Category Archives: 19th century

The Life of Gönpo Wangyal (1845-1915)

Thanks to Dr. Martin Boord and David Cowey for the kind revision of the version of this text that is about to be printed in the introduction of our translation of Tülku Tsullo’s practice manual for the Direct Revelation.

Gönpo Wangyal: vignette from the 16-volume edition of the Complete Works of Tülku Tsullo: vol. 5.

Gönpo Wangyal (mGon po dbang rgyal, 1845-1915) was a Nyingma master, active in the Golok area. He was the nephew and successor of Terchen Nüden Dorje of Khordong (‘khor gdong gter chen Nus ldan rdo rje). He was the head of the Khordong monastery for many years and did much to make it a stronghold, in the Golok area, of both the Jangter and the revelations of his uncle Terchen Nüden Dorje. He was himself a tertön who mostly had revelations connected to the practice of Chöd (gcod).

Here is a short summary of Gönpo Wangyal’s biography by Tülku Tsullo (sprul sku tshul khrims bzang po, 2014: vol. 8 p. 1-110). I also used a shorter one (30 p.) in the History of the Jangter (Byang gter chos ’byung) by Chöying of Khordong (Byang gter phyogs bsgrigs : vol. 62, p. 757-787).

Tsullo’s biography starts with a summary of Gönpo Wangyal’s previous lives in India and Tibet. He was regarded as an emanation of Buddhas’s disciple Ananda, of Atsara Sale (Yeshe Tsogyal’s legendary male consort), Phadampa Sangye, Drapa Ngönshe, and, as for his Jangter connections, of Legdenje (Legs ldan rje) and Yölmo Tülku Tendzin Norbu (Yol mo sprul sku btTsan ‘dzin nor bu), etc.

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