Jikan wrote:Hi all,
I don't know anything about this teacher, or these teachings, except for the connection to Dzogchen, which I have a longstanding interest in. Any clarification and details will be helpful. Thank you.
Tashi delek J,
Below some more about Taphiritsa. Very important Rigdzin in the Zhang Zhung Nyen Gyud Dzogchen cycle of Teachings.
To get understanding and realisation in this Dzogchen Tradition, one needs to do the invocation yoga with Taphiritsa or Drenpa Namkha. This because according Lopon Tenzin Namdak Lak,
Taphiritsa seems to be an reincarnation / emanation from Drenpa Namkha.
HE LIFE OF TAPIHRITSA
JOHN REYNOLDS / VAJRANATHA
- THE LIFE OF TAPIHRITSA -,
Not much is known of the life of Tapihritsa, as was the case also with his predecessors in the Zhang-zhung lineage.
He was, however, born in Zhang zhung or Northern Tibet sometime in the seventh century when Zhang-zhung was still an independent kingdom. At this time the provinces of Central Tibet (dbus-gtsang) were already under the rule of the Yarlung dynasty of Tibet.
It is widely recorded in later Tibetan histories, but also in the Tun Huang documents, that the first Buddhist king of Tibet, Songtsan Gampo (627-649), conquered Ligmigya, the king of Zhang-zhung, apparently making him into a vassal without permanently occupying the country.
Then it is reported that, over a century later, during the reign of the greatest Buddhist king of Tibet, Trisong Detsan, the Tibetans killed in am-bush the last Ligmigya king of Zhang-zhung and the Tibetan armies moved into occupy the country to the west. Thereupon the native Zhang-zhung-pas were pressed into service as porters for the Tibetan forces as they moved further westward into Baltistan and Gilgit and northward into Central Asia.
It was especially from the master Tsepung Dawa Gyaltsan (Tshe-spungs zla-ba rgyal-mtshan) that Tapihritsa received all four cycles of precepts from the Zhang-zhung Nyan-gyud, and, in particular, the Experiential Transmission (nyams-rgyud) from the 24 previous masters.
According to the tradition, it is said that some portions of the 4 Cycles of Precepts (bka'-rgyud bzhi skor) may be taught to any suitable disciple or group of disciples, but certain other exceedingly secret instructions and Upadeshas are restricted in their disclosure to a single disciple within the master's lifetime.
This latter is known as the Single Transmission Lineage (gcig brgyud).
The master examined the marks of his young disciple, which were outer, inner, and secret, over the course of a 3 year probationary period in order to determine whether or not he was a suitable vessel for the full and complete transmission.
Moreover, the permission of the guardian deities of the tradition had to be sought by the master by way of divination, omens, dreams, and visions, before the transmission could be granted.
Otherwise, there might be dire consequences. Then, when the transmission did actually occur, the master whispered the secret oral instructions of Upadeshas (man-ngag) into the ear of his disciple through a long bamboo tube, so that the local spirits and deities in the vicinity might not inadvertently overhear these instructions.
When both the requisite signs have appeared and there existed the per-mission of the guardian deities, then there remained no excuse for the disciple not to enter into retreat.
Going into such a closed retreat (mtshams-bcad), cutting oneself off from the rest of the world, the disciple practiced there in an isolated site, such as a cave or rock shelter, until the signs of success (grub rtags) in practice appeared.
Having received the transmissions for both the 4 Cycles of Precepts and for the Meditation Experiences of the previous masters, Tapihritsa retired to a cave at the mountain of the lion rock of Tagthab (stag-thabs seng-ge'i brag) that lay to the east of Mount Kailas in Northern Tibet.
Most of his twenty-four predecessors in the lineage had also made their retreats in this same region. Living alone in this cave, Tapihritsa practiced in silence for nine years. Finally, through his practice of the Clear Light, otherwise known as Thodgal, he attained the Rainbow Body of the Great Transfer, leaving no remnant of his material body behind in the cave.
His later miraculous appearances to his disciples, such as Gyerpungpa and Yungdrung Gyaltsan, were due to the fact that he had realized this Rainbow Body of the Great Transfer, and so he possessed the capacity to manifest to his disciples, or to anyone else, in whatever form was suitable to the circumstances.
- THE HAGIOGRAPHY OF PONCHEN TAPIHRITSA -
Firstly, with respect to the history of the great master Tapihritsa who was the disciple of the previous master (Tsepung Dawa Gyaltsan), there are 5 considerations:
- First, his father was Rasang Lugyal (Ra-sangs klu-rgyal) and his mother was Sherigsal (Shes-rig-gsal). When he was born as their son, he was given the name of Tapihritsa, which means "king" in the Zhan-zhung language just as the word rgyal-po does in the Tibetan language.
- Second, because he possessed both ripened karma and good fortune, he met masters who would show him great kindness. He requested the Bon teachings from his father Rasang Lugyal and then from the great master Ponchen Rasang. In particular, when he came into contact with the Lineage of the Twenty-Four August Persons, he requested the complete Experiential Transmission, as well as the Transmission of the Precepts for Dzogchen from Tsepung Dawa Gyaltsan.
