In the originally pure, self-liberated great pure-awareness nature of the primordial Buddha, the state of full-awakening is actualized. Even though the head of all Buddha families is invisible with this primodial nature,countless displays of primordial wisdom are manifested,like limitless clouds,for the sake of tarning sentient beings.The protector of all sentient beings,the great Vidyadhara Kunsang sherab,had many incarnations,manifesting both sucessively and simultaneously.Some his past incarnations include Drachen-dzin(the son of the unequalled teacher, Buddha Shakyamuni); the Arhat Genyen Dharmata(one of the sixteen Arhats,who was an emanation of Avalokiteshvara);Garab Dorje(the teacher of Ati Yoga); Shiri Singha(the great Vajra Acharya of the Ati Yoga);Jampal Shenyen(the scholar); King Indrabhuti(the later lineage holder);the accomplished Hashang of China;Lasum Gyalwa Changchub(also known as Neten Gendun Zangpo of the twenty-five discples); Cho-lo-gon(an emanation of Aryapalo);Zurchen Shakya Jungney(the omniscient one);Taglung Thangpa Tashi Pal;Chag Zompa(a great mahasiddha);Melong Dorje(a great mahasiddha); and Sherab Gyaltsen of Dolpo.
A special secrey prophecy in Terton Sangye Lingpo's Gongdu revelation states,"Now this Arhat,Gendun Zangpo by the compassion of the king,will hold the secret treasury of Gongdu("One Great Expanse of the Enlightened Mind)in his heart.In order to spread forth the Gongdu he will,in the future,bear the name Prajna(Wisdom). By maintaining the profoundmeaning of the Gongdu dharma,he will care for sentient beings who dwell where there is no dharma and even worse.He will assume the appearance of hidden yogi and, with clear voice,his compassion will be equal to space.According to the king,the holder of the Gongdu,Gendun Zangpo,will incarnate as the second regent of this dharma.When the powerful king expels Lotsawa Berotsana,all the remaining Karma will be amassed.Through the intensity and force of Gendu Zangpo's prayers,this karma will be exhausted and will dissolve into the king's heart.In this way Gendu Zangpo will continue to send forth countless maniestations of compassion." This prophecy indicates the name,activities and qualities of Kunzang Sherab. In addition to Kunzang Sherab,many of his later incarnations, such as Gyatrul Rinpoche,Gyalsei Gyurmed Dorje and so forth,clarified and increased the doctrine in various non-Buddhist regions around Gyarong(northeast Tibet).
Kunzang Sherab was born in 1636, the eleventh rabjung year of the first rat.As a child,he possessed compassion for all sentient beings and never harmed even smallest creature.Unlike ordinary children, he awakened his innate primordial awareness at the early age and was gifted with the ability to memorize many prayers of the Kathog tradition.
From many great spiritual teachers,Kunsang Sherab received the entire precious Kagyurthe Lamdre Shichod Jor Drug and many empowerments and teachings from both the earlier and later traditions. There are two large volumes documenting all the transmissions Kunsang Sherab received.
After received these transmissions, Kunsang Sherab retreated to the isolation of hidden forests to practice and fulfill all of his commitments. Abandoning sleep by placing throns around the border of his seat, he persevered and endured the hardships of practice until the heat of experience blazed from within. In this way,Kunsang Sherab achieved the signs of true accomplishment on the path.
Kunsang Sherab was a dharma keeper of the Nam Cho . Terton Migyur Dorje gave him all the empowerments and detailed mind-ripening teachings on Dzogchen Sangye Lagchang(The Great Perfection Buddha in the Palm of the Hand).
In order to have the good fortune of a person audience with the eminent Terton Duddul Dorje,Kunsang Sherab behan a journey which was suddenly interrupted when he reached the warring territory of Lhodzong.Prevented from traveling any further,he sent his servant ahead with the many offerings they had carried to present to Terton Duddul Dorje. Kunsang Sherab began his journey back to Palyul,but attempting to accross the surging NguChu River,his boat sank.Taking his two attendants by the hand, he assumed the vajra asana(full lotus posture) and miraculously crossed the river without even getting his body wet. The news of the mircle spread throughout the area and he became known as the Kathog lama who flies over the river inspiring great faith in the minds and hearts of common people.
Kunsang Sherab continually gave empowerments,transmissions and teachings to all of his disciples according to the level of their ecperience and protential.
Kunsang Sherab's heart disciples were Pedma Lhundrub Gyatso; Mugsang Dorje Kunzang Gyatso;his nephew and attendant,Tashi Tseten;his youth brother,Pedma Yeshe Gyatso;the four great disciples of or,who were Teshe Senge of Serpa,Ahphel of Janggang,Bag Ding of Shuggang(also known as Raton Lhundrub Gyatso) and Dorje Thar of Tsangda.From these outstanding disciples, the blood and spiritual lineages of this trandtion became as precious as garlands of gold, enriching the spiritual heritage and strength of all monastic institutions.
Prior to his passing,Kunsang Sherab's final words were directed specifically to his foremost disciple,Pedma Lhundrub Gyatso,to whom he said,"You must uphold the doctrine,just as I have tried to do. You and I will never be apart.Now I am witnessing the descent of a large crystal staircase from space.Like massing clouds,offering goodness assuming an air of greatness are approaching,leading tigers and snow lions and bearing offering substances"These were his final words.In 1699, on the fifth day of the year of the Earth Rabbit, at age of sixty-four, after partaking of his mid-day meal,Kunsang Sherab dissolved the rupakaya(from body) into the great sphere of truth.