THE IMMEASURABLE ‘ROOT LIFE-FORCE’ OF ALL DEITIES AND SAMAYA: White Tārā teaching by 8th Garchen Rinpoche (April 2021)

“Love and compassion is the life-force of the deity. It is said that what we call the deity is actually bodhicitta. Thus, the samaya is to maintain love and compassion for all sentient beings and when others harm you, one should practice patience and hold onto that love. Samaya is love and compassion for others.”

HE 8th Garchen Rinpoche

Yesterday, the 8th Garchen Rinpoche (mGar chen rin po che, 1936- ) gave a White Tārā empowerment, which is still available to view here online . As an offering to this great master (from whom I have received several empowerments), and his followers, I have written up the teaching (based on the English oral translation by Ina Bieler).

8th Garchen Rinpoche with White Tārā statue

Born 1936 in Nangchen, Kham, the 8th Garchen Rinpoche  is believed to be an incarnation of Siddha Gar Chodingpa, a heart-disciple of Jigten Sumgon, founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage in the thirteenth century. He was known as Lonpo Gar, the minister of Tibetan dharma king Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century[i].  Garchen Rinpoche was seven years old he when he was brought to Lho Miyal Monastery and given the ordination name of Konchok Gyaltsen (dkon mchog rgyal mtshan). There he was recognized by the former Drigung Kyabgon Zhiwe Lodro and instructed by Siddha Chime Dorje.  Studying and practicing under the direction of Chime Dorje, Garchen Rinpoche received vast and profound instructions on the preliminary practices (ngondro), the fivefold practice of Mahamudra and the six yogas of Naropa. When he was 22 he was imprisoned by the Chinese for 20 years and put in a labour camp during the Cultural Revolution. During that time he met with Khenpo Munsel who became his root guru.

Khenpo Munsel, accomplished Dzogchen Master who taught the 8th Garchen Rinpoche in a Chinese prison camp

Khenpo Munsel (mkhan po mun sel) (1916-1993)) was a Nyingma master who taught Garchen Rinpoche during the whole twenty years of his imprisonment[ii]. During that time, while enduring extreme hardships and torture, Garchen Rinpoche continued practicing in secret, according to his guru’s instructions until he achieved the wisdom-mind which Khenpo Munsel called “an emanation of a Bodhisattva”.

Even though I had been watching with admiration his online teachings for several years, I first met Garchen Rinpoche in person in 2018, when attending an Innate Kālacakra empowerment in Portugal (for which I translated the short sadhana text, see here) and also became good friends with Ina Bieler, Rinpoche’s long-time oral translator. I was astonished by how active Rinpoche was travelling and teaching Dharma, despite his elderly years (85 years old) and health issues. In Portugal, he stayed in a simple family home, surrounded by other people, sharing a room with an attendant, and joined everyone for communal meals there. There was no sense of hierarchy or his being separate and he was always available to everyone, despite his busy schedule. This is the sign of a teacher who has realized non-duality and has vast bodhicitta. A full documentary movie has been made of his life, ‘For the Benefit of All Beings’ .

The connection between Garchen Rinpoche and the deity, Noble Tārā is a profound one. Rinpoche has taught about how Tārā saved his life several times (see here)  and that empowerments can be taken online and even from the recording itself.   In the teachings Rinpoche gave before the White Tārā empowerment, he explained the sacred origin of the short Tārā sadhana text and how he came to receive it. This was then followed by an explanation of the purpose of empowerment and how it works, the nature of mind, the lights that appear in the bardo after death, the Dharmakāya, and how Tārā is essentially the ultimate nature of mind. Garchen Rinpoche completed the empowerment with a simple yet profound teaching on the ‘root life-force’ of all the deities and samaya (commitment), which is to maintain love and compassion continually, including for those who harm us. Love and compassion being the essential, all-pervasive nature of all deities and Buddha Nature.

May it be of benefit, may Garchen Rinpoche have a long life and may we all attain the level of White Tārā!

