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Long ago, in 10th century India, lived two extraordinary women who perfectly realized the state of Buddha: the Jnana dakinis Niguma and Sukhasiddhi. The learned and accomplished Khyungpo Naljor, who left Tibet seeking India’s most precious teachings, met them and received their teachings. The Palden Shangpa Kagyu lineage was born!
Since then, thanks to the wisdom and compassion of all the masters who have been its holders, the lineage has been handed down to us today in all of its richness and vitality.
The Palden Shangpa Kagyu, a yogic lineage
The Palden Shangpa Kagyu is less known that the Dagpo Kagyu. It is one of the eight great traditions of the Land of Snow, with a pure yogic lineage, according to the Vajrayana transmission, transmitted from masters to disciples through the initiation and the sacred bounds (samaya) associated to it.
The lineage recent history : the "Dashang Kagyu"
From Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thayé...
The Palden Shangpa Kagyu was revived by Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thayé (1801-1899), in his Tsadra Rinchen Drak (Eastern Tibet, Kham) retreat center.
to Vajradhara Kalu Rangjung Künchab
The transmission then came to Vajradhara Kalu Rangjung Künchab (Kalu Rinpoche, 1904-1989) who founded worldwide many three-year retreat centers dedicated to its practice.
Vajradhara Kalu Rangjung Künchab was an holder of both Shangpa and Dagpo Kagyu lineages and thus gave the patronym "dashang" to the Dharma centers he founded.
...and his spiritual heirs
After the passing away of Kalu Rangjung Kûnchab, the complete transmission of the lineage, the Shangpa Chatsang, continued to be transmitted by different spiritual heirs of Kalu Rangjung Künchab, mainly in the context of three-year retreat centers.
Click here to see the history of these transmissions.
Presently the descendants and spiritual heirs of Vajradhara Kalu Rangjung Künchab continue the great Dharma works of his enlighten activities. Following the example of the yogic lineages of the past Shangpa tradition, according to the instructions of their master and inspired by the sacred bound of their samaya they choose to gather and organize to cooperate among peers, fostering and developing the Shangpa tradition.
The Shangpa Network and the Dashang Kagyu Lama Association
In 2010: senior heirs of Vajradhara Kalu Rangjung Künchab started the Shangpa Network an informal network connecting all the Shangpas, Dashang Kagyüs, lamas and practitioners. The Shangpa Network is the network of the Shangpa lamas and practionners. This aspiration of networking was initiated in 2008 by some of the elders disciples of Vajradhara Kalu Rangjung Künchab (see the Foundation Act and the list of members).
At the heart of the Shangpa Network is the Kagyü Lama International Association. Founded in 1978 by Kalu Ranjung Künchab, Kagyu Lama gathers the Dashang Kagyu lamas linked to his transmission. Its aim is to bring cooperation, friendship and harmonization among the Dashang Kagyü congregations and dharma centers. It was revitalized in 2011.
The Kagyu Lama Association is managed by a council of elders, consisting of the main spiritual heirs of Kalu Rangjung Künchab : the International Shangpa Council.
The International Shangpa Council
The International Shangpa Kagyü Council of elders facilitates the transmission of the tradition and the development of its lineages. It gathers the senior spiritual heirs of Vajradhara Kalu Rangjung Künchab as well as founders of the Shangpa Network. Within the Council, the members cooperate between peers in a non-hierarchical way with a spirit of solidarity and unity dedicated to the Dharma, tradition, lineage and all sentient beings.
The Shangpa Council operates under the supreme authorities of the Vajrayâna tradition: Their Holinesses the Dalaï Lama and the Gyalwang Karmapa; and the Kentin Taï Situpa as its direct referent in the Dashang lineage. The great trülkus connected to the Dashang Kagyü are honorary members of the Council, particularly: the Situ Trülkus, the Kongtrül Trülkus, the Gyaltsab Trülkus, the Kalu Trülkus and the Bokar Trülkus.
Nowadays the Shangpa Kagyü tradition is a confederation of autonomous lineages and communities; it networks in the Shangpa Network and operates with the facilitation and regulation of the International Shangpa Council.
Why this website?
This website has three purposes:
- to present the history, teachings and continuing value of the Palden Shangpa Kagyu lineage;
- to inform about the Dashang Kagyu lineage and the Kagyu Lama International Association
- to encourage meetings, sharing and cooperation among Dashang Kagyu lamas, communities and practionners .