Place of Birth
Foundation of Teaching
Tibetan Buddhism, Tantric Wisdom, Compassion, Love
Example of Teaching
“When you understand the dualistic mind, there will be no separation from me. May my good wishes fill the sky.”
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Yeshe Tsogyal, born in eighth century Tibet, is the founding Mother of Tibetan Buddhism, foremost female master of Tibetan Tantra. It is believed she was an incarnation of Dorje Phagmo and that she was chosen by Guru Padmasambhava to help establish the Buddhist teachings in Tibet. Thus she is considered an enlightened figure who intentionally took birth to benefit beings. She is also viewed as a role model for those seeking enlightenment, especially through the tantric path. Her life story recounts her very tangible struggles on the path and her ultimate victory—overcoming dualistic thought and compassionately benefiting countless beings. As a teacher, she uses her own life story to instruct and nurture her disciples so they can learn how to attain their own enlightenment.
On an abstract level, Yeshe Tsogyal represents the enlightened feminine. Her archetype is that of the heroine who fuses the absolute and the relative into a seamless enlightened existence. In the Mother Essence Lineage, Yeshe Tsogyal and her incarnations and emanations are of primary importance, because she is the Mother of Vision, and therefore the Mother of non-dual experience. Although Yeshe Tsogyal is often referred to as Guru Rinpoche’s consort, the two are in fact simultaneous manifestations of the integrated principles of skillful means and sublime knowing.
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- "Listen, faithful Tibetans! I am merging with the fundamental, the ground of all that is---physical pain and suffering are disappearing.... The son, the inner elements of my body, is reuniting with the mother, the outer elements. Her physical remains will disappear into earth and stone."
- "I, Yeshe Tsogyal, am the sovereign of cyclic existence and its transcendence. If you recognize me, I live in the minds of all beings; I emanate as the natural elements and sense-fields; And I emanate further through the twelve links of dependent origination.
- "Though primordially we are not separate, not recognizing me, you experience me externally."
- "Wherever there is space, five elements pervade, Wherever the five elements, the homes of living beings, Wherever living beings, karma and defilements, Wherever is defilement, my compassion also. Wherever is the need of beings, there I am to help them."
- "Through the power of spreading the Buddhist teachings, May the lineage holders and Dharma teachers flourish May all beings live in happiness; and May all realms be pure."