GARCHEN RINPOCHE’S TEACHINGS ON WHITE TĀRĀ

ORIGIN OF THE SADHANA AND LINEAGE

Gyalwang Rinchen Phuntshog, 18th Century Drigung Kagyu master who had a pure vision of Noble Tārā

“In the Drigung Kagyu, in the notes of the empowerment text, the origin of this White Tārā sadhana, came from the request of master Lama Drubnye Tengye, a siddha. Lama Drubnye Tengye was a disciple of the previous Garchen Rinpoche, Gar Trinley Yongkyab and a mahasiddha who spent most of his life in retreat and conferred most of the Drikung Kagyu empowerments and transmissions at Gar Monastery. He passed away in retreat and was considered a very precious lama.

In the small print of the commentary, it says Lama Drubnye Tengye requested the previous Gar Trinley Yongkhab to compose the text. Gar Trinley had a dream of Tārā giving him a crystal mala, vase, and other auspicious objects and Tārā merging with him directly. These dreams happened numerous times. Gar Trinley Yongkhab shared these experiences with the lamas at the monastery. Drubnye Tengye who requested the sadhana to be  composed was a great teacher who had the greatest faith and who also conferred any empowerment or transmission asked of him.

When I was very young, before I received this title, I came into his presence as a child, and got the refuge vow. When he clipped my hair, which is in the movie of my life story, before I got my name, the other monks present said ‘we have another monk’, but he said, ‘he won’t stay a normal monk’ and so on as you can see in the movie. There are many precious stories about him. He was the one from who I got this empowerment when I was very young. When receiving empowerment and refuge he gave me name, Konchog Gyaltsen, while in my mother’s lap.

There is a story in the empowerment text about how Gyalwang Rinchen Phuntshog[iii] received the Wish -Fulfilling Jewel treasure in a pure vision of Tārā. When I was young, I came to Drubnye Tengye ’s place and he said that ‘there were many different texts, but I want to give you one of those texts, so you should point at which one you want and I will give it’. So, I was looking around, and I saw this small but nice fancy looking volume, and the one I pointed at was this Wish-Fulfilling Jewel of Tārā. Then this text, which was very small, was then printed by Rinpoche, folded up as an amulet and worn around people’s necks. In Drigung Kagyu they have this tradition to wear this. In the Gelugpa there is the Prayer for Excellent Conduct which is also printed very small and worn as an amulet around the neck. Thus, in the Gar tradition we wear this text and that goes back to Rinchen Phuntshog and that is the one I pointed at when I was young. As I pointed at it, that is also why a lot of people liked it and it became very popular.

THE NATURE AND PURPOSE OF EMPOWERMENT

Rainbow Body image. Art by Mary Devincentis Herzog.

“There are various lengths of empowerments like extensive, medium and short ones. Extensive ones such as the Kālacakra given by HH 14th Dalai Lama, and then shorter ones given by teachers over the world. Generally there are the three levels of body speech and mind. So what happens during an empowerment? This is about the difference between Buddha and sentient beings. Beings may be mature or immature, but all beings possess Buddha Nature. It says in the Moonlight Sutra that Buddha Nature is all pervasive and the Buddha said all beings possess Buddha Nature. What does that mean? It means their essence is really their mind, the mental continnuum is one and the same, and the primordial mind is Buddha. That is what we call Buddha, the completely pure aspect of the mind.

The limitless Sambhogakāyas and pure lands manifest to those individuals with pure vision and pure karma and the Nirmanakāyas manifest to those with pure and impure karma. It is also said that the six realms of samsara are all nirmanakāyas. It is said that all phenomena have the nature of the three kāyas. There is not a single thing or phenomena that transcends the Buddha’s three kāyas. Temporarily, people make divisions of Buddhist and not Buddhist, and give rise to all kinds of thoughts about it, but the fundamental nature of mind when purified is Buddha. Whoever has Buddha nature never separates from the cause of awakening. Even though we might have all kinds of thoughts, it makes no difference to the pure, natural state. The one who thinks these thoughts once purified is Buddha. It is the natural state of mind. You don’t need to find a pure mind elsewhere, it already is your nature of mind and that is Buddha.

