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The omniscient Jigme Lingpa’s incarnation was the greatly accomplished knowledge-holder Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje, the renowned son of the family.[1] Yeshe Dorje’s son, Dechen Rigpe Raltri, was born to Dzompa Kyi, the daughter of Golok Akyong Lhachen.[2] And from Rigpe Raltri and Ragshulsa Rigche Wangmo of Minyak, Kham, Do Rinpoche Khamsum Silnön Gyepa Dorje and his sister, Tsedzin Wangmo, were born.[3]

DO RINPOCHE KHAMSUM SILNÖN GYEPA DORJE

Sherab Mebar, a son of the refuge protector Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje, was the incarnation of the elder Dodrubchen [Jigme Trinle Öser].[4] Sherab’s reincarnation was the knowledge-holder Drimé Drakpa from Gutang in Gyalrong,[5] and Drimé Drakpa’s emanation was Do Rinpoche Khamsum Silnön Gyepa Dorje.

DO FAMILY

Since the time of the refuge protector Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje’s life, the Do family has worked for the benefit of beings everywhere in the Land of Snow through their lama encampment. Because they looked after the people of the eighteen kingdoms of Gyalrong and the Dardo Chakla king as their disciples,[6] their lama encampment became famously known as the Do Camp.[7]

During the time of Khamsum Silnön Gyepa Dorje, the Do Camp significantly expanded its beneficial activities through the new establishment of Mewa Monastery and other developments.[8] Many wealthy spiritual followers came to venerate and serve them. But Khamsum Silnön Gyepa Dorje maintained a nomadic lifestyle, following the tradition of the previous lords, and moved the encampment around as he carried out his beneficial deeds.

JETSUNMA DO DASAL WANGMO

The sister of lord Do Rinpoche Khamsum Silnön Gyepa Dorje was Tsedzin Wangmo, considered to be the miraculous manifestation of the ḍākinī Karmendrāṇī.[9] Jetsunma Do Dasal Wangmo was born to Tsedzin Wangmo at the sacred place of Tratsang in the Machen Mountain range of Golok in 1928, the Earth Dragon year of the sixteenth calendrical cycle.[10] She worked extensively for the benefit of beings through the Dharma and the general fields of knowledge, particularly the science of healing. She was a true bodhisattva, lovingly caring for the ill with no set system for collecting payment for her medical treatments.

Being essentially unattached to worldly things, Dasal Wangmo exemplified the view, conduct, and excellent character of a sublime being in every way. She never took delight in such worldly pleasures as traditional jewelry, and she intentionally cast away, destroyed, ruined, or hid the many necklaces and other ornaments she received, striving to transcend any need for fashionable attire. 

Since she was innately intelligent due to her training in previous lives. When she was about eight years old, she learned to spell and read from her maternal uncle, Tulku Rangjung, in only one sitting.[11] The following day, he placed the text of the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti into her hands, telling her to read it, and she began reading it immediately. There were numerous amazing indications of her innate intelligence such as these. 

Later her maternal uncle, Do Rinpoche Gyepa Dorje, saw the pure realms (i.e., he passed away). The family requested that she assume responsibility for the Do Camp’s property and continue the family lineage. But she never accepted these familial obligations due to her tremendous and enduring wisdom.

Usually, when washing her hair, she would appear irritated and ask, “When will it be the time to cut my hair?” So, when Dasal Wangmo was twenty-two, her precious mother knew that her daughter was all grown up and possessed the ability to analyze the path that lay before her, and her mother inquired, “Are you sure you have decided?” Since Dasal Wangmo's response was in accord with the unchanging conviction that she had always held in her heart, her mother accepted and planned to send her to Tulku Drachen of Lautang in Minyak along with a silk scarf.[12] First, she sent an official letter of request to Tulku Drachen. He replied, "I'm hesitant to perform her first hair-cutting ceremony, but I could do so if I used the hair from her brush." Thus, having brushed her hair by herself and offered it to him, the supreme Tulku Drachen imparted the vows of a laywoman of pure conduct.

 

The following year, when she was twenty-three, Dasal Wangmo traveled to Dzogchen Monastery, where she received novice vows and the name Tubten Tsultrim Palmo from Khenchen Tubten Drak, a paṇḍita of the five fields of knowledge.[13] She honored Khenchen Rinpoche as her primary lama and stayed at the Dzogchen Kyamo Hermitage for about six years, receiving many sūtra and tantra teachings, including Longchenpa’s Seven Treasuries, Trilogy of Finding Comfort and Ease, and Yeshe Lama, in addition to Adzom’s preliminary practices, The Treasury of Precious Qualities, and Madhyamakāvatāra.[14] From Dzogchen Khenchen Jigme Yöntan Gönpo, she received instructions on the Lama Yangtik and Yeshe Lama, as well as the entrustment ceremony for the Enlightened Heart-Essence (Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje’s treasure cycle), authorizing empowerment for Primordially Pure Liberation, and other teachings.[15] She received empowerments and transmissions from the Early Translation school from Adzom Rinpoche, including the Gongpa Sangtal, Chetsun Nyingtik, and his own treasures of Divine Lifeforce and Vajrakīla.[16] She received numerous further teachings, such as the empowerment of the Natural Liberation of Grasping from the Enlightened Heart-Essence and the appropriate instructions and transmissions for the aural lineage of the ḍākinīs, oath fulfillment practices, and the preliminaries from her maternal uncle Do Rinpoche Khamsum Silnön Gyepa Dorje’s teachings. From Drubchen Khenpo Önam, she received the instructions of The Wish-Fulfilling Treasury, The Treasury of Precious Qualities, and The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, and from Gapa Khyentse, she received the lifeforce entrustment of Gesar.[17]

 

Dasal Wangmo relied upon several supreme beings who possessed both scholarship and accomplishment, such as her maternal uncle, the supreme Tulku Rangjung. She retained the numerous teachings of sūtra and tantra she received in her mind, which is like an ocean of milk, completely maturing her mind-stream through empowerment, transmission, explanation, and pith instructions. She obtained the textual explanations and practical instructions on the medical sciences, principally the glorious Four Tantras, from Troru Jampal, a direct disciple of Ju Mipam, and from Troru Jampal’s disciple Guru Sanglo, as well as her own mother Tsedzin Wagmo.[18] She also studied the sciences of Indian astrology and Chinese elemental calculations with Palri Lama Orgyan Rangdröl and Dzogchen Khenpo Chötsa, including the five components, five planets, and the Svarodaya Tantra, thus becoming a specialist in both medicine and astrology.[19] Moreover, under these masters, she studied all the ordinary fields of knowledge, such as philology, poetry, and grammar, and came to a [well-rounded] understanding. 

During the “time of change,” Dasal Wangmo went to the community of Goro in Lhagang in her fatherland of Minyak, Kham, and made the Ragshul settlement (her maternal household) her residence.[20] During the violent turbulence of these terrible times, she was forced to wear the hat of the four types of bad people, also known as the hat of gods, demons, provocative forces, and obstructors. For more than fourteen years, she experienced immeasurable suffering and torment due to conflicts, beatings, and manual labor reform. But like gold that has been set to flame, cut, and rubbed, she always displayed the true nature of an excellent being regardless of the torment of these cruel circumstances. She always trained her mind in bodhicitta and exclusively enacted altruistic deeds. Amid discord and beatings, she secretly gathered medicinal herbs and freed the destitute and ill from the suffering of unwelcomed illness.

