Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo

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Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo

Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo (Skt. Dharmabhadra; Tib. རོང་ཟོམ་ཆོས་ཀྱི་བཟང་པོ་, Wyl. rong zom chos kyi bzang po) aka Rongzompa lived in the 11th century. His dates have been given as 1012-1088. He was born in Tsang rong and met Atisha in his youth. He mastered the teachings of both Nyingma and Sarma traditions. He translated many works on secret mantra, some of which are preserved in the Tengyur and some of which did not survive. Likewise, many of his original writings have sadly been lost, but among those which are still to be found today are his commentary on the Guhyagarbha Tantra, his introduction to Mahayana called Introduction to the Way of the Great Vehicle and his famous Establishing All Appearances as Divine. His commentary on the Guhyagarbha Tantra begins with the line: “The nature of the Three Jewels is the enlightened mind,” and so it became known as The Jewel Commentary.

As well as his remarkable scholarship, he also manifested many signs of his deep realization. The historian Gö Lotsawa said of him: “In this snowland of Tibet no scholar has appeared who has been his equal.” Atisha recognized Rongzom as an emanation of the Indian mahasiddha Krishnacharya.


  • Establishing All Appearances as Divine (gsang sngags rdo rje theg pa'i tshul las snang ba lhar bsgrub pa rong zom chos bzang gis mdzad pa)
    • English translation: Establishing Appearances as Divine, According to the Secret Mantra, the Vajra Vehicle, in Heidi I. Koppl, Establishing Appearances as Divine, Snow Lion, 2008, ISBN 978-1559394192
  • Introduction to the Way of the Great Vehicle (theg pa chen po'i tshul la 'jug pa)
    • English translation: Disclosing the Great Vehicle Approach, in A Study of Rongzom’s Disclosing the Great Vehicle Approach (theg chen tshul 'jug) in the History of Tibet's Great Perfection Tradition (PHD), Dominic Di Zinno Sur, Charlottesville, Virginia, 2015. It can be downloaded here.
    • English translation: Rongzom Chokyi Zangpo, Entering the Way of the Great Vehicle: Dzogchen as the Culmination of the Mahayana, trans. Dominic Sur (Boulder: Snow Lion, 2017).
  • The Jewel Commentary
  • Commentary on Weapon-like Introduction to Speech

Further Reading

  • Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, Its Fundamentals and History, trans. and ed. by Gyurme Dorje (Boston: Wisdom, 1991), pp. 703–9.
  • Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage (Junction City: Padma Publications, 2005), page 53.
  • Orna Almogi, 'Sources on the Life and Works of the Eleventh Century Tibetan Scholar Rong Zom Chos Kyi Bzang Po: A Brief Survey' in Henk Blezer, ed. Tibet, Past and Present. Tibetan Studies I: Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Leiden, 2002, pp. 67-80.

External Links