Jigten Sumgon

The empowerment is called a ripening empowerment. Jigten Sumgon (1143-1217) said the difference between sutras and tantra is empowerment. On the sutra path there is no empowerment,  following the sutra path one attains enlightenment gradually through the practice of bodhicitta. Then eventually through that bodhicitta, self-grasping is cleared away.  The term Buddha in Tibetan is ‘Sangye’, which mean clarified/purified, what is clarified is the dualistic self-grasping, that is what needs to be destroyed.  It’s not the body but within the mind. When you realize the natural state of mind you realize no dualistic existence, that the mind is like the  nature of space; the mind matures and ripens into the Dharmakāya and the body appears just like an empty house.

What a Buddha realizes is that no matter how many sentient beings or Buddhas there are, all appearances are the display of the mind itself. It is like the sun shining on a crystal. Rainbow lights emerge from the crystal when sun is shining on it. That is how we understand the empowerment and is the pith instruction one gets in the pointing out of Dzogchen or Mahamudra and the various stages of the path. [The Five Pure Lights (od lnga) is an essential teaching in the Dzogchen tradition. For the deluded, matter seems to appear. This is due to non-recognition of the five lights.]

The Vajrayana is a path that is rich in skilful means that has the least difficulties. So, we should think it is like rainbow lights emerging from a crystal. When the mind is impure and afflicted, the rainbow lights that manifest are from the afflictive emotions due to grasping to concrete reality of appearances and our concepts about those phenomenon. It is because of the grasping that those afflictions arise and they manifest as five coloured lights; that is how appearances arise to us. When mind becomes pure, with no dualistic thoughts, the lights manifest but this time they appear as sambhogakāya, and become the manifestation of five types of wisdom.”

THE BARDO – TWO KINDS OF LIGHT, DIM AND BRIGHT

According to the Samantabhadra Prayer, that is how the Buddha families appear. This is very significant at the time of death. When we die, two kinds of light appear to us. On kind of light is very bright and brilliant, and the other is dim and gentle, but they have the same colour. They appear in a vision after you have died. Our natural tendency is to avoid the blinding brilliant light because it is uncomfortable. Due to our natural tendency to follow after comfort, we follow after the dim light and that is why we take rebirth again and again in samsara. We go after the comfortable option. If one is able to habituate to that and recognize that in the bardo and avoid the dim gentle light and go towards the blinding, formidable light, then it is said, one will ripen into the sambhogakāya . This is how it has been explained in commentaries by masters.

It is the same light appearing in different ways. The basis of the light and the mind is one and the same. We can also say the mind is like water so when it becomes very pure then it is Buddha (Sangye). ‘Sang’ means to clarify, which means dualistic grasping becomes cleared away. ‘Gye’ is the second syllable which means to become very vast. Endless space is an example of the Dharmakaya. So if there is no clearing away there is no expansion. Until one clarifies the min, there is grasping and narrow mind and thus we continue to cycle in samsara. Even the smallest ant has a dualistic perception of self and others and they are just the same, they have the same grasping mind. All the manifestations in the six realms of samsara are the natural projections of the afflictions. When they are purified they transform into the five types of wisdom. The basis of mind is the same, the defiled mind is same essence as the primordial mind. If you recognize this, there is no more basis for saying ‘I am Buddhist’ and ‘ She is not Buddhist’, and ‘I need Dharma’ and they do not. Once recognizing the fundamental reality, this will all clear away naturally.

REALIZING THE NATURE OF MIND

The ‘face’ of Tara and the ultimate nature of mind

What is the quality of realizing nature of mind? When you realize that the true nature is beyond birth and death,  that is called Buddha Vajradhara. This true nature is always present but we haven’t realized it.  This nature of mind is endless like space and always there. Milarepa said when you realize mind and space are inseparable then you have realized Dharmakāya. So the realization of the natural state of mind, is called Dharmakāya, or the basis of samsara and nirvana. In these Seven Verses of Supplication to Tārā it says:

Goddess of non-dual mind, please protect those who are bound, no matter what they do, by habitual, dualistic grasping at concepts in the mind that is self-arisen, non-dual primordial wisdom!

