Lineage

Introduction Some words about lineages
Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche The founder of the society
Rigdzin Godem Master of the Norther Teachings (Byangter)
Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche Throneholder of Dorje Drak Monastery (Byangter)
Khordong History A Brief History Of Khordong Monastery
Khordong Lineage. Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche and the Khordong Lineage
Northern Treasures The Byangter of Rigdzin Godem

Introduction

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To understand the different systems of lineages one generally has to distinguish two different kinds; the transmission or tradition lineage and the incarnation or tulku lineage.

The transmission lineage is that of a teaching, the direct transmission of a particular meditation practice or a whole meditation system, from the master to his successor. Knowing these lineages, it is possible to see the way a practice has been kept and upheld through the centuries. The oral transmissions are important in upholding the authentic teachings of Tibet: perhaps because they do not depend only upon scholarship, or received knowledge, they help to maintain the freshness and vividness of these teachings.

The incarnation lineage does not depend on reincarnation as all ordinary beings experience it. A tulku is the intentional incarnation of an high master who does this with the motivation to benefit all living beings. These incarnations are found usually through prediction and signs.

The Byangter lineage is the tradition of the Northern (Byang) Treasures (gTer). Rigdzin Godem, who rediscovered them in the 14th century, was an incarnation of Nanam Dorje Dudjom, one of the closest disciples of Padmasambhava (one of "the happy circle of five"). These "Northern Treasures" have been transmitted through different lines until today. Dorje Drag (rDo rJe Brag) is a rock in the natural form of a Vajra on the north bank of the river Brahmaputra in central Tibet, in the location of which a monastery was founded which became the main place for practicing this tradition.

Rinpoche

H.H. Khordong Terchen Tulku Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche is the traditional holder of the Khordong lineage. The Khordong monastery (Gompa) was founded in Kham, Trehor (East Tibet) by Sherab Mebar who was a disciple of the fifth Dalai Lama. Most of the terma of the Khordong tradition were found in the 19th century by Khordong Terchen Nudan Dorje Drophan Lingpa Drolo Tsal. He was recognised as the incarnation of Khyechung Lotsawa, a direct disciple of Padmasambhava. Nudan Dorje lived for most of his life in East Tibet, and his later years at the Khordong Gompa. Chhimed Rigdzin was the present incarnation of Nudan Dorje after Kalden Lingpa.

Different practices may have their own transmission lineages; for example, H.H. Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche received a big text for the deity Sengdongma according to the system of Kalden Lingpa, from Dechen Dorje, who was a monk of Khordong Gompa.

Termas (tib., treasures) are, amongst other things, scripts which were hidden by Padmasambhava in the 8th. century in Tibet and other places. One reason for this was to give later generations authentic texts of the time. His closest disciples were often instructed to discover them in their later incarnations, as has happened in the Khordong and Byangter traditions. (for further information see "The Hidden Treasures" by Tulku Thondup)

The first terma of Nudan Dorje was the "Vidyadhara Guru Sadhana" which is the central part of the teaching of Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche, and which is frequently practised on retreats with him. Nudan Dorje practised this Sadhana for many years alone before he transmitted it. A prediction said that this practice should be practiced secretly for five generations before it now can be spread. Kalden Lingpa and Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche received the same terma independently of each other.


Khordong Terchen Tulku Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche

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H.H Khordong Terchen Tulku Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche, also known to many as C.R Lama, was one of the highest Nyingmapa Lamas of his time. He was born in 1922 in the Kham Region of Tibet. When he was 4 years old, several prominent Lamas, among them H.H. The 13th Dalai Lama, H.H. Minling Trichin and H.H. The Sakya Trizin confirmed that Chhimed Rigdzin is the 4th incarnation of the great Teton Nudan Dorje Drophan Lingpa. The lineage of Nudan Dorje begins with Shariputra, one of the main disciples of Lord Buddha, and went on to Humkara, the pupil of Garab Dorje, and Khyechung Lotsawa, one of Padmasambhava's 25 main disciples.

Rinpoche Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche was installed on the throne of the Khordong Monastery in Kham, Tibet at the age of 4. He was educated in Mandala, Grammar, Philosophy and Tantra. At the age of 7 he began to exhibit many miracles. It is said, that he left footprints in a rock and crushed a rock with his bare hand. Also at 7 he discovered his first Terma, a hidden text written by Padmasambhava in the 8th century.

Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche completed his education at the age of 19 with the degree of Dorje Lopön Chenpo (Mahavajracharya), a title that is comparable to that of a doctorate. Then, on the advice of his Guru Tulku Tsurlo, he left the monastery to enter into the traditional three year retreat at Tso Pema. Following that, he visited all the Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan and India as monk and wandering Ngakpa.

From 1954 to 1987 Rinpoche was Head of the Department for Indo-Tibetan studies at the Visvabharati University at Santiniketan in West Bengal, India. In the late 50's he was invited by Professor Tucci to teach in Rome. During that time he met H.H. Pope John XXIII. In the following year he was invited to teach at the University of Munich by Prof. Hofmann.

During his journey to Tibet in 1985 he became known as the Rainbow Lama, because wherever he went rainbows would appear in the sky. The Mahabodhi Society of India awarded him the honorary title of Bodhisattva for his meritorious activities and for spreading the dharma. Since his retirement in 1987, Rinpoche visited Europe every year, where he guided a small but devoted group of pupils. Rinpoche was considered to be the mind emanation of Padmasambhava.


Rigdzin Godem

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Ngödrup Gyaltsen, the great awareness-holder and treasure-finder, was the reincarnation of Nanam Dorje Dudjom and one of the three supreme emanations.1) He was born, attended by extraordinary omens, on Tuesday 11 February 1337 (tenth day, month of miracles, fire female ox year, sixth cycle),2) into the household of Namolung, which hailed from the district of Thoyor Nakpo, to the north-east of Mount Trazang. He was the son of the master Düdül, who belonged to an unbroken lineage of accomplished masters of Vajrakila, descended from the clan of the Horpa king Kurser3). In accordance with a prophecy, when Ngödrup Gyaltsen was in his twelfth year three vulture feathers grew from the crown of his head, and five when he was at the age of twenty-four. Therefore, he became universally known as Rikdzin Gödemcen, the "Vulture-quilled Awareness-holder". During his youth he attained the limits of study, reflection and meditation upon all the Nyingmapa doctrinal cycles which were the doctrines of his forefathers. Rigdzin Godem

There was one Zangpo Trakpa of Manglam who had discovered, in Gyang Yönpolung, eight doctrinal topics, including the Essential Inventory which Treats the Essence of the Esoteric Instructions in Seven Sections (snying-byang man-ngag gnad-kyi don bdun-ma). He realized that these were required as ancillary texts for the treasures to be revealed at Lhadrak, and for this reason he offered them to the great awareness-holder Gödemcen, sending them through Tönpa Sonam Wangcuk, Accordingly, on Sunday 19 April 1366 (eighth day, snake month, fire horse year)4), on the summit of Mount Trazang, at the three stone pillars of Dzengdrak Karpo, Rikdzin Gödemcen found the key to three great treasures and one hundred minor treasures, and at that place he concealed a substitute treasure. That treasure ground, which was then left as it was, is known today as Lungseng, "Windy Hollow". Even at present, new shoots sprout there at the beginning of each new year.

At dusk on 14 June (fourth day, sheep month) of that same year [1366], in the cave of Zangzang Lhadrak, on the slopes of the rock mountain of Tukdrül Pungdra, Rikdzin Gödemcen discovered a great profound treasure containing five treasure chambers in separate compartments inside a square, blue treasure chest. From the maroon core treasure chamber in the center he extracted three paper scrolls and three kilas wrapped in maroon silk; from the white conch treasure chamber to the east, the Doctrine which Ascertains the Causal and Fruitional Aspects of Deeds, of which the Intention is Vast as Space (las rgyu-`bras la-zlo-ba`i chos dgongs-pa nam-mkha` dang mnyam-pa); from the yellow gold treasure chamber to the south, the Doctrinal Cycle of the Four Aspects of Ritual Service and Attainment which is Luminous like the Sun and Moon (bsnyen-sgrub rnam-pa bzhi´I chos-skor nyi-zla-ltar gsal-ba); from the red copper treasure chamber to the west, the Doctrine of Auspicious Coincidence which is like a Sandalwood Tree (rten-`brel-can-gyi chos tsan-dan-gyi sdong-po lta-bu); and from the black iron treasure chamber to the north, the Doctrine which Pulverizes Enemies and Obstacles, and which is like a poisonous Plant (dgra-bgegs thal-bar rlog-pa`i chos dug-gi sdong-po lta-bu). In short, he found countless doctrines, the Penetration of Samantabhadra`s Intention (kun-bzang dgongs-pa zang-thal) foremost among them, and sacramental objects. Because each of the five treasure chambers held one hundred doctrinal topics, there were five hundred in all. He established their yellow scrolls, and those of their branches, and propagated them amongst worthy recipients. In this way, his doctrinal teaching pervaded all the regions of Tibet.

