Attainment of the Rainbow Body of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen

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Attainment of the Rainbow Body of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen

Postby kalden yungdrung » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:59 pm

Tashi delek dear readers, :)

The Bonpo sage Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche did attain the Rainbow Body in 1934.

Best wishes for our practice
Kalden Yungdrung



Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen.jpg
Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen.jpg (115.63 KiB) Viewed 1039 times


Biography of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen (1859 - 1934)

In general, there are 3 sections to a master's biography:

1) The external (which is also the general biography),
2) The internal biography
3) The esoteric biography.

Here, only the "general biography” is described, but in it there are some parts which concern the specific internal and esoteric aspects as well.

There are 8 sub-divisions of the external biography:

1) His birth
2) How he began learning the religious path
3) How he began thinking and practising, according to the path of Yungdrung Bön
4) How he received teachings, initiations and vows
5) How he practised in solitude
6) How he worked for the doctrines of Tönpa Shenrab and for the benefit of all beings
7) The teachings and works he left behind
8) How he manifested his great knowledge as, a rainbow body.


1) His birth:
The name of the village in which Shardza was born is Da .(brda), in the foothills" of that place. His father ,belonged to the clan of Hor(hor), and was called Tashi Ga (bkra shis dga') and, his mother was called Boleg (bo legs). He was born on the 8th day of the 3rd month of the Earth sheep year 1859. Shardza Tashi Namgyal attained the Rainbow Body in the year of 1934.

2) How he began learning the religious path:
Tenzin Wangyal recognised that the boy had a very long-lasting connection with him over many past lives. So he was very kind to this boy from the beginning and the boy was always very devoted to him. When the child was born, he had blessed him with long life. After the boy became older, he took the refuge vow from Tenzin Wangyal, who prayed that the boy would become beneficial to all sentient beings. Thus he gave the boy, the name Tashi Gyaltsen

3) How he began thinking and practising, according to the path of Yungdrung Bön:
When he was young, he kept the vow of refuge and other simple vows very strictly. Everyone praised his man¬ner of keeping the vows. When he was older, the abbot of Yungdrung Ling (gyung drung gling), whose name was Kelzang Nyima Togi Gyaltsen (skal bzang nyi ma tog gi rgyal mtshan), came to Kham. He was invited to Dza Tengchen Gonpa (rdza steng chen dgon pa), the boy's monastery. There, many people took their vows from this abbot, and each received a name at the same time. When it came to Shardza, he received the name Tenpa Drudrag (bstan pa 'brug grags) from the abbot, who repeated the name three times. All those who were taking the vows burst out laughing loudly. The abbot said that it was a very auspicious sign, and that the boy would become a great master.

The reincarnation of Tazhig (stag zhig), whose name is Shengyal Tenzin (gshen rgyal bstan 'dzin), came to the Dzakog (rdza khog) country upon the invitation of Shardza's monastery. He was the holder of the Vinaya vows of the Menri (sman ri) lineage.

In front of the:

a) Abbot
b) Lopon (slob dpon) or teacher,
c) Witness,
d) Interpreter

From all 4 who were high monks, Shardza took the highest and final Vinaya vows.
He kept his original name, Tenpa Drudrag, and additionally received the name Drime Nyingpo (dri med snyingpo).
From that time onward, he never took any alcohol, never ate meat nor wore the skin of animals and he conducted himself completely according to the Vinaya rules. Altogether he observed 250 vows.

The vow of Bodhicitta:
Which he took from Samten Yeshe (bsam gtan ye shes). At the same time, he received the name Gyalse Zhenpen Norbu (rgyal sras gzhan phan nor bu). He practised the 2 kinds of Bodhicitta: one that is according to the absolute truth, and the other according to the relative truth. When he took the vows, he offered 100.000 of butter lamps, flowers, incense and tormas (ritual cakes). From then on, he always kept the vows precisely and paid attention to all details. In the tradition, different texts mention different vows as part of the bodhicitta vow. Some mention 20 vows, some mention an extended form of 360 vows, some mention a medium form of 108 vows and some 28 vows. These vows can be described as the 4 kinds of bodhicitta vows, all of which Shardza practised. In addition he also practised the 10 perfections.

