The Bagyod Lineage (1-7)
The 8th Bagyod Rinpoche
One called Dza-Güdzom or known as Ngul-dzongpa Shakya Dorje (1252-1338) was the disciple of Sangba Lume Dorje, the 3rd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje and others. This direct disciple of Sangba Lume Dorje, became the well-known "commissioned holder" of the Mahamudra lineage. From him it was transmitted to his nephew Tsultrim Gyaltsen and his son Rimnyi Jamyang Dragpa. The latter's son was Gondrub, Gondrub's son was Gonpi Wangchug. His sons were Sonam Dondrub, Geshe Konpa and Karma Bagyod up to this point, the lineages were hereditary.
Karma Bagyod received his full ordination from Nedho Karma Chagmed (1609-1672). He received the initiation and the reading transmission of the of Deity Gshin rje khro chu from Won-Choewang Kunsang and did the sadhana it which he saw the vision of this deity. He fully accomplished the two states of meditation, utpattikarma anti utpannkarma. and became the "commissioned holder" of the teachings. It seems that the lineage holders from Dza Güdzom Shakya Dorje to Karma Bagyod strictly followed the tradition of Barom Kagyud and Maintained good spiritual relations with the Karmapas (3rd -10th ).
Beyond Karma Bagyod, the lineage was no longer held by the Dza Ripa descendants, but was held by a line of reincarnated lamas. Thus, eight successive Bag yods, five successive reincarnations of Ripa Selje, four of Lagen Tulku or known as Riltrul Dargye Gyalsho and three of Ripa Aleb Togden Namdag came into being for the benefit of all sentient beings.
The 2nd reincarnation, of Ripa Karma Bagyod was Karma Choeying and he became the respected chaplain of the four regions of Drongpa, Kham.
The 3rd reincarnation, Karma Tshognyi Gyatsho, was identified by 12th Karmapa, Jangchub Dorje.
The 4th reincarnation, Karma Kunsang, Wangchug, received his monk ordination form the 13th Karmapa, Dudul Dorje. He did the mantra repetition sadhana of Deity Khro-chu and recited the seed mantra over million times.
The successive lineage holders of Ripa descendants and their lamas had been the disciples of the line of successors of Karmapa and his manifestation of deeds Shamarpa called the "Lineage of Garchen father and the son", thus delegating important spiritual duties and conferring titles for the services rendered to benefit all living beings. Moreover, ever since the 1st Karma Bagyod, they had been following the traditions of both Barom Kagyud and Nedo Kagyud, the latter being a sub-sect of Kamtsang Kagyud.
Furthermore, in the life time of the 4th Karma Bagyod, who was a contemporary of the 13th Karmapa, Dudul Dorje, the 10th Shamarpa, Choedrub Gyatsho, and the 9th Situ Panchen, Chokyi Jungne, it was agree that the monks, reincarnated lamas and the descendants of Ripa and their monasteries would there forth strictly follow the tradition of Karma Kamtsang. This event look place in the Wood Monkey Year of the 13th Rabjung (A.D. 1764) and was greatly appreciated and welcomed by Situ. Thus it was from then that they were converted to Karma Kamtsang. After 11 years, i.e. in the Wood Sheep year of the 13th Rabjung (A.D. 1775). The Thubten Samdrub Choekhor Ling monastery was built following the Karmapa's instruction.
The 5th reincarnation, Karma Thutop Namgyal, was born in Sarnkhar Tshang family. He was identified and ordained by the 14th Karmapa. He died at the age of 8.
The 6th reincarnation, Karma Thabkhe Namrol Gyatsho, was identified by the 14th Karmapa. Thegchog Dorje. He received his novice ordination form Situ Padma Nyingje and the full ordination form the 14th Karmapa. He did complete sadhana of the deities, such as Mgon po ber nag, Rgyal ba rgya mtsho, Phag mo and other, which include Gshin rje Khro chu also, he visited Mount Kailash three times and circumambulated it 13 times on foot. He died at the age of 47. i.e. in the Wood Hog year (A.D. 1875).
The 7th reincarnation, was born in the family of Ponchung Tshang in the lower Drongpa region, in the Fire Rar Year of the 15th Rabjung (A.D. 1876) He was identified by the 15th Karmapa. Khakhyab Dorje. After he was enthroned, he received the name Karma Drubgyud Thinley Rabgye Pal Zangpo. From a young age, he studied and practiced under many learned teachers from different sects. His root guru was the 15th Karmap. Also, he attended to nearly thirty teachers and devoted his body speech and mind to them. He received the initiations to make his mind spiritually ripened, instructions to make his mind liberated and reading transmissions to support his practices. These teachers included Ripge Dorje the 16th Karmapa. Pema Wangchog Gyalpo the 11th Situ, Jigme Mipham Choewang the 10th Drukchen, Dragpa Gyatsho the 11th Gyaltshab, Tsuglag Nyinje the 9th Nenang Pawo, Tsuglag Mabe Wangchug the 10th Nenang Pawo, the 1st and 2nd Teho Tenzin Dargye, karma Shedrub Tenpe Nyima the 9th reincarnation of Sanggye Nyantrul, Won-choewang and Won-dhondrub of Tshurphu, Ritrul Dargye Gyatso the 3rd reincarnation of Ripa Selje Choekyi Nyinje the 10th Zurmang Drungpa, the reincarnation of two Jamgons; namely Kartse Kongtrul and Beri Khyentse, Zurmang Tertön, Namkha Jigmed and Drimed Trulku, sons of Tragthung Dudjom, Karma Namdag a yogi of Middle Ripa, Nüden Dorje, the reincarnation of Lhodrong, Gyalshan trulku of Lower Ripa, Geshe Dragpa Tenkyong, Yongzin Gelong Karma Yontan and others.
