1st Jamgon 1813 – 1899

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37. 1st Jamgon 1813 – 1899

1st Jamgon 1813 - 1899

“Illusory musician of supreme bliss and emptiness,

Lord Lodrö Thaye, I supplicate you.”

— “Supplications and Offerings to the Kagyü Gurus”

 

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye was prophesied by Buddha Shakyamuni in the Samadhirajasutra and foretold in many Treasure Teachings by Guru Padmasambhava. The following line from the Lankavatarasutra is taken as a prophecy referring to him: “In a later age there will come a great hero, called Lodrö the Guide, a teacher of the five sciences.”

Jamgon Kongtrul was born into a Bönpo family on December 14th in the year of the water-horse in Rong-gyab. This little village is situated near Pema Lhatse, which is one of three sacred mountains in Do-Kham, East Tibet. His father, Yungdrung Tenzin (an illustrious Lama of the Kyunpo clan) was killed in a war that raged in his homeland. Jamgon Kongtrul’s mother, Tashitso, married Sönampäl after her husband’s death. He was a lay practitioner of Bön and transmitted the teachings and rituals of the indigenous tradition of Tibet to his stepson, who would become known and revered until this day and worldwide as one of the most brilliant stars in the galaxy of scholars and saints from Tibet.

In the introduction to Myriad Worlds, Elio Guarisco wrote that the 22 nd Abbot of Bönpo Menri Monastery (the main seat of the Bön Tradition in West Tibet) visited Rong-gyab and gave the two-year-old child the name Yungdrung Tenzin. The boy learned the letters of the Tibetan alphabet simply by seeing them once. When he found a meditation text of White Manjushri at the age of 4, he immediately learned it by heart. As a child he already had great faith in Guru Padmasambhava and told his family and playmates that he was his emanation. Yungdrung Phuntsog from the nearby Bön Hermitage of Tharde became his teacher. By the time he was 8 years old, Jamgon Kongtrul knew all the Bönpo divinities, was proficient in the rituals, and was skilled in religious dance and painting; he could already identify herbs and minerals by the time he was in his teens.

In his Autobiography (quoted in the introduction to Jamgon Kongtrul’s Retreat Manual) he wrote: “Around this time (about the age of 10), I felt great admiration for anyone who was said to have recognized the nature of mind. Like a thirsty person craving water, I yearned to meet a master who could give me instruction concerning the mind, but I was young and weak. My parents wouldn’t help me (find a teacher), so I abandoned the idea. In general my father was extremely strict. When I was studying reading and writing, attending a ritual, or on other occasions, he would beat me severely if I acted even a little childishly, so it was impossible to do anything except to behave myself. I could not even go outside without first asking his permission. He would relate many examples of other persons who fought, ate and drank to excess, stole, lied, etc., and eventually were excluded from society, and he would tell us, ‘You young people will become like them!’ He was always authoritarian and at the time I was anguished, sad, and depressed. Reflecting back, I think my entrance into human society has been due to the kindness of that man, my venerable father. He was exceedingly kind to me and I think it must be hard to find such an honest and conscientious person these days.”

When he was 14, his stepfather and kinsmen were imprisoned for allegedly taking part in a plot to assassinate a government official. In her plight, Tashitso encouraged her son to enter monastic life, which he did. Shortly afterwards, a district official ordered Kongtrul to become his secretary. While visiting the summer residence of the governor of Derge (the capital of the district Kham) together with his new mentor, a teacher at Shechen Monastery was impressed by the youth and suggested that he study at Shechen with Gyurme Thutob Namgyal, which Jamgon Kongtrul did. The Dilgo Khyentse Fellowship recounts: “Shechen Monastery was the heart of a network of nearly a hundred and sixty monasteries. It was founded in 1695 by Rabjam Tenpe Gyaltsen who had been sent by the Fifth Dalai Lama to Kham with the mission to found a Nyingma monastery. When he arrived there, Rabjam Tenpe Gyaltsen had a vision in which the great master Padmasambhava advised him to build a monastery near a white rock in the shape of a leaping lion. He predicted that if it was built, ‘immense benefits for the Buddha's teaching will be the result.’ Shechen rapidly became one of the six principal monasteries of the Nyingma” – the other five being Kathok, Pelyül, Dzogchen, Mindrolling, and Dorje Drak.

By the time he was 18 years old, Jamgon Kongtrul had received many transmissions and instructions from the Lamas residing at Shechen Monastery, specifically the empowerment of White Manjushri, which he recited daily for the rest of his life. Thutob Namgyal gave Jamgon Kongtrul full ordination at Shechen when he was 19 years old.

When he was 20, Wongen Tulku, the Ninth Tai Situpa’s brother, appointed Jamgon Kongtrul his secretary at Palpung Monastery, the main seat of the Kagyü Lineage in East Tibet. Jamgon Kongtrul met His Eminence the Ninth Tai Situpa, Pema Nyingche, there, took the full ordination vows a second time, and was given the name Karma Ngawang Yönten Gyatso Trinley Kunkhyab Pelzangpo, which means ‘Eloquent Ocean of Qualities whose Glorious, Excellent, Enlightened Activity is All-Pervasive.’

Unless recognized as a reincarnation during those times, brilliant monks were ordered to become secretaries of local landlords or politicians. To protect Karma Yönten Gyatso from being snatched away by officials from Derge, the Palpung leading monastics announced that he was the reincarnation of the Eighth Tai Situpa’s servant, whose name was Bamteng Tulku and who had come from the region of Kongpo. And that is how Karma Yönten Gyatso received the name Kongtrul, the ‘Tulku from Kong,’ but he never signed any texts that he composed by using this name. Instead, he signed them with the name Ngawang Yönten Gyatso or simply with Yönten Gyatso. Earlier, Gyurme Thutob Namgyal of Shechen Monastery had proclaimed him to be an emanation of Bodhisattva Vairocana (o ne of the seven first monks ordained in the 8 th century at Samye Monastery in Central Tibet and one of Guru Padmasambhava’s principal disciples). Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (‘Soft Melody, Power of Wisdom and Love,’ who was one of the most complete spiritual masters of the 19 th century and was later to become Kongtrul’s teacher, inspiration, and friend) regarded him as the reincarnation of Ananda (Buddha Shakyamuni’s cousin and one of his closest disciples), Aryadeva (the 3 rd century sage and foremost propagator of Nagarjuna’s philosophy), Kyungpo Näljor (the 11 th century Tibetan master, who travelled a number of times to India in search of instruction in Buddhism and initiated the Shangpa Kagyü Lineage), Taranatha (the 16 th century foremost translator and historian of the Jonang Tradition), and others.

In his Autobiography, Jamgon Kongtrul recounts a dream he had when he was 23 years old and wrote: “Once I walked to the summit of a mountain, then realized that I was dreaming. I wished to go to (the pure land of Guru Rinpoche) Tail-Fan Island, and then flew through the air. Behind many mountains circled like the iron mountains (at the edge of the world) I saw a purple jewel-like mountain that was only half-visible. Its neck was partly visible but its peak was covered by clouds. I thought I should pray as I continued to approach. At that moment it felt as if a tremendous amount of water was pouring down behind me and I forgot that I was dreaming. I panicked and awoke. At that time my devotion to the Ancient Instruction Lineage had slightly relaxed and diminished because I felt, ‘I’m of the Oral Instruction Lineage.’ I was certain that my karmic obscurations were due to this and later I did confession (of this fault) out of regret.”

