Texts by Ngok Masters since 1100


The First Mosaic Piece:

Marpa (1012-1097), the great Lotsawa, had four pupils. One of these pupils shone like the Sun over the Himalayas and far beyond. That was Milarepa, the heart-son that passed on most of what we today recognize as the Kagyu tradition. Of the remaining three pupils there is one who also left a legacy. He was said to be: “Inclined to give harmoniously flowing and ample explanations, like pearls of a necklace.” His name was Ngoktön Chöku Dorjé (1036-1102). Like one now living Dorjé Lopön said: “… Wonderful … this … reviving [of the] Ngok lineage.” … “…[In the Kagyu lineages] it was a bit overshadowed by Milarepa [and his] life story .. It is exactly Ngok who continued [the] lifestyle of Marpa – living family life and keeping teachings.” It was Ngok Choku Dorje who continued what Marpa wished to start – a family lineage. Marpa and Dagmema had a son they named Dodé who was meant to be the primary heir of Marpa’s lineage, but obstacles prevented this. So later when Ngok Choku Dorje had a son, he named him Dodé. The full name of his son was Ngok Shedang Dorjé Dodé.

Marpa declared that the descendants of Ngok Chöku Dorjé would be blessed by Naropa for seven generations, and Chöku Dorjé passed the instructions he’d received from Marpa on to his son, Ngok Dodé (the first of the seven). Some miscount the prophesied seven generations of Ngok lineage holders as starting with Chöku Dorjé himself, but in fact the counting starts with his son Ngok Dodé, the first descendant. There were 8 Ngokpa Kagyu lineage holders in total (i.e. Chöku Dorjé himself, and then 7 after him starting with his son)! “The embodiment [and last] of the lineage of the 7 successive Ngoks” was Jangchub Pal (1360-1446).

In general, the tantric teachings of Marpa are divided into two types – the so-called “shegyun” (bshad brgyun) or “explanatory stream” and the “drupgyun” (sgrub brgyun) or “experiential stream.” The shegyun refers to the formal teachings on the theory, ritual details, and symbology in the tantras while the drubgyun contains the essential instructions that are needed for experiencing the attainments taught in the tantras. [Sometimes the terms shegyu (bshad rgyud) and drubgyu (sgrub rgyud) are used].

The 8 Ngoks of this family lineage passed on the shegyu and drubgyu of the “Seven Mandalas of Ngok,”, (i.e. 7 deity mandalas central to Marpa and the Kagyu Lineage). Two of these deities were Hevajra and Nairatmya. Along with many others, Ngok Jangchub Pal gave the empowerment of Hevajra Yab-Yum to the Drikung Kagyupas. It is said that when the empowerment was completed, flames blazed up from the sand mandala. All of these details are not so well known.

Many of these Ngok-masters have written texts about Hevajra and Nairatmya, as well as the Tantra it self. One of the very productive ones was Ngok Chöku Dorje’s son, Ngok Shedang Dorje. Later we will try to compile a list over these texts, and a short indication of contents.

H.H. