Advice for the Vidyādhara Khyung Götsal

from The Essential Amrita of Profound Meaning: Oral Instructions and Practical Advice Bestowed Upon Fortunate Followers, Eye-opener to What is to be Adopted and Abandoned

by Chokgyur Lingpa

The hidden yogi who upholds the profound treasures,
the vidyādhara Khyung Götsal himself,
in his great kindness spoke excellent words
of auspicious connection for my long life,
and offered abundant gifts of good fortune.

The questions he truthfully asked
were no bother, but truly delightful.
I sincerely offer this humble answer
regarding general, particular, and specific points.

In general, if one follows the Dharma,
whether criticized or praised,
one is purifying obscurations.
Unfounded blame will definitely prolong one’s life.

Noble beings speak of qualities privately,
ordinary people speak praises shamelessly.
Noble beings pay no attention to hollow fame.
Fools pursue food and wealth.

Bodhisattvas strive for others’ benefit.
Though the view and conduct of
individual liberation, bodhisattvas, and mantra are limitless,
having a good intention is the main rule.

So, though it may be difficult to accept some as bodhisattvas,
those who’ve adopted the conduct of the victorious one’s heirs
have pledged never to criticize anyone.

Regarding the particular, more than a hundred monasteries
accept the Dharma tradition of Nyima Drakpa.
However much you refute it through scripture or reasoning,
they will never change their school of thought.

Mingyur Dorjé classed him as a samaya violator,
and his doctrine holders and treasure practitioners
were unanimously denounced by all the fathers and sons
of the Karma, Drukpa, Nedo, and Zurmang Kagyü.

Whichever scripture or reasoning one uses in justification,
it is to no avail, and will be regarded as mere dry words.
Thus, there is no sense in my arguing about this.

Venerable Situ, who had an incurable tongue sickness,
included Nyima Drakpa in his painting
of three-hundred tertöns, making him famous.
He thus manipulated auspicious connections to alleviate the curse.

No one is saying you must actually do this practice.
Eminent fathers and sons1 of the past have already put a stop
to people practicing while holding onto doubt.
Gena Tertön,2 who was at first seen as a tertön,
was later rejected when obstacles arose.

As for me, I focus mainly on the oral lineage of the Early Translations,
and supplement them with the treasure teachings
of the two supreme tertöns, the thirteen Lingpas,
the five Drimé (Stainless Ones), and twenty-five Nüden (Powerful Ones).
So that I may have faith, I practice my own treasures.

Aside from that, I do not dispute any of the tertöns
who came before, or live now, or are yet to come,
but I leave them all be.

Regarding the specific, whenever you are first given a treasure,
you should say that it is excellent.
You ask about the purpose of the empowerments and so forth
of the lord root guru from Karma monastery.3

In these degenerate times, there are numerous tertöns, good and bad.
It is best to either receive them all, like boiling noodle soup,4
or to leave them all equally aside.

Otherwise, receiving some and not others
is a cause for attachment and aversion, and a condition for breaking samaya.
Those are my thoughts on the matter.

Lord, with your wisdom sight,5 you receive them all:
you have no particular experience of mistrust or criticism.
That is why we met as teacher and disciple.

Disparagingly saying that tertöns never talk to each other,
these biased people who criticize and praise
are ablaze with exaggeration and denigration.

The behavior of people in these degenerate times is pointless.
In particular, their confusion, under the sway of demons and evil forces,
harms the teachings and is an obstacle to the paths and levels.6
Therefore, it is of utmost importance to be careful with one’s thoughts.

I hear there are people who criticize the Mindrolling followers—
yet Mindrolling is the primary basis of the Early Translation teachings!
It follows from both scriptures and reasoning that it accords with the genuine tantras.

If So, Zur, and Nup7 have an authentic lineage,
then their lineage holders at Mindrolling also conform to the tantras.
If Dam, Tsang, and Jam8 conform to the scriptures,
then the associated Minling9 conform to the victorious one’s scriptures.
If Nyang, Gur, and Ling are likewise authentic,
then their Minling followers are endorsed through factual reasoning.