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye’s teachers (mainly according to those listed in the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, that offers no details) were Yungdrung Phuntsog, Gyurme Thutob Namgyal (his first teacher at Shechen Monastery), Pema Nyingche Wangpo (the Ninth Tai Situpa), Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Thegchog Dorje (the Fourteenth Karmapa), Tertön Chogyur Lingpa (also referred to as Choling or Chokling), Jigme Mingyur Wangyal (the Ninth Head of the Drugpa Kagyü), Nedön Tenpa Rabgye (the First Dabzang Tulku who founded Tilyag Monastery in Nangchen, East Tibet and who had asked Jamgon Kongtrul to write a treatise on the three systems of Buddhist ethics, the vows of personal liberation, the commitments of the Bodhisattva, and the pledges in Vajrayana), Tsuglag Chökyi Gyalpo, Sönam Lodrö, Karma Thegchog Tenphel, Drubgyüd Tenzin Trinley, Yeshe Nyima, Pema Tenphel, Karma Shenphen Öser, Karma Norbu, Karma Ösel Gyurme, Gyurme Tenzin Phelgye, Rigzin Gyatso, Donag Tenzin, Wangchen Gyerab Dorje, Thubten Gyaltsen, and Mingyur Namke Dorje Tsewang Drubpatsel. The Resource Center added that Jamgon Kongtrul received the Kama transmission of the Gyüd zhi (‘The Four Medical Tantras’) from Dzigar Chogtrul Trinley Lhundrub Tenpe Gyaltsen.

Honouring his teachers, Jamgon Kongtrul wrote The Melody of Complete Success:A General Supplication to All Spiritual Masters (published in Timeless Rapture):

“Illustrious spiritual masters, each of you Buddha incarnate,
In your great, universal compassion, come here,
Sit on a lotus and moon seat in the sky before me,
And consider me, your faithful, devoted child.

In bodies numbering the atoms in all realms, all sentient beings, with me,
Respectfully bow and pay homage to you, in body, voice, and mind.
In melodies that have oceans of musical aspects,
I praise your every form and pray to you.
To you I offer my bodies and possessions, real or imagined,
In a cloud-bank ocean of Bodhisattva Ever Excellent’s (Samantabhadra’s) offerings.
I regretfully acknowledge and vow not to repeat the bad karma, obscurations, faults, and downfalls –
Both natural and in relation to vows – that I have accumulated since time immemorial.
I sincerely rejoice in all virtues, both contaminated and uncontaminated,
That exist in the wheel of life and in states of transcendence.
I request you to turn the wheel of the Three Ways’ Teachings,
In styles suited to the capacity of each of us, for as long as realms of beings exist.
I ask that your enlightened forms remain forever, as firm as vajras,
Within your unceasing, universal compassion.

I dedicate all I have done that is good in the past, present, and future, including this, my prayer,
That my parents and I, sentient beings whose numbers fill all space,
May quickly accomplish the body, speech, mind,
Noble qualities, and enlightened activity of the holy, illustrious spiritual masters.

Spiritual masters, may you nurture me with your compassion!
May I not have a moment’s disrespect or misguided view!
In serving you in many ways, may I reach perfection in the three manners of pleasing you,
That my mind be merged as one with yours.

Noble masters, in all my lifetimes,
May I not be separated  from you even for an instant.
May I see whatever you do as perfect and accept whatever you say as true.
May I become inseparable from my spiritual master’s three mysteries.

By the force of this prayer I make in heartfelt faith,
May I alone replicate in my own life
Every life of freedom of the holy masters,
From Buddha Vajra Bearer until my root teacher.”

 

When he was 26 years old, Jamgon Kongtrul accompanied the Fourteenth Karmapa, Thegchog Dorje, to Palpung Monastery and during the ceremony that His Eminence Tai Situpa performed to awaken Bodhicitta, Jamgon Kongtrul offered everything he had received from devotees to His Eminence, who on that occasion gave him the name Changchug Sempa Lodrö Thaye, ‘Bodhisattva of Infinite Wisdom.’ Because of his unequalled scholarship, Kongtrul later was called Jamgon , ‘Gentle Protector,’ which is an epithet of Bodhisattva Manjushri, the Bodhisattva who symbolizes higher wisdom.

