Drukpa Kunley – Gershey Chaphu (Keith Dowman and Sonam Paljor)

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The Divine Madman

Chapter One

How Drukpa Kunley (Kungpa Legpa)

became an Ascetic Wanderer and how
he delivered

the Lady Sumchokma from the Ocean
of Suffering

by Gershey Chaphu

Translated by Keith Dowman and
Sonam Paljor


We bow at the feet of Kunga Legpa,

Possessor of the bow and arrow that
slays the Ten Enemies,

Master of the hunting dog that
kills dualizing tendencies,

And Bearer of the Shield of Loving
Kindness, Compassion, and Patience.

The Master of Truth, Kunga Legpa
was extremely precocious. With full memory of his previous
life, he imitated Naljorpas 1 in meditation, he practiced
breathing exercises, and yoga was his full preoccupation.
These signs produced great faith in his family and devotees.
By his third year, he could read with ease. When he was
older, his father was assassinated in a family feud, and
disillusioned with the world, he decided to enter upon the
religious life.

Leaving his home, patrimony,
family, and friends, as though they were so much dust under
his feet, he took the precepts of layman and novice from
Lama Nenying Choje. Later, he received ordination as a monk
from Jekhyen Rabpa of Zhalu. The monk Sonam Chokpa taught
him the Esoteric Tantras of the Secret Mantra Tradition,
while at the Lotus Feet of Gyalwong Je, he learnt the
complete doctrine of the Drukpa Tradition, concentrating
upon the Three Secret Teachings 2 of Palden Drukpa Rimpoche,
the founder of his spiritual lineage.

At the Lotus Feet of the Sage
Lhatsun Chempo and others who combined meditative
realization with dialectic skill he heard and assimilated
the teaching of the entire Doctrine, and attained
realization of the inner meaning of the Four Initiations and
Empowerments. 3 He went on to absorb the secret treasury of
initiation, precept, and advice of many other Lamas.

Through a synthesis of the meaning
of all the oral instruction he had received, he discovered
the key to all realization: BE AWARE! GUARD THE MIND! Upon
this understanding, he offered his robes to the image of
Buddha, and as a mendicant wandering wherever he would, he
abandoned systematic yoga and meditation. He summarized his
understanding in these verses:

‘Failing to catch the spirit of the

What use is it to follow the letter
of the Law ?

Without an apprenticeship to a
competent Master,

What use is great talent and
intelligence ?

Unable to love all beings as your

What use is solemn prayer and
ritual ?

Ignorant of the sole point of the
Three Vows, 4

What is gained by breaking each in
turn ?

Failing to realize that Buddha is

What reality can be found outside ?

Incapable of a natural stream of

What can be gained by violating
thought ?

Unable to regulate life according
to the seasons and the time of the day,

Who are you but a muddled,
indiscriminate fool ?

If an enlightened perspective is
not intuitively grasped,

What can be gained by a systematic
search ?

Living on borrowed time and energy,
wasting your life,

Who will repay your debts in the
future ?

Wearing coarse and scanty clothing
in great discomfort,

What can the ascetic gain by
suffering the cold hells in this life ?

The aspirant striving without
specific instruction,

Like an ant climbing a sand hill,
accomplishes nothing.

Gathering instruction, but ignoring
meditation on the nature of mind,

Is like starving oneself when the
larder is full.

The Sage who refuses to teach or

Is as useless as the jewel in the
King Snake’s head.

The fool who knows nothing but
prattles constantly,

Merely proclaims his ignorance to

Understanding the essence of the
Teaching, 5 practice it!’

By the age of twenty-five, Kunga
Legpa had gained mastery of both mundane and spiritual arts.
He was accomplished in the arts of prescience,
shape-shifting, and magical display. Returning home to visit
his mother in Ralung, 6 she failed to recognize his
achievement and judged him merely by his outward behavior.

‘You must decide exactly who you
are,’ she complained. ‘If you decide to devote yourself to
the religious life, you must work constantly for the good of
others. If you are going to be a lay householder, you should
take a wife who can help your old mother in the house.’

Now the Naljorpa was instinctively
guided at all times by his vow to dedicate his sight, his
ears, his mind, and his sensibility, to others on the path,
and knowing that the time was ripe to demonstrate his crazy
yet compassionate wisdom, he replied immediately, ‘If you
want a daughter-in-law, I’ll go and find one.’

