Melodious and Delightful Laughter: A Clearly-Expressed Chronicle of the Sacred Site of Drakda Lamtso, the Life-Force Lake of Yéshey Tsogyel,
by Kelzang Lhündrub
Translated from the Tibetan by Erick Tsiknopoulos
Drakda Tsogyal Lamtso’i Nay kyi Logyü Selwar Jöpa Yangchhen Gyeypa’i Zhaydra Zheyjawa
One: The Way that this Life-Force Lake Was at the Time of the Jetsünma’s Birth
Two: The Way that the Sacred Site and its Holy Objects Were in the Past
Three: The Way that the Sacred Site and its Holy Objects are in the Present, and an Inclusion of a Final Summary as a Concluding Composition
Translator’s Acknowledgements and Thanks:
Special thanks for the the diligent translation assistance of Justin Kirkwood, as well as the informative clarifications by the Tibetan Buddhist scholar-monks of the Nyingma School, Khenpo Chöying, of Serthar Monastery, and Lobpön Sönam Gyaltsen, of Namdröling Monastery.
I would also like to thank Sangye Döndrub, of Kokonor Lake in Amdo, and Meyseb Norbu, of Meyseb Village in Amdo, for their insights on certain sections of the text.
I also pray that the instructions, example, and symbolism of Yeshe Tsogyal become an ever-encouraging source of inspiration to women who need powerful female spiritual role-models, and for both women and men wishing to deepen their experience of awakened female energy. Yeshe Tsogyal, as both individual and principle, has much to teach the modern world.
Any faults and mistakes are my own. I pray that the hosts of Dakinis will be patient!
By the merit of this work, may all beings caught in dualistic fixation come to release within the true nature of their own minds: the luminous expanse of the Mother Tsogyal!
-Erick Tsiknopoulos (Sherab Zangpo)
Melodious and Delightful Laughter:
A Clearly-Expressed Chronicle of the Sacred Site of Drakda Lamtso,
the Life-Force Lake of Yeshe Tsogyal
NAMO GURU JÑANAVARAYE!
The Queen of the All-Good Dharmakaya, Samantabhadri,
The Light-Giving Sun of the Spontaneously Accomplished Sambhogakaya, the Melodious Goddess Sarasvati,
Inseparable from them, the Sole Mother of the Land of Snows is the Princess of Kharchen:
To the exalted feet of Yeshe Tsogyal, from the heart I bow.
THROUGH THE THREE SECRETS’ PLAY OF MAGICAL ILLUSION, in the beginning, She was born, and the lake greatly expanded. This was the creation of this sacred site of Lamtso, the Life-force Lake of Tsogyal. Free from exaggeration, I shall express this honestly.
A little over 2000 human years ago, there came the arrival of the one known as the Great Master Padmasambhava, who on the three planes was free from opponents. He was one who waved his banner of fame and renown from the pinnacle of conditioned existence. He was a holder of the mantras of intrinsic awareness.
One of his primary consorts, the sole mother of all Victorious Ones, Vajravarahi, directly arrived as the one known as Yeshe Tsogyal. Her youthful beauty was ravishing, and she became possessed of uncontrived love and compassion towards all sentient beings. She came to know all of the subjects of the various fields of knowledge and science without effort. In this Land of Snows as well, for 211 years she brought peace and nurtured the happy way of life. For us, all of the people of the Tibetan race, she is our Mother, whose kindness is hard to measure.
Thus, it is her very Life-force Lake, Lamtso, which this chronicle will extensively recount.
