Tag Archives: Dodrupchen

On the Dates of Rogza Sönam Palge

This post is no more than a quick note to provide the dates of Rogza Sönam Palge (rog bza’ bsod nams dpal dge), who is known primarily as a teacher of yogic practices (tsa-lung) to Patrul Rinpoche (1808–1887) and also as one of the gurus of Orgyen Tendzin Norbu (1841–1900). As far as I’m aware, his dates have never appeared in any English-language publication. Indeed, he doesn’t even have an entry on tbrc.org

Matthieu Ricard’s Enlightened Vagabond includes a brief summary (pp. 219–220) of the major facts concerning Sönam Palge’s life, such as how he studied with the First Dodrupchen Jigme Trinle Özer (1745–1821) and later followed Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje (1800–1866) as a Dharma companion.

Continue reading

What’s in a Name?

MañjuśrīAmongst the many things Tibetans inherited from India was a sense that names, when applied to exalted beings, are far more than mere verbal labels aiding identification. Deities’ names capture something of their essence, and reciting them is a form of invocation and praise. Most mantras have names at their heart, and there are whole texts, such as Mañjuśrī–nāma-saṃgīti (Reciting the Names of Mañjuśrī), devoted to lists of alternative names or epithets.

Lamas usually have several names too, and this can obviously lead to some confusion (of the kind already discussed in a previous post). Gene Smith outlined Jamgön Kongtrul’s many names in a lengthy section of his famous introduction to the Treasury of Knowledge (Shes bya mdzod), stating:

One of the greatest problems confronting the would-be bibliographer of Tibetan literature is the plethora of names, titles and epithets by which lamas are known, especially those of the older orders. The case of Kong sprul illustrates this problem especially well. Kong sprul was given seven types of name during his life: childhood name, monastic ordination name, bodhisattva vow name, tantric initiation name, name as a rediscoverer of hidden treasure, name as a grammarian, and finally an incarnation name.[1]

Continue reading