History of the Great Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo's Lineage

Khyentse Incarnations



The 1st Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo was a great master of the non-sectarian lineage holder of the Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism (1820-1892).

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo was the emanation of great Bodhisattva Manjushri.  Although he had attained Buddhahood from the very beginning, he still continued to appear in this realm of beings as a Bodhisattva, to liberate the last of the beings from the sufferings of the cyclic existence. As a Bodhisattva, he has performed infinite profound and secret activities for the benefit of sentient beings of all the Worlds.


In India, he emanated as:

Manjushrimitra - the Great Pandita of India,

Vimalamitra - the great pandita from the Five Peaks of Manjushri, Wui Tai Shan, China, (view image)

and Phadhampa Sangye - the great mahasiddha from India.(view image)

In the land of Tibet, there have been various emanations of this bodhisattva that appeared to benefit sentient beings, such as:

Chogyal Trisong Deutsen -Dharma King of Tibet who invited Guru Rinpoche for the establishment of the Vajrayana Buddhism. (view image)

Gyalsay Lhaje Chokdup Gyalpo, one of the first thirteen tertons. (view image)

Longchen Rabjampa was also Khyentse Wangpo’s emanation and a great Nyingmapa lineage holder. (view image)

Je Gampopa, the founder of the Kagyupa lineage and the main principal disciple of Milarepa. (view image)

Jetsun Drakpa Gyaltsen, the founder of the Sakyapa and one of the five great lineage holders. (view image)

Dromtonpa Gyalwai Jungney, the great lineage holder of the old Kadampa and the main disciple of Atisha. (view image)

Thangtong Gyalpo, the great yogi and rime (non-sectarian) master known for building many long iron bridges. (view image)

The Fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso, new Kadampa lineage (Gelugpa) and terton revealer. (view image)

When Jamyang Khyentse was reborn as Gyalsay Lhaje, he reincarnated into 12 different forms, either as great treasure revealers or as tertons. The thirteenth terton was Pema Osel Do Ngag Lingpa or Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo himself, the charioteer of the seven great orders, rime master and crown ornament of all the masters in the land of snow. Khyentse Wangpo could recall all his past lives very clearly Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye also saw Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s past life in his vision and he wrote the prayer to the successive incarnations of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.

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Life Story of The Great Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

Great Yogi Thang Tong Gyalpo prophesied Khyentse Wangpo’s rebirth.

The yogi who is not separate from me,
Who possesses the five qualities
Within seven hundred years will be born
In the middle of Dokham in the year of the iron dragon
In a family of the Nyo Clan son of Ga, holder of tantra.
Possessing the signs and symbols of an iron daka.
Through the blessings of Pema Gyalpo,
He is Dongak Lingpa, the holder of the seven orders.
Through the blessings of Vimalamitra
He is Osel Trulpai Dorje.
Through the blessings of the Lord Manjushri
He is called Chokyi Shenyen.
All these illusory like beings will arise.

Conditions of his birth

He was born near Khyungchen Drak in a family of the Nyo clan from the village of Dilgo in the Terlung Valley of Derge amid wondrous signs, on the fifth day of the sixth month of the iron dragon year of the fourteenth rabjung (1820).  His father was Rinchen Wangyal, administrator of the Derge Palace, and his mother was Sonamtso, from a Mongolian background.

He is entrusted with the teachings of Sutra and Tantra from ManjushrimitraWhen he was a baby he remembered his passed lives, and had visions of six armed Mahakala and Ekajati a female protector who looked over him throughout his life. When he was a young boy he had aspirations to become a monk. His wisdom and supreme intellect was incredible once he started learning. He started reading and writing without difficulty.  When he read texts he could remember the meaning. When he was eight years old he became very sick and had visions of Guru Rinpoche and his consort Yeshe Tsogyal. They gave him a Vajrakila initiation, instructions and blessings.  His obstacles were removed. At the age of 15 by vision he visited Bodhgaya Stupa with nine stories. He went up to the eighth floor where Manjushrimitra was surrounded by many texts. Khyentse Wangpo showed great respect and supplicated for teachings. Manjushrimitra then reached for a book to his left and placed it on Khyentse Wangpo’s head. This gave him the transmission of all the sutras.  Then again Manjushrimitra reached to a book on his right and placing it on Khyentse Wangpo’s head gave him general secret Vajrayana teachings as well as Dzog Chen Desum, the three parts of Dzogchen. Then Manjushrimitra dissolved into light and merged with Khyentse Wangpo, who then sits in Samadhi. When he comes out of this state he leaves the stupa and sees a fire. Still feeling his own form he moves to the fire where his body burns and he becomes Vimalamitra.

In another vision, in a dream state he received blessings and teachings from Mahasiddha Tangtong Gyalpo. He then wrote a guru yoga practice and special teachings of Drubthop Thugtek, Essence of Mind.

