History of Substances and Statues

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English | བོད་ཡིག

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

Kutsab Ngödrup Palbar

A History of the 'Display of Awakened Activity' Samaya Substances That Liberate Upon Taste and the Two 'Representative' Statues That Liberate Upon Sight

revealed by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

Homage to Mighty Padmavajra!

In order to undertake the activities of all those
Innumerable and profound Guru’s Heart Practices—
Those of the essence, the three kāyas in general, and their subsidiaries—
Here is a formula to produce samaya substances that liberate through taste.
The holy core of the nine regions of Tibet
Is the emanated buddhafield of Drakmar Samyé.
There is the secluded retreat of Chimphu, palace of great power,
Wherein the assembled ranks were practicing the Kadü Gyatso.[1]
The supreme lord of the maṇḍala was the Guru of Great Bliss.
From Guru Padmasambhava’s bodily form there appeared a display
That filled all saṃsāra and nirvāṇa; it was beyond imagination.
The wisdom of all the complete buddhas, past and present,
And the supreme leaders, the bodhisattvas,
Were then invited into a precious vase,
In the form of countless billions of points of light.
Likewise, all the collections of amṛta in the physical and animate world
Were combined and they then dissolved into the vase by mantra.
The magic of the Great Master’s samādhi
Transformed all this into the physical form of a samaya substance,
So that the faithful who see, hear, remember, or touch it in times to come
Will effortlessly be liberated within seven lifetimes,
Place it within a supreme support for awakened activity, as its heart-treasure.
In the future, a fortunate individual will find this substance.
At that time, the lord of Dharma, the tamer of beings,[2]
Should mix this precious essence, either alone
Or with other perfect samaya substances,
Into clay or flour from grain.
Make this the size of samaya-substance pills,
And roll in five kinds of mustard seeds.
Each pill will thus multiply a hundred-thousandfold.
Whoever partakes of these pills, when properly prepared,
Will pacify the illness, suffering and obstacles of this life; Effortlessly accomplish all their noble aspirations;
Be spared from rebirth in any of the lower realms;
Assuredly take rebirth in a higher realm, with a human body and dharmic environment;
And engage in the swift path of the supreme secret, Vajrayāna,
Thereby effortlessly gaining liberation within seven lifetimes.
Upon distributing these pills, invoke the Guru with his supreme essence,
The twelve syllables of the Guru’s mantra,[3]
Which embody the twelve sections of the Buddha’s teachings.
Then aspire that seeing, hearing, remembering, or touching the substances
Will lead beings to the essence of awakening.
At that moment, the Guru of Uḍḍiyāna will actually send his wisdom being
From the Glorious Mountain of Cāmara.
He will thus enter the hearts of the faithful,
Blessing them as inseparable until awakening.
There is no other means for Tibet’s happiness, now or in times to come.
This is the Guru’s own promise, future disciples!
I, Tsogyal, care for Tibet, and so I hid these innermost pith instructions— The framework for the Guru’s Heart Practice,
And these quintessential samaya substances, the display of awakened activity—
As profound treasures for the benefit of beings in the future.
Practice them with a devoted mind, for they are of great importance;
Do not let it fade away, future disciples,
But take this promise to heart! Samaya!
Seal! Seal!

The Representation of the Guru, Radiant Light of Compassion (Guru Kutsab Tukjé Ötro):

At the supreme sacred site of the Vulture Cave in Dzagyal,
Padmasambhava presided over a great assembly of disciples,
Who gathered by the thousand in wisdom forms and ordinary bodies.
As the totally liberated Chemchok Heruka,
The king of compassion that causes liberation,
He opened the maṇḍala of the Düpa Do,
The essence of the profound secret of The Vajra Array,
A tantra that is the natural sound of dharmatā’s manifest revelation.
When the medicinal amṛta substances were consecrated,
The sky filled with countless wrathful deities of the heruka maṇḍala,
Who dissolved into the sacred materials.
The medicine began to blaze with wisdom fire,
And the entire world was pervaded by
A fragrance that liberates upon smell.
Millions of ḍākinīs began to sing a vajra song
Of how, since the power of a single practice session is multiplied a hundred-thousand times,
Whoever sees, hears, recalls, or touches this medicine
Or tastes a mere sesame seed’s portion of it,
Will have all their illnesses, suffering and obstacles pacified.
They sang of how they will perfectly attain vajra-like lifespan and health,
And how the wisdom of great bliss will effortlessly arise.
They sang of how their perception will become equal to a heruka,
And how they will be effortlessly liberated within seven lifetimes.
The heaps of this special medicine then gathered together
And spontaneously formed a statue of the Guru.
Light rays of wondrous compassion shone everywhere,
And, filled with amazement, I prayed to it.
Those assembled scrambled for the statue,
But I was the one fortunate enough to receive it.
For a long while I worshipped and took care of it,
And, finally, I concealed the statue in the Cliff of Blazing Light,
So that a future person, fortunate and destined,
Could accomplish the limitless benefit of beings and reap siddhis.
Hearing, seeing, recalling, or touching this statue
Is no different than meeting Guru Padmasambhava in person.
It will dispel all fears, sufferings and adversities.
Whatever supreme and ordinary siddhis you pray for
Will be effortlessly granted by this wish-fulfilling jewel,
A sacred reliquary for both gods and men.
Wherever this treasure of the teachings is kept,
An ocean of Three Roots deities and dharma protectors will gather like clouds;
Benevolent spirits and nāgas will assemble though unbidden;
All goodness in the world and for its inhabitants will flourish;
And the essence of the teachings will endure long into the future.
Drawing out its lips and face, and opening its eyes
Will be necessary to enhance the power of its beneficence.
Mix tiny particles of the original statue
With precious earths and atrong clay,[4]
And consecrate them; this kutstab will thus multiply countlessly.
Signs will arise in accord with the belief of the faithful.
Wherever these statues are placed auspiciousness will abound
And the blessings of Guru Padmasambhava, the embodiment of compassion,
Will permeate. This is the Guru’s promise;
The wise should take it deeply to heart.
If fine particles of these precious statue substances,[5]
Are applied to statues, paintings, or mixed into stamped images,
The wisdom beings will actually reside within them;
It will be equivalent to completing and consecrating the most supreme of representations.
Therefore, this supreme essence of wonder, never before seen,
Has been sealed at the Cliff of Blazing Light,
In a grove where ḍākinīs gather, and nowhere else.
I have hidden this basis for the growth of happiness and fortune
As a seed that will yield countless wish-fulfilling jewels,
To be used by a destined person in the future to benefit beings.
Act in perfect accord with the Guru’s promise! Samaya!
Seal! Seal!

