Early Masters (13th–16th)

Gyagom Lekpa Gyaltsen

rgya sgom legs pa rgyal mtshan

b. 1484?

Lekpa Gyaltsen was born in a Dragon year (1484?) in the Shang valley, not far from the birth place of Khedrup Khyungpo Naljor, into the Dong clan to father Önpo Tashi Gön and mother Delek Budren. Originally he was given the name Dzambhala and learned reading and writing very quickly when still very young. He also studied some medicine and diagnosis, without any difficulties. From his paternal uncle he received many Dharma teachings.

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Drubchen Namkha Gyaltsen

grub chen nam mkha' rgyal mtshan


In the very brief sketch of his life by Jonang Taranatha, it says that he was born in a Wood-Bird year. That could however be a mistake of the editors of Taranatha’s Collected Works, as the only acceptable Wood-Bird year would be 1465, the year in which Namkha Gyaltsen’s main teacher, Nyame Sangyé Palsang, passed away. Namkha Gyaltsen’s father was Rinchen Sönam, his mother Sönam Drölma. From his earliest years onwards, he would constantly repeat the Six Syllables of the Great Compassionate One, and loving kindness and compassion towards beings came naturally for him. An understanding of mind-nature and the various meditative absorptions of shamatha and vipashyana arose without effort.

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Nyamé Sangyé Palsang

mnyam med sangs rgyas dpal bzang


Nyamé Sangyé Palsang was born near Taktsang in the mountains west of Lhasa to the Be family, his father was Pön Rinpoché Zang and his mother Tsebum Pal.
His parents suffered much grief because they had lost their first child but hermit Ritrö Rechen Sangyé Sengé and scholar and translator Jangchup Tsemo assured them that they would soon have a wonderful child and asked the parents to protect him.

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Drubchen Thangtong Gyalpo

grub chen thang stong rgyal po


Drubchen Thangtong Gyalpo

Thangtong Gyalpo was a great buddhist adept, physician, blacksmith, architect, and a pioneering civil engineer. He proclaimed himself, and was considered, the incarnation of the illustrious Dölpopa Shérab Gyaltsen (1292-1361), a leading Jonangpa master and formulator of the Zhentong view of emptiness.

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Shangkar Rinchen Gyaltsen

shangs dkar ba rin chen rgyal mtshan


Shangkarwa Rinchen Gyaltsen was born in the female water snake year to father Ponyig Zangpopal and mother Josema Palchen.
When he was three both his parents passed away and he was placed under the tutelage of two monks, Shakya Senge and his uncle Rinchen Öser, who taught him how to read and write.

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Ritrö Rechen Sangyé Sengé

ri khrod ras chen sangs rgyas seng+ge

14th cent.

Ritrö Rechen Sangyé Sengé was born in Eastern Tibet, the oldest of five children, into a very virtuous family who lived in the mountains practicing yoga.
He took the vows at the age of nine and was given the name Ritrö Rechen by Sengé Dra. He received instructions from Sengé Dra and was able to practice them in his dreams.

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Müchen Namkhé Neljor

mus chen nam mkha'i rnal 'byor

14th cent.

muchen namkhe naljor

Müchen Namkhé Naljor was born as the son of Lama Dorjé Sönam, a great scholar of both the old and new teachings. His mother was a yogini who was well known for her practice of the Great Compassionate One, Avalokiteshvara. Already early in life, it became apparent that he was not an ordinary person but possessed great faith and compassion, as well as a certain clairvoyance.

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Khedrup Dorjé Shönu

[pods name=”master” slug=”khedrup-dorje-shonu” template=”Template infos master”

Müchen Gyaltsen Palsang

mus chen rgyal mtshan dpal bzang

13/14th cent.

Müchen Gyaltsen Palsang’s family was one of practitioners from the region of Nyak. His father was named Dorjé Nyingpo and his mother Könchok. When she conceived, she had a vision of the Great Compassionate One entering her. When he was born, there were earthquakes and a rain of flowers.

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