Lama Kota

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Lama Kota (18??-19??), born in Bhutan in the family lineage of Pema Lingpa, became a major Longchen Nyingtik and Dudjom Tersar lineage holders of the first half of the 20th century in Bhutan. In his youth, Lama Kota received a special lineage of Tröma Nakmo from a direct student of Dudjom Lingpa, and later, became a direct disciple of Dudjom Rinpoche. One of his sons was Lama Karpo.

Family & Birth

The family of Lama Kota is related to Pema Lingpa in the following way: one of his son was Dungkhar Choji, from whom Lama Ugyen Ngawang Delek was born, from whom was born Lama Chojey Kunzang Wangdi, from whom was born a Lama Nekorpa, whom was the father of Lama Kota.


According to oral lineage stories, Lama Kota received the full Tröma Nakmo lineage from a direct disciple of Dudjom Lingpa in the following way[1]

It was during the time of Lama Kota who was then meditating at Singye Dzong at Kurtoey, Bhutan. One day, he saw a thin smoke coming out from a distant forest. Anxious about who could be there at this time of the year, Lama Kota quietly went to the spot, which then happens to be a cremation ground. To his surprise, he found an ailing old Tibetan monk resting under a small tent, who was in his late eighties and ailing.
Lama Kota approached the old monk and inquired about his coming to Singye Dzong. The old monk responded that he came on pilgrimage from a very far place in Tibet to visit Guru Rinpoche's Hidden-land of Singye Dzong. Upon Lama Kota's query as to which tradition he belonged, the old monk responded that he was one of the last direct disciples of Dudjom Lingpa and that ninety-nine of his colleague disciples have already left for their heavenly abode after attaining enlightenment. Lama Kota was spiritually moved by the old monk's narration and requested him to stay for sometime at his meditation cave until he could be physically fit to return back to Tibet.
During the course of the old monk's recuperation at Lama Kota's meditation cave at Singye Dzong, Lama Kota inquired the old monk about the origin of Tröma Nakmo in Tibet. The old monk orally recited a four line Tröma Nakmo ‘s scripture to Lama Kota as he was not carrying any kind of Tröma Nakmo scripture books […]
After a month's rest at the cave, the old Tibetan monk ‘s health was better and he decided to go back to Tibet. Lama Kota insisted that he could assist him in accompanying him to Tibet. The old monk first refused his offer, but on Lama Kota's repeated insistence, he accepted his assistance to accompany him up to the border village between Bhutan and Tibet, from where he would manage to reach his own village.
During the course of the journey to the Tibetan border, which took them several days, Lama Kota was able to receive the entire oral teachings of Tröma Nakmo Ngöndro and the Tsok ritual of "Thröl Dring" from the old monk. Upon reaching the border village, they were not able to find any shelter for the night. One villager, at last, gave them a horse shed to stay for the night, which were filled with filthy horse dung. Lama Kota cleaned the horse dung in the shed and asked the old monk if he would like some tea to be prepared for which the old monk quietly nodded. Lama Kota made a small fire and put a small pot on the makeshift fire oven and started boiling the water. The old monk was sitting quietly on the other side of the fire. As Lama Kota served the tea, the steam from tea clouded the air between Lama Kota and the old monk. When the steam from tea subsided, Lama Kota was aghast to discover the old monk missing, who was sitting in meditation posture just opposite him. Upon further investigation, he found the old monk's robes left intact where he was sitting except that his body vanished.


After his return to Kanglung, after a prolonged meditation at Singye Dzong, Lama Kota then began teaching the first Tröma Nakmo practice to his disciples, and in particular to his own son Lama Karpo. Several years later, when Dudjom Rinpoche was consecrating the newly built Trashigang Dzong, Bhutan, Lama Karpo was summoned by Dudjom Rinpoche and inquired about his lineage of Tröma Nakmo. Lama Karpo narrated to Dudjom Rinpoche the entire episode of his father's — Lama Kota — encounter with the old monk at Singye Dzong and how his father was able to receive the Tröma Nakmo’s teachings from the old monk.

Dudjom Rinpoche was highly impressed by Lama Karpo's narration and predicted that the Eastern region of Bhutan will be a unique base for spreading the Dudjom Tersar[2]. Dudjom Rinpoche revised and composed most of the volumes of Tröma Nakmo ‘s scriptures and gave all the Empowerment, Oral transmission and Secret instruction of the Tröma Nakmo cycle to many practitioners in Bhutan.

Lama Karpo and Bartsam Lopön Nikula also played a lead role to spread the Tröma teachings in Bhutan. Therefore, the first Tröma recitation and practice in Bhutan originated through the kind initiative of Lama Kota and Lama Karpo.


The main student of Lama Kota was his own son Lama Karpo.


  1. Post ‘Origin of “Machik Throema Ngagmo” Tsokhor ritual in Eastern Bhutan’,
  2. Post ‘Origin of “Machik Throema Ngagmo” Tsokhor ritual in Eastern Bhutan’,