Generally speaking, all the profound treasures exist only as means to increase the happiness and felicity of [the people of] Tibet and Kham during this and future lives; but, in particular, this Northern Treasure (byang-gter) contains, without omission, everything that anyone might require for increasing the teaching, turning back invading armies, terminating infectious disease, the pacification of civil war, exorcism of Gongpo spirits,5) restoration of governmental authority, and the control of epidemics and plagues. It contains various ways to promote the happiness of Tibet, in general and in particular, from Khyunglung Ngülkar in Tö [western Tibet] to Longtang Drölma in Mekam [far eastern Tibet], and also the notices and keys for many sacred places and lands, foremost among which were seven great hidden lands. Therefore, this single treasure is universally known to resemble a minister who beneficially serves all Tibet and Kham.

In later life Gödemcen went to Sikkim and opened the gate to that sacred land. Chokdrupde, the king of Kungtang, revered him as his guru and by doing so promoted the happiness and felicity of Tibet. When Gödemcen had arrived at the completition of such deeds, in his seventy-second year [1408], his intention dissolved into the expanse of reality, accompanied by many wondrous omens.

footnotes

  1. Emanations of Padmasambhava; the two other highest emanations were Nyima Özer and Guru Choe Wang. HZ
  2. This date is from the Tshurpu - School, an other possibility from the calculation of the Phakpa-School would be Sunday, the 12th January 1337.
  3. Kurser is the legendary Horpa-King, who plays an important roll in the Gesar - Epos. See Stein, Recherches sur lepopee et le barde au tibet, index, S. 600, under "Gur-ser (E), roi des Hor".
  4. Tshurpu calculation, as explained above. Both in Tshurpu and Phakpa-School is the snake month the fourth (in contrast to this is it the second in the Phukpa-School).
  5. About the Gongpo ('gong-po), see especially Nebesky-Wojkowitz, Orakel und Dämonen Tibets, S.283-5
  6. The ruler of Tsang, Zhingshakpa Tsheten Dorje supported active the Karmapa and persecuted the followers of the Northern Treasures (byang-gter). As a result of this he was "liberated" through Cangdak Trashi Topgyel in a higher level of the existence. See Dudjom Rinpoche, rgyal-rabs, S.492-3.
from: The Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History / Dudjom Rinpoche, translated and edited by Gyurme Dorje in collaboration with Matthew Kapstein

H.E. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche

From the autobiography of Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche(short version)

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I was born in the central part of Tibet, near the famous lake called Yardrog where Guru Rinpoche left his handprint, in the Western year 1926. Close to my birthplace, in the region known as Taklung, was the prominent TaklungTse monastic center affiliated with Thubten Dorje Drak, the seat of the Northern Treasure (Jang Ter) Nyingma dharma tradition. In the 19th century, the great Khenpo Namkha Longyang from Dorje Drak recognized an ordinary monk from the monastery as the incarnation of Ngok Chosku Dorje. That tulku continued to study and train as an ordinary monk, and eventually became the Vajracarya of the monastery. He devoted his whole life to practice and the attainment of superior realization. It is said that the special protector of Ngok, the glorious goddess Dudsolma, pledged her service to him. His reincarnation also moved up through the ranks of the ordinary monks to become the Acarya, but departed for the pure realms at a young age. The ninth Dodrak Rigdzin, Choswang Nyamnyid Dorje, in accordance with a meditation vision, identified me as the next rebirth.

