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The great Bön masters

Guru Yoga, the practice of connecting and unifying oneself with the lineage masters, is a key to opening oneself, receiving blessings and unifying with the knowledge of the enlightened one. Sincere inspiration and devotion along with pure perception towards the source of refuge, the lineage mas-ters and their teachings, is therefore crucial for the practice of Guru Yoga and Refuge. In the Bön tradition, there are many biographies of masters that emphasize activities regarding their progressive spiritual journey, thus allowing followers to develop inspiration and feel more connected.



Tapihritsa was a nomad, who became a Dzogchen practitioner. He received the teachings from Tsepung Dawa Gyaltsen (the 24th master of the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud) and after nine years of practice he achieved the Rainbow Body. In the 8th century, in order to pass on the teachings he had received, he manifested as a young boy and met with Nangzher Löpo.

The great Gyerpung Nangzher Löpo had a fierce pride, which was further amplified when the King of Zhang Zhung elevated him to the position of chief priest. Tapihritsa took the appearance of a young boy and began working for a rich man, who sent him out to herd the yaks. One day he passed by the place, where Gyerpung Nangzher Löpo was living in retreat. The young boy bowed down paying hommage to him in the nine traditional manners. Gerpung asked him, who his master was. The young boy confided: “My teacher is ordinary vision, my practice is non-conceptual and my meditation encompasses everything that appears within the three realms. My load is my discursive thoughts. My activity is to serve ordinary living beings”. Gyerpung thus concluded: “If all the ordinary visions are your teacher, it seems that you do not have any particular teacher. If your practice is non-conceptual, it seems you do not need any food or clothing. If your meditation encompasses all the appearances in the three realms, it seems that you may be able to be liberated without meditation. If your load is discursive thoughts, it seems that your desires are exhausted. If your conduct is as a labour for ordinary beings it seems you do not have any suffering”. Tapihritsa replied to him, “ All the appearances are my teachers. If one does not realise this, then who taught to Kuntu Zangpo? My practice is non- conceptual, since there is no concept in the Basic Nature, the conceptual appearances are not part of the practice. My meditation encompasses all appearances in the three realms: in the Natural State there is no partiality. If there is any partiality then this is not meditation. If one has no desires, then there is no discursive thoughts. Everything is realised as illusion. As for the conduct as a labourer for ordinary beings, since all the experience of happiness and suffering are of equal taste, everything is performed in equanimity”.

Tapihritsa then left Gyerpung Nangzher Löpo with some short instructions and disappeared. Later, Gyerpung Nangzher Löpo met him many times and received from him the complete teachings of the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud. They wrote down for the first time all the four cycles of the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud in Zhang Zhung language.


Lishu Tagring 

Lishu Tagring, a great Dzogchen master and extraordinary person, was born according to the Bön Scriptures in 1751 BCE. He is ranked among the masters from the Tagzig lineage.

In ancient time, in a place called Nyen Yul Zara Takya, there was a King who had inconceivable wealth and 800,000 subjects but his Queen bore him no child. One day the King heard a cuckoo singing; it sang about a gift that lay waiting on a flower in a sandalwood forest. The King found a very beautiful small girl from there. He brought her home and gave her to his wife, who was delighted and named the child Lungyal Tagza Mewal. As she grew up, many auspicious signs were manifested. For example, she could ride the wildest of animals, such as tigers. One day she left the kingdom for a retreat in the mountains. After having spent time in practice she transformed into a boy and went back to her father. He was very surprised: “How could you be transformed from a female to a male?” The boy answered: “I came here for the benefit of human beings. I am an emanation of Chime Tsukphu”. As a male the child’s name was changed to Lishu Tagring. He became King and ruled the kingdom for 82 years, while spreading the teachings of Bön.

He spoke 360 languages, and spread the Bön doctrine to several countries by translating the teachings into their languages. He was known as one of the four translators of Tibet.

When he was 113 years of age, he went to Zhang Zhung in search of Bön teachings. He received the complete teachings of the Drakpa Korsum as well as many others. When he was 258 years old, he proceeded to Tazik Olmo Lungring, where he met great masters and received several initiations and transmissions. He practiced on a mountain called Yungdrung Gutsek (the Nine Stacks of the Swastika Mountain).

When he was 1200 years old, he brought back thousands of Bön teachings to Tibet as well as to Zhang Zhung and India. It is said that the Scriptures of Bön, temples and shrines flourished in Zhang Zhung before they appeared in Tsang and central Tibet and before they spread to China and India. Zhang Zhung words can be seen at the beginning of the texts.

He promoted the welfare of sentient beings until he was 2500 years old. Having achieved the Body of Bliss he was free from the birth and death.

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Drenpa Namkha

Drenpa Namkha appeared in three different times; the first time he appeared miraculously in Tazik, second time he appeared as a prince of the ancient kingdom of Zhand Zhung and the third time he appeared in Tibet. Here the text tells about the Tibetan Drenpa Namkha: Bökyi Drenpa Namkha. He was born in southern Tibet in a place called Dakpo. His father was called Mushen Dakpa and his mother Dhaza Kharcham. He was from the Mu clan and from a very young age he received teachings from his father and many other teachers. He practiced rigorously and gradually became a learned scholar and great practitioner of both Tantra and Dzogchen.

He is said to have travelled to many neighbouring countries such as India, Drusha, Urgyen, and learnt their languages. Also known as a great translator, he was in contact with many Bönpos from other countries and translated several texts into Tibetan.

At the age of thirty-seven, he was a great master and siddha of Bön. At this time, the Tibetan King, Trisong Deutsen, was introducing Indian Buddhism in Tibet. During this period the Bön followers were persecuted and Drenpa Namkha played a great role in preserving the Bön teachings. Owing to him, many Bön teachings were hidden in various places to be discovered later. The Bönpos were threatened to be exiled or executed, if they did not convert to Buddhism. Many masters chose to exile, but Drenpa Namkha held: “My mind is same as gold. Whether gold is buried in the ground or appears on the surface, it does not change its quality. The real Nature of Mind cannot be changed. Whether I become Buddhist or I remain Bönpo, nobody can change the Nature of Mind. This precious life is the result of good karma and is very rare to obtain, it would be a pity to become executed. Therefore, I would rather be converted”. Ever since, although he appeared as a Buddhist, he continued to practice Bön.

He transmitted many teachings to the King Trisong Deutsen and managed to be a great master in both Bön and Buddhism. His works include general commentary on the Yetri Thasel and the whole cycle of the Namkha Truldzö.

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Tulku Shenchen Lüga

Shenchen Lüga was born in 996 CE, the Year of the Fire Monkey, in southern Tibet. In Bön history he is the most well-known among all the Bönpo “treasure revealers” in southernTibet.

At the age of twenty-two, in 1017, in the midst of winter, he found the treasure of the Bön Scriptures, and was proud of his accomplishment. Later, he discovered two boxes buried deep into the earth containing a scripture written in both Zhang Zhung and Tibetan called “The Innermost Treasury of Existence”, Sidpai Dzogphug and also texts of Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. During the reign of the King Dri Gum Tsanpo, at the time of the Bön persecution, these boxes had been hidden away.

Shenchen Lüga taught from 1025 until around 1038. He thus became one of the most important propagators spreading the Bön doctrine in Tibet. He belonged to the Shen clan, which is considered to descend from Buddha Tönpa Shenrab.

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Gongdzö Ritrö Chenpo

Me’u Gongdzö Ritröpa is said to have been born in the village of Gurzhog, in the Shang area of Yeru, as the eldest of four sons of Me’u Shagten and his wife Dorje Tsho. Blessed by a good karmic inheritance due to his training in the previous life, he was naturally free of non-virtues and impurity of perceiving appearances as real. However, pressured by his parents, he married at the age of eighteen. He later separated from his wife and set off into the world alone.

He received teachings of the Dzogchen Gabpa and the Mind-series Dzogchen. He received several initiations from his teachers Dru and Zhu, and after taking the Genyen vow he was given the name of Yungdrung Gyalpo. He travelled to Karpodrak in Shang, where he meditated diligently for several years. He underwent rapid and advanced experiences and achieved a wide range of realizations. He took his monastic vows at the age of twenty-four from Abbot Namkha Gyaltsen, who advised him to go to Tsang and complete his meditative training in a secluded place. Under his teachers’ guidance he trained his mind with all the Ways contained in the Bön of Causality and the Bön of Fruition, and engaged in the spiritual practice. He taught extensively, ordained numerous monks and was known for his kindness towards his followers.

