Nyingma Tree Lineage Thangka with Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyal in center

Termas & Tertöns – Padmasambhava & Yeshe Tsogyal’s succession

is a term within Tibetan Buddhism meaning a person who is a discoverer of ancient hidden texts or terma.

Origin of the Tertöns

Many tertöns are considered to be incarnations of the twenty five main disciples of Padmasambhava (Guru ), who foresaw a dark time in Tibet.

Padmasambhava and his consort Yeshe Tsogyal hid teachings to be found in the future to benefit beings.

According to generally accepted history, the rediscovering of terma began with the first tertön, Sangye Lama (1000–1080) and Drapa Ngönshé (1012–90), discoverer of the Four Medical Tantras.

A vast system of transmission lineages since then developed.

Scriptures from the Nyingma school were updated by terma discoveries, and terma teachings have guided many Tibetan Bon and Buddhist practitioners.

What are Termas?

The Termas are sometimes objects like statues, and can also exist as dharma texts and experiences.

Tertöns discover the texts at the right time and place.

The teachings can be relatively simple transmissions as well as entire meditation systems.

Termas are found in rocks, water and the minds of incarnations of Guru Rinpoche’s students.

Influential Tertöns

Throughout the centuries there have been hundreds of masters who specialized in the discovery of terma, continuing up until the present day with Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche and Kyabjé Rinpoche.

There are said to be one hundred great tertöns and one thousand minor ones, of whom five in particular are known as the “Five Sovereigns”:

  • Nyangral Nyima Özer (1124–1192)
  • Guru Chöwang (1212-1270), also known as Guru Chökyi Wangchuk
  • Dorje Lingpa (1346–1405)
  • (1445/50–1521)
  • (1820–1892)

Some influential female tertöns have all been considered to be emanations of Yeshe Tsogyal:

  • Jomo Menmo (13th century), the consort of Guru Chöwang
  • Mingyur Paldrön
  • Sera Khandro (1892–1940)

Other influential female tertöns include:

  • Tāre Lhamo (1938–2003)
  • Ayu Khandro (Long Life Dakini, 1839–1953)

This is the life and accomplishments of some influential Tertöns around the world and their lineage.

5th Dalai Lama

Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso was the Fifth Dalai Lama, and the first Dalai Lama to wield effective temporal and spiritual power over all Tibet. He is often referred to simply as the Great Fifth, being a key religious and temporal leader of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibet. Gyatso is credited with unifying all Tibet after a Mongol military intervention which ended a protracted era of civil wars. As an independent head of state, he established diplomatic relations with China and other regional countries and also met early European explorers. Gyatso also wrote 24 volumes’ worth of scholarly and religious works on a wide range of subjects.

Jamgon Kongtrul

‘Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thayé, also known as Jamgön Kongtrül the Great, was a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, poet, artist, physician, tertön and polymath. He was one of the most prominent Tibetan Buddhists of the 19th century and he is credited as one of the founders of the Rimé movement (non-sectarian), compiling what is known as the “Five Great Treasuries”. He achieved great renown as a scholar and writer, especially among the Nyingma and Kagyu lineages and composed over 90 volumes of Buddhist writing, including his magnum opus, The Treasury of Knowledge.

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, also known by his tertön title, Pema Ösel Dongak Lingpa, was a renowned teacher, scholar and tertön of 19th-century Tibet. He was a leading figure in the Rimé movement.

Namkhai Norbu

was a Tibetan Dzogchen master. When he was two years old, Namkhai Norbu was recognized as the ‘mindstream emanation’, a tulku, of the Dzogchen teacher Adzom Drugpa (1842–1924). At five, he was also recognized as a mindstream emanation of an emanation of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (1594–1651). From an early age, Namkhai Norbu undertook an accelerated course of study, attending monastic college, taking retreats, and studying with renowned teachers, including some of the most important Tibetan masters of his time. Under the tutelage of these teachers, he completed the training required by the Buddhist tradition in both Sutrayana and Tantrayana. At the age of sixteen, he met master Rigdzin Changchub Dorje (1826–1961/1978), who became his principal Dzogchen teacher.

Karma Chagme

The name Karma Chagme refers to a 17th-century Tibetan Buddhist (Vajrayāna) lama and to the tülku lineage which he initiated. Including the first, seven Karma Chagme tülkus have been recognized. The Neydo Kagyu sub-school of the Karma Kagyu was established by the first Karma Chagme, Rāga Asya.

