Copper-Colored Mountain of Glory The Pure Realm of Padmasambhava



The path of which I speak is a narrow passage, cramped and close.

So that those who desire liberation may enter the path to that liberation

I will expand a bit on this garland of healing advice concerning higher motivation.

The accounts to be related here concern me, Dawa Drolma, the daughter of Jigmed T’hrogyal of the Tromge clan, a lama who lived in the region of Washul T’hrorn. From the time that I was a small child, I was endowed with a compassionate nature, unbiased faith, and pure vision. My love was strong for all beggars and those less fortunate than I, and I devoted myself to making offerings and giving charity.

I performed many intensive recitation retreats, completing, for example, hundreds of thousands of repetitions of the Seven-Line Supplication. Later on I was inspired by the dakini Dorje Yudron and other deities of pristine awareness, as well as by a bodhisattva dwelling on the eighth level of realization, who took the form of a local god, the great divine nyen of the north. Although they did not fully relate the past, present, and future to me, nonetheless I received an incredible number of prophecies that are relevant to our times.

At one time the three tulkus, as well as Jatrul and others, traveled down into the valley to participate in an ex- tensive ritual, an annual event held in a large felt tent. On the evening before they were to disperse, I had a vision that was partly a meditative experience, partly a dream. In this vision, three demons known as the “sisters of broken samaya” came from the direction of Lashar Plateau, robbing the life force of beings on the three planes of conditioned existence. The principal sister held a black silk banner and a noose; although she attempted again and again to loop them around my waist, my karmic deity, the venerable Tara, appeared in a youthful manifestation, her form brilliant white, and placed me within a protective fortified tent, so that the noose could not reach me.

Later, I had a vision of someone approaching and striking me on the shoulder blades with a skein of colored wool the size of a small rock, then disappearing. This was a very negative experience, but again Tara intervened, saying, “Because of this, I must go to India to get some kanadava medicine from the secret treasury of the dakinis of Orgyan. I will not return for four days. During that time, you should wear the clothing of someone such as your older brother Palchhen whose body is protected by guardian gods and keep your mind from wandering. On the evening of the fourth day, offer eighty tomas to dispel hindrances. Then, as a sign that I have acquired the medicine, I will come as the sun blazing, unobscured by clouds, or surrounded by a violent wind.”

During these four days I suffered intensely; the pain was so great that I could not tie my sash around my body. On the evening of the fourth day, the incarnate lama Tromge Trungpa performed a ritual of eighty torma offerings, and the three life-force-cutting sisters, delighted with the offerings, returned to their own abodes. A pleasant odor filled the felt tent from top to bottom, indicating that the medicine had ar’ rived. I could taste an extraordinary substance with a very fine fragrance, and immediately my pains dissipated. I actually experienced this marvelous occurrence, which anyone could have witnessed for themselves.

At another time, I was suddenly struck down as though the hour of my death had certainly come. My precious root lama and sole refuge, that gracious sovereign lord who is a treasure trove of compassion, vigorously performed a ceremony to recall my longevity force. As well, lamas of the illustrious Sakya lineage performed supplication prayers, rituals to confer protection, the refuge ceremony of the glorious Hevajra, and other ceremonies. At last the more overt pains were soothed, and the more subtle ones subsided into an experience of bliss and emptiness.

It was then that Khakyod Wangpo, the sovereign lord of a hundred buddha families, the incomparable and unique treasure rrovc of compassion, the flawless great Vajradhara in actuality, guided me in a vision with his illusory form of pristine awareness. I conversed, as one person would speak to another, with dakinis of pristine awareness who had no physical bodies, and they gave clear answers to my questions, so that the obstacles to this girl’s life span were dispelled and I could benefit beings in accordance with my own capacities. It was prophesied to me that I would have to undertake recitation retreats on three deities—Amitayus, Samyak, and Vajrakilaya—in order to visit many nirmanakaya pure realms.

The lord Tromgc Kundun Rinpoche performed the em-powerments for these three deities from the teachings of the great terton Laykyi Dorje. My habitual ways of looking at things were simply swept away, and I was introduced directly to the unconditioned essential nature of intrinsic awareness, without confusion. I burst through to intrinsic awareness in all its nakedness, whereupon secret vajra words welled forth without interruption. The venerable goddess, the exalted White Tara, graced me with a vision, and many meditative experiences of an unimaginable union of bliss and emptiness dawned in my mindstream.

It was the first year of rhe ancient sixty-year cycle, the wood male rat year. During the waning phase of the moon in the eighth month, on the twenty-third day of the lunar calendar, there fell an important occasion commemorating the gathering of dakinis, an auspicious time for the renewed dissemination of the precious teachings of rhe secret mantra path. On that day, we went to visit Chogtrul Rinpoche. This girl persistently asked him about rhe dreams and meditative experiences of her early life, as well as later and more recent experiences. He seemed incredibly joyful and extremely pleased by these accounts.

I said to him, “According to a prophecy that White Tara made to this girl, I shall spend some six or seven days in a state of deep meditative stability, as though in a coma or in a state like death.”

Chhogtrul Rinpoche and Tromge Trungpa both told me, in effect, “There is absolutely no need for this sort of talk. After spending no more than one day in a nyungnay fasting ritual, you feel hungry and thirsty. Wouldn’t it be better to remain in a naturally tranquil meditation hut, without many things to think of, relaxing easily in the key points of the stages of development and completion and completing a few mantra repetitions?”

“But,” I responded, “to remain for seven days in such a state would be of benefit and enormous importance for curing my illness.” I pestered them again and again, asking, “Shouldn’t I stay in my room with the door locked, taking no food or water at all?”