Later Dasal Wangmo was the “bare-footed doctor” of Goro village and built a Tibetan medical center in a township of Naklung.[21] Regardless of whether it was day or night, she compassionately bestowed the gift of deathless vitality to the destitute and ill, who traveled from near and far to see her. Although trapped in strife and a recipient of beatings, she was more concerned with serving and performing duties for the refuge protector Senkar Choktrul [Tubten Nyima].[22]

In 1978 when the Dege Printing House was reopening, Dasal Wangmo assisted with editing the Kangyur, Tengyur, and other collected works for Sönam Dargye.[23] Then in 1979, following the invitation from the Dartsedo district and Kardze autonomous region’s health department, she became the primary editor for the publications of the Four Tantras and the Garland of Crystal Balls at the Kardze News Office.[24] In 1981 following the enlightened intent of the refuge protector Tubten Nyima, she became an inaugural teacher at the Sichuan Province Tibetan Language Institute—initially responsible for preparing the necessary textbooks at the newly constructed school. Then in 1983, she journeyed to Lhasa in central Tibet, where she received extensive instructions and explanations on the glorious Four Tantras, as well as empowerments and oral transmissions for the Yutok Nyingtik from Troru Khenchen Tsenam.[25]

When Khenpo Petse, Rakor Khenpo Tubnor, Khenpo Wanglo, and others taught on the Bodhicaryāvatāra, Gateway to Knowledge, Prajñāpāramitā, Madhyamaka, and other topics at the Tibetan Language Institute, Dasal Wangmo was not at all complacent and unceasingly received the textual instructions as if she was a student.[26] She also continued to kindly teach lessons on medicine and astrology to many students from Dzogchen, Tau, and Dartsedo, to name a few, and many lineage-holding students.

Moreover, Jetsunma Do Dasal Wangmo was renowned as the actual ḍākinī emanation of Ḍākki Losal Wangmo, and from time to time, she directly perceived symbolic scripts and prophetic visions.[27] However, because of her location and circumstances, she did not widely disseminate these teachings, and some of her mind-treasures were forever lost since she was unable to tend to them. She also considered most of these teachings to be of little benefit, so she offered them into the mouth of her fire. Nowadays, those found and collected have been compiled and published.

Even though Dasal Wangmo has turned eighty this year, she generously shares her allotted teachings with numerous devotees from Dzogchen, Minyak, Murhā, Drago, Golok, Serta, Mewa, Kenlho, and other places, especially the empowerments, transmissions, and entrustment for the Enlightened Heart-Essence.[28] While nurturing the destitute and ill and bestowing deathless vitality upon them, her indestructible lotus feet always remain in the essence of the seven vajra attributes.[29]

[1] 'jigs med gling pa, 1730–1798, BDRC P314; mdo mkhyen brtse ye shes rdo rje, 1800–1866, BDRC P698

[2] bde chen rig pa'i ral gri 1830–1896, BDRC P7933; 'dzom pa skyid, BDRC P1PD76600; mgo log a skyong lha chen

[3] rag shul bza' rig byed dbang mo, BDRC P1PD76607; mi nyak, BDRC G1033; rdo grub 'jigs med 'phrin las 'od zer 04 khams gsum zil gnon dgyes pa rdo rje, 1890–1939, BCRD P8431; tshe 'dzin dbang mo, 1894–1953, BDRC P1PD76609

[4] rdo grub 'jigs med 'phrin las 'od zer 02 shes rab me 'bar, 1829–1842, BDRC P1PD76603; rdo grub chen 01 'jigs med 'phrin las 'od zer, 1745–1821, BDRC P293

[5] rdo grub 'jigs med 'phrin las 'od zer 03 dri me grags pa, 1846–1886, BDRC P8006; 'gu thang, BDRC G1PD76606

[6] chags la rgyal po; dar rtse mdo, BDRC G1135

[7] dar mdo lcags la, BDRC G1489; mdo sgar

[8] rme dgon pa, BDRC G3217

[9] mkha' 'gro ma las kyi dbang mo

[10] mgo log rma chen khra tshang, BDRC G1PD76615

[11] sprul sku rang byung

[12] sprul sku sgra gcan

[13] rdzogs chen dgon, BDRC G16; thub bstan tshul khrims dpal mo; mkhan chen thub bstan snyan grags, 1883–1959, BDRC P6958

