Chogyur Lingpa, One of the Great Tertons

December 11th

Today we finished the abhishekas for the sadhanas combing the three roots and moved to the empowerments for the sadhanas related to the guru, the source of blessings. This section is divided into many parts starting with the outer practices, supplications to Padmasambhava as an outer figure. There was one empowerment related to this section, drawn from the very famous terma cycle discovered by Chogyur Lingpa, the Barche Kunsel, Eliminating All Obstacles. Students of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, whose reincarnation was enthroned last month, will be familiar with this text. Receiving the Barche Kunsel was particularly significant for Jamgon Kongtrul the Great because at this time he recognized Chogyur Lingpa to be Guru Rinpoche in person. Around that time in his life, Jamgon Kongtrul was afflicted by a form of seemingly incurable leprosy affecting his eye. Chogyur Lingpa gave him a meditation practice to do for this and the disease disappeared with no medical explanation.

The lungs for this section of the Rinchen Terdzo contain a very famous terma, set of supplications known as The Seven Chapters. One section of this text is already well known to the Shambhala community as it is has been popularized by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche as the ‘Guru Rinpoche Song’. A prose translation of this can be found in the supplications for the long Vajrakilaya sadhana as well as in public translations. The Seven Chapters in their entirety are included Sogyal Rinpoche’s beautiful two-language publication of all the major Nyingma supplications titled (I think) A Great Rain Of Blessings. At the end of the day we moved to a preliminary abhisheka for the next series of empowerments related to the guru, the inner practices.

Chogyur Lingpa (1829-1870) is one of the most remarkable figures in the Rime movement of the 19th century. He was friend as well as both teacher and student to Jamgon Kongtrul the Great who put the Rinchen Terdzo together, and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo who traveled all over Tibet to gather the many nearly extinct termas and transmissions included in the collection. In Chogyur Lingpa early years he studied extensively with Drukpa and Kagyu masters as well as with teachers from Surmang.
Throughout his life Chogyur Lingpa experienced many visions, direct experiences deities, and performed many miracles. One amazing about thing about him was that he revealed many termas in full view, sometimes in front of hundreds of people. On one occasion he flew to the ceiling of a cave and publically removed objects from solid rock. On another he pulled a vajra, a ritual scepter, half-way out of solid rock leaving in part way in so people could see what was happening.

Chogyur Lingpa was very renowned during his lifetime and many of his termas are included in the Rinchen Terdzo. He upheld and transmitted most of the kama lineages, discovered many terma objects and medicines including more than one hundred statues of Guru Rinpoche and relics belonging to the Indian siddhas, spread a large number of rediscovered termas (yangters), revealed mind termas (termas that arise solely in the mind of the terton), had pure visions of the deities, recalled his former lives and transmitted teachings from those lives with great clarity, and could visit Padmasambhava in a pure realm and converse with him as though in person. In short, he was one of the most amazing people you could ever hope to meet. At the time of his passing in 1870 there were many signs, including earthquakes and rainbows.

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