He went straight to the market
place, where he found a hundred-year-old hag with white hair
and blue eyes, who was bent at the waist and had not so much
as a single tooth in her head. ‘Old lady,’ he said, today
you must be my bride. Come with me!’

The old woman was unable to rise,
but Kunley put her on his back, and carried her home to his

‘O Ama! Ama!’ he called to her.
‘You wanted me to take a wife, so I’ve just brought one

‘If that’s the best that you can
do, forget it,’ moaned his mother. ‘Take her back where she
came from or you’ll find yourself looking after her. I could
do her work better than she.’

‘All right,’ said Kunley with
studied resignation. ‘If you can do her work for her, I’ll
take her back.’ And he returned her to the market place.

Nearby lived the exalted abbot
Ngawong Chogyal, 7 an incarnation of the Bodhisattva of
Compassion 8 as a chaste and holy man who sincerely
practiced the Creative and Fulfillment Stages 9 of
meditation. During a break in his devotions he thought to
himself, ‘The house belonging to Kunga Legpa and his mother
needs some improvement. Every lay devotee should have a
shrine room, and while we’re about it we could add a
latrine. Now where should we build the latrine? The east
side of the house is definitely unappealing. The south side
seems rather unsuitable. The west is saline, and the north
is infested with angry spirits….’

As Ngawong Chogyal was deliberating
uncertainly in this manner, Kunley returned from the market
place. His mother greeted him with this admonition, ‘A good
son should be like Ngawong Chogyal. See how he serves the
monks, returns the kindness of his parents, works for the
welfare of all beings, and keeps himself spiritually pure.
He’s a true servant of the people!’

‘And yet your Ngawong Chogyal can’t
even decide where to build a latrine!’ laughed the Lama.

That night Kunley went to his
mother’s bed carrying his blanket.

‘What do you went?’ asked his

‘This morning you said you’d
perform a wife’s duties, didn’t you?’ he replied.

‘You shameless creature!’ responded
his mother. ‘I said I’d do her housework. Now don’t be so
stupid. Go back to your own bed.’

‘You should have said what you
meant this morning,’ the Lama told her, lying down. ‘It’s
too late now. We are going to sleep together.’

‘Shut up and go away, you miserable
man!’ she swore at him.

‘My knee has gone bad and I cant
get up. You’d better resign yourself to it,’ he persisted.

‘Even if you’ve no shame,’ she
said,’what will other people think? Just imagine the

‘If you’re afraid of gossip, we can
keep it a secret,’ he promised.

Finally, unable to find words to
rebuff him, she said, ‘You don’t have to listen to me, just
don’t tell anyone else. Anyhow, there’s a proverb that goes,
“To sell your body, you don’t need a pimp; to hang a painted
scroll you don’t need a nail; and to wither your virtue, you
don’t need a mat in the sun.” So do it if you’re going to!’

Her words fell into his ears like
water into boiling ghee, and he sprang up and left her

Early next morning he went down to
the market place and shouted aloud, ‘Hey listen, you people!
If you persist, you can seduce even your own mother!’ When
the whole crowd was aghast, he left. But by exposing the
hidden foibles of his mother, her faults were eradicated,
her sins expiated, and her troubles and afflictions removed.
She went on to live to the ripe old age of one hundred and
thirty years.

Soon after this incident, he told
his mother that he was going to Lhasa, and that in the
future he would live the life of a Naljorpa.

Then the Master of Truth, Lord of
Beings, Kunga Legpa, wandered to Lhasa as an itinerant
Naljorpa. The market place of the capital was as crowded as
the night sky is with stars. He found there Indians,
Chinese, Newars, Ladakhis, and Tibetans from the Northern
Highlands, together with people from Kham, Mongolia, Central
Tibet, Tsang, Dakpo, Kongpo, the cis-Himalayas and
representatives of every valley in the country. Nomads,
farmers, Lamas, officers, monks, nuns, Naljorpas, devotees,
traders, and pilgrims were all gathered together in the Holy

‘Listen to me, all you people!’
shouted the Lama. ‘I am Drukpa Kunley of Ralung, and I have
come here today, without prejudice, to help you all. Where
can I find the best chung 10 and the most beautiful women ?
Tell me!’

