Monthly Archives: June 2023

Alien and Internal Prophecies regarding Rigdzin Gödem according to Setön Pema Wangchen

by Jean-Luc Achard

Setön’s brief analysis of the prophecies related to Gödem in his Generalities about the Northern Treasures (Byang gter spyi bcings) consists of a mere, yet logical, twofold list, enumerating first the main prophecies that are to be found in alien Terma literature (gter kha gzhan nas), i.e., outside the corpus of the Northern Treasures (Byang gter), and then listing those that are included within that corpus. In doing so, he intends to demonstrate the manifest importance of Gödem in the Nyingma tradition as a whole, and not only within his own lineage.

1. Prophecies made outside the Northern Treasures

In this first category, Setön quotes seven main sources—all of gter ma origins—, some of which have supposedly been discovered prior to Gödem’s birth. The first text that is quoted is The Prophecy of the Treasure (revealed by) Künkyong Lingpa (Kun skyong gling pa’i gter kha’i lung bstan),2 in which appears the following prophetic statement:

His miraculous power will be said to fulfill the aspirations of those to be tamed;
This man with a vulture feather on his head
Will retrieve all treasure vases (from) Trazang;
How can the summary of these be thoroughly sufficient?

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  1. I would like to thank Marianne Ginalski and Jay Valentine for their kind suggestions and corrections. []
  2. So far I have been unable to locate this title. Kun skyong gling pa is said to have been born in 1396 or 1408 and to have passed away at the age of 82 (either in 1477 or in 1489). See Samten Chhosphel, “Kunkyong Lingpa”, []
  3. Se ston, pp. 382-383 : rdzu ‘phrul (p. 383) gdul bya’i re ba bskong ba zhes: rgod kyi ldem phru dbu la skyes pa ni: bkra bzang gter gyi bum pa thams cad ‘byin: de rnams mdor bstan zhib tu ga la ldang:. The last verse of the quatrain simply means that there would be much more to say. []