‘NAKEDLY SEEING THE DHARMAKAYA’ FULL MOON OFFERINGS FOR JE GAMPOPA DAY: English language outline and overview of Je Gampopa Guru Yoga by Jamgon Kongtrul and other Guru Yoga/Praises Texts; the Paranirvana of Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje and live online puja today led by17th Gyalwang Karmapa

Gleaming golden-white, smiling, with with slender, gazing eyes.
On the head, a meditation hat, wearing the three Dharma robes.
With the samadhi mudra, holding a wish-fulfilling jewel
Seated in vajra posture, blazing with magnificent bliss-emptiness.

དཀར་སེར་བརྗིད་འཛུམ་ཟིམ་བུའི་སྤྱན་གྱིས་གཟིགས། །དབུ་ལ་སྒོམ་ཞྭ་སྐུ་ལ་ཆོས་གོས་གསུམ། །
ཏིང་འཛིན་ཕྱག་རྒྱས་ཡིད་བཞིན་ནོར་བུ་བསྣམས། །རྡོ་རྗེ་སྐྱིལ་ཀྲུང་བདེ་སྟོང་གཟི་བརྗིད་འབར། །

OM AH HUM MAHAGURU VAJRADHARA HUM

ༀ་ཨཱཿཧཱུྃ་མ་ཧཱ་གུ་རུ་བཛྲ་དྷཱ་ར་ཧཱུྃ།

—Excerpt from ‘Nakedly Seeing the Dharmakāya: Gampopa’s Guru Yoga’ by Jamgon Kongtrul (tr. Adele Tomlin)

JE GAMPOPA, DAGPO LHAJE’S ANNIVERSARY

Today, August 12th, the full moon (15th) day of the sixth Tibetan month commemorates Je Gampopa, Sonam Rinchen (1079-1153), Kagyu forefather and student of Milarepa. The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley announced during his current Mar-ngog online teachings (more on those in a forthcoming post!) that Karma Kagyu monasteries and lay followers were requested to perform a Guru Yoga of Gampopa  for the anniversary. Accordingly, the Karma Kagyu monasteries and nunneries in India, Nepal, and Bhutan will celebrate it with an online puja today at 5 pm IST (11:30 am GMT) led by the Gyalwang Karmapa (the live online link is here).

The text being recited for this event is called Nakedly Seeing the Dharmakāya: The Guru Yoga of Dagpo Lhaje (Dwags po lha rjeʼi bla maʼi rnal ʼbyor chos sku gcer mthong sogs). This is a Gampopa guru yoga sadhana written by the first Dapzang Rinpoche, Tenpa Rabgye, as compiled by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, along with the ganachakra by the fifth Chakme Tulku. The sadhana has been provided in Tibetan for free, at Dharma E-Books website, see here , of  which there is no English translation (yet).

Therefore, for this special day and puja (as I did before for the 17th Karmapa’s Offerings to Marici sadhana text), I offer some background information on this text as well as my own research on other Gampopa Guru Yoga texts (or Praises). Some of these texts have been translated into English, some have not.  Also, for those who do not read or understand Tibetan, but would like to know more about Jamgon Kongtrul’s Guru Yoga sadhana, and participate while the Tibetan is being chanted, I have provided a outline of the sadhana and some of the visualisation details etc. below. I personally do not have the empowerment or transmission of this text/Guru Yoga, but after the 17th Karmapa’s oral transmission today, I may attempt a full translation (and publish it), if it seems an English one will not be available. I was thinking about publishing one today, but I got sick and so had to rest most of yesterday!

I recently received the oral transmission of Gampopa’s Collected Works from Gyaltsab Rinpoche, and as an offering for that, translated and published an English-language outline of the editions and contents of them, see here. In addition, there is a page on the website dedicated to other research and translations on Gampopa , see here.