There are three sections:
The Beginning: The Way that this Life-force Lake Was at the Time of the Jetsünma’s Birth
The Middle: The Way that the Sacred Site and its Holy Objects Were in the Past
The End: The Way that the Sacred Site and its Holy Objects are in the Present, and an Inclusion of a Final Summary as a Concluding Composition
From among those three, comes the first:
One: The Way that this Life-force Lake Was at the Time of the Jetsünma’s Birth
The Lord Manjushri, arriving in the form of a human, came as the 38th in the dynasty of Tibetan kings, the Dharma King Trisong Deutsen. He invited the great Indian master Maha-Acharya Padmasambhava himself to Tibet, in order to subdue the evil gods and demons of that country. In particular, so that he could listen to the ambrosial nectar of the Secret Mantra, he sent translator envoys and so on to India, and after manifold hardships, they made a formal request of invitation to the Great Master.
Although the Master eliminated the evil gods and demons, for the activity of spreading the Secret Mantra, he needed a spiritual consort of exalted form, endowed with the specific characteristics, who could be distinguished via the indications: one for whom the pristine cognition of great emptiness and great bliss was an experience of vivid clarity, and one for whom bliss and emptiness was an equality.
Seeing that in this country of Tibet, there was not a qualified spiritual consort who possessed all of those kinds of characteristics, the Great Master from Oddiyana searched in hundreds of nirmanakaya realms of experience for seven years, until finally, with a vajra song, he exhorted the Melodious Goddess, the bestower of all that is desired, the daughter of Brahma, Sarasvati herself. Through this, positive indications were attained that there was indeed one with the auspicious marks of perfection: the Great Jetsünmo of Unmatched Kindness herself, who had come to dispel the darkness of ignorance of this dark land of a shadowy primitive border country that was our Land of Snows.
Furthermore, as for the Jetsünmo Yeshe Tsogyal herself: in the middle of the Yo District, one of the four great districts of the land of Tibet, in a place close and to the right of the monastery of Samye, in the heights of the azure sky around Mount Lady Turquoise, the Goddess Turquoise Lamp without idleness drew the boundaries between good and bad in the Land of Turquoise .
To the left, on the utter peak of the pinnacle height of Mount King of Power, which is equal in blessing-power to the glorious mountain of Shri Parvata in India, the Greatly Accomplished One Vajravarahi and others displayed the dynamic power of their attainments. At the base of the mountain, there is a natural hot spring, which, like the ambrosial nectar of the Ganges River, clears away sickness and negative energies.
In brief, in the upper regions of the area known as Yorudrak, in the center of the land which had the wondrous Mountain of the Victorious Ones of the Three Lineages (in modern times, in the land of Tibet’s Lhokha region, in Dranang District’s Drakda County, this is known as Tsogyal Ling), which was akin to the location of Bedar in South India — it was here that there was the land of Kharchenpa, one of the Seven Vassal Kingdoms.
In this place where red and white sandalwood trees grew, as well as groves of aloe-wood flowers and others. In this splendid, colorful place of abundance and prosperity, the Father of the Kharchenpas, the Tibetan Lord Namri Songtsen, established a large center for the Bön religion.
His son was Kharchen the Younger, whose own son was Kharchen Dorje Gön, whose own son was Kharchen Pelgyi Wangchuk (who is also known by his other famous name, Namkha Yeshe Kyang), who was the father of the Jetsün herself.
Having been born there, when he came to the age of 15, he married a wisdom dakini named Getso, a lady from the Nub clan. Not long after having taken up all the responsibilities of his father, Dorje Gön, his father passed into peace.
Kharchen Pelgyi Wangchuk was inclined towards the Dharma, and although he previously was an upholder of the Bön religion, in accordance with the command of the World-King, “All those under my dominion must enter the Buddha-Dharma!”, he placed all of his subjects in the splendorous endowment of perfect bliss and happiness.
Gradually, the royal couple also had daughters: the eldest, Dechen Tso; and the middle, Nyima Tso.
After these two were born, finally, one evening, the father, Kharchen Pel Gyal, who had reached the age of 25, and his queen were playing together blissfully. At that time, in the Queen’s field of vision, from the east there came golden bees which were streaming from a lute and making a pleasing sound. They dissolved into the crown of the King’s head. The queen appeared as having three eyes to the visual perception of the King. An eight-year old girl holding a lute appeared next to him, saying:
AH AAH, I II, U UU, RI RII, LI LII, E EE, O OO, OM AH!
