The Life of Chokgyur Lingpa

The Life of Chokgyur Lingpa

as told by Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche

translated by Tulku Jigmey Khyentse and Erik Pema Kunsang

Rangjung Yeshe Publications



The Dharma was first introduced to Tibet by King Lha Totori then further established during the reign of King Songtsen Gampo. Later, King Trisong Deutsen benefited Tibet greatly by inviting many great masters such as Guru Rinpoche, Vimalamitra, and others so that the Dharma became very widespread. Trisong Deutsen had three sons. The second, Lhasey Lotsawa, also known as Murub Tsenpo, was later reborn thirteen times as a tertön. The great tertön Terchen Chokgyur Lingpa was the last of these incarnations. Chokgyur Lingpa was born in Nangchen, a province of Kham in eastern Tibet. His family name was Kyasu. His father was called Pema Wangchuk and his mother Tsering Yangtso. Born in the year of the Ox, auspicious signs must have occurred at the time of his birth, but there is nothing clearly stated about such occurances. His first name, given by his parents, was Norbu Tendzin. As a boy, he herded the cattle. One day at a place named Manika he met a lama in the form of an Indian mendicant (atsara) who asked him what his name was. “My name is Norbu Tendzin,” he answered. “What is this place called?” “Manika,” he said. “What is the name of this valley?” “It is called Arya Nang,” he answered. “That is very auspicious,” the Indian mendicant declared, “You will become quite wellknown in this world.” The mendicant was Guru Rinpoche. As a youth, Chokgyur Lingpa learned some reading and writing from his uncle, but he did no higher studies. He found a tsa-tsa [footnote]* one day and put it in his pocket. As he was passing the house of a big family, many dogs attacked and bit him. Some people came to check whether or not he was wounded. When they undid his belt the tsa-tsa dropped down and hit a stone. Out of the tsa-tsa came a roll of paper: the inventory of all his termas. Chokling went to Dragkar Dzongchung after this and revealed a terma containing a small vajra which had been the practice support of Lhasey, Trisong Deutsen’s second son. This vajra is now in the reliquary of the young Chokling Tulku in Bir. The terma also contained a small mirror and a crystal which had been Garab Dorje’s practice support. Together with these were twenty teachings meant to be practiced The Life of Chokgyur Lingpa 3 by him alone and not to be passed on to others. This was Chokgyur Lingpa’s first terma………


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