THIRD KARMAPA’S PARANIRVANA AND RECITATION OF HIS ZHENTONG (EMPTY-OF-OTHER)/BUDDHA NATURE TEXTS

Also, the 17th Karmapa, announced that August 12th is also the day in the Tibetan calendar when the 3rd Karmapa passed into paranirvana and so he requested that all the Kamstang monasteries and nunneries offer one hundred lamps on the roofs of the monastery, weather permitting. On the passing of the 3rd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje his face is believed to have appeared against a full moon and witnessed by Dragpa Sengge, a Mongolian chieftain (see painting image).

He requested that the sangha should all gather in front of the monastery and recite the works on Zhentong (Empty-of-Other) of Rangjung Dorje that have had major benefit to beings—Distinguishing Consciousness from Wisdom (Namshe Yeshe Jepa), Teachings on the Essence (Nyingpo Tenpa), and the Aspiration for Mahamudra (Chagchen Monlam).

I will write more about the 3rd Karmapa’s Zhentong view and those texts in another post, after listening to the 17th Karmapa’s teaching on it.  In a previous teaching last year (see here), the 17th Karmapa mentioned how dividing Madhyamaka into Zhentong and Rangtong was intellectually unsustainable, as many of the Zhentong texts were not Madhyamaka at all, but Yogacara (Mind-Only). 

UPDATE: The 17th Karmapa released this stunning image and sensual poem (above), which I have done a quick translation of below for the benefit of readers. I will write more about this in another post on the 3rd Karmapa and his remarkable contribution to the philosophical view on emptiness (Empty-of-Other). Apologies for errors!

Glorious, full Autumn moon and close companion,
Blazing example of the Guru’s ‘name’, Rangjung [spontaneously-arisen][1],
The divine, spacious path ornament of the repeating [lunar] phase[2],
Releases the mind like petals of a water-lily [3].

སྟོན་ཟླ་རྒྱས་པའི་དཔལ་དང་ཉེར་འགྲོགས་པའི༎
རང་བྱུང་བླ་མའི་མཚན་དཔེ་འབར་བའི་བཞིན༎
ལྷ་ལམ་ཡངས་པའི་རྒྱན་དུ་སླར་ཚེས་ནས༎
ཡིད་ཀྱི་ཀུ་མུད་འདབ་གྲོལ་བར་མཛོད༎

May this post be of benefit in helping us all practice and accomplish the ‘golden’ state of Je Gampopa and the wisdom moon face of 3rd Karmapa!

Music? For the full moon evening vibes, I’m Wishing on a Star by Rose Royce, Saraha’s Arrow with Bow and Arrow by Reuben and the Dark ‘We go over the mountains and under the stars. Won’t you fold my hands over my heart…. Blue Moon by Billie Holiday ‘And when I looked, The moon had turned to gold…’

Written, translated and compiled by Adele Tomlin, 12th August 2022.

ENDNOTES

[1] A double reference here to the name of 3rd Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje and the miraculous appearance of his face in the moon.

[2] I translated the Tibetan tshes here, which normally means date/day as phase for the moon. This may be wrong though.

[2] The Tibetan, ku mud here I have translated as water-lily, [white lotus] a flower that normally opens only at night-time, at the appearance of the moon. A sensual, poetic metaphor indeed!

NAKEDLY SEEING THE DHARMAKAYA – JAMGON KONGTRUL’S GAMPOPA GURU YOGA TEXT
Je Gampopa (1059-1173) – 15th Century Tibetan statue  (Bonham’s Gallery https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24217/lot/3225/))

The Jamgon Kongtrul guru yoga text was composed by 1st Dabzang Rinpoche and compiled by Jamgon Kongtrul. Other than the new Dharma E-Books text, I was only able to find one online edition of the text, in a contemporary Karma Kagyu compilation of sadhanas published in 2001[1].  It does not appear to have been included in Jamgon Kongtrul’s collected works. All I could find about Dabzang Rinpoche, Tenpa Rabgye, was that he was a student of the 9th Tai Situ, who was also the teacher of Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye.

Page 3 of the Gampopa Guru Yoga published in 2006.
Close up of the Gampopa drawing in the pecha text of the Guru Yoga.

