蘇曼迦舉傳承
Zurmang Lineage

跟據佛教的基本信念,凡夫只要能立志潛心修性,終能取得精神成就,進而能在宇宙間自在如意的應世。在這娑婆世界裡,以其無量悲心及優異言行,示範自由解脫之道,引導眾生離苦得樂。在西藏的文化傳統裡,這類聖眾統稱為“圖庫”。

本文追溯蘇曼迦旺過去十二世來持續不斷的殊妙轉世因緣及其光輝燦爛的梵行,作為“圖庫”利生事業的例證。

在西藏,人們酷愛聽聞具德上師的生平事跡,恭謹的心不亞於親得大師灌頂傳法。他們深信舉凡成就者得道的經歷都包涵無窮的加持力,足以喚醒內心本具的佛性,有啟發心識趨向究竟圓滿解脫的奇妙效用。

蘇曼迦旺的勝妙轉世與其光輝梵行,取材自中國青海省蘇曼 寺內幸存的古老文獻,希望大家能在閱讀的時候,感受到無比的安祥和喜悅,激發起對自由解脫的響往,進而接受次第的禪修馴心鍛鍊,迅速的圓滿諸功德資糧,乃 至無礙的成就正覺。曾如是聽聞 : 那無上的覺悟境界,是無可衡量,不可思議,也難以言喻的。惟有通過力行菩提善願及依止具德的傳承上師,恭敬承順,恆常不渝,方能心領神會。

蘇曼迦旺的轉世因緣甚深,最早的迦旺轉世可以追溯到十四世紀第五世大寶法王德新寫巴駐世的年代,也就是一三八四年至一四二五年間。

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第一世的迦旺大師原名董馬希.出生在東康明雅克一帶的望族人家。其父是當時著名的學者,德高望重,廣受當時人們的敬仰。

當迦旺大師應世時,自然界裡出現了許多異常的奇觀。一道也不知源自何處的靈光,遍照大地。天上滿佈著彩虹,色彩繽紛,艷麗奪目。既使空氣裡也瀰漫著幽香,這一切都意味著這位嬰孩是位不尋常的人物。

打從孩提時開始,董馬希的言行舉止都異常的高貴脫俗。隨著歲月的流轉,他也深深的生起了對塵世的厭離,終於毅然離家求道。

 

他早年依循古老的曲奇傳承瑜珈大師明砌昆祝多傑學法,細心聽取明師所開示的一切法要。無論是迦舉傳承的 至寶----拿洛巴六瑜咖,還是寧瑪派的康措寧提法(即空行母的甚深精義),他都能悉心掌握,達到如法典中揭示的成就標誌。可是好學不倦的董馬希並不因此 而自負或怠惰,他求法的心依然熾烈。

輾轉的旅程,他終於抵達族普寺,那是歷代大寶法王的駐錫地,適逢大寶法王在民間說法。董馬希本其無垢慧眼,辨識出第五世的大寶法王即是大智文殊師利的神聖化身,其時正端坐在一頭雪獅上。

他混雜在人海裡聆聽開示,接受灌頂。在灌頂的過程裡,他目睹大寶法王呈現出多傑帕摸的光明身,大樂由心 底自然升起。他完整無餘的入定,摒除了一切妄念。 在他趨前向第五世的大寶法王全心全意地祈請加持庇佑時,大寶法王也在瞬息間憶起印度大成就者拿洛巴遠在第十世紀時的誓約。原來帝洛巴曾矢言:當他自金剛總 持那裡親得的傳承法教,脈系相傳,經過了十三位傳承持有者後,他將乘願重來,把這些勝義重新發揚光大。這些勝義法形成了噶舉耳語傳承的精髓,其中包括勝樂 金剛成就法,赫魯加成就法,金剛亥母成就法,桑為依希智慧佛母等密續,淵深浩瀚不可勝數。

大寶法王也即時認出來者正是帝洛巴祖師的光輝應化身,於是他預言董馬希命中註定是蘇曼迦舉傳承的始祖, 在無盡的未來世裡,學德盛譽齊備,住持佛教最為有功。大寶法王親自為他剃度,並賜法名“瑪希羅卓仁千帕”,意為智慧的珍寶,似乎已在暗喻他在末來世裡所能 達到的燦爛事業成就。

羅卓仁千帕從此居留在祖普寺,他事師無微不至,大寶法王也特別鍾愛他,親授灌頂、口訣。舉凡迦舉傳承的法要,諸如拿洛巴六瑜珈法,帝洛巴的大手印禪觀哲學,乃至蘇曼噶舉耳語傳承裡的密咒口傳,修持要訣,大寶法王都悉數傳授,毫無保留。

隨後,董馬帝在深山隱蔽修法,長達十年之久,成為第五世大寶法王眾弟子中,精神成就最突出的心子。他的知識淵博,擁有驚人的神通,以致遠近馳名,贏得“都千羅卓馬希”的尊稱。“都千”在藏語裡意即聖賢,相當於梵文裡的“瑪哈悉達”,也就是大成就者的意思。

都千瑪希奉大寶法王之命,出發到康省去尋覓古地以便開闢道場,弘法利生。根據大寶法王的指示:吉地正處於兩河匯集處,地勢仿如一頭經剖開後,平臥置放的褐 紅色駿馬。這是大寶法王在淨觀中,空行母多傑娜仲瑪特別予他的開示。因為此地正置勝樂金剛語密壇城的所在,故深具加持力,有助於後世修法者在靈修上的進 展。

