Biography Of Nyang Ral Nyi Ma 'od Zer

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Biography Of Nyang ral nyi ma 'od zer from the Tibetan Renaissance Seminar

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Essential Template

LABELDATA
TBRC IDP364
Wylie namenyang ral nyi ma ‘od zer
Name etymologyBraided one from Nyang; ray of sunlight
Naming historyOriginally named Nyang ral, he received he name ‘od zer from a dākinī of prisine cognition at Mawocok Rock (Dudjom Rinpoche 755).
Person typehuman
Ethnicitybod: dbus
Clannyang
Gendermale
Summary (1 paragraph)The first of the five treasure revealer kings in the Nyingma tradition, Nyangrel Nyima Özer (1136-1204 CE) is an extremely important figure in both the treasure tradition and Renaissance Tibet. A reincarnation of the Dharma King Thrisong Detsen (khri srong lde btsan), Nyangrel Nyima Özer showed signs of religious greatness from a young age. At the age of eight, he had visions of Avalokiteśvara, Padmasambhava and Śākyamuni; Padmasambhava actually bestowed him an initiation in one of these visions. He became learned in mantras and dialectics by studying with various teachers which included his father, and he would come to discover many important treasure texts. A religious layman, he married Jobuma (jo ‘bum ma) and had two sons: nam mkha’ ‘od zer and nam’mkha’ dpal ba. The latter son became his chief disciple and heir.
Longer description 
Birth date (Tibetan)fire dragon (Phillips 114)
Birth date (international)1136 CE (TBRC, Dudjom Rinpoche); 1136 CE or 1124 CE (Phillips 114)
Birth place (Tibetan)lho brag: gtam shul: jod pa ser mgon (Phillips 114)
Death date (Tibetan)wood mouse
Death date (international)1204 CE (TBRC, Dudjom Rinpoche); 1192 CE or 1204 CE (Phillips 114)
Death place 
Spheres of activity 
Sect Nyingma
ReferencePage/linePassage
Blue AnnalsII 542

Detailed Template

IDs

TBRC ID: P753

Names and titles (ming dang mgo sa)

Name (ming gzhan dag/): nyang ral nyi ma ‘od zer

Etymology:nyang ral = braided one from Nyang; nyima od zer = ray of sun light

Type (rigs)

Types (rigs)

Sentient being type (sems can rigs mi 'dra/):

Gender (pho mo/):

Ethnicity (mi rigs):

Birth and death ('khrungs 'das)

Birth International date ('khrungs dus/ _spyi 'o'i lo zla tshes grangs/): 1136 CE

Birth Tibetan date ('khrungs dus/ _spyi lo'i lo zla tshes grangs/): fire dragon Death date ('das dus/ _spyi 'o'i lo zla tshes grangs/): 1204 CE

Death date Tibetan ('khrungs dus/ _spyi lo'i lo zla tshes grangs/): wood mouse

Places & Institutions (yul)

Birth place ('khrung yul/): lho brag: gtam shul: jod pa ser mgon (Phillips 114)

Death place ('das yul/):

Principal sphere(s) of activity (spyod yul/):

Family (khyim tshang/)

Clan (rus pa'i ming/): nyang

Associates

Types:

Incarnational pedigree

Past lives: (Phillips 131-2)

Education (slob sbyong)

Teaching institutions:

Things taught (doctrines, ritual, literature):

Career

Occupation:

Religious sectarian affilialtion (chos lugs): Nyingma

Institutional base(s):

Writings (rtsom yig)

Nyang rel revealed many treasures, including texts and objects (Dudjom Rinpoche 756):

Short summary of life

The first of the five treasure revealer kings in the Nyingma tradition, Nyangrel Nyima Özer (1136-1204 CE) is an extremely important figure in both the treasure tradition and Renaissance Tibet. A reincarnation of the Dharma King Thrisong Detsen (khri srong lde btsan), Nyangrel Nyima Özer showed signs of religious greatness from a young age. At the age of eight, he had visions of Avalokiteśvara, Padmasambhava and Śākyamuni; Padmasambhava actually bestowed him an initiation in one of these visions. He became learned in mantras and dialectics by studying with various teachers which included his father, and he would come to discover many important treasure texts. A religious layman, he married Jobuma (jo ‘bum ma) and had two sons: nam mkha’ ‘od zer and nam’mkha’ dpal ba. The latter son became his chief disciple and heir.

His Significance

Nyangrel Nyima Özer was an important figure for several reasons. He is perhaps best known as a treasure finder, and in effect, formalized the existence of the treasure cult which emerged earlier with Sangye Lama and Trapa Ngonshe (1012-1090). Nyangrel Nyima Özer was the first of the "5 Kingly Treasure Finders." The treasures that he revealed are also known as the "upper" treasures whereas the treasures of the second kingly treasure finder Guru Chowang (1212-1270) are known as the lower "treasures." Among the many important texts that he revealed included the Mani Kabum, Tantra of the Gathering of the Sugatas of the Eight Transmitted Precepts, and the doctrinal cycles of the Great Compassionate One, the Peaceful and Wrathful Aspects of the Guru, and the Cycle of Mahakala and Malevolent Mantra.

However, Nyangrel Nyima Özer also wrote an important history on Padmasambhava, thereby contributing to the romantic cult of the empire that would permeate Tibetan culture for years to come. The discovery of the Mani Kabum also helped in the creation of the Avaloketesvara cult whose significance in Tibet is very great.

Sources/Bibliography

Dudjom Rinpoche (Jikdrel Yeshe Dorje). The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism Its Fundamentals and History. Trans. Matthew Kapstein. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991.

Phillips, Bradford Lyman. Consummation and Compassion in medieval Tibet: The Maṇi bka’-’bm chen-mo of Guru Chos-kyi Dbang-phyug. Diss. U of Virginia, 2004.