The founding father of the Jonangpa. Kunpang Thukje Tsondru received the Rwa transmissions for the Kalachakra at an early age and the Dro transmissions from his primary teacher, Choku Odzer. He trained as a ritual master at Jamyang Sarma’s Kyang Dur Monastery and studied at Sakya and Ngar monasteries.
While in meditation at the Se Karchung cave, he began to condense the practice instructions on the Kalachakra’s 6-fold vajrayoga (“six yogas,” sbyor drug) and the root tantra, synthesizing the 17 distinct lineages of the Kalachakra transmissions from India into Tibet. According to tradition, the female protector deity Jomo Ngagmen Gyalmo visited him and invited him to live in the valley of Jomonang. After 3 years in retreat, in 1294, Kunpang Thukje Tsondru arrived at Jomonang. There he settled in Khacho Dedan, the “Bliss Infused Enjoyment of Space” meditation cave at Jomonang. At this time, he composed his essential commentary (snying ‘grel) on the Kalachakra Tantra, and recorded the oral transmission lineages (snyan brgyud) of the pith instructions on the Kalachakra’s completion stage 6-fold yoga. These were the 1st extensive guidance texts on the vajrayoga of the Kalachakra in Tibet. Kunpang-pa taught his essential commentary on the Kalachakra along with the Vimalaprabha twice a year while he lived at Jomonang. He then passed the lineage onto his disciple, Changsem Gyalwa Yeshe, the 2nd throne-holder at Jomonang.