都千瑪希牢記上師的囑咐,不惜長途跋涉在藏地遍覓合適的地點。輾轉的旅程,他終於抵達尤頌一帶的美麗山谷,下意識裡直覺這就是大寶法王心目中的理想道場。

為了尋求一個肯定的徵兆,他特別持缽在附近的村莊裡化緣,他一邊走一邊朗頌禮讚文殊菩薩聖德的經文。當他念到:“祈望佛法的寶幡恆久高揚”的時候,恰好有 一位婦女從屋裡出來,在他的缽子裡供養食物。他認為這是一個祥兆,便決定停留下來建立閉關中心。啟建前,都千瑪希修了很多法,大事供養地方上的護法神祇。 薈供時,清澄的水突然從四方八面湧出,無數的世間神明與智慧空行母雲集,齊聲擁贊董馬希.且誓予其各種庇護,以圓滿他為眾生謀福利的慈心悲願。

有一回,都千馬希在問起他的僕人有關食子置放之處的情形時,僕人回答道:“在一個有多個角落的地方”。這就是蘇曼寺得名的因緣,“蘇曼”一詞在藏語裡含有“多個角落”的意思。

在他四十三歲那年,都千瑪希覺得自己應化的因緣已近尾聲,遂遺言將在充滿奇香的槃連黨淨土裡取得正悟。隨即如光消逝,僅留下些許指甲和頭髮以示後人。

青海省的蘇曼寺首建於十四世紀,是歷代蘇曼迦旺大師的駐錫地。自一九九二年起,仁波切積極地展開重修蘇曼寺的工程,期望能盡早回復它昔日的絢爛光彩。重建計劃中包括設立一所佛學高等學院,閉關禪修中心,尼姑庵,診療所,安老院以及孤兒院。

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第二世的蘇曼迦旺是在董馬希涅槃後八年才出生的,他的名字是董楚甸巴,是董馬希的嫡孫。他早年時追隨的明師都是先祖父的出色門徒。由於這些導師都是證得“悉地”成就的大瑜珈士,在他們嚴謹精砌的指導下,第二世的嘎旺自然速捷的達到成就。

此外,董馬希的空行母明妃塔喜仲嫫也親授於他勝樂金剛舞的聖義。這聖舞自帝洛巴從烏金淨土取得傳承法教後,即脈脈相傳持續不斷,迄今仍然是蘇曼寺的獨特傳統。

由於追隨他學法的弟子與日劇增,迦旺大師遂在山麓上增蓋茅舍,以便提供更多的閉關設備。除此之外,他又興建了董司馬大堂,好方便僧伽聚會修法。值得一提的是:類似的大堂,在整個西藏也廖廖無幾,算起來也不過三間。

根據文獻記錄,第六世的大寶法王統瓦東頓十分賞識第二世的迦旺,特意前往蘇曼寺為德誠寺的閉關所主持灑淨的典禮,同時也授與第二世的迦旺許多嫡屬於噶瑪甘桑黃金星傳承的重要法教。

第二世的迦旺大師盡一生精力投入修法中。他獨居在深山中,達廿年之久,全神貫注於修禪,且邀請群山作為其見證,誓言除非在精神上有所超脫,否則將終生蔽隱在山間。

由於他持戒十分清淨,眾神窺見他金黃色的身軀投影在荒山裡,心中生起了無比的歡喜,都爭相以甘露供養他,他也因此而不仰賴人間煙火維持生計。

此外,他也經常在嚴冬裡,以薄布遮體,在冰封的山嶺里修習拙火,持續入定往往達三天之久,足見他已能掌握此殊勝法門,達到圓融精通的至高境界。

第二世的迦旺大師不單在實踐行持上頗有成就,同時也是一位優異的學者和哲學家。他一生著書造論,把董馬希生前開示過的法義統統搜集起來,編撰成冊,並針對深奧難解的經文詳加注釋,是當時極負盛名的精神導師,攝受信眾不可勝數。

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第三世的迦旺轉世名為札蘇貝馬羅卓,是蘇曼噶舉金鬘傳承的諸寶上師。他的主要導師是第七世的大寶法王秋卓吉措以及第二世的嘉察圖庫大喜南佳。

第三世的蘇曼迦旺智行圓滿,精研顯密次第的經典,對密續的要義都能了悟。尤其擅長於嘉哇耶希卡卓成就法以及度宋瑪成就法。在淨觀中都能領受到上述兩位智慧佛母的加持與開示。

第三世的迦旺大師同時也是位才氣橫溢的藝術家,在雕塑佛像,以及繪壁畫,唐卡掛軸晝各方面,都頗有天份。蘇曼寺內的許多尊佛像及主要壁畫,都是在這期間應運而生的。只可惜這些寶藏,在往後數百年的動盪局勢裡,幾乎破壞無存 !

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第四世的蘇曼迦旺大師名噶瑪嘉晨羅卓南佳,在種種瑞徵伴隨下出生於空波一帶,完全吻合了大寶法王的心子昆速喇嘛的預言。

他自幼便流露出與生俱來的智慧以及超逸的品格。小小年紀就能娓娓的敘述宿世的種種體驗,他清晰的追述昔 日以帝洛巴的色身現世說法的經歷。甚至能精詳的追溯到更久遠的時候。在過往的賢劫裡,令誠楚達疆佛駐世的年代,他就追隨於佛的足下學法。疆佛駐世的年代, 他就追隨於佛的足下學法。

無獨有偶的是在這期間,年僅八歲大的第八世大寶法王米砌多傑也在旅居蘇曼寺期間,在淨觀中,歷歷在目地觀照到自己宿生的事業活動。這足以證明蘇曼寺果真是建立在勝土上 !

