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 Phur pa skyabs

  • 1 Khu tsho
  • 2 Phur pa skyabs W: sNya mo kun skyid
  • 3a rGyal mtshan rin chen
  • 3b Blo gros bstan rgyal
  • 3c sTon rgod
  • 3b Blo bon lha ’bum

[The four sons] were incarnations of vidyadhara, and, as it says in the prophesy, “in mNga’ ris stod there will apperar one called Yang ngal sTod rgod, who will also hold the lineage of the doctrine which Khod spungs Dran pa taught to men”. That Yang ngal teacher came to Klu brag for the sake of living beings, and the yak on which he was riding left its footprint, and the bla ma left the imprint of his hand. That bla ma met his tutelary deity in manifestation, and his guardian assisted him. In partcular, if he asked something of rGyal po Nyi pang sad, he would accomplish it (YDR 42a-42b).

  • 3b Blo gros bstan rgyal
  • 4a Khri gtsug g-yung drung
  • 4b Slob dpon zil gnon

  • 3c bsTan rgod
  • 4 mKhan po Grags rgyal

  • 3d Blo bon lha ’bum
  • 4a lHa rgod ’bum
  • 4b Khro rgyal skyabs

  • 4a lHa rgod ’bum
  • 5a dGe bsnyen
  • 5b mKha’ ’gro
  • 5c Bon skyongs skyabs

These four wise ones were blessed, and whoever met them would certainly not fall into the lower realms. To their worth disciples they appeared in bodies of light (YDR 42b).

  • 4b Slob dpon Zil gnon
  • 5a Nam mkha’ blo gros
  • 5b gYung drung rgyal po
    It is said tht he repeated the Ngan song dong sprugs mantra ten million times, that there were many and various signs of his achievement relating to his general qualities, and that he actually received the prostrations and offerings of the asuras.

  • 4 mKhan po Grags rgyal [here drag dbang]
  • 5a Don grub dpal
  • 5b dBang ldan bzang po

Through being [or according to?] an incarnation of gShen Bha da bhi sha his name was dBal la bzang po (?). By virtue of his sudden relaisation he caused the transmitted doctrine to spread. That teacher wrote the gSung rab ’bum in 113 volumes, and clarified the doctrine in Lo and Dolpo. He appears in all religious treatises as Rab gnas mKhan po Drung pa dBang ldan bzang po. When he achieved sudden realisation he lived downstairs [i.e. inside his house] for three summers, and upstairs [i.e. outside] for three winters, and several inferior people called him “Mad dPal bzang”. Then the bla ma became angry and magically caused a knot to appear in a piece of iron, and so forth, and many other miracles occurred (YDR fols. 46a-46b).

  • 5a Nam mkha’ blo gros
  • 6a Nam mkha’ rin chen
    ...thoroughly practised the service and worship of the wrathful deity Phur pa and was one who had achieved mastery over “production” and “completion” (YDR fol 47a).

  • 5 dGe bsnyen mkha’ ’gro (on fol 42b dGe bsnyen and mKha’ ’gro are two separate sons of lHa rgod ’bum).
  • 6a gYung drung mgon po
    ...remained in an attitude of worship for his entire life. At the age of 63 his spirit dissolved into the realm of phenomena in a rainbow. As a visible sign for the reverence of future generations, sacred relics and so forth as well as many self originated objects appeared (YDR fol 47a).

  • 5a Don grub dpal
  • 6a Nyi ma rgyal po
    ...thoroughly practised the service and worship of his tutelary, the Red and Blank Garudas. He was seen to direct hail with his fingers and was a superior individual who subdued fierce serpent-gods and local genii. That incarnation of the mind of Samantabhadra, Yang ston gYung drung rgyal mtshan repeated the mantra “Sa le ’od” one hundred million times and was an excellent man who had thoroughly perfected the three studies (YDR fols 47a-47b).
  • 6b gYung drung rnam rgyal
    ...took monastic vows and was given the tshul ming gYung drung rgyal mtshan. [This would seem to imply that the qualities and achievements attributed to his elder brother Nyi ma rgyal po are actually his.]
  • 6a Nam mkha’ rin chen
  • 7a gYung drung bstan pa
  • 7b Rig ’dzin bon skyabs
    ...received the name Yang ston gYung drung tshul khrims on taking the vows of a novice, and he was the excellent incarnation of a great bla ma. For the sake of future generations he erected many triple stupas, and was one thoroughl versed in the Three Studies (YDR fol 47b).
  • 7c Tshul khrims bsam grub
  • 7d Rin chen rnam rgyal

  • 7a gYung drung bstan pa
    ...was the incarnation of a vidyadhara and became a master of the doctrine (YDR fol 48b).
  • 8b ’On chung
    ...sat in a cave, a bodhisattva meditating as a layman. ...Once, when that bla ma was 39 years old, he bent [or fell] over in a cave and lost consciousness. It is said that Khyung ston [i.e. Khyung ston Tshul khrims legs pa, with whom he was apparently studying at the time] blew a conch from a hill-top, and the lma regained consciousness and sat up, clear in his thoughts (YDR fol 48a).
  • 8D not named
  • 8D not named

