Reference Analysis Of Blue Annals Chapter 3

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Reference Analysis Blue Annals Chapter 3

by Christopher Bell


The third chapter of the Blue Annals concerns the early translation period of esoteric Buddhist texts during the renaissance era. As such, the following list of places notably provides a very diverse collection of locales. This chapter summarizes the time that immediately follows the period of fragmentation (bsil bu'i dus), a time of great religious and cultural ferment. This new activity is traditionally considered to have a come about after Buddhism was revivified in Tibet, when new monastic powers and religious leaders came into central Tibet from the west and east and founded or reestablished religious institutions. Through the efforts of such agents—like Atīśa, who came in through the west, and the vinaya monks of the east—Buddhist practice burgeoned alongside rigorous translation activity. The rapid translation of numerous Sanskrit tantric texts was taking place all over Tibet through the dedicated work of a growing religious monastic literati and their increasing lay patrons. The following table illustrates just how widespread this translation activity, and the flourishing Buddhist practices that followed, was. While a number of these locations are unknown, there seems to be an even spread all over cultural Tibet, with activity occurring in central, western, and eastern areas. Exceptions include west Tibet (Mnga' ris), which is only discussed once and in the context of Atīśa's time there, and north-east Tibet (A mdo). By contrast, Ü, Tsang, and Kham, provide the setting for a number of events. India and China are also significant, though China to a lesser degree. Geographically locating many of the unknown locations provided below, a difficult task to be sure, would immensely aid the creation of a geographic timeline that could chart the numerous venues of the new religious activity of this period. The difficulty of this task is augmented by the fact that many of these unknown locations no longer exist by these names, the administrative structuring of these regions having been reordered numerous times over the last eight hundred years. Furthermore, the possibility of orthographic error, misinformation, and multiple names for the same places is quite high. Nonetheless, it is quite ostensible, given the diverse and numerous locations discussed in this chapter, that Tibet was undergoing an intense religious revival at this time, and it was filtering into even the most regional of places all over its landscape.


Place TibetanPlace WyliePlace PhoneticPlace EnglishBlue Annals Roerich ReferencesFeature TypeDescription
བོད་bodTibet102, 105, 106, 107, 122, 130, 140, 150, 162, 165, 166, 167, 173, 200countryTibet is the cultural region of the Tibetans, usually referring to central Tibet in the Blue Annals.
བལ་ཡུལ་bal yulBelyülNepal102, 104, 130, 135, 140countryNepal is the small country south of the Himalayas where Indian Buddhism first began.
སྡེ་དགེ་sde dgeDergéVirtuous Community102cityDergé is a city and county in eastern Tibet (Kham), which is now located in the Sichuan province of China.
ཤངས་སྲེག་ཞིང་shangs sreg zhingShang SekzhingBurnt Field of Shang103regionShang Sekzhing is a locale in the region of Shang, which is in the central Tibetan area of Tsang, north of the city of Zhigatzé (Gzhis ka rtse). This is where Sakya Paṇḍita Künga Gyeltsen (Sa skya paṇḍita Kun dga' rgyal mtshan; 1182-1252) discovered the Sanskrit original of the Sādhana of Vajrakīla.
བསམ་ཡས་bsam yasSamyéInconceivable103monastic complexSamyé monastery is the first Buddhist monastery established in Tibet in the late eighth century. For a succinct exploration of this important monastery, see this essay: Samyé Monastery.
མ་མོ་གནས་ma mo gnasMamonéPlace of the Demonesses104unknown locationMamoné is the site where Sakya Paṇḍita Künga Gyeltsen showed the Sādhana of Vajrakīla to an assembly of tantrikas.
རྒྱ་གར་rgya garGyagarIndia104, 130, 135, 136, 140, 161, 162, 163, 179, 186countryIndia is the great subcontinent and country south of the Himalayas.
བྲུ་ཤ་bru shaDrushaGilgit104, 159cityGilgit is a city in modern-day Pakistan and was one of the many places that Nup Sanggyé Yeshé (Snubs Sangs rgyas ye shes; 767/841-880/915) went to in the course of his studies.
ཡར་ཀླུངས་yar klungsYarlungUpper Valley105, 170, 173, 176, 179, 189, 199valleyThe Yarlung valley is the region out of which the Tibetan empire first grew through the efforts of the first Buddhist king of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo (Srong btsan sgam po; 569/617-650).