Three years later, Jamgon Kongtrul was now 29 or 30, Tai Situpa granted Jamgon Kongtrul permission to again enter a three-year retreat at the hermitage he had built for himself (he had left the first retreat early because he had been called to tutor the Fourteenth Karmapa in the Sanskrit language). His hermitage was located above the monastery of Palpung, on “the slope of the third Devakoti,” i.e., one of the three mountainous heights in Do-Kham that is called Tsadra Rinchen Drak, ‘Jewel Cliff that is like Tsari,’ Jamgon Kongtrul wrote: “I had received the empowerment of the Gathering of the Jewels many times but I wanted to receive the particular lineage (of the Tai Situpas), so I requested (and received) the empowerment from the precious lord of refuge. (At that time) he gave the name Kungzang Daychen Ösel Ling, ‘The Ever-Excellent Abode of Radiant Great Bliss,’ to the hermitage. When I went to the hermitage I owned nothing but my tattered clothes, a quarter measure of tea, and five measures of barley and yogurt.” Of the twenty-five areas of sacred ground in East Tibet, it represents the heart of the qualities of enlightenment. It is here that Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye stayed in retreat, lived for the most part of his life, wrote the greater part of his literary works, and guided many disciples. Later he recalled: “It has now been twenty-one years since I moved here. During this time, whatever harmful sicknesses I have experienced due to the arising of the effects of my past negative acts or to the obscuring effect of contact with those who have broken their tantric commitments, etc., have been completely healed through the compassion of the spiritual master and the Three Jewels. Apart from (sickness), no misfortunes whatsoever have occurred; on the contrary, the positive side of my practice has increased.”

A quotation from his Autobiography (in Jamgon Kongtrul’s Retreat Manual): “My 37 th year was a passage particularly full of obstacles and I contracted several diseases. I did many intensive practices. During the time I was doing the intensive practice of the Quintessential Vision of the Spiritual Master, I dreamed I met Guru Rinpochay. With great respect, I bowed and asked for his blessing which he bestowed with some mantras and words. Then he said, ‘I will clear away the obstacles to your life this year. In a few years from now you will meet me in real life and at that time you can gradually learn what you need to know.’ Later, at the age of 40, when I met the great treasure (revealer) Chokgyur Daychen Lingpa for the first time, I felt like a child being reunited with his father.”

After His Eminence Situ Pema Nyingche passed away in 1853, Jamgon Kongtrul asked Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s advice on most matters. In the introduction to The Retreat Manual, Ngawang Zangpo wrote: “The most serious effect of sectarian bias, according to Kongtrul, was that it constituted the highly negative act of the rejection of the Buddha’s teaching. Although every Buddhist must decide what methods of spiritual development are personally meaningful among the ocean of teachings given by the Buddha, rejection or disparagement of other Buddhists’ very different personal choices from among the same teachings is tantamount to rejection of the Buddha’s word. Kongtrul was freed from the last vestiges of sectarian bias at the age of 40 as a result of his contact with Jamyang Kyentsay Wangpo, an incarnate master of the Sakya monastic system, whose expansive non-sectarian vision had a profound influence on Kongtrul.”

Continuing from the introduction to The Retreat Manual: “The relationship of Kongtrul, Khyentse, and Chogling (Terton Chogyur Lingpa) played an important part in the 19 th century cultural renaissance in eastern Tibet. Other teachers, such as Mipham, Kenpo Shenga, Adzom Drugpa, Peltrul Rinpoche, and Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen (one of the most influential Bön teachers of his time, author of many books that are still studied today) made important contributions as well, but undoubtedly the three mentioned above were the chief protagonists of the renaissance. Khyentse was the inspiring force, realized in all aspects; Kongtrul was the saintly scholar who had the capacity to put everything in writing and the power of transmission; and Chogling was the unhindered mystic. (…) Although Buddhist scholars speak of Rime (ris-med), or non-sectarian, movement in connection with Kyentse, Kongtrul, Chogling and other masters of eastern Tibet, it is unlikely that these masters intended to create a movement that encompassed the various Tibetan traditions. These masters were (…) unbiased in their approach to the teachings in that their interests were not directed exclusively toward the traditions to which they belonged. They collected, committed to writing, taught, and thereby preserved, revitalized, and propagated instruction lineages that encompassed every aspect of Buddhist teaching. Significantly, they did so at a time when, as a result of the policy of strict adherence to particular teachings that was followed by various schools and traditions, there was a real danger that many instruction lineages would disappear.” In Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche’s words:

“No one can estimate the furthest limits of infinite space and of phenomena;

Nevertheless, when a few essential points have been revealed, the nature of all phenomena can be realized.

Thus, in a mere drop of water contained within the vase of an intelligent mind,

The wise taste the sublime flavor of the vast ocean of knowledge.”

In the year when Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche was 40, “Chogling recognized him as a Tertön, or treasure discoverer, and gave him the name Chime Tennyi Yungdrung Lingpa, (…) and on many occasions he was requested by Chogling to participate in or perform rites involving the discovery of hidden treasures. For example, when Chogling and Kyentse recovered texts belonging to the three series of the Dzog-chen tradition from the Crystal Lotus Cave in Dzam Nang, Chogling gave Kongtrul a blazing statue of Mahakala, carved by Nagarjuna out of black rock from Cool Grove that bore Nagarjuna’s handprint. In return, Kongtrul gave Chogling an exceptional antique statue of Guru Rinpoche. (…) When Kongtrul decided to compile old and new hidden teachings, he sought the advice of Kyentse, who told him to take as a basis four texts that he himself had composed by collecting scattered hidden teachings, and to write a complete work on the highest tantras and Dzog-chen. In order to be empowered to write such a text, Kongtrul engaged in several retreats, until in 1856 (at the age of 43) he had numerous auspicious dreams in which he found precious pills belonging to the Indian Dzog-chen master Vimalamitra (one of Guru Padmasambhava’s Indian masters who came to Tibet and contributed to the Ancient Instruction Lineage) and some belonging to Yeshe Tsogyel (the Tibetan consort of Guru Padmasambhava and one of his principal disciples). He also dreamed of being seated on a throne reading a scripture written in silver that contained exceptional teachings. He dreamed of the dawning of the sun and moon and of receiving a blessing from a vase that Chogling Rinpoche had discovered. All these signs he took as indications that it was time to begin composing the work (that in its entirety came to be known as The Five Great Treasures). After the completion of each part of the work, Kongtrul was requested by incarnate lamas and meditators to start to confer the empowerments and transmissions that were contained in it. (…) As a result, they developed as had no other teachings. (…) In the second lunar month of 1867 (Kongtrul was then 54 years old) Chogling and Kyentse jointly enthroned Kongtrul, gave him the official title of treasure discoverer, and performed long-life rituals for him.”

In 1863, at the age of 50, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche began composing the root verses of Shecha Dzö, Shes bya kung khyab mdzöd, ‘The Encompassment of All Knowledge,’ while he was in retreat at his hermitage, Kungzang Dechen Ösel Ling. It was the beginning of his immense literary work that, in reliance on Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s prophecy and advice, was given the title mDzöd chen lnga, ‘The Five Great Treasures.’ After the completion of Shecha Dzö, Khyentse praised it as “a treatise for the ages.”

In his introduction to The Retreat Manual, Ngawang Zangpo wrote: “1870 must have been a difficult year for Kongtrul: one of his spiritual masters and main sources of inspiration, Chokgyur Daychen Lingpa, passed away at the age of forty-one. Kongtrul was having to witness the fulfilment of his prediction that he would outlive both Chokling and Kyentse.”