Tromge Kundun Rinpoche said, “Do nothing of the kind.’ If you want your illness to abate, you should perform extensive longevity rituals and ceremonies, and receive the empowerments for Vajrakilaya and rhe ablution ritual of the deity Bhurkakuta. You should also ransom rhe lives of animals doomed to slaughter. If you wish ro improve rhe welfare of beings, practice a ritual such as the one for leading beings from the six realms found in rhe cycle of The Natural Free.’ dom of Enlightened Intent of rhe peaceful and wrathful deities and invoke the principle of supreme compassion by reciting the mani mantra along with prayers of dedication and aspiration.”

In this and many other ways he enjoined me, and although it would have been very good to follow his advice, I reiterated that in my opinion there was nothing to be done but what I had already described, and I made the decision to act accordingly, unable to procrastinate any longer.

On the twenty-fifth day of the lunar month I informed everyone around me of the situation. In the evening, the time of power, when dakinis arc gathered, seven quite special lamas and tulkus (the omniscient lama Tromgc Kun- dun Rinpoche foremost among them) were joined by many of their students and attendants. This girl also joined the gathering. While I was there, my mind became much more lucid than ever before, and very special meditative experiences and states of realization arose in my mindstream. Within the hearing range of Troinge Kundun Rinpoche I recited in their proper order liturgical texts that I had never studied, the Commands of the Mother Consort, as well as the feast offering and fulfillment ritual. My mind was intensely joyful, and I felt I would never be happier than I was that night.

After the gathering broke up, I stayed for a short time in the presence of my precious lama. Using many ploys, both peaceful and wrathful, Rinpoche said over and over, “My girl, I urge you not to carry out this plan.” However, it was of no use and so at last he said, “Since you are determined to do so, keep the following words in mind and never forget them. From now on, don’t get caught up as you have in the past in the path of impure, rampant delusion. Settle without contrivance into the genuine nature of your mind, just as it falls in and of itself. As much as you can, generate faith in and pure view of your lamas and chosen deities, as well as love and compassion for all beings, who have been your fathers and mothers.”

With that, he honored me by personally giving me a full plate of the select portions of the feast offering. He intoned, “May you be placed under the protection of the lamas, the Three Jewels, and the great Orgyan?’ Until you achieve enlightenment, may all obstructing and counterproductive conditions be pacified. May the uncontrived enlightened intent of the two aspects of bodhicitta,” the fundamental nature of reality, be born in your mindstream. May you be led on your path by the venerable goddess, the exalted Tara, and so accomplish inconceivable benefit for beings.”

As he said these words, my faith grew so strong I felt as though I would burst into tears. I performed three prostrations and returned to my retreat house.

Later I told Tulku Tromgc Trungpa, “For a period of about five days, I will be as though actually dead. During that time none of the monks or students should go in or out of my room or walk back and forth much outside the door; they should not chatter or make other careless, disruptive noises. Remove all the foodstuffs that are in my presence, not leaving so much as seven grains of barley To purify the habitual tendencies, womb obscuration and stains of my body, wash me with saffron water that has been consecrated through rhe practice of Vijaya At that time, to provide a particularly auspicious condition, there should be a girl present named Drolma.” (As it turned out, things took care of themselves, for a virtuous woman of pure samaya commitment named Tsult’hrim Drolma became my companion.)

I continued, “To make it clear which buddha family is mine and to remove obstacles, wrap a blue cloth the color of the sky around my head? Until I return to life, Kuzhab Rinpoche will perform the offering of oblations to the five sisters of Lhaman Tsering? Tromge Trungpa will perform one hundred feast offerings of the Queen of Supreme Bliss in the cycle of the Commands of the Mother Consort. In order to offset obstacles to my visions, the students and attendants should recite as much as possible the Seven-Line Supplication, the prayer Dispelling Obstacles on the Path, and the vajra guru, and Tara mantras To protect me, bolt my door with a padlock and have someone wearing blue wrap the lock with a blue cloth. And to suppress and overwhelm the influence of bloodthirsty demons, seal the cloth with wax imprinted with the seal turned upside down

“Now have a change of clothing brought that is not made of animal skin or hide?’ If I do not actually die but instead return to life, I shall want to rinse my mouth; for this, I shall need a vase full of clean rainwater collected during a shower of the medicinal rain of the seers, which comes about through the force of the blessings and aspirations of the Medicine Buddha Bhaishajyaguru

“If anyone asks what Dawa Drolnia is doing acting like this, do not say anything specific, good or had; merely acknowledge that I am neither decisively alive nor dead. Within five days summon my brother Palchhcn, who lives with my family and kinspeople in the valley below, and tell him, ‘Your sister is in such a state that she is neither alive nor dead. Come and see for yourself.’ Everything that I have just specified, though it involves a little hardship, is very important, so please carry it out.”

Tulku Tromge Trungpa and his attendants promised to observe to the letter the instructions I had given and to remain faithful to their commitment, and so I lay down on my bed to relax.

This girl had been told, “Let your mind settle in the natural state into which it inherently falls, without any discursive thought interrupting.” Accordingly, I let my mind settle. In a spacious and extremely blissful frame of mind, I experienced a stare of sheer lucidity. This was not the latent state of kunzhi, which is the mere absence of discursive thought. Nor was I simply indulging in feelings of bliss, clarity, and nonconceptual awareness. And I had not merely fallen into an endless playing out of my confusion. Rather, I was fully aware of the fundamental condition of my mind in all its ordinariness. Because that awareness was unimpeded, it was as though I could hear all sounds and voices in all lands, not just those in my immediate environment.

On the morning of the twenty-sixth day of the lunar month, as the sun peeped over the horizon, I beheld the exalted and venerable Tara actually present before me within a mass of rainbow light, her form white like a vase of crystal. She held an arrow decorated with silk ribbons, with which she blessed me.

