The victorious Shakya saw the
Five Sights. 2
He showed the victorious path,
Took birth as the victorious
I prostrate to Him.
Regent, Ratna Shri.
Took birth as the victorious
I prostrate to Him.
In the Gongdu Sutra it is said:
"At a place called Dri, the Source of the Dharma, Ratna Shri will appear in the Year of the Pig. He will gather a hundred thousand fully ordained monks. After that, he will go to the Ngonga Buddha-Field. He will be called Stainless White Sugata and will have a large retinue."
In the Gyalpo Kaithang it is said:
" From glorious Samye 6 to the northeast, at a place called Drikung, the source of the Dharma, the Lord-King Trisong Desen will be born in the year of the Pig as the Sugata Ratna Shri. He will gather a hundred thousand bodhisattvas. He will go to the Ngonga Buddha-field and be called Stainless White Sugata. In that Buddha-field, he will become the Fully Perfected King."
Thus he was clearly predicted.
When Jigten Sumgon was still young, his father passed away; the family's fortunes declined; and he supported them by reciting scriptures. Once, he was offered a goat. As he was leading it away it tried to break loose. He pulled back, but the goat dragged him for a short distance and his footprints remain in the rock to this day. When he was eight, he had a vision of Yamantaka and on another occasion, while meditating at Tsib Lungmoche, he saw all the dharmas of samsara and nirvana as insubstantial appearance, like a reflection in a mirror. Even when he was in Kham 7 he was renowned as a yogin.
Jigten Sumgon realized the practices of Luminosity and Mahamudra (clarity and emptiness), and in his sleep visited the Arakta Padmai Buddha-field. From the great Ra-Dreng Gom-Chen he learned all the teachings of the Khadampa 8 tradition. From Lama Lhopa Dorje Nyingpo, he received the teachings of Guhyasamaja and others. Once, when there was a drought in Kham, he took the food that was offered to him and distributed it to those who were starving, thus saved many lives.
Many important people began to approach Jigten Sumgon for teachings. One, Gonda Pandita, who came from Central Tibet, told him about Phagmo Drupa. Just by hearing the name of Phagmo Drupa, Jigten Sumgon's mind was moved like the leaves of a kengshu tress are moved by the wind. With great hardship, he traveled from Kham to Central Tibet. A rainbow stretched the entire length of his journey, and the Protector, Dorje Lekpa, took the forms of a rabbit and a child, thus attending him and looking after his needs. Coming to the dangerous, rocky path of Kyere, he found a natural formation of the six-syllable mantra 9 transformed itself into a vision of the face of Phagmo Drupa.
Jigten Sumgon traveled day and night. On the way, he met a woman and man who said, "We have come from Phagmo Dru." Seeing them as the guru's emanations, he prostrated. Arriving at the Phagdru Monastery at midnight, he was invited inside by a Khampa 10 . When he met Phagmo Drupa, the Guru said, "Now all of my disciples are present. " Jigten Sumgon then offered his teacher a bolt of silk, a bolt of cloth, and his horse - but Phagmo Drupa refused the horse, explaining that he did not accept offerings of animals. Jigten Sumgon also offered a bag of food, and Phagmo Drupa used it to perform a feast-offering to Chakrasamvara. Then Phagmo Drupa gave Jigten Sumgon the Two-Fold Bodhisattva Vow and the name Bodhisattva Ratna Shri. 11 As one vessel fills another, Phagmo Drupa gave Jigten Sumgon all the teachings of sutra and tantra.
At that time, there lived a woman who was an emanation of Vajrayogini. Phagmo Drupa suggested to Taklung Thangpa 12 that he stay with her; but Taklung Thangpa, not wishing to give up his monk's vows, refused, and because of that the emanation passed away. Another disciple, Lingje Repa 13 then fashioned a cup from the woman's skull. This made him late for the assembly, and the food offerings had already been distributed by the time he got there. Taking the skull-cup, he circulated among the monks, receiving offerings of food from each. The monks gave only small portions, but Phagmo Drupa gave a large amount, filling the skull-cup completely, and Jigten Sumgon gave even more, forming a mound of food which covered the skull-cap like an umbrella. Lingje Repa then walked again through the assembly, and as he walked he spontaneously composed and sang a song of praise in twenty verses. Finally, he stopped in front of Jigten Sumgon, offering the food - and the song - to him. From this time onwards, Jigten Sumgon was recognized as Phagmo Drupa's Chief Disciple.
