Wylie:Rje rang byung rdo rjes mdzad pa'i gdon tshogs dgu ma sa bdag drug sbyor dang mi bskyod rdo rjes mdzad pa'o gdan thog gcig ma gcod tshigs bcad ma gnyis gab sprad nas lus sbyin dang bsngo ba po bya tshul bltas chog 'don 'grigs
Rje rang byung rdo rjes mdzad pa'i gdon tshogs dgu ma sa bdag drug sbyor dang...
The Body Donation and Feeding Ritual Arranged as Convenient Liturgy, Combining Lord Rangjung Dorje’s Ninefold Spirit Feast and Six Earth Lord Application with Mikyö Dorje’s Single Seat Severance Poem
Karma Chakme, also known as Rāga Asya (1613–1678), cobbled together this ritual liturgy from writings attributed to Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284–1339) and Karmapa Mikyö Dorje (1507–1554). With some three hundred years of Karma Kagyu Severance masters behind him, the great Kamtsang master was free to borrow what he needed to form this practice, which he geared toward a healing ritual. Although such borrowing is widespread throughout Tibetan literature, it seems to be particularly common in the Severance tradition, whose prayers and liturgies would get recycled to align with the various traditions into which they were absorbed.
In this text, Mikyö Dorje’s “poem” comes first. This is available in several other editions—for example, in a collection of recitation texts from Palpung Monastery (seat of the Karma Kagyu Tai Situ incarnations in Kham), where it is called simply Profound Severance Guide (gCod khrid zab mo). All the liturgical sections in the first five pages in our text are from Mikyö Dorje, with Karma Chakme dividing it into parts and adding useful descriptions and instructions. The poem is reproduced accurately, with one notable exception: wherever Mikyö Dorje has the name of his own guru, Sangye Nyenpa (Sangs rgyas mnyan pa, 1445/57–1510/25), Karma Chakme has substituted the name of the Second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi (1204–1283). Perhaps Karma Chakme preferred to identify the source of the lineage as the great master of the early days of the Karma Kagyu so that it would be more widely relevant and familiar to future practitioners. Karma Pakshi is legendary, though not known as a teacher of Severance.
Karma Chakme then adds a white and a black distribution that he attributes to Könchok Bang, but he renders them into verse to facilitate recitation. In the colophon he further states that these are the only parts of the liturgy that he has tampered with; all other sections remain true to the originals.
If that is so, then the rest of the liturgical sections until almost the end must be from Rangjung Dorje, although a separate text of those practices is not found in his extensive collected works. They are, however, found within many other Severance texts. For example, this Six Earth Lord Application liturgy can be found verbatim in Source of All Qualities in the present volume (see chapter 22), where it is identified as “Lord Rangjung Dorje’s short calling of the pestilent spirits” (gnyan ’bod thung). Most of the Ninefold Spirit Feast is also found in Karma Chakme’s Pearl Rosary (see chapter 21). According to Karma Chakme, the Ninefold Spirit Feast and Six Earth Lord Application are to be done for particularly severe illnesses. Therefore, one visualizes one’s consciousness in the form of the black wrathful ḍākinī Krodhīkālī (Khros ma nag mo) rather than the usual form of Vajravārāhī. He also describes the six and nine sets of spirits (which overlap somewhat) and the specific ailments and problems that are cured by feeding each group. After the dissolution, the text ends with the final prayers again from Mikyö Dorje’s poem, including Karma Chakme’s own pointing-out instructions, which will ultimately liberate the practitioner and the patient together.
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- Karma Chakme et al., Collection of Mandala Rituals from Palpung. dPal spungs dpe rnying gsar bskrun las dkyil chog phyogs bsgrigs. 14 vols. (Upper Bhattu, Himachal Pradesh, India: dPal spung gsung rab nyams gso khang, 2005). TBRC W1G4334.
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Information about Unicode Tibetan and the digitization of this text
As the only available unicode Tibetan text at the time, Nitartha International's version of the Paro Edition of the gdams ngag mdzod is provided here. However, note that it has not been thoroughly edited and that there may also be mistakes introduced through the conversion process. Eventually we will provide a fully edited version of the entire Shechen Edition, entered and edited multiple times by Pulahari Monastery in Nepal, but as of fall 2017 that project has not been finished. Note that the folio numbers that appear throughout were added by Nitartha Input Center at the time of input.