Do Khyentsé Yeshé Dorjé’s Visionary Journey to Zangdok Palri

Every Guru Rinpoche day for the last 12 years or so, Phakchok Rinpoche has been sending out letters to remind his students to be mindful, and to bring them back on the path.

Rinpoche already has begun to cover the visionary journeys of great practitioners to Copper-Colored Mountain (check out News for past stories), and Nekhor continues to share these Guru Rinpoche day messages. This, the sixth of the year’s series, recounts Do Khyentsé Yeshé Dorjé’s journey to Copper-Colored Mountain:

Dear friends near and far,

First off, I hope you all are keeping healthy and in a happy state of mind.

Today I would like to share with you the story of Do Khyentsé Yeshé Dorjé’s (1800-66) visionary journey to Zangdok Palri. Do Khyentsé was a visionary master of the Nyingma lineage, and the reincarnation of Rikdzin Jigmé Lingpa, the founder of the Longchen Nyingtik tradition.

Do Khyentsé once remained in a death-like experience for over two weeks, during which he traveled to many realms, before returning to life once again. During this time, he traveled to Chamara, the island of rakshas, and reached the Palace of Lotus Light, vast and magnificent. In the center of the main hall on the ground floor was a throne made of raksha bodies, upon which sat Guru Rinpoché appearing as Raksha Tötreng Tsal, wrathful tamer of rakshas. Upon seeing his awesome form, Do Khyentsé was overpowered and fainted. When he regained consciousness, he saw the wrathful congregation enjoying a human body as a feast gathering, and felt that this body was his own. Beside it, he saw his sister’s body likewise being enjoyed as a feast, and felt unbearable love and sadness at her disappearance. These performances purified Do Khyentsé’s womb obscurations and residual attachment to his physical body.

Do Khyentsé then felt himself float up the crystal staircase to the main floor of the palace, as he no longer had a physical body. In the center of the hall was Guru Rinpoché sitting on a jeweled throne, surrounded by boundless cloudbanks of buddhas, bodhisattvas, male and female awareness-holders, and ḍākas and ḍākinīs. Khandro Yeshé Tsogyal came to meet him, bestowing teachings and prophecies upon him, and invited him to sit next to Lhacham Mandarava at Guru Rinpoché’s right.

For seven days the assembly practiced the Embodiment of all Awareness-Holding Gurus (Lama Rikdzin Kündü), concluding with a bountiful feast gathering. As ḍākas and ḍākinīs performed vajra songs and dances, Guru Rinpoché entrusted Do Khyentsé with seven treasure caskets, along with their mind-mandate, transmission and prophecies. Finally, Guru Rinpoche gave extensive advice and teachings, concluding with:

Son, once you’ve realized that appearances lack reality,

There is little benefit in dwelling in solitude.

When deceiving phenomenal appearances have collapsed into their true nature,

And the unaltered nature of phenomena is realized,

Do not dabble in the subtle concepts of grasping and grasped,

Or stay attached to defiled virtues—

Maintain the stronghold of the vast expanse of the primordially pure nature!

Guru Rinpoché then laughed three times and the whole raksha world shook. King Trisong Deutsen and three other Tibetan masters flew like eagles through the sky to Tibet, to serve the Dharma and beings. At this moment, Khandro Yeshé Tsogyal led Do Khyentsé by the hand down the stairs and out of the palace, and bid him farewell.

From there, Do Khyentsé flew to the Blissful Pure Land (Sukhavati) and the realm of Potala, and finally back to Golok to his teacher, the first Dodrupchen Rinpoché. Having received blessings, teachings and advice, he found himself back near his body where he had left it, in Amdo. As he touched his body, he instantly came back to life.

May these amazing accounts of great masters’ visions and experiences inspire you in your practice.

Sarva Mangalam,

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche