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
Trisong Deutsen. The Khyentse incarnations: Dzongsar
Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, Dilgo Khyentse, Alak Zenkar, Dzongsar Khyentse
Norbu, Jigme Khyentse, Tulku Hungkar Dorje, Adzom Rinpoche .
Recent incarnations include Khenpo Ngagchung Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse
Bodhisattva, Shantarakshita. Recent incarnation include
Karmey Khenchen and Trulkshik Rinpoche.
||Denma Tsemang 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 . 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
||Gyalwa Choyang. Gyalwa Cho-Yang
of Nganlam .
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 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 . Incarnated as the Dabzang Rinpoche tulkus.
||Kawa Paltsek . 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.'
Yeshe Tsogyal, the princess of Karchen.
||Konchog Jungney of Langdro, Langdro
Lotsawa. Könchok Jungney of Langdro . 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
||Lhapal the Sokpo. Padma Lhundrup
Gyatso, the reincarnation of the Sokpo Lhapal, was the second throne-holder
of Palyul monastery.
||Namkhai Nyingpo of Nub . 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 . 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 . 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
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
great scholar and tantrika, he attained siddhi through practicing
Guru Drakpo, the wrathful aspect of Padmasambhava. Palgyi Wangchuk
means 'Resplendent Lord.'
||Palgyi Yeshe . 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 . 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.'
Yeshe of Nub . 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,
||Shuwu Palgyi Senge. Palgyi
Senge of Shubu .
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.
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 . 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
||Yudra Nyingpo of Gyalmo . 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
||other disciples at the time:
||Arye Sale, Acharya Salee.
Recent incarnations include, Namkha Drimed, Jamme
||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.
Damdzin, Yeshe Rolpa Tsal. Recent incarnations include
the Chokling tulkus, the Dodrupchen tulkus.
||Prince Mutri Tsenpo. Yongey
||Princess Pema Tsal. Thinley
Norbu Rinpoche, Gangteng Tulku
of the 25 disciples from a website in Germany -- it would be
wonderful if someone could help put names to all of them.