第四世的迦旺大師修持精湛,精神造詣甚高。在修習蘇曼耳語傳承的各種成就法時,他因蒙受歷代傳承祖師的 加持與啟示,故能迅速的了悟自心本性,證得如來的無漏智。由於這徹悟,他在闡釋大手印的哲理、拿洛巴六瑜珈法等深奧難解法本,得心應手,成為當代馳名的精 神導師。為了表揚他的精神成就,當時的中國皇帝還特別賜銜“康定”,即是“無可倫比的國師”之意。

第四世的蘇曼迦旺大師在二十九歲那年,在許多罕有的殊勝吉兆裡融入法界。在他入涅槃時,眾弟子目睹他在天空上遨翔,朝著西方淨土的方向飛去。稍後又重現雲間說法,令人驚嘆不已。

蘇曼迦旺大師的轉世持續不斷,第五世的轉世名為甸仲羅卓寧瑪,他的根本上師是尊貴的大寶法王以及夏瑪巴大師。

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第五世的迦旺仁波切暢曉經教,學德兼懋,為一代歸仰的對象。中國皇帝特賜“康定”榮銜,表揚其智行。

這一世的迦旺圖庫,從事著書論說的事業,不遺餘力。他將固有的、浩瀚的蘇曼迦舉傳承各法,搜集成共計六卷的頓恭空迦南佳。他以學德盛譽攝受徒眾,不可勝數。

第五世的迦旺也大事興建廟宇精舍,此時的蘇曼寺早已發展成為氣勢磅礡的寺院體系組織,同時也是一代學術、教育、藝術及文化的中心。

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第六世的蘇曼迦旺的故事充滿著傳奇,令人難以置信,這都是由於他累世修行,精神上已有所成就的緣故。他一生善巧的運用智慧與神通,令人讚嘆不已。

第六世的迦旺大師名仁欽寧波,他的應世完全符合了當時一位聲名顯赫的巖藏取者的預言:“即將應世的寧波大德,智慧絕倫,住持佛教最為有力。他將引導無數眾生走上究竟解脫的道路”。

當他尚在娘胎時,周圍的人就已經能夠清楚的聽到他不間歇的念咒聲。出世後不久,才不過三個月罷了,就身 手敏捷的往屋頂上爬去。這突如其來的怪誕行為把在場的叔父嚇壞了,為了維護嬰孩的安全,急忙出手阻止他。這樣一來,破了原本連鎖性的吉祥徵兆,靈童的鑑認 也因此起了波折,一直耽擱到他十二歲那年,才陞坐獅子法座。

原來在這期間,在辨識蘇曼的轉世間題上起了一些紛爭,傳言是前世迦旺大師的外甥才是合格的法嗣。但由於年少的仁欽寧波聰穎過人,神通廣大,令人無法思議,謠傳自然不攻自破。

他能把鐵匙重疊縮短,又能把方才脫下的衣物懸掛在一道陽光上,甚至能召喚其護法神替他做些日常雜務。此外他無師自通,熟諳勝樂金剛舞的層次,舞得淋漓盡致。又常在有意無意之中,透露出許多罕為人知的前生事跡,這一切都能從第五世迦旺的弟子口中得到證實。

為了饒益眾生,他一生修法,從不懈怠。尤其是四臂觀音與無量壽佛這兩個法門,他就各修了多達一千萬次的大薈供。此外,他也召集擅長書法的學僧,用泥金和銀作為材料,抄寫了全套的甘珠爾大藏經,共計一百零四巷,可說是佛教藝術裡的精品。

這時的蘇曼寺,正值最絢爛的時期。寺院的體系龐大,包括一所遠近馳名的高等佛學院,十三所禪修閉關中 心。此外又附設尼師庸,為女出家眾提供修法上的種種方便。單是南嘉寺內即有五位轉世的優異大師在駐持,僧伽眾共計兩千名。因此它是當時首屈一指的寺院組 織,無論是在經典的研究或禪修實踐中,都享有盛譽。

不幸的是也在這期間,西藏教派主義盛行,門戶歧見污染了精神生活。有一些派系甚至勾結了蒙古的部落,借其威勢恣意搗毀異宗的寺廟。蘇曼寺也不可幸免,他們被以固始汗為後盾的狂徒襲擊,大事掠奪破壞,甚至擒捕了第六世的蘇曼迦旺大師。

在囚禁期間,盡管飽受屈辱,蘇曼迦旺都處之泰然,處處流露出菩薩的慈悲以及瑪啥悉達的神通。每週三、五天,用來緊扣著他手足的銬鐐都自行融解脫落,這使來襲者震掠不已,方才猛然驚覺他們怠慢了賢哲。他們的內心充滿了懊悔,紛紛卑躬屈膝向嘎旺大師請罪。

為了表揚他的功德,固始汗優賜有加,特封賜“百戶長”的榮銜,兼理俗世政務。並贈與玉印,寶冠華服以表敬意。

第六世的迦旺大師在六十五歲時示寂。在荼毘大典的過程時,他的心、舌以及瞳子從荼毘煙火中同時躍出,象 徵其精神不死。餘下來的靈骨舍利,不可勝數,頭蓋骨上也呈現出許多種子字。在蘇曼一帶的天空,佈滿了繽紛的彩虹,歷久不散,達數日之久。奇花異卉也同時不 停的從虛空裡灑落。