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo received the seven orders (Ka’ Bab Dun) of teachings:

  1. Both the old tantras and the new tantras (Ka’Bab)
  2. He discovered earth treasures (Sa Ter)
  3. He rediscovered many mind treasures that had been discovered by earlier tertons (Yang Ter)
  4. He discovered many mind treasures (Gong Ter)
  5. He remembered treasures from previous lives as terton and siddha (Je Drin)
  6. He discovered many pure vision teachings (Dag Nang)
  7. He received oral transmission teachings (Nyin Gyud) in pure vision from many divinities.

Life Story of The Great Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

The seven orders (Ka’ Bab Dun) of teachings

Guru Rinpoche bestows mind transmission, signs & the 7 orders1) Khyentse Wangpo received the order of both sutra and tantra from Manjushrimitra. (Ka’Bab )

When Khyentse Wangpo was 16 years old, on the 4th month of the10th day early in the morning he had a vision that he visited Ngayab Pema Oh. He saw very beautiful Mountains and clouds and in the middle was Guru Rinpoche surrounded by many Dakinis. Guru Rinpoche gave mind transmission, significant signs and the seven orders. Then Guru Rinpoche dissolved into Khyentse Wangpo and they become inseparable.

2) He discovered many earth treasures (Sa Ter)

At the age of twenty Khyentse Wangpo visited the Red Rock Mountain (Drakmar Denzang).  A wisdom dakini offered a treasure vase containing the practice Unwinding of the Ultimate mind of Chenrezig (Deity of Compassion).  He then traveled to a valley called Dhamsho Nying Drung, where he received the Four Kayas of Guru Yoga practice. There, Nyen Chen Thanglha, a mountain god offered relics of Guru Rinpoche to him.

Golden Naga Offers the golden script at the Turquiose Lake of Si Ngu Tso

At the Turquoise Lake of Si-ngu Tso, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo is offered the golden script of the Magical Net of the Three Roots from the Golden Naga.

Life Story of The Great Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

The seven orders (Ka’ Bab Dun) of teachings

3) He rediscovered many treasures that had been previously discovered by earlier tertons. (Yang Ter)

 and their treasureIn the year of earth female sheep at the age of 21, Guru Rinpoche himself appeared as Terton Sangye Lingpa. He gave Jamyang Khyentse a text and upon opening this Khyentse Wangpo recognized the history of all tertons and their termas. Later the dakinis offered him a golden script containing all of the tertons treasures.  In the same year he visited Mindrol Ling Monastery and received full ordination from Abbot, Rindzen Zangpo. He received two traditions of bodhisattva vows and many other teachings from Sakyapa Dorje Rinchen and Nyor Thartse Khenpo.

Then from the Nyingmapa school, Gyurme Thutop Namgyal from Shechen Monastery, gave him vajrayana vows and Gyudrul Shetro, The Magical Peaceful and Wrathful Deities practice. He spent thirteen years traveling through central, Wu Tsang and eastern Kham, in Tibet searching for gurus. He had one hundred and fifty gurus and received the Eight Chariot Lineage transmission and teachings from them all.


4) He discovered many mind treasures (Gong Ter).
He is entrusted with the heart essence practice of 7 Taras from ManjushriAt the age of twenty-nine, the earth monkey year, in the monkey month, on the10th day (Guru Rinpoche’s Birthday) he performed a feast offering, to Guru Rinpoche. While doing this he saw Guru Rinpoche and received mind treasures and blessings. He traveled to Samye and upon entering he saw the terma statue of Guru Rinpoche. He performed a feast offering and then the statue became Guru Rinpoche. It bestowed blessings, mind treasures and the Secret Practice of Guru Rinpoche. While contemplating The Secret Practise of Guru Rinpoche, he compiled a special Guru Rinpoche practise, Tsokyi NyingThig.

At the age of thirty-five, he practiced White Tara. Tara came to him in a vision and he heard her ten syllable mantra. With her blessings he compiled a special White Tara text, Phagme Nyingthig Yishin Khorlo.

Life Story of The Great Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

The seven orders (Ka’ Bab Dun) of teachings

5) He rediscovered many treasures by remembering his previous lives as terton and siddhas and their treasures. (Je Drin)
He remembers his life as Chetsun Singha who attained rainbow bodyKhyentse Wangpo then visited central Tibet, Tsang Wo Yuk. While there he remembered his previous life as Chetsun Singha Shora who attained rainbow body. He remembered his teachings and then wrote Chetsun Nyingthig practice.

In a vision he received the six doctrines of Naropa from marpa Lotsawa at BodhgayaAfter this he also remembered his previous life as Langdro Lotsawa Konckog Jung Nai, who was a terton and wrote the long life practice Tsedrup Bero Thugtig.

He also wrote the Lion Face Daikini practice of taking the essence of the five elements, Choelin, and remained in good health and achieved the attainment of long life.