I arrived at Taklung Tse monastery and received my first ordination when I was five years old, as well as the title and enthronment of a tulku. When I was eight years old I was given my dharma seat at the mother monastery Thubten Dorje Drak. I studied and became proficient in all of the monastic arts and rituals. From the age of fourteen I studied with a lama named Pawo Rinpoche, who was a student of Kenpo Thubten Gyaltsen, a personal student of the great Dzogchen Kenpo Shenga. When I was fifteen, the elder Kenpo from Gotsa monastery, who was a personal disciple of the previous Dodrak Rigdzin, gave the empowerments and transmissions of the Jang Ter lineage to the current, great Dodrak Rigdzin, Namdrol Gyatso. At that time I most humbly was able to receive most of these empowerments and transmissions, as well as other dzogchen instructions.
When I was twenty I received the complete empowerments and transmissions of the Rinchen Terdzod and others from the previous Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche. From the retreat master at Mindroling and from the previous Lalung Sungtrul Rinpoche, I received most empowerments and transmissions for the treasures of Padma Lingpa, and from Golok Chewo Rinpoche I received all the transmissions for the seven great treasuries and other teachings of the omniscient Longchen Rabjam. At Dorje Drak I received all of the empowerments and transmissions for the higher and lower Jang Ter treasure teachings, as well as Kama (oral) teachings, and instructions on mind nature. I became the Kenpo of Dodrak monastery for several years, and then was requested to return to my own Taklung monastery.

On the occasion of the 2500th anniversary of the Buddha's paranirvana I went on pilgrimmage to India with my family. Circumstances worsened from year to year in Tibet until it became impossible to remain there; and so, in 1959, some companions and I stole away at night, leaving our homeland, until we reached India, making our way to Sikkim, where I stayed for 2 years. At Rumtek monastery I received the empowerments and transmissions of the Treasury of Oral Instructions and Kagyu Mantra Treasury from the great 16th Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa. In Kalimpong, I received the entire empowerments and transmissions of the Great Terma Treasury and the Nyingma Kama, as well as some of the dharma treasures of Dudjom Lingpa, from Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche. In Bhutan, from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche I received transmissions for the collected teachings of Mipham Rinpoche, and empowerments and transmissions for the Heart Essence of Longchenpa, and other dzog chen practices and tantras.

Later I went to a new Tibetan refugee settlement in Simla, India, where in the years that followed I worked with the community, local and state government officials, and the office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to found a new Dorje Drak monastic seat in exile, to preserve, foster and expand the teachings of the Jang Ter lineage, since Thubten Dorje Drak monastery in Tibet had been completely destroyed. Today there are almost 80 monks there, and several in retreat.

I have offered the Jang Ter, and other dharma empowerments and transmissions at the direction of prominent lamas of different lineages at various monasteries in Bhutan, India and Nepal, including Namkha'i Nyingpo Rinpoche in Bhutan, Kyabje Penor Rinpoche in Mysore, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche at Shechen monastery in Nepal. Otherwise, I continually give instructions, empowerments or transmissions on the preliminary and main practices, as are suited to the needs of whomever comes to request dharma teachings.

Translated by Lama Sherab Dorje at the request of Kenpo Chime Tsering and his New York students, on the occasion of Rinpoche's forthcoming 1st visit to the U.S. May it be virtuous!

Khordong History

A Brief History Of Khordhon Monastery

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(The original Tibetan text has been written by Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche, who himself brought it to his monastery of Khordong in Kham (Tibet), in 1990. Marie-Neige Lefevbre brought it back from Tibet in 1997. Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche dictated its summarized translation to Nadia Maati and Nathalie Koralnik during the Butterlamp Retreat held on the monastery land, at Dhansara village, Siliguri, in January 1998). Typed in English by Nathalie Koralnik
Welcome of Rinpoche at His monatery at His visit in May 1990
The name of my monastery is "Khordong Gompa". It means "one small house in a mountain's corner". In general, people don't know who made this monastery, but we understand that it's founder was Nubchen Sangye Yeshe (one of the twenty-five disciples of Padmasambhava), who was a practicionner of Yamantaka. Nubchen Sangye Yeshe built on the ground a hudge Yamantaka mantra's prayer wheel (not in the air, as in general). Due to the ice, in winter times, we can hear it sounding, "grrr, grrr, grrr".
Where is this monastery located? Generally, we can say that all Tibet is a place of Avalokiteshvara (i.e. his teaching place). But in particular, Padmasambhava (Tsokye Dorje) came to this place, and blessed it. His blessings are very powerful. In the country called "Dorma Zalmo Gang", there is a valley called "Nyikog" where the Nyetshe river flows. There are many great forests, flowers, many various medicine plants, waterfalls, many different kinds of birds, games (like tigers) and mountain animals like dears, etc.
In the upper part, there are plenty animals producing milk - yaks, sheep, goats, etc. - and therefore there are lots of butter, cheese and milk. In the lower part, many people are involved with agriculture work, and therefore the crops are consequent. Thus this is a very valuable place.