In this way he diligently devoted himself to dharma practices, became blessed by the three secret blessings and attained the highest stage of yoga. He attained the divine knowledge and could see the three periods unmistakenly. Also, he attained the highest power of wonder workings and was able to perform the miracles of his choice. In this way, he possessed unchangeable spiritual powers and talent to fulfill the wishes of all living beings and became a well respected yogi among the teachers of the Kargyud sect In Kham province. During his life time. he twice visited India. Central Nepal, Bhutan, Mustang, the three regions of Ngari, Central Tibet, North Tibet, among other places.
In around 1895, the stories of the Gesar epic were born spontaneously in his mind and he became 3 talented story teller. He offered to tell these stories to the 15th Karmapa and the King of Bhutan, Ogyen Wangehug, to entertain them. In the Year 1919, he became the head lama of Karchung Monastery appointed by the 15th Karmapa. and cultivated a great faith in the people there. This monastery is a branch of Tsurphu monastery, and is located in Dolpa Zhurnub in Namru region. He was further conferred the title of Drug level (in Tsurphu monastery) by the 15th Karmapa and was given the name Drung-Tenzin Choegyal to fully designate him In this post. Also, to mark this position he was given the title, the Holder of Doctrine, and honored with parasol. Ta-dar and so forth. Likewise , the 16th Karmapa, while on his visit to kham in the wood Hog year (A.D. 1935) decreed him the title of Drug.
As for his achievements in the field of learning, debate and writing, he composed for the benefit to all living beings the following works based on his pure yogic vision, which comprise the contents of this present volume. Dag snag zab chos bla ma sku Inga Gling rje sar gyi sgrub thabs dang moi dpe Ma ong gas tshul gab sbas dang brda ston Ikog gyur gyi gnas lugs gzigs pas lung bstan Nyams myur GNas kyi do byang GSol' deb smon lam gyi skor Yut lhal grang mehod. In this way after having accomplished each and every goal in the fields of sadhana, learning and contemplating, samadhi and other higher spiritual practices he entered mahaparinirvana in order show the eternalists the right path of dharma . This took place in Chu Sumkhug in the region of Namru Dolba on 24th of the 11th month of Water Horse Year of the 16th Rabjung (A.D. 1942) when he was on his way to Mount Kailash on pilgrimage.
Soon after the 7th Karma Bagyod passed away the 16th Karmapa wrote a swift rebirth prayer to his next reincarnation Yang srid myur byon prayer. The prayer runs as follows:
As for the present reincarnation for whom the above prayer was composed, he was born in the Wood Dog year of the 16th Rabjung (A.D. 1944).
His fathers name Dragnam and his mother's name was Tshezom. Right from the early childhood even before he learned to speak, he not only appeared very compassionate, possessed of divine knowledge to read others mind and had left foot prints on the rocks, but also said. "I am Bagyod. I have many monasteries. I have a horse called Norbu Lhazi", and so forth.
At 4, he was identified to be the true reincarnation of Karma Bagyod by the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje and the 10th Situ, Pema Wangchog Gyalpo and was given the name Karma Shedlub Chockyi Senge Shenphen Thaye-pe-de by the Karmapa. He was enthroned at the age of five at Middle Ripa monasatery. It was clear from his very early age that he had accomplished the high meditation stages of uttpatikrama and uttpannkrama. Once at the Middle Ripa monastery, he put his fingers in molten bronze and left his finger-prints, but his fingers did not burn. Also, there were quite a few extra-ordinary signs which occurred while he was at Palpung monastery, Derge, but a detailed discussion on them will not to be made here.
From 1948 to 1950, he concentrated on his studies in Palpung monastery in Derge. He took his monk ordination from the 11th Situ Pema Wangchog Gyalpo and receive the name Karma Shedrub Chockyi Senge Trinley Namgyal. After that he returned to his monastery, among his root guru whom he attended to and received the profound and nectar like initiations, reading transmissions, permissions (to practice higher deity yogas) and instructions , one of the principal was the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. The other gurus included the 11th Situ Pema Wangchog Gyalpo, Dzigar Kongtrul. Palpung Drubpon Lama Kalu (1905-1989) Palpung Druba Norbu, the 5th Selje (1907-1991) of Middle Ripa, the 9th reincarnation of Khenchen Thrangu Dilyag Drubpon, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991) Negi Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen (1894-1977) the 4th Drulubchen Rinpoche (b. 1927), H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and others.
In the year 1959, he followed the route via Namru and Mustang, Nepal, and reached Gangtok to join the Karmapa. Since then he stayed at Shedrub Chockhor Ling, Rurntek, Sikkim and continued his studies and practices. As he was requested by all the monks, both old and young, of his monastery and the lay followers of his region he built his permanent base at Kollegal Tibetan Settlement in South India In 1976. He collected the fund for the monastery of Middle Ripa and re-established all the traditional Sadhana-pujas.
From 1983 to 1984, he was in Tibet on a visit to his native region. It was then that he visited the family of Khetsha Rigzin Gyatso Tshang in Lower Drongpa and left his foot print on the mountian block. Other hand and foot prints, about seven or eight in number, which he had left in those two years are still worshipped by his faithful devotees in his native region. In this way, the extraordinary wonders that he had performed are beyond measure !
Dedicated to the impeccable perpetuation of the glorious Kagyu lineage and to the
success of its leaders and followers in accomplishing their commitment to
bring all sentient beings to the state of enlightened awareness.
FOUR LIMITLESS THOUGHTS