Blue Annals (deb-ther sngon-po)

by George N. Roerich | 1949 | 382,646 words | ISBN-10: 8120804716 | ISBN-13: 9788120804715

This page relates ‘Defense of the Teaching by Ma Lotsawa, Zhama, and her brother’ of the Blue Annals (deb-ther sngon-po)—An important historical book from the 15th century dealing with Tibetan Buddhism and details the spiritual doctrine and lineages of religious teachers in Tibet. This chapter belongs to Book 4 (New Traditions of Secret Mantra).

Chapter 3 - Defense of the Teaching by Ma Lotsawa, Zhama, and her brother

[Full title: Defense of the Teaching by Ma Lotsawa, Zhama, and her brother (rma lo tsa’a ba dang zha ma lcam sring gis bstan pa ji ltar bskyangs pa’i skabs. Chandra 195; Chengdu 271. Roerich 218).]

Further, the manner of the spread of the secret precepts of the doctrine of the "Path and Fruit" handed down by zha ma, brother and sister: In general (it is said that), ārya-Avalokiteśvara had incarnated himself into the Dharmarāja srong btsan sgam po, and established the people of Tibet on the path of observing the Ten Virtues. The Venerable 'jam pa'i dbyangs had incarnated himself in the person of [7a] Thon-mi Sambhoṭa (%)[1] . After studying with the Indian paṇḍita Devavitsiṃha (lha'i rig pa seng ge), he became learned in the Indian script. From the fifty letters of the Indian alphabet, he fashioned the thirty letters of the Tibetan alphabet, and composed several works on grammar. He then first taught the (new) script to the king. After that he taught it to some of the (king’s) subjects known for their intelligence, and the (script) spread over the greater part of Tibet, and all were fortunate to perceive the Teaching of the Blessed One. Bhagavatī ārya Tārā (incarnated) in the princess (kong jo) srul glen, daughter of T'ai tsung (%)[2] of the T'ang dynasty, who had invited the sixteen sthaviras (to China), and the princess was called in Tibetan "Water-Lotus" (chu'i nang gi pad ma, Wên ch'êng). She brought with herself the Lord (jo bo) of sphrul snang, and became the queen of srong btsan. She herself built the vihāra of ra mo che, and suggested herself the places where the sphrul snang vihāra and other vihāras were to be built. She established, well the custom of worshipping the Jewel (Ratna).

After the lapse of some time srong btsan was reborn as kha che dgon pa ba, a disciple of Kālacakrapāda (dus zhabs pa), the Junior, also known as kha che pang chen, his real name being Jayananda.

Thon mi was reborn as rma lo tsā ba chos 'bar in Southern la stod. The princess (kong jo) was reborn as ma gcig zha ma in South pha drug. Rma lo tsā ba met many learned men in India and Nepāl (lho bal). He has been the disciple of the Indian Vajrapāṇi (phyag na). In India he heard (the Doctrine) from kha che dgon pa ba, Abhayākaragupta and others.

During his stay there, he was told:

"Translator! You should go to Tibet! There dwells a manifestation of the Ārya Tārā. Take her as your female assistant and practise according to the Guhyābhiṣeka and the Prajñā-jñana abhiṣeka."

Abhaya also expressed himself similarly.

On returning to Tibet, he took as his female assistant (mudrā) ma gcig. In the country of pha drug there lived a father named byi ba hab sha[3] whose real name was zha ma rdo rje rgyal mtshan. He was said to have been a manifestation of Gaṇapati Ha-lu-manta[4] (%)[5] , and his wife (the manifestation) of the Indian Devī (lha mo), was said to have been an incarnation of the Nepālese Princess khri btsun. The eldest of the six sons and daughters born to them, was known as zha ma rgyal le. He took up ordination before the kalyāṇa-mitra snye ma pa (%), and received the name of rin chen 'od zer. He was learned in the Guhyasamāja according to the method of Nāgārjuna, the Yoga Tantra and the Kālacakra ('phags yog dus gsum). His younger brother rgyal chung followed after the Teacher yang khyed and became learned in the mdo sgyu 'phrul (Māyā) and the "Mental" class (sems phyogs).

His youngest brother seng ge rgyal po (zha ma seng ge or seng ge rgyal mtshan) studied the work of a translator (lo tsā) under rma lo tsā ba, pu hrangs pa, ga rong lo tsā ba and rngog, and became a learned translator. He translated the Pramāṇasamuccaya[6] together with the auto commentary[7] . Up to the present time logicians follow this tanslation.

He also translated in verse (ślokas) the Dharma-dharmatā-vibhaṇga[8] and mastered the bka' bzhi[9] . In dbus he supported (numerous) monks, equal in numbers to mustard seeds (contained) in 2 1/2 measures (bre). Later he journeyed to ri bo rtse Inga (Wu-t'ai shah in Shan-hsi Province), and did not return. On his going there, he informed.

Dam pa (%) sangs rgyas, who said to him:

"zha ma! pha drug is not an eternal home! Go to ri bo rtse lnga, and labour for the welfare of the World! We, father and son, shall fix later the date of our (next) meeting in Tuṣita".

After him ma gcig.

[4.3a: The Life of ma gcig zha ma]

[4.3b: The Life story of 'Khon phu ba]

[4.3c: The Life story of Lha rje zla ba'i 'od zer]

[4.3d: The Life story of Mon ston byung gnas shes rab]

[4.3e: The Life Story of the Ācārya 'Phags pa]

[4.3f: The Life Story of the Ācārya Ston pa dbang phyul rgyal pa]

[4.3g: The Life Story of the Mahāsattva Yang den pa]

Footnotes and references:




What language? (KMB)


("Greedy Mouse") (R)


This form is only found in Tibet (R)


Is Ha-lu-manta Tibetan or Sanskrit? (KMB)


tg. tshad ma, No. 4203 (R)


rang 'grel, svavṛttí; tg. tshad ma, No. 4204 (R)


tg. sems tsam, No. 4023 (R)


Pramāṇavārtika, the Mādhya-mika (%), the Prajñāpāramitā and the Abhidharma-koś a (R)

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