Pahlke, Michael

Die Hagiographie des La phyi ba Nam mkha’ rgyal mtshan (1372 bis 1437)

Eine Studie über das Leben eines tibetischen Heiligen

17.0 x 24.0 cm, 368 p., 1 maps, 12 illustrations color, 36 illustrations b/w, auf Tafeln, 1 Faltkarte, cloth
98,00 €

ISBN: 9783895007231
Table of Contents

Short Description

This is the life story of a saint who is deemed to be the reincarnation of the most famous Tibetan hermit, rJe btsun Mi la ras pa. Due to his more than three-decades long abode in La phyi, one of the most significant places for spiritual practice, his personal background not only reflects the exemplary path to liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth, it also simultaneously throws light on a multitude of teaching systems of different traditions as well as important places in the Tibetan Buddhist context. A supplication prayer to Mi la ras pa, which was believed to be lost for some time, completes the hagiography.


This study illumines the life of a Tibetan hermit who spent thirty-one years of his life in retreat in La phyi, a holy site of the Cakrasamvara cult, on the border between Tibet and Nepal. He is deemed to have been the mind emanation of Mi la ras pa (1040–1123) and was a disciple of a multitude of masters and lineage holders of different traditions. Among these were the Fifth Karma pa De bzhin gshegs pa (1384–1415), the Tenth ’Bri gung throne holder Nyer gnyis pa Chos rje Dharmaraja (1335–1407), the Shangs pa hermit Rin rdzong pa dBang phyug rgyal mtshan (b. 1317) as well as the Sa skya master Theg chen chos kyi rgyal po Kun dga’ bkra shis rgyal mtshan dpal bzang po (1349–1425).
The worldly and religious background of La phyi ba Nam mkha’ rgyal mtshan was very similar to those of other eminent Buddhist personalities, e.g., the founder of the religion, Buddha Sakyamuni, or the famous Tibetan yogin Mi la ras pa. Particular significance is bestowed upon La phyi ba, among others, because he held transmission lineages in several “practice schools” (sgrub brgyud) of Tibetan Buddhism, e.g. in the ’Bri gung bka’ brgyud, Shangs pa bka’ brgyud, Karma bka’ brgyud and Ras chung bka’ brgyud traditions. In some cases teaching systems were even conferred upon him as sole disciple and thereby acknowledged his supernormal capabilities.
In addition to a general introduction to the topic–the hagiography and the context for the hermit covered here in particular–the study contains a text-critical edition based on three different issues of the underlying manuscript, as well as an annotated translation of the life story of La phyi ba Nam mkha’ rgyal mtshan. In two appendices there are found the Tibetan texts together with a translation of a praise to Buddha Śākyamuni as well as a longer supplication prayer to Mi la ras pa which was often printed together with his biography and “collected spiritual songs” in the past. The last-named prayer was unavailable for a long time and originates from the pen of the same author who composed the life story edited here, namely Nam mkha’ bsam grub rgyal mtshan. It was written in the year 1448 in bKra shis lhun grub chos grwa, eleven years after Nam mkha’ rgyal mtshan’s death. Photographs of important places, religious objects and persons closely connected to the topic, as well as a facsimile edition of the original manuscript, complete the present study.

Biographical Note

Dr Michael Pahlke

born 1956
1977–1979 French language studies at the University of Grenoble
1979–1980 Studies of Indologie, Psychology and Religious Studies at the University of Tübingen
1980–2000 Studies of Indologie, Tibetology and Comparative Religious Studies at the University of Hamburg
1996–1999 Academic assistant at the University of Hamburg
2000 MA at the University of Hamburg
2007 PhD at the University of Hamburg
since 2010 Deputy Director of Lumbini International Research Institute in Lumbini, Nepal
Focus of research: The Shangpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism; Hermits in the succession of Milarepa


14th century, c 1300 to c 1399 (103) || Biography & non-fiction prose (115) || Biography: general (19) || Biography: religious & spiritual (4) || Buddhism (39) || Buddhism: branches & groups (12) || China (47) || Comparative religion (13) || East Asia, Far East (40) || History of religion (69) || Indian sub-continent (26) || Mahayana Buddhism (12) || Nepal (17) || Religion (45) || Religion & beliefs (225) || Religion: general (94) || Tibet (31) || Tibetan Buddhism (12) || c 1000 CE to c 1500 (376)