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