Jamgön Kongtrül of Sechen


Chögyam Trungpa on Sechen Kongtrül

During a recent Sun of Wisdom feast in Halifax, the gathered sadhakas listened to this recording of Trungpa Rinpoche talking about his guru (excerpted from Talk Five of the Jamgön Kongtrül Seminar).

Jamgon Kongtrul of Sechen; Photo by Chögyam Trungpa

Trungpa Rinpoche writes:
By the way, I was able to acquire a box camera in Tibet, and I got film and chemicals to develop film from China, and I took this very photograph myself. I asked him, “Can I take your photograph?” He said, “You don’t need to do that,” and I said, “I insist,” [laughter] and he said, “In that case, let me dress up.” So he got his best brocade gown, shawl and robe, and he sat in the upstairs of his house on that flat roof, and he said, “All right. Ready. Do it.” [Laughter] (You don’t see the mountains in the background and the other side of the hill. Further down in the valley is the seminary where I studied. The other photograph of him you’ve seen, with the trees in the background, was a later photograph taken in Lhasa in a Chinese studio. At that point he was much thinner.) At that point when he said, “Now you do it,” I was nervous about whether it was going to come out properly or not. But fortunately it came out. I took this photograph – what year could it be?-it’s probably 1954 or something like that. A friend of mine, another tulku, another Rinpoche, showed me how to develop the film. So I took this photograph and I developed it and printed it in his monastery’s library, which is a rather dark place. We put cloth over the windows and we developed the film by trial and error, and the photograph came out all right.
-Trungpa Rinpche from Collected Vajra Assemblies, Volume One, page 187. © 2009 by Diana J. Mukpo. Used here by arrangement with Lady Diana

The Sun of Wisdom

The Sun of Wisdom

The Sun of Wisdom is a guru sadhana composed by Trungpa Rinpoche to his root guru, Jamgön Kongtrül of Shechen. This exceptionally beautiful sadhana was the first feast liturgy practiced by Trungpa Rinpoche’s students, starting in the 1970s. However, it has not been practiced on a regular basis within the Shambhala community for many years. With the re-publication of the sadhana last year by the Nālandā Translation Committee, there is renewed enthusiasm to include Sun of Wisdom feasts on the practice calendar. Karma Senge Rinpoche has chosen to incorporate the feast section from this sadhana as an alternative, more elaborate feast offering to be used for The Sadhana of Mahamudra and for the Vidyadhara’s sadhanas of Avalokiteshvara and Tröma Nagmo. Learn more about THE SUN OF WISDOM.

Woodblock prints

At some point, perhaps during the Vidyadhara’s journey to Inida and Bhutan in 1968, The Sun of Widsom was printed with traditional Tibet woodblock printing techniques. When and where these woodblocks were carved, and the whereabouts of the orginal prints and woodblocks are unknown.

The first page (front and back) of the Sun of Wisdom woodblock print