Yum Namgyal Drolma


Yum Namgyal Drolma was a Dakini in human form, and the mother of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and Tulku Palden, the reincarnation of Gyalwa Phakpa Lha. She was a direct descendant of the fifteen-century treasure revealer Rathna Lingpa, whose treasure teachings are widely practiced in all parts of Pemaköd, as well as in many major monasteries of Nyingma lineage.

H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche's father, known as Tulku Jampel Norbu or Khengen Tulku, was a great spiritual master and a descendant of King Kanam. Many Dakinis visited Khengen Tulku frequently, and offered prophecies that he must go to Pemaköd. Gyalwa Phakpa Lha also gave him clear guidance on the specific location where he should go in Pemaköd, in order to encounter a dakini who was predestined for him. Gyalwa Phakpa Lha was an itinerant yogi who visited and practiced in different part of Pemaköd. Notably, he was one of the first to visit lower Pemaköd, where he built a stupa at Garuda's holy site near Tuting. Ruins of this stupa are still found at the site.

Following the Dakinis' prophecies and the lama's guidance, Tulku Jampel Norbu arrived at Nang in Terkong, present day Upper Pemaköd. There, he encountered the sixteen year old Dakini named Namgyal Dolma, from the family line of Ratna Lingpa. This encounter brought many auspicious omens of great benefits to Pemaköd and beyond, for generations to come.

The time had arrived for Jampel Norbu to build a temple with help of the Dakini Namgyal Dolma in order to fulfill the predictions he had received in vision from the many dakinis. After choosing a building location for the temple, there wasn't any stone suitable for the building. So Jampel Norbu and Namgyal Drolma did many prayers for the blessings of the three roots and for help from the local gardians. In doing so, Jampel Norbu received complete prophecies on the building of the temple. On an auspicious day, Jampel Norbu said to his disciples, "Today, I am going to reveal a treasury of stone, but I will need the assistance of a man named Stone. It was clear to everyone that this statement referred to Dorje Dragpa (In Tibetan, the “Do” means "stone" or "rock").
Dorje Dragpa, Tulku Orgyen's great-grandfather, was a vitally important figure throughout all of Pemaköd in general, and Lower Pemaköd in particular.

So Dorje Dragpa was invited to the site, where he performed various pujas, including fire offerings pacifying the local deities and so forth. As all prerequisite prayers were completed, Jampel Norbu finally turned to Dorje Dragpa and asked him to dig up the ground on the chosen temple location. As Dorje Dragpa broke ground with only a few strikes in the dirt, to the amazement of all gathered there, an abundance of rocks of different sizes began to emerge from beneath the ground. It was as if all had been prepared for the temple long ago, but had waited, concealed under the earth, until now. Thereafter, with those rocks as the building blocks of the temple, the construction finally began. As predicted by the Dakinis, all the auspicious conditions had assembled, for the sacred Dudjom lineage to flourish in the Hidden Land of Pemaköd for the first time.

Yum Namgyal Drolma gave birth to her first son amidst innumerable auspicious signs. After three years, all the students of Dudjom Lingpa arrived in Pemaköd, led by Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo, recognized her son as the unmistaken immediate reincarnation of the their master Dudjom Lingpa. He was given the name Dudjom Jigdrel Yeshe Dorje, and the rest of the history unfolds from there.

Yum Namgyal Drolma gave birth to a second son named Tulku Palden Rinpoche, who was the reincarnation of another great master named Gyalwa Phakpa Lha. Yum Namgyal Drolma recalled a prophetic dream she had, saying, “In my dream I found two conches with the most beautiful color and shape, perfect in every way, only one was slightly bigger than the other. As I tried to blow each conch, the sound of the larger went in all directions, yet as I blew the second one, the sound did not go very far.” Clearly, the first conch represented His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, whose enlightened activities have reached in all directions, and the second one symbolized Tulku Palden, who did live long enough to complete his Dharma activities. Tulku Palden's immediate reincarnation was the elder brother of Tulku Orgyen's father, Lama Rigdzin P'huntsok.