དབུས་dbusÜCenter108, 127, 129, 136, 153, 170, 177, 203regionÜ makes up half of central Tibet. Lhasa, the capital and largest city of Tibet, is in Ü.
གཙང་gtsangTsangPure108, 136, 144, 153, 154, 157, 160, 174, 176, 180, 182, 185, 187, 189, 203regionTsang makes up the other half of central Tibet. The second largest city in Tibet, Zhigatzé, is in Tsang.
ཁམས་khamsKhamRealm108, 126, 128, 133, 155, 157, 158, 160, 167, 168, 192regionKham is the cultural region of east Tibet, below Amdo, the cultural region of north-east Tibet.
ངོག་ngogNgokSlope109unknown locationThis is where Nyang Sherapchok (Myang Shes rab mchog) built the temple of Shong (Gshongs).
ཧའོ་རྒོལ་ha'o rgolHaogölAttack of Hao109unknown locationThis is where Nyang Sherapchok was practicing meditation and had a vision of the maṇḍala of Vajrakīla (Phur pa).
ཆོས་ལུང་chos lungChölungTransmission of the Dharma109regionChölung, a region in Kham, is where Nyang Sherapchok's disciple Nyang Yeshé Jungné (Myang Ye shes 'byung gnas) is from.
དགེ་གོང་dge gongGegongHigh Virtue110regionThis is where Ché Śākyachok (Lce ShAkya mchog) is from.
ཡུལ་གསར་yul gsarYülsarNew Region110regionThis is where Nyennag Wangdrak (Gnyan nag Dbang grags) is from.
མྱང་སྟོད་myang stodNyang TöUpper Nyang110, 126, 127, 138, 173, 192, 193, 202regionThis is where Dré Trochungpa ('Bre Khro chung pa) is from.
བསམ་ཡས་འཆིམས་ཕུ་bsam yas 'chims phuSamyé ChimpuUpper Fill of Samyé110, 174, 194, 201regionSamyé Chimpu is the mountain area near Samyé monastery. It's also where Rok Śākya Jungné (Rog Shakya 'byung gnas) is from.
པན་ནམ་བྲེས་pan nam bresPannamdréunknown111regionThis is where Minyak Jungdrak (Mi nyag 'Byung grags) is from.
ར་ཟ་ra zaRazaunknown111regionThis where Zhang Dröchungwa (Zhang 'Gros chung ba) is from.
འཚོ་ཉ་'tsho nyaTsonyaFish Livelihood111regionThis is where Zanggom Sherap Gyelpo (Bzang sgom Shes rab rgyal po) is from.
ཤངས་སྨད་shangs smadShang MéLower Shang111regionZurpoche Śākya Jungné (Zur po che ShAkya 'byung gnas; 1002-1062) erected the images of the nine gods of Pelchenpo (Dpal chen po) at a meditation center here.
འོག་བདོང་'og bdongOkdongLower Dong111mountainZurpoche Śākya Jungné captured a nāga who dwelled here.
གཙང་པོ་gtsang poTsangpoPure112riverThe Tsangpo is one of the great rivers of Tibet and it flows past Samyé monastery.
ཐག་thagTakDistant112, 116, 117unknown locationZurpoche Śākya Jungné practiced meditation here. His disciple Zurchung Sherap Drakpa (Zur chung Shes rab grags pa) had a dream that resulted in his miraculous descent into a plain of this region.
མྱུ་གུ་ལུང་myu gu lungNyugulungValley of Reeds112regionThis is where Drokmi ('Brog mi; 993-1050) resided when Zurpoche Śākya Jungné came to receive teachings from him.
ང་རི་nga riNga RiI Mountain112mountainNga Ri is where Mama Yungdrung Trashi (Ma ma G.yung drung bkra shis) and her husband held a religious assembly that involved Zurpoche Śākya Jungné.
སྒྲོ་ཕུག་sgro phugDropukElevated Cave113, 125regionZurpoche Śākya Jungné built a temple at Dropuk after receiving the land from Drotön (Sgro ston).
བན་banBanMonk114unknown locationZurpoche Śākya Jungné had a female patron at Ban named Jomo Yuma (Jo mo G.yu ma).
