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He was a great visionary and performed many miracles. But, his life was the shortest of all Glorious Karmapas. Recorded history of Tibet for academia begins when local chiefs united under the rule of 33 successive kings.

Connection to the Kagyu Lineage

The earliest records from Dunhuang speak of rival chiefs living in forts along the Tsangpo River that flows through Central Tibet. Forts and burial sites in the Yarlung Valley have been identified as those of an early Zhang Zhung kingdom, its people being adherents of the general term that is used for their culture, which is Bon. From there the teachings spread to Zhang Zhung and from there throughout most Asian lands. According to legend, Yumbu Lhakhang overlooking the Yarlung Valley that is considered the cradle of the earlier kingdoms on the Tibetan Plateau was built in the 2 nd century B.

In any case, academic consensus purports that King Songtsen Gampo approx. Over three successive centuries, three great Tibetan kings - Songtsen Gampo, Trisong Detsen, and Tri Ralpachen - each developed great faith in the teachings of the Buddha and the practice of meditation, and they established in Tibet the necessary conditions for the spread of the teachings.

Through succeeding centuries, Tibetans have sustained their great faith in the Three Jewels and have been able to incorporate the meaning of the Buddhist Dharma into their lives. King Songtsen Gampo succeeded his father Nyatri around C. Her father, Anshuvarrnan, was ruler of the Licchavi Kingdom with its seat in Kathmandu the Licchavi Dynasty declined in the late 8 th century and was followed by the Newari era.

Princess Bhrikuti Devi is said to have converted her husband to Buddhism and the marriage helped establish Buddhism as the state religion. King Songtsen Gampo built the Jokhang Temple in present-day Lhasa to house the Akshobhya Buddha statue that she brought as dowry, the reason why the main gate of the Jokhang faces westward to Nepal. Having been refused Princess Wengcheng Kongjo as bride in , the king attacked and defeated the people who lived around Lake Kokonor in Amdo and therefore he was able to control major trade centres along the north-eastern Silk Road into China.

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After a successful campaign, Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty agreed to the marriage and thus the relationship with China became stable. Princess Wengchen left her homeland in to marry King Songsten Gampo and arrived in Yarlung a year later. We may not forget to mention that the small temple that Princess Wengchen erected before she arrived at court is situated approx.

The Thrangu Monastery has thrived over years and the Wengchen Temple is more than years old. The very auspicious place is indeed situated in a pure land where emanations of Buddha Amitabha and Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara have manifested many times. Queen Wengchen is said to also have converted her husband to Buddhism and the marriage firmly established Buddhism as state religion. The king had Buddhist temples built around geomantic sites in Tibet and Bhutan but did not found monasteries.

Western scholars speculate that the Emperor was persuaded not to build the temple near the capital in Yarlung so as not to offend the traditional gods. Ramoche Lhakhang, the older of the two first Buddhist temples in Tibet, was erected by King Songtsen Gampo to house both the statue of Akshobhya Buddha that Princess Bhrikuti Devi brought to Tibet when she married the king in as well as the statue of Jobo Buddha that Princess Wengchen brought when she, too, married the king in Legend says that the work completed on the Ramoche Lhakhang each day was mysteriously undone each night, until the demoness who exerted negative influences was appeased.

She buried the Akshobhya statue outside the city walls.

Catalog Record: The Great Kagyu masters : the golden lineage treasury | HathiTrust Digital Library

After the uncalled-for invasion, the sacred statue of Jobo was kept in the Jokhang and the blessed statue of Akshobya was placed in the Ramoche Lhakhang. Both queens were Buddhists and therefore their presence on the Tibetan Plateau changed the course of history. Bhrikuti brought the traditions of Himalayan Buddhism. Princess Wengchen brought a treasure trove of ancient Chinese wisdom. She travelled across the steppes to her husband with a collection of Chinese classic literature and texts on sacred astrology, geomancy, and medicine.