He received Shagkpa Kagyud teachings from Khunpo NaljorHe received Lamdrey & Vajrakilaya from Sachen LamaHe received direct teachings from Manjushri at Sachen CaveFrom a thangka of Atisha he received the Kadampa doctrine

6) He discovered many pure vision teachings (Dag Nang).
He received many pure vision teachings such as Tse Yum Tsendra Lei practice, which is Amitayu with consort Tsendra Lei in yab yum. He received a guru yoga practice of Longchenpa, called the Seal of Bindu in a vision, Chogyur Lingpa’s Three Kayas of Guru Yoga practice, and in vision of Marpa Lotsawa in Bodh-gaya received the transmission of the six doctrines of Naropa.

7) He received the secret ear whispered transmission teachings in pure vision, from many divinities. (Nyin Gyud)
When he visited Dzong Shod Desheg Duspa, he had a pure vision of Dejed Tsekpa, a stupa.  There nine Guru Rinpoche’s appeared in the cardinal points and gave the transmission of Drup Chen Ka Gyad and the Magical Net of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities. On completion he wrote the nyin gyud texts.

His Dharma Activities include:

  • He made 2000 copper and gold gilt statues, and 40 volumes of wood block scriptures
  • He had over 2000 texts hand written
  • He had over 100 stupas made
  • In his life he had 13 monasteries built many as shrines and temples to house his works.
  • He financially supported all his monks, nuns and yogis.
  • He spent a total of 13 years in retreat.

Life Story of The Great Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

His Entering into Parinirvana

At the age of seventy-three, in the beginning of the first month of the Water Dragon year (1892), he said that he kept seeing Amitabha Buddha in the midst of an ocean of disciples.

Then in the morning of the twenty-first of the second month, he washed his hands and said, “All my work is completed.”  Then, uttering many prayers of auspiciousness, he threw grain flowers which were a sign of completion. Later that day, he was withdrawn into the expanse of the Enlightened mind of Vimalamitra. In the surrounding land, there were mild earthquakes. Even after death, his face looked radiant like the face of the moon.  His body became very light as if it were made of cotton.

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo predicted his future life before entering into parinirvana. ”During my practice of Vimalamitra guru yoga, my life will end immediately. Basic emanation is at the Five Peaks of Manjushri, a holy place. There Pandita Vimalamitra and my heart will dissolve in his heart. Again from which five emanations of body, speech, mind, qualities and activities emanated simultaneously to benefit non-sectarian schools of the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition”. 

Life Story of The Great Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

His Main Disciples of the Four Schools of Tibet are as follows:

Among the Nyingmapas, they were:

  • Terton Chokgyur Lingpa who was both his Guru as well as his disciple,
  • Adzom Drukpa,
  • Ju Mipham Namgyal,
  • Terton Lerab Lingpa,
  • Third Shechen Gyaltsap,
  • Fifth Dzogchen Thupten Chokyi Dorje and
  • Second Kathok Situ Chokyi Gyatso.

Among the Sakyapas, they were:

  • Sakya Dakchen,
  • Kun-ga Tenzin of Ngor,
  • Thartse Zhaptrung,
  • Zhalu Losal Tenkyong and
  • Ngor Thartse Ponlop Loter Wangpo (1847-1914).

Among the Kagyupas, they were:

  • Samding Dorje Phagmo,
  • The Fourteenth Karmapa,
  • The Fifteenth Karmapa,
  • Situ Pema Nyinje (1774-1853) and
  • The Great Jamgon Kongtrul Yonten Gyatso who was both his Guru as well as his disciple (1813-1899).

Among the Gelugpas, they were:

  • Konchok Tenpa Rabgye of Amdo Tashi Khyil,
  • Hor Khangsar Kyabgon and
  • Lithang Jampa Phuntsok.

Life Story of The Great Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

His Manifestations

Khyentse Wangpo manifested many incarnations simultaneously, they included:

    The late Khyentse Chokyi LodroBeru Khyentse speech incarnation

     Beru Khyentse with 3rd Dzongsar Khyentse.

  1. Body emanation - Chokyi Wangpo (1894 - 1909) the first Dzongsat Khyentse
  2. Speech emanation - Karma Khyentse Ozer (1896-1945) of Palpung Beru Khyentse
  3. Mind emanation - Guru Tsewang of Dzogchen Khyentse
  4. Quality emanation - Kunzang Drodul Dorje (1897-1946) of Dza Palme Khyentse
  5. Activity emanation - Chokyi Lodro (1893-1959) of Kathok Khyentse (Second Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro) after the death of Dzongsar Khyentse Choyki Wangpo at a very young age.  Kathok Khyentse moved to Dzongsar Monastery, the seat of the previous Khyentse Wangpo, and since then Kathok Khyentse became known as the (Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro).

Dilgo Khyentse Tashi Paljor (1910-1991) of Shechen Khyentse Dilgo family was an emanation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. He was directly recognized by Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro and many other lamas and masters.

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