Thos who have not realized nature of mind are like that. They are like an unripened seed. They are caught up in dualistic thinking of self and other, and me and them, and happiness and suffering, and so on. Due to this fixating on dualistic existence, they experience lots of difficulties.  One realizes the non-dual primordial wisdom. It is called’ primordial’ because it has always been there, since beginningless time and ‘wisdom’ because it  is all-knowing.

Here is one example to explain this, is the mind is like electricity and the body is like a phone. The electricity that powers all the phones is one and the same essence. We cannot really say this light energy is there because we cannot see or touch it, but we cannot say it does not exist either, as it powers lots things in the world and a lot of things are done with it. For example, when the phone breaks the electricity does not also disappear. Mind is like that, it is all pervasive like electric energy. That is what we refer to as primordial wisdom. Everything done in this world is done by Buddha because it is done by the same mind. When you fully realize this you are a Buddha. When all dualistic thinking is cleared away, then the mind becomes vast and all pervasive; pervading the universe and all beings. This natural state is also referred to as Mahamudra.

To realize this, Buddha taught the three-fold path of Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana. This seed we have to ripen has this perception of me and I. As long as we cling onto that perception of reality,  the qualities of the flower inherent within that seed cannot flourish and manifest. Only when we let go of this fixation can the seed grow into the flower. Then the qualities can grow and manifest and that is like ripening into the sambhogakāya.  As long as it is unripe, it is like a spoiled seed.

We are at a crossroads between samsara and nirvana. To make it significant we must understand the qualities of ripening and not ripening the seed of our mind. Not ripening the seed is like throwing it away into the garbage. However, if you take the seed, plant it, offer water to it and look after it, then eventually it will grow and flourish and you can take rebirth in higher realms and attain enlightenment. Yet, if you take rebirth in lower realms, then it is like throwing it into the rubbish and it becomes useless.  We have to look at the faults of ripening and not ripening the mind. When you recognize this, and are at that crossroads, an urgency should arise that you must realize the nature of the mind. This is the ultimate truth the Buddha taught. When you see that ultimate nature you would develop trust in it. You will then understand that you too can become Buddha and then there is no more basis of saying Buddhist or not Buddhist, and that these conceptions are all created by the mind. According to this  prayer we recite by Tārā, it protects those, no matter what they do, who are bound by dualistic grasping.

Cover to the Seven Verse of Supplication to Tārā published by Garchen Institute

This prayer, the Seven Verses of Supplication to Tārā,  was spoken by Tārā to Jigten Sumgon herself. She appeared this way, when the goddess of non-dual mind enters your mind this way. To realize this non-dual mind, one needs wisdom and thus has to cultivate compassion. It is through compassion that the self-clinging mind will go away. That is like an ice block melting. The afflictions are like blocks of ice floating on the ocean. They are water, so even though they are Buddha mind, they float on the water and cause suffering, even though they are still water/Buddha. This is the difference between mature and immature beings. This is what the empowerment is for; it is a method to ripen the mind for enlightenment. That is my brief introduction.

WHO IS TĀRĀ AND TRAVELLING THROUGH THE CENTRAL CHANNEL

In that verse of supplication to the goddess of non dual mind, Tārā is in our mind, so how does she protect if she is in our mind? That is shown in this sadhana here. So Tārā appeared to Gyalwang Rinchen Phuntsog in a pure vision, and she took him and brought him to limitless pure lands, way beyond this world one after the other. In each pure land he met each Buddha there and received teachings there. That is how Tārā appeared to him.

After reading the text is becomes clear what actually happened. What happened is that her wisdom mind was travelling through the chakras through the navel through central channel from chakra to chakra, as this happened the vision of going from pure land to pure land arose. She brought him through lowest chakras, here we talk about seven chakras, and then when he reached the highest chakra he merged with ultimate space and attained highest enlightenment. It is explained in this text. Therefore, it was the movement of the wisdom mind moving through the chakras in the central channel and the signs of accomplishment appeared. The concept of self disappeared into the central channel dharmakaya.

