Zabbulung—Where Yeshe Tsogyal Attained the Rainbow Body


According to Yeshe Tsogyal's autobiography, her passing into nirvana in the form of the rainbow body occurred in the valley of Shang Zabbulung, south west of Lhasa, about a day's drive.

Guru Padmsambhava authored an extensive guide to Zabbulung in which he states that it is one of five valleys in Tibet where the dakinis gather. He described it as outwardly resembling the cosmic mandala of Mt. Meru and that the positive effects of being there were impossible to count. The secret etymology of this place name is that zab refers to the profound view of the nature of reality, bu to sentient beings watched over like children, and lung to the transmission of the hidden treasure teachings occurring there.

Another pilgrimage guide states that Yeshe Tsogyal lived at Zabbulung with a vast retinue for ten years and there, attained the visionary appearances of the path of direct crossing (togel). At age 211, she entered a cave which resembles hands in prayer mudra (photo right), gave teachings and, offered a ganachakra. After six days, holding her damaru and skullcup, she stepped onto a lotus-like carpet of light held by dakinis and ascended in a body of light.

A supplication prayer to the treasure valley of Zabbulung, praises in this way:

How marvelous! Equal to the actual Pinnacle Pure Realm of Lotus Light (Akhanistha), the Zabbulung palace of the assembly of the sugatas is naturally arisen, sublimely wonderful, and beyond description. To the foremost among the Land of Snow's five treasure areas, I pray.

Adapted by Lama Yeshe Wangmo from various sources.