Blue Annals (deb-ther sngon-po)

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

This page relates ‘Niguma: Siddha khyung po rnal 'byor’s biography’ 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 9 (Kodrakpa and Niguma).

Chapter 2a - Niguma: Siddha khyung po rnal 'byor’s biography

[Full title: Niguma (ni gu’i skabs). {Chandra 638; Chengdu 854; Roerich 728}.—Siddha khyung po rnal 'byor’s biography (Roerich 728)]

Having thus related the succession of the Lineage of the upāyamārga of the Six Doctrines (chos drug) bestowed on the Master marpa by Śri Na’ropa, I shall now tell the story of the Lineage of the Six Doctrines founded by Niguma, sister of Na’ropa.

Its Lineages of Guidance and Initiation: the introducer of the Doctrine (to Tibet) was the siddha khyung po rnal 'byor. He belonged to the khyungpo clan, and was born at snye mo ra mangs% in the Tiger year (stag lo 1086 A.D.) as son of father stag skye and mother bkra shis skyid. Soon after his birth, the Indian siddha Amogha came there, and uttered an auspicious prophecy about him. At the age of ten, he mastered reading, and the Indian and Tibetan alphabets. He became proficient in the Kalacakra. At the age of 13, he studied with the ācārya gyun drub rgyal ba the Bon doctrine, and preached it to others, and about 700 scholars (possessing manuscripts of the text) attended his class.

He then studied extensively the Cycle of the rdzogs chen sems sde[1] with the bla ma 'byung gnas seng ge, and then preached it. During that time also he gathered about 700 disciples. After this he made a study of the complete doctrine of skor nirupa at stod lungs shomara. Having taken with him a considerable quantity of gold, he journeyed to Nepal, and studied there the work of a translator with the paṇḍita Vasumati. He obtained from him the initiation into the Kriya and Yoga Tantras, as well as about fifty Tantric sadhanas. He was well received by Atulyavajra and met rdo rje gdan pa. He became a novice[2] and heard many doctrines. He then heard many Tantric doctrines from Srī Bhadrasañāna, Vairocana. Kha ched dgon pa ba, zhing gi rdo rje[3] , mi mnyam rdo rje[4] , rin chen rdo rje[5] , the three disciples of Maitripa, Debikotti ḍīkima Kanaśri[14] , and the brāhmaṇa Ratnapāla.

After his return to Tibet, he was attacked twice by robbers, but was able to defeat them with the help of his miraculous power. In his native place he gave a talisman to his aunt to ensure a male progeny[6]. She bore three sons. A white goddess told bla ma shangs pa a prophecy that these three sons would offer him a thousand measures of barley every year, and would act as his chief supporters. After the former disciples had offered him much property, he secured more than a thousand golden srangs when the goldmine of gu lang was discovered. After that he journeyed again to Nepal and obtained from pham thing pa the Saṃvaramūlatantra[7] and the gdan bzi.

After that he proceeded to India, and offered to rdo rje gdan pa a hundred golden srangs. He heard many doctrines at Nālanda from mda chen po[8], a disciple of Na’ropa, Sumatikīrti, Rāmapāla, Natekara, the Venerable rin chen lha mo[9] of Kaṃkata, and from the siddha Sūryagarbha[10], a disciple of Kukuripa. He met also Maitrīpa, and obtained from him many Tantras, and offered him seven srangs of gold. Tibetans being poor, he begged him to bestow on him an effective sadhana which would enable him to gather wealth, and Maitrīpa bestowed on him the yid bzin gyi mgon po phyag drug pa[11].

He then took with him 500 gold srangs and asked: Is there any one who had met Vajradhāra? They replied: There is one named Niguma, the sister of Na’ropa. She has attained the Holy Stage[12], and transformed her body into that of rainbow[13], and made herself invisible by ordinary people. However she used to preside over Tantric feasts[15] held by dakinis at the cemetery ground of the So sa island.[16] Those who possess a pure might see her there. He went to the island of Sosa,[17] and prayed Namo Buḍhaya. Then he saw in the sky at the height of seven tālas[18] a ḍākinī of a dark brown complexion, adorned with ornaments made of bones, holding a mendicant staff[19] and a kāpala in her hands, manifesting her various aspects and performing a dance. He recognized that she was Niguma, and saluted her requesting her to bestow on him the holy precepts. But she replied: I am a flesh eating dakini! Again he entreated, and she said: If you want to obtain Mantrayana precepts, gold is needed! He then offered her 500 srangs which she accepted and threw them into the forest. He began to doubt that she was a ḍākinī of the flesh eating class, and while he was thinking so, she gazed skywards, and then numerous ḍākinīs gathered, and she created a maṇḍala, and bestowed on him the initiation of the illusory body[20] and the practice of dreams[21] .

After that the dakini transported him to a distance of about three yojanas, and deposited him on the summit of a mountain of gold. There in a dream, rdo rje btsun mo[22] bestowed on him the Six Doctrines, and then again personally on three occasions the rdorje tshig rkan and the sgyu ma lam rim. Further, she expounded to him numerous Tantras and sādhanas. Niguma said to him: Except myself and Kambalapada[23] no one else knows the precepts of the Six Doctrines. Till the seventh teacher of the Spiritual Lineage, this teaching should be transmitted down a single line (of teachers). These will be blessed by me, and I shall give them a prophecy.