From the direction of rhe Mountain of Glory on the sub’ continent of Chamara, a rainbow of five parallel bands of colored light penetrated my meditation room. Along this pathway came an escort of four young women dressed in silks and adorned with ornaments of bone. The dakini of the cast, Goddess with Power over Longevity, was brilliant white and held a silk-beribboned arrow and a vase. The dakini of the south was Akyang Tara, the dakini of the west was Tara of the Turquoise Dragon, and the dakini of the north was Goddess of the North.

They placed me in a litter covered with variegated silk patterned in red and white. Immediately, the dakinis of the four classes and joined together in chanting the Seven-Line Supplication and reciting aloud the vajra guru and mani mantras continuously. My mind expanded into a supremely blissful state, the essential nature of sheer lucidity in which I could not cling to anything as good or bad in the ordinary sense, like unborn space that is nothing at all in and of itself, yet with an absolutely unimpeded natural radiance. This harmonious and spontaneous meditative experience emerged as the inconceivable array of a cloud mandala, the entire vast range of pure experience.

I then had the sensation of climbing higher and higher into vaguely defined space, more swiftly than a wild whitetailed vulture soaring into the heavens. As this dramatic experience unfolded like a shifting phantasmagoria, I suddenly found myself in a place that I did not recognize. In the center of a vast plain, so spacious and ethereal that it seemed the sky had fallen to the earth, stood a large rock face shaped like a heart. In every direction were mountains like weapons thrusting up into the sky, red as though sprinkled with blood. In the sky appeared a canopy of five-colored rainbow light. Peacocks, thrushes, and cuckoos soared and flitted about

playfully. The air was filled with the sweet fragrance of an incense that had the power to transform one’s perceptions. Covering the ground in all directions were flowers of five lovely hues—white, yellow, red, green, and blue. I experienced this realm as an actual place.

I also saw a very beautiful mountain, as blue as a sapphire. My mind was filled with unimaginable faith and pure view. I continuously repeated aloud prayers of guru yoga, the Seven- Line Supplication, and a supplication previously spoken to me by White Tara herself, and I made prostrations and mandala offerings.

This place was the Copper-Colored Mountain of Glory on the subcontinent of Chamara. About midway up the rock face, on a vast and spacious level area, stood the immeasurable mansion of Lotus Light. the temple, an emanation of Padmasambhava’s enlightened awareness, was fashioned of five kinds of precious jewels, a self-arising and spontaneously accomplished mandala. From without, the inside was brilliantly clear, and from within, one could clearly see out. Festooned with loops of rainbows, the hall had four sides and four gates and courtyards, within which were other temples, more than a thousand of them. Within these were hosts of vidyadharas as well as dakas and dakinis.

This girl arrived at the eastern gate. There I met four women, who clothed me in a robe of variegated silk, shining like a rainbow. Then they left, although I had no clue as to where they went.

The woman who was the keeper of the eastern gate challenged me: “Who are you?”

I replied, “I am Dawa Drolma, a daughter of the Trornge clan in the human world.”

“Why have you come to this realm?”

I humbly responded, “For the purpose of ensuring the COPPER-COLORED MOUNTAIN OE GLORY welfare of all beings, I seek an audience with Orgyan Tsokyey Dorje and the hosts of vidyadharas, dakas, and dakinis on the Copper-Colored Mountain of Glory on the subcontinent of Chamara.”

The dakini replied:

May you be blessed by Vajravarahi.

May adverse circumstances and obstacles to your longevity be dispelled.

May you attain the empowerment of the deathless vajra.

And may you ensure the welfare of measureless numbers of living beings.

I then beheld the extraordinary spectacle of the marvelous eastern gate, a door made of crystal. Above it, in has relief, were an image of a tathagata and accompanying words that produced liberation upon sight. To the left and right of the door were blue turquoise dragons worked in jewels, twisting in clockwise spirals and holding various gems.

All of a sudden the dakini opened the door with a key made of white quartz crystal, about a hand’s span in length and marked with self-formed symbolic letters, magical and mysterious. I walked inside and found a long flight of stairs formed of jewels. I ascended these and in an immeasurably large chamber found the regent Jampa Migyur on a small throne. He wore a cloak of white silk and was adorned with many jeweled ornaments, his hair bound up in a topknot. In his left hand he was telling a mala of white crystal, each of the 108 beads being about the size of one’s thumb. Surrounding him was a retinue of many hundreds of dakinis dressed in robes of white silk, celebrating a feast of sensory pleasures. Vajra goddesses of activity dressed in blue robes offered the select portions of the feast in the four cardinal directions of the sky.

This girl performed three prostrations from the back row of the assembly and prayed with such noble aspirations as came to mind. Approaching the lama, I offered my confession, purified myself by reciting the hundred-syllable mantra, and performed the thirty-seven-point mandala of the universe.” To the right of the lama was a dakini, who inquired minutely into my past; I answered her, speaking directly but humbly. The lama seemed intensely delighted. I took part in the celebration of the feast.

Then I was shown out and guided by a blue woman to another immeasurable mansion. Everyone present there was bathing a dakini of a family of the lower steppes of eastern Tibet. I too received a ritual bath. On a lofty throne in the midst of US, on an especially high cushion of red silk, sat that lamp who illuminated the sutras and tantras, that crown jewel of ten million vidyadharas, that peerless master, learned and accomplished, the omniscient Jamyang Khyen- tsei Wangpo. His lustrous form was charismatic and youthful; he seemed about sixteen years of age. He wore the three formal monastic robes, and on his head was a hat symbolizing the three collections of scriptures. In his hands he held a vajra and a bell. He was surrounded by a retinue of more than a hundred dakas and yoginis.

As before, I prostrated, made offerings, and performed the mandala offering of the universe. I presented him a length of flawless white silk to request an audience and made such prayers of aspiration as I was able. The lama seemed to have a very harsh and intractable character; he spoke not a single word and deliberately avoided looking at me.

