Saturday, May 24, 2014

Werma Deity Texts & Tertons Ponse Khyung Gotsal (1175) & Rigzin Gödem (1337)


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"Soul of Enemy" and Warrior Deities (dgra bla): Two Tibetan myths on Primordial Daniel Berounsky......Prague 2009

Translations of two mythical narrations on warrior deities (dgralha/ sgra bla/ dgra bla).... one from the Bonpo text and the second from the “Old” (Rnying ma) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

"Bon Terma Text......he first of the texts bears the title “Readying the yak horn against the en‑emies: Small [ritual of] imprisoning enemies by Shugon (shug mgon) and turning yak horn into a weapon of sudden death” (further mentioned as “Yak horn text”, Dpon gsas khyung rgod rtsal /a/). It was rediscovered by Ponse Khyung Gotsal in the early 13th century.........Berounsky...Page 20

"Ponse Khyung Gotsal ....(Dpon gsas khyung rgod rtsal gyi rnam thar).......Ponse Khyunggo Tsel (dpon gas khyung rgod rtsal......born . 1175) in Zangzang Ri (Zang zang ri) located in Lato (La stod) ......Terton Ponse Khyung Gotsal (12th century)..... Ponse Kyung Gö Tsel....Werma Nyinya (war ma nyi nya): a worldly deity arising from the Bon 'Treasure Tradition' and specifically the Chang Sen Tagdu text unearthed by Terton Ponse Khyung Gotsal (12th century)....two of the most important Bon treasure discoverers (gter ston) of the time : Ponse Khyunggo Tsel (dpon gsas khyung rgod rtsal, b. 1175) and Maton Sherab Sengge (rma ston shes rab seng ge, 12th-13th c.).".......

"Werma Nyinya: a worldly deity arising from the Bon 'Treasure Tradition' and specifically the Chang Sen Tagdu text unearthed by the Bonpo Terton Ponse Khyung Gotsal (12th c)"......

"At the top center is a garuda bird along with the four animals of the directions at the four corners; snow lion, dragon, tiger and white yak. At the top right and left are two seated figures, peaceful in appearance, each with one face and two hands, white in colour. At the lower left a standing man holds an arrow and on the right a blacksmith hammers over an anvil. A solitary bird clutches a bat with the beak and a monkey wields an axe......In the Bon tradition there are four classes of worldly deities, all with a warrior-like appearance: (1) Dab La, (2) Chang Sen, (3) Welma (Werma) and (4) Chug Gon. The central deity of this painting belongs to the Chang Sen classification..".....Werma Deity Texts & Tertons Ponse Khyung Gotsal (1175) & Rigzin Gödem (1337).....

"Nyingma Terma Text......the second text is entitled “Lofty Praise of Warrior deities who were granted by Vajrapāṇi” (further “Lofty Praise”, Rig ’dzin rgod ldem can /a/). Al‑though the text lacks colophon, there is indeed a high probability that its revealer was Rigdzin Godemcan...Rigzin Gödem (1337-1408),....... Curiously enough, most of his revelations come from the locality identical with the preceding master Ponse Khyung Gotsal, and thus the idea of similar roots for both of them cannot be excluded.........Berounsky...Page 21

"The First Dorje Drak Rigdzin, Rigdzin Godemchen Ngodrub Gyeltsen...... (rig 'dzin rgod ldem chen dngos grub rgyal mtshan) ...Rigzin Gödem (1337-1408),...was born in Nyenyul (gnyan yul), also known as Toyor Nakpo (tho yor nag po), to the east of Mount Trazang (bkra bzang) in Lato Jang (la stod byang)......According to legend, when he was eleven years old three feathery growths appeared on the top of his head; by the time he was twenty-three there were five. Because these growths looked like the feathers of a vulture, he became famous as Godkyi Demtruchen (rgod kyi ldem 'phru can), ‘the one with vulture’s feathers’, which is generally shortened to Godemchen...Rigdzin Godemchen passed away in Zilnon (zil gnon), Sikkim, at the age of seventy-one in 1408,."......

"Both are partly in contrast and reveal something of the ways of incorporation of the older religious ideas into the frame of Buddhism. Some general background of the warrior deities is discussed in the introductory parts of the paper. It is pointed out that the ritual of “imprisoning the soul of enemies” ... dgra bla brub.....described also in the translated Bonpo text, might be related to the probably oldest written form ...dgra bla......“enemy‑soul”....used for the warrior deities in Dunhuang texts.....Berounsky...Page 19

"There is a long tradition connected with the warrior deities (dgra lha/ sgrabla/ dgra bla) in Tibet, but the evolution of the ideas associated with them remains obscure.....there could be a relationship between the ritual of “imprisoning the soul of enemies” (dgra bla brub) and the name for the warrior deities (dgra bla)......Berounsky...Page 19