ཤངས་shangsShangNose115, 121, 170, 193, 199regionShang, which is in northern Tsang, is where Zurpoche Śākya Jungné established a hermitage called Sampa (Bsam pa) and where a religious festival was once held by Zurchung Sherap Drakpa.
རྒྱ་བོ་rgya boGyawoBeard116, 117mountainGyawo is where Zurchung Sherap Drakpa practiced a great deal of meditation and achieved spiritual realization. This mountain is known to look like the deity Pelchenpo surrounded by eight goddesses.
མྱང་རོ་myang roNyangroGrazing Lands of Nyang119villageAn alms giver invited the kalyāṇamitra Kyungpo (Khyung po) to Nyangro.
གུང་བུ་gung buGungbuMiddle Child120, 124unknown locationThis is where Kyotön Śākyé (Skyo ston ShAk yes) is from.
སྐྱེང་ལུང་skyeng lungKyenglungValley of Shame120, 124unknown locationThis is where Yangkheng Lama (Yang kheng Bla ma) is from.
ཆུ་བར་chu barChubarIsthmus120, 124, 157unknown locationThis is where Len Śākya Zangpo (Glan ShAkya bzang po) is from.
ནག་མོ་རི་nag mo riNagmo RiBlack Woman Mountain120mountainThis is where Dati Jośāk (Mda' ti jo shAk) is from.
ལས་སྟོད་las stodLé TöUpper Activity121, 157, 198regionThis is where Zhitön Sögyel (Zhi ston Bsod rgyal) is from.
མངའ་རིས་mnga' risNgariRegion of Dominion123regionNgari makes up west Tibet, which is where Atīśa first arrived in Tibet in 1042.
མངའ་ཕུ་mnga' phuNgapuFoothills of the Dominion124regionNgapu is where Lhajé Drobukpa (Lha rje Sgro sbug pa) spent fiften years of his life.
རོང་ཆུ་ཚན་rong chu tshanRongchutsenHot Spring Valley126valleyThis valley in Tsang is where the nun Dremo (sgre mo) is from.
ལྷ་བྲག་བྱ་སེ་lha brag bya seLhadrak JaséDivine Cliff of the Sé Bird126mountainThis is where Marpa Sherapö (Mar pa Shes rab 'od) is from.
ཤངས་ལྷ་ཕུ་shangs lha phuShang LhapuDivine Foothills of Shang126regionThis is where Langtön Darma Sönam (Lang ston Dar ma bsod nams) is from.
ཉ་རི་nya riNya RiFish Mountain126mountainThis is where Lhajé Horpo (Lha rje Hor po) is from.
མྱང་སྨད་myang smadNyang MéLower Nyang128, 164regionThis is where Dro Darseng (Sgro Dar seng) is from.
ཡོལ་པ་བྲག་yol pa bragYolpa DrakYolpa Cliff129mountainDampa Yochungwa (Dam pa Yo chung ba) was said to be engaged in cutting rocks at yol pa brag.
ཡར་ཀླུངས་བྱ་ས་yar klungs bya saYarlung JasaBird Land of Yarlung130regionZhikpo (Zhig po) was a householder in Yarlung Jasa.
མང་ཡུལ་mang yulMangyülMany Regions130regionAt Mangyül, Zhikpo sat for seven days in meditation on the impartial "Great Perfection" (rdzogs chen).
གཡས་རུ་g.yas ruYeruRight Horn131regionYeru is one of the four traditional regions of central Tibet and is part of Tsang.
ལ་སྟོད་la stodLa TöUpper Mountain Pass132, 180regionThis area of western Tsang is where Metön Gönpo (Mes ston Mgon po) is from.
ལྷོ་བྲག་lho bragLho DrakSouth Rock132, 133, 159regionLho Drak is where Lhotsa Lama Kyap (Lho tsha Bla ma sKyabs) is from, as well as Marpa.
ལྷོ་སྟོད་lho stodLho TöUpper South132regionThis is where the hermitage of Purmongang (phur mong sgang) is located.
གཟད་gzadunknown132, 138, 140, 141, 142districtThis district in Lhokha is where the monastery of Lhadong (Lha gdong) is located.
གངས་དཀར་ཏི་སི་gangs dkar ti siGangkar TisiKailāśa139mountainKailāśa is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Tibet, located in south Ngari.
