Blue Annals Chapter 10

Tibetan Texts > Specific Tibetan Text Studies > Deb Ther Sngon Po (Blue Annals) > Chapter By Chapter Summary - The Blue Annals > Chapter 10

Summary of The Blue Annals Chapter 10: The Wheel of Time Tantra (Skt. Kālacakra)

by Zachary Rowinski


The Kālacakra section of the Blue Annals is mainly devoted to outlining all of the important Kālacakra lineages as they came into and continued in Tibet up to 1481, the year of ‘go lo tsā ba’s death. The main two transmission lineages in Tibet are said to be the ‘bro and rwa lingeages, but, as we will see, numerous others are mentioned, as the Kālackra-tantra had up to twenty or more translators by ‘gos lo tsā ba’s time. The chapter begins by looking at the early history of the Kālacakra in India. It does not bother to discuss any of the mythology of Śambhala, but rather focuses on the lineage accounts starting, usually, with a figure named Kālacakrapadā. These lineage accounts in India are sketchy and conflicting and ‘gos lo tsā ba does little more than to list them, it seems, as he finds them. As a result, the Indian figures or anecdotes from the ‘bro lineage resemble, but don’t exactly match the Indian teachers in the rwa tradtion.

After leaving the discussion of the Kālacakra lineasges in India, ‘gos lo tsā ba discusses the transmissions as they took root in Tibet. He starts with the ‘bro transmission and discusses the Indian figure Somanātha. He then discusses the founding of jo nang monastery and the story of famed proponent of doctrinal position of "other-emptiness" (Tib. gzhan stong) shes rab rgyal mtshan and his students. {R 766 - 789}. Of particular interest to cultural studies in Tibet are the shong brothers {R 784 - 787}, who Roerich tells us are considered to have brought the study of the sciences (Tib. rig gnas) to Tibet.

Other highlights in this chapter include a short biography of bu ston, the story of the "last paṇḍita" in Tibet, Vanaratna, and a long (30 page) biography of a translator named bsod nams rgya mtsho (this is not the third Dalai Lama) which is itself split into eight chapters. This last, very detailed, biography was not written by ‘gos lo tsā ba, but was inserted into the text after his death and reportedly with his according to his intentions. bsod nams rgya mtsho was a student of ‘gos lo tsā ba and Vanaratna.

The Kālacakra chapter of the Blue Annals only provides suggestions of where the sections should be separated. I have tried to provide my own section breaks and titles as seemed reasonable, but they are not perfect. For example, the section on the ‘bro is not entirely about individuals who practiced only the ‘bro transmission; ‘gos lo tsā ba introduces lesser Kālacakra transmissions by other translators and mentions how various individuals received multiple translation lineages. So, I see my headings as only a beginning attempt give some basic structure to the chapter and should be refined upon additional readings. Headings for less important sections or for individuals who are within a section but should be marked off by a heading are put in parentheses ( ).

Secret Mantra in Jambudvīpa {R 753}

The chapter begins with a short description of the origins and Secret mantra in India. Certain tantras are said to come from the four directions. First, in the East, king Pradoyotacandra received the Yoga-tantras, including the Sarvatathāgatatattvasaṃgraha. In the south, Nāgārjuna is said to have also received Yoga-tantras, specifically the Guhyasamāja-tantra. In the West (Oḍḍīyāna) is where the Yoginī-tantras appear. Lastly, in the north, (Śambhala) is the place from where the Kālacakra teachings spread.

Date of the Kālacakra-tantra’s arrival in India {R 753-755)

Based on a quote from the Vimalaprabhā companion-commentary to the Kālacakra-tantra, ‘gos lo tsāba notes how many scholars take 1027 A.D. to be the time of Kālacakra’s arrival in India, however ‘gos thinks it may have arrived earlier. He notes how the Indian mahāsiddhas Ghaṇṭapāda and Virūpa each make references either to the Kālacakra or its commentary in their own writings. He also mentions that tsi lu pa, an important figure in the transmission of the tantra, read the text at a monastery in Ratnagiri, a monastery that had not been damaged by the Turuṣkas. He also notes that a number of other masters such as Tillipa, Naropa, Kālacakrapadā and others had received transmissions of the text. Based on these points, he concludes the Kālacakra-tantra arrived in India at an earlier than 1027, although he does not suggest an alternative date. To further support his argument, ‘gos tells us that lo tsāba gyi jo (date?) was the first to translate the tantra in Tibet and mentions that gra ba mngon shes (b. 1012) seems to have received teachings on the Kālacakra as a youth. This would support his argument that the tantra came from Śambhala earlier than 1027.

