3rd Thrangu Tulku

KARMA RISANG (1559-1625)

The 3rd Thrangu Tulku Karma Risang was born in the Earth Sheep Year of the ninth cycle (1559).  He was recognized by the 5th Shamar Konchok Yenlak.

Karma Risang built a large new Mahakala temple at Thrangu Monastery.  According to oral histories, when the 7th  Karmapa Chodrak Gyatso performed the opening ceremonies after founding the monastery, there was an old woman digging droma (wild sweet potatoes) which was a good omen. “You should not stay here” he said to her “We are building a monastery here”.

“It would be fine to build the monastery up there and also to build it down there,” she replied.  Because of this incident there was an upper and lower monastery.  The lower temple was in a location where the sky and earth made a triangle and so it was a wrathful place.  Karma Risang thought this was a good location and built a large new Mahakala temple there. He began a tradition of continual practice of the three roots: the practice of Guru Rinpoche Konchok Chidu as the guru, the self, frontal and vase visualizations of Vajra Varahi as the yidam, and the offerings to the Bernakchen as the dharma protector.  He followed Shamar Konchok Lama as his teacher and received many empowerments, transmissions and instructions from him.  He established the practice of the Great Mahakala Puja on the instructions of Sharmapa. Since there were the ruins of the previous seat of the Drikung, he also instituted the recitations of oblations to Achi.  During the lama dance for the actual practice he followed the tradition of Dechen Yangpachen in establishing the ritual of four different dances during the summoning of the local protector Parol;  the two-armed sun and moon, Drolging the skeleton and the dark blue demon.

Later he received from the 6th Shamar Chonyi Wangchuk many special empowerments, transmissions and instructions which he taught and spread to others.  Since he lived at the same time as Surmang Trungpa Kunga Namgyal, he had a very strong connection with him and it seems they would give each other teachings.  He thus brought great benefit to Buddhism and to beings until passing away at the age of sixty-seven in the Female Wood Ox Year of the tenth cycle (1625)


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