The crowd was startled, and
muttered to one another, ‘This madman says he’s come here
for the sake of all beings and then asks where he can find
alcohol and women! What kind of piety is that? He should be
asking who is the greatest Lama, which is the most desirable
monastery, and where is religion flourishing most strongly.
But he has no such questions. Most likely he’s the type of
religious freak who binds girls to the Wheel of Truth rather
than demons!’

There was a man in the crowd with a
white skin, a sooty face, a head like a blacksmith’s hammer,
staring bulging eyes, lips like a sheep’s intestines, a
forehead like an upturned begging bowl, and a neck as thin
as a horse’s tail with a vast goitre growing out of it. He
shouted back at the Lama, ‘You may try to tell us you’re a
man, you idiot, but you surely have no home; you may tell us
you’re a bird, but you have no perch; you may call yourself
a deer, but you have no forest; you may call yourself a
beast, but you have no lair; you may call yourself a
devotee, but you have no sect; you may call yourself a monk,
but you have no monastery; you may call yourself a Lama, but
you have no throne. You troublesome, presumptuous beggar! In
the day time you pick nits, and in the night time you get
drunk and steal other men’s wives to play with. You are no
holy man. If you were, you would have a spiritual lineage.
Tell us your spiritual lineage!’

‘Oh you mad dog! Sit down and keep
quiet!’ Kunley shouted in reply. ‘You want to know my origin
and birth? You want to know my spiritual lineage? Listen
then, and I will tell you.”

‘This vagrant’s lineage is highly

It descends from the Vajra Bearer!

This vagrant’s Lama is truly

His name is Lama Palden Drukpa!

This vagrant’s Deity is truly

His name is Supreme Delight!

This vagrant’s Dakini is truly

Her name is Diamond Sow-Face!

This vagrant’s Protector is truly

His name is the Great Four-Armed
Black One!’

When he had finished this verse his
accuser was silent and slunk away. Then an ancient man from
Lhasa arose from the crowd and prostrated to the Lama before
singing this song:

‘Glorious Drukpa Kunley!

I live in the city of Lhasa

And Lhasa is famed for its
beautiful women.

It s impossible to name them all

But here are the names of the best
of them:

Palzang Buti, Wongchuk Tsewong

Kalzang Pemo, Smiling Sangyay

Sonam Dronma, Dancing Chokyi

And the Lamp of Lhasa Don Akyi.

Such are their names and there’s
countless others.

And you’ll find good chung in

Is this to your liking,

Kunley replied, ‘It seems that
Lhasa is full of beautiful women and good chung. I’ll enjoy
your town sometime!’

Then an old man from Sakya stood up
and sang this song:

‘Glorious Kunga Legpa!

I am from the Land of Sakya

Where the beauty of the women is

It’s impossible to name them all

But here are the names of our

Asal Pemo, the maiden Gakyi,

Bumo Andruk, Lhacho Wongmo,

Asa Tsering Drolma

Dekri Saldon, and Dasal Yangkyi

Such are their names and there’s
many more besides.

And we have excellent chung in

Does this appeal to you

‘Yah! Yah!’ said the Lama. ‘I’ll go
to Sakya some day.’

Then an old man, this time from
Ladakh, stood up and said his piece:

‘Glorious Kunga Legpa!

I come from the Land of Ladakh

Where beautiful women are honored.

If you ask me their names, I’ll

Tsewong Lhadron, the maiden Chokyi,

The Highland Girl Atsong Bumo.

Lhachik Buti, Ama Akyi,

Karma Dechen Pemo, and Sonam

Such are the names to remember.

We also have fine chung in Ladakh.

Will you come there to taste it

‘Yah! Yah!’said the Naljorpa. ‘I’ll
come to Ladakh some day!’

Next, an old woman from Bhutan
arose and said,’You Tibetans talk too much! The Naljorpa’s
name is Drukpa 12 Kunley not Tibetan Kunley!’ And she sang
this song:

‘Glorious Drukpa Kunley!