Introduction to the Kālakrackra transmissions in Tibet {R 755 - 756)

This section introduces the two main Kālacakra lineages of Tibet: that of rwa and that of ‘bro lo tsāba. ‘gos presents a list of the important Indian and Tibetan figures who transmitted the tantra all the way up to dol po pa and bu ston, who he regards as the greatest recipients of the tantra in Tibet. Both bu ston and dol po pa initially received teachings in the rwa lo tradition, but then received the ‘bro and other traditions later. The ‘bro tradition is connected to the Indian paṇḍita Somanātha (11th century) of Kasmir and the rwa lo tradition is associated with the Nepalese teacher Samantaśrī. Here, ‘gos gives the lists the names transmission of both the rwa lo and ‘bro traditions. Later in the chapter, especially in the transmission leading to dol po pa, ‘gos lo tsāba gives a biography of some of these individuals.

Accounts of the Kālacakra lineages in India {R 756 - 763}

The next several sections discuss several different Kālacakra lineages as they came to Tibet from India. There are disagreements among the various lineage accounts and ‘gos presents several of them before discussing the inconsistencies.

In the first lineage account, an Indian named Kālacakrapāda is said to have received the tantra directly from the king of Śambhala, pad ma dkar po, also known as Puṇḍarika- a manifestation of Avalokiteśvara and the author of the companion commentary to the Kālacakra tantra, the Vimalaprabhā. This section describes the events leading to Kālacakrapāda’s receiving of the Kālacakra-tantra in Śambhala. The legends differ. In some he actually goes to Śambhala and other he does not. ‘gos lo tsāba suggests we accept the version where Kālacakrapāda receives the tantra from pad ma dkar po in a vision as he prepares to travel to Śambhala.

It should be noted that the discussion of the lineage is complicated by the fact that multiple individuals are known by the name "Kālacakrapāda." The text jumps from discussing this Kālacakrapāda to another individual named tsi lu pa and it’s not clear whether or not this is the same person. Tsi lu pa (Cilu) is said to have transmitted the Kālacakra tantra to five students, the most important being Piṇḍo. Piṇḍo’s life is discussed briefly. Following him is Kālacakrapāda, the Junior, who is said to have received the Kālacakra from Nāro pa and Kālacakrapāda, the Senior. Kālacakrapāda (senior or junior?) is reported to have caused disturbances in Buddhist circles for his outspokenness regarding the superiority of the Kālacakra-tantra (R 758). As a result, a debate ensued at Vikramaśīla with Kālacakrapāda emerging as the victor.

(Somanātha) {R 758- 760}

Somanātha is important to the early transmission of the Kālacakra tantra to Tibet. This section starts with his childhood in Kāśmīr and follows his travels to Tibet. His exposure to Buddhist teachings in Kāśmīr impelled him to travel to Madhyadeśa, where he received Kālacakra teachings from dus ‘khor ba. Eventually he sought to teach in Tibet and was directed to the g.yor po, the home of lce, father and son, for patronage. There he gave teachings on the Kālacakra tantra.

The transmission to lce, father and son, and others at this time is the first Kālacakra lineage listed by ‘gos lo tsāba. Following this, Somanātha goes to India and returns a second time. During this trip, he travels ‘phan yul and transmits the tantra to dkon mchog bsrung. dkon mchog bsrung transmits it to yu mo, who then transmits it to tre bo mgnon po, who in turn transmits it to others. This becomes a second Kālacakra lineage stemming from Somanātha.

A third Kālacakra lineage was received by gnyan and rgwa lo tsā ba from Mañjukīrti and Abhayākara {R 760}.

Next, ‘gos lo tsāba cites a long passage from the writings of a bsod nams od zer ba describing another lineage coming from the Indian teachers Abhaya, tsa mi sangs rgyas grags pa, Abhiyukta, and Bhāskara to the translator se lo tsāba. se lo tsāba transmits to gnyos ‘od ma. gnyos ‘od ma is noted for marking the unclear passages in the tantra in white in order to ask his teachers about it. He transmits the teachings most notably to bkra shis rin chen, who is said to have studied the tantra for 12 years and to have received multiple Kālacakra lineages.

In another lineage there is an alternate story of how Kālacakrapāda first received the tantra: His mother, a yoginī, took him to Śambhala as a youth where he met a monk of beautiful appearance who transmitted the Kālacakra-tantra and several other texts. Following this Kālacakrapāda becomes a monk in Madhyadeśa under the name tsi lu pa. In Orissa, at the request of his three students, tsi lu pa wrote down commentaries related to the Kālacakra-tantra and other tantras, some of which were lost and said to have to have been hidden by dākinīs. tsi lu pa travels east and transmits the teaching to Upāsakabodhi. Upāsakabodhi, like in the earlier discussion of Kālacakrapāda, Junior and Senior, caused a disturbance in Buddhist circles by proclaiming that all tantras needed to be understood based on the Kālacakra-tantra. Again, a debate ensues at Vikramaśīla with the result that everyone submitted and received Kālacakra teachings from Upāsakabodhi {R 763}. It is not clear who this lineage connects to in Tibet, but ‘gos next tells us is that gnyan lo tsāba received the tantra from Mañjukīrti and Abhayākara (the lineage of gnyan lo).

Disagreements in lineage accounts {R 763 - 766}

’gos lo tsā ba next discusses the disagreements among the lineage acocunts. First, he speculates on the identity of Piṇḍo, who is sometimes said to be the teacher of Kālacakrapāda, the Senior and sometimes said to have been his student. He wonders if Kālacakrapāda may have had multiple teachers and who might have been the early transmitters of the Sadaṅga-yoga (yan lag drug). ‘gos notes that the Indian sources are themselves often unreliable and that they give conflicting reports about, for example, who was a teacher of whom. {R 764}

’gos thinks that the story that some tantric commentaries had been hidden by the dākinīs must be mistaken because the specific commentaries were extant in their full version in Tibetan translation in his time. {R 764-65}

What is not disagreed upon is that the lineages of gnyan and se lo tsā ba came from Abhaya, the rwa lo came from Mañjukīrti, and the ‘bro lineage came from Somanātha. All of these came from Kālacakrapāda, Senior and Junior.

Next, ‘gos again disagrees with the given chronology of the Kālacakra’s date of arrival in Madhyadeśa, saying that at the time of gra ba mgnon shes and Marpa, the Kālacakra was in Tibet.

It seems the tantra must have been translated soon after its composition in India. According to ‘gos lo tsā ba, gyi jo, the first person to translate the tantra, worked with the father of Kālacakrapāda, the Junior, however ‘gos offers no specific dates for any of the figures in most of these lineages.

The Kālackra-tantra in Tibet {R 766 - 838, the remainder of the chapter}

(The ‘bro lineage) {R 766 - 771}

The text now begins to focus on the more specifically on the ‘bro lineage in Tibet. lce, father and son, are said to have received two lineages, one from Somanātha and one from glan lo tsā ba. ‘bro translated the text with Somanātha and this was passed on to sgom pa dkon mchog bsrungs. Following sgom pa dkon mchog bsrungs is sgro ston gnam rla brtsegs and yu mo.

Both these latter two Tibetans had the opportunity to receive the teaching from Somanātha himself in exchange for assistance in bringing his belongings to Nepal, but both opted out. From yu mo several individuals receive the tantra, most notably Dharmabodhi, who himself transmits the Kālacakra teachings widely, and to his son Dharmaśvara. Dharmaśvara was able to pick up the Kālacakra teachings at the early age and quickly began to teach and practice it.

Dharmaśvara had a son and daughter who practiced the Kālacakra-tantra. The daughter is a short but interesting example of a female becoming a fully accomplished practitioner. Her name was jo ‘bum. She practiced the Sadaṅga-yoga (yan lag drug gi rnal 'byor) and became "equal to a natural yoginī." {R 768}. The brother of jo ‘bum was se mo che ba. Early on he was deaf and dumb, but came to master the Sadaṅga-yoga and Nā-ro’s six doctrines.

se mo che ba’s disciple was ‘jam sar shes rab ‘od ser. ‘jam ser became an adept and is said to have maintained the precepts well. He established hermitages and taught the doctrine. His student was chos sku 'od zer. ‘gos lo tsāba notes that chos sku 'od zer’s biography is given elsewhere in the Blue Annals and so he describes only how he met ‘jam sar. Notable here is a description of ‘jam sar’s transmission of the fourth initiation to chos sku ‘od zer {R 771}.

kun spang and the founding of jo nang monastery {R 771 - 775}

The student of chos sku ‘od ser was kun spang thugs rje brtson 'grus (b. 1243 d. 1313). He became known as a good debater and teacher, but later decided to become an ascetic and meditator. After several years he founded jo nang monastery.

He had four important disciples, the "Four sons of kun spang pa"; each receive a short biography. One of the four sons, mun me brag kha ba grags pa seng ge, is noted for reciting the Kālacakra mantra 10,000,000 times and making 1,000,000 ablutions, as well as being an adept. Another of the four sons is sron pa kun dga' rgyal. He was a "zu gur che" of the Mongolian emperor and a holder of his own Kālacakra precept lineage (sron lugs).