One day, Phagmo Drupa wanted to see if any special signs would arise concerning his three closest disciples, and he gave each of them a foot of red cloth with which to make a meditation hat. Taklung Thangpa used only what he was given. Lingje Repa added a piece of cotton cloth to the front of his hat, and Jigten Sumgon added a second foot of cloth to his, making it much larger. This was considered very auspicious. On another occasion, Phagmo Drupa called Jigten Sumgon and Taklung Thangpa and said,"I think that the Tsangpo River is overflowing today. Please go and see." Both disciples saw the river following its normal course, and returned; but Jigten Sumgon, thinking there was some purpose in guru's question, told him, "The river has overflowed, and Central Tibet and Kham are now both under water." This foretold the flourishing of Jigten Sumgon's activities, and he became known as a Master of Interdependent Origination. 14
At this time, in accordance with the predictions made by Phagmo Drupa, Jigten Sumgon still held only the vows of an Upasaka. One day, Phagmo Drupa asked him to remain behind after the assembly and instructed him in the seven-point 15 posture of Vairochana. Touching him on his head, throat, and heart centers, he said, "OM, AH HUNG" three times and told him, "You will be a great meditator, and for this I rejoice.".
Jigten Sumgon attended Phagmo Drupa for two years and six months. During that time, he received all of his guru's teachings and was told that he would be his successor. At the time of Phagmo Drupa's parinirvana, a radiant five-pronged golden vajra emanated from his heart-center and dissolved into the heart-center of Jigten Sumgon, this being seen by all the other disciples. Jigten Sumgon then gave all his belongings to benefit the monastery and to help build a large memorial stupa for his guru.
After this, he met many other teachers. From Dakpo Gomtsul 16 he received the Four Yogas of Mahamudra. A patroness then promised him provisions for three years and Jigten Sumgon, earnestly wishing to practice the teachings he had received, retired to the Echung cave to meditate. In those three years, he gained a rough understanding of the outer, inner, and secret aspects of interdependent origination. He then realized that the cause of wandering in samsara is the difficulty prana has in entering the avadhuti, and hence practicing on prana, saw many buddhas and bodhisattvas face-to-face, and had visions of his mind purifying the six realms. 17 Then he went on a pilgrimage to Phagmo Dru and other holy places.
On his return to Echung Cave, he meditated with one-pointed mind. In the same way that maras arose as obstacles to Lord Buddha at the time of his enlightenment, and Tsering Chenga and others tried to hinder Milarepa; the final fruition of Jigten Sumgon's karma arose, and he contracted leprosy. Becoming intensely depressed, he thought, "Now, I should die in this solitary place and transfer my consciousness." He prostrated to an image of Avalokiteshvara that had been blessed many times by Phagmo Drupa. At the first prostration, he thought, "Among sentient beings, I am the worst. "At the second, he thought, "I have all the teachings of my guru, including the instructions of bardo and the transference of consciousness, and need have no fear of death." Then, remembering that other beings didn't have these teachings, strong compassion arose in him. In that state of mind, he sat down and generated compassionate thoughts towards others. His sickness left him, like clouds blown away from the sun, and at that moment he attained Buddhahood. He had practiced at the Echung Cave for seven years.
Shortly after this, he had a vision of the Seven Taras. Because he had a full understanding of interdependent origination, and realized the unity of discipline (shila) and Mahamudra, he took the vows of a fully-ordained monk. From this time, Jigten Sumgon did not eat meat. As he had already been named by Phagmo Drupa as his successor, the chief monks of his guru's monastery invited him to return.
After taking the abbot's seat at the monastery, Jigten Sumgon insisted on a strict observance of monastic discipline. One day, some monks said," We are 'nephews' of Milarepa and should be allowed to drink chang ." Saying this, they drank. When Jigten Sumgon counseled them, they replied, "You yourself should keep the discipline of not harming others." Phagmo Drupa then appeared in a vision to Jigten Sumgon and said to him, "Leave this old, silken seat and go to the north. There you will benefit many sentient beings."
Jigten Sumgon went north, and on the way, at Nyenchen Thanglha, he was greeted by the protector of that place. At Namra, a spirit-king and his retinue took the Upasaka vow from him, and Jigten Sumgon left one of his foot-prints behind for them as an object of devotion. He gave meditation instruction to vultures flying overhead, and they practiced according to those teachings. Once, at a word from Jigten Sumgon, a horse returned to him that was running away. He also sent an emanation of himself to pacify a war in Bodhgaya 18 begun by the Duruka tribesmen.
On another occasion, at Dam, he gave teachings and received many offerings. At the end of a day which had seemed very long, he told the crowd, "Now go immediately to your homes," and suddenly it was just before dawn of the next day. To finish his talk Jigten Sumgon had stopped the sun. When he was at Namra Mountain, Brahma, the king of the gods, requested the vast and profound teachings. On the way to Drikung, the great god Bar-Lha received him. The children of Jenthang built a throne for him, and from which instructed the people of that town. Even the water, which has no mind, listened to his teachings and made the sound, Nagarjuna.
