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Commentary on the Kathok Lineage Prayer

Given by HH Getse Rinpoche on October 1, 2007 at Kathok Gonpa.


Kathok is famed as the place of virtue!


This limitless fame pervades all the Buddhas’ pure lands.


The Lord of Refuge is inseparable from all the Buddhas!


May the auspiciousness of the Lord abide forever!

Kathok is famed as the place of virtue!

This first verse begins with Kadampa Deshek, the founder of Kathok. There was
a prophecy that if he were to found Kathok monastery, there would be 100,000
individuals who would attain the rainbow body, purifying the two obscurations
and attaining enlightenment. So Kathok is renowned, and this renown spread
throughout the snowy land of Tibet. Garpo Ling means the white continent - a
synonym for Tibet.

This limitless fame pervades all the Buddhas' pure lands.

Renowned throughout Tibet, your name is also famed throughout all of the pure
realms of the Victorious Ones. That is, not only renowned in the world, but also
into all the Pure Realms of the Buddhas. And that has to do with Kadampa
Deshek Rinpoche and his two primary students Tsong Tsemba and Jhampa
Bum. These three accomplished and realized masters were all born and now
presently reside in the Pure Realm of Dewa Chen of great bliss. And in Dewa
Chen where Kadampa Deshek is residing, he appears as the Bodhisattva Chang
Chub Sempa Lodru Nyingpo.

And Tsong Tsemba is now Tsong Tsem Norbu Nyingpo, and he is also now
presently residing within the Pure Realm of Great Bliss. And Jhampa Bum is
now the Bodhisattva Chang Sem Dawe Nyingpo, and he is also in the Pure Land
of Great Bliss. And so these teachings are also now pervading the Pure Realms
of the Buddhas.
So that’s what the second verse means, not just that it’s throughout the snowy
land of Tibet, but also that these teachings have been brought into the Pure
Realms as tradition and practice.

The Lord of Refuge is inseparable from all the Buddhas!

And the third verse means that Kadampa Deshek is inseparable from the
Buddha, and in the greater sense of course, that many individuals have attained
the state of rainbow body, attained the state of enlightenment. But here then his
activity spread like the Buddhas' activity, because 100,000 practitioners would
gain rainbow body through that lineage and that practice, and so then his activity
was also inseparable from the Buddha, not to be separated in any way from the
Tathagatas. Because of that they say he’s inseparable from all the Victorious

May the auspiciousness of the Lord abide for a long time!

The fourth verse means may the Lord (and it’s referring back to the great teacher
Kadampa Deshek and the tradition that he brought) and his teachings remain
long and stable in all auspiciousness. And so then this is an aspiration prayer
that those teachings and that tradition of practice remain here for a long time in a
stable way. And so it’s an aspiration prayer for the increase of the teachings and
the stability of the teachings. And Rinpoche said, “I don’t really know if that’s the
way this would be explained. If I haven’t misunderstood from the words and my
understanding [of them], then that is the meaning of this prayer.”

[Some of the teachings referred to here have to do with the traditional

explanations for how the 100,000 practitioners gained rainbow body. These
teachings are contained in the Man-Ngag Tri Chen Chu-Sum - the 13 Great
Explanations of Pith Instructions. HH Getse recommended that we should get
this work translated. This work discusses the Longchen Nyinthig Ngondro in
more detail, methodically from the 4 thoughts that turn the mind through
Trekchod and Thogal, the 13 great instructions whereby all those Kathokpas
gained rainbow body and attained enlightenment itself. HH Getse mentioned
that while the 100,000 Kathokpas attaining rainbow body did so within 3 to 4
generations of Kadampa Deshek and his two great students, it is the case that
Kathokpas following this tradition still can and do attain rainbow body even

Translated by Paloma and edited by David Ayers