Following kun spang pa’s death in 1313, byang sems rgyal ba ye shes became the abbot at jo nang for eight years before his own death. Following him as abbot was mkhas btsun yon tan rgya mtsho, who is perhaps most notable as a teacher of shes rab rgyal mtshan.

shes rab rgyal mtshan {R 775 -777}

shes rab rgyal mtshan was born in dol po. At an early age he began to teach the Four Great (exoteric) Treatises (bka' chen bzhi). He traveled in central Tibet and became known as a good scholar and debater. At jo mo nang he obtained teachings in the Kālacakra and at age 35 became the abbot of jo nang. There his activities included the construction of a large stupa and the production of a revised translation of the Kālacakra-tantra. He was a prolific thinker and writer, writing a commentary on the Kālacakra-tantra (rgyud 'grel chen mo), as well as several texts on the view of gzhan stong such as the Ocean of Definitive Meaning (don rgya mtsho) and the Fourth Council (bka' bsdu bzhi pa), amongst others. For a time, he left jo nang for Lhasa and was very popular there. He returned to jo mo nang before his death in 1361 at the age of 70.

phyog las rnam rgyal {R 777 - 779}

phyog las rnam rgyal (b. 1306 d. 1386) followed shes rab rgyal mtshan as abbot of jo nang. He was originally from mnga’ris and became a good scholar before heading to central Tibet to study and debate. It was while debating that he met shes rab rgyal mtshan and become his student. He went to jo mo nang, but was soon after given abbotship of a nearby satellite monastery for several years. Following this, at the age of 49, he returned to jo mo nang to preside as abbot for five years before heading into teaching to many disciples in dbus and yar klungs.

’gos gzhon nu dpal’s’ teacher, sangs rgyas rin chen pa and other students of phyog las rnam rgyal {R 779 - 781}

At this point, ‘gos lo tsā ba gives a biography of one of his teachers, sangs rgyas rin chen pa (b. 1336 d. 1424), who was a student of phyog las rnam rgyal. sangs rgyas rin chen pa received numerous teachings from both Nyingma and Sarma sources as a child. He traveled to rtse thang to study and debate and attend on chos seng pa. When shes rab rgyal mtshan was in Lhasa, sangs rgyas rin chen pa received ordination from him. ‘gos lo tsā ba tells us that during sangs rgyas rin chen’s practice of Sadaṅga-yoga, he suffered burning in his chest for nine years, but did not give up meditation and his condition improved. From sangs rgyas rin chen pa ‘gos lo tsāba received the Kālacakra initiation according to the jo nang tradition.

Other teachers in the lineage following shes rab rgyal mtshan and phyog las rnam rgyal include rin po che bsod bzang ba and 'jam dbyangs chos kyi mgon po ba. The latter is said to have been a student of shes rab rgyal mtshan who became abbot of g.yag sde pan chen. He was the teacher of rgyal mtshan bzang po.

(rgyal mtshan bzang po) {R 782}

rgyal mtshan bzang po (b. 1350 d. 1425) studied sūtra materials at gsang phu and rtses thang. Under the tutelage of ‘jam dbyangs chos kyi mngon po, he learned the Kālacakra without difficulty. He mainly practice the Kālacakra-tantra and composed a book on its generation stage (Tib. bskyed rim, Skt. utpannakrama) practices.

Other students following shes rab rgyal mtshan {R 782 - 783}

Sakyaśrī(d. 1448), another of ‘gos lo tsāba’s teachers, also heard the Kālacakra from ‘jam dbyangs chos kyi mngon po. He studied most of bu ston’s writings on the Kālacakra. The teacher of tsong kha pa, las kyi rdo rje, told him that in a previous life he had been a studied the Kālacakra in snar thang. He had a dream that he climbed up to a stupa, saw the Kālacakra mandala and was blessed by dol po pa.

rin chen tshul khrims and 'jam dbyangs blo gros rgyal mtshan were two others disciples of shes rab rgyal mtshan. rin chen tshul khrims’ student, zho lung mtsho chen po, is noted for his transmission of the Sadaṇga yoga precepts. 'jam dbyangs blo gros rgyal mtshan’s student smi ri ba founded the monastery of smi ri.

A student of byang sems rgyal ye and another individual, seng ge dpal, who was a student of yon tan rgya mtsho are noted for spreading the Sadaṅga yoga (Tib. yan lag drug) in the "Northern Quarters."

bo dong rin po che rin chen rtse mo {R 783-784}

bo dong rin po che rin chen rtse mo received the Kālacakra precepts from se mo che ba. He built an image called "the great Wheel of Time goddess" (Tib. dus ‘khor lha mo che) at bo dong rin rtse. He is noted for reciting the Kālacakra tantra mantra 10,000,000 times without leaving his mat and being able to make auspicious signs appear in the flames as he performed homa (fire) ritual. His student, stag sde ba seng ge rgyal mtshan (b. 1212 d. 1294), took over the several monasteries after his death and had several important students, such as the shong brothers, dkon gzhon, Senior and Junior, thur she, Senior and Junior, and others.