Concerning the religious aspect, each village has a monastery, as well as a lonely retreat place. Representatives of Shakya, Gelug, Kagyu and Nyingma are many.
Khordong monastery, in particular, is a Holy Place ("Ba yer Ga wa Long"). There is a Padmasambhava cave, where many dakinis gather, self existing mantras, etc. If you practice in this place, the diseases and obstacles of this life will be extinguished, you will gain the long life power, you will possibly get rich, and you will gain there enlightenment. It is thus near this very place that, in the eight century, Nubchen Sangye Yeshe made this prayer wheel, and for that reason the place has been called "Khor Lo Dong". Padmasambhava himself recognized the eight auspicious signs self appearing on the mountains valley.
Very high sages lived in the surroundings, and many people where therefore attracted to this place. Among these sages, the first to settle there, in the twelfth century (the 7th Rabjiung, according to Tibetan system), was the tantric sage Ringa Changwa Amgon. He was contemporaneous with the First Dalai Lama and Rigdzin Logden Dorje (one of the twenty-five persons in Rigdzin Godem's lineage). Ringa Changwa Amgon practiced Vajrakilaya during his entire life. He penetrated one rock with his phurba, and got many symbols. He fully dedicated his life to Dharma practice and benefited sentient beings. He died at the age of one hundred-and-ten. At that time, there was only one house on that mountain's corner, that is, "Khor Lo Dong".

The 2nd Lama was a woman named Rinchen Tsul Dror, who did dakini practice until the age of thirty-nine. Then she died, and her body was burnt. At that time, the skull bone appeared, bearing the inscription BAM HA RI NI SA. This was the sign that a wisdom dakini had manifested in a human body.

Later on came many lamas, who practiced there and gave many different teachings. They also built seven houses of about 19,136 square yards (16 m2). One would practice, cook and sleep there.

The 3rd lama who came there was the high lama Sangye Dorje. He had spent time at Bani monastery, where high lama Shakya Gyaltsen became his root guru. He became a good scholar, as well as a sage. He was able to go directly through mountains and rocks (it was not necessary for him to walk). He built a big gompa in that place, which was then named "De Chen Sang Ga Khor Lo Dong". Sangye Dorje lived until the age of one hundred-and-seven. Along with him, many people came to that place: male dakas, female dakinis, all sages
The 3rd lama who came there was the high lama Sangye Dorje. He had spent time at Bani monastery, where high lama Shakya Gyaltsen became his root guru. He became a good scholar, as well as a sage. He was able to go directly through mountains and rocks (it was not necessary for him to walk). He built a big gompa in that place, which was then named "De Chen Sang Ga Khor Lo Dong". Sangye Dorje lived until the age of one hundred-and-seven. Along with him, many people came to that place: male dakas, female dakinis, all sages.

The fourth lama to settle there was Je Wang Rinchen Puntsog. He practiced during all his life, and when hail storms were occuring, he just had to point his finger and the hail stones would fall on a small rock mountain instead of falling on the fields. He died at the age of seventy-three.

The fifth lama was called Lha Wang. He once showed his power to soften iron in his hands in softening a horseshoe. He died at the age of seventy-two.
The sixth lama, Sangye Tendzin. During a puja's ritual for a dead person, the picture of this person must be burned. During one of this pujas Sangye Tendzin burned it with his wisdom fire (there was no need for him to use any outer tool to light fire). He died at the age of sixty-seven.

The seventh lama, Lama Karma Lhawang showed a very bright intelligence since his early childhood. During a long life Puja for the village officer, Uchenora (there he was considered just as a "king"), and his family, Lama Karma Lhawang miraculously extended the long life banner. He made a Kriya Tantra (3 Ayus statues): Amitayus (Tsepagme), White Tara, Vijaya Devi. He developed the monastery, and died at the age of eighty-four. Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche himself saw those statues, unluckily broken at that time.
The eight lama was Sonam Sherab. At the time of his birth, light was seen, and his body was covered with small feathers, like a bird. He was a great Mahayana sage, and died at the age of seventy-four.