One day he announced: “I really must leave soon, let us bring the teachings to the conclusion.” They went to the sacred place called Nyingdrung, where he is said to have set up a cairn on a grassy meadow before announcing, “Make this my resting place.” It is said that he galloped three times on his horse across the place, with these words: “The warp of the pure nature of phenomenal existence is cut; the cord of attachment to cyclic existence is cut; the delusory rope of the Bardo is cut!” After that, he fell ill, and a fortnight later, at the break of dawn on the fourth day of the month in the middle in a Male Fire Rat Year, amid sound, light and rays, he passed beyond sorrow into the Natural State.

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Yangtön Tashi Gyaltsen

Yangtön Tashi Gyaltsen was the younger brother of Dampa Bumje. In his early years, his father and brother taught him the Secret Mantras belonging to the Tantric Cycle of Meri. In particular, he received the precepts of the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud. He became a powerful Tantric practitionner and married Langtrugma from Chok, with whom he had one son. She died three years later and he refused to remarry.

At the age of thirty-three, he left for Tsang province, where he studied the Bönpo Tantras at Nyimo Zangri Monastery. In the presence of Shenchen Yeshe Lodrö, he took ordination as a monk. He became a yogi practicing great austerities and residing especially at Lubrak Nyen, the mighty rock of the Nagas. This site in northern Nepal was inhabited by the Nagas and other wild non-human spirits. It had previously been sanctified by the presence of Drenpa Namkha himself.
Tashi Gyaltsen is generally known by the title of Drongön Lubrakpa, meaning “the Protector of Living Beings, the Man of Lubrak”, because he was the founder of the Lubrak village.

Yangtön lived until the age of eighty-five and realized many siddhis. He performed many miracles such as hanging his blue cloak on the rays of the sun or calling the rains to put out the fires. He established the Bönpo Doctrines in Latöd. There, having realized the Natural State, he became non-dual with the Body of Kuntu Zangpo.

His descendants went later to Dolpo, where they founded many religious centers, among which Samling Monastery. This monastery held a large library with ancient manuscripts of Bönpo texts, a considerable part of which were later published in India by H.E. Yongdzin Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche. These manuscripts were very precious as they had been lost in Tibet during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

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Druchen Gyalwa Yungdrung

Druchen Gyalwa Yungdrung was from Yeru Wensakha. His father was Drusha Sonam Gyaltsen. Endowed with many fine qualities from early childhood, he began teaching dialectics and cosmology at the age of eight. He later took the vow of a pure ordained monk from Dulwa Rinpoche, and received the monastic name of Gyalwa Yungdrung. He received the initiations, oral transmissions and blessings for all Bön teachings, outer, inner and secret, and devoted himself to their study. In particular he received an introduction to the Great Vehicle of the Natural State. He adhered closely to the lineage lamas such as Togden Depa Sherab of Latö and Zhangtön Sonam Rinchen of Jä, and from them he received initiations, oral transmissions, blessings and authorisation of the experiential lineage of the cycles of the Dzogchen Zhang Zhung Nyengyud. These he took as his principal meditative practice.

He performed his spiritual practices in the power places, including the cliffs of Yeru Kharna and Ragong Yonpo. The spontaneously perfected luminosity of the Base, which arose without interruption; as for the Path, the characteristics of sound, light and rays were liberated into the Natural State; and finally, the Three Bodies manifested as the Result. Accordingly, he attained the Great Bliss, the Dharmakaya itself.

He wrote many commentaries on teachings including the Practice Manual of the Dzogchen Zhang Zhung Nyengyud, called Gyalwa Chagtri. In particular, concerning the precious teachings of the Atri cycle, he composed the Fifteen Sessions and the supplementary work entitled the Precious Reminder. In this way he set down the excellent Scriptures of Bön with greater simplicity, so as to make them more accessible to all. He became a lamp of the precious doctrine, and set innumerable followers on the path of maturation and liberation.

And finally, at his his forty-ninth year, he used his passing beyond sorrow as a demonstration of impermanence. The traces of his passing included many signs of accomplishment such as relics and rainbows.

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Shen Nyima Gyaltsen

Shen Nyima Gyaltsen was born in the Iron Rat Year in 1360 CE as Mushen Choglek Gyaltsen’s son in the Shen family of Dardhing in central Tibet. The Shen clan finds its origins in the same family as the great Bönpo treasure revealer Shenchen Lüga and is revered to be the descendant of Buddha Tönpa Sherab.

Early in his youth he was capable of remaining in the unwavering Natural State of Kuntu Zangpo, drawing many siddhas and dakinis to revere and cherish him. He soon mastered the general sciences of external and internal, particularly in the teachings of Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. He was an expert in all the aspects of the Magyud Cycle, which he practiced as his main yidam. He achieved realization and transformed himself into the yidam Sangchok Gyalpo.

