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Achis Life Story


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Life story of Dharma Protector, Achi Chkyi Dolma

Translated by
Tashi T. Jamyangling


Achis Life Story



Achis Life Story


2010 by Tashi T. Jamyangling
All rights reserved. No part of this translation may be reproduced in any
form or by any means without the translators permission in writing.


Achis Life Story


Acknowledgements I

I am deeply thankful to Tara Foundation of Germany for financing the
translation of a number of sacred texts from Achi Beubum including this.

I thank His Holiness Drigung Chetsang Rinpoche for sending me a copy of
Songtsen Librarys Achi Beubum. I equally thank Nagchu Konchok
Tsultrim for his active part in it.

I thank Adhak Tripa, Wangyal Rinpoche, for lending me his copy of
Gelong Tenzin Nima Rinpoches Achi Beubum, and Lamkhyen Gyalpo
Rinpoche for sending me a copy of his text, which he got from late Khenpo
Togdrol Rinpoche of Ladakh.

These three copies were extremely useful in resolving slight variations in
words, spellings and grammar.

I thank the following for helping me with clarifications on various names,
terms and concepts:

Khenpo Konchok Rangdol of Kagy College and
Nagchu Konchok Tsultrim of Songtsen Library

Last but not least, I thank my wife, Genyenla, for helping me with the


Achis Life Story



Achis Life Story



Achis Life Story

Homage to Guru
, Deva
, and Dakini
. I prostrate to the assembly of
Lamas, Yidam Deities, and Dakinis.

Achi Chhkyi Dolma is exclusively the Dharma protector of the glorious
Drigung Kagy tradition. Also known as the Richly Endowed Glorious
Lady of Nanang,
and the Liberator of the Holy Dharma , Achi possesses
incalculable power, might, and supernatural abilities. The compassionate
Achi incessantly looks after and protects all teachings, without exception.

Whosoever practices Achi, her blessings come immediately. She is the
epitome of supreme auspiciousness and perfect-abundance of everything.

In order to follow the path shown by Achi, first there is the part dealing
with faith (in Achi) and her authenticity, and secondly her teachings.

The first has two segments: The class to which (Achi) belongs, and her life

1. The class

In the life story, bsKang Yig Nor Bui PHreng Wa
, written by the source of
all of our temporary and ultimate benefits and happiness without exception;
the Lama of the three realms of existence; the one who was prophesized in
numerous sutra and tantra teachings of the glorious Lord Buddha; and
known to all by the supreme name Ratnashri; and the incomparable one has
, the secret re-emanation has come
from the land of Odiyana
as Achi Chkyi Dolma.

Achi appears, to the pure perception of beings, from the unobstructed self-
expression of the unborn and unimpeded pure-space-mind of the victorious
ones of the three times without exception, as Buddha, who guides, to
esoteric tantric beings; as Five Buddha classifications and their consorts,

etc. These are written in numerous new and old tantras. Each of these
(Buddha and consort) classifications, in essence, subsumes all the five

In particular, the classification of this Dharma Protector herself belongs, as
it is evident in the quotation cited above, to the Vajra classification.

Whether it be the real manifestation or its re-manifestation, generally
speaking, Achi appears in a myriad of Wisdom and Karma Dakinis in very
important holy places.


Achis Life Story


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Achis Life Story

Manifested as protector and the guardian of the region is also called Local
Guardian Dakini (kshetrapala). According to the minor Chakrasamvara
Tantra and others, Achi manifested as one of the gathering of seven Karma
in Zhut Tidro. From this manifestation, Achi willfully entered
her mothers womb and came as the Dharma Protector. This is called re-

Achi Chkyi Dolma said, I have been the Activity Consort of
Padmasambava at Terdrom
. Driven by karmic destiny, I went to Dent
Tsug Ngur

2. A brief life story of Achi

Achi was born in Zhut in Drigung. Her father was Jowo Pal of Nanang
clan, who possessed supreme power of esoteric Nyingmapa practice of
union and liberation
. He was so powerful that he could, actually, engage
the glorious goddess, Palden Remati
, to carry out the four activities
. He
was a great sublime being who was both learned and liberated. Achis
mother was called Dringdza Darjam.

Achis birth was marked by numerous auspicious signs. Immediately after
her birth, Achi spoke these words, My birth will be known everywhere.
That place, where Achi was born, was named Ky-dag (meaning famous
birth). Gradually, this name bastardized as T-da. Achi was given the
name, Chkyi Dolma.

Chkyi Dolma became extremely well known. When she was almost seven
years, she would , again and again, say to her parents, This place is not
where I reside. I have connection with Kham through aspiration prayers.
Achi would describe the land and the town and tell her parents that she was
going there.