The shong brothers: ston rdo rje rgyal mtshan and dpang blo gros brtan pa) {R 784 - 787}

Roerich tells us that the brothers shong ston rdo rje rgyal mtshan and dpang blo gros brtan pa are considered the founders of "philological" studies {R 784} or study of the sciences (Tib. rig gnas) in Tibet.

shong ston rdo rje rgyal mtshan received Kālacakra teachings from stag sde ba seng ge rgyal mtshan. Later, when a lama ‘phags pa returned from abroad, shong ston asked for advice and assistance to travel to India to become a translator. shong ston ended up studying the "five lesser sciences," especially grammar, in Nepāl for five years with Mahendrabhadra. He returned to Tibet and translated both the Kālacakra-tantra and the Vimalaprabhācommentary at sa skya. This translation was highly praised by ‘phags pa. shong ston is credited with providing the first translation of the text dpag bsam 'khri shing and introducing the study of grammar, prosody, and lexicology in Tibet {R 785}. shong’s lineage of Kālacakra was passed on to his brother and several other teachers including, eventually, shes rab rgyal mtshan.

shong ston taught Sanskrit to his younger brother, dpang blo gros brtan pa (born 1276 in la stod d. 1482), the "Lord of Scholars" (mkhas pa'i dbang po). shong ston and dpang blo gros brtan pa’s mother died when dpang blo gros brtan pa was young, so the teachers byang gling pa and u rgyan pa took care of him for some time. He was ordained at 7 and wrote an exposition of the Vinaya at 13. While still in his teenage years, stag sde ba taught him various teachings from esoteric and exoteric materials, including the Kālacakra. He happened upon an an unidentified "acarya" who taught him Prākṛta. He was widely respected as a teacher and scholar and taught at several big monasteries such as ne'u thog, gung thang, stag lung. He also wrote several commentaries on Logic and Abhidharma, among other things.

(lo tsā ba dpal ldan byang chub rtse mo and his students) {R 787 - 789)

byang chub rtse mo (b. 1243 d. 1320) benefited at an early age from being able to study with a scholar named dbang. He mastered Sanskrit, as well as the lesser sciences and the exoteric and esoteric teachings. byang chub rtse mo was also a student of an well known teacher, dpal ldan bla ma dam pa. dpal ldan bla ma dam pa appointed byang chub rtse mo as abbot of bo dong and later, when byang chub rtse mo accompanied bla ma dam pa to China, bla ma dam pa connected byang chub rtse mo with the rinpoche at stag lung. This rinpoche insisted that byang chub rtse mo become the teacher of yu mo’s son, nam mkha’ bzang po. nam mkha' bzang po eventually excelled as a scholar, teacher, and writer.

byang chub rtse mo presided over stag lung monastery for a time before going into retreat. One of his notable students from this period was spyan snga grags pa byang chub, who is said to have been greatly inspired from observing byang chub rtse mo’s diligence in mediation.

The lo tsā ba nam mkha' bzang po, the son of yu mo and student of byang chub rtse mo had a student named dpal 'jigs med grags pa. dpal 'jigs med grags pa was the teacher of two other important scholars rnam rgyal grags pa and bsod nams rnam par rgyal ba. bsod nams rnam par rgyal ba is noted for composing a seven volume commentary on the Vimalaprabhā.

The rwa tradition {R 789}

This section begins by stating the descent line of the lineage from India all the way up to rwa chos rab, the lineage’s namesake. The lineage found in the rwa tradition is different than that stated in the ‘bro tradition. The rwa tradition starts with tsi lu pa, then to Piṇḍo, Kālacakrapāda, the Senior, Kālacakrapāda, the Junior, Mañjukīrti, and then to Samantaśrī, the paṇḍita invited to Tibet by rwa chos rab. rwa lo tsāba was the nephew of the well known translator rwa lo tsāba rdo rje brags pa (b.1016, d.1198). After escorting Samantaśrī back to Nepāl and receiving a special hat as a gift, rwa chos rab traveled in Central Tibet and kham to teach the doctrine. His Kālacakra lineage was passed down especially to rwa ye shes seng, then to rwa ‘bum seng, and then to rgwa lo tsāba.