His work consists of twelve volumes including commentaries and practice manuals on Magyud. He also expanded Shentsang Monastery by establishing an entire new complex called Triten Norbutse Monastery, reserved only for the monks while the old Dardhing Sergo Tramo Monastery remained as a Temple for ngagpas and lay practitioners.

He had three sons named Triwoe Gyaltsen, Nyima Oser and Namkha Gyaltsen.


Nyame Sherab Gyaltsen

Nyame (the Nonpareil) Sherab Gyaltsen, a 14th century master, was from the vicinity of the great river in Gyarong in eastern Tibet, known as Gyalmo Ngulchu. He was the second of three siblings born to Lugyal, a specialist of Gyü Bön (Causal Bön), and a woman known as Rinchenmen, who bore the characteristics of a dakini. From early childhood he had a powerful intellect, and under his father’s guidance he thoroughly mastered healing techniques, divination and astrology from the Way of the Causal Bön. He took his monk vows in the presence of the Illustrious Yungdrung Gyaltsen, and was given the name Sherab Gyaltsen. Through hearing and reflection he completely shed his misapprehensions. He received practical training, direct instructions and the experiential lineages of the cycles such as the Atri, Zhang Zhung Nyengyud and Akar Zhichö. He performed his spiritual practice in the solitary places and hermitages of upper, lower, southern and northern Dokham in eastern Tibet, and realised the essential meaning of the Great Bliss that is the essence of the clarity and emptiness.

At his thirty-first year, he travelled to Yeru Wensakha, where he followed the monastery’s routine and immersed himself deeply in doctrinal affairs. He then went to Nalanda University in central Tibet, where he studied under Rongtönpa Sheja Kunrig and became thoroughly proficient in the Buddhist systems and scriptures of Prajñaparamita, Abidharma, Madhyamaka and epistemology. At the main monastic seat of Yeru Wensakha he taught the Bön doctrine, and set an innumerable number of his disciples on the path of maturation and liberation. After Yeru Wensaka Monastery was destroyed by the flood, he rebuilt it higher up the mountain and it became known as Menri Monastery. He restored the old system of monastic discipline, education and practice from Yeru Wensakha, and was renowned and respected for being authentic and pure in his system of monastic discipline as well as for his Tantra and Dzogchen teachings. He wrote nine commentaries on different cycles of the teachings and composed a set of instructions for all aspects of the outer, inner and secret Bön teachings. He was the second Buddha of this degenerate time. At sunrise, on the eighth day of the last summer month, in 1415 CE, in the Female Wood Sheep Year, while he was in the process of giving teachings on the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud, he passed away amid rainbow lights. A golden Yungdrung Köleg stupa was constructed, and his body was placed inside it as a support for the devotion of his disciples. When his remains were later cremated, a large number of relics appeared.


Tulku Loden Nyingpo

Rinchen Tso, une dame du clan Dong, était en pèlerinage à Lhasa et dans la vallée de Yarlung, lorsqu'en chemin elle rencontra un autre pèlerin, connu sous le nom de Tsultrim Senghe du clan Ra. Ils ont voyagé ensemble et très vite, elle est tombée enceinte. Comme ils n'étaient pas mariés, elle eut honte d'affronter sa famille et, sur le chemin du retour, elle se rendit à Khyungpo et resta dans une grotte, où elle donna naissance à son fils Tulku Loden Nyingpo en 1360 de notre ère, l'année du rat de fer. L'empreinte de son corps et de son pied est encore visible aujourd'hui dans la grotte. Afin de gagner sa vie, elle est devenue servante dans un village voisin, s'occupant des chèvres.


Rinchen Tso, a lady from the Dong clan, was on a pilgrimage to Lhasa and to Yarlung valley, when on the way she met another pilgrim, known as Tsultrim Senghe from the Ra clan. They travelled together and soon enough she was pregnant. As they were not married, she felt ashamed to face her family and so, on the way back home she went to Khyungpo and stayed in a cave, where she gave birth to her son Tulku Loden Nyingpo in 1360 CE, the Iron Rat Year. His body print and footprint can still today be seen in the cave. In order to earn her living, she became a servant in a village nearby, taking care of goats.

