Oral teachings of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
and his spiritual sons

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Padmasambhava
 

& his twenty-five disciples

 

 

 

 

When the magnificent Samye, Tibet’s first major monastery, was under construction, great masters were invited from India: Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, Buddhaguhya, and others. Their chief Tibetan disciples included the translators Vairotsana and Yudra Nyingpo. All these masters, disciples, and translators helped the teachings of the Buddha to flourish like the rising sun.
During the time of Khyentse, Kongtrul, and Chokgyur Lingpa, those twenty-five foremost disciples of the Lotus-Born who had gathered around him at Samye almost a thousand years earlier all returned in simultaneous incarnations. As one of my teachers, Dzongsar Khyentse, put it, “The twenty-five disciples of the Lotus-Born came back together like a throng of sheep and goats running out of a barn. These disciples reappeared as masters with incredible experience and realization, learning, and accomplishment. Their personal disciples and their disciples’ disciples were equally amazing.”
In fact, throughout Kham and the rest of Tibet, tulkus of all twenty-five were identified and recognized. Paradoxically, this flowering was a portent that the time for Tibet’s role as a field of influence to benefit beings was just about to run out.

  King Trisong Deutsen. The Khyentse incarnations: Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, Dilgo Khyentse, Alak Zenkar, Dzongsar Khyentse Norbu, Jigme Khyentse, Tulku Hungkar Dorje, Adzom Rinpoche .
Vimalamitra  Vimalamitra. Recent incarnations include Khenpo Ngagchung Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse
  Khenpo Bodhisattva, Shantarakshita. Recent incarnation include Karmey Khenchen and Trulkshik Rinpoche.
Denma Tsemang (lDan ma rtse mang). Important early Tibetan translator of the Tripitaka, secretary and scribe to the king and Padmasambhava. Extremely well-versed in writing -- the Sanglingma mentions him as "Tsemang of Denma who was the most eminent in fast writing" -- his style of calligraphy has continued to the present day. Having received Vajrayana transmission from Padmasambhava, he had realization and achieved perfect recall. He is said to be the chief scribe who wrote down many termas, including the Assemblage of Sugatas, connected to the Eight Sadhana Teachings. Also he is decribed as "the bilingual Denma Tsemang, a helper to the translators, he was accepted as a disciple by the king of spiritual instructions from Oddiyana, Guru Rinpoche. Denma Tsemang became the main recipient of the Wrathful Mantra deity meditation instructions, and served as a scribe for many of the yellow parchment texts." His later incarnations include the illustious Situpas.
  Dorje Dudjom of Nanam (sna nam pa rdo rje bdud 'joms). One of king Trisong Deutsen's ministers, sent to Nepal to invite Padmasambhava to Tibet. A mantrika who had reached perfection in the two stages of development and completion, he could fly with the speed of the wind and traverse solid matter. Rigdzin Godem (1337-1408) and Pema Trinley (1641-1718), the great vidyadhara of Dorje Drak monastery in central Tibet, are both considered reincarnations of Dorje Dudjom. Dorje Dudjom means 'Indestructible Subduer of Mara.' Recent incarnations include Lerab Lingpa, Sogyal Rinpoche.
Drokben Khyeuchung Lotsawa. Khiu Chung Lotsawa belongs to the Drogmi Clan. While still very young he became a translator, hence he got his name, which means "boy translator". He received teachings from Guru Rinpoche and lived as a household tantrika. Through his achievement of esoteric power he could summon birds flying in the sky by a gesture of his fingers. Among his incarnations were Terchen Düdül Dorje (1615-1672), Zhenchen Rabjam Tenpe Gyaltsen (1650 - 1704), Khordong Nüden Dorje (18th-19th century), Düdjom Lingpa (1835 - 1904) and Kyabje Düdjom Rinpoche (1904 - 1987). Other incarnations include Khordong Terchen Tulku Chhimed Rigdzin, Lho Drikung Ontul Rinpoche, Dudjom Yangsi.
Gyalwa Jangchub of Lasum (la gsum rgyal ba byang chub). One of the first seven Tibetans to receive full ordination as a monk by Shantarakshita, he was exceedingly intelligent, visited India several times and translated many sacred scriptures. A close disciple of Padmasambhava, he attained siddhi and could fly through the sky. Rigdzin Kunzang Sherab, the founder of the great Palyül Monastery in Kham, is considered one of his reincarnations. Gyalwa Jangchub means 'Victorious enlightenment.' (Also spelled Gyalwa Changchub) , co-author of Lady of the Lotus-Born. Recent incarnations include Jamme Lhamchog Tulku.
Gyalwa Choyang. Gyalwa Cho-Yang of Nganlam (ngan lam rgyal ba mchog dbyangs). A close disciple of Guru Rinpoche who attained accomplishment through the practice of Hayagriva and was later incarnated as the Karmapas. Born into the Nganlam clan in the Phen Valley, he took ordination from Shantarakshita in the first group of seven Tibetan monks. It is said that he kept his vows with utmost purity. Having received the transmission of Hayagriva from Padmasambhava, he practiced in solitude and reached the level of a vidyadhara. Gyalwa Cho-yang means 'Sublime voice of victory.' Recent incarnations include the Karmapa tulkus, Karma Chagme, Chagdud tulkus, Sang Ngak Rinpoche, Namkha Drimed .
Gyalwey Lodro of Drey ('bre rgyal ba'i blo gros). Beginning as Gönpo, a trusted attendant of Trisong Deutsen, he became one of the first Tibetans to take ordination, taking the name Gyalwey Lodrö, Victorious Intelligence. He became erudite in translation and attained accomplishment after receiving transmission from Hungkara in India. It is said that he visited the land of Yama, the Lord of the Dead, and saved his mother from the hell realms. After receiving teachings from Padmasambhava, he performed the feat of transforming a zombie into gold, some of which was later revealed in terma treasures. He achieved the vidyadhara level of longevity and is reputed to have lived until the era of Rongzom Pandita Chökyi Sangpo (rong zom chos kyi bzang po) (1012-1088), to whom he gave teachings. Gyalwey Lodrö means 'Victorious wisdom.' Alt: Gyalwey Lodro of Dré
  Jnanakumara of Nyak. Alias Bende Drimey Dashar (ban de dri med brda shar). Incarnated as the Dabzang Rinpoche tulkus.
  Kawa Paltsek (ska ba dpal brtsegs). Direct disciple of both Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita; important contributor to the translation of the Tibetan Tripitaka and the Nyingma Gyübum. Born in Phen Valley, he became an eminent translator in accordance with a prophecy by Padmasambhava, and was among the first seven Tibetan monks ordained by Shantarakshita. He received Vajrayana teachings from the great master Padma and attained unimpeded clairvoyance. Kawa is a place name and Paltsek means 'Mountain of resplendence.'
Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal, the princess of Karchen.
  Konchog Jungney of Langdro, Langdro Lotsawa. Könchok Jungney of Langdro (lang gro dkon mchog 'byung gnas). At first a minister at the court of Trisong Deutsen, he later became one of Padmasambhava's close disciples and attained accomplishment. The great tertöns Ratna Lingpa (1403-1471) and Longsal Nyingpo (1625-1692) are considered to be among his reincarnations. Könchok Jungney means 'Source of the Precious Ones.' Incarnations include Ratna Lingpa, and recently Jedrung Rinpoche (Trinley Jampey Jungney), Drubwang Tsoknyi, Kunzang Dechen Lingpa.