He then commissioned the translation of several thousand texts. The tribute due to real genius must be accorded to these early pioneers of Tibetan grammar. They had to grapple with infinite wealth and refinement of Sanskrit; they had to save the independence of their own tongue, while they strove to subject it to the rule of scientific principles, and it is most remarkable how they managed to produce translations at once literal and faithful to the spirit of the original. He studied Chinese, became skilled in the art of leadership, and most importantly, he adopted sacred codes of conduct from Buddhist scripture.

Never ever at any time will we be faithless to the King and his offspring, whatever we do! If one of our offspring, male or female, acts faithlessly, never will we not confess that such a one is faithless! If we perceive that anyone else is faithless to the King, never will we not confess it! Never shall there be calumny or envy towards our comrades who are without fault! If we are appointed as officials, never will we act unfairly towards those who are subject to us! Never will we be disobedient to whatever command the King may give.

But, the kingdom started waning because of a power-struggle that weakened the Yarlung court and its military presence along its borders.

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The struggles arose between Tridu Song approx. The local spirits were hostile to Shantarakshita and intentionally obstructed his efforts. Therefore, he advised the king to invite Padmasambhava, the tantric adept from India, to deal with the malicious spirits. Accordingly, Padmasambhava came to Tibet and subdued them. Once vanquished, the spirits were bound by oath to act as Dharma protectors.

Currently work is being done on the English translation of the first and the German translation of the second part. Khenchen Rinpoche is a wonderful author and translator who has translated for many years important Dharma texts and has written profound commentaries on them, to allow his students and those seriously interested in the Dharma, to come into contact with authentic Dharma knowledge. Rinpoche has published twelve books. These books are all available in English.

Pearl Rosary: The Path of Purification. Vajra Publications, Gainesville, Snow Lion, Ithaca, Vajra Publications, Frederick, Vajra Publications, Gainesville. When a war began in Minyak, in eastern Tibet, he protected the people there through his miracle powers. The number of his disciples increased to 70, Many of the most intelligent of these attained enlightenment in one lifetime, while those of lesser intelligence attained various bhumis, and everyone else realized, at least the nature of his or her own mind.

He also said that all sentient beings living in the mountains of Drikung, even the ants, would not be born again in lower realms.


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At one time a naga-king named Meltro Zichen went to Drikung for teachings. The message was received by everyone except the Mahasiddhi Gar Dampa, who was meditating in the depths of a long cave. When the naga arrived, he made a thundering noise which was heard by all including Gar Dampa.

Gar Dampa came out of the cave to see what was happening and saw a frightful, dark-blue snake whose length encircled the monastery three times and whose head was peering in the window of the palace. Without examining the situation, he thought the naga was there to harm his guru and thus manifested himself as a giant garuda and chased the naga away. At Rolpa Trang, there is a smooth, clear print left by the garuda when it landed on a rock.


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Near the river of Kyung-Ngar Gel, there are marks left by both the garuda and the naga. A Ceylonese Arhat, a follower of the Buddha, hearing that the Mahapandita Shakya Shri Bhadra was going to Tibet, gave to the Mahapandita's brother a white lotus requesting him to give it to the Mahapandita who in turn would give it to Nagarjuna in Tibet. When Shakya Shri Bhadra arrived in Tibet, he ordained many monks but did not know where to find Nagarjuna.

He insisted strongly. One of Shakya Shri Bhadra's attendants pushed him away; he fell and blood flowed from his nose.

Bka' Brgyud (Kagyu)

Prior to this happening, Shakya Shri Bhadra had always seen Tara in the morning when he recited the Seven-Branch Prayer, but for the six days following this incident she did not show herself. Then, on the seventh day she appeared with her back turned towards him. When he asked how he could purify this misdeed, Tara told him,"Make as many Dharma-robes as you have years, and offer them to fully-ordained monks who have no robes.


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Shakya Shri Bhadra then searched for the monk who had been turned away. At this time, many lesser Panditas were visiting Tibet. When he saw the guru's face he saw him as the Buddha himself, and his two chief disciples - Chenga Sherab Jungne and Chenga Drakpa Jungne - as with Shariputra and Maudgalyayana.