It is also said elsewhere that then the mandala is established in your own mind. Whose wisdom mind is it that has been actualized? All these appearances are the protection of the pure mind, free of dualistic thinking, no thought of ‘me’. If you think of Tārā, there is no dualistic thinking. If you think of Tārā, then it appears that Tārā took him and brought him there. This kind of vision might appear when one has great faith and trust in the deity. These things appear when one has that. When the mind is moving up the central channel, there is the melting of the ice block when the mind unravels and true nature is realized.

This text really shows how Tārā is within your mind and is the nature of your mind. She is the wisdom and compassion in your mind. We have wisdom and compassion but our wisdom and compassion is very small. Even animals and insects have compassion and wisdom. That is what Jigten Sumgon means when he says everything that is done and known in this world is Buddha. Your compassion and wisdom is Buddha. Ultimately you never separate from this wisdom and compassion. When these become vast, then all dualistic grasping is cleared away.  When you realize the natural state or the view, you realize that Tārā is within your own mind. As long as you have not yet realized the nature of mind and there is dualistic grasping, that is when you have to cultivate love and compassion again and again, and recognize that this compassion in the mind and the awareness mind is Tārā.

So the Seven Verses of Supplication to Tārā is an extremely profound prayer and that is why everyone recites this prayer and it contains many great blessing[iv] (download here).”

Rinpoche ended the empowerment with a brief, yet profound teaching on the nature of samaya, the commitment that is taken when taking a Vajrayana empowerment.

THE ROOT ‘LIFE FORCE’ OF ALL DEITIES AND SAMAYA
Loving-kindness (Jampa) and compassion (Nyingje) in Tibetan script

“So in terms of samaya, it is the samaya of body, speech and mind. There is a supplication we do do where one says ‘I shall do whatever the principal Lord commands’. However, even though we say that, no one ever really does that, not even the principal Lord. So, what is the ultimate samaya we all should keep? That is the life-force of all the deities. Hundreds of deities have a single life force. For example, there might be hundreds of rivers of life force in the world. Yet, if you pick up a single drop of water on your finger, you should recognize that this drop of water has the same nature as all the water in the world. Whatever yidam deity you practice, if you practice it well, then you practice all the yidam deities.

Here the samaya is called ‘the life-force of your own liberation’, which means nothing else but love and compassion. Love and compassion is the life-force of the deity.  It is said that what we call the deity is actually bodhicitta. Thus, the samaya is to maintain love and compassion for all sentient beings and when others harm you, one should practice patience and hold onto love. The samaya is love and compassion for others. When you practice love and compassion, you are making offerings to all the Buddhas. The greatest offering to all the Buddhas is love and compassion. The greatest benefit to sentient beings is love and compassion. Your own seed of liberation is love and compassion. It is nothing else but just that. So if you practice love and compassion you are practicing the deity, you are offering to the deity and you are benefiting sentient beings and you will attain liberation. That is the root samaya, love and compassion, or immeasurable love.  If one has immeasurable love then the other immeasurables will naturally arise from that. It is also said, that love is the all-pervasive power. The power of love is all-pervasive. In that way, with that understanding, one should practice a single deity, knowing that within this one deity, all the other yidam deities are contained. Of course, even though you practice one principal deity, you might also practice other deities and that is fine. However, you should understand that they are all the same, that within the one yidam deity, all the yidam deities are contained. That is the samaya of the empowerment, which completes it.”

USEFUL LINKS ON WHITE TĀRĀ AND GARCHEN RINPOCHE:

How Tārā saved the life of 8th Garchen Rinpoche’s 8 times: video with English subtitles: http://garchen.tw/English/News/NewsInPage/43
text: https://cutt.ly/1uGB57U
Garchen Rinpoche chanting the White Tārā mantra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDIMJ6SqiUE&t=202s
Meaning of White Tārā Mantra: https://cutt.ly/nyjukud.