(rgwa lo) {R 789 - 790}

For reasons that are not entirely clear, ‘gos lo tsāba begins the discussion of rgwa lo with a story of how two envoys were sent to China to invite a Buddhist monk from mi nyag to Tibet during the time of khri song lde btsan. This monk came to Tibet and served as a chaplain. At this point, ‘gos lo tsāba seems to jump and discusses the lineage of mantra-holders at yar ‘brog starting with one sgan mi nyag gzhon nu snying po. Presumably this mi nyag is not the offspring of the former chaplain, who was a monk. In any case, sgan mi nyag gzhon nu snying po’s grandson, rig 'dzin snying po, moved from yar ‘brog to rong. He had a son, who in turn had four sons, one of which became the abbot of dben dmar following dbang phyug rgyal pa. rgwa lo is the son of dbang phyug rgyal pa.

rgwa lo (b. 1203 d. 1281), also known as rnam rgyal rdo rje, is said to be the incarnation of another rgwa lo and that is why he received his name. As a youth he was able to meet kha che pan chen (Śākyaśrī), who held the young rgwa lo in high regard. rgwa lo amazed others by teaching to others the Hevajra and Vajra-vārahī teachings right after hearing them once. He practiced the Kālacakra and obtained the ability to write his own mantras.

(man lungs pa) {R 690 - 691}

rgwa lo’s main student was man lungs pa (b. 1239), about whom we only hear of his time in India. In front of the Mahābodhi temple, man lungs pa vows "not to partake of more than a single grain of rice and a drop of water per day." A few days later he receives a prophecy from the image at Māhabodhi that he should go to Potala. Prior to this he hurts his foot in southern India. After the wound is healed, he attains "supremely unchanging bliss" (Tib. mchog tu mi 'gyur ba'i bde). He then goes to Potala by walking on the surface of the ocean dressed as an Indian yogin.

(The lineage following rgwa lo) {R 691 - 792}

rgwa lo’s had many other students and four sons who are notable in their own right. The first son became the abbot of dben mar. The second son, shes rab seng ge (b. 1251 d. 1515) was broadly educated, especially in logic. He eventually took over dben dmar for a time, but taught at a long list of other monasteries including, stag lung, bsam yas, chu mig, ston mo lung, and others. He also founded the monastery(?) Śambhar in gtsang. shes rab seng ge is said to have had many great disciples especially learned in the Kālacakra-tantra. rgwa lo’s third son is said to have "looked after the country" and the fourth son, Ākarasiddhi, was a master of the Kālacakra and the recipient of several different Kālacakra lineages.

(rdo rje rgyal mtshan) {R 792 - 793}

Ākarasiddhi ‘s son rdo rje rgyal mtshan (b. 1283 d. 1325) had a short but eventful life. At 16, he took over dben dmar monastery. He is said to have supported a school (Tib. bshad grwa) focused on the study of the Kālacakra. He eventually took over Śambhar. At the invitation of the Chinese emperor, he traveled to the Imperial Court in 1310.

bu ston {R 793 - 795}

bu ston received Kālacakra teachings from rdo rje rgyal mtshan. Together, they engaged in thorough study of the tantra including its "lesser branches" {R 793}. rdo rje rgyal mtshan suggested bu ston translate the Commentary on the Sekoddeśa, a text related to the Kālacakra teachings, in 360 ślokas, which he did. bu ston regularly taught the tantra at zha lu (in gtsang). He also revised the translation of the tantra made by shong ston rdo rje rgyal mtshan (the shong translation). bu ston taught the tantra to up to 500 scholars at a time and wrote commentaries on its various sections, including the Mahā-ṭīkā. His main student dpal Idan bla ma dam pa brought the text of the Kālacakra everywhere he traveled. lo tsā ba rin chen rnam rgyal ba followed bu ston (at zha lu?) and also taught the tantra regularly.

At this point, tsong kha pa is mentioned briefly. In 1418, he taught the Commentary to the Tantra (Vimalaprabhā). ‘gos lo tsāba says that even though tsong kha pa, only taught it at this one occasion, it " became like a banner which was never lowered."

(ngag gi dbang phyug grags pa) {R 795}

ngag gi dbang phyug grags pa received the Kālacakra tantra from bsod nams lhun grub. ngag gi dbang phyug grags pa himself was a ritualist and learned in astrology. He inspired his students to practice the Kālacakra tantra.

Additional precept lineages {R 795 - 797}

The translator se lo tsā ba gzon nu tshul khrims studied the Kālacakra or related texts from four different masters in India, namely, tsa mi, Abhaya, Bhāskara, and Abhiyukta. In Tibet, se lo’s translation was passed on to gnyos dar ma 'od, who passed it on to others. u rgyan pa taught the Kālacakra tantra using se lo’s translation at la stod and yar klungs.

rgwa lo tsā ba also received Kālacakra precepts from tsa mi and studied with Abhaya. rgwa lo became well known and was able to teach in Central Tibet and Lower Kham.

