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 Lha rje zla ba'i 'od zer’ 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 3c - The Life story of Lha rje zla ba'i 'od zer

[Full title: The Life story of lha rje zla ba'i 'od zer (ba'I = ba at some points in the text)]

This Venerable’s son lha rje zla ba'i 'od zer was born in the year Water-Female-Hare (chu mo yos—1123 A.D.) when his father was 55. He was known as an incarnation of Dharmapa. At the age of two, his mother died. Lha rje ma (zha ma gcig) caused a jet of milk to fall from the ring finger of (her) hand, and so nourished him for ten years.

At the age of 16, he studied extensively at the feet of zhang rgya ma pa of 'u yug, as did also his father, gangs pa she'u and rong zom chos kyi bzang po and others. Before this, when aged 14, he had intended to accompany as attendant pa tshab, who was proceeding to India. His father then said to him: "No one has greater precepts than me! Stay with me, and learn!" Later he obtained the complete secret precepts and initiation from (zha ma) and her brother. Morever he attended on many teachers in Nepāl, including Jayasena and others.

Following his father’s method, with the help of precepts, initiation (abhiṣeka) and preaching of the Piṭaka (%), he established numerous disciples in different countries. Because of his fame as a learned man, stod lungs rgya dmar pa and others became his disciples.

He amassed a great fortune. At the [12a] deaths of (zha ma) and her brother, he presented donations and erected two large silver funeral urns. Khang gsar pa took them to Nepāl and asked Jayasena to perform the consecration rite. The latter performed the consecration rites which included the four complete initiations[1] . The two stūpas were then taken back in great state to Tibet. In Nepāl he hoisted on many occasions the parasol over the Svayambhūnātha-caitya[2] .

He gathered round himself many yoginīs and ascetic yogins, residents of that place and performed great ganacakras on many occasions.

He also had the vision of four wonderful spectacles.

The first: before the teacher Ratnaśrī had proceeded to u rgyan (Oḍḍiyāna) to perform Tantric rites, he was told to befriend thirty young girls, aged between 22 and 16, but was told that they weren't to be found. At the cemetery of he ma khang he gathered requisites (for a feast) as could be carried by four elephants. Then when 400 yogins and yoginīs had gathered and were enjoying (the Tantric feast) there appeared several young girls attired as Brahmin girls, wearing upper garments and skirts made of red sindura cloth, adorned with six bone garlands, holding in their hands skull cups, mendicant staffs (khatvanga) and drums (ḍamaru). They all became possessed (by gods), threw upwards their drums which resounded by themselves, sang the vajra song, assumed a semi cross legged posture, and continuously drank seven measures of strong wine without becoming intoxicated. All the seven seemed to be of the same age, about thirty (not younger, and not older).

The second spectacle: When a Hevajra yogin was performing Tantric rites at ye rang (Kāthmāndu), he saw sixteen girls adorned with ornaments made of bones, riding on an elephant, and the yogin adorned with bone ornaments sitting on a mat made of the skin of a Kṛṣṇasāra antelope.

The third spectacle: When a king had mustered his army at ya 'gal, a yogin drew a line on the ground, and the troops were unable to cross it, and turned back. The yogin was then invited by the king, and while he was sitting on [12b] the throne, ‘khon phu ba saw above the yogin a self revolving parasol.

The fourth spectacle: when he intended seeing Nā-ro-pa’s disciple Mañja-gliṅ-pa (%)[3] and with that purpose, in view desired to proceed to India, Jayasena said to him: "Mañja-gliṅ-pa (%) is not staying in that country. Those who had opposed you are coming to invite you to return to Tibet. In this New Year, the priests of four kings will gather, and there will take place a great spectacle of contest in disputation, ability and the science of miraculous powers between Buddhists and non Buddhists. See it!"

As told by him, on the full moon of the New Year, 2000 heretical ascetics jaṭilas (ral pa can), 2000 Buddhist paṇḍitas and yogins, and 80,000 troops of the four kings assembled. At first the heretical paṇḍita named Kālarātrita and the Buddhist paṇḍita Jayasena khang gsar pa held a philosophical disputation and the Buddhist won, and became known by the name of rgyal ba'i sde (Jayasena).

One non-Buddhist yogin, who had attained the realization of gu lang dbang phyug (Śīva) and who could with the help of mantras render all men insane, debated with the teacher Atulyavajra on the accomplishments of a saint, and whatever poisonous spells he cast, all struck back at his own, retinue. The retinue then killed each other. Then the teacher Atulya took seven large lumps of melted bronze and tied them with the help of a hair from a horse’s tail in heaven, and a thousand heretics tried in vain to bring them down, but failed. These were seen (hanging) for seven days in the sky.

After the lapse of several days, there came the Tibetan invitation. Gnyan lo tsā ba and dngal chu pa presented to the teacher all those persons who had formerly opposed him, and subsequently they came to an agreement. Having performed such labours for the Doctrine, he passed away at the age of 60 in the year Water-Male-Tiger (chu pho stag1182 A.D.).

In the same Water-Tiger year the Dharmasvāmin sa skya paṇḍita was born.

The life story of (‘khon phu ba) was briefly told by me here as found by me in the Life story of lha rje zla ba 'od zer, composed by jo ston dbang phyug grags, famous as a very wise man among Tibetans, and a disciple of ka pa dar seng.

Footnotes and references:


'bum dbang, gsang dbang, shes rab ye shes, tshig dbang (R)


'phags pa shing kun. The Svayambhūnātha-caitya is in the charge of the Rāja of Bhutan, the Bauddhanātha-caitya or bya rung kha shor—in that of the Tibetan government (R)


Sanskrit or Tibetan? The 'j' had a caron over it (KMB)

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