Colophon

The colophon explains that the guru Yoga came from a pure vision of Karma Ngedon Tenpa Rabgye [Dabzang Rinpoche] and that Karma Ngawang Yonten Gyamtso (the ordination name of Jamgon Kongtrul given by Tai Situpa[2]), composed it at his isolated retreat centre Kunzang Dechen Osel Ling[3].

Outline

A) THE PRELIMINARIES

  1. Going for refuge.
  2. Generating bodhicitta.

B) THE MAIN PRACTICE.

  1. Generating the support.
  2. Accumulating, purifying and increasing.
  3. Invoking the Thugdam/wisdom being with recitation and supplications.

C) SUBSEQUENT PRACTICE

  1. Taking the four ordinary empowerments.
  2. Special blessing of Phowa. 
  3. Post-meditation conduct.

The first section is a Praise to Gampopa and giving rise to weariness for samsara.  Then the sadhana is divided into three sections. The Preliminaries are going for refuge and giving rise to Bodhicitta.

B) THE MAIN PRACTICE

This is divided into three sections:

  1. Generation stage

The practice first involves oneself visualised as Vajrayogini in Oddiyana Kacheri (Ogmin Khacho), visualising Gampopa seated before oneself on a white lotus, sun and moon.

At his heart centre is a blue Sahara, in the aspect of a Brahmin, in whose heart centre in a blue Vajradhara (Dorje Chang).

2) Accumulating, purifying and increasing

This section  is like a seven-branch prayer: prostrating, making offerings, confessing non-virtue, rejoicing at virtue, requesting the Buddhas to stay and teach Dharma, dedicating the merit to all beings and awakening.

3) Evoking the deities with recitation and supplications

The final section is mantra recitation and then supplications. The mantra to recite is:

OM AH HUM MAHAGURU VAJRADHARA HUM

C) SUBSEQUENT PRACTICE

The Subsequent Practice is divided into three parts:

  1. Taking the four ordinary empowerments.
  2. Special blessing of Phowa. 
  3. Post-meditation conduct.

These sections involve visualisations of light emanating and dissolving into one’s body from the visualised masters.

The first section, for example:

“With intense devotion, one arouses the mindstream of the Noble One. Luminous light nectar of white, red and blue, streams from the three places. They dissolve into one’s three places, by stages and then abide there as one. The four empowerments mature the mindstream and purify the four obscurations. One becomes a fortunate one who will attain the path, meditation and four kayas.”

The third section, post-meditation conduct is about maintaining pure perception:

“Afterwards, appearances, sounds, thoughts arise as The guru’s vajra body, speech and mind mandala. The ordinary delusionary appearances, become thoroughly pure. The infinite magical play of primordial awareness.”

 

OTHER PRAISES AND SUPPLICATIONS TO GAMPOPA

Interestingly, despite his importance to the Kagyu lineages, I could not find many other Guru Yoga texts (or even Praises) to Je Gampopa that were available online at the BDRC. These were some I found below:

15th KARMAPA’S GAMPOPA GURU YOGA
15th Karmapa, Khakyab Dorje

The 15th Karmapa, Khakyab Dorje composed several Guru Yoga sadhanas  written in 1919 at a meditation cell of of Dargye Cho Ling in Tshurdowo Lung (dar rgyas chos gling in mtshur mdo bo lung). There are two available online editions of this text[4].

One of the 15th Karmapa’s texts was translated into English by the Vajravairochana Translation Committee and is called The Canopy of Wisdom Ornaments: The Heart of the Sun and is published with a commentary and explanation by HE Thrangu Rinpoche. It is being sold by the Nalanda Committee at a whopping 50 to 110 USD though!

The Tibetan editions [which are free] include a handwritten U-med pecha text published by Tsurphu Monastery.

JE PHAGMO DRUPA’S PRAISES

There is a praises to Gampopa by Je Phagmo Drupa[5], one of the most important Kagyu forefathers (of the lineages other than Karma Kagyu) and student of Gampopa.

