Gha rung pa lha'i rgyal mtshan

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Gharungpa Lhai Gyaltsen(1319 - 1401) 

Gharungwa Lhai Gyeltsen (g+ha rung ba lha'i rgyal mtshan) was born at Nyetang (snye thang) in 1319.

At five years of age he received ordination as a novice monk at Kumbumtang (sku 'bum thang) and began studies of the monastic code. For two years he also studied Prajñāpāramitā, epistemology, and Abhidharma. Then he traveled to many different monasteries in U for further studies in the same subjects and others such as the Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra and the Five Treatises of Maitreya. While at the great Karma Kaygu monastery of Tsurpu (mtshur phu), he received the transmission of several tantras from the clairvoyant yogin Tokden Drakseng (rtogs ldan grags seng), who also recognized him as an incarnation of the Indian master Aryadeva.

When he was twenty years old Gharungwa traveled to the Tsang region, where he reached a high level of expertise in the treatises of the vehicle of the perfections, epistemology, Abhidharma, and the monastic code under the teacher Konchok Sangpo (slob dpon dkon bzang, d.u.) at Drakram Monastery (brag ram). He also studied and taught at many other places before arriving at the great monastery of Sakya (sa skya), where he studied the same subjects under the master Jamyang Chokyi Gyeltsen ('jam dbyangs chos kyi rgyal mtshan, d.u.), but also received the Tantra Trilogy of Hevajra and the Bodhisattva Trilogy.

He then studied at Pelteng Monastery (dpal steng dgon) under the master Rinchen Zangpo (rin chen bzang po, d.u.), and next traveled to the Kagyu monastery of Ralung (ra lung dgon), where he received many tantric transmissions such as the initiations of Hevjara in both the Sakya and the Kagyu traditions and the Doha Trilogy of the great Indian adept Saraha. While at Ralung, he heard about Dolpopa Sherab Gyeltsen (dol po pa shes rab rgyal mtshan) and was filled with faith.

When Gharungwa was thirty-two years old he arrived at Jonang Monastery (jo nang dgon) and met Dolpopa. He offered the great master a white conch shell and other gifts and received many initiations such as Kālacakra and Guhyasamāja, and all the guiding instructions such as the six-branch yoga. He gained exceptional experience in meditation, actually beheld Avalokiteśvara and his pure land, and experienced pure visions such as the transformation of himself into a buddha and the light rays of his own body illuminating the entire three worlds. For many years Gharungwa received from Dolpopa a number of profound teachings such as the Bodhisattva Trilogy and the ten sutras of definitive meaning.

Gharungwa also received special transmissions from some of Dolpopa's other major disciples: from Kunpang Chodrak Pelzang (kun spangs chos grags dpal bzang, 1283-1363) he received the Vimalaprabhā commentary on the Kālacakra Tantra seven times, the instructions of the six-branch yoga, Nāropa's commentary on the Sekoddesha, and so forth; from Jonang Lotsāwa Lodro Pel (jo nang lo tsA wa blo gros dpal, 1299-c.1353) he received the Vimalaprabhā and other tantric teachings; from Mati Paṇchen (ma ti paN chen blo gros rgyal mtshan, 1294-1376) he received many teachings such as the Five Treatises of Maitreya and the Lamdre (lam 'bras); from Chokle Namgyel (phyogs las rnam rgyal, 1306-1386) and Nyawon Kunga Pel (nya dbon nun dga' dpal, 1285-1379) he received many transmissions such as the Lamdre in both the Sakya tradition and the Shang tradition, and the Bodhisattva Trilogy.

Gharungwa then ascended to the monastic seat of Gharung Monastery (g+ha rung), where he taught for many years. He was eventually offered the hermitage of Namkha Dzod (nam mkha' mdzod) and took up residence there, teaching the Vimalaprabhā and various other topics.

He passed away in 1401.

Other names

  • འཇའ་རོང་པ་ལྷའི་རྒྱལ་མཚན་ · other names (Tibetan)
  • 'ja' rong pa lha'i rgyal mtshan · other names (Wylie)

Affiliations & relations

  • Jonang · religious affiliation
  • Dolpopa Sherab Gyeltsen · teacher
  • Sabzang Mati Paṇchen Lodro Gyeltsen · teacher
  • Chokle Namgyel · teacher
  • Jonang Lotsāwa Lodro Pel · teacher
  • Nyawon Kunga Pel · teacher
  • chos grags dpal · teacher
  • brtson pa ba · student