I left and went to another immeasurable mansion. The doorkeeper was a girl who could not have been more than fifteen years old. Although I did not recognize her, she showed as much joy and delight toward me as parents do upon meeting their child. Inside, on a low seat piled with bolsters of green silk, sat a woman named Yul-lha, a dakini from the region of Derge who was an emanation of the deity Vajravarahi. Her hair was hound up with silk ribbons the color of the sky, and she held a small text of spiritual instruc- tions. She was reciting the root verses of the Intermediate. State after Death. There were some sixteen dakinis in her retinue. I prostrated to her and offered incense compounded from white Indian sandalwood. I was given food seasoned with spices made from five nectars.

We spoke at length about events in the human realm. She continued, “You will find four staircases in a pavilion in the center of this region. Do not take the black staircase, for there lurks danger from vicious poisonous serpents and bloodthirsty demons. Instead, mount the green staircase.”

With that I continued on my way. In another im-measurable mansion I came across a woman who seemed quite old, her hair faded to yellowish gray, surrounded by about two hundred dakinis. The dakinis were reciting texts from Karma Lingpa’s cycle of teachings on the mandala of peaceful and wrathful deities and the Stainless Confession Tantra. The principal woman held her breath in the vasebreath exercise. When she exhaled her breath completely, she expelled many water-dwelling creatures such as water snakes, frogs, and fishes; from their corpses emerged white, yellow, red, and green rainbows, while their consciousnesses were drawn to pure realms.

This woman was in fact a dakini called Wangmo. After prostrating and making offerings, I approached her. She placed a mala of skullbone on my head and, laughing gently, questioned me for a short time as to who I was.

In yet another immeasurable mansion I came upon a white goddess, a dakini of peaceful energy, seated on a silk- covered cushion and dressed in robes of divine brocade, surrounded by a retinue of seven dakinis. I prostrated and made offerings ro her. The dakinis were very sweetly singing a devotional prayer to invoke the energy of the exalted Avalo- kireshvara and a prayer of aspiration that incorporated the six-syllable mani mantra. But here I fear becoming too wordy and will not write further of this.

In a very beautiful immeasurable mansion whose door faced the east appeared the dakini Yeshe Tsogyal. Her form was beautifully clad in robes of silk and adorned with various jeweled and bone ornaments, her wavy hair lustrously black. Her inexpressibly lovely form, a joy to behold, was surrounded by a retinue of a hundred thousand dakinis. They were celebrating the feast offerings of rhe guru principle, The Gathering of Awareness-Holding Gurus; the deity principle, The Gathering of the Great and Glorious; and the dakini principle, The Queen of Supreme Bliss. I joined rhe participants in the feast offering, prostrating and making offerings to Yeshe Tsogyal, which delighted her. I humbly told her my personal history very clearly and in detail.

“Continue upward,” she said, “and I will send someone to conduct you to an audience with your own uncle. It will be difficult for you to pass, for you will find a very stern gatekeeper.”

I came to a terrifying palace, the very sight of which sent a thrill of fear through me. Canopies of human skin were hung with ropes made of snakes. Dry skulls and fresh and desiccated human heads, the hair still attached, hung everywhere. The curtains and hangings were of black python skin.

In the center of all of this, on a throne the color of the blackest jet, sat a yogi named Pawo Namkha Odsal, his color a dark purplish black. His hair was bound up in a topknot around a vajra, on the tip of which was a small piece of inset turquoise. In his cars were hoops made of conch shell. He wore a white robe and held a large hand drum and trumpet made of a human femur. Very charismatic, irresistibly so in fact, he was surrounded by a retinue of six figures clad in long black cloaks. They were all extremely wrathful, with flowing black hair and dark, scowling expressions. I pros- trated and made offerings to them, as well as prayers of aspi- ration.

Continuing on, I encountered a gatekeeper, a white’ skinned woman clad in silks and ornaments of bone. Her name was Nordzin Dronma, and she had had a connection with me for many lifetimes.

In rhe center of an immeasurable orange mansion of rhe nature of light, seated on a very high throne of red crystal and cushions of varicolored silks, was the divine consort Mandarava, her color dark red. She held an arrow tied with ribbons of silk in her right hand and a longevity vase in her left. She. wore a short, pleated silk skirt and was adorned with jeweled ornaments. Surrounded by a retinue of one hundred dakinis of pristine awareness, she sang a melodious song of indestructible vajra music. I prostrated and made offerings as I had before and, prompted by Tara, recited a devotional prayer to her. An unimaginable sense of faith arose in me.

I stood up in the audience and approached her. The divine consort placed her right hand, holding the beribboned arrow, on my head and chanted:

Hung On the northwest border of the country of Orgyan, . . . I supplicate you to approach in order to grant your blessings. Having sent your blessings to this excellent place, bestow the four empowerments on this excellent practitioner. Dispel obstacles of untimely death.

Grant the accomplishment of immortality.

Further on I came upon a very fine, charming mansion. Twelve women acted as gatekeepers at the eastern door, twelve at the southern door, twelve at the western door, and twelve at the northern door. On the eastern side, the door and the doorkeepers were all made of crystal, on the southern side of gold, on the western side ruby, and on the northern side turquoise.

In the eastern direction were twelve goddesses whose purpose was to guide beings, in the southern direction twelve goddesses whose function was to demonstrate the path to liberation. In the western direction I saw twelve goddesses of the blazing fire element, and in the northern direction twelve goddesses who were victorious over the maras. All of them wore robes of colors that corresponded to their respective directions.