HRIH HRIH HRIH HRIH HRIH!
And saying it like that, she disappeared without a trace. At that very moment, the earth shook, there were rays of light, thunder and clamorous noise, and the spring that was next to the castle transformed into a divine lake.
Although that vision disappeared, they both received inconceivable auspicious omens. The next day, with the rise of dawn, a white girl they had never seen before, who looked like the daughter of a god, arrived at the palace, and said:
“In the palace of the Father King, the Buddha has arrived.
The Dharma has arrived.
The Sangha has arrived.
A LA LA!”
And saying this, she vanished without a trace.
Then, nine months later, a clear tone of vowel sounds, the mantra HRIH GURU PADMA VAJRA AH, and the tantras of the Secret Mantra resounded, mostly in Sanskrit. As was spoken from the mouth of the Jetsün herself:
In the Year of the Wooden Bird, Tsogyal was born.
In the Year of the Fire Female Bird, she met the Lord.
She spoke it in that way.
In the year 805 C.E. by foreign reckoning, the year of the Wooden Bird by Tibetan calculation, on the tenth day of the Monkey Month at sunrise, the Queen gave birth without any pain or problems whatsoever.
At that time as well, there were earth-quakes, the roars of thunder, a rain of falling flowers, and the divine Lake greatly expanded and overflowed.
At the edge of the Lake, unimaginable varieties of flowers appeared, all speckled with red and white. A dense web of five-colored rainbow light amassed around the palace, and innumerable other auspicious signs occurred.
As soon as the Jetsün herself was born, she recited the alphabet, and said, “Orgyen! Think of me!”, as she sat in half-lotus, with her knees planted on the ground.
The expression on her face looked vividly wakeful. Her exalted form not being tarnished by the stains of the womb, she was endowed with a reddish white complexion, and had a full set of teeth, white the color of conch-shell. She had deep blue hair which reached down to her waist.
Because of these things, the King said, “Since this daughter of mine is superior to others, she will either become an accomplished master in the Dharma or Bön traditions, or the wife of the World-King. Since when she was born the lake expanded, she shall have either the name “Tsogyay”, or “Tsogyal”. He spoke thus.
And so, the story of this Lake is not just mere exaggeration or a tall tale, as it is clearly stated in the Jetsün’s life-and-liberation story .
Although the Divine Lake only has a history of a mere 1,200 years, in the span of those mere 1,200 years, since it is a sacred place of worship and a place to be visited, holy people who abide in uprightness and the many multitudes of faithful ones have made pilgrimage to this place with intense devotion and respect, considering it to be precious.
As an aside, it is difficult to fathom the kindness of this Mother, who collected the unfathomably numerous Dharma-methods of Sutra and Tantra from our two teachers, and then concealed them in mountains and rocks. Still now, we can easily meet these with our own eyes. Just the kindness of this alone is hard to comprehend.
Particularly, the spread of the Secret Mantra teaching called Dzogchen in this snowy land of Tibet is the result of the kindness of just this Mother. This teaching, which does not require great effort or many eons of austere practice, shreds the root of conditioned existence just by hearing it. If cultivated, this profound Dharma, which can make the psycho-physical aggregates disappear without remainder, is greater than the wish-fulfilling gem or the udumvara flower .
This Mother, unable to tolerate how the protectorless and powerless of the Land of Snows were thrown into the swamp of suffering, gave clothes to those who desired clothes, fame to those desiring fame, reproach to those desiring reproach, eyes to those desiring eyes, legs to those desiring legs, and in brief, for 211 years, she continued to enact various deeds that were difficult to undertake.