Lhapal the Sokpo. Padma Lhundrup Gyatso, the reincarnation of the Sokpo Lhapal, was the second throne-holder of Palyul monastery.
Namkhai Nyingpo of Nub (gnubs nam mkha'i snying po). Born in the district of Lower Nyal, he was one of the first Tibetans to take ordination. An adept translator, he journeyed to India where he received transmission from Hungkara and attained the body of nondual wisdom. Namkhai Nyingpo is also counted among the twenty-five disciples of Guru Rinpoche. Receiving the transmission of Vishuddha Mind, he became able to fly on the rays of the sun. When meditating in Splendid Long Cave of Kharchu at Lhodrak he had visions of numerous yidams and attained the vidyadhara level of mahamudra. Eventually he departed for celestial realms without leaving a corpse behind. Namkhai Nyingpo means 'essence of space.' Recent incarnations include Namkha Drimed
  Nanam Zhang Yeshe De (zhang sna nam ye shes sde). Nanam Yeshe, alias Yeshe Dey of Nanam (sna nam ye shes sde). Also known as Bandey Yeshe Dey of Shang (zhang gi bhan dhe ye shes sde). A prolific translator of more than 200 scriptures and a disciple of Padmasambhava, this learned and accomplished monk once exhibited his miraculous powers, attained through mastery of Vajra Kilaya, by soaring through the sky like a bird. Yeshe mean 'original wakefulness.'
  Palgyi Dorje of Lhalung. Palgyi Dorje (Wangchuk) of Lhalung alias Lhalung Palgyi Dorje (lha lung dpal gyi rdo rje). Born in Upper Drom, he served as a border guard but developed renunciation and together with his two brothers received ordination from Vimalamitra. He received the bodhisattva vow from Padmasambhava as well as empowerment and oral instructions in Vajrayana. He practiced meditation in the White Gorge of Tsib and at Yerpa, where he reached the accomplishment of being able to move freely through solid rock. Years later he assassinated the evil king Langdarma. Palgyi Dorje means 'Resplendent Vajra.' Among his reincarnations are the Drubwang Pema Norbu tulkus (Penor Rinpoche), Taklung Phakchok, Kusum Lingpa.
  Palgyi Senge of Lang (rlangs dpal gyi seng ge). His father was Amey Jangchub Drekhöl, a mantrika powerful enough to employ the eight classes of gods and demons as his servants. Palgyi Senge of Lang was one of the eight chief disciples of Padmasambhava when the empowerment of the Assemblage of Sugatas was conferred. He attained both the common and supreme accomplishments at Paro Taktsang through the practice of the Tamer of All Haughty Spirits. The Dzogchen Rinpoches are regarded as his reincarnations. Palgyi Senge means 'Glorious Lion.'
  Palgyi Wangchuk of Kharchen (mkhar chen dpal gyi dbang phyug). In the Sanglingma biography he is the father of Yeshe Tsogyal; elsewhere he is described as her brother, a close disciple of Padmasambhava who attained siddhi through the practice of Vajra Kilaya. Palgyi Wangchuk means 'Resplendent Lord.'
Palgyi Wangchuk of O-Dren ('o dran dpal gyi dbang phyug). A great scholar and tantrika, he attained siddhi through practicing Guru Drakpo, the wrathful aspect of Padmasambhava. Palgyi Wangchuk means 'Resplendent Lord.'
  Palgyi Yeshe (dpal gyi ye shes). Born into the Drogmi clan he was also known as Palgyi Yeshe of Drogmi. He was an adept translator and rendered numerous sutras and tantras into Tibetan including the Tantra of the Mother Deities Mamo. He received the transmission of the Mother Deities, from Padmasambhava and became an accomplished mantrika.
Rinchen Chok of Ma (rma rin chen mchog). Early Tibetan translator, among the first seven Tibetans to take ordination from Shantarakshita and the chief recipient of the Magical Net of Mahayoga. He is known for translating the Essence of Secrets Guhyagarbha Tantra, the chief tantra of Mahayoga. Through the teachings he received from Padmasambhava he attained the level of a vidyadhara. Rinchen Chok means 'Sublime Jewel.'
