Melong Dorje Biography

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English | བོད་ཡིག

Longchen Rabjam

Melong Dorje

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Biography of Melong Dorje

from The Jewel Rosary History

by Longchen Rabjam

It was from that sublime and supremely wondrous guru [i.e., Trulzhik Sengge Gyabpa] that the great adept Melong Dorje received all the tantras, transmissions and pith instructions of the supreme secret teachings. He was born in the highlands of the Drak Valley.[1] His father was the yogin Samyé, and his mother was Barma. In his ninth year, he received ordination from the adept Zalungpa and the great abbot Selungpa. He then meditated in cliffs by the lake at Zangri, so that his experience blazed and he attained a small measure of heightened perception.

In his sixteenth year, he stayed in Zhok in the Drak highlands, where he read the single-volume [Prajñāpāramitā][2] about a hundred times. Through this, he realized the fundamental nature, and he adopted the conduct of great spontaneous, naturally arising freedom without frame of reference. By his seventeenth year, he had travelled to many different places and sat before many learned and accomplished gurus, applying their authentic instructions to train his mind. He went to numerous sacred sites in the south, such as Shawuk Takgo and Kharchu. He underwent major hardship and practised austerities, such as sustaining himself for a month and twenty-one days on a single measure of barley.

In his eighteenth year, he received and meditated upon the Secret Heart-Essence in the presence of Sangyé Önpo in Senggé Gyab. He later said that while practising the instruction’s preliminaries, he saw Vajrasattva in the sky, a vision that continued uninterruptedly for six full days, and that while engaged in the main practice he had a dream in which he encountered and received blessings from all the gurus of the lineage.

In his twenty-third year, he received numerous treasure teachings, including on Vajravārāhī, from Sangye Repa. He then meditated upon them, so that in his twenty-fourth year he met Vajravārāhī directly. He also said that he saw in the sky a mass of light in which co-emergent Cakrasaṃvara, Hayagrīva, Tārā, the Great Compassionate One, Samantabhadra, Vajrasattva, Vimalamitra, the Uḍḍiyāna Guru, Zalungpa, Sangyé Repa and Drogön Rinpoche were all present.

He said that while he was residing in Donglung, one morning when he awoke from sleep he heard the sweet spontaneous voice of a ḍākinī, who sang:

Ema! By observing the dharmatā in a state of mental ease,
Sever the continuum of birth, O sky-like yogin.
If you continuously recite my life-controlling essence during practice,
I will be your constant companion, dear son.

He said that while he staying in Kawachen, on the morning of the twelfth day of the month, he saw red Vārāhī and the siddha Zalungpa in the centre of the sky. He saw Vārāhī and her four retinue deities in a dream while he was at Darpuk.[3] As he was woken by an earthquake, he saw Vārāhī in the form of light. When he was staying in Kyabné Dzong, he dreamt of his five gurus and Vajrasattva, who conferred upon him the four empowerments of the Great Perfection in their entirety and introduced to the meaning behind the symbolism.

In his twenty-sixth year, he studied with several lamas, including Trulzhik Darma and Tulku Gyatso, and received many secret mantra empowerments instructions. He followed thirteen especially exalted gurus and three who were unrivalled: Zalungpa, the siddha of Draphu, Dowo Repa of Tsurphu, and Trulzhik Önpo of Göntsé. In this way he fully mastered an ocean of essential instructions. He then planted the victory banner of practice in several major sacred sites in the south, such as Khenpa Jong, Khenpa Ling, Senggé Dzong, Kunzang Ling and Kharchu, and he brought maturity and liberation to numerous fortunate disciples.

He was set to pass beyond during his thirty-seventh year, but due to the prayers of one of his fortunate disciples, known as Lobpön Kunga, he lived to sixty-one.

During his sixty-first year, at dawn on the twenty-fifth day of the last month of autumn in a Rabbit year, at a charnel ground at a mountain pass, he demonstrated the transference of his wisdom mind. There was a great light, accompanied by sounds, which faded away in the west. During his cremation, a blanket of five-coloured light emerged from the centre of the extraordinarily clear, bright sky, and, together with lattices of light, extended to the crematory chamber. A single white A () appeared in his bones, and the five types of śarīra emerged from his remains, inspiring a sense of wonder in all who were present.

| Translated by Adam Pearcey with the generous support of the Tsadra Foundation, 2024.


Tibetan Edition

klong chen rab 'byams pa dri med 'od zer. "lo rgyus rin po che’i phreng ba" In snying thig ya bzhi. 13 vols. Delhi: Sherab Gyaltsen Lama, 1975. Vol. 1: 113–117 (2 folios)

Secondary Sources

Arguillère, Stéphane. Profusion de la vaste sphere: Klong-chen rab-’byams (Tibet, 1308–1364). Sa vie, son œuvre, sa doctrine. Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2007.

Dudjom Rinpoche. The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. Translated by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein. Boston: Wisdom, 1991.

Garry, Ron. "Melong Dorje," Treasury of Lives, accessed February 05, 2024,

Nyoshul Khenpo. A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems. Translated by Richard Barron. Junction City, California: Padma Publication, 2005.

Tulku Thondup. Masters of Meditation and Miracles: The Longchen Nyingthig Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Boston: Shambhala, 1996.

Version: 1.0-20240206

  1. Our text reads sgrags phu, the highlands/uplands of Drak (sgrags). For some reason, Nyoshul Khenpo changed this to sgrags mda', the lowlands of Drak, as correctly translated by Richard Barron.  ↩

  2. Our text simply says glegs bam, meaning 'volume', but later sources specify that this refers to the Eight-Thousand Line (brgyad stong pa) version of the Prajñāpāramitā. However, Gö Lotsāwa Zhönnu Pal's Blue Annals does not mention a text but says that he practised gaṇacakra (tshogs) about a hundred times.  ↩

  3. Our text spells this dar phug. Many secondary sources have Ngarpuk (ngar phug). The letters da and nga are written in a similar way in Tibetan and commonly confused.  ↩

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