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Terton Mingyur Dorje

Tertön Migyur Dorje: 1645-1667
Guru Rinpoche had concealed hundreds and thousands of termas (hidden treasures/teachings) for the benefit of the sentient beings of the degenerate time, and predicted the time and place where these termas would be revealed. In one of his prophecy he stated: "In the future, close to Rinchen in the region of Kham, one who holds the name Dorje and a treasure index, and marked by a mole which symbolizes the spontaneous accomplishment of the three kayas will appear. Those beings who see or hear him will no longer be reborn in the lower realms."

According to this prophecy, Terton Migyur Dorje was born to father Gonpo Tseten and mother Sonam Tso in the Wood Bird Year of the 11th Rabjung (1645 A.D.) in an area called Nhom Tod Rola. Both his father and mother had miraculous dreams when he entered the womb. His mother dreamed of a golden tortoise radiating light rays in the depths of a vast ocean. While everyone was watching and marvelling over this wondrous tortoise, a super-human picked up the tortoise and offered it to her.' Whereas, his father dreamt that 'he found a remarkable white conch shell and he himself was blowing a large copper dharma horn.' Alike Lord Buddha, Terton Migyur Dorje was born without harming or causing even the slightest pain to his mother. His father was an inheritor of the Shakya Litsabi, the ancestral of the enlightened master Shakyamuni, and Tibet's dharma kings, who were all descendants of the clear light gods.

Just as Guru Rinpoche predicted, he was marked by a blue mole on his right hand, symbolizing the single-essential nature of the Dharmakaya. He was unlike other children. As a small child he always made dharma-hand gestures, pressing his palms together at his heart and so forth. In addition, to the surprise of everyone, he did secret yogic exercises. At the time he could speak, he said he was the Kathog Lama named Tsultrim Dorje. He gave a detailed account concerning the layout of the Kathog monastery, its customs and names of resident monks. One day he had a vision of Guru Loden Chogsed, one of the Eight Manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava, through whose gesture of transmission he understood how to read and write.
At the age of seven, in a state of pure vision, copious wisdom deities appeared and insisted that he be depended on a spiritual master or guru. Instantaneously, Mahasiddha Karma Chagmed, who at that time was in solitary retreat, appeared in his vision. He could now no longer hide his desire to be in the presence of Karma Chagmed. At the age of ten, on the eighth day of the ninth month, in the year of the Wood Horse, he met with Mahasiddha Karma Chagmed and received blessings and purification of Nam Jom (Vajra Subjugator) and Dor Sem (Vajrasattva). Karma Chagmed meticulously scrutinized Migyur Dorje's attributes and found that he possessed all the signs and marks of a flawless manifestation of Padmasambhava. Thus, Karma Chagmed bestowed upon him the secret instructions on Thug Drub Yang Nying Dupa (Innermost Condensed Essence of the Mind Accomplishment– a terma on the nirmanakaya aspect of Padmasambhava by Ratna Lingpa). While receiving teachings on the generation of compassion for all sentient beings, tears streamed down his cheeks. Many astounding signs revealed to further demonstrate the strength of his innate realization. He actually had already been the holder of all the empowerments and transmissions, but, in order to deepen the confidence of faithful disciples, he displayed himself as a recipient of the empowerments and transmissions. So from his guru Karma Chagmed received scores of empowerments and transmissions. He basically trained in all fields of study that are foundation to the Nyingma tradition.

At the age of eleven, on the ninth day of the first month, in the year of the Wood Sheep, Migyur Dorje entered into retreat with his spiritual master Mahasiddha Karma Chagmed. While practising Terton Ratna Lingpa's Tsedrub Sangdu (Condensed Secret Life Accomplishment) and accomplishing the extensive mandala, he had continual visions of Buddha Amitayus, Padmasambhava, Red Hayagriva, the Sixteen Arhats, Amitabha, Avalokiteshvara and many other meditational deities. He also had many visions of the Dharmapalas like Vishnu, Mahakala, the Red Damchan and so on who appeared to be greatly pleased and satisfied. As signs of his accomplishment, he prevented an eclipse of the moon by holding his vital air. He was also able to know what was in the minds of others.

Terton Migyur Dorje had a vision of the Primordial Dharmakaya Buddha, Samantabhadra, who through a sign, gave Migyur Dorje the empowerment called Tsewang Dudtsi Gegsel (Long Life Empowerment of the Nectar Which Clarifies Obstructing Forces). Then the Sambhogakaya Avalokiteshvara, appeared and according to the tradition of Thugje Chenpo Gyu, granted Terton Migyur Dorje extensive empowerments and transmissions of Drubtab Gyatso (Ocean of Accomplishment Methods). This included forty deities. Then the Nirmanakaya Padmasambhava transmitted the four empowerments. All of these transmissions were written down. Also, each wisdom deity and worldly dharma protector of these transmissions gave their individual Sadhanas and authorization empowerments, which were written down individually. All of these writings were collected into Thirteen Volumes called Namcho (Space Treasures). Then Terton Migyur Dorje practised, realized and fully accomplished each of these secret Space Treasures. Terton Migyur Dorje predicted the three realized sihdas: Pedma Rigzin, the great Mahasiddha Karma Chagmed or Raga Ah Sye and Thinley Dondrub as the designated dharma keepers of these treasures. It was to these three dharma keepers that he revealed for the first time the Mandala of Avalokiteshvara. At that time he had pure visions of the primordial and worldly protectors like clouds gathered in space. In addition, other dharma keepers who were linked by past prayers and assisted by dakinis and dharma protectors, included Je Drungpa Rinpoche, Trulku Gelong Nyingpo, Garwang Konchog Tenzin, Tashi Karma Tenyong, Tsonsar Lama Karma Tenyong, Jangdra Lama Gyatso, Puba Bhaka Trulku, Lama Damchoe Palzang, the great Mahasiddha Raga Ah Sye, the realized Padma Rigzin, Thinley Dondrub, Yangdag Tutob and the great Vidyadhara Kunzang Sherab. Through these dharma keepers the transmission of the treasures were propagated in every corner of Tibet where disciples with fortunate previous karma gathered. The greater sangha communities of the Gyalwang Karmapa's Monastery, Kathog Monastery and Palyul Monastery primarily practiced Namcho teachings.

Terton Migyur Dorje was, in actuality, destined to reveal earth termas (treasures) as well. However, due to deficient merit and fortune of sentient beings all appropriate circumstances were perverted and his stay in the world was also cut short. At the age of 23, in 1667, he began to display signs of illness. On the sixteenth day of the third month, while reciting mantras on his prayer bed, he dissolved into the empty sphere of truth, remaining in meditation for 3 days with his body up straight. During cremation, astonishing signs were witnessed by all. His heart and tongue remained intact in the fire which sufficed to purposes: to indicate that he has never forsaken the welfare of beings and for the future disciples to accumulate merit. His precious relics were marked by vowels and consonants of the Tibetan Language, which were placed inside many golden stupas. These great stupas became objects of refuge and circumambulation for fortunate and faithful followers.