Jamgon Kongtrul often played an intermediary role. In the introduction to Myriad Worlds it is recorded that “A demand had been made by some of the Gelug monasteries of eastern Tibet that the Kagyü monasteries in the area be destroyed; this was demanded of the army of central Tibet, which had come into the region to repel the invading army of Nyarong (a region south of Derge). (…) By exercising his skill as a doctor, Kongtrul was able to cure Dongkam Tulku, the leader of the Dragyab Gelug monasteries, of a serious illness; as a result, Kongtrul succeeded in a covert diplomatic mission to save Palpung and other Kagyu monasteries from being destroyed and their property from being confiscated. Despite the importance that Kongtrul had in the Buddhist Staff in eastern Tibet, at the age of 61, after he had composed many of the works that cause him to be held in highest esteem even today, a few degenerate monks from Palpung Monastery initiated a dispute to discredit both him and Lama Wongen (the Ninth Tai Situpa’s brother). (…) The allegations were found to be baseless and the dispute was resolved,” but Jamgon Kongtrul did not enter Palpung Monastery again for 14 years.

In the introduction to Jamgon Kongtrul’s Retreat Manual, Ngawang Zangpo tells us that “Even years later, in 1892, as he contemplates the life and death of one of his young retreatants, Namgyal Dorjay, his sadness over the incident (at Palpung) lingers.” A quotation from his Autobiography describes the situation: “He (Namgyal Dorje) first came to see me when he was just beginning to talk; he learned how to recite correctly The Seven-Line Invocation of Guru Rinpochay. Later he proved to be bright and naturally inclined to virtuous practice. He completed the four hundred thousand accumulations of the preliminary practices for Great Seal (Mahamudra) and trained in some of the meditation itself. He completed the intensive practices of Ratna Lingpa’s Vajra Dagger meditation as well as that of the Quintessential Secret meditation on Great Compassion. He entered retreat planning to continue to practice and I had hoped that he would be a person who would be of some benefit to himself and others. But due to negative influence of the broken tantric commitments within this monastery (Palpung) before and the general temper of the time now, all of us, myself included, have succumbed to the power of obstacles, no matter how good we are. This young man, for example, was unable to live for more than twenty-three years.”

The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center lists the names of many of Jamgon Kongtrul’s students. They were: Lobzang Chöjor Lhundrub, Mipham Gyatso (who became one of Tibet's most prolific and influential masters), Loter Wangpo, Ngawang Damchö Gyatso, Khakyab Dorje (the Fifteenth Karmapa), Sakya Shri, Thubten Chökyi Dorje, Chökyi Gyatso, Ngawang Legpa, Tashi Öser, Sönam Chödrub, Kungzang Namgyal, Thubten Gyaltsen Öser, Sherab Chökyi Nangwa, Donag Tenzin, Rigzin Gargyi Wangchug, Norbu Tenzin, Orgyen Tenzin, Karma Nedön Nyingpo, Kunga Nedön Zabpa,Mipham Chökyi Jampa, Ngawang Chöphel, Zongbo Kyabgon, Karma Chökyi Nyingche, Thubten Legshe Zangpo, and Tashi Chöphel. Furthermore, he is listed as both a student and teacher of Gyatrul Donag Tenzin.

One of his students, Tashi Öser (who became Abbot of Paljor Monastery at Palpung) wrote in a song of yearning for Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, his Root Guru (published in The Rain of Wisdom):

Only father, the inconceivable compassion of your supreme mind is the embodiment of all the buddhas.

The secret amrita of your profound speech is the embodiment of the holy Dharma of the two truths.

Wearing a monk’s robes, your peaceful body is the embodiment of the Sangha, its intellect and liberation.

You who actually grant me everything, Root Guru, think of me. (…)

 

If you spoil me, supreme Mahasattva,

Even though you lead all beings to liberation,

You will have to go to a lot of trouble just for me, this untamed one;

From the bottom of the deepest hell,

It will certainly be difficult to get me out; so right now, do not let your compassion be small.

Since there is no other hope than you,

I cannot help but call on you with ardent longing.”