Also, in later times, she arose in the form of Dakmèma, the wife of Marpa the Protector of Beings, the great translator, teacher of the Kagyu, and mind-emanation of Guru Padmasambava. She also arose as Machik Labdröl , Nangsa Ödbum, Padma Tsokyi, and others, and thus liberated all the protectorless of the Land of Snows from suffering. She also sent emanations to every land. In brief, as was stated directly from her exalted mouth:
“…a billion emanations will work for the benefit of beings.”
Now as well, in this dark time of the spreading of the five degenerations, out of the great love of her awakened mind she beholds all of us, the people of the Land of the Snows, and through various emanations, bestows the splendor of happiness and joy.
Two: The Way that the Sacred Site and its Holy Objects Were in the Past
In times past, the palace of glorious Kharchen’s king was extremely beautiful, colorful, like an excellent celestial palace, amazing, beautiful by way of its marvelous and particularly superior arrangement, abundant in riches, glory, and power. But in the middle period, due to the natural ways of conditioned existence, it was left as a mere name.
Later, though a small temple at the Life-Force Lake remained, as there was no good caretaker, the time came when the respect for the temple became poor. At that time, with great care from the government, a four-pillared temple, an outer wall, buildings and statues, thangkas, and so on were built. A new caretaker was placed at Jangchub Ling, and thereupon there arose an auspicious abundance of respect and veneration.
At that time, on the northwest side of the temple, there was a statue of the venerable goddess Mandarava, and on the left there was a standing Yeshe Tsogyal statue, holding a long life vase and a bandha. In the middle of the temple there was Oddiyana Who Overwhelms the World of Appearances and Possibilities. To the right, there was the Supreme Noble One, Natural Liberation from Suffering. To the left, there was a statue of the Supreme Bliss-Queen Tsogyal, the Honorable Lady, in standing position. Each one was beautified by their own symbolic attributes and adornments.
There was a statue of the Maha-Achyara, and to the left and right there were the Two Dakinis in half-lotus position. On the east and west sides there were two thousand well-made Amitabha and Vajrasattva cast statues.
When the Jetsün herself was born, a sandalwood tree grew in the place where the blood had fallen from the cutting of the umbilical cord. The naga king, Nanda, offered them a pillar of sandalwood from that very tree, which he had nurtured with the milk of the white lioness that is produced from a hundred kinds of distilled essences and the milk of the wish-fulfilling cow.
At the age of eight, she left a footprint. When the Jetsün herself had reached the mere age of ten, many kingdoms were competing for her, as her complexion and clear sense faculties had become like the daughter of a god.
Although Kharchupa won [the contest for her marriage], as the Jetsün herself did not want to go with him, she held tightly to a boulder, and she stayed stuck to the stone, unable to be pulled away. Then, the demonic minister Shantipa (this very demonic minister was later born in the Hell of Ceaseless Torment, and experienced inexhaustible suffering. The Jetsün herself, knowing this, out of the great compassion of her awakened mind, came to that land of an intolerable hell, staying there primarily for him, and led out all of the sentient beings without exception), hit her with a chain of iron thorns, and it was hard to endure; almost unbearable.
Relying on faith, she stuck to the rock, and on that boulder she made impressions, like feet stomping in mud, and hands mashing dough.
Not only that, but there was also the foot-print of a wisdom dakini which was brought from Drakrong Bagkar by Trulshik Shata. There was also a custom of offering the water of the Life-Force Lake in front of the temple.
From Je Gang’s biography:
….”The decoding of the symbolic script of the Dakini Queen of Supreme Bliss also occurred at the Life-Force Lake of Tsogyal.”
Later, the Omniscient Jigme Lingpa offered a jeweled-wheel and a white silk scarf to the Lake, and focused his awakened mind. From the heart of the Self-Arising Dakini of Basic Space shone forth ungraspable termas, in the form of indicative symbolic script. These symbols were marked with the seal of secrecy within the expanse of his awakened mind for five days.