When her son was five years old, he learned to read and write. And by the age of seven he could write well and was able to read yidam cycle prayers without any training. More of such auspicious signs were manifested during his childhood. When he was twelve years old, he began to help his mother with the goats. He would gather the goats together and sit among them and meditate. Seeing this, the locals complained that he was not working, but they soon realised that the goats were giving more milk and eating less grass. Around this time, the local King, the leader of the Khyungpo Karung, was commissioning a calligraphy in gold of the Prajna Paramita in 16 volumes. Tulku Loden Nyingpo asked if he could take part in the project as he needed money. After testing his writing, they gave him part of the work. While other calligraphers were writing he, being a child, could not concentrate as much. The day before the deadline he still was far from finishing. No one believed he could complete the work, but nevertheless, he asked for a separate room with enough paper and pens. He fixed a pen on each finger, and those who saw him through the window said they saw his fingers dancing. The next day he had finished all the work.

In his youth he had many visions, from which he received many teachings and transmissions. He established four temples in the Khyungpo area. One of the temples, called Wage Gompa, is said to be a replica of a temple in Olmo Lungring, which he had visited in his visions. Transmissions came to him without notice, leaving him no choice but to stop whatever he was doing to write them down. He received transmissions from many siddhas and dakinis, including Yum Oden Barma, the consort of Zhang Zhung Drenpa Namkha. At twenty-five, while travelling, Tangchen Mutsa Gyerme, one of the eight main disciples of Lachen Drenpa Namkha appeared before him and transmitted the extensive original hagiography of Tönpa Shenrab known as Drime Zi Jid. He also received the transmission of the Namkha Zhichö from the Dzogchen cycle. He had a karmic relation with the dakini, Tashö Bumo Pematso, who was supposed to be his consort. Marrying her would have given him a long life, but he decided to become a monk. He was ordained and renamed Namkha Rinchen. He received many teachings of Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen as well as Chöd practices.

It is said that at the age of 37, while travelling from Khyunkpo to Tsawarong, he fell ill. He sent someone to go and meet the dakini, Tashö Bumo Pematso to ask her for help. She mentioned that he only remembered her in times of trouble, but nevertheless she gave a sealed box to the messenger and told him: “If you can bring this to Tulku Loden without opening it, then he may live longer”. The messenger carried the box and as he got closer to where Tulku Loden lay, the heavier the box became. As he neared his destination, he could not carry it any more and was intrigued by the load. He opened the box slightly and it suddenly became very light. When he arrived, Tulku Loden had just passed away.

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Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen

When Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen was born in 1859, in Dzakog in the Kham region of Eastern Tibet, there were many auspicious signs. In his childhood, he did not give his parents much trouble. When he was nine years old, a great siddha, Tenzin Wangyal, told his parents that he must become a monk. They refused and soon after Shardza developed a mental sickness. The parents understood and when agreeing to his monastic future, the child’s mental sickness was soon cured. The boy received many initiations, teachings and transmissions from Tenzin Wangyal, who knew that the boy would be important for the Bön teachings. He told him to practice and meditate diligently while he learnt Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. Several events in his life brought him to the same level as his master and he meditated with the realization of the Natural State day and night. Shardza took the complete vinaya vow. At the age of thirty-four, feeling disenchanted by his worldly life, he decided to stay in complete solitude.

He worked on writing the preliminary teachings and the history of Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. His commentaries on the Nine Ways of Bön, on Trekchö and Thögal of Dzogchen are compiled into two volumes. He held the lineage of the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud teachings. He had many disciples, in front of whom he never showed signs of fatigue. When he was seventy-five, Shardza changed his manner of teaching. In addition to the more serious topics, he began to play more with children, and behaved more freely, without any consideration of how his worldly manner should be. Some of the students began to see him manifesting in the forms of various divinities.


In 1934, at the age of seventy-six, on the second day of the fourth month of the Wood Dog Year, Shardza went to a place called Rabzhi Teng and put up a small tent. On the thirteenth day, he ordered his disciples to sew it completely closed, and not to open it for many days. Then he sat inside in the five-point body posture. On the next day, his students saw many rainbows above his tent. On the fourth day, there was an earthquake and showers of flowers rained down. Between the stitches of the tent many lights with different colours floated out like steam. One of his disciples, Tsültrim Tenzin, saw to it that all his property was given as offerings and made sure that every year prayers would be recited on the anniversary of the manifestation of his Rainbow Body.