The name refers to a 17th-century Tibetan Buddhist () lama and to the tülku lineage which he initiated.

Including the first, seven Karma Chagme tülkus have been recognized.

The Neydo Kagyu sub-school of the Karma Kagyu was established by the first Karma Chagme, Rāga Asya.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

is a Tibetan teacher and master of the Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.

He has authored two best-selling books and oversees the Tergar Meditation Community, a global network of Buddhist meditation centers.

Chögyam Trungpa was a Buddhist meditation master and holder of both the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages, the eleventh Trungpa tülku, a tertön, supreme abbot of the Surmang monasteries, scholar, teacher, poet, artist, and originator of a radical re-presentation of Shambhala vision.

Dilgo Khyentse

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was a Vajrayana master, scholar, poet, teacher, and head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism from 1987 to 1991.

As the primary custodian of the teachings of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Dilgo Khyentse was the de facto custodian of the vast majority of Tibetan Buddhist teachings.

He taught many eminent teachers, including the Dalai Lama.

His personal effort was crucial in the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism.

Dudjom Lingpa

(1835–1904) was a Tibetan meditation master, spiritual teacher and tertön. He stands out from the norm of Tibetan Buddhist teachers in the sense that he had no formal education, nor did he take ordination as a monk or belong to any established Buddhist school or tradition of his time. He was met with great skepticism by many of his contemporaries, due to the fact that, despite not studying under any established Buddhist teachers of his time, he claimed to receive teachings on meditation and spiritual practice directly from non-physical masters like Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyal, as well as deities such as Avalokitesvara and Manjushri. It wasn’t until his disciples started showing clear signs of spiritual maturity, that he was accepted by his contemporaries as an authentic teacher and tertön. Today his teachings and literary works, especially those on non-mediation (dzogchen), are highly regarded within the Nyingma-tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Jigme Lingpa

(1730–1798) was a Tibetan tertön of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. He was the promulgator of the Longchen Nyingthik, the Heart Essence teachings of Longchenpa, from whom, according to tradition, he received a vision in which the teachings were revealed. The Longchen Nyingthik eventually became the most famous and widely practiced cycle of Dzogchen teachings.

Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

Chagdud Tulku was a Tibetan teacher of the Nyingma school of Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism. He was known and respected in the West for his teachings, his melodic chanting voice, his artistry as a sculptor and painter, and his skill as a physician. He acted as a spiritual guide for thousands of students worldwide. He was the sixteenth tülku of the Chagdud line.

Mindrolling Trichen

The eleventh Mindrolling Trichen, Trichen Jurme Kunzang Wangyal Standard Tibetan: འགྱུར་མེད་ཀུན་བཟང་དབང་རྒྱལ་ was a lama of the Nyingma-school, the oldest school of Tibetan Buddhism and had been responsible for the administrative affairs for the school in exile as the ceremonial head of the lineage. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest Tibetan masters.

The eleventh , Trichen Jurme Kunzang Wangyal Standard Tibetan: འགྱུར་མེད་ཀུན་བཟང་དབང་རྒྱལ་ was a lama of the Nyingma-school, the oldest school of Tibetan Buddhism and had been responsible for the administrative affairs for the school in exile as the ceremonial head of the lineage.

He is generally regarded as one of the greatest Tibetan masters.

Jigme Phuntsok

Khenpo , born 1933– died January 7, 2004, was a Nyingma lama from Sertha Region, His family were Tibetan nomads. At the age of five he was recognized “as a reincarnation of Lerab Lingpa. Known also as Nyala Sogyel and Terton Sogyel, Lerab Lingpa was an eclectic and highly influential tantric visionary from the eastern Tibetan area of Nyarong .” He studied Dzogchen at Nubzor Monastery, received novice ordination at 14, and full ordination at 22.

Lingtsang Gyalpo

Wangchen Tenzin, King of Lingtsang, also Lingtsang Gyalgenma, was the King of Lingtsang in Kham, a tertön, a ngagpa and a kīla master of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.

He was said to be an incarnation of King Gésar of Ling and was known for his kindness and his siddhis linked to his kīla practice.

Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje

, was the second Dudjom Rinpoche. He was recognized as a direct rebirth of Dudjom Lingpa (1835–1904) and was also later appointed the first supreme head of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism by the fourteenth Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration.