Later, when he was in the Fortress and The Crystal Cave, its meaning was definitively ascertained. These instructions, known as the Longchen Nyingtik and the Solitary Vajrayogini Sadhana, have now spread to all worthy vessels in every land of upper and lower Tibet.
The way the dakinis’ symbolic writing appeared from the Life-Force Lake is clearly shown in the spiritual biographies of the Lord’s guru, Lama Zungkar, Terchen Orgyen Drimey Lingpa, his son Dawe Özer, and our own lord and protector, fourth in the patriarchal line from Je Gang, master of the five sciences without exception, the Great Mahapandita Jampa Lodrö Zangpo.
As for the prophecies of the happiness and suffering that has come and is yet to come to the Land of Snows, which appeared to many of those with pure karma, they are only straightforward and honest utterances.
Also, at the bank of the Life-Force Lake, there is the Dakini’s Life-Force Tree, and an impression of Jigme Lingpa’s fist. Outside the wall to the southwest, in the middle of the meadow, is a boulder. On the northwest side of the boulder are the hand and footprints of the Dakini.
If you go a bit to the west, there is the Secret Stream of the Dakini’s Breast. Its water is cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and ever-flowing. Just by tasting it, your temporary sicknesses, negative energies, destructive actions, and obscurations are cleared away, and ultimately, there being no need to go to the lower realms, you attain omniscience.
In brief, it is a marvelous, incredible, supreme stream, with water endowed with the eight qualities of pure water.
Furthermore, as the Master Scholar of Definitive Meaning, the Lord and Protector Jampa Lodrö illustrates in his Naturally True Praises of the Holy Sites:
The Secret Stream of the Dakini’s Breast flows,
Cool in summer, warm in winter, endowed with the eight qualities,
And unceasing: a greatly beneficial and joyful thing for beings to behold.
E MA! The sky-blue Divine Lake splishes and splashes,
The Divine Tree’s trunk extends like a lotus, extensively,
With hand-prints and foot-prints are the Divine Rocks fuller than full,
The Dakini of Unexcelled Accomplishment’s profound Dharma pervades and pervades…
A HO! Such a place is Drakda…!
That was how he expressed it.
Three: The Way that the Sacred Site and its Holy Objects are in the Present, and an Inclusion of a Final Summary as a Concluding Composition
Furthermore, similar to what has been stated above, at the Abode of the Wisdom Dakinis, this Life-Force Lake itself, there arose an auspicious abundance of respect and veneration, after the government’s order to place a caretaker at Jangchub Ling. But due to the barbaric actions of the Cultural Revolution, like the severe losses that occurred nationwide, the Life-Force Lake too fell into great decline.
The subjects of this land were forced to destroy the temple and all of its representations of enlightened form, which they threw into the Life-Force Lake. Then, for more than ten years, the lake was like a cesspool.
Then, once again, the sun-rays of the all-benefiting Sacred Dharma shone from behind the clouds, and renovations began at the monastery, which had been mostly destroyed. A great many of the citizens of the area have faith in the Dharma, and remembering her actions, they are extremely devoted to this Mother of Great Kindness in particular. Since this was the case, they were all in accord, without debate, in their wish to restore this holy place.
This restoration coincided with the arrival to the Land of Drak of the great holder of the Ngagyur Nyingma teachings, Tulku Sang-ngak, who was coming on pilgrimage. Rinpoche himself and others offered as much support as they were able. They built anew the temple and the statues of the Triad of the Guru and His Two Consorts, and cleaned the lake.
Following this, in the year 1992 by the Western calendar, the magical emanation of the great Supreme Lady Jetsünmo Yeshe Tsogyal, Tare Lhamo, from the region of the Blue Lake of Kokonor in Amdo, whose great enlightened deeds pervaded the lands of China, Kham, Tibet and others, dissolved finally into minute particles within the Rainbow Body.