After that he obtained from a secret yogin the bde mchog lha Ina[24], the mkha' spyod dkar dmar[25], the rim sna stan thog gcig ma, the Sadanga yoga[26], and many other texts. He also heard many doctrines from

Rolpa'i rdorje[27] , Āryadeva and ḍakisumati, as prophesied by them. He also met the ḍakini Sukhasiḍhi, a disciple of Sri Virūpa. He presented her some gold and received from her initiation. She said to him: I shall manifest (myself) to your Spiritual Lineage and bless them. She also bestowed hidden precepts on him. Further, he offered gold to the dakinīs Gangadhara and Samantabhadri[28] , and obtained from them precepts. He also, obtained the Yamaṇtaka [Yamāntaka?] Cycle[29] from the paṇḍita bde ba'i rdorje,[30] and the Cycle of the Devi[31] from rolpa'i rdorje[32] . Further, he heard many precepts from the bla ma Advayavajra and others. He then returned to Tibet and proceeded as far as snye mo, and as numerous gold mines had been discovered, he was able to secure much gold.

After that he again returned to India and prepared offerings spending 80 gold srangs to Vajrāsana. The Teacher and all people were filled with surprise. At that time, though Niguma, Sukhasiḍi, dor rje gdan pa, the three Tantric brothers[33] and Maitripa were not present, he presented gold to 50 teachers, including Maitripa’s wife (jo mo) Gangadhara and others. They (in return) bestowed on him many hidden precepts. Again, when he proceeded towards mnga 'ris, he met Dipankara[34] who bestowed on him many doctrines, including the Guhyasamāja and others.

Some of his own Indian (Sanskrit) manuscripts being slightly damaged, he restored them after collating them with the manuscripts in Atiśa's possession. They were translated by rin chen bzang po and dharma blo gros. He took up final monastic ordination in the presence of glang ri thang pa. He founded at jog po of 'phang yul the 'chad dkar dgon pa. (The monastery) was visited by Rahulaguptavajra, a yogin of the valley[35] of Kālakuta,[36] who bestowed on him numerous doctrines, including the initiation into the five sections of the Tantra class %, the Cycle of Mahākala, and others. Later he proceeded to tsha lung % of 'jam in the year Wood Female Sheep ('sin mo lug 1055 A.D.). In the year

Fire Male Ape (me pho spre'u 1056 A.D.) he went to sag rtsa of phagri[37] In the year Iron Female Ox (Icags mo glan 1061 A.D.) he went to gre in Upper gro mo[38] . Having received an invitation from jog po, he journeyed to shangs. During three years he founded 108 monasteries including zhong zhong and other monasteries. He preached extensively the Doctrine. The monks concentrated too much on the study (of books), and became slothful in their meditations. At times he manifested to them the images of goddesses, at times he showed the fearful forms of the retinue of Yama. In this manner he again introduced them to meditation. Some other monks, feeling envy, called in troops. With the help of phantom troops he caused them to retreat, and they showed devotion, and became his disciples. He used to subdue with the help of his mind concentration gods and demons by day and night[39] who were causing hindrances, such as the thang lha gods, the 'bara nagpo of shab, and other deities.

Having conjured their lives, he bound them by vows. He also performed numerous miracles, such as magic performances and the manifestation of himself in the form of a deity. At the end of his long life[40] he uttered the words: Today it is my last preaching of the Doctrine, and passed away. (Before passing away) he said: If they would place my body without cremating it inside a receptacle of gold and silver, the zhong zhong monastery would equal Vajrāsana. But Khams pa monks did not wish to listen to these words, and cremated his remains, and images of the tantric gods of the five classes were recovered (from the ashes).

Footnotes and references:


a rnyingma work, one of the three classes: sems sde, klong sde, and man ngag sde


dge tshul mdzad pa, means that he became an attendant of rdo rje gdan pa (Amoghavajra) {R}


Kshetravajra {R}


Atulyavajra {R}


Med 'tshol, to ensure childbirth; lte sgyur, to ensure a male progeny


Abhidhānottaratantranāma, Kg. Rgyud 'bum, No. 369




Nyi ma'i sning po


the white Mahakala


dag pa’I sa


'Ja' lus


The dākinī Kanaśri of Devikotī, one of the 25 sacred, places of India. Present day Tibetan bla mas maintain that Tsa ri in S.E. Tibet is the ancient Devikoti. According to the Fifth Dalai Lama Devikoti was situated in the valley of the Se ra Monastery near Lhasa (fol. R3a). The original Devíkotí is said to have been situated in the Vindhya hills.


ganacakra {R}


E. India {R}


Sosa gling {R}


the height of a palm tree {R}


khatvaṅga {R}


sgyu lus {R}


these are two sections of the Six Doctrines of Nāropa {R}


Vajrayośi, Vajravārahi, here Niguma {R}


Labapa {R}


the five deities of Saṃvara {R}


the white and Red Vajravārahī


sbyor drug {R}


Lalitavajra {R}


Kun tu bzang mo {R}


gsin rje gsed kyi skor


Sukhavajra {R}


Lalitavajra {R}


rdo rje mched gsum {R}


Atīśa {R}


khong gseng {R}


Ri nag near Rājagṛha (Ri nag is a name given to the forest clad mountain belt of the Himalayas) {R}


between Chumbi and Gyang tse {R}


Chumbi {R}


gshin rje’i skyes bu, the sentence seems to be incomplete {R}


sku tshe mthar phyin {R}

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