The paṇḍita Vibhūticandra in Nepāl said that he received the Sadaṅga-yoga from (the mahasiddha?) sha ba ri dbang phyug. Vibhūticandra came to Tibet and transmitted the teachings to ko brag pa, who is known in an earlier section of the Blue Annals as the recipient of the teachings of Indian female master Niguma. Lastly, kha che pan chen (Śākyaśrī) transmitted several Kālacakra related teachings to the translator dpyal chos kyi bzang po.

Vanaratna {R 797 - 804}

Vanaratna (d. 1468) was one of the last Indian teachers to teach extensively in Tibet. ‘gos lo tsāba himself received teachings directly from the Vanaratna, including the complete system of Kālacakra teachings. Vanaratna is particularly noted for the refinements he made to tantric practices. For example, 'gos credits Vanaratna with restoring certain generation and completion stage precepts that had become obscured (R 802). In another case, Vanaratna changes one Cakrasamvara practice to "without signs" (mtshan ma med pa) instead of "with signs" (mtshan ma dang bcas pa).

Vanaratna was born in Eastern India as a prince. He began his Buddhist education early under two teachers, Buddhaghoṣa and Sujataratna, who apparently looked over large monasteries, (even at such a late period of Buddhism in India). Vanaratna was ordained at 20 and spent six years in ŚrīLanka before traveling to various places in India and doing a three year retreat in the forest. At a monastery called Uruvāsa, an image of Avalokiteśvara told him to go to Tibet. On his first trip there, he was ignored and returned to Nepāl. Eventually si tu rab bstan pa invited Vanaratna to rgyal rtse. On this return trip, he became rather active in Tibet for many more years. He spent time in Lhasa and taught at numerous monasteries including rtses thang, gsang phu, and gung thang. From 1426 to 1468 (Vanaratna is said to have lived to age 85) Vanaratna traveled back and forth between Nepāl and Tibet. In Nepāl, he was known for his generosity to the poor. His transmission in Tibet included teachings on the Vajravārahī Cycle, the Kālacakra and its commentary, and the Saṃvara Cycle. He also wrote a commentary on the Śrī-Cakra-Saṃvarapañcakramavṛtti.

bsod nams rgya mtsho {R 805 - 837}

The remainder of the chapter is discusses the life of the translator bsod nams rgya mtsho (b. 1424 d. 1482). This section was not written by ‘gos lo tsāba, but was inserted later by students of the author. The author(s) of this final section wrote the life story of bsod nam rgya mtsho in eight chapters.

Chapter One: Birth {R 805 - 806}

The family line of bsod nams rgya mtsho’s father is said to extend to the time of khri srong lde btsan. bsod nams rgya mtsho’s father, bsod nams 'od zer was a siddha and his mother a "natural ḍakinī". bsod nams rgya mtsho was born in yar klungs bstan thang amidst wondrous signs.

Chapter Two: Deeds as a Child {R 806- 807}

When he was 4 or 5, he visited Samye and became filled with an attitude of renunciation. He constantly engaged in a variety of Buddhist activities including recitation of mantras and texts. He dwelt in mystical trances, learned the alphabet quickly, and composed a poem for his mother.

Chapter Three: Ordination and Early Education {R 807 - 811}

From the age of 7 until about the age of 21, bsod nams rgya mtsho’s main activity was study. He received novice ordination at Samye and began studying Logic and Perfection of Wisdom Scriptures, which he later taught at rtses thang when he was 13. There, a religious king (it is not entirely clear what this designation means), grags pa 'byung gnas, was impressed by his knowledge and volunteered to support him. bsod nams rgya mtsho studied day and night, mostly memorizing texts. The author(s) point out that bsod nams’ wisdom came from both birth and through his through sustained efforts over a long period of time.

At age 21, he taught the whole range of exoteric doctrines at rtses thang. He resolved not to be biased toward any one monastery or doctrinal view and proceeded to na len dra and then snar thang to study with various teachers. kun rgyal ba, a teacher at snar thang taught him Naropa’s Six yogas, the Path and Fruit, and Māhamudra teachings. 'gos lo tsā ba gzhon nu dpal, (the author of the Blue Annals), gave bsod nams instruction in Sanskrit, as well as teachings on the Nyingma and Sarma tantras, including the Kālacakra tantra. bsod nam attended to the Indian master Vanaratna when he was in Tibet. Later, he received initiations from the Karmapa.

Chapter Four: Full Ordination {R 811- 812}

At age 22, bsod nams rgya mtsho received full ordination. 'gos lo tsā ba gzhon nu dpal acted as the " karma-ācārya"

Chapter Five: Wisdom From Reflection {R 812}

At this point, bsod nams rgya mtsho became to contemplate the meaning of all that he had studied. He questioned his teachers and participated in debate. He then went into seclusion and to read the bka’’gyur once, and then the bstan ‘rgyur twice, as well as all of bu ston’s collected works. In other words, as the author(s) tell us, he read everything in the Tibetan language he could find.