This Dakini that I am writing about, in connection with her pilgrimage in Ü-Tsang and elsewhere which was based on indications from scripture, came to the Life-Force Lake of Tsogyal, together with many attendants, and stayed here for seven days.
At that time, a five-colored tent of rainbow light appeared, and so on, and in the vision of the Venerable Lady Tare Lhamo, the eyes of the statue of Yeshe Tsogyal moved, the expression on her face changed, and other events occurred. The people of that area in their entirety received many Dharma teachings, long life and Vajrayogini empowerments, and others [from her]. Her two main students, Dorje La and Arga La, both respectfully followed her order to restore the monastery. The two of them invited five religious painters from Samye monastery, who made the finely produced statues and so on of Natural Liberation from Suffering, Vajravarahi, and Vajrayogini.
In brief, the way that the sacred site and its holy objects are in the present time is as follows:
In the middle of the assembly hall, to the right of Oddiyana who Overwhelms the World of Appearances and Possibilities, there is the Divine Lady Mandarava and Natural Liberation from Suffering. The impressions which she left on the boulder, like feet stamping in mud and hands kneading dough, are still there. There are now 500 well-made cast statues of Vajrasattva. To the left, there is the Queen Mother of Supreme Bliss, the Noble Lady Tsogyal, and Vajravarahi. There is the pillar made from the sandalwood tree that was nurtured with milk. There is the torma box of the Three Roots , the foot-print of the Wisdom Dakini, and the Stupa of Enlightenment. There are the supports for enlightened speech: the complete Kangyur of the Victorious One, and the extensive, medium, and condensed Prajña-paramita Sutras. Also, there are wall paintings of the Nyingma Forefathers: the Abbot Shantarakshita, the Acharya Padmasambhava, and the Dharma King Trisong Deusten; the Father and Two Sons of the Ganden Tradition ; the Three Founders of the Kagyu: Marpa, Milarepa, and Gampopa; the form of Yeshe Tsogyal known as Ting Öd Barma in the four colors of white, yellow, red, and green; the Teacher and his Main Disciples ; and the Protectors of the Three Lineages: the entire divine host of Dharma protectors and guardians. All these were made by the aforementioned Dorje La.
Next to the door, to the left, there is an enlightenment stupa which wasn’t there before, that was funded by the Gowang and built by Tselseb Tulku, Gyurme Jangchub Dorje. Near there, the Life-Force Lake’s Divine Tree and the impression from Jigme Lingpa’s fist remain undamaged. Not only that, but the Secret Stream of the Dakini remains, intact.
And although it was said that the hand- and foot-prints on the northwest side of the boulder were extremely clear, during the time of the Cultural Revolution, some people who were staying in the area set off some explosives on top of it, and so now, they are not so clearly visible.
In the monastery, first Ngödrub, and then the Powerful Lord of Realization, Penpa La, acted as the shrine-keeper. Now, a nun, who is one of the five kinds of dakinis, acts as the manager of the monastery. They perform the rituals of the tenth and twenty-fifth days of the month, and in continuation of the tradition, they study The Words of My Perfect Teacher, Patrul Rinpoche’s teachings on the preliminary practices, The Thirty-Seven Bodhisattva Practices, and others, as well. They also perform the five hundred-thousand accumulations and purifications of the ngöndro practices.
Monastic rooms were also built at first by the Dakini Tare Lhamo, as well as an assembly hall. Later, through the money collected from the nuns’ begging, there are presently six rooms, together with a four-pillared cooling-house. Although previously the wall wasn’t very extensive, it is currently quite vast, and the area inside the wall is bright with many different kinds of flowers, pure in substance and magnificent, like the excellent abodes of the god-realms.
In brief, in the present time as well, there are the extremely precious and ancient religious supports of previous times: the foot-prints left by the Wisdom Dakini when she reached the age of eight, the mark where the sandalwood tree grown with milk stood, the prints which were left in the boulder like the kneading of dough and the stomping of mud, together with the Secret Stream of the Dakini.
