Tag Archives: Jnanasukha

Pilgrimage to Tibet


Message from Dechen Yeshe Wangmo:

Dear Sangha,

Today, on Dudjom Rinpoche’s 30th Parinirvana Anniversary, I’m happy to announce my July 2017 Pilgrimage to Tibet! This year, we’re returning to Lhasa, Tsogyal Latso and Samye but then we’re venturing west to Everest, Kailash and Lake Manasarovar!

Everything’s in place for a sacred 19-days in Tibet for 12 pilgrims, including myself and Dechen Chodon, pilgrimage manager and trip leader.

Everything’s on the website at www.sangha-journeys.com

Everything’s ready to assist you in making this journey if it’s right for you!

Where are we going?
Lhasa (Jokhang, Ramoche, Potala, Lukhang), Tsetang Tsechu Stupa, Samye, Tsogyal Latso, Yamdrok Turquoise Lake, Gyanste Kubum Stupa, Shalu, Rong Puk, Mt. Everest Base Camp, Mt. Kailash (3-day circumambulation), Manasarovar Lake and Guge Kingdom!

Don’t delay. There’s early bird pricing!

Head-on over to the website and let us know if we can be of assistance

Tashi Delek!
Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo
PS: Don’t miss the Full Itinerary —detailed descriptions and photos to enjoy!



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Heartbeat of the Dakini

The following was taken from the Jnanasuka newsletter:

Tsogyal Latso, in the valley of Drak on the north shore of the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra River in southern Tibet, is the birthplace of Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal, the mother of Tibetan Buddhism.  Yeshe Tsogyal was the speech emanation of Vajra Varahi.  She lived in the eighth and ninth centuries as the disciple and consort of Padmasambhava, the great Indian master who brought Secret Mantra (Vajrayana) Buddhism to Tibet.

She was entrusted with all of Padmasambhava’s teachings which she committed to memory.  She was also the chosen custodian of his treasure transmission or terma.  Her biography is available in English as Mother of Knowledge and Lady of the Lotus Born.

At the time of her birth, a nearby small lake that had existed in antiquity and had been frequented by the goddess Sarasvati, increased in size and overflowed.  Seeing this remarkable event, her father declared:

Since, when she was born the lake expanded, she shall have the name Tsogyal, Queen of the Lake.

The sacred site of Tsogyal Latso has always been a revered place of worship and pilgrimage.  In the 18th century, Rikdzin Jigme Lingpa stayed overnight at Tsogyal Latso. He slept leaning against a tree and in the morning, he saw the impression of his back on the tree.  Then in the next moment, he saw, rippling in its waters, a vision of Yeshe Tsogyal in the form of Yumkha Dechen Gyalmo.  His mind was imprinted with a secret dakini script he later decoded into the Longchen Nyingtik Yumkha Dechen Gyalmo.

“Master Padmakara took as his consort and support for sadhana the sixteen-year-old goddesslike daughter of Palgyi Wangchuk of Kharchen with the name Lady Tsoygal of Kharchen.  She was endowed with the nature of a wisdom dakini.  They remained in the profound meditation practice of Secret Mantra in the gathering hall of dakinis at the Tregu Cave of Chimphu.”  — The Lotus-Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava

Tsogyal Latso is a revered sacred site for the Nyingma.  In the eighth century, Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal was born there and a long, long time ago, it was the abode of Vajra Varahi and Saraswati.  At Tsogyal’s birth, a spring-fed lake spontaneously expanded in size and a naga chief offered her a pillar from a sandalwood tree grown with special elixirs.

In time, the lake became known as a visionary lake. Both the lake and the tree are called la in Tibetan culture–natural forces that sustained and continue to sustain Yeshe Tsogyal’s vitality and presence in the world.  Hence the name of her birthplace–Tsogyal Latso, Life-Supporting Lake of Tsogyal.  We should also mention the two springs that flow with her secret breast milk  and are banked with white flowers that bloom in winter.  Unbelievably, all this has survived the trials of time and tragedy!

It should be no surprise that Tsogyal’s birthplace is so extraordinary.  Ultimately, she is the mother or source of enlightenment, great emptiness herself.  And on the path to enlightenment, she is the enlightened feminine principle, the wisdom dakini who is our direct line to Guru Padmasambhava’s teachings.  Furthermore, in these deeply troubled times, she is the force behind inconceivable activities that benefit beings.