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Yongdzin Tsültrim Gyaltsen

In 1893, in the Water Snake Year, Yongdzin Tsultrim Gyaltsen was born to Bongyud Khorlo and Ashagza in the region of Khyungpo Seru in eastern Tibet. His birth name was Sonam Gyaltsen. At the age of seven, his mother began to teach him letters, which he soon mastered. At nineteen, he received the preliminary practice teachings from the cycle of the Zabmo Kusum Chüdril (the Profound Essence of the Three Bodies) from the great meditation master Mönlam Gyaltsen and engaged in the proper accumulation of mantras, studying, and mind training. After receiving the introductory teachings, he received many Dzogchen empowerments and oral transmissions. He also took the Genyen vow and at twenty-three, feeling a deep sense of renunciation, he went to Yungdrung Ling Monastery, where he was ordained by Khenchen Sherab Loden and Yongdzin Lodroe Gyatso and was renamed Tsültrim Gyaltsen. These masters also taught him Sutra, Tantra, Dzogchen and other traditional sciences.

Later he took the complete vow of the Drangsong from Khenchen Sherab Loden. His intellect and knowledge flourished so much that at the age of thirty-three, Lopön Sherab Dakpa stepped aside to appoint him as the new Lopön of the monastery, under the name of Tsültrim Gyaltsen Pal Sangpo. Until 1937, the Fire Ox Year in the 16th Rabjung Year Cycle, he undertook the heavy responsibility of teaching disciples, and engaged in debating and writing to transmit Yungdrung Bön. Yongdzin Tsultrim Gyaltsen also wrote many texts on Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen as well as history, spiritual songs, poetry, astrology and orthography.
From the age of forty-five, the next twenty years he practiced Dzogchen in a cave overlooking Jyeru Tso lake in northern Tibet. In 1944, at the age of nineteen, Yongdzin Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche became his disciple and embarked in a long and intensive journey, learning and practicing with him in this cave for four years.

In 1957, he was invited back to his birthplace, where a new monastery called Gangru Dragyel Gon was built, which was later destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. He guided hundreds of disciples on the path to the ultimate truth including several illustrous Bön teachers such as Yongdzin Sangye Tenzin Rinpoche, Yongdzin Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, Pönlop Yönten Gyatso and the great scholar Palden Tsultrim. He passed away in Tibet at the age of seventy-five.

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Yongdzin Sangye Tenzin

Kyabje Meuton Yongdzin Sangye Tenzin was born at Hor Drokshog in the year 1912 to Kyawo Lama Topwang of the Meu clan, and Gyurmuza Gyertso. He learned reading and writing from his father. At the age of fourteen, he joined Yungdrung Rabten Ling Monastery against the local rule according to which his family should have sent him to Sogtsan Dengonpa, a Gelug monastery, but he refused to go there. In Yungdrung Rabten Ling Monastery he received the Genyen vow as well as the preliminary practices, main practice and explanation of the Khandro Sangdzö from Paton Tenpa Drugdak. He engaged diligently in the required accumulation of mantras, study and practice. He was taught the different aspects of the elemental astrology and astronomy by Yongdzin Sherab Nyima of Luphug Monastery.

When he was twenty-one years old, he went to Yungdrung Ling Monastery in central Tibet and received the monk vows from the Abbot of the monastery, Kunkhyen Sherab Wangyal and Yongdzin Tsultrim Gyaltsen. He joined the Dialectic School of the monastery and studied poetry, grammar, logic and other sciences, and was awarded the title of Geshe Rabjampa.

From Menri Monastery’s 31st Trizin (Abbot) Tenpa Lodrö and Drugom Tsultrim Gyaltsen, he received the complete inner, outer and secret initiations and instructions of the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud and became its lineage holder. From Kunkhyen Thugje Nyima and Shen Dzamling Rinpoche he received the four empowerments of the Magyud Sangchog Tharthug. He also received many instructions from the highly realized Zopa Gyaltsen.

He was later enthroned as the Lopön of Menri Monastery by Kyabje Menri Khenchen Tenpa Lodroe, Khenchen Nyima Wangyal and other senior teachers. He worked on creating the syllabus for the Menri College and had many disciples including Yongdzin Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche. He was also involved in the commissioning of woodblock prints of the four major Dzogchen cycles in ten big volumes, thus contributing towards the flourishing of Bön.

In the Year of the Earth Pig, he went into exile in India, where he printed many texts, helped guide the establishment of the new Bönpo settlement and the building of the new Menri Monastery in Dolangi. He continued teaching Dzogchen until he passed away at the age of sixty-six in this monastery in 1967. When he passed away, from the east direction appeared very beautiful rainbows and other auspicious signs, which were seen by many people.

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