The Treasury of Lives

The Shangpa Kagyu (shangs pa bka’ brgyud) tradition was initiated in the eleventh century by Khyungpo Neljor, who received the Mahāmudrā teachings in India from Niguma, the wife or sister of Nāropa. He established the monastery of Zhangzhong Dorjeden in the Shang valley in Tsang. A single line of transmission, said to have been initiated by the Buddha Vajradhara and taught first to Niguma, and which passed from Khyungpo Neljor through Mokchokpa, Wonton Kyergangwa Chokyi Sengge, Nyenton Rigung Chokyi Sherab, and Sanggye Tonpa Tsondru Senge, was known as the transmission of the seven precious Shangpa. In the thirteenth century Sanggye Tonpa passed the lineage on to multiple disciples and the Shangpa teachings were written down. The Shangpa lineages were largely absorbed into the institutional organizations of the Marpa Kagyu, Geluk, Sakya and Jonang, although it was partially revived in the nineteenth century by Jamgon Kongtrul; his two personal hermitages, Tsadra Rinchen Drak and Dzongsho Deshek Dupa are both Shangpa Kagyu institutions. The Shangpa teachings are known as the Five Golden Doctrines, which include the Nigu Chodruk, a grouping similar to the Nāro Chodruk of the Marpa Kagyu.  

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