Blue Annals (deb-ther sngon-po)

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

This page relates ‘Male cutting (pho gcod kyi skabs)’ 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 13 (Cutting and Kkarakpa).

Chapter 2 - Male cutting (pho gcod kyi skabs)

[Full title: Male cutting (pho gcod kyi skabs. Chandra 883; Chengdu 1158; Roerich 996)].

The (Line) known as “Male” gcod (pho gcod): Though smar ra ser po of yar klu ngs had visited Eastern and Western India, he did not succeed in obtaining the doctrine as desired by him. He then befriended some traders, and on the way to Tibet, came across an a tsa ra[1] . He did not know whether the man was a heretic, or a Buddhist. As his companion he had a kalyānamitra named dnos grub, who possessed a staff made of black wood (cahu 'sing) with numerous ornaments carved on the four sides. The Indian ascetic said to him: “Let me have it!” and he gave it away.

Then the ascetic said: “This is a heretical weapon with which to perform miraculous deeds! Though I know (how to work it), it is useless”, and saying so, he broke the staff. Sma ra ser po then asked the ascetic’s companion: “Who is it?” and the latter replied: “It is Dam pa!” They (sma ra ser po and the kalyána mitra) then felt faith in him, and asked for instruction in the Doctrine. To dNos grub, (Dam pa) imparted precepts, and among them the one entitled “External vision should not be taken inside, etc.” (meaning that the Mind should be kept away from outside impressions). Di ngos grub having been convinced, accepted (dam pa) as his mūla guru (rtsa ba'i bla ma).

Then sma ra serpo requested instruction in the Doctrine, and dam pa told him:

“A Doctrine, desired by you, is coming to you in the future.”

Sma ra ser po followed after dam pa and reached Idog stag ris. Dam pa took up residence in a hospice, and many people came to ask for his blessing. In particular, many who were blind and deaf were cured on the spot. When skyo sākya ye ses came to a religious assembly, there happened to come also two sons of a rich man of Upper myang (myang stod) who were showing the first symptoms of leprosy. The two were entrusted to the care of skyo. But the latter was only seeking wealth, and the health of the children did not improve. Skyo heard that Dam pa had the power of curing instantly diseases.

So he asked dam pa:

“I have two boys, the debris of a demon’s feast (meaning that their elder brothers were killed by demons). Pray bless them!”

Dam pa replied addressing himself to sma ra ser po:

“Now the Doctrine desired by you has come!”

He then imparted to skyo, his two disciples and sma ra ser po, the four, the precepts of gcod. (These precepts) sma ra ser po committed to writing and called them “khrul tsho drug pa”[2] . He did not commit to writing the verbal precepts. The two boys also practiced them and were cured of their disease. Both became devotees[3] . Skyo did not preach the precepts to others, but practiced them himself. Then being afraid that the Lineage may come to an end, he bestowed them on dbon po bsod nams bla nia only. Skyo having gone to khains, bestowed on his return Journey the four Sections of the “khrul tsho” (groups) on labs sgron. Sma ra serpo also abstained from preaching them to others, and constantly practiced the method of (Vajra) Vārahī of had bu, as well as that of gcod.

In his old age, he bestowed them on his attendant smyon pa be re, with the words:

“Practice them yourself, but don't bestow them on any one else.”

At that time both Icae stop and phug stong happened to stay at the monastic college (gra sa) of sha ston rdor 'dzin in phuthang Icae ston fell ill.

He knew that be re knew the gcod rite and told about it to sha ston, who said: “Go and ask him for the precepts!”

Ri khrod phug ston inquired:

“How will you, Teacher, go, without completing your studies here? I have been a hermit, and he might impart them to me. I am going there to make the request.”

Rdor 'dzin said,

“Well, you might ask my friend lcae ston to present the request. You can tell him that he possesses an incontrovertible precept of the Prajngāpāramitā handed down from dam pa (sañs rgyas), and ask for it.”

Phug ston acted accordingly, and made his request. The bla ma be re smyonpa said:

“No one knows that I possess this doctrine! Did a demon tell it to you?”

Again he asked: “Do you really intend practicing it?” “Yes, I want to practice it!” Be re then imparted to him the gžu n brul tsho drug (The Six groups of Texts on gcod) with the introduction and precepts. While he was practicing them at skyi tshang, the ācārya shaston sent a man, and phug ston came to phu than and preached three of the brul tsho. He bestowed the brul tshodrug on a khams pa scholar, whose copyist also wrote them down. Later when rog shes rab 'od came to the residence of ri khrod žig po, and was listening to the recitation of the Namasangiti and the (Vajra)vārahī system according to the method of dampa (sangs rgyas), he asked the yogin-copyist to be his host.

From him he found out about the origin of this precept, and requested phug,ston, who said

“Connection with One (means) a connection with all. When revealed to one, it is revealed to all! Prepare the requisites (for initiation)!”

He then bestowed on him the first ‘brul tsho’, or group (of texts).

He then asked the Teacher: “Does this doctrine include other sections as well?”

“It does”, replied the Teacher,

“but I didn't disclose more than three to sha ston rdoy'dzin at phu thang. If I were to preach to you the complete precepts, he might become displeased.”

“But why did you not give him the complete precepts?” inquired rog shes rab'od.

The latter replied:

“Because the precepts were too profound! There were many men at his residence and all could have copied them, therefore I didn't give them. Also they do not respect their Teacher and simply look after books. Therefore I did not give it to them!”

He (rog) asked that he might be given the complete precepts.

The Teacher replied:

"Because, you will be of benefit to living beings, I shall impart them to you."

He then bestowed on him the “Six Groups” (brut tsho drugpa) together with the “Oral Precepts,” and said:

“Now, outside of these I haven’t even a single precept I do not commit the ‘Oral Precepts' to writing,”

Saying so, he imparted them to him gladly.

The latter (rog shes rab 'od) bestowed them on sum ston ras pa. The latter on bla ma gñan ston. Again ri khrod phugston (bestowed) them on the daughter skal Idan. The latter on gtsang ston skyi tshang ba. The latter on gnan ston. The latter on dbon po cahos sdings pa dar ma shes rab. The latter on sgrig ston sañs rgyas. Again sum ston ras pa bestowed them on sañs rgyas ston pa. The latter on mkhas btsun gžon nu grub. After this one, (the succession) continued as in the previous (lineage). In general the gcod system spread widely. As regards the Life stories (of its teachers), I have written only about those which had been seen by me. The Chapter on the “Male” gcod (pho gcod).

Footnotes and references:


ācārya, Indian ascetic {R}


should read brul tsho—Six Groups of Precepts/of gčod / {R}


sádhaka, skt.

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