Brief Introduction to the Lineage
The Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism was founded by the great Tibetan teacher and translator Marpa (1012-1097), whose teacher was the Indian Pandita Naropa. Naropa was a disciple of the Mahasiddha Tilopa, who had received the teachings directly from Buddha Vajradhara. Marpa's main disciple was the enlightened yogi Milarepa (1040-1123) and Milarepa transmitted his teachings to Gampopa (1079-1153), whose disciple was Phagmo Drupa (1110-1170). Phagmo Drupa's main disciple was Lord Jigten Sumgon (1143-1217), who was considered to be a reincarnation of Nagarjuna. In 1179 Jigten Sumgon established the great Drikung Thil Monastery in Tibet, which became the main seat of the Drikung Kagyu lineage.
The Drigung Kagyu Lineage is one of the Kagyu lineages which was founded 800 over years ago, by the great spiritual master, Kyoba Jigten Sumgon (Sanskrit; Ratna Shri). All these teachings were transmitted to PhagmoDrupa by Dharma Lord Gampopa. Although Kagyu came from the same root, at that time the Kagyu lineage flourished into several different branches, each carrying the complete teachings and enlightened blessings. Like the wish-fulfilling tree, which comes from the same root, but is divided into different branches, each giving many wonderful blossoms and fruits. Although PhagmoDrupa had hundreds of thousands of disciples, Lord Jigten Sumgon was one of his closest and chief disciples. Phagmo Drupa prophesied that the teachings and blessings would be carried on by a Bodhisattva, (Jigten Sumgon), who already attained the ten Bhumis.
Jigten Sumgon received the complete teachings, secret oral transmissions, explanations and initiations, and enlightened realization blessings, and so forth from Phagmo Drupa. All these enlightened energies, blessings and teachings have been handed down through the great spiritual masters to the present 37th and 36th lineage holders, H.H. Drigung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche and H.H. Drigung Kyabgon Chungtsang. These are among the most precious spiritual masters in the Drigung Kagyu lineage and the direct lineage holder of Jigten Sumgon. Among his disciples, Lord Jigten Sumgon prophesied again and again, "In the future my teachings will flourish by the two Bodhisattvas, who are like the sun and the moon, through their compassion and wisdom." His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche is like the sun. He is the emanation of Chenrezig, the compassionate deity. His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche is like the moon. He is the emanation of Manjushri, the wisdom deity.
Guru Rinpoche to King Mutik Tsenpo (son of King Tsirong Deutsen) to Drigung Tertön Rinchen Phuntsog (17th lineage holder of Drigung Kagyu & YangZab gTerma Revealer) until the present day lineage holders Chokyi Jugne (Present Holiness Chuntsang Rinpoche) and Thinley Lhundrub (Present Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche).
The Yang Zab (The practices of the Very Profound Vision) is regarded as supreme among all the Yanas--it embodies the very essence of the tantric teachings. As a Dzogchen practice, it is unique within the Drigung lineage, as it was revealed by the Drigung Tertön (hidden treasure revealer), Rinchen Phuntsog and he is also the 17th throne holder of the Glorious Drigung Kagyu Order.
During the eighth century, King Trisong Deutsen of Tibet, an emanation of Manjushri, invited Guru Rinpoche to the Land of Snows in order to subdue demonic forces hostile to the Dharma. Having accomplished his wishes and having founded Samye Monastery, the king showed signs of approaching death, and soon passed away. The king's son, Prince Mutik Tsenpo (also known as Sena Lek) became king, and received the Yang Zab empowerments and instructions from Guru Rinpoche.
The youthful king found that his fathers duties were were so numerous that he had little time to practice Dharma. Guru Rinpoche instructed him to put the practice into text form and prepare six copies on durable sheets of gold, turquoise, copper and other materials.
These were then wrapped in precious materials and hidden by Yeshe Tsogyal in Zhoto Terdrom on the limestone massif to the north in the Great Assembly Hall of the Sky Dancers cave (Khandro Tsok Khang Kiri Yang Zong Namkha Phug) located in a towering peak.
The terma was revealed by the Drigung Tertön Rinchen Phuntsog, himself an emanation of King Mutik Tsenpo, during the first half of the sixteenth century. The Yang Zab has been transmitted uninterruptedly down through the Drigung lineage to the present.