The lock on the outer gate, about the length of one’s arm, was made of gold. One of the dakinis opened the gate and sent me in. Then the northern door to the mansion was opened and I entered the building. The hall inside had 180 supporting columns, and 180 dakinis, dressed in silks and adorned with ornaments of bone, danced as they sang to musical accompaniment a song entitled “The Natural Freedom from Lower States of Existence”:

Hri The uncontrived state free of conceptual elaboration is the dharmakaya guru.

Supreme bliss is the sambhogakaya guru, lord of dharma.

Born from a lotus is the nirmanakaya guru.

We prostrate to and praise the vajra holder of the three kayas.

Your enlightened form is unchanging, the form of Samantabhadra.

Your enlightened speech is unimpeded and self-arising, guiding living beings.

Your enlightened mind is unwavering and goes beyond speech, imagination, and expression.

We praise you, o Lotus King endowed with enlightened form, speech, and mind.

Great scholar of the exalted land of India, so compassionate to Tibet,

Lake-Born Vajra free of birth, death, aging, and decrepitude,

converting hordes of malicious bloodthirsty demons to the dharma

We praise you, o Venerable Padma T’hod T’hreng Tzal

Om ah hung vajra gum padma siddhi hung

Maha guru padma t’hod t’hreng tzal la namo hung

As they sang, I experienced immeasurable faith and joy.

At another palace, I came upon a white-skinned woman dressed in a shawl and skirt of white brocade and holding a mala of red crystal. She was the nun Kunga Monlam, otherwise known as the dakini Laykyi Wangmo- chhe. She showed heartfelt joy toward me. Parting a hanging curtain with designs in silk appliqué, she led me to the center of the palace. There we found her retinue of seven dakinis, who placed a white cushion our for me to sit on.

Laykyi Wangmochhe herself placed a white longevity arrow on top of my head, intoning:

Om Pristine longevity without flaw,

I summon this in the most sublime glory of the conjunction of sun and moon.

Longevity of supreme bliss without transition,

I summon this in the glory of the subtle essence of the body of light.

Continuous longevity without ordinary coming into or going out of existence,

I summon this within the indestructible vast expanse, eternal and stable.

Longevity that is stolen, robbed, broken, or impaired by discursive thought,

I summon this in the fundamentally unconditioned nature of nonconceptual pristine awareness.

Longevity based on confusion about the appearances of samsara, nirvana, and the spiritual path,

I summon this within the natural condition of things as they are atemporally and pristinely.

If there is no cessation, there is nothing to grow older,

and so I also summon longevity that is without cessation and aging.

If there is no birth, there is no one to die,

and so I also summon longevity that is unborn and undying.! Ah Ah Ah.

She continued, “How fortunate that you have come to this pure realm from the ordinary world of humans. How touching you are.” And she wept. Then she called out to a girl named Apal to accompany me, and I was led out.

The venerable White Tara said to me, “Dawa DroL ma, my girl, it was I who arranged for you to leave the ordinary world of human beings and who led you to this pure realm. But now the time is not ripe for you and me to stay here on the Mountain of Glory?’

“There is a pure realm higher than this, endowed with the five kinds of certainty? which is the sphere of experience of those dwelling on the tenth level of realization. There the sambhogakaya form of the Supremely Compassionate One, surrounded by a retinue of innumerable masculine and feminine bodhisattvas, is teaching the tantra of The Supremely Compassionate Lotus Lord of the Dance.

“Above that is the pure realm of dharmakaya, free of conceptual elaboration. There dwells Guru Padma, none other than the natural self-manifesting appearance of the pristine lord protector, giving spiritual teachings to a gathering in which the enlightened intent of the teacher and that of the retinue are indivisible, presenting direct transmission instructions that go beyond symbols and words and ordinarythought—the Great Perfection tantra of the supreme secret, entitled Self’arising Intrinsic Awareness.

“Nowadays there is a dearth of the good fortune needed to contact these levels directly. So formulate the aspiration again and again to do so at some point. Do not speak of your having come to this realm.”

At this I felt such pain I thought my heart would break, such sorrow I thought I might lose my mind, such complete disorientation that I could not recall anything I might have been thinking at rhe rime; my perceptions were confused and disoriented. Tears flowed as though my eyes would fall out. I thought to myself, “Even though I may now be able to gain an audience with Padmasambhava, I have no formal offering to present to him, no gold or silver, no mandala offering, not even a silk scarf.”

Immediately Tara gave me a very long, spotless whire silk ribbon from her beribboned arrow. Because of my great doubt, I thought that the arrow would be diminished by this gesture, but Tara said, “It can never be diminished, so don’t be so stingy.” She added, “This is no place to start crying. Go to the Guru and ask him whatever you wish. Regardless of what he gives you, whether gold or silver or gems, do not take it away with you. Request that instead he bestow upon you a blue silk scarf marked with rhe images of the five nirmanakayas. Also request that your karmic connections with him from previous lifetimes be awakened, that your actions to benefit beings be without bias or partiality, that you gain the ability to perceive beings directly in lower states of existence and to inspire them to virtue, and that whatever prayers of aspiration you make be accomplished.”

Then I saw yet another palace, made of red crystal with two adjoining wings, like coral-colored sleeves on a garment. No key was required to enter; instead, there was a red symbolic letter over the door. In the doorway stood a white- haired woman with a complexion as white as a conch shell. She had a lull set of teeth and was called the Goddess with Power over Longevity. She conferred upon me a ritual for summoning longevity and gave me a cut crystal with six facets. I had the distinct impression, however, that I should not accept the crystal, and so I placed it on top of a mandala plate piled with rice arranged in patterns reminiscent of Indian motifs.

Further along I came upon an immeasurable mansion so vast and lofty that its dimensions were beyond accurate measure. The roof peaks were adorned with gems. Inside I saw hundreds of umbrellas made of peacock feathers, silken victory banners, wall hangings of satin, canopies of brocade, loops and strings of pearls, unimaginable arrays of offerings, and the wealth of a great feast offering heaped like moun- tains, tumbling down like crumbling embankments, and swirling like an ocean of nectar.