  • 7d Rin chen rnam rgyal
  • 8a bKra shis rgyal mtshan
    ...became a monk and receved initiations, instructions and mental teachings from Khyung ston Tshul khrims ’od zer. Throughout his life he [preserved] an attitude of worship ans service and he met his tutelary deity. In particular, it is said that while meditating on the Yi dam Me ri he joined his hands and cause a fire to be lit, as well as doing other such things (YDR fol 48b).
  • 8b Rin chen rnam rgyal W: mKhan Drung ma dpal ’dzin
  • 8c gYung drung phun tshogs

  • 8b Rin chen rgyal mtshan
  • 9a gYung drung rnam rgyal
    ...was an incarnation of gShen Tshad med ’od ldan, and his tshul ming was Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan (YDR fol 49a).
  • 9b Bla ma bstan lha W: Sa rgya ma yum bu dgos ’dzom, the Dakini of Action
  • 9c Rin chen lhun grub W: Bu bom mchog
    ...had the tshul ming Rin chen rgyal mtshan and wrote innumerable teachings and religious works. [While he was copying the] Dri med gzi brjid, which was about as long as an arrow, each time he dipped his pen into the inkpot a line of words was written, which was a sign of his general accomplishments (YDR fol 49a: see also Snellgrove, The Nine Ways of Bon, 1980, p. 4 fn. 1).
  • 9d Shes rab rgyal mtshan
  • 9b bsTan lha (sTag lha here)
  • 10a Srid dar rnam rgyal
    ...lost interest in the world, and on taking the vows of a novice he received the tshul ming Yang ston ’Od zer rgyal mtshan, the mind manifestation of sTag lha whose name resounds high and low and everywhere like the roar of the dragon. The initiations, teachings and explanations which he gave were like a flowing stream, and he amassed about two hundred disciples from high and low who wore Bon like a hat. As one who was a holder of the doctrine he acquired many powers for the protection of living beings. He eventually died at the age of 63, on the eighth day of the foruth month in a Rat Year. In the vision of rTogs ldan bsTan pa rgyal mtshan, he manifested his light body as a rainbow-tent in the sky, and pssed into heaven (YDR fol 49b-50a).
  • 10b Bla ma rin chen

  • 9d Shes rab rgyal mtshan
  • 10a lHa rgod
    His monastic name was gYung drung rgyal mtshan. He established a monastery in Tarap, and besides this he spread the doctrine (YDR fol 50a).
  • 10b Khro bo rnam rgyal
    ...became a holder of the doctrine who was an expert in both the “religion of gods” [lha chos] and the “religion fo men” [mi chos]. He had three sons, but prior to that he had been sGo dwags khri ba, a bla ma who had taken the three vows, and floowing the death [of this bla ma] he became Yang ston gYung drung rnam rgyal [possibly 6.b, above, the son of Yang ston Don grub dpal] (YDR fol 51a).

  • 10a lHa rgod
  • 11a Shes rab ’od zer

  • 9c Rin chen rgyal mtshan
  • 10a dGos ’byor
    ...was [also] called Ye shes rgyal mtshan, and as a hermit he took the name gTsug phud rgyal mtshan. gShen Mi ’gyur btsug phud said that he was an emanation of gShen rab ’Dod pa dgu ’gyur. As a representation of his body he erected so many stupas for the Three Potectors [Ku byi mang ke, A ti mu wer and dBal chen Ge khod gsang ba drag chen] and others; as a reprsentation of his speech he copied out the Khams brgyad and so many other treatises, and as a representation of his mind he painted a thangka showing the ten deeds [of gShen rab]. These made up the triad of translator, sage and principal teacher. Moreover, by means of the many monasteries [which he built] he acted as a moderate leader and protector (?) and he became a great contemporary master of the doctrine.
    As a sign of the manifested accomplishments of the superior powers he had gained, his horse left the imprint of its hoof [in rock]. he acquired about three hundred disciples form high and low and everywhere, adn several of them became siddhas. He bacame a great master of the doctrine. Finally, at the age of 66, on the tenth day of the fourth month in a wood horse year, he passed upward into the realm of phenomena amidst a tent of rainbow light and a rain of flowers, and many other wonders besides. His body caught fire of its own accord and on his bones htere appeared six syllables and innumerable images of deities and so on, and he became a great lamp of the doctrine (YDR fols 50b, 51b, 51 barma).
  • 10b Unnamed: died in childhood
  • 10c gYung drung rnam rgyal

  • 10b Khro bo rnam rgyal [Apart from the three sons listed here] ‘he had many sons who did not survive, and six daughters who lived’ (YDR fol 51a)
  • 11a bsTan pa rgyal mtshan
  • 11b Mi ’gyur rgyal mtshan
    ...achieved independence in his own mind when he was young; having gone to tend the flocks, he went into a cave and sat there in meditation for about three days. At the age of eighteen he went to a mountain retreat in a remote place and abstained from speaking for about three years, in addition to which he did nothing but practise austerities. He sat for nine years behind closed doors, and received many prophecies from and frequently saw the face of Tshe dbang rig ’dzin. Due to some impediment his life did not run its natural course, but at the age of thirty one, on the seventeenth day of the third month in a Horse year, he passed while meditating into the realm of phenomena. Upon his body there appeared the six syllables, and there also appeared many images of gods and sacred relics, but due to some pollution some of these flew away and some dispersed. That excellent incarnation was in fact an emanation of the mind of Tshe dbang rig ’dzin, and he was also an emanation of the voice of Khri gtsug bstan ’dzin (YDR fol 1 ’og ma a - 1 ’og ma b).
  • 11c Shes rab ’od zer

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.