For you, too, it would be excellent to practice this tradition.
The Karma Kagyü are likewise closely connected to Minling—
why else would their view and philosophy be so similar?
Above all, it is the Dharma lineage of Zhikpo Lingpa,
and the government told the Kagyü to exert their authority in this regard:
official documents clearly state they should not assimilate their schools.
Yet, in addition, the son of the Minling tertön, Rinchen Namgyal,
is the root guru of Tsewang Norbu.10

Beyond these, there are also many other reasons.
A tertön should benefit equally the teachings and beings.
If he establishes temples—the basis for the teachings—
and sanghas—the root of the teachings—and so forth,
he is upheld as glorious among beings;
spiritual service is the best way of practicing bodhicitta.

Within the Buddha’s tradition, I follow the traditional way;
the mother and child monastic assemblies11 are concordant with this.
For all these reasons, check for yourself whether thought and deed are virtuous.

Furthermore, here is my advice to you, based on the above:
Kathok and Dorjé-den12 are in the Minling tradition;
Palyül and Shechen also conform to this tradition;
and Dzokchen Monastery—half of which is faithful
to the teachings and practices of Nyima Drakpa,
and the other half to those of Minling—is particularly remarkable.

This letter, together with inviolate, supreme samaya substances, completely trustworthy precious accomplished medicine, and a silken white scarf, is offered by Chokgyur Lingpa.

| Lhasey Lotsawa Translations, 2021.


Source text
  • mChog gyur gling pa, “rJes ’jug skal bzang rnams la bstal pa’i zhal gdams bslab bya nyams len gyi skor spang blang mig ’byed zab don snying gi bdud rtsi.” In mChog gling bka’ ’bum skor. Vol. 36 of mChog gling bde chen zhig po gling pa yi zab gter yid bzhin nor bu’i mdzod chen po, 125-129. Kathmandu, Nepal: Ka-nying Shedrub Ling monastery, 2004.

  1. Literally “father and son” (yab sras) , this term usually refers to lineage masters and their disciples. In light of what follows, it seems it is here a reference to the Kagyü masters and disciples. ↩︎

  2. Gena Tertön (sges sna gter ston) was one of the earliest treasure revealers. ↩︎

  3. Karma Monastery (karma dgon) was the main seat of the Karmapas in Tibet. According to Khyabjé Khenpo, Chokgyur Lingpa’s root guru there would have been Dapzang Rinpoché (zla bzang rin po che). ↩︎

  4. That is mixing all the ingredients together in boiling water (long thug bkol bzhin). ↩︎

  5. This might be a reference to the Karmapa. ↩︎

  6. The path and levels (lam dang sa) are the five paths and ten bhūmis of the bodhisattva vehicle. ↩︎

  7. So, Zur, and Nub (so zur gnub) refer to three early masters of the oral lineage of the Early Translations. ↩︎

  8. The first three founding fathers of Kathok monastery (dam gtsang byams gsum): Kadampa Deshek Sherap Sengé (ka dam pa bde gshegs shes rab seng ge, 1122-1192), founder of Kathok; Tsang Tön Dorjé Gyaltsen (gtsang ston rdo rje rgyal mtshan, 1126-1216), first Kathok regent; and Jampa Bum (byams pa ’bum, 1179-1252), second Kathok Regent. ↩︎

  9. Minling (smin gling) is a contraction of Mindrolling. ↩︎

  10. Tsewang Norbu (tshe dbang nor bu) was Chokgyur Lingpa’s second son. ↩︎

  11. Possibly a reference to the Old and New Translation Schools. ↩︎

  12. Kathok (ka: thog) and Dorjé-den (rDo rje ldan), as well as the other monasteries listed, are all important Nyingma monasteries in Tibet. ↩︎


Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa

Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources



rig 'dzin khyung rgod rtsal la gdams pa/

Advice for the Vidyadhara Khyung Götsal


Chokgyur Dechen Zhikpo Lingpa


On the request of the Vidyadhara Khyung Götsal, Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa sets out a vision of nonsectarianism, in which he emphasises the commonality of traditions and decries the divisiveness that periodically plagues Tibet and constitutes an act of forsaking the Dharma.