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The Heart-Son, Thukse Dawa Gyaltsen’s Dharma Activities

Pema Lingpa’s heart son, Dawa Gyaltsen, is considered to be the manifestation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. He was the manifestation of the ferocious and wrathful form of Avalokiteśvara, known as Hayagriva (Tamdin) who subdues pernicious angry beings who can’t be tamed through peaceful means. During the Lord Shakyamuni Buddha’s time, Dawa Gyaltsen was born as Shariputra the close attendant and chief disciple of the Buddha. Then later, he was born as the King Indrabodhi in the land of Ugyen. Finally, in the Earth Sheep Year (1499), on the 10th day of the 7th lunar month, amidst auspicious signs, Dawa Gyaltsen was born in Bumthang to Tertön Pema Lingpa and mother Sithar who was an emanation of Shelkar Tshodron. From a young age, he displayed signs of great meditative realization and concentration such as moulding the stones like mud with his feet. Just by looking once, he was able to learn the arts and crafts very easily. Even the dakinis and protecting deities paid great reverence and protected him, so much so that Pema Lingpa is said to have remarked to his disciples that if even the non-humans and devas regard him thus, he seems to be an extraordinary being and hence all of you must not think of him as equal to ordinary beings.

From his father he received all the essential teachings such as Lama Norbu Jamtsho, Dzogchen Kunzang Gongdu, Thukje Chenpo Munsel Dronme, and through their sadhana practice and mediation, he was able to actualize the teachings and had visions of the Guru, deity and dakini as signs of accomplishment.

Moreover, he received blessings and empowerments directly from the male-female aspect of Guru in a meditative trance. Having transported himself to Purelands such as Zangdog Pelri (Copper-coloured Mountain) and those of the Five Buddha families, he was able to see the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas.

When he was twenty-three years old, his father passed away and as prophesied by Guru Rinpoche, the relic from his father’s heart, an image of a turquoise girl, dissolved into Thuksé Dawa Gyaltsen. Then, from the Chel region in Tang area, from the Menchu River, he discovered the statue of Vajrapani and the precious seven-rebirth mother pills in the form of a joined skull. From Naring Drak, he discovered precious substances that had the power to repel the invading armies.

In places such as Lhasa and Samye in Tibet, he performed numerous army-repulsion, consecration ceremonies, Drupchens, blessings and empowerments, thereby benefiting many fortunate beings in the process.

As the dakinis had prophesised, when Gyalwa Drigung Rinchen Phuntshog met Dawa Gyaltsen at Dargay Chöling, he saw the Thuksé Dawa Gyaltsen in the form of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara in red form, with one face and two hands. While the right hand held the jewel rosary, the left held the crystal vase, and in the heart of this Sambhogakaya manifestation, he saw the image of Hayagriva, the Horse Headed One, or Tamdin, in its red form carrying an amulet and rope in its hands. Also, he saw that on the outer level, the form was Rinpoche himself, in the middle was Avalokiteśvara, and in the inner Hayagriva with the images not inanimate like a painting but very much alive and moving. This caused even greater faith and devotion to develop in the heart of Drigung Rinchen Phuntshog who thereafter regarded Dawa Gyaltsen as the true Lord of the teachings and thereafter received numerous ripening and liberation teachings from him and becoming one in essence.

Then, having traveled far and wide within Bhutan, covering mostly the sacred places, Thuksé Dawa Gyaltsen gave teachings, blessings and precious substances to many sentient beings, thereby, leading them on the path to liberation. He also built monasteries such as Lhundrup Deyang at Trakar in Chumey and Gongted Sergi Lhakhang at Tali in Kheng.

The congregation of his disciples included Drigung Rinchen Phuntshog, Sakya Dakchen Rinpoche, Karmapa Mikyo Dorji, Shamar Kenchog La and Pawo Chogyel Dhendup as well as Tertön Dechen Lingpa, Gyalwang Tendzin Drakpa and many others.

Thus, fulfilling his Dharma activities for this lifetime, in KhariThabtsang at the base of Mt. Kulagangri, at the age of 88, in the year 1586, on the 17th day of the 9th month of the Fire Dog Year of the 16th Rabjung, he demonstrated the act of passing into nirvana.

His successive reincarnations are Nyida Gyaltsen, Pema Nyida Longyang, Tenzin Gyurme Namgyal, Gyurme Chögdrup Pelbar, Tendzin Chöki Nyima, Kunzang Gyurme Dorji, Kunzang Zilnon Zheytsel, Gyurme Pema Kunzang and the present incarnation Thegchog Tenpai Gyaltsen, who tirelessly propagates the Buddha Dharma for the benefit of sentient beings.