The Tantric Vows:
Shardza took the tantric vows from his root master, Tenzin Wangyal. He took the initiation of the Yidam called Walse Ngampa (dbal gsas rngam pa). At the time of the initiation, he was introduced to the nature of mind, the 4 initiations of the yidam and the initiation of Dzogchen called Gyaltab Chilug (rgyal thabs spyi lugs).

In the tantric vow, there are 5 root vows and 25 branch vows for the Kyerim (bskyed rim), and 5 root vows and 100 branch vows for the Dzogrim (rdzogs rim).

In Dzogchen, there are 30 vows. Shardza kept all these vows carefully and clearly. In the Bönpo tradition, all the vows mentioned above are those that can be taken by a person who can take all 3 types of vows, which he did.

From another master called Rigdzin Tsewang Dragpa (rig 'dzin tshe dbang grags pa) who was also known as Dechen Lingpa (bde chen gling pa), he received the initiation of the peaceful and the wraththful form of the same yidam, Walse Ngampa. Also he received the Dzogchen initiation of Rigpai Tselwang (rig pa 'i rtsal dbang), as well as the preliminary and essential teachings of Atri (A khrid), besides many other tantric initiations.

Altogether Shardza had 24 teachers, from whom he learned different subjects. Usually in those days people were satisfied after learning from one or two masters. But Shardza was special. He continued to seek and learn all the time. To the following masters he offered all his wealth and from them he received all the teachings of different subjects, initiations and transmissions.

1. Dzatrul Tenzin Wangyal (dza sprul bstan 'dzin dbang rgyal)
2. Dechen Lingpa (bde chen gling pa)
3. Dudul Lingpa (bdud 'dul gling pa)
4. Samten Yeshe (bsam gtan ye shes)
5. Shengyal Tenzin (gshen rgyal bstan 'dzin)
6. Tsewang Gyurme (tshe dbang 'gyur med)
7. Rinchen N amgyal (rin chen rnam rgyal)
8. Kelzang Nyima (bskal bzang nyi ma)
9. Meton Nyima Gyaltsen (me ston nyi ma rgyal mtshan)
10. Paton Nyima Bumsel (spa ston nyi ma 'bum gsal)
11. Yungdrung Wangyal (gyung gdrung dbang rgyal)
12. Tsultrim Namdak (tshul khrims rnam dag)
13. Sonam Gyaltsen (bso nams rgyal mtshan)
14. Tsultrim Pelzang (tshul khrims dpal bzang)
15. Sonam Pelzang (bso nams dpal bzang)
16. Nyima Ozer (nyi ma 'od zer)
17. Togden Gede (rtogs ldan dga' bde)
18. Yeshe Tenzin (ye shes bstan 'dzin)
19. Lama Tengyal(bla ma bstan rgyal)
20. Yezhin Wangyal (yed bzhin dbang rgyal)
21. Sangngag Lingpa (gsqng sngags gling pa)
22. Chime Tsugpu ('chi med gtsug phud)
23. Nyima Zangpo (nyi ma bzangpo)
24. Dawa Dragpa (zla ba grags pa)

In his own country, the tradition of the teaching was mixed up with the new Bön. He was able to see clearly the historical and pure part of the old Bön teachings, and completely left out the new Bön teaching, keeping strictly to the old (Yungdrung) tradition.

In Bön there are 5 high clans or families:

1) Dru (bru)
2) Zhu (zhu)
3) Pa (spa)
4) Me (rme)
5) Shen (gshen).

Each one has its own lineage tradition and strict rules, even though they are all Bönpos. He respected all these traditions, but he followed the Dru tradition, because this is the lineage holder of Menri

He practised everything, including tummo, Dzogrim and mantra. Even though he mainly practised the recitation of mantra, he especially did the practice of Trekcho (khreg chod) and Tögel (thod rgal) all the time.


5)How he practised in solitude:
When Shardza was about 24 years old, one day he felt great disgust for living in this worldly life. So he decided to go stay in solitude completely. The place he went to stay was Yungdrung Lhunpo (gyung drung lhun po), which bordered Shardza, his country. When he went there, many auspicious signs appeared, so he decided that it was a suitable place. There he built a small hut, just big enough for him to sit inside. At this place, he completely stopped all external and worldly activities and connections, and internally his mind stopped thinking of plans and desires, including relatives, friends and wealth. Living in solitude, he only had simple food and one set of clothes. In this way he practised with a rested body, speech and mind.