The Representation of the Guru, Glorious Blaze of Siddhis (Guru Kutsab Ngödrup Pelbar):

The embodiment of the awakened form, speech, heart and qualities
Of all the buddhas of past, present and future,
Padmasambhava, the Guru of Great Bliss,
Went with a group of his destined followers,
To the great pleasure grove of ḍākas and ḍākinīs
In the sanctuary of Pemakö in Eastern Tibet.
There he once again taught the extremely profound and secret,
Unsurpassed teaching of Gongpa Kündü, The Embodiment of All Realization.
On that occasion the Guru’s followers requested that he leave behind
A kutsab, a representation of the Guru’s vajra form, for the benefit of future disciples.
Instantly, like a flash of lightening, Guru Padmasambhava’s miraculous emanations
Spread forth in all directions and arrived in all realms.
They brought back the most supreme supports of blessing
And combined them into a casket made of light,
Which they placed within the grand maṇḍala of their practice.
By directing his vajra-gaze toward the casket, the Guru blessed it with his realization.
His mere glance transformed the casket into a mass of amrita,
Which the Guru mixed with extremely rare substances from the human realm—
Precious sand from Lake Manasarovar, atrong clay,
And various soils from the sacred lands, places and charnel grounds.
He formed all this into a clay statue, towards which he once more directed his realization,
So that the blessings of the heart-wisdom of all the sugatas and their heirs
Entered it in the form of blazing light.
Thus was the brilliant advent of the Guru of Great Bliss statue
Which gloriously blazes with siddhis upon mere recollection.
This statue is the Guru’s regent, a healer for future generations.
Any connection with it is meaningful; a destined person
Should enshrine it as support for accomplishing boundless benefit.
This statue was hidden, together with thirteen quintessential instructions
And instructions on the natural liberation of the five afflictive poisons,
Above the gently flowing confluence of the Tsikchu and Kela rivers,
On the rocky slopes of a jewel-heaped mountain,
Inside a boulder with the look of a lion’s maw.
When the time comes, one guided by Guru Padmasambhava’s blessings,
A custodian of the teachings, will urge the destined revealer to find this treasure.
Any connection with this statue will mature and liberate disciples, bringing infinite benefit to beings.
Seeing, hearing, remembering or touching this sublime representation
Is no different than directly meeting Guru Padmasambhava.
This statue was left so that faithful and devoted future disciples,
Who were unable to meet the Guru in person,
May still pay homage, make offerings and recite prayers to the Guru’s representation.
There is not the slightest doubt that they will receive whatever they pray for,
Including all the ordinary and supreme siddhis, without exception.