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第七世連續不斷轉世利生的迦旺大師名初仲南嘉。母親在妊娠期間,就已經不時聽到連綿的海螺聲從四方八面同時響起。按照西藏人的通俗,海螺是吉祥物,象徵聖法弘揚,意味著高僧大德即將應世。

靈童誕生時,大自然界裡出現了許多奇觀。最稀奇的莫過於他出生時,雙手便結智印。甫離娘胎,隨即盤腿結跏跌坐,天空頓時響起雷聲,似乎是在向他致意。奇怪的是他一出生便口 齒伶俐,猶如成年人。

不尋常的事接二連三的發生。在他四歲那年,有一回,當他在戶外和鄰里的小孩們一同遊戲時.小朋友們也不知何故的、一一離棄他而去。他氣惱的在地上跺足,那腳印卻深深的嵌印在地面上,足見他在靈修上已取得突破。

年幼的迦旺,言行舉止都有異於同年紀的兒童。父母親百思不解,憂火如焚,當時適逢大寶法王旅經蘇曼,困 惑的雙親遂前去請示。大寶法王隨即饋贈多件護身寶物,並叮囑其雙親應向當時暫管蘇曼寺的方丈哲桑大師探詢。一年以後,靈童初晤從蘇曼寺來的兩位大師(即哲 桑和羅邦多傑仁波切)。他毫不靦腆的召喚僕人送來一面手鼓,層次不亂的跳起蘇曼寺獨家的勝樂金剛舞。旁人驚嘆不已,第七世的迦旺大師也因此得到明確的鑑 認。

第七世的蘇曼迦旺無論在顯密經論或實踐禪修上都已達到圓融精通,被視為噶舉耳語傳承裡的勝寶,更貴為第十世大寶法王的主要導師之一。

實際上,打從第一世的蘇曼迦旺追隨其根本上師第五世大寶法王學法那時起,一直以來兩人就精神不離,深情厚誼,跨越時空。兩人不間斷的相繼轉世,互授密法灌頂口訣,可以說早已心心相印,息息相關。

第七世的蘇曼迦旺在他五十三歲那年示寂。在荼毘禮上,荼毘火炬不點自燃,餘下無數的舍利。

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第八世的蘇曼迦旺大師名噶瑪初仲固美。從考究有關歷代大寶法王生平事跡的文獻中,我們可以得知第八世的迦旺大師在鑑認十二世大寶法王這事宜裡扮演著極其重要的角色。他是追尋新的法王轉世的重要成員之一,這足以肯定他在噶舉金鬘傳承上的顯赫地位。

在他應世時,大自然界裡出現了許多奇觀,譬如彩虹如柱子似的豎立在天上。他除了經卓越的第十三世帕瓦圖庫鑑認外,也自第十三世的大寶法王處取得皈依,而其根本上師即是第十世的夏瑪巴大師米龐楚篤嘉蘇,因此因緣十分的殊勝。

第九世的蘇曼迦旺大師名初仲塔傑。

第十世的迦旺大師名永篤寧波,是第二世蔣貢康措大師的主要精神導師。

以上三世的迦旺大師的事業功德,因文獻失傳的緣故,尚待考究,在此僅能略述。

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第十一世的蘇曼迦旺大師的轉世投生在里瓦奇一帶,家族名為桑棟疆,是當時的望族。其父為桑棟篤巴,德高望重,是地方上的政要;其母耶希楚頓是一名難能可貴的修行人。

這一世的迦旺圖庫是第十六世的大寶法王在八歲那年鑑認的。據說自第十世的蘇曼嘎旺大師圓寂後,寺院裡的 喇嘛急於尋覓新的轉世,特遣第十世的登嘉大師前去請示大寶法王。其時年幼的大寶法王正在戶外玩得不亦樂乎,卻馬上暫停嬉戲,隨即在地上畫了一張精詳的地 圖,微至屋外系著的一頭紅褐色毛的狗兒也準確無餘,明晰的指示出靈童身處的環境。蘇曼寺裡的僧團就是憑著這地圖毫不費力的找到迦旺大師的轉世。

幼年時的迦旺大師深藏不露,似乎沒有什麼過人的地方,特別是在修習蘇曼獨具一格的勝樂金剛舞的過程中,一反宿世無師自通的慣例,倒是屢學無成。盛怒中,老師不但呵責他愚鈍,還命令他繞廟三次以示懲罰。令人難以置信的是他卻在繞廟之後,舞著進殿來。

第十一世的迦旺大師深譜顯密經續,尤其是在修持四臂文殊菩薩及大威德金剛二密法,已達到圓融精通的至高境界。

此外,迦旺大師與蔣貢康措大師的關係也十分密切。前世即第十世的迦旺大師是第二世蔣貢康措的主要導師, 第十一世的迦旺轉世不忘前緣,成為後者的得意門徒,且在他示寂後,為他主持殊勝的荼毘典禮。這兩位迦舉傳承裡的至寶,在過去數世裡,或師或徒的相繼轉世利 生,私誼甚篤。一直到第十二世也就是現世的迦旺仁波切,早年時也曾跟隨已故的第三世蔣貢康措大師學法。

