Blue Annals (deb-ther sngon-po)

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

This page relates ‘Life story of 'Khon phu ba’ 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 3b - The Life story of 'Khon phu ba

Ma gcig’s brother, known as the master ‘khon phu ba, learnt at the age of seven or eight reading and the bi barta (Vartula) (%) script from his father and brothers. He took up his noviciate in the presence of gnya ma pa, and cherished the thought about study and practice (smon jug). He also heard numerous long and short treatises belonging to the domain of religious practice. Gnya ma pa said to him: "You must study well the work of a translator! Go to India and invite a learned paṇḍita. You should translate the Doctrine, [10b] and be a matchless one".

At the age of 14, he went to rong zom chos bzang (the greatest scholar among the rning ma pas). He studied the Āyudhopamanāma-vacanamukha[1] and other texts. Rma lo tsā ba, who had studied many sciences, also taught (them) to him.

In those days, the following were famous in India: Abhaya, Śrīgupta (dpal sbas), Ti-pu (ti phu) (%), Sunaya-śrī and Jina (rgyal ba can).

In Nepāl pham mthing pa[2] , ye rang ba, Atulyavajra, and the Nepālese mo han rdo rje. ‘khon phu ba desired to visit them, but rma said to him: "No one possesses greater precepts, than I! I have a karmic link (las 'brel) 'with you both, sister and brother. I shall bestow on you the complete precepts".

‘Khon phu ba then proceeded to sab to attend on rma. Having made his request to rma, for three years, till rma’s illness, he listened to (the exposition) of all the doctrines which were previously taught by rma to many others. After the death of rma, he performed the funeral rites. At, the time of his death, rma gave him all his books and other property, with the words: "You will become a Bodhisattva in his last rebirth[3] . Till then, listen to the Doctrine at the feet of Tibetan scholars. Later proceed to India where you will meet a follower of the Lineage of 'Maitrī-pa".

At u yug, ‘khon phu ba studied with the kalyāṇa-mitra zhan the Guhyasamāja according to the method of Nāgārjuna, the Yoga (Tantra) and the Kālacakra (system). At rgyang rong he received from gangs pa sha'u (%) the exposition of the Sarvatathāgatatattvasaṃgraha-nāmamahāyānasūtra[4] , the Vajraśekhara-mahāguhyayogatantra[5] , and the Śrī

Paramādya-nāma-mahāyānakalparāja[6] . At la stod gcung pa mchog dkar he listened to the exposition of the grub snying [7] and of the bde mchog bshad rgyud[8] by mar pa seng rdzi.

At the age of 26 he proceeded to Nepāl and heard the exposition of the doctrine of Maitrī-pa from ye rang ba, as well as the precepts of the Kālacakra and the gdan bzhi rgyud[9] from pham mthing pa. He also heard the

Yogaratnamālā-nāma-hevajra-pañjikā[10] , and the rin chen phreng ba from Atulyavajra. He heard the Sampuṭa[11] , [11a] and the sgron ma gsal pa[12] from ‘khon sgye chu pa.

The brother and sister heard the exposition of the zhi byed system from dam pa sangs rgyas, who also delivered a prophecy (to them).

At rta nag he heard the Sarvatathāgatakāyavākcittakṛṣṇayamāri-nāma-tantra[13] together with the Sādhana from rta nag Dharmakīrti (%)[14] .

Then he obtained from rwa lo a detailed initiation into the Yamāntaka Cycle.

Further, when ni nyag lo tsā ba had invited to Tibet the Lord Sunayaśrī, he heard from him the Initiation into the rdo rje 'phren ba [15] and (the exposition) of the principal texts of the Mādhyamika and Nyāya systems, and penetrated their meaning.

Again having gone to Nepāl, he met the Indian, teacher Atulyavajra mi mnyam (rdo rje). From him he heard the Initiation into the Saṃvara cycle together with the system of Nā-ro-pa (%)[16] , the lu nag dril gsum (%)[17] .

He went to India as attendant of Sunayaśrī. At Vajrāsana he met the great Teacher ka so ri pa, and heard from him the "Sadhana of the name of the Tārā", the bstod sgrub and Initiation, together with instructions.

At Śrī Vikramaśīla he heard from the bla ma dā chen po the Cycle (chos skor) of the Great Merciful One together with the Dhāraṇī-sādhana (gzungs kyi sgrub pa). This dā chen po was the Bodhisattva Dānaśri, who had also visited mnga' ris.

At Nālāndā, the nephew of the Brahmin Ratna-vajra (%)[18] (rin chen rdo rje) requested him for the Sādhana of the Vajrayoginī-Tantra. When he was 30, ‘khon phu ba returned to Tibet.

Having performed the funeral ceremony for his father, he intended to practise austerities guided by the advice of lha rje ma (zha ma ma gcig). From the age of 31, he practised austerjties at brag dmar of ‘khon phu rdzings. After two years, he, in company with his sister zha ma, proceeded to byang to listen to the exposition of the "Path & Fruit" Doctrine (lam 'bras). Then he married two wives.

He again practised austerities at ‘khon phu and fulfilled his vow.

At the age of 44, he resided at various localities in ‘khon phu. He also stayed at 'bring snya nam, nga drug, and at Southern and Northern la stod. To numerous disciples he preached the exposition of the grub snying and other texts, also completed the exposition of the doctrine which had been [11b] left unfinished by the Kalyāṇa-mitra srad chen po, a disciple of the late se byang pa. Further, he preached the Doctrine in many hermitages of 'brin snya nam and ‘khon phu, as well as in many localities of South and North la stod. He also carried out energetically teaching and meditative practice.

During that time, zha ma and her brother became famous throughout all countries. In the life stories of the Teachers there are accounts about their meetings with zha ma and her brother described as a wonderful event. In this manner, the Venerable ‘khon phu ba: his real name was chos kyi rgyal po, laboured extensively for the benefit of others, and died in his 76th year in the year Wood-Male-Mouse (śing pho byi ba—1144 A.D.).

Footnotes and references:


tg. sgra mdo, No. 4295; bu ston, gsung 'bum, vol. 26/La/, rgyud dang bstan 'gyur dkar chag, fol. 114 (R)


pham mthing pa, or Vāgīś varakīrti, ngag gi dbang phyug grags pa, was a great scholar in the Guhyasamāja system. His remains are said to be preserved at lo chia t'un (%) near lan chou in kan su, where he died on his return journey from a pilgrimage to Wu-t'ai-shan. Tibetan pilgrims visit regularly a village called Phambī near Kathmāndu where descendants of Pham mthing pa are still to be found (R)


caramabhavika, srid pa tha ma. mhvtpt. No. 7003; Abhidharmakoś a, transl. by de La-Vallée Poussin, V, p. 62 (R)


de nyid 'dus pa or bsdus pa, kg. rgyud 'bum, No. 479 (R)


gsang ba rnal 'byor chen po'i rgyud rdo rje rtse mo, kg. rgyud 'bum, No. 480 (R)


dpal mchog; Ś rī-Paramādya-nāma-mahāyānakalparāja. Tib. dpal mchog dang po zhes bya ba theg pa chen po'i rtog pa'i rgyal po, kg. rgyud 'bum, No. 487 (R)


tg. rgyud, No. 2224: Dohakoṣagīti, do ha mdzod kyi glu, by Saraha (R)


kg. rgyud, No. 370 Ś rī-Vajraḍāka-nāma-mahātantrarāja, rgyud kyi rgyalpo chen po dpal rdo rje mkha' 'gro zhes bya ba (R)


kg. rgyud 'bum, No. 428 (R)


tg. rgyud, No. 1183, dgyes pa rdo rje'i dka' 'grel (R)


Caturyogasampuṭa-tantra, kg. rgyud 'bum, No. 376 (R)


Pradipodyotana nāma ṭīkā. tg. rgyud, No. 1785 (R)


kg. rgyud. No. 467 (R)


style? (KMB)


Vajrāvalinamamaṅḍalasādhana, tg. rgyud. No. 3140 (R)


leave as Indian or turn to Tibetan?


lui pa, nag po pa, rdo rje dril bu pa, cf. bu ston gsung 'bum, vol. XXVI/La/, fol. 14a, fol. 11a: dril bu skor gsum, nag po pa, bskyed rim skor gsum, rdzogs rim skor gsum and the bde mchog sgrub thabs (R)


hyphen or no? (KMB)

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