In particular, regarding these statues that bring liberation upon sight:
Whoever opens their eyes and faces by adorning them with gold
Will receive the siddhis of the Guru’s awakened form.
Whoever praises these representations
Will receive the siddhis of the Guru’s awakened speech.
Whoever thinks of representations
Will receive the siddhis of the Guru’s awakened heart.
Whoever offers them clothing and ornaments,
Will receive inconceivable wealth and valuables.
Whoever gives empowerments with these statues,
Their activities for benefiting beings will become as limitless as space.
Whoever offers a relic container for them
Will take rebirth in a delightful celestial palace.
Whoever serves and honors them
Will never in all their lives suffer from poverty,
But will enjoy the abundant wealth and riches of the noble ones.
Whoever develops devotion, and in presence of these statues
Offers three feast offerings, will be freed from rebirth in the lower realms.
Whoever so offers ten feast offerings will purify the suffering of their karmic veils.
Whoever offers twenty-five feast offerings will receive whatever siddhis they desire.
Whoever possesses profound meditation
And offers hundreds of feast offerings before them
Will undoubtable meet Guru Padmasambhava in a vision,
And receive prophecies and blessings.
Whoever offers flowers to them
Will blaze with wisdom and magnificence.
Whoever offers incense to them
Will maintain pure discipline and immeasurably benefit others.
Whoever offers lamps to them
Will gain sharp faculties and the eye of wisdom.
Whoever offers perfumed water to them
Will purify their obscurations and dispel sickness and evil spirits.
Whoever offers food to them
Will flourish in their meditation and enjoy abundant food and riches.
Whoever offers music to them
Will swiftly cultivate bodhicitta and become widely renowned.
Whoever offers a cleansing ritual to them
Will dispel all illnesses, spirits, negativity, obscurations, and obstacles.
Whoever prostrates to or circumambulates them
Will be freed from all spirit-diseases, such as those that cause insanity.
In brief, whoever venerates these statues
With one-pointed faith and devotion
Will be freed from misery, join the family of noble beings,
And swiftly reach awakening.
The merits and their ripening will be equal
To meeting and venerating Guru Padmasambhava in person;
There is not even the slightest difference in the blessings and siddhis.
The Guru is a wish-fulfilling jewel
Who spontaneously fulfills all wishes
And therefore his word never deceives.
I have left this promise for future generations,
So shed all your doubts and cultivate trust and devotion,
For a mind free of doubts will definitely accomplishes its aims.
Pray from the depths of your heart, future disciples,
And cherish this, your Guru’s promise! Samaya!
Seal! Seal!

This was a brief and presentation of history and qualities
Of the most exalted sources of benefit for beings of this age:
The hundreds of samaya substances that liberate upon taste,
And the pair of statues that liberate upon sight.
I, Tsogyal, wrote this down in secret symbols,
Just as it was spoken by the Guru, the embodiment of compassion,
And concealed it in the Cliff of Blazing Light, a place where the ḍākinīs gather.

In the future, the incarnation of the prince named Ratna,[6]
Drodül Chokgyur Lingpa, a holder of the Guru of Uḍḍiyāna’s teachings,
Will appear like a thunderbolt to eradicate the suffering of beings
During a time of extreme degeneration.
Aided by the interdependence of profound secret conduct,
He will reveal these sublime wish-fulfilling jewels.
The hopes of those destined beings—
The foremost sponsors who support the teachings,
And the holders of the teachings who have been reborn in accord
With the wishes of the king, his sons, and the rest of the disciples—
Shall in this way be fulfilled,
For any connection with them matures and liberates beings to perfection.
Samaya! Seal! Seal!

Khyentse Wangpo, adoring servant of the Lake-Born Guru, deciphered and set down in writing the magical scrolls that the nirmāṇakāya, the Great Tertön Drodül Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa, had retrieved from the Cliff of Blazing Light, Öbar Drak, in Gotö. Virtue! Sarva sattva vimoca bhavantu!

| Samye Translations, 2020 (trans. Peter Woods and Stefan Mang), with reference to an earlier translation by Gyurme Avertin. Edited for Lotsawa House, 2022.


Tibetan Edition

mkhyen brtse'i dbang po. “dam rdzas myong grol phrin las rol pa dang mthong grol sku tshab rnam gnyis kyi lo rgyus.” In gter chos mchog gyur gling pa. Vol. 9: 597–611. New Delhi: Patshang Lama Sonam Gyaltsen, 1975–1980.

Version: 2.1-20230614

  1. The Kadü Chökyi Gyamtso, The Ocean of Dharma, the Great Gathering of Transmitted Precepts (bka' 'dus chos kyi rgya mtsho) is a teaching cycle that focuses on the Kagyé deities. It was discovered as a terma by Orgyen Lingpa, author of the Pema Kathang, and subsequently rediscovered as a yangter by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.  ↩

  2. Drodul ('gro 'dul), the tamer of beings, is an allusion to Drodul Chokgyur Lingpa.  ↩

  3. That is the Vajra Guru Mantra.  ↩

  4. According to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, ‘atrong’ is a very rare substance used for making statues in the past. Some statues of the Gandhara period in Afghanistan have been made with this substance.  ↩

  5. The precious substances that were revealed by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo in addition to the treasure statues, as explained later on, include precious sands from Lake Manasarovar and atrong clay. Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche consecrated this unique treasure substances, so that any statue made from it will have the same powers as the original statues revealed by the two tertöns.  ↩

  6. A reference to Chokgyur Lingpa who was initially named Norbu Tenzin. Norbu is the Tibetan translation of the Sanskrit ratna, which means ‘jewel’. Chokgyur Lingpa was an incarnation of Prince Murub Tsenpo, the second son of King Tri Songdetsen.  ↩

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