He also carved many blocks for printing books, particularly his collected works, which amount to 13 volumes. Altogether 330 volumes of books were carved in blocks. He always offered flowers, incense, butter lamps, water and mandala on a regular basis. Every tenth day of the month, he made offerings of gana puja. Even though he was teaching a lot, he remained in his solitary retreat place.

6) How he worked for the doctrines of Tönpa Shenrab and for the benefit of all beings:
He worked for the preliminary teachings and the history of Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. Hence, he compiled them into 2 volumes. His commentaries on the 9 ways of Bön and on Trekcho and Tögel of Ozogchen in particular were compiled into two volumes. He held the lineage of Zhang Zhung Nyengyu (zhang zhung snyan brgyud) teachings. He also wrote many ritual texts for prayers and gana puja, as well as chöd teachings, sutra and tantra teachings with various subjects in the sutra and their commentaries. All his work is like the lamp for the old Bön tradition. Later in our time, when people eagerly want to know something about Bön, his works are like a key to the whole tradition.

7) The teachings and works he left behind:
He helped his monastery, Dza Tengchen Gonpa (rdza steng chen dgon pa), to rebuild. For the exterior he recon¬structed the temple, and for the interior, he restored the images. Three images are two stories high-about 18 feet tall. There are many other smaller ones which are one storey (about 9 feet) tall. On the outside of these images he made many decorations of precious. He always offered flowers, incense, butter lamps, water and mandala on a regular basis. Every tenth day of the month, he made offerings of gana puja. He also carved many blocks for printing books, particularly his collected works, which amount to 13 volumes. Altogether 330 volumes of books were carved in blocks. Five huge prayer wheels and several large stupas were also made. All of these things together with the properties offered to him were, in turn offered to his master from time to time. Later, he made his nephew the successor to the meditation centre in Gethang and this nephew took over the teaching responsibility when Shardza was getting old. In all his teaching centres, the vinaya vow was strictly observed, while the meditation practice was Dzogchen.

8) How he manifested his great knowledge as, a rainbow body:
When he was 75, in the water-bird year, Shardza changed his manner of teaching. In addition to the more serious topics, he gave more general kinds of teaching to his students, giving them advice. Usually he only had one meal a day, but then he began to accept all offerings regardlessly. He also liked to play with children more, and began behaving very freely, without any consideration of how his worldly manner should be. Some of the students began to see him (manifesting) as the form of various divinities. Some of his helpers also saw him walking away with his feet above the ground. Some saw him leave his bowl floating in mid air. At night they could not see his body throw any shadow in the light of the lamps. This was noticed very clearly.

He also said to his disciples, I, the old man Shardzapa, don:t know when I am to pass away. I have been teaching specifically for the past 8 years and I have taught mainly important teachings and I hope that you are not going to waste them. I advise you not to waste any of these teachings yoy have received but continue to practise until you are stable in your natural state. I think you are all very lucky, because it is very rare to receive these teachings. Since you have received them, you must try to realise yourself. They are very precious, can you understand?

When he was 76, in the wood-dog year, one of his disciples, Kelzang Yungdrung (bskol bzong gyung drung), was praying and practising in order to bless some medicine. Shardza told this disciple to finish his prayers before the 4th month, because after that they would not meet again. Then on the second day of the 4th month Shardza was presented with the blessed medicine with the prayer complete. He said, "Now I have to go to the empty places." So he went to the place called Rabzhi Teng (rob zhi steng) to stay. He put up a small tent there. Several of his students followed him and he told them, "The base of all knowledge is faith, devotion and vow. So you must realise this and carefully practise."

In addition, he also gave them much advice. Very often his gazes were straight into space. On the 13th day of the 4th month, he made a gana puja offerin'g ofTsewang Ba Yulma (tshe dbang bod yul ma), and he sang many teachings in the form of songs" He then ordered his disciples to sew the tent completely closed, and not to open it for many days. Then he went into the tent and said "good luck" to his students, as well as "prayers. Then he sat inside in the posture with 5 characteristics.

