Anniversary of Shardza Trashi Gyaltsen’s Rainbow Body
RIG-GYAI CHYI-PAL KÜN-CHYEN SHAR-DZA-PA
O, Splendour of the Universe, Omniscient Shardzapa
PHO-CHEN-JA-LÜ WÖ DU DENG NA YANG
You who have gone into the Luminous Rainbow Body of Great Transfer –
DAG-SOG RIG-CHEN SOL-WA-TAB-PA NAM
I and all fortunate followers pray to you:
THUG-JE’E DOR-ME GONG-GYU PHO-PAR DZÖ
Through your compassion, please enable us to enter the unwavering Buddha-Mind!
Translated by Dmitry Ermakov, 2023
Today is the anniversary of the great Bönpo master Shardza Trashi Gyaltsen (Shar-rdza Bkra-shis rgyal-mtshan), who attained Rainbow Body on the 13th day of the 4th month of the Wood Dog Year, 1934.
Shardza Trashi Gyaltsen (1859-1934) was a great Bönpo master and erudite scholar from Dagang, Kham, Eastern Tibet. He became a monk at a young age and throughout his life he received countless teachings, instructions and initiations into numerous lineages and traditions of Bönpo Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen from many illustrious masters of the day. At the age of thirty-four he went into solitude at Yungdrung Hlunpo in Shardza county where he thoroughly practised all he had learned, going on to summarize his understandings and realizations into a clear, coherent system which he passed on through his prolific writings as well as via oral instructions. He had many students, among whom were famous Bönpo tertons such as Sangngag Lingpa, as well as students from other schools of Tibetan Buddhism. At the end of his life, he realized Rainbow Body of Light; some of his students also manifested this highest realization of Dzogchen.
To mark this auspicious anniversary, we are sharing the words of Yongdzin Rinpoche given in Paris 10~10~10, during a teaching weekend on Shardza Rinpoche’s famous text Kun-tu bzang-po’i snying-tig / The Innermost Essence of Kuntu Zangpo, also known in English as Heart Drops of Dharmakaya. Here Rinpoche speaks about the importance of Guru Yoga for understanding Dzogchen:
This knowledge [of Dzogchen] is something very special, you see. We are always talking about how Nature is beyond thinking, beyond thought, yet, when we study in a normal way, everything is learnt by rote. In other words, we learn things using our concentration, our consciousness.
But Nature is beyond consciousness, it is completely the opposite.
Yet still you have to try to know it, and the only way is through the prayer of Guru Yoga; this prayer is very important for having a connection with this special knowledge of Dzogchen. We can only rely on the blessing of the Lineage Masters who transmit this teaching from one to the other in an unbroken lineage. This teaching and its lineage was not created. People didn’t just study in an ordinary way and have some good ideas which they wrote in books. This teaching and lineage started from dharmakaya and have not been broken up until now. The Masters have transmitted these teachings successively one to the next. They kept them strictly without adding anything extra. So Guru Yoga is very important for developing and maintaining this connection.
From: Essential Instructions on the Innermost Essence of Kuntu Zangpo by Shardza Trashi Gyaltsen / ཤར་རྫ་བཀྲ་ཤིས་རྒྱལ་མཚན་གྱིས་མཛད་པའི་ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོའི་སྙིང་ཏིག་གི་དོན་འགྲེལ་བཞུགས་སོ།།སློབ་དཔོན་བསྟན་འཛིན་རྣམ་དག་གིས་ཞལ་ཁྲིད།, Extracted from the Oral Teachings of Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, Paris, 10-10-2010, Transcribed and edited by Carol Ermakovа and Dmitry Ermakov, FPYB, UK 2014, pp. 18-19.
Anyone who has participated in at least 3 Bönpo Dzogchen retreats in person or received transmission and teachings for this text can also order the book YINGRIG DZÖ – The Treasury of the Awareness of the Natural State: The Secret Ornament of Certainty from RESTRICTED BOOKS section of FPYB website.
According to your time, everybody, try to practise. That is my request. Guru Yoga is of paramount importance. This knowledge [of Dzogchen] can only be realized through Guru Yoga, through the blessings we receive from the Lineage Masters who hold this knowledge. Therefore, most importantly, we need to say prayers and have devotion to these Lineage Masters and the Dzogchen View. The Dzogchen View is real, pure dharmakaya which is connected to each being individually, yet still we don’t recognize it, we don’t know or respect it, so then even though it can never be spoilt anywhere in any way, if the individual doesn’t know this precious knowledge by themselves, then this is their fault, it is a problem. That is why you need to practise Guru Yoga and try to practise as much as you could. That is the essence, that is the essential practice of our human life.
Taken from: ཀུན་མཁྱེན་ཤར་རྫ་པ་བཀྲ་ཤིས་རྒྱལ་མཚན་གྱི་གསུང་འབུམ་ལས། དབྱིངས་རིག་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་མཛོད་གསང་བ་ངེས་པའི་རྒྱན།
Omniscient Shardza Trashi Gyaltsen, YINGRIG DZÖ – The Treasury of the Awareness of the Natural State: The Secret Ornament of Certainty. Oral Teachings by YONGDZIN LOPÖN TENZIN NAMDAK RINPOCHE, Buddhas Weg, Siedelsbrunn, Germany, 13 – 17 September 2013. Trnscr. & Ed. Carol Ermakova & Dmitry Ermakov. UK: FPYB, 2015.