Tsewang Norbu

Tsewang Norbu at Jonang

jf_tsewang norbu_01.jpg Tsewang Norbu

The one who Hugh Richardson referred to in his 1967 article as “a Tibetan antiquarian” in describing his efforts to jot down stone pillar inscriptions in Lhasa and at Samye that date from the 8th and 9th centuries, the Nyingma master Rigzin Tsewang Norbu was a lover of rare books. [1] In fact, it seems that he was a bit of a Buddhist bibliophile.

About a hundred years after Tāranātha's death in the spring of 1635, and seventy-five years after the confiscation of Takten Damchö Phuntsok Ling Monastery , the Dzogchen master from Kathog Monastery in Kham, Rigdzin Tsewang Norbu (1698-1755), made a visit to Jonang to print the books that were sealed-up in the printery. Most likely spurred by a conversation with his friend and disciple Situ Panchen Chokyi Jungne (1699/1700-1774), this particular trip was actually Tsewang Norbu's third visit to Takten Ling. [2]

Kongtrul's Jonangpa Connections

799.fpx&obj=iip,1.0&wid=637&hei=1100&rgn=0.0,-9.107468E-4,1.00000000,1_0.jpg Jamgon Kongtrul

One of the most fascinating figures in Tibetan history, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thayé (1813-1899) is also one of the most studied Tibetan masters. In addition to several articles on his life and works, numerous volumes of his writings and compendiums have now been translated into English and other European languages, including his autobiography, A Gem of Many Colors . [1] Though his works are well known and he is often considered a reviver of Tibetan traditions including the Jonang, his connections with Jonangpa masters have not been made explicit. In order to reveal some of these connections, I recently started to sift through his record of received transmissions ( gsan yig ), and I thought to jot a few notes here. [2]

Tārāyogīni Tantra & Practice

This post is titled, The Transmission of the Tantra and Practices of Tārāyogīni ( Sgrol ma rnal 'byor ma ): A Little-Known Jonang Specialty . By Thomas Roth, a contributing author to the Jonangpa blog.

jf_tarayogini_01.jpg Tarayogini Tarayogini

The Jonang tradition was and is well-known for holding and continuing to propagate several unique transmissions, such as various strands of Kālachakra transmissions and various traditions of its six-limbed vajrayoga; the Mahāsṃavāra Kālachakra, the view of emptiness based upon the insights and explications of Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen (1292-1361) known as zhentong ( gzhan stong ) and others. Among these unique transmissions is one that is almost completely unknown outside of the Jonang tradition, and apparently not very widely practiced within it either, despite the fact that it seemingly was of rather great importance to the great Tāranātha (1575-1635) and that the great 19th century Rimé master Jamgon Kongtrul (1813-1899) regarded it highly, and he wrote about it and practiced it himself.