I am from the Land of Bhutan

Which is full of sought-after

I cannot name all of our women

But here are some to remember:

Gokyi Palmo is the Dakini of Woche

The Lady Adzom is the Dakini of
Gomyul Sar Stupa

Namkha Dronma of Pachang is the
Dakini of Zhung Valley,

Palzang Buti is the Dakini of the
Zhung Highlands,

Chodzom is the Dakini of Barpaisa
in Wongyul,

Samten Tsemo, Lama Nyida Drakpa’s
daughter, is the Dakini of Paro,

Mistress Gyaldzom is the Dakini of
Shar Khyungtsei Chanden….

There are some names and there are
countless others besides.

And we too have excellent chung.

Does Bhutan appeal to you,

‘Yah! Yah!’said the Yogin. ‘One day
I’ll visit Bhutan and drink your chung and enjoy your

Finally, an old woman from Kongpo
had her say:

‘O glorious Kunga Legpa!

I am from the Land of Kongpo

And these are the names of our

Lhacho Pemo, the maiden Palzang,

Rinchen Gyalmo, Tsewong Gyalmo,

Tenzin Zangmo, Tseten Lhamo,

And Virgin Sumchok.

These are some of their names

And there are numerous others

And we, also, have first class

Won’t you visit Kongpo,

‘Yah! Yah!’ said the Naljorpa. ‘It
seems that even in Kongpo there are many beautiful women.
But it’s not sufficient merely to know of their existence,
one must see and experience them oneself. In particular, the
girl called Sumchok interests me. How old is she?’

‘She’s fifteen,’ replied the Kongpo

‘Then I must go there quickly
before it’s too late,’ said the Lama. ‘Stay well all of you!
I must go and find Sumchok!’

As the Lama was leaving Nyerong
behind him on his way to Kongpo (a province south-east of
Lhasa), he encountered five girls on the road.

‘Where are you from and where are
you going?’ they asked him.

‘I come from behind me and I’m
going on ahead,’ he smiled.

‘Please answer our questions,’
begged the girls. ‘Why are you travelling?’

‘I am looking for a fifteen year
old girl,’ the Lama told them. ‘She has a fair complexion
and soft, silky, warm flesh, a tight, foxy, and comfortable
pussy, and a round smiling face; she is beautiful to behold,
sweet to smell, and she has a sharp intuition. In fact she
has all the signs of a Dakini.’ 13

‘Are we not Dakinis?’ asked the

‘I doubt it,’replied the Lama. ‘You
don’t appear to be. But there are many types of Dakini.’

‘What are they?’ they wanted to

‘The Wisdom Dakini, the Diamond
Dakini, the Jewel Dakini, the Lotus Dakini, the Action
Dakini, the Buddha Dakini, the Flesh-Eating Dakini, the
Worldly Dakini, the Ashen Dakini, and many others.’

‘How can one recognize them?’ they

‘The Wisdom Dakini is fair, flushed
and radiant,’ the Lama told them. ‘She has five white moles
across her hair line, and she is compassionate, pure,
virtuous, and devout. Also, her body is shapely. Coupling
with her brings happiness in this life, and prevents any
fall into hell in the next. The Buddha Dakini has a bluish
complexion and a radiant smile. She has little lust, is
long-lived, and bears many sons. Coupling with her bestows
longevity and a rebirth in the Orgyen Paradise 14 The
Diamond Dakini is fair with a well-filled supple body. She
has long eyebrows, a sweet voice, and enjoys singing and
dancing. Coupling with her brings success in this life and
rebirth as a god. The Jewel Dakini has a pretty white face
with a pleasant yellow tinge to it. Her body is slender, and
she is tall. Her hair is white, and she has little vanity
and a very slender waist line. Coupling with her gives one
wealth in this life, and shuts the gates of hell. The Lotus
Dakini has a bright pink skin, an oily complexion, a short
body and limbs, and wide hips. She is lustful and garrulous.
Coupling with her generates many sons, while gods, demons
and men are controlled, and the gates to the lower realms
are closed. The Action Dakini has a radiant blue skin with a
brownish hue, and a broad forehead. She is rather sadistic.
Coupling with her is a defense against enemies, and closes
the gates to the lower realms. The Worldly Dakini has a
white, smiling, and radiant face, and she is respectful to
her parents and friends. She is trustworthy and a generous
spender. Coupling with her assures one of the continuance of
the family line, generates food and wealth, and assures one
of rebirth as a human being. The Flesh-Eating Dakini has a
dark and ashen complexion, a wide mouth with protruding
fangs, a trace of a third eye upon her forehead, long
claw-like fmger nails, and a black heart in her vagina. She
delights in eating meat, and she devours the children that
she bears. Also, she is an insomniac. Coupling with her
induces a short life, much disease, little enjoyment of
wealth in this life, and rebirth in the deepest hell. The
Ashen Dakini has yellow flesh which has an ashen complexion
and a spongy texture. She eats ashes from the grate.
Coupling with her causes much suffering and enervation, and
rebirth as a hungry ghost.’