JE JIGTEN SUMGON’S PRAISES AND SUPPLICATION

Je Jigten Sumgon, the Drigung Kagyu founder, wrote a Praises and Supplication to Gampopa, which is published the in the Drigung Kagyu Chodzo Chenmo[6].

4TH ZHAMAR, CHODRAG YESHE’S PRAISES
4th Zhamarpa, Chodrag Yeshe (1453-1524) (Source HAR)

There are two praises composed by the 4th Zhamarpa (1453-1524) to Je Gampopa[7]. It says that the first work was written at the behest of Lama Gyalzang (bla ma rgyal bzang) and is unsigned; the second one is signed by the author as Chokyi Dragpa (chos kyi grags pa).

PEMA TRINLEY WANGPO’S DROP OF JEWELS GURU YOGA

There is also a Guru Yoga text ‘Drop of Jewels’ རྗེ་དྭགས་པོའི་བླ་མའི་རྣལ་འབྱོར་ནོར་བུའི་ཐིག་ལེ་ཞེས་བྱ་བ། composed by Pema Trinley Nyingpo and translated and published by Lotsawa House, here: Gampopa Guru Yoga | Lotsawa House. It was translated by Laura Dainty in 2021, but it does not state from whom she got the transmission for it from (a common issue with Lotsawa House translations). The colophon says:

This was written with faith by Pema Trinlé Nyingpo, also known as Karma Trinlé Gyatso. He initially wrote it while performing the guru yoga for Gampopa, this secret path of the Great Physician of Dakpo, together with a hundred gathering-offerings. Much later, he revisited the text while recalling Gampopa’s liberating life-story of past, present, and future.

The biographical information I found for the author states that: Jokyab Rinpoche (ཇོ་སྐྱབས་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ or Khenpo Pema Trinley Nyingpo (1903-1960) — was a student of Jamyang Drakpa who recorded in annotations Jamgon Kongtrul’s commentary on the Lamrim Yeshe Nyingpo.

FURTHER READING

Je Gampopa

UNIVERSE-BLAZING GODDESS, ‘HRIH-ARISEN’ VAJRAYOGINI BY JE GAMPOPA: NEW TRANSLATIONS ‘PRAISES TO VARAHI’  AND SHORT ‘FIVE-DEITY VAJRAYOGINI SADHANA’; IN JE GAMPOPA’S COLLECTED WORKS

THE COLLECTED WORKS OF JE GAMPOPA: ‘RAW’ INSTRUCTIONS (MAR TRI)’, DHARMA GATHERINGS (TSHOG CHO), MAHAMHUDRA, VAJRAYOGINI, JEWEL ORNAMENTS AND PEARL GARLANDS. Compilation of extant editions and translated English outline of Gampopa’s Collected Works

‘SIMULTANEOUSLY-ARISEN’, LIKE SUN AND SUNLIGHT: Dagpo Gampopa on the meaning of ‘simultaneously-arisen’, ‘white panacea’ and Dzogchen in the context of Mahāmudrā

NEW TRANSLATION: ‘Supplication to Dagpo Kagyu’  by 15th Karmapa and new website section on Gampopa

WHEN GAMPOPA MET MILAREPA: A tale of beggars, buttocks and bliss. ‘Four Dharmas’ of Gampopa by 17th Karmapa (Part III, 2021)

The Doctor of Dagpo (Dagpo Lhaje) whose family tragedy led to monkhood: ‘Four Dharmas’ of Gampopa’ by 17th Karmapa (Part II, 2021)

3rd Karmapa

PENETRATING THE BLISS WHEEL OF CHAKRASAMVARA ON THE SUPER FLOWER BLOOD MOON: New translation of short, daily five-deity Chakrasamvara sadhana by 3rd Karmapa and brief instructions on the nature of bliss and union by 8th Garchen Rinpoche

THE BLACK TREASURY(DZO NAG)’ 3RD KARMAPA’S EXTENSIVE COMPENDIUM OF MILAREPA’S LIFE AND SONGS. Origin, editions and contents.