The nineth lama was the great sage Sangye Dorje's incarnation, Padma Kunsang Yeshe, who got the name Sherab Mebar in Dorje Drag monastery, because he was able to memorize a thick book at once. Sangye Dorje only practiced Rigdzin Godem's terma (the Byang gTer). He became a monk of the seventh Dalai Lama (Kalzang Gyamtso). He went to gTsang (a branch monastery of Dorje Drag), where he got all Byangter lineage transmission from the head lama, Padma Shenyen, a very great sage. Then he settled and practiced in the area of Dergye Dzogchen. Because of some obstacles, there was a thunder storm. He took it away, collecting it all in a piece of cloth. Everything around him was burning, the forest, the mountain was blazing, but for him there was no trouble at all. He was able to teach the entire Northern Treasure by memory. He displayed many miracles, and his life was only a benefit for sentient beings. He went to Do village (near Dodrubchen Rinpoche's monastery), and the village officer there gave him the monastery nearby. So that monastery, which was a Sakya's system monastery, became a Byangter's system monastery. Sherab Mebar introduced [in Khordong monastery] Tse-Bchö (a Padmasambhava's practice), lama dancing, as well as music and painting.
He died at the age of eighty. His substitute was Kalzang Gyamtso, a monk from Gyarong village.
The tenth guru was the great treasure finder, Padma Nudan Dorje Drophan Lingpa. He discovered many hidden treasures, and practiced Byangter. Through his very great compassion and the power of his blessing, people from different villages, as well as animals and even insects got enlightment by the mere fact of seeing him. He died at the age of seventy-three.
The eleventh lama was the great sage Sangdzin Gonpo Wangyal ("Sangdzin" means "great sage"). According to popular idea, his father was Abo Dorten. But naturally, Mahakala is his father. Gonpo Dong Ri is a Mahakala mountain - he was Mahakala's baby.
Many lamas said that he is very great, that he wrote many things, but actually he did not write. Among his gurus were Nudan Dorje, Ugyen Punzog from Bani monastery and Kunzan Niendrag (Sherab Mebar's incarnation) from Chugchong Monastery. He himself was very great, he gave many initiations, and died at the age of seventy-three.

The twelveth guru was Nudan Dorje's son, Padma Donsal. He was the incarnation of Chusang Namkha Yongya, a lama of Dorje Drag's monastery. He was a very great monk. He died at the age of ninety-three.

The thirteenth lama was Nudan Dorje's incarnation, Dorje Gyaltsen, i.e. Kalden Lingpa. He self studied, practiced, and gave teachings. He died at the age of thirty-seven. Many lamas say he was a great terton. But indeed, he didn't take out many things, only one Sengdongma text and two other volumes.

The fourteenth guru was Tulku Tsurlo (the incarnation of Vasumbindo, one of Buddha's disciples), he was in charge of Chug Chong monastery. His younger brother, Gyurme Dorje, was in charge of Khordong monastery. Their father was Gonpo Wangyal and their mother, Nudan Dorje's daughter, Zhiwam Tso. Tulku Tsurlo was himself also a great scholar and a great sage. He used to stay in Khordong monastery, where he did Yamantaka practice. He had recognized Nudan Dorje's incarnation, Chhimed Rigdzin, who stayed in Khordong monastery until he reached the age of nineteen. Tulku Tsurlo died at the age of seventy-three.

The 15th lama was Tulku Tsurlo's younger brother, Gyurme Dorje. Once he got a beating from a great sage who was named as Vajradhara, Gyaje Tubthub, and he understood all Dharmadhatu and natural idea. He went from Eastern Tibet to Central Tibet, then to Tashiding, in Sikkim. He came back to Tibet and died after having completed all necessary deeds, at the age of seventy-eight.

Then, due to his own karma and reasons, Chhimed Rigdzin went to Nepal and India, following the advice of his guru Tulku Tsurlo. He travelled also to Ladak, Bhutan, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Japan, Corea, China, England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Poland, Austria, Australia, United States, Island, Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, etc.

In Tibet, he visited the various places of gTsang, Wee, Tshang Tang, Dergye, Dza Ko, Nyi Ko, Serta, Do Kog, Amdo, Dzeka, Gyarong, Trango, Lyiko, Namchan, Sokpo Kompo Pema Ko, Yarlong Sertö, Serma, Nemzog, Gorcheng, Jagtal, Guenta, Tseurma, Chechen, Raktom, rNyi Zog, rMewa, etc. He visited the very high holy places of Zang Zang Lharta, Samye, Samye Chimpu, Tak Yerwa, Tashiding in Sikkim, Gye Chen, Manka Sengye Yarzo, Sergye Gompo Yorö, Thorchang Tugche Tsempo, Tsö Nae, Dong Sag, Pogöj, Pani, Palhar Gang , Gyengang , Zahor Puni, Tsari, Khani (Kailash), Tso Pema, Sarnath and in Nepal Swayambhu, Namo Buddha, Asura Cave, Parping, Mara Zhikra, etc.