Sangye Yeshe of Nub (gnubs sangs rgyas ye shes). One of the twenty-five disciples of Padmasambhava, he was the chief recipient of the Anu Yoga teachings as well as the Yamantaka of Mahayoga. In addition to Guru Rinpoche, his other teachers were Traktung Nagpo and Chögyal Kyong of India, Vasudhara of Nepal, and Chetsen Kye from the country of Drusha. He visited India and Nepal seven times. When the evil king Langdarma attempted to destroy Buddhism in Tibet, Sangye Yeshe instilled fear in the king by causing an enormous scorpion, the size of nine yaks, to magically appear by a single gesture of his right hand. Through this, Langdarma lost the courage to persecute the Vajrayana sangha who dressed in white robes and kept long hair. Sangye Yeshe means 'Buddha Wisdom.' Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Padgyal Lingpa, Adeu Rinpoche, Barway Dorje.
  Shuwu Palgyi Senge. Palgyi Senge of Shubu (shud bu dpal gyi seng ge). One of the ministers of King Trisong Deutsen, sent among the first emissaries to invite Padmasambhava to Tibet. He learned translation from Padmasambhava and rendered numerous teachings of Mamo, Yamantaka and Kilaya into Tibetan. Having attained accomplishment through Kilaya and Mamo, he could split boulders and divide the flow of rivers with his dagger. Palgyi Senge means 'Glorious Lion.' His reincarnations include the great Tertön Mingyur Dorje of the Namchö tradition, and the Thrangu tulkus.
  Vairotsana. The great translator who lived during the reign of King Trisong Deutsen. Among the first seven Tibetan monks, he was sent to India to study with Shri Singha. Along with Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra, he was one of the three main masters to bring the Dzogchen teachings to Tibet. The Kongtrul incarnations, Minling Trichen, Zha Deu Trulshik Rinpoche, Shichen Vairo Tulku.
  Yeshe Yang of Ba (sba ye shes dbyangs). Tibetan translator predicted by Padmasambhava. The chief scribe for writing down the termas of Padmasambhava, he was an accomplished yogi, able to fly like a bird to the celestial realms. Also known as Atsara Yeshe Yang. Yeshe Yang means 'Melodious Wisdom.'
  Yudra Nyingpo of Gyalmo (g.yu sgra snying po). One of the twenty-five disciples of Guru Rinpoche; the reincarnation of Lekdrup of Tsang. Born in the region of Gyalmo Tsawarong, he was brought up by Vairochana and reached perfection in both learning and yogic accomplishment. He is counted among the 108 lotsawas and is one of the main lineage holders of the Mind Section of Dzogchen from the great translator Vairochana. Recent incarnations include Tersey Tsewang Norbu, Jigmey Norbu Rinpoche.
   
  other disciples at the time:
  Arye Sale, Acharya Salee. Recent incarnations include, Namkha Drimed, Jamme Lhamchog Tulku
  Tingdzin Zangpo, the Nyangben.
  Chokro Luyi Gyaltsen was an early Tibetan translator of great importance and one of the twenty-five disciples of Padmasambhava. He worked very closely with the great Indian masters Vimalamitra, Jnanagarbha, Jinamitra, and Surendrabodhi. He is very important to the continuation of the Vinaya lineage (monastic lineage) in Tibet. After attaining realization at Chuwori in central Tibet, he aided Padmasambhava in transcribing and concealing terma treasures. The great tertön Karma Lingpa (14th century) is regarded as a reincarnation of this great master.
  Prince Damdzin, Yeshe Rolpa Tsal. Recent incarnations include the Chokling tulkus, the Dodrupchen tulkus.
  Prince Mutri Tsenpo. Yongey Mingyur Dorje
  Princess Pema Tsal. Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, Gangteng Tulku
   
  Icons of the 25 disciples from a website in Germany -- it would be wonderful if someone could help put names to all of them.

 


 

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