一九五六年起,第十一世的迦旺大師預感到西藏將面臨劇速的變遷,他積極的弘法授教,毫不怠懈.且諄諄善誘勸勉百姓應誠心侍奉三寶.以期得到加持,幸免亡國的厄運。

當局勢日趨惡化時,他將一件巖藏寶物交托於母親(相傳這財神塑像源自天人巧手),再三的叮囑咐她應更精勤修法。尤其是殊勝的桑巴拉法,深具加持力,必能在厄年裡予她庇佑。

不久後,迦旺大師被拘捕。他深感其應化因緣已盡在獄裡示寂,並矢言將在日後較適當的時機裡乘願再來。

而這一尊佛像,長久以來一直為其母如影相隨般的珍藏,臨終前她還叮囑僕人細心保管,以便歸還於第十二世的迦旺仁波切。

一九九一年夏天,當第十二世的蘇曼迦旺仁波切榮耀回鄉時,這稀世珍寶果真原璧歸趙,情節十分感人。

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According to Buddhist belief, many spiritually evolved beings appear regularly in the world. These highly realized beings take rebirth selflessly with the definite objective of serving humanity through compassion and generous deeds. In Tibetan culture, these extraordinary beings are known as Tulkus. A fine illustration of their activities is recounted here in the manifestation of the twelve unbroken successions of the glorious line known as Zurmang Gharwang.

In Tibet the life stories of eminent lamas are frequently told and read with much enthusiasm, it is as though one is receiving initiation from the exalted masters themselves. They are believed to be excellent stimuli for prompting inner awakening, and serve as unfailing inspiration for the development of limitless good qualities.

The wondrous incarnations of Zurmang Gharwang are translated and compiled based on centuries old records still existing today in the Zurmang Complex of Monasteries in Qinghai.

It is hoped that through the reading of these remarkable deeds, one may experience an inexhaustible wealth of peace and happiness, and find encouragement to transverse the various paths and stages leading rapidly to supreme realization.

Experience as such, was said to be immeasurable, inconceivable and inexpressible except through the vigorous practice of Bodhichitta and guru-devotion, which is transmitted only from ear-to-ear, and heart-to-heart!

The earliest manifestation of the glorious Lord of Refuge known as Zurmang Gharwang can be traced as far back as the 14th century, to the time of the Fifth Gyalwa Karmapa, Deshing Shegpa (1384-1425).

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The First Gharwang was born as Trung Mase, the son of a learned sage of the renowned Mase family in Minyak, eastern Kham.

Remarkable portents accompanied his birth the entire region was curiously illuminated by a celestial light, the skies were filled with rainbows, and fragrance permeated the air. Even at a very young age, Trung Mase displayed the characteristics of a spiritually advanced person. In due course, he severed all worldly concern in preference of a spiritual path.

Among his first teachers was the acclaimed Michok Kunchog Dorje, belonging to an ancient lineage called Chizchen. From him, Trung Mase received many Kagyudpa and Nyingmapa teachings, including the Six Yogas of Naropa, and Khandro Nying-Thig (The Innermost Essence of the Dakinis). He became so accomplished in these meditations that numerous omens occurred confirming his attainment.

Further quest for the liberating teaching brought Trung Mase to Tsurphu, near Lhasa, the Seat of the Glorious Karmapa. He arrived whilst the Fifth Gyalwa Karmapa was giving teaching to the lay community.

In his innate wisdom, Trung Mase perceived Karmapa to be the sacred embodiment of the Bodhisattva Manjushri, riding on a snow lion. As the day progressed, in the course of empowerment, he saw His Holiness assuming the form of Dorje Phagmo. He felt so blissful that he was totally immersed in Samadhi, free from all thoughts.

As he approached the Fifth Gyalwa Karmapa for blessings, His Holiness instantly recalled the ancient prophecy of the great Indian Guru Mahasiddha Tilopa which concerned a pledge to return after the teachings he received directly from the Celestial Buddha Vajradhara had been transmitted through thirteen successive lineage holders.

These teachings formed the core of the Whispering Lineage. Among them, the Ocean of Samvara, the Ocean of Vajra, the Ocean of Heruka, the Ocean of the Dakinis, the Ocean of Action and the Ocean of Activities, as well as the Tantra of Jyorwa Yeshi Khagyor, the Tantra of Heruka Bhadra, the Tantra of Nyingpo, the Tantra of the Vajra Dakinis, the Tantras of Dechok Dorje Trengwa, the Tantra of Dakini Sangwai Zo, and the Tantra of Vajradhara Self-Appearance.

His Holiness recognized immediately that the young Trung Mase was the omniscient emanation of the glorious Tilopa, and concurred that he was destined to become the unequivocal holder of the incomparable Zurmang Kagyud Lineage and a successful disseminator of Buddha Dharma.

His Holiness personally ordained the young bikksu, bestowing upon him the name of Mas Lodroe Rinchen Pal, which means "The Precious Jewel of Wisdom", as if in anticipation of his future grandeur.

Thereafter, Lodroe Richen Pal remained at the feet of his root lama in Tsuphu, and received from him many empowerments, textural transmissions and important Kagyud doctrines including the supreme teachings of the Six Yogas of Naropa, the Mahamudra philosophy of Tilopa, and the oral instructions of the Secret Mantra. He also received in its entirety, the complete oral instructions of the Zurmang Kagyud tradition.

For ten long years, Trung Mase engaged himself in strict retreat, often under conditions of the utmost austerity. Consequently, he emerged as the most spiritually evolved student of the Fifth Gyalwa Karmapa. His learning and insight was said to be so extraordinary that he became widely known as Dubchen Mase. The word Dubchen in Tibetan means "Great Saint", and is the equivalent of Mahasiddha in Sanskrit.