The Tsogyal Latso Fund:

$22,326 raised since 2009
135 donors

To see more beautiful photos click here:  2010 Tsogyal Latso

Please bring the benefit of the nuns into your life by supporting theirs!  Make a Connection

It’s now possible to connect with Tsogyal Latso in Tibet and the nuns living there.  Whether you shop, donate, or stay in touch — you ensure that the birthplace of Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal and the nuns are cared for.

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King Trisong Detsen

Today, the Jnanasukha March issue of the Dakini Day news had an interesting article on one of the great dharma kings of Tibet.  This was a very interesting biography to read:

The second of the three most famous Dharma Kings was Trisong Detsen.  In fulfillment of a prophecy, King Trisong Detsen (790-844) ascended to the throne at the age of thirteen, four generations after Songtsen Gampo.

Across the board, he is recognized as the monolithic force that established Buddhism as the state religion of Tibet.  Traditionally, this achievement is linked to his partnership with Shantarakshita and Padmasambhava, such that the three are referred to as khen lob cho sum — the Scholar Shantarakshita, the Dharma Master Padmasambhava, and the Dharma King Trisong Detsen.

There are Dunhuang manuscripts which recount the glory of King Trisong Detsen’s activities in establishing the complete traditions of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet.

King Trisong Detsen’s mother was Chinese.  Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal was one of his five wives.  He had three sons who were devoted to Padmasambhava and one daughter, Pema Sel, who was restored to life at the age of eight by Padmasambhava, who entrusted her with the Great Perfection cycle of Khandro Nyingthik.  She later incarnated as Terton Pema Ledreltsal (13th century), Longchenpa (14th century), and Terton Padma Lingpa (15th century).

In pursuit of his spiritual intentions, the King sought out many Buddhist teachers in China, Nepal, and India.  Most notably, at age twenty, he sent Jnanakumara to fetch Shantarakshita (aka Khenpo Bodhisattva), the abbot of Nalanda, and to bring back the heisted Shakyamuni statue.  When he tried to build a great temple like Odantapura in India, he met with heavy opposition from Bon practitioners, his ministers, and one of his own wives.  The spirits of Tibet were also very displeased and to retard any progress in the construction of Samye, they embarked on a campaign of daily natural disasters such as disease, floods, storms, famines.

On Shantarakshita’s recommendation, the King sent five envoys to escort Padmasambhava, the Oddiyana vidyadhara, to central Tibet to deal with the disruptive situation.  According to His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, Padmasambhava came to Tibet in the Iron Tiger Year of 810.  Some say he was already 1,000 years old.  In any case, Padmasambhava subdued the spirits and bound them to serve the Buddhist doctrine and its followers.  As a result, the great temple of Samye, Sublime Palace of Inconceivable Self-Manifestation, was completed in five years.  It is said that during the consecration of Samye, the statues walked around discussing the Dharma!

Thereafter, using his wealth and power, King Trisong Detsen proceeded to systematically institutionalize Buddhism.  At Samye, he hosted the famous several year-long debates between Indian and Chinese Buddhism, after which he declared Indian Buddhism to be the official religion of Tibet (792).  He requested Shantarakshita to conduct the first monastic ordination ceremonies for monks and nuns.  He gathered exceptional translators such as Vairotsana, Kawa Paltsek, Chokro Lui Gyaltsen, and others to translate both sutra and mantra teachings from Sanskrit into Tibetan.  He brought a hundred and eight great Indian scholars, such as Vimalamitra and Buddhaguhya, to Tibet.  He sent others to India to receive and bring back teachings from great masters such as Shri Singha and Humkara.

He himself requested Padmasambhava to bestow the first tantric empowerment in the caves of Chimphu above Samye.  The King was the only one of Guru Rinpoche’s twenty-five mahasiddha disciples who did not attain the rainbow body.  However, he composed Dharma texts and is known for his mastery of Chemchok Heruka.

On a mundane level, he made his country prosperous and, through military exploits, he made Tibet into a superpower.  Through a treaty with the Chinese, he obtained the Lake Kokonor region (Amdo).  He ruled Kashmir, formed an alliance with Siam, and tried to expand westward into Arab lands.  In Lhasa, there is a pillar that pays homage to his military glory.

His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche said, with tears in his eyes, that:

“If one were to fill every canyon, every gorge, every hole on earth with gold as high as Mount Meru, not even a fraction of the kindness of King Trisong Detsen could be repaid!”

His death was predicted by Vairotsana whom the King, under pressure from his xenophobic ministers, had, at one time, banished from central Tibet.  Among his rebirths are Nyang Rel Nyima Ozer, Guru Chowang, Jigme Lingpa, and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.  He is considered an emanation of Manjushri.

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