Chimé Rigdzin Rinpoche, popularly known as “C.R. Lama”, was an important lineage holder of the Northern Treasures tradition in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Chimé Rigdzin Rinpoche, popularly known as “C.R. Lama”, was an important lineage holder of the Northern Treasures tradition in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche

Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher living in Lausanne (Switzerland).

is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher living in Lausanne (Switzerland).

Rigdzin Gödem . also known as Rigdzin Gokyi Demtru Chen and Ngodrub Gyaltsen, was a major Nyingma tertön. He revealed an important cycle of termas called the "Northern Treasures" or byanggter.

Rigdzin Gödem . also known as Rigdzin Gokyi Demtru Chen and Ngodrub Gyaltsen, was a major Nyingma tertön. He revealed an important cycle of termas called the “Northern Treasures” or byanggter.

Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa was a Tibetan Buddhist tertön and a teacher of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.

Tertön

Tertön is a term within Tibetan Buddhism. It means a person who is a discoverer of ancient hidden texts or terma. Many tertöns are considered to be incarnations of the twenty five main disciples of Padmasambhava. A vast system of transmission lineages developed. Nyingma scriptures were updated by terma discoveries, and terma teachings have guided many Buddhist and Bon practitioners.

Terma (religion)

Terma are various forms of hidden teachings that are key to Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhist and Bon religious traditions. The belief is that these teachings were originally esoterically hidden by various adepts such as Padmasambhava and dakini such as Yeshe Tsogyal (consorts) during the 8th century, for future discovery at auspicious times by other adepts, who are known as tertöns. As such, terma represent a tradition of continuous revelation in Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism. Termas are a part of tantric literature.

Namchö Mingyur Dorje was an important tertön or “treasure revealer” in Tibetan Buddhism. His extraordinary “pure vision” revelations, which mostly occurred around the age of 16, are known as the Namchö (Wylie: gnam-chos “Sky Dharma” terma. He first transmitted these to his teacher Karma Chakmé, the illustrious Buddhist scholar of the Kagyu school, who wrote them down. The collection of his revelations fill thirteen Tibetan volumes and are the basis of one of the main practice traditions of the Palyul lineage, a major branch of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was considered to be a reincarnation of Palgyi Senge of Shubu, one of the ministers the 8th-century Tibetan King Trisong Detsen sent to invite Padmasambhava to Tibet. He recognized Kunzang Sherab as the Lineage Holder of the Namchö terma. Loden Chegse, one of Padmasambhava’s eight emanations, had a vision which helped him learn to read and write. At age 7, his Dakini visions helped focus on reliance upon the lama. At age 10, after a vision and with a Dharma Protector’s help, he met his root lama Karma Chagme. Karma Chakmé recognized him as manifestation of Padmasambhava, Senge Dradok. Mingyur Dorje revealed the Namchö treasures at age thirteen, which were written down with Karma Chakmé’s help while they stayed in retreat together for three years.

Pema Lingpa

Pema Lingpa or Padma Lingpa was a Bhutanese saint and siddha of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is considered a terchen or “preeminent tertön” and is considered to be foremost of the “Five Tertön Kings”. In the history of the Nyingma school in Bhutan, Pema Lingpa is second only in importance to Padmasambhava.

Orgyen Lingpa

, was one of the greatest Tibetan tertöns or treasure-finders of the 14th century. “At the age of twenty-three he is said to have discovered an extensive treasure inventory at Samye Monastery in the Red Stupa.” “He discovered texts, images, ritual objects and jewels, chiefly at Shetak, Yugang Drak, and Drachi Drakpoche. Of the 100 texts that were revealed by him, the Katang Denga are the most important to have survived. These five volumes chronicling the period of the Emperor Trisong Detsen include the Pema Katang, the most authoritative legendary of Guru Rinpoche. Orgyen Lingpa was born at Yarje in 1323. “

Orgyen Kusum Lingpa

Orgyen Kusum Lingpa (1934-2009) was a Tibetan terton and Nyingma lineage holder within Tibetan Buddhism. His name means "Holder of the Sanctuary of the Trikaya of Oddiyana Padmasambhava."

(1934-2009) was a Tibetan terton and Nyingma lineage holder within Tibetan Buddhism. His name means “Holder of the Sanctuary of the Trikaya of Oddiyana Padmasambhava.”