‘WAKING UP FROM THE SLUMBER OF IGNORANCE’: THE ‘KA-NYING’ CONNECTION. Reasons why the 8th Karmapa did not write Nyingma refutations and why people assumed he did, and the profound connection of the Karmapas and Nyingma Dharma, 3rd Karmapa as main disseminator of Dzogchen in Tibet, (17th Karmapa Spring teachings 2021, Day 6)

Indestructible Mind Maṇḍala of the Karmapas, Tsurphu Monastery: Origin, history, rebuilding and ‘Praises to Tsurphu’ by 3rd and 16th Karmapas

 


ENDNOTES

[1] “Dwags po lha rjeʼi bla maʼi rnal ʼbyor chos sku gcer mthong sogs.” Kaṃ tshang chos spyod sogs kha ton gces btus, [Sherab Gyaltsen], 2001, pp. 447–80. Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC), purl.bdrc.io/resource/MW00EGS1016759_3C3885.

[2] In November 1833 under the Ninth Tai Situ, Pema Nyinje Wangpo (ta’i si tu 09 padma nyin rje dbang po, 1775-1853) gave Jamgon Kongtrul the ordination name of Karma Ngawang Yonten Gyatso Trinle Kunkhyab Pel Zangpo (karma ngag dbang yon tan rgya mtsho phrin las kun khyab dpal bzang po). Yonten Gyatso would become one of the names by which he was most frequently known.  Kongtrul complained in his autobiography that his second ordination was unnecessary, but there were institutional reasons for taking it. See: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye – The Treasury of Lives: A Biographical Encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia and the Himalayan Region

[3] In 1857, the Fire Serpent year, the great treasure revealer, Chogyur Dechen Lingpa confirmed that Tsandra Rinchen Drak where Lodro Thaye had his hermitage, Kunzang Dechen Osel Ling, was one of twenty-five major sacred places of Eastern Tibet. In accordance with an earlier prophecy, Lodro Thaye then established a Protector Temple and a retreat place for the practice of the inner tantras of Shangpa Kagyu lineage there. 

[4] Karma pa 15 mkhaʼ khyab rdo rje. “sGam po pa rin po cheʼi zhal gdams gsang lam bla ma sgrub paʼi man ngag gi sgrub thabs phrin las kyi byang bu bklag chog tu bkod pa.” Karma pa sku phreng rim byon gyi gsung ʼbum phyogs bsgrigs, vol. 95, dPal brtsegs bod yig dpe rnying zhib ʼjug khang, 2013, pp. 580–621. Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC), purl.bdrc.io/resource/MW3PD1288_E4EE1E. [BDRC bdr:MW3PD1288_E4EE1E]

[5]

  Phag mo gru pa rdo rje rgyal po. “bDe gshegs chen po sgam po paʼi bstod pa.” gSung ʼbum rdo rje rgyal po, vol. 1, 1998, pp. 937–54. Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC), purl.bdrc.io/resource/MW23860_B4D9B2. [BDRC bdr:MW23860_B4D9B2]

[6] sKyob pa ʼjig rten gsum mgon. “rJe sgam po paʼi bstod pa dang gsol debs.” ʼBri gung bkaʼ brgyud chos mdzod chen mo, edited by Ra se dkon mchog rgya mtsho and ʼBri gung a mgon rin po che, vol. 22, [ʼBri gung mthil dgon], 2004, pp. 100–03. Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC), purl.bdrc.io/resource/MW00JW501203_3AD095. [BDRC bdr:MW00JW501203_3AD095]

[7] Zhwa dmar 04 pa chos grags ye shes. “mNyam med chos kyi rje thams cad mkhyen pa sgam po pa la phyag ʼtshal ba dad paʼi gaṇḍī.” gSung ʼbum chos grags ye shes, Par gzhi dang po, vol. 4, Krung goʼi bod rig pa dpe skrun khang, 2009, pp. 197–99. Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC), purl.bdrc.io/resource/MW1KG4876_51F177. [BDRC bdr:MW1KG4876_51F177]

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