Achi ran away with a merchant caravan of Kham
. When they were
nearing Denyul, she said to the merchant travelers, This is not where I
shall live. I must proceed.

In a town called Tsung Ngur in Dent
, Chkyi Dolma went to the house
of Am Tshultrim Gyatsho and told him how and why she came from
Central Tibet. He was a pure descendent of Drugyal Kyura Clan, who
excelled in many worldly disciplines and skills. Am Tshultrim Gyaltshen
responded by saying that he had no mundane cravings.


Achis Life Story

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Achis Life Story

Aside from this, Am Tshultrim Gyaltsen continued, I have very little
means and have no desire to get married either. Besides, I cannot afford a
marriage party nor can I find someone to lead the ceremony.

Am Tshultrim Gyaltshen told Chkyi Dolma that it would be better if she
went wherever else she liked to.

It is not because I have great craving for mundane life, again said Chkyi
Dolma. I am here because there is interdependent origination in place to
give birth to many great sublime beings through our union, who will serve
the precious teachings of the Buddha.

Now, do not be intimidated by lack of wealth and prosperity, Chkyi
Dolma said to Am Tshultrim Gyaltshen. Ill get them. That very night,
the marriage ceremony leader was called in.

Next day Chkyi Dolma said, All my relatives are in Tibet,
which is too
far. She added that her wedding guests were the members of the merchant
caravan, who were in the area, and she sent out the word to all of them.

Am Tshultrim Gyaltshen and his group were scared stiff. We are barely
able to make ends meet. What can we do for the guests? They panicked.

Chkyi Dolma made the sound of Phat
once and miraculously produced a
skull from her left breast pocket. With the sound of another Phat, she
produced a hand drum from her right breast pocket.

Please put in here whatever you have for the turning of the wheel of
accumulating merits
, she said, and held out the skull.

A right front leg of a lamb was offered to Chkyi Dolma. She said, Yes,
it is of great interdependent origination. Ill bear four sons, she
continued. These sons will, directly and indirectly, turn out to be great
sublime beings who will serve the Buddha Dharma, and she played the
hand drum. An incalculable amount of various food and drinks appeared as
if rained down. The guests were entirely pleased with food and drink.

Chkyi Dolma gave a twelve-eyed Dzi
to the ceremony leader and
fulfilled her initial prophesy.

Thus living a life in accordance with the ways of the world, Chkyi Dolma
gave birth to four sons. They were Namkha Wangchhug, Pekha Wangyal,
Namgagpa Snam Pal, and Kathung Druzhi.

Achis Life Story

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Achis Life Story

All the sons were raised with care. When grown up, all of them were
naturally bright in their senses and embodied numerous human qualities. It
was in those days that Achi wrote her own sadhana
or practice texts of

I have willfully taken birth, Chkyi Dolma said. I am here, due to
aspiration prayers, to spread and protect the precious Buddha Dharma. I
grant common and supreme attainments (siddhis)
, she added. With these
words, she took her close followers into a deep cave and brought one
complete corpse endowed with special qualities. Many of them, who dared
to partake of the corpse as ganacakra substance received common and
supreme siddhis. The lesser fortunate ones, who had meager accumulation
of merits, who were blinded by wrong view, and who did not dare to
partake of the ganacakra substance, were deprived of the siddhis.

Chkyi Dolma said, Finally, all my physical bodily work is complete.
Now the sons of my lineage will have the essence-teachings that are
especially more exalted than the general Buddha Dharma, and I shall be its
protector. I will, she said, protect and look after 15 generations of
people who practice my sadhanas. Her last words were, among other
things, Call me, when it is really necessary, and departed to the celestial
of the pure space of enjoyment.

Peka Wangyal had four sons. The youngest, Neljor Dorje, was Kyobpa
Jigten Sumgns father. Going backwards from Kyobpa Jigten Sumgn to
Chkyi Dolma, she becomes Achi, meaning grandmother.

The actual line of transmission of Achi Chkyi Dolma is as indicated in
Achi sadhanas. The revelation of practice instructions are in separate

This life story of the Dharmapala was put together by the bearer of the
name, Wang Ratna

Let auspiciousness prevail.


Achis Life Story

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Achis Life Story


Skt. Guru, Tib. Lama: spiritual teacher

Skt. Deva, Tib. Yidam: according to the tantra, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas that you
worship and follow

Skt. dakini, Tib. Khadro: 1) yoginis with the attainment of supreme siddhi 2)
goddesses born in purelands

An important family clan in early Tibet

Jewel Garland of Atonement, written by Drigung Kyobpa Rinpoche

One of the five Dakinis:
1) {rDo rJe mKa Gro} Vajra dakini
2) (RinChen mKa Gro} Ratna dakini
3) {Pad Ma mKha Gro} Padma dakini
4) {Las Kyi mKha Gro} Karma dakini and
5) {Sangs rGyas mKha Gro} Buddha dakini.