Orgyen Chokgyur Lingpa

Chokgyur Lingpa or Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa (1829-1870) was a tertön or “treasure revealer” and contemporary of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and . Regarded as one of the major tertöns in Tibetan history, his termas are widely practiced by both the Kagyu and Nyingma schools.Chokgyur Lingpa was the “manifestation,” meaning the reincarnation, of King Trisong Deutsen’s son, Prince Damdzin. Another of his former lives was the great terton, Sangye Lingpa, who revealed the Lama Gongdu. Chokgyur Lingpa was the last of the 100 major tertons. He was the owner of seven transmissions and is regarded as the universal monarch of all tertons. One of the reasons for this is that no other terton has revealed a teaching that includes the Space Section (Longde) of Dzogchen. There are several Mind Section (Semde) revelations and all major tertons have revealed the Instruction Section (Mengagde), but only Chokgyur Lingpa transmitted the Space Section. This is why the Dzogchen Desum is considered the most extraordinary terma that he ever revealed.

Chokgyur Lingpa’s main consort was Dechen Chodron and Padmasambhava predicted that his three children would be emanations of the three family lords: Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani. I don’t like saying this, for it may sound like I’m bragging about my family line, but such a prophecy does exist. The Manjushri emanation was supposed to be Wangchok Dorje, the Avalokiteshvara emanation Tsewang Norbu and the Vajrapani emanation my grandmother, Konchok Paldron.

Nyangrel Nyima Özer was an important Nyingma tertön, a revealer of terma treasure texts in Tibetan Buddhism.

Nyangrel Nyima Özer was an important Nyingma tertön, a revealer of terma treasure texts in Tibetan Buddhism.

Nyala Pema Dündul (1816–1872), also known as Terton Nyala Pema Duddul, was a teacher of Dzogchen and Tantric Buddhism in Eastern Tibet.

Karma Lingpa

Karma Lingpa (1326–1386) was the tertön (revealer) of the Bardo Thodol, the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead. Tradition holds that he was a reincarnation of Chokro Lü Gyeltsen, a disciple of Padmasambhava.

(1326–1386) was the tertön (revealer) of the Bardo Thodol, the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead. Tradition holds that he was a reincarnation of Chokro Lü Gyeltsen, a disciple of Padmasambhava.

Zhangton Tashi Dorje

Zhangtön Tashi Dorjé was a Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen teacher who was an important treasure revealer (terton) in the Menngagde lineage of Dzogchen. He is particularly known for revealing the Vima Nyingthig, a key Dzogchen cycle of teachings which includes the Seventeen tantras of Dzogchen. Zhangton was born in Yamdrok Tonang and was a disciple of Chetsün Sengé Wangchuk.

Zhangtön Tashi Dorjé was a Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen teacher who was an important treasure revealer (terton) in the Menngagde lineage of Dzogchen. He is particularly known for revealing the Vima Nyingthig, a key Dzogchen cycle of teachings which includes the Seventeen tantras of Dzogchen. Zhangton was born in Yamdrok Tonang and was a disciple of Chetsün Sengé Wangchuk.

Tsangpa Gyare

The great ascetic Drogon (1161–1211) was the main disciple of Lingchen Repa Pema Dorje and the founder of the Drukpa Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism the main or central branch of which was, until the 17th Century, transmitted by his hereditary family lineage at Ralung in the Tsang region of western Tibet. Later, following the birth of Gyalwang Je Kunga Paljor (1428–1476) considered to be the first of his re-incarnations, Tsangpa Gyare was held to be the first of a succession of Gyalwang Drukpa or Drukchen incarnations who, at the time of the fifth Gyalwang Drukpa Pagsam Wangpo (1593—1653), became established as the reincarnate leaders of the Drukpa lineage in Tibet.

Be the first to comment Here

Related posts

Spreading the sunlight of the teachings of the two knowledges, Lord Chökyi Jungne, I supplicate you.

The lineage & incarnations of Kenting Tai Situpa

The lineage of the Kenting Tai situpas can be traced to one of the main disciples of the Goutama Buddha, the Bodhisattva . Since that time there have been a successive chain of incarnations, whose achievements are recorded in Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan annals, a direct lineage that continues to the present day. Origin of the Kenting Tai situpa lineage There are twelve incarnations crowned as Kenting Tai Situ till now. Furthermore, according to some historical records and .
Dudul Dorje (1733–1797) was the thirteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.

