Yeshe Tsogyal of Tibet

Yeshe Tsogyal was Vajravārāhī Buddha in human form and also an incarnation of Tārā and Buddhalochanā. She was born amid wondrous signs at Dragda, in the clan of Kharchen. Her father was Namkha Yeshe, the king of Kharchen, an important principality in central Tibet, and her mother was Gewa Bum. At the time of her birth a lake suddenly formed next to the house. It is called the Tsogyal Latso, or Tsogyal’s spirit-lake. Even today there is a pond, which is what remains of the lake. When she was a child she stamped the imprint of her foot on a rock near the house, and it was visible till recently.

First she became one of the consorts of Trisong Detsen, the king of Tibet. Later the king offered her to Guru Rinpoche as the maṇḍala- offering before receiving empowerment, and she became Guru Rinpoche’s consort. When she was receiving empowerment from Guru Rinpoche, her flower landed on the maṇḍala of Vajrakīla. By practicing the sādhana of Vajrakīla, she beheld the pure vision of Vajrakīla and achieved attainments.

She brought back to life many people who had been killed in fighting. In Nepal she restored a dead boy to life, and then with the gold she was offered in gratitude, she paid the ransom of Āchāraya Sa-le, who was prophesied to be the support of her esoteric training.

She received almost all the teachings that Guru Rinpoche gave in Tibet, and by practicing them she attained the highest realization. With Guru Rinpoche she traveled all over Tibet by their miraculous power, meditated at hundreds of places, and blessed them as power places. As she had achieved the accomplishment of unforgetting memory (Mi brJed Pa’i gZungs), through the power of her memory she collected the inconceivably vast teachings given by Guru Rinpoche in Tibet. And at the command of Guru Rinpoche she concealed the teachings in various places as ter, hidden treasures for the benefit of future followers. Especially in Tidro of Zhotö in Drikung Valley, she received the Khandro Nyingthig, the innermost esoteric teachings of Dzogpa Chenpo, and later concealed them as ter.

Yeshe Tsogyal stayed in Tibet for many years after Guru Rinpoche left Tibet, reconcealing the ters at different places. At the end, from Shang Zabulung she and Kālasiddhi and Tashi Children, instead of leaving any mortal bodies behind, flew through the sky to Zangdok Palri, the manifest pure land of Guru Rinpoche.

Yeshe Tsogyal is viewed by the followers of Guru Rinpoche as having the peerless grace and kindness of a mother for them and for the Tibetans.

Tulku Thondup

“Masters of Meditation and Miracles: Lives of the Great Buddhist Masters of India and Tibet”