Later, at the command of the Fifth Gyalwa Karmapa, Dubchen Mase proceeded to Kham in order to benefit the beings there. He was told explicitly to establish a monastery on a particular site on which two great rivers converge before flowing steadily downhill, where the terrain resembled a red horse that was split open. In accordance with a prediction of Dorje Narjolma, this was the precise location of Cakrasambhava’s Speech Abode, and is auspiciously blessed by the deity to ensure the complete success of religious practice.

Holding these instructions dear to his heart, Dubchen Mase travelled the length and breadth of Tibet, in search of a corresponding site. By and by, he arrived at a beautiful valley in Yoshung, and felt instinctively that this was the place foretold by his teacher.

Seeking for an auspicious confirmation, he walked around the village with his alms bowl, reciting the Arya Manjushri Namosamgita (The Song In Praise of The Holy Manjushri). When he got to the part which says, "chokyi gyaltshen legpa dzug" which literally means, "Fly high the victorious banner of Buddha Dharma", a woman came out of her house and offered food in his bowl. He perceived this apparent goodwill to be an excellent sign and portent for the future, and decided to build a retreat centre there.

Prior to its construction, Dubchen Mae performed many pujas and made vast Torma offerings to appease the protecting deities of the region. From the four directions, springs of water sprouted instantaneously from the ground. Many mundane and wisdom deities miraculously appeared, making immense offerings to Dubchen Mase, pledging unflagging support to fulfil his aspirations.

On one occasion, when Dubchen Mase inquired as to where his attendant had disposed of the torma, the reply was that of "a place with many corners"-that was how Zurmang Monastery derived its name. Zurmang literally means "Many Corners".

At age forty-three, when he was nearing the end of his activities, Dubchen Mase predicted that he would gain enlightenment in the Pureland of Bon Nyen Dang where the air is filled with wondrous fragrance.

Thereafter, he miraculously dissolved into light, leaving only his hair and fingernails to mark his passing. He was thus known as mkha’spyod-pa, the Heaven-Gone One.

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The Second Zurmang Gharwang

 

The second Zurmang Gharwang incarnate was known as Trung Choden Pal. He was the grandson of Trung Mase, born eight years after the demise of the First Gharwang.

He received strenuous religious training from the distinguished yogi disciples of the First Gharwang Tulku, many of whom had attained siddhis. He was initiated into the sacred Cakrasamvara Dance by Tartse Junmo, the dakini consort of the late Trung Mase. Until this day, the practice of the Cakrasamvara Dance is still an important tradition of Zurmang.

As the spiritual community grew by leaps and bounds, the Second Gharwang Tulku endeavored to fulfill the aspirations of his followers by building many more retreat huts on the hillsides. He also initiated the construction of a large assembly hall known as Trungsema where the sangha could congregate to do their practice.

When the Sixth Gyalwa Karmapa Tongwa Donden visited Zurmang to consecrate the Dechentse Retreat Center, he was so delighted with the excellent progress that he imparted innumerable important teachings of the Karma Kamtsang Tradition to the Second Gharwang.

During the major part of his life, spanning a total of twenty years, the Second Gharwang incarnate spent long periods in meditation. He was known to be a most vigorous practitioner. It was with a steely determination that he declared, "May the mountains be my witness, until there is fruition to my practice, I will not venture beyond them".

As he was known to have observed his precepts purely, by the profound power of his stainless morality, the gods were so delighted in seeing his glorious silhouette on the desolate mountains that they brought him nectar for his sustenance, thus he had no need for the food of common man.

As an illustration of his mastery over the practice of Tummo, he once went to the top of a snowy mountain clad only in a thin cotton robe, and meditated continuously for three days in the freezing cold of winter.

The Second Gharwang was also a consummate scholar and brilliant philosopher. Untiringly, he compiled the entire teachings of Trung Mase into a single volume, and composed many practical guides to advanced texts. He was considered the foremost spiritual master of the time, and people came from far and wide to hear him teach, as well as to receive blessings from him.

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The Third Zurmang Gharwang

 


The Third incarnate tulku on the golden rosary of the Zurmang Kagyud Tradition was known as Gyatso Pedma Lodroe. His main teacher was the Seventh Gyalwa Karmapa, Chos Trag Gyamtso, and the Second Gyaltsab Tulku, Tashi Namgyal.

He was a brilliant scholar and practitioner. He studied and practiced to perfection the various treaties of the Sustras and Tantras; in particular, the yidam practice of Jyorwa Shi Khagyor and Drolsungma. He was so adept in his meditation, that he was able to have a clear vision of his Tutelary deities.

The Third Gharwang incarnation was also known to be an excellent artist and fine sculptor. In his life time, he crafted many wonderful Buddha images in the Zurmang Complex of Monasteries; including the legendary golden statue of Dorje Chang that allegedly gave teaching.

He was also largely responsible for the majority of frescoes and tangkas existing in Zurmang at the time. Unfortunately, a great many of these treasures were lost or destroyed over the long, turbulent years.

 

The Fourth Zurmang Gharwang

 

 

The name of the Fourth Zurmang Gharwang Tulku was Karma Gyaltshen Lodroe Namgyal. He was born in Kongpo amidst many auspicious omens, and was in complete accordance to the unerring vision of Kunchog Lama, who was a learned disciple of the Karmapa.