ENDNOTES

[i] The current Garchen Rinpoche was seven years old he when he was brought to Lho Miyal Monastery and given the ordination name of Konchok Gyaltsen (dkon mchog rgyal mtshan). There he was recognized by the former Drikung Kyabgon Zhiwe Lodro, where he was instructed by Siddha Chime Dorje.

When he was 22 he was imprisoned by the Chinese for 20 years and put in a labor camp during the Cultural Revolution. During that time he met with Khenpo Munsel who became his root guru. Khenpo Munsel was a Nyingma master who taught him during the whole 20 years of his imprisonment. During that time, while enduring the labor camp hardships, Garchen Rinpoche kept on practicing in secret, according to his guru’s instructions until he achieved the wisdom-mind which Khenpo Musel called “an emanation of a Bodhisattva”.

Garchen Rinpoche was released from prison in 1979. As soon as he was released, he took it upon himself to rebuild the Drikung Kagyu monasteries, reestablish the Buddhist teachings, and build two boarding schools for local children in eastern Tibet. (for more info see

[ii] In the Treasury of Lives biography about Khenpo Munsel, ( see https://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Khenpo-Munsel/9929)  it says:

“At some point in 1959, Munsel was assaulted by members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. He was beaten close to death, but was said to have remained mentally stable and peaceful during the attack. Afterwards, he was imprisoned in the district jail for about a year, and was then transferred to the so-called “Lama’s Jail” in Xining, the provincial capital of Qinghai. The facility lacked sufficient food, clothing and shelter, causing great hardships for its residents, but it is reported that the conditions did not adversely affect Munsel, and that he was able to continue to practice in secret. He was known to have given a share of his food to his companions in jail, and at one point lived without food for several weeks during a period when nourishment was scarce. Despite fasting for such a long time, his health was observed to be even better than before his imprisonment; as a result, many of his fellow prisoners and even many of the jail’s staff are reported to have become his students. 

As conditions slowly improved, Munsel began to give Dzogchen instructions to those imprisoned with him, including a number of high lamas. While in jail, he became the root guru of the Eighth Garchen, Konchok Gyeltsen (mgar chen 08 dkon mchog rgyal mtshan, b.1936), an important Drigung lineage holder who currently travels widely; and gave Dzogchen instructions to the Eighth Adeu Rinpoche (a lde’u 08, 1931-2007), a Drukpa Kagyu lineage holder. One of his elderly Chinese devotees was even said to have attained a rainbow-body (‘ja’ lus) at the time of his death.

Munsel spent a total of eighteen years doing hard labor at Dzagyo Factory (rdza gyo bzo grwa) in Xining. His biography relates that he practiced Dzogchen throughout this period by mentally visualizing the factory as a meditation cabin and the tools he was using as ritual implements. Through these methods, he is believed to have gained great spiritual accomplishment. While in jail, he composed a note on the essential teachings of Dzogchen, but burnt it when he acquired a similar note that was written by his teacher, Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang.”

[iii] Drikung Rinchen Phuntsog: The great reformer of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage. “In the 15th century, the Ming Dynasty recognized the Drikungpa’s renewed and increasing influence and granted the throne holder the honorific title of Ch’an chiao wang that was conferred on the heads of the eight most important schools or monasteries. For two centuries Shigatse in the province of Tsang became the center of power in Tibet, first under the rulers of Rinpung (1436–1566), later under the Tsangpa (1566–1642). Since both noble families supported the Karmapa, the Karma Kagyu advanced to become the most influential school of the epoch.

Two outstanding personalities on the throne of Drikung left their marks in the beginning years of the 16th century: Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen (1475–1527) and his successor Gyalwang Rinchen Phuntsog (1509–1557). Kunga Rinchen was regarded as the reincarnation of Jigten Sumgön. He aspired to improve the quality of spiritual life. Kunga Rinchen dedicated himself intensively to giving transmissions and teachings, and he was also committed to reviving the tradition of retreats. Many of his new disciples, who were streaming to Drikung, were sent by him to do retreats at Mt. Kailash, Tsari and Lapchi. Under his direction, 50 new meditation huts were built at Drikung Thil Monastery. The Kangyur and Tengyur were copied on indigo paper in gold and silver script, while two hundred scribes were involved in the production of the complete texts of the Drikung lineage.

