Orgyen Lingpa

ISSN 2332-077X

Print this Biography
Cite this biography

Orgyen Lingpa b.1323

Name Variants: Yarje Orgyen Lingpa

Orgyen Lingpa (o rgyan gling pa) was born either in Chumopak (chu mo phag), in the Tamshul (gtam shol) region of Lodrak (lho brag), or Yarje (yar rje) in the Tranang (gra nang) region of Lhokha (lho kha). Because of his association with the later location, he is occasionally referred to as Yarje Orgyen Lingpa. He is said to have been the seventh incarnation of a Lhase Muruk Tsenpo (lha sras mu rug btsan po), a son of King Tri Songdetsen (khri srong lde'u btsan).

At the age of twenty-three he is sad to have discovered an extensive treasure inventory (gter ma kha byang) at Samye Monastery in the Red Stupa. It is said that he revealed twenty-eight different treasure troves, amounting to over one hundred volumes, few of which are extant. His best known works are the Katang De Nga (bka thang sde lnga), which recount the ancient history of Tibetan gods and demons, kings, queens, scholars, saints, and ministers. Of equal importance is the Pema Katang (padma bka' thang), which tells the life of Padmasambhava. It was among the early biographies of Padmasambhava, contributing significantly to the development of the legend.

The sites of his treasure extraction include: Yarlung Sheldrak (yar lung shel brag), where he revealed the Pema Katang and a cycle of guru sadhana, Dzogchen, and Avalokiteśvara practices; the Padmasambhava cave behind Dingpoche (sdings po che) at Yugongdrak (gyu gong brag) in Gra (grwa); the Red Stupa at Samye, where he revealed the Katang De Nga; the stupas commemorating the meeting of Tri Songdetsen and Padmasambhava at Zurkardo (zur mkhar mdo), where he revealed Avalokiteśvara treasures; Drakpoche (brag po che) in Grachi (grwa phyi); and Onpu Taktsang ('on phu stag tshang).

There is evidence to suggest that fell afoul with Tai Situ Janchub Gyeltsen (ta'i si tu byang chub rgyal mtshan, 1302-1364) of the Pakmodru (phag mo gru) dynasty that supplanted the Sakya government of Tibet, and he went into exile in Eyul (e'i yul), in Dakpo (dwags po) where he passed away.




Bradburn, Leslie, ed. 1995. Masters of the Nyingma Lineage. Cazadero: Dharma Publications, 1995, pp. 168-169.

Dudjom Rinpoche. 2002. The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. Trans. Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein. Boston: Wisdom.

'Jam mgon kong sprul blo gros mtha' yas. 2007. Gter ston brgya rtsa. In Rin chen gter mdzod chen mo. New Delhi: Shechen, v.1 pp 65a-67a.

Karma mi 'gyur dbang rgyal. 1978. Gter bton brgya rtsa'i mtshan sdom gsol 'debs chos rgyal bkra shis stobs rgyal gyi mdzad pa'i 'grel pa lo rgyus gter bton cho 'byung. Darjeeling: Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche Pema Wangyal, Orgyen Kunsang Chokhor Ling, pp. 98.2 ff.

Kapstein, Matthew. 2000. The Tibetan Assimilation of Buddhism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 165-166.


Jakob Leschly
August 2007


Orgyen Lingpa was a prominent early treasure revealer who revealed the Pema Katang and the Katang De Nga, two influential sources for the life of Padmasambhava. He is said to have revealed twenty-eight treasures. He is considered to have been the seventh incarnation of Prince Lhase, the middle son of Tri Songdetsen. He seems to have had trouble with the new Pakmodru dynasty and lived the later part of his life in a form of exile. Otherwise, little is known about his life.