Taksham Nüden Dorje

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Taksham Nüden Dorje (Wyl. stag sham nus ldan rdo rje) aka Samten Lingpa (b. 1655-1708) — was a famed Nyingma master from Kham who had settled in the kingdom of Powo and discovered many hidden termas. A tertön himself, Taksham Nüden Dorje was the incarnation of Acharya Salé, one of the consorts and disciples of Yeshe Tsogyal. He revealed the biography of Yeshe Tsogyal.

Training

Taksham Nüden Dorje studied with Rigdzin Düddul Dorje (1615-1672) who shared with him teachings and prophecies related to Pemakö. He became a 'disciple of the treasure teachings' (gter slab) of Rigdzin Düddul Dorje. Taksham Nüden Dorje held the lineage of Katok Monastery and of Chöjé Lingpa. Taksham Monastery, the main seat of the Taksham Rinpoche lineage, is located in the lower Ke-chu valley, close to Riwoche Monastery.

Activity

While in Powo, Taksham Nüden Dorje discovered many hidden termas, some of theme related to Pemakö. In the prophecies of the Tsasum Yidam Gongdü (Wyl. rsta gsum yi dam dgongs ‘dus)[1], Taksham Nüden Dorje describes ‘eight hidden lands which unfolds like the petals of a lotus in Tibet’, at the center of which he locates Pemakö, which he further divides ‘into the 12 outer territories, the 40 ravines, and the 16 secret territories’.

According to Hamid Sardar-Afkhami:

During Taksham Nüden Dorje’s time Pemakö was still an uncharted hunting ground inhabited by a fierce confederation of Mishmi and Abor tribes; vassals of the warrior kings of Ahom who had overran the Assam Valley and enslaved the Naga. In his visions[2], Taksham Nüden Dorje perceived this untamed wilderness as the geographic representation of the goddess Vajravarahi. The ritual pilgrimage through chakras of her body followed the Yarlung Tsangpo river which symbolized her central channel, beginning from her head in Tibet and culminating in her womb somewhere in the jungles of Northern India. The outer journey through the cloud forest became an inner journey of self-discovery, and the landscape itself became a reflection of the yogi’s own ‘body-mandala’ visualized in meditation.

Taksham Nüden Dorje’s guidebooks became the basis for the exploration of Pemakö and the identification of Vajravarahi ‘s chakras at the turn of the 18th century.

Students

Among his students are:

  • Yeshe Dorje, the 11th Karmapa (1676-1702)
  • Chöjé Lingpa (b.1682)
  • Orgyen Paljor (Wyl. o rgyan dpal 'byor) (b. 17th)
  • Samten Mipam Chökyi Gyatso (Wyl. bsam gtan mi pham chos kyi rgya mtsho) (b. 17th)
  • Rongtön Pema Dechen Lingpa (Wyl. rong ston pad+ma bde chen gling pa)
  • Samten Tendzin (Wyl. bsam gtan bstan 'dzin)

Notes

  1. Hamid Sardar-Afkhami, ‘An Account of Padma-Khod: a Hidden Land in Southeastern Tibet’, Kalaish.
  2. Hamid Sardar-Afkhami, ‘An Account of Padma-Khod: a Hidden Land in Southeastern Tibet’, Kalaish.

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