Pilgrimage to Zabbulung

From the Jnanasukha community:

When we visited Shang Zabbulung in western Tibet in 2009, the abbot requested that we translate the Pilgrimage Guide to Zabbulung.  This Tibetan text is a compilation of three texts.

A preliminary translation is now complete and we have 35 pages of wonderful information that we look forward to publishing later this year.  The following is an excerpt from the first text, which itself was extracted from the 60th chapter of Prophesies for Future Practice Places.  The speaker is Guru Rinpoche himself, advising King Drisong Detsen to practice in Shang Zabbulung:


“The sublime sacred place of Zabbulung is meaningful merely to see, hear about, think of, and touch … just seeing this place increases one’s happiness and virtuous practice.  One’s experiences and realization of meditative concentration are enhanced, positive conditions manifest spontaneously, wealth and good fortune increase, and one has numerous devoted celestial attendants.

Distractions are few, so one’s meditative concentration improves.  One is free of the eight fears, attendants gather, and all one’s wishes are fulfilled in accordance with the Dharma.  Like a fabulous wish-fulfilling jewel, whatever one needs and desires showers down like rain from the sky, and one’s fine qualities expand like the waxing moon.

The assemblies of outer and inner peaceful and wrathful deities dwell here, so it is equal to the twenty-four sacred lands.  Dakas and dakinis always gather here, so it is equal to the eight great charnel grounds.  All the buddhas of the three times watch over and bless this place, and its solid and enduring rocks are immutable, so it is the same as the center of the world, Bodhgaya.

Beings born here are noble Mahayana heroes and heroines, so it is equal to the Oddiyan Vajra Cave and to Mount Potala, which formed from light issuing from the ring of hair between the eyebrows of the Mighty Lord of the World, Avalokitesvara.  Numerous assemblies of Secret Mantra deities dwell there, making it equal to the actual Glorious Drepung.  The Wheel of Mahayana Dharma was turned there, so it is equal to the actual Vulture Peak Mountain.

The mountains are shaped like stupas, so it is equal to the actual Swayambunath.  At its center, there is a five-peaked white snow mountain, so it is equal to the actual Wu Tai Shan.  All classes of deity come before one to make offerings, so it is a spontaneously-accomplished Heaven of the Thirty-Three.

Mahayana Dharma activities are constantly maintained, so it is equal to Tushita Heaven.  Resouces and treasures are bountiful here and the local deities are strict, so it is equal to the Palace of Changlochen, the buddhafield of Vajradhara.

I, Padma, practiced here, so when beings of the future practice here, they will reach accomplishment . . . Surrounded by protective foothills and rocky mountains . . . it is a sacred hidden land. . . Water, wood, and resources are bountiful; whatever one needs abounds in this supreme sacred place. . . Awareness is clear and boundless.  This is the king of all practice places, and the banner of its renown pervades the ten directions.  If you stay at this supreme sacred place for SEVEN DAYS, you will be inseparable from me, Padma, so you will reach the Realm of Bliss in actuality.


  1. If you HEAR about the supreme sacred place of Zabbulung, you will be reborn having brought an end to cyclic existence.
  2. If you TOUCH the soil, stones, or wood from Zabbulung, you will be released from harm caused by minor elemental spirits.
  3. If you LAY EYES on the supreme sacred place of Zabbulung even once, you will perceive the truth of the first bodhisattva level.
  4. If you THINK of glorious Zabbulung, the mamos and dakinis will grant their accomplishments.


If you spend THREE days in glorious Zabbulung, you will be liberated from harm caused by subtle elemental spirits.  If you stay for FIVE days, psychotic episodes and fits will be dispelled.  If you stay for SEVEN days, leprosy and skin infections will be cured.  If you stay for NINE days, evil spells will be averted.  If you stay for ELEVEN days, subjugating activities will be accomplished.  If you stay for FOURTEEN days, magnetizing activities will be accomplished.  If you stay for SEVENTEEN days, enriching activities will be accomplished.  If you stay for TWENTY-FOUR days, pacifying activities will be accomplished.

If you stay for an ENTIRE MONTH, as soon as you cast off this body made of the four elements, you will reach buddhahood in the Realm of Bliss (Dewachen).  If you stay for a WHOLE YEAR, even if you were able to weigh them on a scale with Mt. Meru, the positive effects would be impossible to measure.


Even if you were able to count all the drops in the ocean, the positive effects of staying here would still be impossible to count.  The supreme sacred place of glorious Zabbulung is a palace of victorious great bliss.  Its fine qualities are difficult to describe or fathom—Sovereign King, do your practice here!”

All photos taken in 2009 at Shang Zabbulung; last photo is the Enlightenment Cave of Yeshe Tsogyal where she attained the rainbow body, as did her consort Atsara Sale.


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