North-West of ancient India where Guru Rinpoche was born

Five Male Buddhas and their corresponding five female Buddha consorts
1) {rNam Par sNang mDzad} Vairocana
2) {Rin Chen Byung lDan} Ratnasambhava
3) {Mi bsKyod Pa} Akshobhya
4) {od dPag Med} Amitabha
5) {Don Yod Grub Pa} Amoghasiddhi

Five Female Buddhas:
1) {dByings Phyug Ma} Queen of Space
2) {Sangs rGyas sPyan Ma} Buddha-Lochana
3) {Mamaki}
4) {Gos dKar mo} Pandaravasini
5) {sGrol Ma}Tara

Female divinities manifested out of dharmadhatu but appearing in ways
that are relative and easily understood by samsaric beings. They have both ultimate
and relative aspects.

Literally meaning treasure chest (of hidden esoteric teachings), it is situated near
Drigung Thel monastery where Guru Padmasambava spent many years meditating.

Achis Life Story


Drigung Terdrom

Area around Ga Kyegu Dho (Yu Shu town) and Kyura Drag the famous fist seat
of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon.

Experiencing and attaining liberation through the union of male and female

Wrathful form of Sarasvati who is the goddess of wisdom and learning.

Tib: Las bZhi: four enlightened activities including 1) peaceful, 2) increase, 3)
subjugation, and 4) wrathful.

Tib. Kham: Eastern Tibet, the land of the Khampas

Tib. Dan sTod (Dent): Dent is where Kyura Drag is in todays Yu Shu county
in Qinghai Province. The capital of this county was known as Ga Kyegu Dho in
olden days. Kyra Drag (picture below) was the first base/seat of Drigung Kyobpa

Tib: Bod meaning Tibet, here, refers to -tsang regions of Tibet. Tib. Bod
Chenpo meaning Greater Tibet refers to the entire Tibetan land consisting of -
tsang, Kham, and Amdo.


Achis Life Story


Skt. tantric word or command to split, burst, or shatter. A tantric command to
conquer all pernicious and evil things and summon, in their place, peace and

Skt. ganacakra puja: A tantric prayer session of making offerings during which
all the objects that please the five senses, in particular various food and drinks, are
blessed as wisdom nectar and then offered to the three roots (Lama, Yidam Deity
and Dakini) and your own body as the mandala that embodies the three divine seats
(the seat of aggregates as male and female Buddhas, seat of sense-sphere as male
and female Bodhisattvas, and seat of limbs as male and female wrathful deities.

Tib. gZi: indigenous Tibetan bead. These are mainly oblong, round, cylindrical or
tabular shape pierced lengthwise. These beads have caught up with the Chinese,
who call them Heavenly Beads.

These beads usually come in 1-21 eyes, and in some rare cases with the four
geometric shapes of the Four Enlightened Activities as well as other auspicious
shapes. Today, the gZi (Dzi) market is completely flooded with fake ones made by
the Chinese.

Skt. Tantric liturgy and procedure for practice usually emphasizing the
development state. A typical sadhana structure has a preliminary part including the
taking of refuge and bodhicitta mind generation; a main part including visualization
of the deity involved and recitation of the mantra; and a concluding part with
dedication of merits.

Skt. siddhi: Common siddhi/attainments:
1) siddhi of invisibility pills. When put in the mouth, one becomes
invisible to others and can shape-shift to whatever form desired.
2) eye medicine siddhi enabling one to see all phenomena of the world,
normal or microscopic.
3) underground treasure siddhi enabling one to produce treasure vases
from the earth and give out to sentient beings to their hearts desire.
4) enchanted sword siddhi enabling one to fly in the sky by holding the
5) sky travel siddhi enable one to travel in the sky from one place to
6) invisibility siddhi. Smearing the substance-dot on the forehead makes
one invisible.
7) immortality siddhi and
8) siddhi of overcoming diseases.
Supreme siddhi: unsurpassed attainment that is beyond samsara or impermanent


Achis Life Story


Skt. Khechara, Tib. mKha sPyod Zhing: The Buddhafield of Vajra Varahi

Collected works of Gyalwa Kunga Rinchen (1475-1527), the 15
successor of
Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon

Another name for Gyalwa Kunga Rinchen, the 15
successor of Kyobpa Jigten