Pema Tashi

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Pema Tashi was a major student of Dudjom Lingpa, and unlike many other students who met Dudjom Lingpa after he gained renown, Pema Tashi was with him constantly, since the beginning.

Training

When Dudjom Lingpa had just finished transcribing the Chö teachings from his terma, Pema Tashi approached him and pledged to practise these new texts. His promise reinforced Dudjom Lingpa's motivation to create a definitive version of the rituals of the Tröma Nakmo cycle[1].

In his biography, Dudjom Lingpa recounts[2]:

I turned thirty-eight in the Water Monkey Year [1872]. While I was transcribing the practice cycle of Dakini Tröma Nakmo, a great whirlwind emerged, carrying the written pages away in every direction. I understood this as an omen that these texts would reach absolutely everywhere in every land. All the mountains and plains filled with vultures, the king of birds. Small feathers from their wings, talismans of the dakinis’ spiritis, showered down.
In [1872], my student Pema Tashi, Auspicious Lotus, made a vow to do this practice [of Tröma Nakmo] and then began to transcribe the text into words. That day a stream of milk imbued with flavors, vitality, and nutritive qualities flowed from the sphere of empty space until it just filled a cup. When he drank it, for three days his body and mind were suffused with bliss and new realization was born within him. In the end, Pema Tashi gained distinctive realization superior to anyone else and became quite learned. Having undertaken the essential practices in unfixed mountain locales, he gained mastery on the swift path to authentic, complete enlightenment.
A flowing stream of ambrosia milk—utterly substantial—
Materialized from intangible, unimpeded space.
If you rely upon this means of accomplishment’s truly profound pith instructions,
In the essence of empty basic space of sublime insight
Vajravarahi’s blessings appear as skillful means,
A sign that the two accomplishments will effortlessly come to pass:
When a lama with realization and a student
Suffused with blessings and the utmost fortune of receiving profound instructions
Meet, even supreme spiritual accomplishment
Is achieved without difficulty. That’s the nature of such auspicious connections.

Activity

Pema Tashi composed the Drel Chung Dön Sal Nyingpo, a 126-page commentary to the Sherik Dorje Nӧnpo Gyü, 'The Sharp Vajra of Awareness'.

In his autobiography, Dudjom Lingpa recounts how he received a prophecy from Dakini Kuntu Gyuma who sang to him[3]:

[In 1882], on the tenth day of the middle winter month, a woman appears saying she was Dakini Kuntu Gyuma Saljéma, Wandering All-Illuminator, and sang to me 'In this place lives a sublime individual named Pema, Lotus, who will hold your doctrine. He should intently apply the key points of practice and travel without a set destination.'

Final Years

Pema Tashi is one of Dudjom Lingpa's thirteen disciples to have attained rainbow body.

Notes

  1. Traktung Dudjom Lingpa, A Clear Mirror: The Visionary Autobiography of a Tibetan Master, translated by Chonyi Drolma, North Atlantic Books, 2011, Appendix
  2. Traktung Dudjom Lingpa, ‘'A Clear Mirror, The Visionary Autobiography of a Tibetan Master'’, The Outer Autobiography, translated by Chönyi Drolma, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2011, page 133.
  3. Traktung Dudjom Lingpa, ‘'A Clear Mirror, The Visionary Autobiography of a Tibetan Master'’, The Outer Autobiography, translated by Chönyi Drolma, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2011, page 158.

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