Jangsem Gyelwa Yeshe b.1247 - d.1320
Jangsem Gyelwa Yeshe (byang sem rgyal ba ye shes) was born in 1247 in Dokham (mdo khams). As a child he was a monk among the followers of the second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi (karma pa 02 karma pak shi, 1204-1283).
Karma Pakshi was a fierce man, and Gyelwa Yeshe was very frightened of him. One day Gyelwa Yeshe was out gathering firewood and suddenly ran into Karma Pakshi alone in the middle of the forest. Gyelwa Yeshe was terrified and fled, but the Karmapa called him back, told him that if he fled from his master now he would do so in the intermediate state between lives, and calmed his fears.
Gyelwa Yeshe studied with Karma Pakshi for many years, receiving and meditating on all the oral instructions the great master possessed. Nevertheless, he gained no significant experience of meditation during that time. Karma Pakshi then instructed him to wander around to unspecified hermitages, avoid all sectarian bias, and predicted he would meet a fine master.
He followed Karma Pakshi's advice and studied with many teachers. For a long time he received many sutra and tantra teachings such as the Vimalaprabhā commentary on the Kālacakra Tantra from the Sakya master Sharpa Jamyang Chenpo (shar pa 'jam dbyangs rin chen rgyal mtshan, 1258-1306), who was the Zhitok (bzhi thog) throne-holder of Sakya monastery for eighteen years beginning in 1287. He also received the Vimalaprabhā from Jamyang Chenpo's elder brother, the Kālacakra expert Dokorwa Yeshe Rinchen (dus 'khor ba ye shes rin chen, 1248-1294).
Gyelwa Yeshe then met Kunpang Tukje Tsondru (kun spangs thugs rje brtson grus, 1243-1313) at Jonang and was overcome with faith. He received all the treatises and oral instructions from Kunpang and, in particular, when he practiced the instructions of the six-branch yoga of Kālacakra, exceptional experience and realization arose. Gyelwa Yeshe wanted to live in unspecified locations and dedicate himself to meditation, but at the order of Jamyang Chenpo he founded the monastery of Dechen (bde chen) and, while meditating there, also gave many Dharma teachings.
In 1313 Kunpang appointed Gyelwa Yeshe as his successor on the monastic seat of Jonang monastery, a position he held until shortly before his death in 1320.
Taranatha. 1983. Necessary Dpal dus kyi 'khor lo'i chos bskor gyi byung khungs nyer mkho, In The Collected Works of Jo-nang rje-btsun TAranAtha, vol. 2: pp. 1–43. Leh: Smanrtsis Shesrig Dpemdzod, 1983, pp. 22–23.
'Jam mgon a mes zhabs ngag dbang kun dga' bsod nams. 2000. Dpal dus kyi 'khor lo'i zab pa dang rgya che ba'i dam pa'i chos byung ba'i tshul legs par bshad pa ngo mtshar dad pa'i shing rta. In The Collected Works of A-mes-zhabs Ngag dbang kun dga' bsod nams, vol. 19: 1-532. Kathmandu: Sa skya rgyal yongs gsung rab slob gnyer khang.
Dpal 'byor bzang po. 1985. Rgya bod yig tshang chen mo. Chengdu: Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1985.
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- Historical Period