Since this monastery has started, about five hundred years have passed. And during that time, many many sages have dwelled in the monastery, whose names and lifes have not been mentioned in the above lines, like for example Tendzin Dorje, whose left thumb was half trimed down by moving his mala's beeds while reciting mantras. He had the power of healing mad people by the mere fact of looking at them...

The practices performed in this monastery:
* Byangter - Ngön Dro
* Ching Trung gTer - Tser Dag

Both have lama dances. To do these practices fully, 500 monks must practice during 16 days.

* At New Year, practice of Byangter Drowa Kong Drol
* 1st month: Amitabhava practice, and 100000 Buddhas initiation (7 days are necessary).
Nudan Dorje terma's Kon Chog Sum Drub with tsog (5 days are necessary for 20 monks).
* 4th month: About 500 monks practice the Byangter's Rigdzin Dung Drub, Lama Sangwa Diba (7 days).
With the Byangter's Thug Drub and the Rab Ne, 3 days

Whoever is there a monk practices Byar Nae during three months.

* During the 9th month, 200 to 300 monks practice the Byangter Phurba and Dharma Protectors during 5 days.

Also, there are always great scholars who give teachings, and there are constantly about 10 people who stay in study retreat and meditation retreat.
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Khordong Lineage

Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche and the Khordong Lineage

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Our Gompa in Siliguri belongs to the Khordong Lineage of Eastern Tibet, that includes all the various Byangter Lineages. We will just say a few words about it.

In the course of the 19th Century, in the North of Kham( Eastern Tibet), the Great Terton Nuden Dorje, who was an Incarnation of Khyechung Lotsawa and a Highly Accomplished Byangter Practitioner, found a complete collection of new Termas in different places of Tibet and Bhutan. They were also very special Treasures: they included a Great Sadhana of Dorje Drollo, the most wrathful and most powerful aspect of Guru Rinpoche, some very secret Dakini Practices, complete Mandalas of Dharma Protectors, and so on.

In his next Incarnations, Nuden Dorje discovered additional Treasures, and other Tertons also appeared in the same Lineage. All these New Termas were definitely recognized as a special branch of the Northern Treasures Tradition, and as a kind of continuation of the Original Byangter of Rigzin Godem. As Nuden Dorje was the Head Lama of the Khordong Monastery, these new Texts were known as the Khordong Tersar.

The most recent incarnation of Nuden Dorje was H.H Chimed Rigzin Rinpoche Himself, Founder of the New Khordong Monastery in Siliguri. He travelled extensively in Western Countries, and transmitted to many disciples the Instructions and Empowerments of the New Khordong Termas, as well as those of the Original Byangter of Rigzin Godem. As he considered that it was necessary to have a permanent place in India where these various Lineages would be preserved, He founded the Khordong Gompa in Siliguri in 1996. With the creation of the Shedra and the Nyingmapa Institute of Higher Studies, it is destined to become one of the most important ccenters in Asia for the Transmission, Study and Practice of all the different branches of the Northern Treasures Tradition.


The Byangter of Rigdzin Godem

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The Byangter, or Northern Treasure, was discovered in the year 1366 by the Great Awareness-Holder Rigdzin Godem, in the cave of Zangzang Lhadrak. Rigdzin Godem was born in 1337, in a family of High Phurba Pracitioners. He was renowned both as a Scholar and as an Accomplished Meditator. In accordance with a prophecy, when he was young five protuberances looking like Vulture feathers grew on his Head, so he became famous as Rigdzin Godem, the Awareness-Holder with Vulture feathers on his head.

In the Cave of Zangzang Lhadrak, Rigdzin Godem found a great Treasure Chest containing five Treasure Chambers disposed like a Mandala. Inside were found many Texts covering a great variety of topics: Prayers, Tantric Sadhanas, Rituals, Instructions for High Dzogchen meditation, and so on. He wrote them down in a suitable form, and transmitted them to worthy students. Quickly, the Teachings of the Northern Treasures spread to all the regions of Tibet.

Later, in his third Incarnation, Rigdzin Godem established the great Monastery of Dorje Drak in Central Tibet, which quickly became renowned as one of the most important centers of Study, Practice and Spiritual Activity for all the Nyingma Old Translation School. This Dorje Drak tradition of the Northern Treasures has been transmitted up to the present day without ever being interrupted; H.H Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche is nowadays his Most Revered Lineage Holder.

