Thursday, April 6, 2017

A brief account of Tsakaling Lineage: A pull-out from Drukgi Nyorab by Zhingsheg Aku Lama

In hope to benefit kins in understanding their blood and bone…

Pic Curtsy: Acho Dasho Sherab Gyeltshen's Facebook
Tsakaling Chojee, a religious nobility was established by Lama Tenzin, a spiritual figure of the Yonphu Chojee started by Lama Jampel Norbu.  While Lama Jampel was said to have practiced Peling tradition, it was not clear of his family lineage according to Dasho Lama Sangnga. However, he also states that going by what is stated on a hand written catalog belonging to  Kurtoed Lugchu Chojee, Lama Jamphel was a descendent of of Pema Lingpa, while Chabje Dudjom Jigdrel Yeshey Dorji has said that Younphula Choejee belong to the lineage of Terton Ratna Lingpa. Lam Sangnga also mentions that there are others who attribute Yonphu Chojee to the Lineage of Dorji Lingpa, while we do not know Yonphu's own historical narrative on this matter. 

After Lama Jamphel Norbu, the next Yonphula Chojey was Choewang Lhendup, followed by his son Yeshey Gyalpo who had two sons, Gawa and Tenzin. Younger Tenzin a highly realized spiritual figure of the time established the Taskaling as requested by two local rulers then. As Lama Tenzin was looking for a place to establish his monastic seat, his hat stuck on a thorn of a plant in an area, which he took as an indication and made a decision to establish his seat in the same area. The place gradually came to be known as Tsakaling, meaning the hat and the Taskaling Chojee emerged from this establishment in a form of hereditary incumbency of the decedents of Lama Tenzin.

Lama Tenzin was married to one of the local ruler Nyartse Poenchen Nima’s daughter from whom the second Tsakaling Chojee Choewang Dargye was born.  Chojee Choewang's son the third Tsakaling Chojee Ugyen Drukgyel who was credited to have subdued an evil serpent at Autsho in Lhuentse had only a daughter and no son. Therefore, the male heir of the lineage of Yonphula at Tsakaling seemingly ended with him. The Chojee then sends his people to get a son of Tamzhing Chojee of his time in marriage to his daughter to sustain the establishment.

The Choejee sends one of his Auzey, the cymbal master accompanied by two gomchens or the lay students to Bumthang Tamzhing with a directive. He reminds them that, as they enter the Tamzhing courtyard, the youngest of the five siblings of Tamzhing Choejey will be in the courtyard sharpening his knife and he is the destined man for Tsakaling establishment which should be approached with the proposal for marriage. He assures that the boy's parents will have no objection to the proposal.

As told by the Choejee, when the three entered the courtyard of Tamzhing, they found the youngest son of the family has just stood up from his seat having finished sharpening his knife but washing the sharpener stone. He was named Lhasey Doshel Samdrup for this significant coincidence and his role in sustaining the Tsakaling establishment. Lhasey, because he is a son of Pema Lingpa’s lineage of Nyo clan which is believed to have its origin to celestial abode; Doshel, as he was found washing the stone when the messengers arrived for him and Samdrup, because the wish of Tsakaling establishment is fulfilled through him.

One day when Chojee Lhasey Doshel Samdrup was in retreat, a bird chirped with the sound Bodhisattva (བོ་དྷི་སཏྭ) for three times after which news came in that his consort gave birth to a son. He named his son Bodhisattva. The next in line, Chojee Bodhisattva had two sons. The younger one known as Mugpo La was said to have become Jakar Dzongpon for once and the elder Pema Chojey became the seat holder after their father. He was well known for various miraculous actions including the well-known story of throwing out a pot of porridge in anger, which did not break even after having thrown out of the window of the three-storied house into the courtyard of the stone slabs.

Pema Chojey had a son Tenzin Dhondup who took the seat after him and he had two sons. The younger Kencho was said to have become Jangphu Drungpa after pursuing a life of an attendant at the civil system, which was the grandfather of Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen’s late mother Nima Yangchen Zomba or better known as Yangchen Zomba, the wife of  Zhingsheg Dasho Lama Sangnga the author of the mirror of Nyo lineage of Bhutan.

The elder Chojee Sangay Choedrag Gyatsho alsia Lama Tazig became the next in line for the Tsakaling to hold on their father's seat. He was one of the seven students of Dasho Lama Sangnga’s father Sumtrhang Drag Rinpoche, regarded as a disciple with the equivalent achievement of service as the master. It was said that, a sound of trumphet (dung) was heard in the sky for three times during his cremation signifying his accomplishment in his practice. His sons were also among some accomplished students of Drag Rinpoche. 

Lama Tagzig was married to Tshewang Palmo of Bumthang Shingkhar Chojee with whom he had three children. Youngest a daughter known as Dolma was married to Ura Tarshong Chugpo Yeshey Wangdi and the second sibling Lama Minjur was also an accomplished student of Drag Rinpoche.

The eldest Damchoe Lhendup alias Sangay Tenzin, which is counted among one of the 6 students of Sumthrang Drag Rinpoche accomplished in meditation with miraculous signs became the next in line at Tsakaling. He was Married to Ashi Rigzin Tshomo of Kurtoed Ladrong Lama family, a descendant of Phajo Drugom Zhigpo. They had two daughters and two sons.

Youngest, a son known as Lama Kinzang Longdroel, who was believed to be the reincarnation of their grandfather Lama Tagzig was married to Yeshey Wangmo of Sumthrang’s Nyo lineage and they have a son and two daughters. The elder son Lama Chonyid Dorji was married to Tshering from Kurtoed Wawel, yet another descendants of Nyo lineage and has four sons and a daughter.

Elder Sister, Pema Lhazin was married to Kham Mingayag Trulku from whom she had three sons and three daughters. The Younger sister was Dechen Tshomo, about whom I do not know.

Note: This is a brief pull-out from Late Aku Dasho Lama Sangnga’s benevolent work of Drukgi Nyorab 1983, the genealogical account of Nyo lineage in Bhutan. Nyo is a clan originated in Tibet and in Bhutan Nyo lineage came through the only son of Nyo Gyelwa Lhangpa, a vajrakyila practitioner Nyoton Trulzhig Chojee.

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