Rinchen Phuntsog, the 17th Drikung Denrab, was a great reformer. After receiving transmissions from various lineages, he integrated doctrines, rituals, and meditational practices above all of the Nyingma order into the traditional Drikung Kagyu teachings, thereby opening up and augmenting its dogmatic orientation. Rinchen Phuntsog discovered the treasure text Gongpa Yangzab in the Kiri Yangdzong Cave in the valley of Terdrom. Rinchen Phuntsog was an assiduous author whose writings are also highly regarded by the Nyingma, and were included in the collection of Nyingma tantras.

Rinchen Phuntsog’s only son, Chogyal Rinchen Phuntsog (1547–1602), was the 21st Denrab on the Drikung throne when Altan Khan (1507–1582), the powerful ruler of the Tumat Mongols, entered into an alliance with Sonam Gyatso (1543–1588) from the Gelugpa sect that was to influence the future course of Tibetan history decisively. The Mongolian ruler conferred the title of Dalai Lama on Sonam Gyatso and accorded him extensive privileges. Sonam Gyatso became the 3rd Dalai Lama because his two predecessors were given the title of Dalai Lama posthumously. As a result of many armed conflicts during the latter part of the 16th century, Chogyal Rinchen Phuntsog had the Drikung Dzong complex expanded into a fortress.

The first phase of succession to the highest office within the lineage ended with the sons of Chogyal Rinchen Phuntsog. His eldest son, Naro Tashi Phuntsog (1574–1628), called Naro Nyipa (“The second Naropa”), succeeded to the throne, while his younger son, Garwang Chökyi Wangchug (1584–1630), was recognized as the 6th Shamarpa. His two youngest sons, Gyalwang Konchog Rinchen (1590–1654) and Kunkhyen Rigzin Chödrak (1595–1659) became the last heirs to the throne of Drikung; the Kyura lineage died out with them. Upon the death of Konchog Rinchen the Drikungpa began to seek the reincarnations of their throne holders. A system of two lineage holders was established, that of the elder (Chetsang) and the younger (Chungtsang) brother. In the Drikung chronology Konchog Rinchen is considered as the first Chetsang and Rigzin Chödrak as the first Chungtsang. Both bear the title Drikung Kyabgon (‘bri gung skyabs mgon).”

[iv] The Seven Supplications to Tara is a profound prayer composed by the founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage, Lord Jigten Sumgon. Known for removing obstacles, this devotional prayer to Tara encompasses the main points of the Buddhist Path. It exhorts Tara, the feminine Budddha of Protection, to help those with seven specific mental obscurations that are obstructions on the path to enlightenment.

3 thoughts on “THE IMMEASURABLE ‘ROOT LIFE-FORCE’ OF ALL DEITIES AND SAMAYA: White Tārā teaching by 8th Garchen Rinpoche (April 2021)

  1. Thx, its amazing that with light speed, overnight you made translation and all extra infos and links concerning latest teachings of H.E . Garchen Rinpoche. ! There is one question to answer concerning White Tara mantra. On Garchen Institute website White Tara mantra differ in one place ( …..punye pushtim….) compare to found everywhere else ( ….punye jnana pushtim….)?
    I sent query to Garchen Institute about this particular point but did not get answer. Can we image Chenresig mantra with sounds in differ order :Om peme hung mani?
    Rather not, it is why I am curious about proper order of sounds in White Tara mantra. Thx.

    1. Thanks! I didn’t translate them, I simply typed up the excellent oral translation by Ina! Regarding yourquestion. Yes I have wondered about this too. it says jnana punye, instead of the more common punye jnana. Why? Maybe it is a Drigung Kagyu way of saying it. Would be good to know the answer though! Meaning in Sanskrit is the same though 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDIMJ6SqiUE

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