"The second text is entitled “Lofy Praise of Warrior deities who were granted by Vajrapāṇi” is a beautiful piece of literature and has formed an authoritative narration on warrior deities for the Buddhist traditions to this day.....It also evidently inspired the Fifth Dalai Lama when he was composing his own ritual texts dealing with warrior deities. The text is enveloped in the context inspired by India. But most of the ideas associated with the warrior deities and their weapons as described in the scripture are evidently different in their aesthetic appeal and are based on indigenous Tibetan imagination."....Berounsky...Page 21

"Warrior deities are listed in the rather wide group of deities associated with the individual person and his immediate surrounding. Beside the warrior deities, this concerns “male deities” (pho lha), “mother deity” (ma lha) or “female deity” (mo lha), “deity of hearth” (thab lha), “deity of household” (khyim lha), and a number of others. Te relationship with these other deities seems to be a part of an older understanding. We have only later texts listing them in various ways, but still some evolution towards a very clear‑cut grouping can be observed. Some of the mentioned deities can be found in texts from Dunhuang but here they do not constitute a group. there is a text of the Bon tradition, which calls them“protecting deities” .....other texts of the Bon tradition frequently call them “deities of head” .....Berounsky...Page 22

"1. In Buddhist sources the name of deities is written as..... dgra lha (“enemy‑god”), 2. Bonpo sources mention names of deities surprisingly ofen as......sgra bla (“sound‑soul”)......Berounsky...Page 23

"...accounts of the origin of warrior deities deal with the Bonpo text Gzi brjid...revealed in the 14th century....... (Mdo dri med gzi brjid)......this particular tradition mentioning warrior deities as....sgra bla....and placing them besides other fierce deities called Cangseng, Werma and Shugon.....the distinction between warrior deities, Werma, Shugon and Cangseng is mostly blurred."......Berounsky...Page 25

"Changseng 'Brothers and Sisters' (cang seng lcam dral) named after four types of protective deities.....

"... the older form of these deities was probably zoomorphic, rather than the idea of soldiers riding horses as is the case now. Tracesof their zoomorphic features can be found elsewhere. In the rather later Bontext on the pilgrimage place of Mt. Kailas the myth of the arrival of warrior deity (sgra bla) of Bon appears. This warrior deity is a wild yak who descends from the sky, tears the mountains with his horns, melts into the beams of light and is eventually absorbed into Mt. Kailas."....Berounsky...Page 26

Gyalpo Pehar (Tibetan: རྒྱལ་པོ་དཔེ་ཧར, Wylie: rgyal po dpe har [also spelt: pe kar & dpe dkar]) is a spirit belonging to the gyalpo class....."...... the story on the origin of Pe‑har deity ...says that a Tibetan army was led to the “meditation hermitage”....Bhata Hor during the 8th century. This place was destroyed and the “things”, including the leather mask of the deity Pehar, were stolen. Pehar followed his “things” to the Samye monastery and became protector of one of its temples. It is indeed not excluded that in this case we are dealing not only with ritual but with real stealing of the “soul of enemies” and this might explain the Pehar’s role as Buddhist warrior deity par excellence. In the military past in the time of the Royal period, one can imagine many deities of the conquered people during the time of unification of Tibetan Empire with a similar fate..."...Berounsky...Page 32

"Ponse Khyung Gotsal (Dpon gsas khyung rgod rtsal ) was born in 1175 AD in Lato (La stod ) and given the name Dorje Pel (Rdo rje dpal )...... In his 23rd year he lost consciousness for seven days ..... and during these days travelled through the spheres of existence starting with hells. He also visited places in India during his mystical travel and eventually came to Mt. Kailas. He met the sage Drenpa Nam‑kha there who gave him his new name Ponse Khyung Gotsal. This visionary experience endowed him with extraordinary powers of remembering past lives. He is also considered to be an “emanation” of Drenpa Namkha. He discovered an enormous amount of texts, mostly in the mountain of Northern Lato (Byang la stod ) called Zangzang (Zang zang ri / Zang zang lha brag )...... He is believed to have rediscovered also some Buddhist texts (chos) and one of the chronicles says that these he passed to Guru Chowang (Gu ru chos dbang) 1212-1270 AD.......Zang zang ri appears frequently as one of the seven ancient “gathering places”of Bon of G.yas ru in the lists left in the chronicles of Bon."..........Berounsky...Page 33

"Zangzang Lhadrak Cave in Ngamring County was where Padmasambhava hid the "Northern Treasures," which consisted of "a number of texts and various sacred objects in a maroon leather casket." These texts and objects were removed in 1366 by Vidyadhara Gödem, and became known as the Dzö Nag (mdzod lnga) or Five Treasuries. The "Northern Treasures" were taught at the Dorje Drak Monastery, and include the Künzang Gongpa Zangtha teachings, a collection of Dzogchen instructions...... Rigzin Gödem (1337-1408),."............


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….May 2014


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