Chapter Six: Spiritual Attainments {R 812- 822}

A major portion of this chapter {R 816 - 821} is a roughly 100 verse description devoted to outlining the progression of bsod nams rgya mtsho’s spiritual attainments written in the first-person. It organized according to six (or seven?) "encouragements." The first encouragement is a prophecy made to bsod nams by Vanaratna when the former is staying at gro bo’i klungs in 1464. In general, all of the verses in this section are steeped in symbolic language. The prophecy here is: ’at the time of the ripening of wild rice, your wish will bear fruit'.

In 1465 at ku la sam bu, bsod nams had two important experience. First a crow dropping landed on his head. This was an indication that he would receive obstacles in meeting his father (presumably Vanaratna). Then a Red Garuḍa appeared and the sky filled with clouds and rain. Mahākāla then came and told him this was a sign that "his worldly work will be handicapped by ill-fame" and that he should instead devote himself towards enlightenment. This was the second encouragement.

Later that year in rin po che’i gling (this is possibly a place in Nepāl), he received the third encouragement which is put forth in very symbolic language. It reads: "The grandfather, the black faced ri dags dgra (sa ba ri), and, my father, a monk in appearance together bestowed, their blessing. In a wooden house, surrounded by wooden boards, Mother mig mangs looked after me."

The fourth encouragement also took place in 1465. He had a vision twenty four damsels in the sky that represented innate wisdom. The fifth encouragement was a vision of his teacher as Vanaratna as Vairocana together with Tara. The sixth encouragement seems to be a description of the third initiation. This is followed later by a somewhat mysterious encounter with Vanaratna where bsod nams rgya mtsho receives a symbol of vast secret and great meaning. {R 820}

The verses end at this point. bsod nams had been in Tibet during the last of those encouragements. He proceeded to Nepāl and received the Fourth initiation from Vanaratna. Vanaratna then encourages him to transmit path of union (Skt. yuganaddha, Tib. zung ‘jug) in Tibet.

Chapter Seven: Labors for the Doctrine {R 822 - 835}

The description of bsod nam rgya mtsho’s efforts to benefiting the dharma begins with the wide variety of material projects he supported. He built a Maitreya statue for his parents, a stūpa called bkra shis sgo mang caitya of the Revolving of the Wheel of the Law, he helped repair monasteries of spyi bo, gra thang, and other monasteries; he did these things wherever he went.

As a translator, he retranslated one text called the Pratipattisāraśataka (snying po brgya pa), revised teachings related to the Hevajra Cycle and Saṃvara Cycle. He also acted as an interpreter for Vanaratna.

As a commentarial author, he wrote some on sections of the Kālacakra-tantra, the rdo rje snying 'grel, and the phyag rdor stod 'grel. Otherwise, most of his other works were notes on various sūtras and tantras and manuals on maṇḍala rites. In all his collected works make up 12 volumes.

Often after receiving teachings among a class of others, he would offer tea or food to his fellow classmates. To monasteries large and small, he made offerings of money and food, supported festivals, and helped pay for land at various places.

It is said that bsod nams rgya mtsho, following the advice of Vanaratna, did not teach extensively, and whenever he is said to have taught the "very essence" of the sūtras and tantras. The Hayagrīva, Hevajra, zhi khro, Six Doctrines of Naropa, Sadaṅga-yoga, the Kālacakra and commentary, the dgongs cig, the zab mo nang don are mentioned numerous times as examples of texts he taught, however, even that is a partial list. For Nyingma and Bon Tantrics (sngags pas), he would teach what they requested. bsod nams rgya mtsho praised the Kālacakra for clearly teaching the path to union (Skt. yuganaddha).

Chapter Eight: bsod nams rgya mtsho’s paranirvāṇa {R 835 - 837}

’gos lo tsāba, the author of the Blue Annals. died in 1481, a year before bsod nams rgya mtsho died in 1482. For this reason, we are told that the section on bsod nams rgya mtsho’s life was inserted based on the ‘gos lo tsāba’s intention to include the biographies of anyone who contributed to the doctrine and at the request of dpal bkra shis dar rgyas legs pa'i rgyal po (a patron?). {R 837}. The (fourth) Karmapa was on hand to take part in funeral services and rites of bsod nams rgya mtsho.

Conclusion to Part 10 {R 838}

The author lists approximately 20 individuals who translated the Kālacakra and notes that no other tantra had so many translators in Tibet. The chapter closes with some general notes on who translated some of the other texts related to the Kālacakra, such as the Commentary by Vajragarbha on the Hevajra-tantra, and the commentary on the Saṃvara tantra attributed to Vajrapāni, and the Sekoddeśaṭīkā.

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