We presently have the meritorious and fortunate opportunity to be able to encounter these extremely precious things, which have not become degenerate in more than 1,200 years.
Many great beings of the Ngagyur Nyingma tradition have graced this Life-Force Lake of Lamtso. In particular, in this, the final times of the degenerate age, the regent of Padmasambhava, Dilgo Khyentse, the Supreme One Gone to Bliss, who greatly revived the complete teachings of the Victorious One, and in particular the dying embers of the Early Translation School’s teachings of Secret Mantra, visited here one time before the Cultural Revolution.
After that, in accordance with the earnest command of our Supreme Refuge and Protector, Rigdzin Yidzhin Norbu of Dordrak, who in 1991 said, “Please look after and take of this Life-Force Lake!”, after the Supreme Refuge and Protector came to the Lake in 1995, out of the broad and bold sublime vision of his awakened intellect he arranged for the placement of a new shrine-keeper, and performed a consecration ceremony and other rituals.
Furthermore, it is said that all of the Refuge and Protectors’ students, as well as the devoted lady by the name of Sönam, the one by the name of Gen Sangye, and others, acted as sponsors for the new wall, thoroughly cleaned the Lake well, and built mani-wheels around the circumference of the Lake.
Within this small country known as Drak, there is the solitary retreat place of the Great Master from Oddiyana, Drak Yangdzong. The Great Master from Oddiyana stayed there, engaged in the three year, three month, and three day retreat. Because of its stunning placement, it is extremely beautiful. If you visit this place three times, then if even if you are a person of great negativity, you will attain a human rebirth. This was said directly from the exalted mouth of Padmasambhava himself.
Close to there, the 4th Dordrak Rigdzin, the Powerful Lord of the Supreme Vehicle, Lobzang Pema Thrinley, through his magical emanation as a white vulture, opened the way to a new sacred site.
Not only that, but there is also an excellent place covered by one hundred-thousand enlightened forms, a wondrous array, in numbers difficult-to-fathom, of uncountable self-arisen forms of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. This place is known as Dzong Ku Bum, the Fortress of the One-Hundred Thousand Enlightened Forms.
If you visit this excellent place three times, it is like circumambulating Tsa Ri one time. The Great Master from Oddiyana lived here for one year, as well.
Since I was fifteen, I have been able to visit many rare-to-encounter wondrous places, like Dzong Padma Tse, a place discovered by the Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal after transforming into a marmot, and I have gone to many areas in Tibet such as Lhoka, Kongpo, Tsang, Nakchu, and Chamdo, the blue lake of Kokonor, Szechuan, and many areas of China. I’ve had the experience of going on pilgrimage for five years, but until now I haven’t had the good fortune to visit this wondrous and excellent place of great blessings.
They say that usually, when those with faith in the Great Master from Oddiyana leave this place, on the basis of their strong devotion, they feel that Guru Rinpoche really is Buddha. When those without faith leave this excellent place too, they are powerless but to generate faith. This was just a little extra story on the side.
As for one specific thing I need to say here, although some ignorant and deluded people name various locations as Mother Tsogyal’s birthplace, The Middle-Length Life and Liberation, a treasure-text revealed by Samten Lingpa; the various treasure-texts of Dorje Lingpa; Yeshe Tsogyal’s Life and Liberation, a treasure text received from Taksham Dorje, and scripture and reasoning all accord that only this is the place.
Also, the foundation of the palace is clearly visible, and moreover, the Secret Stream is clearly there as an object of one’s direct eye-perception. So I humbly request: please don’t foolishly and insistently deny this!
In the beginning, this was an excellent abode finely ornamented by beautiful trees. The King and Queen of powerful and elegant lineage, and the magnificent and massive palace, as well captivated the Lady Sarasvati, the daughter of Brahma. She turned her back on of the Field of Great Bliss, the source of all that is desired, and placed an aspiration in her heart to come to this excellent abode [of Drakda Lamtso].