In this mandala like the incomparable clouds of Saman- tabhadra’s offerings was a wealth of sacred samaya substances surpassing the wealth of the great gods of the Nir- manarati heaven. Rays of light emanated in all directions without limit from an enormous throne of dimensions difficult to fathom, higher even than a three-story building. On the throne was a seat of three piled cushions covered in multicolored silk worked with designs of thousand-petaled lotuses.

Seated there was he who is the essence in whom all sources of refuge and all victorious ones unite, rhe powerful lord of the enlightened mind of all victorious ones, the union in a single form of the three qualities—wisdom, love, and energy—of all victorious ones of the ten directions, the sole chosen deity of the Land of Snows, the kingdom of Tibet: the Guru of Orgyan, Padma T’hod T’hreng Tzal, the deathless Lake-Born Vajra himself.

His form was white with a reddish tinge. In his right hand he bore a vajra, in his left a longevity vase within a skullcup filled with nectar. In the crook of his left elbow he held the trident of the vajra secret. His two legs were loosely crossed in the posture of royal ease. He wore a cloak of satiny maroon silk, a skirt of red silk, a red formal monastic robe with designs in gold thread, and an undergarment of the white silk of the gods. On his head rested the lotus crown that brings liberation upon sight.

When this girl beheld the perfectly proportioned mandala of the great Orgyan’s visage, I gazed on it insatiably. All of my usual vague perceptions spontaneously ceased, and I experienced an ineffable, inconceivable, and inexpressible state, like a mute person tasting cane sugar. For a short while I rested in this state of mind, at once joyful and sad.

In the four cardinal directions around the great Orgyan were four bliss-granting dakinis of pristine awareness, wearing robes of varicolored silks, their illusory bodies like masses of light. They waved longevity arrows and longevity vases in the four directions while singing songs of praise.

To the right of the throne, on another high throne, sat the venerable master of compassion, the great threefold vajra holder, the sublime guide Dechhen Dorje (also known as Drimed Khakyod Wangpo). He was the latest powerful manifestation of a series of holy incarnations over many lifetimes that included Srongtzan Gampo (the form in which the exalted Avalokiteshvara emanated as a spiritual king to protect the northern realm of Tibet, rhe Land of Snows), as well as Nub Namnying and Dagpo Daod. Dechhen Dorje’s physical appearance was even more impressive than before, resplendent with the “victory banner” of the saffron monk’s robes. He wore the cap of a scholar, pointed with long earflaps, and held a hand drum and a bell. In the four cardinal directions around him I beheld four white dakinis holding arrows with blue silk ribbons attached. In front of him was a dark blue dakini with a wrathful expression, wearing a sash of multicolored silk and holding an arrow with a blue silk ribbon.

On a throne to the left of the central one was someone who had transcended all activity, the realized master Jigmed Pawo (also known as Dza Konchhog), who was a rebirth of Lhatsun Namkha Jigmed and who had been the heart son of Dzaga Chhogtrul Rinpoche. He had a dark bluish complexion, was clad in flowing robes of silk, and wore a scholar’s cap. In his hands he held a vase. He was a king among accomplished adepts who in his lifetime had come to the consummate realization of the four visions of the secret path uniting original purity and spontaneous presence” and whose mind was immersed in the state where ordinary phenomena fall away in the true nature of reality. In the four cardinal directions around him were four red dakinis wearing red silk robes, and in front of him was another dakini.

I also beheld a host of about ten thousand dakas, holders of intrinsic awareness, wearing hats of peacock feathers. The space surrounding them was filled with countless billions of goddesses making offerings, from drinking and bathing water to flowers and food. Some of them were holding vajras and bells, some small hand drums on sticks, some cymbals, some golden gongs, some conch shells, and some (in the four cardinal directions) trumpets of white, yellow, red, and green. The trumpets in the west were fashioned of coral and were blown by two dakinis wearing orange robes; I was told that they performed the special function of drawing beings to the secret vajrayana path. The thighbone trumpets were made entirely of human femurs, not of copper or brass. About a hundred reed horns also resounded. There were some one hundred shrinekeepers in yellow robes, their left shoulders draped with the traditional piece of multicolored silk.

I asked one of rhe dakinis, “What is the group ritual being practiced here?”

She replied, “We are performing the ritual and offering ceremony of rhe Eight Commands, the Gathering of Those Gone to Bliss, which is the essence of the teachings of the early school of translation.”

At this, the many members of the assembly rose. I too, feeling embarrassed and afraid, rose and performed prostrations swiftly over and over. Moving closer, I placed the feet of the omniscient great Guru on the crown of my head. I offered him a mandala fashioned of precious metals and stones

and a stainless length of’ white silk. The great Orgyan then placed his hand on my head, reciting the Seven-Line Supplication.

My paternal uncle, Khakyod Wangpo, began, “With power over longevity, your life shall be limitless . . and, while waving a longevity arrow, recited a liturgy for summoning the forces of longevity.

For his part, Dza Konchhog chanted:

The perception of pristine awareness is vividly clear.

The lamp for living beings is the torch of pristine awareness.

Supremely resplendent and majestic, radiantly luminous© is the master who holds the mantra, the king of the mantras of awareness.

Ag P’hatS Ag P’hfltg Ag P’hfltg

I remained kneeling on a seat of white silk, crying and crying. The tears I shed collected like water on rhe crystal floor. At last, out of my overwhelming pain, I cried, “O precious uncle, you have forsaken sentient beings, particularly those of us who arc your students and servants and who arc the objects of your affection. While you, Uncle, have gone to a pure realm without leaving a trace, this girl feels greater pain than if her heart had been torn out. Your other students and servants feel this way too. Uncle, I pray to you from my heart. You simply must return to the human world for the benefit of beings. Until your enlightened embodiment reappears, this girl will not go anywhere. I have come here with deliberate intent. Having come, I have met with you; and having met with you, I have made my request. Let all that I ask of you have meaning, I beg you!” And I began to cry again, my eyes overflowing with tears.