རྒྱ་ནག་rgya nagGyanakChina140, 149, 192countryChina is the large country to the east of Tibet and which Tibet is currently part.
རྡོ་རྗེ་གདན་rdo rje gdanDorjé DenVajrāsana140cityMore commonly known as Bodhgaya, Vajrāsana is where the Buddha Śākyamuni achieved enlightenment.
ལྷ་ས་lha saLhasaDivine Place140cityLhasa is the capital city and historical center of Tibet.
གསང་ཕུ་gsang phuSangpuSecret Foothills141regionThis is where the monastery of Gyara Gelok (Rgya ra gad logs) is located.
གཡུ་རུ་g.yu ruYuruTurquoise Horn141, 195, 201regionYuru is one of the four traditional regions of central Tibet.
དབུ་རུ་dbu ruUruCentral Horn142, 173, 179, 182, 192, 202regionYuru is one of the four traditional regions of central Tibet and is part of Ü.
ལོ་རོ་lo roLoroCorpse Year142, 143regionThis is where Rechungpa (ras chung pa) is from.
ཆུ་བོ་རི་chu bo riChowo RiRiver Mountain142, 144mountainThis is where Tabön Wangdrak (Rta bon dbang brags) settled and practiced meditation.
ངམས་སོད་ngams s(h)odNgamsöunknown143, 144, 179, 184unknown locationThis is where Tabön Wangdrak proceeded when he turned sixteen.
ཐང་སྐྱ་thang skyaTangkyaGray Plain148plainThis is where Tabön Wangdrak erected an image of Avalokiteśvara.
ཞུང་མཁར་zhung mkharZhungkharEagle Castle148mansionThis is where Tabön Wangdrak attained yogic insight (rtogs pa).
གླག་པ་ལམ་glag pa lamLakpalamVulture Road148unknown locationThis is where Tabön Wangdrak listened to the preaching of the Accumulation of Oral Tradition (Snyan bgyud spungs pa)
རྡོར་ཐས་ཕུ་rdor thas phuDortepuHard Vajra Foothills148unknown locationThis is where Tabön Wangdrak propitiated a protector deity (chos skyong) and had a vision of Mahākāla.
སྟོད་ལུང་stod lungTölungUpper Valley148districtThis important district near Lhasa is where Tabön Wangdrak made begging rounds.
ཚོང་འདུས་tshong 'dusTsongdüMarket Place149regionThis is where Yungtönpa (G.yung ston pa) was born.
མོན་བ་གྲོ་mon ba groMönwadrounknown150unknown locationYungtönpa went to Mönwadro, and his power of concentration increased.
ཕུང་པོ་རི་བོ་ཆེ་་phung po ri bo chePunkpo RibocheGreat Mountain Heap150monasteryThis is one place Yungtönpa resided and preached.
ར་དུམ་བྲག་ra dum bragRadum DrakGoat Part Cliff150mountainThis is one place Yungtönpa resided and preached.
རྟ་ནག་གནས་གསར་rta nag gnas gsarTanak NesarBlack Horse, New Place151unknown locationThis is where Jamyang Samdrup Dorjé ('Jam dbyangs Bsam grub rdo rje) was born in 1295.
རྒྱས་སྨད་སྟག་རྩེ་rgyas smad stag rtseGyé Mé TaktséLower Gyé, Tiger Peak154countyThis is where Sanggyé Drak (Sangs rgyas grags) was born.
གྲ་ཕྱི་ཁང་དམར་gra phyi khang dmarDrachi KhangmarRed House of Drachi154unknown locationThis is where Khyungpo Trowo (Khyung po Khro bo) is from.
སྨན་ལུང་sman lungMenlungMedicine Valley155valleyThis is where Śākya Ö (ShAkya 'od) is from.
དྭགས་པོ་dwags poDakpoOpen Place155, 176, 181, 182, 185, 187, 189districtThis district in south central Tibet is where Sanggyé Gonglawapa (Sangs rgyas Gong la ba pa) is from.
སྐྱི་skyiKyiLoan155, 156, 183, 184, 185regionThis is where Chökyi Senggé (Chos kyi seng ge) is from.
འབྲི་ཆུ་'bri chuDrichuDri River158riverGadampa Deshek Shepa (Sga dam pa Dde gshegs shes pa) founded the hermitage of Katok (Ka thog) on the bank of the Drichu.