On the next day, his students saw many rainbows above his tent. Some were big, some were small, some were round, others were straight, horizontal or vertical, all with many colours. Particularly at night white lights like long white scarves shone forth brilliantly, which everyone saw. On the 4th day, there was an earthquake, and there were loud and strange sounds. Also showers of flowers rained down. Between the stitches of the tent many lights with different colours, some with 5 colours, some with only a single colour came out like steam.

His student called Tsul'trim Wangchug (tshul khrims dbang phyug) said, "If we leave the body for much longer, everything will disappear and there will be nothing left from the corpse. We should have something as relics for our devotion." So he opened the tent, and prostrated. The body of Shardza was completely wrapped up with light, and the size had shrunk to that of a one-year-old boy. It was suspended above the mattress at a height equal to the distance between the outstretched finger tip and the elbow of an arm. He went into the tent, and saw the fingernails had come out of the fingers and were scattered on the mattress. When he touched the body, the heart was still warm. He wrapped up the body with a cloth and kept it for 49 days. He then did a puja of the 1000 names of the Buddhas, as well as many gana puja and other offerings. After, when visitors saw the body and touched it, everyone had many special feel¬ings rising in themselves. All the people saw lights, rainbows 'and rains of flowers every day. All the local people visited the body and strong devotion arose in all of them and they had great belief in him.

Some of the non-devotees were saying that, "The lama was not so special when he was alive, but is more special dead. So he is better dead than alive."

His successor, Lodrö Gyatso (blo gros rgya mtsho), and his younger brother, Tsultrim Tenzin (tshul khrims bstan 'dzin), saw to it that all his properties were given as offerings and donations to all monasteries, both Buddhist and Bönpo, particularly to his own monastery, Dza Tengchen Gonpa. They also asked the monasteries to do prayers for many weeks, and gave them properties so that every year they would recite prayers on the anniversary of the manifestation of his rainbow body on the 13th day of the 4th month. They also made a large memorial stupa, with gilded copper, and his body was put inside in the niche of the ball of the stupa. Even much later people still could see the reflection of lights and rainbows and sparks coming from it.

Extracted and translated by Lopon Tenzin Namdak from the biographical account by Sula Kelzang Tenpai Gyaltsen (su la bskal bzang bstan pa'i rgyal mtshan) (1897-1959)
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
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Re: Attainment of the Rainbow Body of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen

Postby kalden yungdrung » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:08 pm

Tashi delek dear readers, :)

As a prove of the attainment of the Rainbow Body of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen, here depicted below the remains, the hairs.

The hairs of Shardza Tashi Namgyal.jpg
The hairs of Shardza Tashi Namgyal.jpg (91.95 KiB) Viewed 1030 times


Further do we know in Bon many Dzogchen Masters or Rigdzins who did attain the Rainbow Body and are still in our lineage tree present by their blessings.

Best wishes for our practice
Kalden Yungdrung
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
User avatar
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Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Attainment of the Rainbow Body of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen

Postby kalden yungdrung » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:23 pm

Tashi delek dear readers, :)

Below a thangka which shows the connection of Bon with the Nyingma tradition.

Shardza Tashi Namgyal was very popular during his live, so they did depicted him out of respect with Guru Rinpoche above his head.
That was for sure an honour to Shardza Rinpoche, because he did attained the Rainbow Body and gave also teachings to all kinds of traditions. he was also involved in the Rime movement around the 18th century and knew many of these Masters.
Further was Shardza Rinpoche lineage holder of all Bon Dzogchen lineages.

Shardza Tashi Namgyal Rinpoche.jpg
Shardza Tashi Namgyal Rinpoche.jpg (253.91 KiB) Viewed 1030 times


Best wishes for our practice
Kalden Yungdrung
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
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Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Attainment of the Rainbow Body of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:09 pm

Thank you Kalden Yungdrung for such interesting, engaging information :namaste:

Best,
Laura
Ngawang Drolma
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Re: Attainment of the Rainbow Body of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen

Postby kalden yungdrung » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:53 pm

Ngawang Drolma wrote:Thank you Kalden Yungdrung for such interesting, engaging information :namaste:

Best,
Laura



Tashi delek Ms. Laura, :)

Thanks for your kind reply
You are welcome

Best wishes for our practice
Kalden Yungdrung
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
User avatar
kalden yungdrung
 
Posts: 1103
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm


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