Drimed Khakyod Wangpo showed his great affection by replying, “What you, Dadrol, my niece, have said is certainly true, yet you should not be unhappy. Between me and the great Lama Orgyan there is not the slightest difference. Despite the conventional labels of ‘birth’ and ‘death,’ for me there is not, in the ultimate sense, the slightest erroneous notion of birth or death.

“All sentient beings who have had any connection—positive or negative—with me, this old man Dechhen Dorje, have been led to the Mountain of Glory on the subcontinent of Chamara, the pure realm of the victorious ones of the three kayas, like a flock of birds startled by a pebble thrown from a sling. Even now, I give you my solemn word that those students and servants who are capable of supplicating me will become buddhas simultaneously.

“You who suffer on my account, be vigilant in your devotion, seeing the lama as the dharmakaya of buddhahood. Be vigilant in your compassion, understanding the six classes of beings to be your parents. Be vigilant in your practice of virtue, not tarnishing anything you undertake with selfish vested interests. Be vigilant in your mantra repetition and meditation practices, not falling under the eight worldly influences, understanding the six-syllable mani mantra alone to be sufficient for your practice. Be vigilant in your formal practice, subsuming everything within your own true mind. Don’t make mistakes! Don’t make mistakes!

“As soon as you shed this human body, I will lead all of you to this pure realm like a goose leading her goslings. Just see if I don’t, by the Three Jewels! When you return to the human realm, relate all of these messages to Tromge Kun- dun, to the households of the region, and to my dear students. Do as I say, for even if they were to meet with me directly I would have nothing further to tell them.”

Saying this, he gave me a splendid portion of the food and drink of the feast offering. Performing three more prostrations, I left him.

In a mansion of crystal with eight turquoise dragons holding gems in their claws and twining in the eight cardinal and intercardinal directions, I found a charming bed with pillows and bolsters, and there I lay down. A dakini served as my attendant. I had the impression that I slept for a short time, when I was awakened by the sound of a bluish green peacock calling, “A a u u e 0 I immediately went back to rhe sacred Guru and had an audience as before. I made many prostrations and offerings. In my uncle’s sacred presence, I again wept. “Uncle, not only have you left us, but now the sole lord of refuge for the hopeful ones you left behind is Tromge Chhogtrul Rinpoche. If the merit that allows US to rely on him runs out, our suffering will be greater than that of a blind person who lacks a guide and falls over a precipice. What can be done to ensure that there will be no obstacles to Rinpoche’s life, so that he may fully carry out his mission to benefit beings and satisfy his retinue and students?”

Uncle Khakyod Wangpo looked concerned. “That is certainly a valid point,” he said. “Tromge Chhogtrul will live for another eleven years. But since he may suffer from some slight illness before that rime, it will help to perform a ritual for turning back the escort of the dakinis the same number of times as his age, offering an effigy of his body in the direction that the sun rises.lcs Then it is certain that he will live that long.”

I asked, “When will you return?”

He answered, “For the present I shall go to the pure realm known as the Charnel Ground Erupting Volcanoes to teach the Heart Drop of Chetzun to those gathered there. Although much might be said of the manner in which my incarnation will be born after that, do not write these things down, for they require a seal of secrecy.

“ then, my girl, it is dangerous for you to remain in this realm and you should not come here again? Return to the human realm and be of benefit to living beings. Before three yean are out I shall be reborn there once again.”

Although my pain at being separated from my refuge was great, I made preparations to return. I chanted the Seven- Line Supplication aloud three times and made many specific prayers of aspiration to Padmasambhava, to my uncle, and to the Three Jewels. As a sign that I had visited the Mountain of Glory on the subcontinent of Chamara, I was given the name Khadro Sherab Chhodron (dakini Who Is a Lamp of Spiritual Wisdom).

The many beings gathered there struck up music, and da- kinis acted as my escorts. My body was staggering and my mind was filled with attachment, bur there was nothing to be done. My rears fell uncontrollably as I made countless prayers of aspiration.

Then we headed back, the dakini Tsewang Barma met with rne again. She bestowed on rne seven nectar pills’’ and a dakini’s jewel box fashioned of quartz crystal, one cubit square. Since I did not take thứ with me, she pronounced a fine prayer of aspiration over me;

May the teachings of rhe buddhas spread

May the lives of the lamas be stable,

May bliss and happiness come to living beings?

May all attain awakened buddhahood?

I also met the dakini Laykyi Wangmochhe again. She gave me white silk, rice, bundles of incense, and other things, and I stayed with her a short time. She said:

May bliss and happiness come to this girl

May there be no obstacles for this girl

May there be protection and refuge for this girl

May this girl be capable of benefiting living beings

Then I met once more with the divine consort Manda- rava. A woman with a wrathful countenance poured a nectar that looked like charcoal water from her alms bowl and offered it to me. Mandarava said:

May sentient beings be endowed with happiness.

May they be free of all suffering.

May they never be separate from happiness.

May they realize the equality of all phenomena.

Next I met with the repaiW Namkha Odsal, who said:

Precious bodhicitta:

Where it has not arisen, may it arise.

Where it has arisen, may it never diminisho

but increase more and more!

Om mani padme hung.

Then I met with the dakini Yeshe Tsogyal. She gave me a whitish liquid that looked like sap. Although she sang a song connected with the mantra containing the name of Padma’ sambhava, I have not written it down. She offered the following prayer of aspiration:

For this girl Dawa Drolma.

in the ordinary world of the human realm,

in the field of vision encompassed by her eyes.

while in her corporeal body:

In the east when she looks to the east,

may she behold a crystal gatekeeper.

