History of the Kīla of Lightning-Forged Meteoric Iron
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Courtesy of Tertön Sogyal Trust
The History of the Kīla of Lightning-Forged Meteoric Iron, the Material Treasure of the Blazing Hayagrīva and Garuḍa
by Jigme Lingpa
Homage to the Blazing Wrathful Guru, Hayagrīva and Garuḍa!
The history of the Kīla Dagger of Lightning-Forged Meteoric Iron is as follows. As a sign that I was to receive the material treasure, which was to become the cause for the arising of the Dharma cycle of the Blazing Wrathful Guru, Hayagrīva and Garuḍa, the following happened. The government had requested me to perform a smoke offering at Mount Hepori. During the performance of the smoke offering, I had a vision in which many beings of the eight classes of spirits convened. In particular, Vajrasādhu, wearing a monk's lower garment, appeared and offered me a kīla dagger that emitted sparks of fire. He said that this kīla was used by the great master Padmasambhava to tame the nāga of Maldro.
Later, in the afternoon, together with the monk Gedön I went to the place where the stone statue of the Lord was unearthed. He asked many questions about meditation and this caused my mind to lose any sense of reference. In that state, I came across a boulder under which there grew a tuft of grass. When I removed it there was some charcoal and piled up stones. Amidst it all, I found this kīla, firmly stuck. I was entirely sure, beyond any doubt, that it was made of a kind of bronze alloy, no different from very fine zikhyim that contains meteoric iron and that it had the nature of the eight classes of spirits.
The manner in which the cycle of the Blazing Hayagrīva and Garuḍa was then revealed in the winter of that year is clearly stated in the main text. Since this Dharma brings extremely swift blessings, it can overcome hindrances caused by damsi spirits and clear away threats to life.
When Kogom Chönyi was practising in retreat, he witnessed a frog open its mouth and make three prostrations as if in shock. In addition, a magpie dove into a lake, snatched a snake by its tail and pulled it out. The snake’s head was aflame. He became afraid that this practice might be very harmful to the powerful nāgas, and so, after having recited ten million mantras, he ended the retreat. It is clear, therefore, that this Dharma and this material treasure are antidotes to evil nāgas.
It is said that if the Secret Mantra Vehicle is kept secret you will accomplish it, and so I have not yet divulged this to anyone.
Written for Queen Ngangtsul Gyalmo. Guhya! Seal, Seal, Seal!
| Translated by Han Kop and reviewed by Josh Capitanio for the Longchen Nyingtik Project, 2022. With gratitude to Tulku Rigdzin Pema for carefully reading through the text and to Stefan Mang and Patrick Gaffney for their valuable suggestions.
'Jigs med gling pa, "rta khyung 'bar ba'i gter rdzas phur pa gnam lcags thog rgod kyi lo rgyus bzhugs" In gsung 'bum/_'jigs med gling pa, 9 vols. Lhasa. (BDRC W1KG10193) Vol. 8: 5–6
Khyentsé Wangpo. Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo's Guide to Central Tibet. Trans. Matthew Akester. Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2016.
Ronis, Jann. "Derge Queen Tsewang Lhamo," Treasury of Lives, accessed November 24, 2022, http://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Tsewang-Lhamo/13187.
Tib. Dorje Lekpa (rdo rje legs pa). ↩
lnga pa, which is a synonym for mthang gos (antarvāsa), one of a Buddhist monk’s three robes. ↩
Maldro (mal gro) is a district south of Lhasa. The Maldro incident is described in the Pema Kathang. The text tells how Guru Rinpoche was subduing a nāga called Manasvī of Maldro (mal gro gzi can) when he was seemingly interrupted by a gullible King Tri Songdetsen. For this story, see Matthew Akester, Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo's Guide to Central Tibet, p. 309. ↩
Our texts read sel ba but following Tulku Rigdzin Pema's suggestion we are reading this as sol ba. ↩
Zikhyim (zi khyim) is a loanword from Chinese; it is also called li in Tibetan. Zikhyim mostly refers to a special alloy consisting of seven or more metals which is used for casting statues, bells and other precious ritual objects. Depending on the percentage of each metal the colour changes. It can also refer to native copper extracted from the earth. Both the alloy and the native copper are regarded as precious, which is why ritual objects that are made from zikhyim are not usually gilded. ↩
The root text says: “Just as the Great Master Padmasambhava prophesied, I had fallen sick and there were dangers to my life, when I had an intense feeling that a damsi spirit clothed in rags was cutting my waist with a sword. Then, unable to take my eyes off the form of the great master Padmasambhava, my mind was filled with great devotion. Through the blessings of Padmasambhava, the damsi spirit became embarrassed and full of regret and asked for forgiveness. Padmasambhava imparted to me the following spiritual instructions:” ↩
Stefan Mang points out that there are many significant features of the treasure revelation that relate specifically to Samye Chimphu, where the revelation took place. In relation to the Eight Great Maṇḍalas (Kagyé), Samye is considered to be related to Hayagrīva. There is a cave called the Accomplishment Cave of Hayagrīva (rta mgrin grub phug), where Gyalwa Chokyang, one of the twenty-five disciples, attained accomplishment on Hayagrīva. It is also the site where Guru Rinpoche manifested in wrathful form as the garuḍa in the Cave of Taming the Nāga (klu 'dul phug). Thus the site of Samye Chimphu is connected with all three deities of the Lama Drakpo Takhyung Barwa: the Wrathful Guru, Hayagrīva and Garuḍa. ↩
The frog, an amphibian, may represent a nāga, in which case its surrender would mirror the surrender of the nāgas in the practice text. ↩
Magpies are usually considered auspicious in Tibet. It is likely that this one represents a garuḍa, as the snake and fire suggest. ↩
Reading rdzas gtor as rdzas gter. ↩
The queen of Derge, Tsewang Lhamo (d. 1812) was considered an emanation of Ngangtsul Jangchub Gyalmo, a wife of the Tibetan prince Mutik Tsenpo (the second son of Tri Songdetsen) and a consort of Padmasambhava. See https://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Tsewang-Lhamo/13187 ↩