In the middle time, the magical dance of Samantabhadri, the sole mother of the Victorious Ones of the three times, Sarasvati the Melodious Goddess entered the womb as the Mother Tsogyal herself. The earth quaked, a rain of flowers fell, and rainbow-colored light completely enveloped the area. Because of these signs, the Naga King found great faith in the Supreme Lady, and came to this land from the Naga Kingdom.
In the end, fortunate people of great merit, not only from Tibet, but also China, India, Nepal, and others from many different lands, upon hearing of the good qualities of this place, out of a faith of intense devotion and yearning, completely disregard their own weariness, and are overjoyed and delighted when they receive the fortunate chance to visit this excellent place, which liberates upon seeing. E MA HO!
Our Supreme Teacher, The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel , once said:
“Offering to me and offering to my likeness: these two are of equal merit, and equal result.”
Those of intelligence who circumambulate these excellent and important sacred sites will thoroughly collect the positive potential of the two accumulations, without toil, and will go to great enlightenment: the Dominion of Dharmakaya.
And so, O diligent and determined ones, you must go!
With a totally pure and altruistic attitude, I, just a little boy, not just a few times, but again and again for a hundred aeons supplicate! Without thoughts of praise, fame, respect, or material gain, but through extreme devotion to this Kind Mother, I composed this to heal my vajra brothers and sisters of similar fortune.
Although the composition of this text was done with joy, faith, and enthusiasm, in this final time of the spreading of the five degenerations, the pale green light of the Scholars and Siddhas is trapped in the clouds. In this time, when the masses of mixed-up foxes pose as lions, could just writing this be of even a little benefit?
However, I composed this to accomplish the wish of my Vajra Sister who requested it. This text is not tainted by the fault of self-fabrication. By the virtue of this honest composition, may we all swiftly encounter the beautiful face of the Incredibly Loving Supreme Lady, the Mother Tsogyal!
The manager of this place beautified by excellent virtuous behavior, the honorable Sister Samten, said that many interested pilgrims were saying that they needed a guidebook for this sacred site, and also that no one has come forth who can tell the clear history of this supreme place of benefit, with all the facts gathered together.
Therefore, since you asked me to please write a book like this, and time and time again gave me many polite requests, I couldn’t refuse. By means of the texts of praise to this Life-Force Lake composed by some past scholars, and through my own actually going there, asking some of the elders who know the history, and detailed examination of how these holy objects are in the present, this composition is not even minutely tainted by the fault of self-fabrication.
This text was written in the year 2003, on the 15th day of the 17th cycle of the Tibetan calendar, the Water-Sheep Year, by the ignorant and deluded mere reflection of a Dharma practitioner, Kunzang Drodül, commonly called Kelzang Lhundrub. May this be of some small benefit to all destitute and downtrodden beings like myself!
Erick Tsiknopoulos (b. 1981) is an American translator of Tibetan, a scholar, researcher and postgraduate student in Buddhist Studies, a teacher and tutor of Tibetan language, a writer and editor, a voracious reader in various subjects, and an experienced world traveler. He is the founder and primary Tibetan translator of the Sugatagarbha Translation Group, and the creator of their main website, Tibetan-Translations.com, which currently features English translations of over 400 Tibetan texts. Many of his translations have been published in various forms, including as books.
He has been a student of Buddhism since 1999, a student of Tibetan Buddhism since 2003, and a student of Tibetan language since 2005. He has been translating Tibetan texts into English since 2007, has been based in India and Nepal studying Tibetan language and Buddhism intensively and translating Tibetan texts since 2008, and has been working professionally as a Tibetan-English translator and interpreter since 2009.
He is available for contact via email at: EmptyElephant@yahoo.com and SugatagarbhaTranslations@gmail.com