Then he came to Drikung Thel. In his thirty-seventh year, he established Drikung Jang-Chub Ling, the largest monastery and the main seat of the Drikungpa Kagyupa in Tibet and appointed Pon Gompa Dorje Senge as supervisor for the construction of the monastery. Many monks gathered there and enjoyed the rainfall of the profound dharma.
In Tibet, there are nine great protectors of the dharma. Among them, Barlha, Sogra, Chuphen Luwang, Terdrom Menmo, and Namgyal Karpo bowed down at Jigten Sumgon's feet, took the Upasaka vow, and promised to protect the teachings and practitioners of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage.
At one time, water was very scarce in Drikung, and in order to relieve the situation, Jigten Sumgon gave 108 turquoise to his attendant, Rinchen Drak, with instructions to hide them in various places. Rinchen Drak hid all but one, which he kept for himself and put in his robe. The turquoises that were hidden became sources of water, and the one he kept turned into a frog. Startled, he threw it away, and in falling it became blind in one eye. Where the frog landed, a stream arose which was called Chumik Shara. Most of these streams were dried up by fire when Drikung Thel was destroyed during the middle of the fourteenth century, but some still remain.
On the new and full moon each month, Jigten Sumgon and his monks observed a purification ceremony called Sojong. Once when some monks arrived late and Jigten Sumgon decided to discontinue the practice, but Brahma requested him to maintain that tradition, and he agreed.
Jigten Sumgon continued to look after Densa Thel, his old monastery. He also visited Dakla Gampo, the monastery of Gampopa. From Gampopa's image inside the monastery, light rays streamed forth, merging inseparably with Jigten Sumgon and he attained both the ordinary and the extraordinary siddis of the Treasure of Space. Once, the dakinis of the Tsari came bringing the Dakpar Shri, an assembly of 2,800 yidams on a net of horse-hair and presented them to him. In the memory of Phagmo Drupa, he built an auspicious stupa of many doors and placed the 2,800 yidams inside, with a door for each one of them. From this there came down the tradition of building stupas in this way. In a vision, he met with Ananda 19 and discussed the teachings.
Once, Lama Shang 20 said, "This year, the dakinis of Oddiyana will come to invite me and the great Drikungpa to join them. He is a master of interdependent origination and won't have to go there, but I should go." Soon after this, the dakinis came for him and he passed away; but when they came to invite Jigten Sumgon, he refused, and the dakinis changed their prayer of invitation into a supplication for the guru's longevity. Then all the dakas and dakinis made offerings to him and promised to guide his disciples.
Jigten Sumgon had many important disciples, among them: the two Chengas 21 , the Great Abbot Gurawa, Nyo Gyalwa Lhanangpa 22 , Gar Choding, Palchen Choye, Drubtob Nyaske, the two Tsang-tsangs, and others. These were the leaders of the philosophers. The Vinaya-holders were Thakma Dulzin, Dakpo Duldzin, and others. The Kadampa Geshes were Kyo Dorje Nyingpo and others. The translators were Nup, Phakpa, and others. The leaders of the tantrikas were Tre, Ngok, and others. The leaders of the yogins were Dudsi, Belpo, and others. Whenever Jigten Sumgon taught, rainbows appeared and gods rained flowers from the sky. Machen Pomra and other Protectors listened to his teachings, and the kings of Tibet, India, and China were greatly devoted to him. By this time, Jigten Sumgon had 55,525 followers. To feed this ocean of disciples, Matro, the King of the Nagas and the source of all the wealth of Jambudvipa, became the patron of the monastery
Near Drikung Thel there was a rock called "Lion-Shoulder", which Jigten Sumgon saw as the mandala of Chakrasamvara. He established a monastery there and, to spread the teachings thus benefiting all sentient beings, he built another Auspicious Stupa of Many Doors, using a special method. At this time he also repaired the Samye monastery.
The Chakrasamvara of Five Deities was Jigten Sumgon's main yidam practice and he manifested at times in that form in order to train the more difficult disciples. When a war began in Minyak, in eastern Tibet, he protected the people there through his miracle powers. The number of his disciples increased to 70,000. Many of the most intelligent of these attained enlightenment in one lifetime, while those of lesser intelligence attained various bhumis, and everyone else realized, at least the nature of his or her own mind.
In one of the predictions about Jigten Sumgon, it was said,
Suggestions and or comments will be cheerfully accepted by Webmaster@drikung.org