THE FIFTH THRANGU TULKU
SHERAP GYATSO (1697-1768)
The 5th Thrangu Tulku Sherap Gyatso was born in the Fire Ox Year of the twelfth cycle (1697) and was recognized by the 11th Karmapa Yeshe Dorje. He performed great deeds and had great mental powers. He established the tradition of holding a Grand Mani Puja based on the Great Compassion Guhyasamaja practice following the manuals prepared by the great scholar and meditator Karma Chakme. This tradition has been preserved to the present day following the detailed and extensive Nedo tradition of preparing sand mandalas, making tormas, chanting melodies and so forth.
The 2nd Traleg Rinpoche Nyima Gyurme had performed extensive activity but the 3rd and 4th Traleg Rinpoches, Nyima Salche and Chogyal Nyima were both yogis who stayed in an isolated mountain retreat called Tserlung Putra. Thrangu Lama Sherap Gyatso invited the 5th Traleg Trinley Nyima to Thrangu Monastery and invested him as the master of the teachings.
Traleg Rinpoche then built a third temple. The two worked together and as a result the new temple was large and of excellent craftsmanship and the sangha thrived. There are stories of many great masters such as Sewo Nyima Latak coming there.
The Mongolian governor Lobsang Tenzin brought conflict to Qinghai and in 1728 the Chinese army forcibly deposed him. Among this and other events it was a tumultuous time but through Sherap Gyatso’s skillful means, the temple and monastery were not harmed in any way. He lived serving the teachings and practicing meditation until the age of seventy-two when he passed away in the Male Earth Rat Year of the thirteenth cycle (1768)
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