The reincarnation of Tulku Palden was born amidst the signs of a great being, in the village of Yuri Gon in the upper Powo region. At a very young age, to the surpise of many, he displayed amazing qualities, yet everyone kept them secret. At some point, His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche was invited to Yuri Gon monastery to bestow the empowerments and transmissions of Rinchen Terzod, “Treasury of Precious Termas." While the Terdzod empowerments were still occurring, His Holiness recognized the young boy as the immediate reincarnation of his beloved younger brother, Tulku Palden Rinpoche. After his recognition, he was enthroned by His Holiness amidst the thousands of devotees in Yuri Gon monastery. Lama Rigdin Phuntsok recalls seeing the ritual performance for his elder brother, led by His Holiness and assisted by Phulung Garwang Sangay Dorje, who was carrying the ceremonial substances and giving them to the young Tulku.

At the enthronement ceremony, His Holiness offered the complete representations of wisdom body, speech, and mind, along with many other offerings, to the young Tulku. Among the offerings made to Palden Tulku were two precious statues: one of Shakyamuni Buddha and one of Arya Tara. Lama Rigdzin Phuntsok later inherited them both, which he still cherishes in great devotion on his personal altar.

His Holiness later took Tulku Palden to Kongpo Buchu, His Holiness's main seat in Kongpo in the southern region of Tibet. There, Tulku Palden was educated in many fields of study. However, to the dismay of many, this Tulku also entered into nirvana at a young age. Later, there were a few possible reincarnations who displayed wonderful qualities, but a formal recognition was never made.

(Lama Rigdzin P'huntsok, Tulku Orgyen's father)
Despite the short life span of Palden Tulku, his younger brother Lama Rigzin Phuntsok was always held in the close compassionate attention of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche. Due to their connection, Lama Rigdzin Phuntsok become a close disciple of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and of Togden Kunzang Longdrol. In the realm of pure samaya and profound connections, Lama is presently the main resident vajra master of Deden Tashi Chöling temple which contains many precious objects related to His Holiness and the one who gives spiritual guidance to all retreatants on the retreat Land, Thegchok Osel Chöling. In the present day, Lama Rigdzin Phuntsok remains the most respected lama in lower Pemaköd, and as such is entrusted with making sure that the authentic Dudjom lineage continues in the hidden land of Pemaköd, the much beloved sacred land of Dudjom Lingpa and the very birth place of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche himself.

In 1959, during the political turmoil in Tibet, the tantrika sangha members, led by Togden Kunzang Longrol, relocated from Upper Pemaköd to the safety of Lower Pemaköd. At the same time, Yum Namgyal Drolma's physical remains were transported with the refugees to Pemaköd, along with other sacred objects. Despite many hardships, the tantrika sangha members finally arrived, and at the temple of Deden Tashi Chöling, Tokden Kunzang Longdrol built the stupa that would contain Yum Namgyal Drolma's relics. The stupa has been enshrined in the temple ever since.

Togden considered this reliquary stupa to be significantly relevant in the holy land of the Dakini Vajravarahi, and complimentary to the other sacred objects related to the Dudjom lineage that are housed in the temple. More importantly, the blessings of Yum Namgyal Drolma, the dakini in human form, are accessible at this temple, to all who engage in the practice of the Wisdom Dakini, for generations to come. Since the creation of the stupa, on the 25th day of every lunar month, extensive Dakini tsog offerings have been performed, through either the sadhana of Troma Nagmo's Chöd or Yeshe Tsogyal's Khandro T'hugt'hik. Thus, the aspiration to be in a single mandala came true for all tantrika sangha members as they resumed their group practices in the temple under the direction of Togden.

Today, extensive tsok offerings are still made on every Dakini day, led by Lama Rigdzin Phuntsok, the yogis and yoginis in long-term retreat, and other practitioners, in the very temple holding the reliquary stupa of Yum Namgyal Drolma. Many practitioners now view the opportunity to do dakini practice in the presence of the stupa as a great fortune, indeed.

For the benefit of all sentient beings in this degenerate age, may the precious Dudjom lineage always continue at this magnificent temple, in the sacred land of Pemaköd, the land so cherished by generations of great masters of the Dudjom lineage.

May All Beings Benefit!

Yum Namgyal Drolma Relic Stupa

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