Karmapa – Tibet’s first consciously incarnating lama

The is the head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of the Kagyu, itself one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Karmapa was Tibet's first consciously incarnating lama. The historical seat of the Karmapas is Tsurphu Monastery in the Tolung valley of Tibet. The Karmapa's principal seat in exile is the Dharma Chakra Centre at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India. His regional monastic seats are Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in New York and Dhagpo Kagyu .
Pema Lingpa's Visionary Journey to the Copper-Colored Mountain

The Tulku system & the preservation of Dharma lineages

A is a reincarnate custodian of a specific lineage of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism who is given empowerments and trained from a young age by students of his or her predecessor. Historically, the tulku system of preserving Dharma lineages operated in Tibet with the first being the . After the first Karmapa died in 1193, a lama had recurrent visions of a particular child as his rebirth. This child (born ca. 1205) was recognized as .

Dalai Lamas – Ecumenical figure of the Geluk tradition

is a title given by the Tibetan people to the foremost spiritual leader of the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest and most dominant of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, who lives as a refugee in India. The Dalai Lama is also considered to be the successor in a line of tulkus who are believed to be incarnations .
The sculpture depicts a scene where three soothsayers are interpreting to King Suddhodana the dream of Queen Maya.

The family of Gautama Buddha – Lineage of dreams & legends

The Buddha was born into a noble family in Lumbini in 563 BCE as per historical events and 624 BCE according to Buddhist tradition. He was called Siddhartha Gautama in his childhood. His father was king Śuddhodana, leader of the clan in what was the growing state of Kosala, and his mother was queen Maya. According to Buddhist legends, the baby exhibited the marks of a great man. A prophecy indicated that, if the .
Painted by Kalsang Damchoe and The Kalsang Tibetan Traditional Art of Thangka Painting studio.

Tibetan Buddhist nuns – The Buddha’s most resilient disciples

Buddhist convents also called Gompas have historically been well established in Tibet, certainly from the twelfth century and with traditions reaching back as far as the eighth century. Traditional education in the nunneries included reading, writing, and lessons in ancient scriptures and prayers taught by the senior nuns or lamas from monasteries. Traditional activities for the nuns included performance of rituals requested by the lay community and crafts such as embroidery and sewing. Administrative .
Thangka depicting the Refuge Tree of the Karma Kagyu Lineage by Sherab Palden Beru, c. 1972

Drikung Kagyu lamas – From the founding of the Monastery to the present day

The Drikungpa, or more formally the Drikung Kyabgön, is the head of the Drikung Kagyu, a sub-school of the Kagyu itself one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Like all other Kagyu lineages, origins of Drikung Kagyu can be traced back to the Great Indian Master Tilopa who passed on his teachings to Mahasiddha Naropa who lived around 10th and 11th century. The founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage was (1143-1217) .
Physician taking pulse, Delhi, c. 1825

Ayurvedacharyas – The bridge between physical & mental wellness

are practitioners of Ayurveda, a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine. Ayurvedacharyas regard physical existence, mental existence, and personality as their own unique units, with each element being able to influence the others. This is a holistic approach used during diagnosis and therapy, and is a fundamental aspect of Ayurveda. Another part of Ayurvedic treatment says that there are .
The Dhamma Wheel with eight spokes usually symbolizes the Noble Eightfold Path.

Theravada spiritual teachers & Buddhist modernism

is the most commonly accepted name of Buddhism's oldest existing school. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Theravāda Buddhists came into direct contact with western ideologies, religions and modern science. The various responses to this encounter have been called "Buddhist modernism". After independence, Myanmar held the Sixth Buddhist council (Vesak 1954 to Vesak 1956) to create a new redaction of the Pāli Canon. The Vipassana movement continued to grow after independence, becoming an international .
Tang emissaries to Sogdian King Varkhuman in Samarkand, 648–651 CE, Afrasiab murals

The most prominent Buddhist monks of the Tang dynasty

The Tang dynasty, or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD. Historians generally regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. From the outset, religion played a role in Tang politics. In his bid for power, Li Yuan had attracted a following by claiming descent from the Taoism sage Lao Tzu. People bidding for office would request the prayers of .