Quoted in the life story offered in Timeless Rapture, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche’s other close disciple, Tashi Chöphel, described his Root Guru with the words: “There was nothing that he did not learn. (…) An examination of (the complete record of his education) gives the impression that he spent his entire life studying. The extent of his bestowal of empowerments, reading transmissions, and instructions from the Canon and Treasures of the Later and Original Schools gives the impression that he spent his entire life teaching. (…) (This) master’s work furthered the continuity of the Buddha’s entire doctrine when it was about to expire. The extent of his teaching, principally contained in his wonderful Five Treasuries, fills ninety volumes. When we consider this aspect of his life of freedom, we have the impression that he spent his entire life writing. An examination of how he performed the intensive practices of an ocean of meditations from the Later and Original Schools’ discourses and tantras gives us the impression that he spent his entire life (meditating) within a strictly sealed meditation room. Only awakened persons can understand this master’s life of freedom; (to persons like us) it is inconceivable.” In Ngawang Zanpo’s words (translator of Timeless Rapture and The Retreat Manual): “ Abandoning all else, the study, teaching, writing, and meditation he did during his life leaves one breathless.”

The Fifteenth Gyalwa Karmapa praised his Root Guru in a song that he wrote, called The Songs of Khakhyap Dorje (published in The Rain of Wisdom). He began the beautiful song with a verse of homage embedded in the following lines of prose:

“Here is a little song called ‘A Canopy of Fresh Sky Flowers.’ (…)

Guru-Vajradharaya.

In the space of Mahamudra, unchanging bliss and emptiness,

By performing the various dances of vajra wisdom, which unify samsara and nirvana,

He (Lodrö Thaye) establishes beings in the great ripening and freeing.

I pay homage at the lotus feet of this vajraholder.

By the great lion’s roar of the glorious voice of the supreme victorious Adityabandhu, the fourth guide in this good kalpa, Lodrö Thaye was proclaimed with praise not merely once in the sutra passages and was prophesied as a great warrior. In the three times, one better than he has not arisen, does not arise, and will not arise. He is chief of the learned, the highest of siddhas, the lord of the entire teachings, the great jetsün who rules in the holy kingdom of Kagyü Vajradhara. The limits of his kindness are immeasurable. His vajra name is very difficult to utter.”

The Jamgon Kongtrul Labrang wrote in the Light of Dharma: “In the last visit by Karmapa Khakyab Dorje to Tsadra Rinchen Drak, the Karmapa and Lodrö Thaye had the feeling that they would not be meeting again in that lifetime. Before the Fifteenth Karmapa departed, he made many offerings of long life to Lodrö Thaye and many wishes that they would meet again. In case that would not be possible, the Fifteenth Karmapa requested Lodrö Thaye that his reincarnation takes rebirth in his family. Lodrö Thaye accepted this request. Soon after, on

January 19, 1899, at the age of 86, he passed away.”

The Five Great Treasures ,

Composed by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye

if (window.showTocToggle) { var tocShowText = "show"; var tocHideText = "hide"; showTocToggle(); } Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye the Great authored and compiled more than ninety volumes of scriptures. They are referred to as “The Five Great Treasures, mDzöd chen lnga.” In the chronological (and not hierarchical) order in which he composed them, they are:

– “Shecha Dzö, Shes bya kung khyab mdzöd – The Encompassment of All Knowledge“ (an extensive compendium that succinctly elucidates the logical progression through the study and practices of the paths taught in Sutra and Tantra and the final fruition);

– “The Kagyü Ngagdzö, bKa’ brgyüd sngags mdzöd – The Treasury of Mantra of the Kagyü School” (a compendium of practices, ancient and new Tantras, accompanied by the completion stage of the Tantra, the rites of empowerment, and various authorizations);

– “Dam Ngagdzö, gDams ngag mdzöd – The Treasury of Precious Key Instructions” (the collected instructions of the Eight Great Lineages practiced in Tibet. These teachings reveal the essence of Jamgon Kongtrul’s open-mindedness since they are a collection of instructions gathered impartially from other sources rather than from his own summary of them);

– “Rinchen Terdzö, Rin chen gter mdzö – The Precious Treasure Teachings” (a coll