The Treasury of Lives

A Biographical Encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalaya

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Jamgon Kongtrul is often described as one of the greatest scholars in the history of Tibet. A Karma Kagyu lama and model of rimay ecumenical activity, he collaborated closely with the Sakya lama Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and the Nyingma treasure revealer Chokgyur Lingpa, in the opening of sacred sites and the revelation of treasure. His prodigious literary output, categorized as the Five Treasuries, cover the entire range of Tibetan Buddhist theory and ritual as well as numerous other topics, and preserved scores of Tibetan religious traditions that were at the time in danger of being lost. Based primarily at Pelpung Monastery, in Derge in eastern Tibet, he built the nearby hermitage of Tsadra Rinchen Drak, which became his personal seat. Multiple incarnation lines were recognized after his death, including the main Jamgon Kongtrul line, based at Pelpung, the Dzogchen Kongtrul line and the Dzigar Kongtrul line.

Bamda Gelek

b.1844 - d.1904
TBRC P4799

Bamda Gelek, whose given name was Tubten Gelek Gyatso, was one of the greatest scholar-practitioners of the Jonang tradition. Based largely at Dzamtang, he was considered the reincarnation of various masters, including the Indian saint Candrakīrti, the siddha Nāropa, and two famous early Jonang lamas, Tāranātha and Kunga Drolchok. Because of his strong interest in the Geluk tradition, some thought him to also be an incarnation of the great Geluk scholar Jamyang Zhepa. His intellectual prowess and strong devotion to the deity Mañjuśrī, his tutelary deity, led others to surmise that he might be an emanation of the deity himself.

Nyida Sanggye is considered to have been the first in the line of Getse Getok Tulku of Simdha Dzogchen Monastery, a branch of Shechen Monastery.

The Second Getse Getok Tulku, Getse Pema, supervised the design and construction of the current Simdha Dzogchen Monastery, a branch of Shechen in Derge, Kham.

Gyurme Tubten Nyinje was the Fourth Getse Getok of Simda Dzogchen Monastery.