Dorje Pakmo - Lineage


The first Dorje Phagmo, Chokyi Dronma, was a princess of the then independent kingdom of Gungthang in southwestern Tibet in the 15th century. She married into the royal family of the principality of Southern Lato that is she married/was married to the prince of southern Lato (La stod lho) defined as a keen supporter of Bonpo practices – but, after the death of her only child, a daughter, she renounced her family and royal status to become a Buddhist nun circa 1442.

She rapidly became famous as a dynamic and inspirational follower, possibly a tantric consort (phyag rgya ma), of three of the outstanding religious tantric masters of the era. She was also recognised as a master in her own right and as the spiritual heir of her main teacher. She contributed to some of the most significant works of art, architecture, and engineering of her time and had seminal influence in the development of printing. Furthermore, she expressed a particular commitment toward women, promoting their education, establishing nunneries, and even creating religious dances that included roles for them. Chokyi Dronma died at the age of thirty-three, leaving a tangible mark on history not only through her own deeds but even more through what happened after her death: her disciples searched for the girl in whom she had reincarnated and thus initiated a line of female incarnations that became the first and most famous in Tibet."

Chokyi Dronma was a leading figure in the Tibetan Bodongpa tradition which gradually waned under Gelugpa rule, but is being gradually restored today. She died at the Manmogang Monastery in Tsari to the southeast of Dakpo, near the Indian border, in 1455. Diemberger also says that had said earlier, 'A skull with special features will come to this sacred place, together with a mountain dweller from Ngari', and thus the prophecy had come true, greatly enhancing the devotion of the Kongpo people."]

According to Diemberger the second Dorje Phagmo was Kunga Sangmo (wylie: Kun dga' bzang mo) (1459–1502).

The ninth Dorje Phagmo -Choying Dechen Tshomo-, for example, became a renowned spiritual master not only for Samding but also for the Nyingma tradition, discovered some terma and died at Samye. Her skull is still preserved and worshipped as a holy relic in the Nyingmapa monastery on the island of Yumbudo in Yamdrok Tso Lake.

In premodern Tibet, the successive incarnations of Dorje Pakmo were treated with royal privilege and, along with the Dalai and Panchen Lamas, (and when they were in Tibet, the Chinese Ambans) were permitted to travel by palanquin or sedan chair. Unlike most other nuns, Dorje Pakmo was allowed to wear her hair long, but was never to sleep lying down – in the day she could sleep sitting up in a chair, but was expected at night to remain in a meditative position.

The 12th Samding Dorje Pakmo Trülku is Dorje Pakmo Dêqên Qoizhoin Rinpoche, who was born in 1942.

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