[14] rdzogs chen skya mo ri khrod

[15] rdzogs chen mkhan chen yon tan mgon po, 1899–1959, BDRC P6600

[16] a 'dzom rgyal sras 'gyur med rdo rje, b. 1895, BDRC P741

[17] grub chen mkhan po 'od rnam; sga pa mkhyen brtse

[18] gso rig rgyu bzhi, BDRC WA3CN1694; khro ru 'jam dpal, BDRC P1PD76610; 'ju mi pham , 1846–1912, BDRC P252; dgu ru gsang lo, BDRC P1PD76616

[19] Personal communication from Tibetan doctor and astrologer Erik Jampa Andersson (www.shrimala.com): The five components (lnga bsdus) refer to the days of the week, lunar days, lunar mansions, yoga, and karaṇa (gza' tshes skar sbyor byed pa lnga). For more information on the five components, see: Edward Henning, Kālacakra and the Tibetan Calendar (New York: American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 2007), 40–45. The Svarodaya Tantra (dbyangs 'char gyi rgyud) is a manuscript of Śaiva origin relating to Indic astrology and astrological magic. For more information on Svarodaya Astrological Magic, see: https://www.himalayanart.org/search/set.cfm?setID=2779; mi nyag dpal ri dgon pa'i mkhan po o rgyan rang grol, BDRC P1PD76612; rdzogs chen mkhan po chos tsha

[20] The “time of change” here alludes to the Cultural Revolution. khams mi nyag lha sgang go ro lha sde

[21] nags lung

[22] a lags gzan dkar 03 thub bstan nyi ma, b. 1943, BDRC P2362

[23] sde dge par khang, BDRC G1657

[24] shel gong 'phreng, BDRC W7516

[25] g.yu thog rnying thig, BDRC WA2DB13636; khro ru mkhan po tshe rnam, 1928–2005, BDRC P4779

[26] rdzogs chen mkhan po pad+ma tshe dbang lhun grub, 1931–2011, BDRC P9514; rwa skor mkhan po thub bstan nor bu, 1924–1987, BDRC P1272; dge mang khen po dbang lo

[27] DAk+ki blo gsal sgrol ma, 1802–1861, BDRC P1GS138134

[28] mur hA; brag 'go, BDRC G2299; mgo log BDRC G1490; gser rta, BDRC G2302; kan lho, BDRC G2199

[29] These seven qualities of a vajra include: (1) invulnerability (mi chod pa), (2) indestructibility (mi shigs pa), (3) authenticity (bden pa), (4) incorruptibility (sra ba), (5) stability (brtan pa), (6) unobstructibility (thogs pa med pa), and (7) invincibility (ma pham pa). See Dudjom (2002), 33–34.

Published: February 2022

NOTES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Mdo zla gsal dbang mo. “Rje btsun ma mdo zla gsal dbang mo'i mdzad rnam rags bsdus.” In Gsung thor bu zla gsal dbang mo. Par gzhi dang po, Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2007, pp. 1–8. BDRC MW1GS60403

COLOPHON

Jetsunma Do Dasal Wangmo’s nephew, the young and humble Tsangpo, whom she lovingly cared for, composed this biography in June 2007.

A Brief Biography of Jetsunma Do Dasal Wangmo

Abstract

Nun, physician, and treasure revealer, Do Dasal Wangmo was a well-respected female master in eastern Tibet. She was the great-granddaughter of Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje and the last member of his family line. Her religious affinity and familial connections allowed her to follow a contemplative, studious, and altruistic lifestyle as a monastic physician and professor of Tibetan medicine. Although briefly imprisoned and under difficult circumstances for fourteen years, she was later allowed to practice medicine and was appointed to government-funded medical schools in Kham.  

AUTHOR

Tsangpo

TRADITION

Nyingma

INCARNATION LINE

-

HISTORICAL PERIOD

20th Century

21st Century

TRANSLATOR

Tib Shelf

INSTITUTIONS

Dzogchen Monastery

Śrī Siṃha College 

Dzogchen Kyamo Hermitage

Kardza Hermitage

Sichuan Province Tibetan Language Institute

STUDENTS

Lama Dorde

Tubten Chödar

00:00 / 10:36

LISTEN TO AUDIO

A Brief Biography of Jetsunma Do Dasal Wangmo