Words of Truth

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

Homage to Guru Padmasaṃbhava.
Please grant me your blessings!
I will utter some words of truth here.

The fathers and sons1 love to rebuke
the tertön Kajö Dorjé.2
Here follow some of their reasons:
one justification they like to rely on
is their claim that there’s no reason for tertöns to appear at this time—
that’s like chasing after an echo!

In the past, various scholars, practitioners, and eminent figures
roundly rejected Zhikpo Lingpa,3
saying his teachings were false.
These days, he counts as one of the twelve Lingpas
renowned among the hundred great tertöns.
He has been of great benefit to the Assembled Realization4 lineage.
His lineages of treasure empowerment and transmission
are now rooted in the Mindrolling tradition.

The treasure teachings of Kajö Dorjé
are now practiced and spread far and wide,
principally by means of the lower Drukpa,5
the venerable master Khamtrül6 and his disciples.

His life story conforms to the treasure scriptures,
and is accurate in terms of the prophecies.
Therefore, is he not genuine?
His teachings appear to be gradually spreading.

The sacred site he opened,
the supreme Blazing Light Jewel,
is a very beneficial place for practice.
Prostrate there, and circumambulate well.
For the sake of excellent experiences and dreams,
you should think that this site is genuine.

Since this tertön’s writings
include a mending ritual by Nyima Drakpa,7
people reject him on that basis.
Indeed, the tertön Mingyur Dorjé8
and the tertön Nyima Drakpa
unkindly liked to criticize each other.

“Even Copper Kettle Head
is seated in the lama’s presence”9
imagine saying such a thing!
Even an accomplished tertön, speaking to the king,
with talk of tiger skins and bone ornaments,
could not coax the secret from its hole at such a time.10

Just so, in the past, the two tertöns
Zhikpo Lingpa and Ngari Panchen Pema Wangyal11
were in disagreement—
both lineages vehemently criticized each other.
Now they are practiced in union.

The Karma and Drukpa fought in the past,
and now they are mixed as one river—
as are many others, just the same.

It is hard to tell whether or not samayas are broken.
Therefore, other than the Buddha,
who could possibly judge
teachings and individuals?

If something conforms to the sutras and tantras
and is beneficial to beings,
then, it is said, it should be adopted.
Therefore, have pure perception toward all—
do not incur the karma of forsaking the Dharma!

The Victorious One has taught that practicing while in doubt
hinders the buddhas’ teachings—
therefore, it is better to just leave be.

Ask yourself whether you should practice.
Free from doubt, you can accomplish anything,
just like the old lady and the dog tooth relics.12

Laity and monastics, high and low,
tell us to distinguish between the good and the bad.
I really do not know how to distinguish such things,
but have addressed the current situation honestly.

From the site of Upper Gegyal,
may these words of Chokgyur Lingpa bring virtue!

| 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, 122-125. 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. Sky-Dwelling Vajra (mkha’ spyod rdo rje). No biographical information was found regarding this figure. However, the subsequent verses seem to indicate that he was a tertön of the Drukpa Kagyü school. ↩︎

  3. Zhikpo Lingpa (zhig po gling pa, 1524-1583) was a tertön who was one of Chokgyur Lingpa’s past incarnations. ↩︎

  4. The Assembled Realization (dGongs ’dus). ↩︎

  5. Medruk (smad ’brug) is a branch of the Drukpa Kagyü school. ↩︎

  6. Khamtrül (kham sprul) was an important master of the Drukpa Kagyü line. ↩︎

  7. Nyima Drakpa (nyi ma grags pa, 1647-1710) was a tertön who was not recognized by the Kagyü school. Therefore, citing one of his texts would have been a cause for rebuke by the Kagyü masters. ↩︎

  8. Mingyur Dorjé (mi ’gyur rdo rje). ↩︎

  9. “Even Copper Kettle Head (zangs rdzi mgo) is seated in the lama’s presence.” According to Kyapjé Khenpo, “Copper Kettle Head” was a derisive nickname given to Nyima Drakpa, due to his baldness. Though Chokgyur Lingpa cites this phrase as if it were a common saying, it is unclear who said it. ↩︎

  10. The meaning of these lines is unclear. (stag dang rus rgyan gleng mo’ng yod / gter ston grub thog rgyal po la / gsung na sbug gsang mi ’da’o.) ↩︎

  11. Ngari Panchen Pema Wangyal (mNga’ ris paN chen padma dbang rgyal, 1487-1542), an important Nyingma scholar and tertön, counted among the previous incarnations of Jikmé Lingpa, who is most famous for his Perfect Conduct: Ascertaining the Three Vows. ↩︎

  12. This is a reference to the well-known story of buddha relics appearing from a dog’s tooth due to the power and strength of an old lady’s faith. ↩︎


Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa

Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources



bden pa'i tshig

Words of Truth


Chokgyur Dechen Zhikpo Lingpa


In this piece of heart advice Chokgyur Lingpa encourages his students to cultivate pure perception.