The Treasury of Lives

According to some sources, the Takpu incarnation line is said to begin with Gushri Pelden Dondrub, who was born in the late fourteenth century. An alternate listing traces the first Takpu to the eighteenth century Lobzang Tenpai Gyeltsen. Another title commonly associated with the Takpu incarnations was that of Garwang: Gargyi Wangchuk and Gargyi Wangpo, already used by Lobzang Chokyi Wangchuk, who appears to have been known by this name.

Jampel Tenpai Ngodrub notes that he is the Fourth Gargyi Wangchuk. It seems that either an incarnation is missing from the accepted sequence, or that Tenpai Ngodrub counts Lobzang Tenpai Gyeltsen and not Chokyi Wangchuk as the first ‘official’ Garwang incarnation. The latter explanation would follow today’s usual presentation of the lineage as Tenpai Ngodrub appears to be regarded as the Fourth Takpu incarnation amongst contemporary Geluk lineage holders. Takpu incarnations are said to have been highly accomplished yogis and are well-known for their pure visions of deities and the ability to travel to various pure lands in order to receive teachings.

Timeline

Biographies

dpal ldan don grub

b.1382 - d.1466

Chodrak Zangpo served as the Twentieth Ganden Tripa, from 1552 to 1559. He studied in Takpu Chode and later at Gyume College, and served as lobpon there and at Ganden Jangtse college. He also served as the fourteenth abbot of Sera Tekchenling. During his tenure as Ganden Tripa he produced a set of applique thanka images of the Sixteen Arhats.

The Fourth Takpu, Pema Vajra Jampel Tenpai Ngodrub, most commonly known as Takpu Dorje Chang, was an important Geluk yogi and the teacher of Pabongkha Dechen Nyingpo. He travelled between Kham and U-Tsang many times during his life. Through his yogic powers he is believed to have had numerous pure visions and had the ability to travel to pure lands, most notably that of Tuṣita, from where he received the cycle of teachings related to the controversial protector Dorje Shugden. He is also the source of the close lineage of the popular cycle of teachings of Cittamani Tārā which he likewise received through visions.