The Fourth Zurmang Gharwang incarnate was a person of tremendous spiritual attainment. As a young child, he often spoke articulately of his previous lives. With uncanny clarity, he recounted his days in India as the Incomparable Tilopa; and prior to that, to an earlier time when he was a disciple of the Buddha known as Richen Choedak Chang.

It was during this period of time that young Karmapa (The Eighth Gyalwa Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje, aged eight) visited Zurmang, and experienced a series of visions revealing to him unreservedly the many details of his previous incarnations.

The Fourth Gharwang was an accomplished practitioner. When he engaged himself in the Zurmang Nyengyud practice, he received tremendous lineage blessings, and innate wisdom spontaneously appeared. Because of his deep realisation, he became a principal teacher of the Mahamudra Lineage, especially adept in the profound teaching of the Six Yogas of Naropa.

Extolling his superior spiritual qualities, the Chinese emperor bestowed upon him the honorary title of Khentin, which in brief means, "Indisputably, a great master".

The Fourth Gharwang Tulku entered mahaparanirvana at a relatively young age of twenty-nine. At the time of his passing, his close disciples saw their esteemed master flying high above them in the sky, heading in the direction of the Western Pureland; then miraculously reappearing again to give teachings appropriate to the occasion. Many other auspicious signs also manifested marking the demise of a Mahasattva.

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The Fifth Zurmang Gharwang

 


The Fifth successive incarnation of the Zurmang Gharwang Tulku was known as Karma Tenchog Lodroe Nyingma. His main teachers were the Gyalwa Karmapa and the excellent Sharmapa.

The Fifth Gharwang Tulku was a prolific scholar. In this fruitful incarnation, he composed six volumes of the treasured text known as the Trungon Kunga Namgyal, which contains a full explanation of the extensive Zurmang Nyengyud practices. He taught widely and attracted many new disciples through the power of his profound teachings.

Besides, his spiritual and artistic brilliance, the Fifth Gharwang incarnate was known to be a budding architect. The combination of his personal fame and the success of his predecessors resulted in a large sangha and a pressing need for rapid expansion. The Fifth Gharwang embarked on a massive building program which transformed Zurmang into a magnificent complex of monasteries with an enviable reputation for being a fine centre for studies and practices.

Similarly, he received the honorific title of Khentin from the Chinese emperor. He passed away at the age of sixty.

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The Sixth Zurmang Gharwang

 


The life of the Sixth Zurmang Gharwang Tulku, Rinchen Nyingpo, was one of the most enchanting incarnations. Through numerous, ingenious displays of innate ability, he amply manifested the signs of having completely mastered all relative and ultimate aspects of phenomena, which are beyond the scope of ordinary man.

The birth of the Sixth Gharwang incarnate was prophesised by a Terton of the time, who claimed that "one would come with the name Nyingpo, and he would be a great being that firmly established many fellow beings on to the path of liberation."

Even before his birth, the young tulku could be heard reciting prayers inside his mother's womb. When he was barely three months old, he was seen climbing with unbelievable agility to the roof top, much to the alarm of his family. Fearing for his safety, his uncle hastily restrained him from proceeding further. As a result, the auspicious interdependent link of events was considered broken, and he was not recognized as the Gharwang incarnate until he was much older, at the age of twelve.

There existed at the time, a minor controversy regarding the identity of the genuine Gharwang incarnate. There was then, a widespread belief that a young nephew of the previous tulku was the rightful successor. However, the legitimate heir to the Lion Throne soon demonstrated his superiority through a spectacular display of his inconceivable power.

As a young child, he was able to shrink a metal spoon by folding it up three times. He often hung his clothes on the ray of a sunbeam, and ordered numerous chores to be done by his Protector who remained invisible to the naked eye. He was even able to perform the entire sequence of the traditional Zurmang Cakrasamvara Dance without it being taught to him. Moreover, he often disclosed intimate details of his past lives that were known only to his closest disciples.

In this most extraordinary incarnation, the Sixth Gharwang Tulku performed over a hundred million Amitayus and Chenrezig puja. He also collected an entire Kangyur totalling a hundred and four volumes, written completely on gold and silver leaf.

By this time, Zurmang had grown into a vast complex of monasteries comprising a Sherda (Buddhist Institute for Higher Studies), thirteen meditation centres and an affiliated nunnery catering exclusively to the female sangha. The main monastery at Namgyal-tse was home to five incarnate tulkus, and some two thousand lamas and monks. It was counted among the largest monastic institutions in all of Tibet, and commanded considerable respect as an excellent place of learning and practice, far exceeding many other religious establishment.

Unfortunately during this time, religious sectarian disputes had plunged Tibet into turmoil. In the midst of widespread and indiscriminate destruction of monasteries across the country, Zurmang was attacked by the zealous folowers of Gusri, the Khan of the Oirat Mongols. The Sixth Gharwang was captured. He was heavily chained and handcuffed. Despite this indignity, he repeated astounded his captors by melting the wrought iron cuffs.

Witnessing this remarkable feat, the Mongolians quickly realized they were in the presence of a highly spiritual being and were filled with remorse. They prostrated before him in humble devotion and hastened to release him. As a mark of repentance, the Mongolian ruler bestowed upon him the title of Peihutuktu, granting him the use of a personal seal, ceremonious hat and robe to mark the extension of his authority over the entire province.

At the age of sixty five, the Sixth Zurmang Gharwang dissolved into dharmakaya amidst great lamentation. Concluding a truly magical life, his heart, tongue and eyes leapt out simultaneously from the funeral pyre at the time of his cremation. Many rinsels were recovered from the ashes, and seed syllables were visible o his skull cap. For days, the sky was filled with rainbows, and showers of fragrant flowers rained down from heaven.

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The Seventh Zurmang Gharwang

 


The Seventh in the long, illustrious line of Zurmang Gharwang was known as Choschung Namgyal. Throughout the entire period of her pregnancy, the mother-to-be heard the incessant echoes of a conch hailing the imminent arrival of a great being. In the Tibetan tradition, the sound of a conch also symbolizes the flourishing of dharma, and the manifestations of myriad Buddha activities.

Many auspicious omens were present at his birth. Much to the astonishment of his mother, the remarkable child was born with his hands in mudra; as if he was supplicating the wisdom deities. No sooner had he emerged from his mother's womb, then the child sat in the Vajra position and spoke as eloquently as an adult; whilst thunderbolts roared in the sky.

An even more unusual event took place when the child was four years old. One day, while he was playing outdoors with his companions, they suddenly deserted him for no apparent reason. He stamped heavily on the ground to express his annoyance, and the imprint of his footstep was said to have remained embedded on the ground thereafter.

Coincidentally, His Holiness, the Gyalwa Karmapa was passing through the region; the anxious parents took the opportunity to consult His Holiness concerning the rather irregular behavior of their son. They were given many protective cords and in turn, told to redirect their inquiry to Chetsang Tulku who was temporarily in charge of Zurmang, in the absence of their Supreme Abbot.

A year later, when the child was presented to the two tulkus of Zurmang, namely the Venerable Chetsang and Lopon Dorje-with impeccable composure, the young Tulku summoned his servant to fetch a daimaru, and further astounded his visitors with a faultless performance of the entire Zurmang Cakrasamvara Dance. It was through this remarkable demonstration, he proved beyond all doubt that he was indeed, the omniscient incarnation of Zurmang Gharwang.

The Seventh Gharwang was only concerned with study, meditation, teaching, and upholding the tradition of the Oral Instruction Lineage of the Karmapas. His learning was so vast that he became one of the main teachers of the Tenth Gyalwa Karmapa.

It is interesting to note that since the day the First Gharwang became a disciple of the Fifth Gyalwa Karmapa, a boundless, auspicious connection had been forged between them. This strong intimate spiritual link spans the centuries, endearing the two successive incarnates to each other, utterly transcending time and space.

The Seventh Gharwang entered mahaparinirvana at the age of fifty three. At the time of his passing, countless rainbows hung over the sky of Zurmang. During the time of his cremation, the funeral pyre lit itself spontaneously, and many rinsels were recovered from the ashes.

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The Eight, Nineth Tenth Zurmang Gharwang

 


The name of the Eight Gharwang incarnation was Karma Choschung Gyudme, Records from The Life Stories Of The Sixteen Incarnations of The Gyalwa Karmapa indicate that he was among the search party for the Twelfth Gyalwa Karmapa, which tends to confirm his unexcelled position as a major Kagyudpa tulku.

At the time of his birth, a rainbow appeared vertically, like a pillar standing erect in the sky. He was formally recognized by His Eminence Pawo Tulku, and took refuge with the Thirteen Gyalwa Karmapa. His principal teacher was the Tenth Sharmapa, Mipham Chosdrup Gyamtso.

However, the life and deeds of the glorious Eight Gharwang Tulku remain obscure, as monastic records marking this period of time were largely destroyed due to the rather unsettling conditions typical of our era.

For the same reason, little is known of the Ninth Gharwang incarnation beyond that he was Choschung Tarjee, and cross reference with the biographies of other imminent tulkus indicates that the Tenth Gharwang, Yondu Ningpo was one of the main teachers of the Second Jamgon Kongtrul.

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The Eleventh Zurmang Gharwang

 


The Eleventh Zurmang Gharwang was born in Riwochi, into the prominent family of Samdong Chang. His father was Samdong Trukpa, a minister of the region; whilst his mother Yeshe Tsuldron was known to be an accomplished practitioner.

The identification of the Eleventh Gharwang incarnate was revealed by the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa when he was barely eight years old.

It was alleged that the Eleventh Zurmang Tengah Tulku approached the young Karmapa who until then, was playing merrily in the fresh outdoors, and asked reverentially for indications surround the brith of the new Gharwang incarnation. His Holiness stopped playing momentarily, and drew a detailed map on the ground leading to the successful discovery of the young Gharwang.

The main practice of the Eleventh Gharwang were the Four-Armed Manjushri, as well as the Protector Yamantaka. He was a close disciple of the Second Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, and officiated at the funeral rites of the latter.

Throughout the years of 1956 and 1957, the Eleventh Gharwang felt instinctively that dramatic changes would soon take place in Tibetan society, he taught relentlessly, and gave empowerments widely in order to benefit the people.

As the situation deteriorated, he entrusted to his mother a Zambala statue which was said to be part of the exquuisite Terton treasure made exclusively by celestial hands. He instructed her in the devotional practice of Zambala, and pledged that the blessings of the deity would remain with her and keep her safe. Later, as he felt he could no longer fulfil his aspiration, he considered it more favorable to leave his body and re-incarnate at a more auspicious time.

The statue meanwhile, was carefully preserved by a faithful servant of his late mother, and miraculously restored to the present Gharwang Rinpoche during his first tour to Zurmang in the summer of 1991.

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