The First Gyeltsab, Peljor Dondrub b.1427 - d.1489
Name Variants: First Gyeltsab Peljor Dondrub; First Tsurphu Gyeltsab Peljor Dondrub; Goshri Peljor Dondrub; Peljor Dondrub
When he was five the Sixth Karmapa, Tongwa Dongden (mthong ba don ldan, 1416‑1453), identified him as the reincarnation of Kharchen Pelgyi Wangchuk (mkhar chen dpal gyi dbang phyug, d.u.), one of the twenty-five disciples of Padmasambhava, and also of Repa Zhiwa Wo (ras pa zhi ba 'od, d.u.). The Sixth Karmapa, apparently anticipating his early death, appointed him "regent" (rgyal tshab) of his own seat, Tsurpu (mtshur phu), at the age of fourteen.
Peljor Dondrub trained with the Third Zhamar, Chopel Yeshe (zhwa dmar 03 chos dpal ye shes, 1406-1452); Nyakpuwa Sonam Zangpo (gnyag phu ba bsod nams bzang po, d.u.); and Bengar Jampel Zangpo (ban sgar ba 'jam dpal bzang po, d.u.). From them he received transmission of the Kangyur and Tengyur and Tibetan treatises, as well as tantric empowerments. He received complete monastic ordination, although sources do not indicate who gave him the vows.
The Ming Zhengtong Emperor (r. 1435-1449 and 1457-1464), gave him a golden seal with the title of National Preceptor (guoshi 國師; T: gushri) and offered him a hat of dark blue. According to legend, because Peljor Dondrub worried that the hat resembled that of the Karmapa, he placed it into a statue of Vajradhāra (or possibly a lama) at Sapu (gsa' phu) Monastery rather than wear it himself. Shortly before he passed away, the Sixth Karmapa went to Sapu and put his seal on the statue.
Following the death of the Sixth Karmapa, Peljor Dondrub took charge of Tsurpu. He supervised the construction of the Karmapa's reliquary stupa, donating the cost of a golden canopy. He assisted in the identification of the Seventh Karmapa, Chodrak Gyatso (karma pa 07 chos grags rgya mtsho, 1454-1506), whom he helped train. When the Seventh Karmapa was five, in 1458, Peljor Dondrub gave him initiations and empowerments in Amitāyus, Cakrasaṃvara, Mahāmāya, Kālacakra, and Khandro Gyatso (mkha' 'gro rgya mtsho).
In 1462, at Karma Gon monastery, Peljor Dondrub gave the Seventh Karmapa his novice vows and the name Chodrak Gyatso Pel Zangpo (chos grags rgya mtsho dpal bzang po). Later, at Tre Khangmar (kre khang dmar) he gave the Fourth Zhamar, Chodrak Yeshe (zhwa dmar 04 chos grags ye shes, 1453-1524) complete ordination. The following year he gave him empowerments in Vajravārāhī, Hayagrīva, Cakrasaṃvara, and other deities.
He continued teaching widely until he was sixty-three, when, around 1489, he died at Tsurpu, where his remains were interred in a reliquary stupa.
Tsurpu Gyeltsab incarnations
1. Peljor Dondrub (dpal 'byor don grub, c.1427‑c.1489)
2. Tashi Namgyel (bkra shis rnam rgyal, c.1490‑c.1518)
3. Drakpa Peljor (grags pa dpal 'byor, c.1519‑c.1549).
4. Drakpa Dondrub (grags pa don grub, c.1550‑c.1617).
5. Drakpa Chokyang (drags pa mchog dbyangs, 1618‑1658).
6. Norbu Zangpo (nor bu bzang po, c.1659‑c.1698).
7. Konchok Ozer (dkon mchog 'od zer, c.1699‑c.1765).
8. Chopel Zangpo (chos dpal bzang po, c.1766‑c.1820).
9. Drakpa Yeshe (grags pa ye shes, c.1821‑c.1876).
10. Tenpai Nyima (bstan pa'i nyi ma, c.1877‑1901).
11. Drakpa Gyats (grags pa rgya mtsho. c. 1902‑c.1959).
12. Karma Drakpa Tenpa Yarphel (karma grags pa bstan pa yar 'phel), aka Tendzin Trinle Chokyi Nyima (bstan 'dzin phrin las chos kyi nyi ma).
Chos kyi 'byung gnas. 1990. Rgyal tshab dang po / go shrI dpal 'byor don grub. In Gsung 'bum / chos kyi 'byung gnas, vol. 11, pp. 620-622. Sansal: Palpung Sungrab Nyamtso Khang. TBRC W26630.
Mi bskyod rdo rje. 2004. Rgyal ba thams cad mkhyen pa snye bo ba chen po 'jam pa'i dbyangs rgyal po'i lung gis mtshan gsol ba ta'i dben gwo shri gu'i gung pa'am mtshan gzhan shAkya'i dge slong dpal 'byor don grub ces bya ba'i rnam par thar pa. In Gsung 'bum / mi bskyod rdo rje, vol. 1, pp. 552-560. Lhasa. TBRC W8039.
View this person's associated Works & Texts on the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center's Web site
- Historical Period