‘What kind of Dakinis are we?’
asked the girls eagerly.

‘You are a rather different kind,’
replied the Lama.

‘What type?’ they insisted.

‘You are greedy but poor, and
sexually frustrated but friendless. Even if you do find some
idiot to couple with you, no one will gain anything from

The Girls were deeply offended by
the Lama’s words, and went on their way sulking.

Henceforth, the Lama carried a bow
and arrow—representing Penetrating Insight and Skillful
Means 15 —to slay the Ten Enemies of the Ten
Directions; 16 and he led a hunting dog to hunt and kill the
habit of dualistic thinking. His long hair was gathered
behind his head and tied there; while from his ears hung
large round rings. He covered his torso with a vest and the
lower part of his body with a cotton skirt.

When he arrived in Kongpo, the Land
of Ravines, the Lama sat down in front of the Chieftain
Ox-Head’s castle and leaned against a prayer-flag pole.
Having assured himself that no one else was in the vicinity,
he sang this song to awaken Sumchok (Three Jewels):

‘In this happy land of U, paradise
of prosperity and plenty,

Immured within this mean
fortress-prison of Samsara 17

Sumchok! charming virgin nymph,

Stop a moment and listen to

A Naljorpa who aimlessly wanders

Sings verses with hidden meanings
to you.

‘Way up in the vast vault of the
young night sky

The strong light of the white full

Extinguishes creatures ‘ darkness.

But surely the Dragon Planet is

Say he is free from envy and

And let me remove the gloom of the
Four Continents.

‘In the garden of heavenly delight,
thick with blooms of various hues,

The flower that radiates bright
scarlet light

Harbors the honey sucked by the

But surely Drought and Hail are

Say they are free from envy and

And let me make an offering to the
Three Jewels.

‘Here, paramount in Kongpo, in the
center of U,

Sumchok, child of Kongpo, born of

If our bodies were to join in love

Surely Ox-Head would be jealous.

Say he is free from envy and

And let Sumchok awake a little and
grow into Buddhahood.’


Sumchok was serving tea to the
Chieftain when she heard the Lama’s song quite clearly.
Arising, she looked from a window, and as if in a vision,
the beggar leaning against the flag pole appeared as the
rising fifteen day old moon. Immediately she saw him her
heart filled with devotion. Although she had never seen him
before, since she had heard the name of Drukpa Kunley and
heard stories of his signs of accomplishment and great skill
in magical transformation, she recognized him. And she sang
this song back to him:

‘Beggar, sitting in the wide green
mountain meadow,

Full moon beggar, listen to me!

Your ashen body hides a Buddha’s

And your naked body radiates
glorious effulgence;

A small shield of patience is slung
on your back

And you carry bow ‘and arrow as
Insight and Means;

You lead a dog to hunt confusing

And you control the Three Realms 18
with your ascetic yoga.

You are either a shape-shifting

Or an Adept with miraculous

You seem too good to be true!

‘But if your currency is valid,

Look at this poor piece of iron on
the blacksmith’s anvil,

Hammered by the smith at whim,

Caught by pincers, unable to

If you are truly a skilled
blacksmith’s son,

Do not leave me on this anvil

But fashion me into a lock of the
Jowo Temple; 19

The karma of iron exhausted

Let me gain Buddhahood.

‘Look at this meanest piece of
wood, this doorstep,

Trampled upon by dogs and swine,

Held firmly in place by the

If you are truly a skilled
carpenter’s son,

Do not leave me a doorstep forever,

But shape me into a lintel for the
Jowo Temple;

The Karma of wood exhausted

Let me gain Buddhahood

‘Look at Sumchok, the unhappiest of

Ox-Head s blows make my life

But attachment to my world
constrains me;

If you are truly a Buddha Lama,

Do not leave me in the mire of

But take me with you wherever you

And let Sumchok gain

Kunley and Sumchok, singing their
songs back and forth to each other, were overheard by

‘What is that singing I hear?’ he

Sumchok with a sharp native wit
replied immediately, ‘My Lord, here’s a beggar with a fine
voice at the door, and he’s been singing me the news.’

‘What news has he been telling
you?’ she was asked.

‘Apparently hunters have killed
some animals in the mountains today,’ she replied. ‘And
probably, if you went up there yourself, as the meat has not
yet been distributed, you could bring as much as a hundred
carcasses back with you. If you’re lucky you will not need
to go without meat with your tsampa.’ 20

This was like refreshing rain in
the desert to the ear of the Chieftain. ‘If that is so,
prepare provisions for a seven day journey for myself and
thirty servants,’ he ordered.

Sumchok obeyed him instantly. After
he had departed, the girl invited the Lama into the parlour
and began to prepare tea.

‘There will be plenty of
opportunity to serve me your brand of tea later,’ said the
Lama. ‘Prepare me this special brew which I have carried all
the way from the market in Lhasa! It’s ready immediately!’
And he caught her by the hand, laid her down on the
Chieftain’s bed, lifted her chuba and gazed upon her nether
mandala. Placing his organ against the piled white lotus
mandala between the smoother-than-cream white flesh of her
thighs, and having seen that their connection was tightly
made, he consummated their union. Making love to her, he
gave her more pleasure and satisfaction than she had ever

‘O Sumchok! now serve me your tea,’
said the Lama when he had done. She brought him tea, the
first strainings of chung, together with meat and tsampa,
and everything that his heart desired. Finally he got up to
leave, ‘It is best if you stay here, Sumchok,’ he said. ‘I
must go now.’

Sumchok, with undivided faith,
prostrated before him. ‘Don’t leave this unfortunate girl in
this mess. Take me with you,’ she begged.

‘I will obey you in all things,’
Sumchok promised.

Then the Lama, knowing that it was
destined, took her with him. Coming to a cavern that had a
black entrance shaped like a recumbent lion high up upon the
valley side, he said to her, “Sumchok, you must stay here
for three years.’

‘I’m afraid of this place,’ she
whispered. ‘Then stay here for only three months” he

‘You said that you would take me
with you wherever you went,, she whined. But finally, in
order to keep her promise of obedience, she agreed to stay
for seven days.

‘If you’re afraid, go into the
cavern, and I’ll seal up the entrance,’ he advised her. So
leaving her inside, he built a rock wall across the cave
mouth. At his departure Sumchok sang this song:

‘Listen Drukpa Kunley!

Fluff blows away on the breeze

And catches upon the top of a tree;

Don’t blame the pleasant breeze

When the fluff is so weightless!

Dead wood swept away upon the
stream’s swell

Bobs up and down upon the water;

Don’t blame the river

When the wood is so buoyant!

This Sumchok, begotten in Kongpo,

Grieved at the sight of the cave;

Don’t blame yourself, Drukpa

When my resolution is so

‘I don’t want to hear about your
moods,’ Kunley told her. ‘When I have gone, gods and Dakinis
will befriend you in the daytime, and butterlamps and
incense will calm you at night. Meditate praying to me
continuously.’ And with this advice, he left her for Samye.

Through a happy combination of the
Lama’s compassion and her own devotion, Sumchok gained
contentment. Absorbed in the sound of the gods and Dakinis
by day, and the smell of incense and the light of
butterlamps by night, she had no thought of food for the
first three days. On the dawning of the fourth day, she
gained release from all frustration in a Body of Light,
attaining Buddhahood. 21



1. Nal-byor-pa, yogin: an itinerant
mystic. Tantric Adept and meditator.

2. The Three Secret Teachings
(gdam-sngags sdong-pe gsum) refer to oral instructions upon
the spontaneous purification of body, speech, and mind.

