Purpa Gyüluklé Chönjung Ngotsar chos ’byung ngo Nangjé mtshar snang byed phyag ris Ba Wylie Phonetics English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates chakri legacy Term Type Person Person bandhe sangs rgyas ye Bendé Sanggyé Yeshé shes bu ston Butön .
Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 2 (August 2006) 21 bod du byung ba’i gsang sngags snga ’gyur gyi bstan ’dzin skyes mchog rim byon gyi rnam thar nor bu’i do shal bon po bon po bka’ ’gyur bon gsar byang chub sems dpa’i sems dpa’ chen po chos rgyal mes dpon rnam gsum gyi rnam thar rin po che’i phreng ba bla ma rgyud pa’i gsol ’debs blo dman bud med dbang chog dbu med ’bum nag sba bzhed Bödu Jungwé Sangngak Ngangyurgyi Tendzin Kyechok Rimjöngyi Namtar Norbü Doshel Bönpo Bönpo Kangyur Bönsar Jangchup Sempé Chenpo Chögyel Mepön Nam Sumgyi Namtar Rinpoché Trengwa Lama Gyüpé Söldep lomen bümé Wangchok umé Bumnak Bazhé A Concise History of the Nyingmapa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism Text Lineage Bonpo Canon New Bön Text Organization Text Text poor-minded woman Term Text cursive script Black Hundred Thousand Chronicle of Ba Term Religious Practice Text Text sba bzhed ces bya ba Bazhé Chejawalé Ba las sba gsal snang gi Selnanggi Zhepa bzhed pa Ma Wylie ma gcig ma gcig lab sgron mi la ras pa Phonetics Machik Machik Lapdrön Mila Repa English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Person tenth-eleventh Person century Person Text Place mes dpon rnam gsum Mepön Nam Sum mon bu thang Tsa Wylie gtsang smyon btsun mo bka’ thang yig Phonetics Tsangnyön Tsünmo Katangyik Testament of the Queen English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Mönbu Tang Type Person Text Text btsun mo’i bka’ thang Tsünmö Katang Tsha Wylie Phonetics English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Person Person Text mtshan ldan gzhon nu Tsenden Zhönnu Sanggyé sangs rgyas mtsho rgyal mtsho rgyal dbu Tsogyel Tsogyel U .
Gyatso: A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal 22 Zha Wylie zhi khro Phonetics Zhitro English peaceful and wrathful deity practice question and answer question and answer text Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Religious Practice Term Term Text zhus lan zhus lan zhülen zhülen zhus len bdud rtsi gser Zhülen Dütsi Sertreng phreng Za Wylie zangs gling ma zab bu ri rtse zab mo’i gter dang gter ston grub thob ji ltar byon pa’i lo rgyus mdor bsdus bkod pa rin chen baiḍurya’i phreng ba zung mo mkhar zur mkhar zur mo mkhar Ya Wylie yar lung ye shes mtsho rgyal g.yag sde paṇ chen Ra Wylie ra dza rab byung rin chen gter mdzod chen mo La Wylie la stod ling shan lus Sha Wylie sham po shes grwa Phonetics Shampo shedra academic college English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Phonetics Latö Lingshen lü English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Phonetics Radza rapjung Rinchen Terdzö Chenmo twelve-year calendrical unit English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Phonetics Yarlung Yeshé Tsogyel Yakdé Penchen English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Phonetics Zanglingma Zapbu Ritsé Zapmö Ter dang Tertön Druptop Jitar Jönpé Logyü Dordü Köpa Rinchen Baiduryé Trengwa Zungmokhar Zurkhar Zurmokhar English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Type Text Place Text Place Place Place Type Place Person Author Type Person Term Text Type Person Place Term Type Place Term .
1323-60 Author.Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 2 (August 2006) 23 Sa Wylie Phonetics English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates 1340-96 Type Person Text sangs rgyas gling pa Sanggyé Lingpa sangs rgyas bstan pa’i Sanggyé Tenpé chos ’byung dris lan Chönjung Drilen nor bu’i ’phreng ba Norbü Trengwa sangs rgyas ye shes sog zlog pa sog zlog pa blo gros rgyal mtshan slob dpon rnam gsum gyi dgongs pa phur ṭī ka ’bum nag lugs kyi dbang chog lag len du bsdebs pa mtsho rgyal zhal lung slob dpon padma ’byung gnas kyi skyes rabs chos ’byung nor bu’i phreng ba Sanggyé Yeshé sokdokpa sokdokpa Lodrö Gyeltsen Loppön Namsumgyi Gongpa Pur Tika Bum Nak Lukkyi Wangchok Laklendu Deppa Tsogyel Zhellung Loppön Pema Jungnekyi Kyerap Chönjung Norbü Trengwa Person Author Author Text Text Loppön Pemé Namtar slob dpon padma’i rnam thar zangs gling Zanglingma ma gsan yig senyik record of teachings received Text Term Place Place 1312-75 Person bsam yas ’chings phu Samyé Chingpu bsam yas ’chims phu Samyé Chimpu bsod nams rgyal mtshan Ha Wylie lha lcam Phonetics Lhacham English Lady Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Sönam Gyeltsen Type Person Person Person Place Place Place Place Place lha lcam padma lcam Lhacham Pema Cham lha lcam padma gsal Lhacham Pemasel lha sa lho brag mkhar chu lho brag gnam skas can lho mon lho rong A Wylie atsarya sale o rgyan gling pa oṭiyana gling pa Non-Tibetan Wylie Phonetics English Sanskrit/Chinese San. Aśvaghoṣa Dates Phonetics Atsarya Salé Orgyen Lingpa Otiyana Lingpa English Sanskrit/Chinese Dates Lhasa Lhodrak Kharchu Lhodrak Namkechen Lhomön Lhorong Type Person c. Person Person Type Person .
Oḍḍiyāna San. siddha San. Chengdu Text Term Term Deity Place Person Deity Term Term Deity Term Term Place Place . Buddhacarita San. dhāranī San. Padmasambhava San. vidyādhara San. sādhana San. Vajrakīla San. Samantabhadrī San. Kīla San. kāvya San. Beijing Chi.Gyatso: A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Ye shes mtsho rgyal 24 San. yāna Chi.
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