Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries
by Dondrup Lhagyal, Phuntso Tsering Sharyul, Tsering Thar, Charles Ramble and Marietta Kind
Edited by Samten G. Karmay and Yasuhiko Nagano
National Museum of Ethnology and THL
Reproduced with permission from the authors
under the THL Digital Text License.

Appendix: Excerpts from the history of the Ya ngal clan

The lineage of gSung rab skyabs

  • 1 mKhas pa sman pa
  • 2a gSung rab skyabs W: Nyi la chos dbyangs
  • 2b gSung rab ’bum

  • 2a gSung rab skyabs
  • 3 Shes rab rgyal mtshan66 W: gNya’ mo bkra shis
  • 4a Dam pa ’Bum rje ’od
    ...was himself an incarnation of a vidyadhara, and in a previous life, when he was a learned hermit, he reached ’Ol mo lung ring in the land of rTag gzigs through the power of his magical wisdom. From inside a crystal stupa which had originated by itself he carried the relics of the Teacher [gShen rab] to Tibet, and later said that he was [an incarnation of] Dran pa nam mkha’... Moreover, that bla ma, who had mastered the three studies and who had filled his life with achievements, set his footprint on the nexk of Mt. Kailash. ...Later, after he had gone to the realm of phenomenal space, the bla ma said, “I, as one wo have attained sunyata, have cut off my speech and mind (?). Do not burn my body, but take it to the mountains”. His disciples requested a relic for the sake of future generations of living beings. A relic emerged from his nose and it may still be seen (YDR fols 37a-38a).
  • 4b bKra shis rgyal mtshan, “’Gro mgon Klu brag pa”.67
  • 4c Jo lcam Byang chub sems ma (mother of rTogs ldan dbon po).68

  • 4b bKra shis rgyal mtshan
  • 5a Bla ma sngags pa W: gNyag mo dngos grub
    ...went to Bi cher in Dolpo. [He and his wife] had many sons, who did not survive, but there were three [surviving] children whom they brought up (YDR 40b).
  • 5b Ngos blang rgyal mtshan ’bum
    His lineage increased in Klu brag (YDR 40b).
  • 5D Drang srong ma

  • 5a Bla ma sngags pa
  • 6a Bha su
    ...died at the age of twenty-one
  • 6b Sems dpa’ gsal
    ...was a bla ma who, according to the prophesy, taught the word of Bon in the land of the incarnation (?) of the Dakini Co za bon mo, and he is said to have become a protector of the doctrine. [It is not clear whether this passage refers to the following bla ma or to Bla ma sngags pa. If the latter this bla ma is nameless and Sems dpa’ gsal is the tshul ming of Bla ma sngags pa.] At the age of seventeen he took his vows in teh presence of the abbot Klu brag pa [i.e. bKra shis rgyal mtshan, his grandfather], who gave him the name of Sems dpa’ gsal. he meditated for many years on the wrathful deities at Gong ’gra monastery, but he was not arrogant about the results of his meditation and spiritual achievements.... His worthy [disciples] had a vision of his body appearing in self-originated light, and after a short time he shook his body three times and passed into heaven as a rainbow (YDR 40b-41b).
  • 6d bKra shis tsho mo

  • 5b Ngos blang [here Drung pa] rgyal mtshan
  • 6a dBal dar ’bum
    ...took his vows from Bru ston Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan. His tshul ming was mKhan po bSod nams rgyal mtshan, and he was, besides, an incarnation of Dran pa [nam mkha’]. Concerning the account of his enslavement of the goblin Kye rang and his retinue, he became dreadfully angry and merely displayed a face like the stripes of a tigress and, without the sightest fear in his heart, that bla ma performed the “production” [utpannakrama] meditation for his tuetlary deity and caused the goblin to disappear (YDR 43a).
  • 6b lHa rgod skyabs
  • 6c Ge khod tshe ring
  • 6c Ge khod tshe ring
  • 7a Nam mkha’ dbang rgyal
  • 7b Phur pa mkha’ ’gro

  • 7a Nam mkha’ dbang rgyal
  • 8a Drung pa nyi ma rgyal mtshan
    ...was born in a Tiger year. [There follows an obscure passage which attributes the origins of a particular proverb to an event in his life] (YDR 43b).