3 The Four Initiations and
Empowerments (dbang-bskur bzhi) the Vase, Secret, Wisdom,
and Word Empowerments. consecrate the initiate as the Deity
in whose name the rite is performed, and confer the power to
practice the grades of Creation and Fulfillment associated
with the Deity. A distinction is made here between the
external, formal empowerment and the real inner meaning.

4. The Three Vows (sdom-pa gsum)
are the Hinayana vow of strict moral and physical
discipline, the Mahayana Bodhisattva Vow to act always to
beneft others, and the Vajrayana Tantnc Vow to maintain
constant spiritual union (SAMAYA) with the Buddha Lama, and
subsidiary vows.

5. The Teaching (dharma, chos)
refers to the entire corpus of instruction upon the methods
of escaping thc cycle of transmigration and attaining

6. Ralung is halt way between Lhasa
and the Bhutan border: it is the seat of the Drukpa
Kahgyupas, the homeland of the Gya Clan, and close to Drukpa
Kunley’s birthplace.

7. Ngawong Chogyal (Ngag-dbang
chos-rgyal) 1465-1540, a scion of the Gya Clan, possibly a
cousin of Drukpa Kunley, and abbot of the Ralung Monastery,
who made several evangelical pilgrimages to Bhutan, is
Drakpa Kunley’s fallguy, the personification of established

8. Avalokitesvara
(spyan-ras-gzigs). ‘He who gazes upon the world with tearful
eyes’, is depicted iconographically holding a crystal
rosary, a white lotus, and a Wishfulfilling Gem, in his four

9. The Creative and Fulfillment
Stages (bskyed-nm clang rdzogs-rim) are technical terms
referring to the complex, formal meditative processes of
generating a universal mandala and then attaining its
consummation through realization of its ‘Empty’ nature.

10. Chung (rhyming with tongue) is
barley, wheat, rice, or millet wine prepared by fermenting
the boiled grain with the catalytic agent ‘pap,’ saturating
it with water and draining off the solution; it is a
ubiquitous food, beverage, and liquor, throughout Greater

11. The following lines would
inform the initiate of the great strength and depth of
Drukpa Kunley’s realization—they indicate the Four
Roots of his spiritual being: his Lama, Palden Drukpa
Rimpoche, reincarnated as Lha-btsun kun-dga chos-kyi
rgya-mtsho (1432-1505); his YIDAM or personal deity,
Chakrasamvara, the pancipal Deity of the Kahgyupas: his
Dakini or female counterpart, his anima of perfect
awareness, Vajra Varahi; and his Protector, The Four-Armed

12. The Bhutanese woman plays upon
the double meaning of Drukpa —an initiate of the Drukpa
Kahgyu School and a native of Bhutan.

13. The Dakini is the actuality of
perfect awareness, and may be encountered by the Adept as a
wrathful and apparently malignant adversary or a sublime
ally who bestows the capacity for fully conscious magical
activities, as a spiritual entity or an incarnate woman.
Orgyen is the Land of the Dakinis.

14. Orgyen, geographically located
in the Swat Valley, Pakistan, is a mythic realm of Adepts,
Dakinis, and Tantric Revelation.

15. The unity of these two aspects
(shes-rab dang thabs) of the Buddhas Being, symbolized by
the Yab-Yum image, creates the invincible awareness that
destroys all kinds of emotional dullness and ignorance.

16. The Ten Enemies (zhing bcu) are
vicious, obstructing forces of temptation that populate
every part of the spiritual universe.

17. Samsara is the realm of
transmigration and emotional confusion.

18. The Three Realms (khams gsum)
are the sensual realm, the aesthetic realm, and the formless
realm—a triple division of mundane consciousness.

19. The Jowo Temple (Rasa Tulnang)
in Lhasa houses the most sacred and ancient Tibetan image of
Sakyamuni Buddha in the form of Vairocana—a dowry gift
to Srongtsen Gampo from the King of Nepal in the 7th
century. A popular legend avers that Drukpa Kunley finally
vanished into the nostril of Jowo.

20. Tsampa is roast barley flour,
eaten with tea or made into dough with butter: tsampa and
chung form the Tibetan’s staple diet.


21. The body’s substantiality
dissolves into light upon the attainment of Buddhahood
beyond the Fourth Degree of Meditation (the 4th dhana).

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