When she looks to the south, looks to the south,

may she behold a golden gatekeeper.

When she looks to the west, looks to the west.

may she behold a coral gatekeeper.

When she looks to the north, looks to the north,

may she behold a turquoise gatekeeper.

When she sings a song of the vajra guru mantra may she behold Padma Jungnay.g

When feast offerings are performed here may the girl come to visit this realm.

May she guide those sentient beings connected to her, physically or verbally,

to the subcontinent of Chamara.

She told me, “Conic here on the days of the lunar month when the effects of one’s actions are multiplied a hundred thousand times: the tenth, the twenty-fifth, and the fifteenth days and that of the new moon.”

She added, “Depart today without crying,” but as she accompanied me for 100 paces, she let her own tears fall. She remarked, “Other than the small distance that I have come today, I actually never go anywhere.” After walking another 110 paces, I looked back at her. I was exceedingly attached to her, but she called out, “Don’t be unhappy because of this.”

Further on, I again arrived at the place where the dakini Wangmo dwelled. One of the gate guardians led me to her. Owing to our strong connection, I wept out of fear that we would be separated, and the dakini herself also shed a few tears. She gave me a handful of grain.

She said, “I am not free to escort you, but I do have a message for you to take back. There is no fault in your having decisively cut your ties with the human realm and come here. Should you find yourself unable to break free from the jaws of a cruel crocodile or a vicious poisonous snake, cast this grain and say as you do so, ‘This is from the hand of the dakini Wangmo.’”

Continuing down, I was met and escorted by eight daki- nis, including Yul-lha, the aforementioned dakini of the Derge region. As we discussed my account of rhe pure realm, we wept over and over. “For now, stay the night,” she said. “If I can bestow on you an empowerment of three deities— Amitayus, Samyak, and Vajrakilaya—then you, o dakini, will become, for the special tulkus, lamas, spiritual friends, and holy incarnate tertons who are in rhe ordinary human realm, a noble dakini who will dispel obstacles to their long lives.” But I did not have the time to receive this empowerment.

As I continued, White Tara warned me against speaking any words of bad omen. I came again into the presence of Jamyang Khyentsei Wangpo. He deliberately appeared to be more cheerful than he had been before, and he gave a slight laugh. He folded his palms together toward me, and White Tara said things such as the following:

Whether you fold your hands or not, whether you have faith or not, this rebirth of the venerable White Tara is going to the ordinary world of humans.

Further down, the regent Jampa Migyur sent an escort of five dakinis to meet me. In order to dispel my fear of the denizens of hell, he gave me a blessing cord with a vajra carved from a sheet of slate and a scorpion-shaped knot carved in stone. He recited prayers of aspiration such as the one beginning “Precious bodhicitta . . .”

As I continued on, White Tara said, “Well now! You haven’t brought with you the dakini’s jewel box made of crystal that we two were meant to carry back with US, so what is the point of bringing this stone knot, which is not necessary?” And so I let it fall to the ground.

Then in the lee of a rock face I saw a pure realm born of great aspiration, a vast palace of crystal. On the eastern gate was a lock of crystal about the size of my sleeve. To the right and left above the gate were two images of Ami- tayus. In between these I saw the six-syllable mani mantra written in three scripts one above the other: Tibetan, Lantza, and Wardhu. There the dakini Yul-lha (whom I had met previously) and I encountered a girl of the Gya Chhagla family named Adam. She and Yul-lha were very joyful, kissing and embracing one another around the neck just like people in the ordinary world.

On a high throne inside the palace sat a lama of advanced age with a white beard. On a throne off to one side in front of him sat the sister of my father, Tromge Jigmed T’hrogyal; her name was Ashcy Drolma. A woman with her hair bound up in a turban was asking many questions of both of them concerning the Buddhist teachings. There were about twenty thousand other women there, both laywomen and ordained nuns; all of them held metal butter lamps and chanted prayers of aspiration.

As I moved closer, Ashey Drolma said, “Take the following message to Jigmed T’hrogyal: ‘I have been reborn in this realm of great aspiration. Both our parents have taken rebirth in Zangri Kharmar, where they are benefiting beings as powerful tantric practitioners. Your name when you were little was Yudra Nyingpo; what you are called now is not clear to me, but you have committed both virtuous and harmful actions in this lifetime. While it is difficult nor to perform such a mixture of actions as an ordinary mortal in cyclic existence, rhe important thing is that you have for once attained a human birth. The time is ripe to realize the potential of this, so recite rhe six-syllable mantra and do not fail to go into retreat occasionally. Then without doubt you will be reborn on the Mountain of Glory on Chamara immediately upon passing from this life.’”

I too made fervent prayers of aspiration.

This, then, was my brief vision of rhe Mountain of Glory. I, a humble daughter of the clan of Lama Tromge, Dawa Drolma by name, died for a period of five days and experienced visions of the Mountain of Glory, Potala Mountain, and other realms. These accounts are not embellished with the words of the learned, nor adorned with the stylistic devices of classical poetry, nor fitted to the rhythms of proper meter. But neither have made the mysterious words of the dakinis unintelligible.

These are the rambling, mad ravings of this girl herself, put down in writing by the incarnate Nyag Trulpa just as I spoke them on top of Mani Tashi Pass in the region of T’hrom. I confess whatever faults they contain to the hosts of dakinis and dharma guardians, and may the virtue be cause for all those who hear even my name and who are devotedly interested in these pure visionary experiences to be reborn on the Mountain of Glory on the subcontinent of Chamara.

Good fortune, good fortune, good fortune!

Sarva mangalam—may everything be auspicious.


Dawa Drolma, 

“Delog: Journey to realms beyond death”