Some words about the Northern Treasures

In the Great Terma Tradition of the Nyingma School, a great number of Treasures have been concealed by Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyel, for the benefit of future generations. Accordingly, in the course of time, many Termas have been discovered by different Treasure-Finders, or Tertons. Among these, because of their own Spiritual Attainments, or the fact that they were the Incarnations of Great Masters, some Tertons have been considered as specially important, and their Termas have been said to be very powerful Transmissions, endowed with a superior Blessing Power. In this way, the Tradition mentions the Five Terton-Kings, and so on. More specially, there are the Three Supreme Emanations, who are full Manifestations of the Body, Speech and Mind of Guru Rinpoche. The Body emanation is Nyang Rel Nyima Od Ser, and the Speech emanation is Guru Chowang; the Great Awareness-Holder Rigdzin Godem, discoverer of the Byangter, is the Emanation of the Mind, the highest of the three. Because of that, his Northern Treasures Terma is endowed with a very exceptional Spiritual Power, and can be the source of extraordinary Blessings for the Practitioner. It is sometimes said to be the supreme Transmission among the Old Termas, the King of the Old Termas.

Moreover, the Byangter of Rigdzin Godem has many special features, that make it a truly extraordinary Transmission; it would be difficult to explain them in detail, and some of them can be understood only in Meditation. We can just mention a few points. For instance, in the Yidam or Tutelary Deities section, can be found two very uncommon Transmissions: The Self -Appearing and Self-Arising Mandala of the Eight Herukas (Ka Gyed Rang Jung Rang Char), the most extensive and most profound of all the Eight Herukas Sadhanas, featuring all the nine mandalas of the Ka Gyed in fully complete form, with all the secondary deities, and the Black Deity Byangter Phurba, a very extensive Transmission of the Great Sadhana of Vajra Kilaya, including many additional Texts allowing Practitioners to perform the various Activities of the Yidam in a specially powerful way. It is widely recognized as the best transmission of Vajra Kilaya in all the Nyingma Tradition. In the Protectors section, the main male Protector Deity is not the two-armed Gonpo Maning, like in most other Termas, but the Great Supreme Yeshe Gonpo Chadrukpa, with three faces and six arms, the Highest and Most Powerful of all the Mahakala Deities. There is also the great Rahula Sadhana, the Outer, Inner and Secret Mahadeva, and so on. Because of all these special Yidams and Protectors Transmissions, it has been said that, regarding the many different types of Magical and Spiritual Activities, whether Peaceful or Wrathful, the Byangter of Rigdzin Godem is truly unsurpassed among all the Termas of Tibet.

But the most remarkable feature of the Byangter Transmission, the most famous and the most highly praised, is its Dzogchen Section, the great collection of High Meditation Practices known as The Transference into the Mind of Samantha Bhadra, (Kuntu Zangpo Gong Pa Zhang Thel), a complete system of Dzogchen Teachings covering all the aspects of the way of the Great Perfection, from the first introductory levels to the highest Secret Instructions of Thod Gel. Praised by many Masters for its profundity and its clarity, it has been the source of the highest Realisations for many Practitioners. It is in fact considered as one of the three Supreme Transmissions of Dzogchen, together with the Nying-Thik Yab Shi of Longchenpa and the Short Instructions of Terdak Lingpa. It has been said that the bare fact of receiving the Empowerment of Gong Pa Zhang Thal closes for ever the door of the Lower states of Existence, and can be the source of innumerable Spiritual Benefits.

So, considering that there are still many other special features that we cannot mention here, it is easy to understand why the Byangter of Rigdzin Godem has always been considered as a very precious transmission, and one of the most important of the Old Termas. -Until recently, the full Transmission of the Northern Treasures was rarely given, and was very difficult to obtain. During the last few years, due to the Compassionate Activity of H.H Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, and of H.H Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche, founder of the Siliguri Khordong Monastery, it has been possible for more practitioners to receive the Empowerments of this Great Tradition, and Byangter practice has begun to develop more and more both in Eastern and Western countries. So we can hope that, as more people become interested, and as Scholarly Studies, Research and Translations begin to develop, the number of Byangter practitioners will continually increase, and gradually the Blessings of this Great Spiritual Lineage will be able to spread everywhere.