  • 8a Drung pa nyi ma rgyal mtshan
  • 9a bsTan pa bsam grub
    ...was the great Tshe dbang rig ’dzin who accepted birth among men. Forever saying “Sa le ’od” he saw the face of Kun tu bzang po. The imprints of his hands and feet [in rock] were a token of his constancey. He bound with an oath the retinue of the goblin Kye rang, the protector of the doctrine. He had a vision in which he went ot the assembly of vidyadhara, and he carried the deeds of Khro bo dbang chen from heaven, from the assembly of vidyadhara (YDR fols 43b-44a).
  • 9b Phun tshogs dbang rgyal

  • 9b Phun tshogs dbang rgyal
  • 10 bsTan pa ’od zer skye pa
    ...was a bodhisattva and was the author of bsKang ’bum, and so on, and of many religious discourses.
  • 11a Rig ’dzin ’dus pa
  • 11b Khro bo bsam grub

  • 11b Khro bo bsam grub
  • 12a gYung drung rgyal mtshan
  • 13a Drung pa Rin chen dbang rgyal
    ...was the incarnation of the mind of sTong rgyung [mthu chen]. That bla ma repeated the Ngan song dong sprugs mantra ten million times. He spat on a wall and the letter A appeared; and above all, the guardians of Bon of the Secret Treasure, the three powerful demons who are the protectors of the doctrine, accompanied him as if they were his body and smell (YDR fol 44b).
  • 13b Nyi ma rgyal mtshan
  • 13D The daughter went to rDzong [in the Muktinath valley] as a bride, and had one son. Then she renounced the world and entered the religious life, and became the accomplished bodhisattva Rig ’dzin dbang mo (YDR fol 44b).
  • 13b Nyi ma rgyal mtshan
  • 14a Tshe dbang bsam grub
  • 15a sKyi tshal (tshul ming: bsTan ’dzin rgyal mtshan)
  • 15b Bla ma phun tshogs
  • 15c Tshe dbang

  • 15a bsTan ’dzin rgyal mtshan
  • 16a ’Phrin las phun tshogs

  • 15b Bla ma phun tshogs
  • 16a Bla ma gar skyabs
    ...had two [unnamed] sons, one of whom died in childhood (YDR fol 45a).

  • 16a ’Phrin las phun tshogs
  • 17a lHa rgod
  • 18a dBang rgyal
    ...had three children of whom two died in childhood (YDR fol 45a). [After leaving] this one son and two daughters, their mother died while she was [or they were] young, and Yang ston dBang rgyal lost interest in the wold. He took his novice’s vows in Dolpo from Yang ston gTsug phud rgyal mtshan, who gave him the tshul ming of Blo gros rgyal mtshan. Then after he had gone to dBus gTsang, his one son also died. He went to Dolpo to adopt a son, but his gracious root bla ma Yang ston gTsug phud rgyal [mtshan] said, “The lineage has now reached the point of extinction, and I, your root-bla ma, have considered the situation. Renounce your vows.” Then after taking stock of the bla ma’s command, Yang ston Blo gros rgyal mtshan returned [home]. There his mother and sister would not let him renounce, and he went to Nag tshang in the north, where his patrons made hm the focal point of their faith. gShen Khri Rinpoche said that he was a minifestation of Dran pa nam mkha’. When he returned [to Dolpo], he performed the meditation of Brag lung dkar mo, and in his dwelling place in a big mountain hermitage he went to heaven without leaving any physical body (fol. appended to fol 45).


[66] For a summary of the relevant events in his life, see the outline of the history of Klu brag given above.
[67] See note 66 above
[68] See note 66 above

Note Citation for Page

Dondrup Lhagyal, Phuntso Tsering Sharyul, Tsering Thar, Charles Ramble, and Marietta Kind, A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries and Temples in Tibet and the Himalaya (Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, 2003), .

Bibliographic Citation

Dondrup Lhagyal, Phuntso Tsering Sharyul, Tsering Thar, Charles Ramble, and Marietta Kind. A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries and Temples in Tibet and the Himalaya. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, 2003.