མ་ལ་ཡ་ma la yaMalayaMount Malaya158mountainOn the summit of Mount Malaya, Vajrapāṇi taught to an assembly of vidyādharas.
ཟ་ཧོར་za horZahorZahor159cityZahor is the site of an ancient Indian kingdom.
ལྡན་གློང་ཐང་སྒྲོན་མ་ldan glong thang sgron maDenlongtang DrönmaLamp of Denlongtang167unknown locationAt Denlongtang Drönma there appeared an ascetic named Aro Yeshé Jungné (A ro Ye shes 'byung gnas).
རྒྱལ་མོ་རོང་rgyal mo rongGyelmo RongValley of Queens170valleyThe monk Vairocana taught the doctrine at the hermitage of Nātha in this Kham valley.
ཚ་བ་རོང་tsha ba rongTsawa RongHot Valley170valleyThe monk Vairocana taught the doctrine at the hermitage of Taktsé Mhar (Stag rtse mkhar) in this Kham valley.
སྟོང་ཁུང་རོང་stong khung rongTongkhung RongEmpty Pit Valley170valleyThe monk Vairocana taught the doctrine at the hermitage of Drakmar Dzong (Brag dmar rdzong) in this Kham valley.
དབུ་རུ་ངན་ལམ་རལ་གསུམ་dbu ru ngan lam ral gsumUru Ngenlam RelsumCentral Bad Place, Three Gorges173unknown locationThis is where Ngenlam Jangchup Gyeltsen (Ngan lam Byang chub rgyal mtshan) was born.
ཨ་མདོ་a mdoAmdoAmdo173regionAmdo is the cultural region of north-east Tibet and is above Kham.
ཕུག་པོ་ཆེ་phug po chePukpochéGreat Cave174, 179, 180, 182regionThis is where Nyang Sherap Jungné (Myang Shes rab 'byung gnas) once resided.
ལོ་མོ་lo moLomoFemale Year174, 179unknown locationThis is where the ācārya Bagom (Sba sgom) was born.
མོན་ཁ་ཟེར་མོ་mon kha zer moMönkha ZermoMuave Weasel181lakeDzeng '(Dzeng) imparted precepts to a nun who had gone to Lake Mönkha Zermo.
གཉོས་སྐྱི་ཁུང་gnyos skyi khungNyökyi Khungunknown186unknown locationThis is where Hap José Jampel (Hab Jo sras 'Jam dpal) was born.
སྤུང་རིངས་spung ringsPungringHasty Pile189, 190unknown locationDzeng was invited to Pungring and on seven occasions obtained the exposition of the Dorjé Zampa (Rdo rje zam pa).
སྙེ་ཐང་snye thangNyetangPlain of Rest193plainThis is where Nyang Kadampa (Myang Bka' gdams pa) is from.
ཨུ་ཡུགu yugUyukunknown193unknown locationThis is where Chetsün Senggé Wangchuk (Lce btsun Seng ge dbang phyug) hid his precepts.
སེང་གེ་རྒྱབ་seng ge rgyabSenggé GyapBehind the Lion196unknown locationTrülzhik Senggé Gyelpa ('Khrul zhig seng ge rgyal pa) went to Senggé Gyap at the age of twenty-nine.
སྒྲགས་ཕུ་sgrags phuDrak PuJoined Foothills196, 198unknown locationThis is where Melong Dorjé (Me long rdo rje) was born in 1243.
མཁར་ཆུ་mkhar chuKharchuCastle River197, 199countyKharchu was one of the vassal kingdoms established by King Songtsen Gampo.
ཀོང་པོ་kong poKongpoBowl198, 200countyThis county in southern Tibet is where the monastery of Oshö Toten (O shod mtho stens) is located.
མོན་monMönLahul198districtMön is a district located in south-west Tibet.
མཚུར་ཕུ་mtshur phuTsurpuColored Foothills198, 199regionRikdzin Kumāra Rāja (Rig 'dzin Ku mA ra rA dza) went to Tsurpu and studied the Karmapa (Skar ma pa) doctrines with the lama Nyenré (Gnyan ras) and Darma Gönpo (Dar ma mgon po).
དིང་རི་ding riDingriDrum Mountain200districtDingri is a district in La Tö that borders Nepal.