- Third, he resided for some time relying upon a very special place (for the practice of meditation). In particular, he practiced ascetic conduct at the lion rock of Tagthab (stag-thabs). For nine years he practiced there uninterruptedly without speaking to anyone.
- Fourth, as for the signs of his realization and his virtuous qualities that he attained during his lifetime, having realized all siddhis without exception, those which were both ordinary and supreme, he ultimately attained Buddhahood in the Body of Light without leaving any remainder of his material body behind.
- Fifth, an understanding (of the Natural State) that was extraordinary became manifest within him. The realization of the Dharmakaya having become manifest for his own benefit, he thereupon emanated himself in the form of the one called Tapiradza in the Zhang-zhung language, that is to say, as a Nirmanakaya he acted for the benefit of others. He emanated himself in the guise of a young boy who embodied the Gnosis of Omniscience (for the benefit of his disciple Gyerpungpa) and, moreover, he emanated various different divine forms or bodies in an unpredictable manner elsewhere.
Thereby he brought about immediately liberation in the mind-streams of his fortunate disciples and they in turn came to manifest various virtuous qualities.
TAPIHRITSA PRAYER -
This invocation prayer was written by Gyer-pung Nang-zher Lopo, the principal disciple of the eighth century master Tapirhitsa. When Tapirhitsa appeared as Kuntuzangpo to Gyer-pung Nang-zher Lopo, he transmitted the complete Zhang Zhung Nyen Gyud cycle of teachings and then, in order to ensure their preservation, gave him permission to put them in writing for the first time.
E MA HO!
KUN ZANG THUG TRUL KU DOG SHEL KAR ÖD
Emanation of the Mind of Kuntu Zangpo, Your body color is luminous white like crystal,
DRI MED DANG SAL OED ZER CHOG CHUR TRO
Immaculate and of clear luster; rays of light emanate from You to the ten directions.
GYEN MED CHER BU YE NYID NYING POI DOEN
You are naked and without ornaments, signifying that You are the essence of the Primordial State.
KHYEN NYI THUG JE DRO WAI DÖN LA GONG
Through Your compassion and the two knowledges, You attend to the welfare of all beings.
DER SHEG THUG CHÜD DZOG CHEN KUN GYI CHOG
The essence of the enlightened mind of all Buddhas is Dzogchen, “the Great Perfection”, supreme among all (teachings),
THEG PAI YANG TSE GYUD LUNG MAN NGAG NYING
The highest peak among all the ways (to enlightenment), and the essence of all the Tantras, Agamas, and Upadeshas.
ZHI YI NEY LUG KHOR DEY DROL TRUL DANG
From the Natural State, the Base, (originates both) the liberation of Nirvana and delusion of Samsara.
DRA ÖD ZER SUM KYON YON RAB SAL ZHING
Through sounds, lights, and rays, all the defects (of Samsara) and all the virtues (of Nirvana) clearly manifest.
DRO WA LO YI MUN PA KUN SAL NEY
Having cleared away completely the darkness (obscuring) the minds of beings,
ZHI TONG TSA DRAL SA LAM CHIG CHOED TOG
The Base, empty and without a source, together with the Paths and Stages is instantly realized.
NYAM TOG NGON GYUR KHOR DEY SEM SU DROL
Experiences and understanding becoming manifest (on the Path), Samsara and Nirvana are liberated into the Nature of Mind,
DRE BU KU SUM YING SU GOED DZAD PA
And the Trikaya of the Fruit becomes visibly arrayed in space.
DRO WAI GON PO TA PI HRI TSA LA
To You, O Tapirhitsa, the protector of beings
DAG LO TSE CHIG MOE PEY SOL WA DEB
We pray with single-minded devotion
DAG SOG DRO LA WANG KUR JIN GYI LOB
(That you) bestow the blessing, which confers initiation upon myself and all other beings,
CHI NANG SANG WAI BAR CHEY ZHI WA DANG
And pacify all obstruction outer, inner, and secret.
MA RIG TRUL PAI DAG DZIN DROL NEY KYANG
Having been liberated from self-grasping, which is the delusion of ignorance,
RANG RIG NGON GYUR TA CHOE THAR CHIN NEY
Our own intrinsic Awareness will become manifest; and having perfected the view and conduct;
YE TONG TSA DRAL LO DEY CHEN POI DON
( May the realization) of the actual meaning of the Primordial State empty, rootless, and totally beyond mind
DA TA NYI DU DAG LA TSAL DU SOL
At this very moment, be bestowed upon us!
JE DRO WAI GON PO TA PI HRI TSA LA
O Tapirhitsa, Lord and protector of all beings,
SOL WA DEB SO DRO DRUG THUG JE ZUNG LA DAG GYUE TROL
We pray that you hold with compassion the beings of the six realms, and liberate their mind streams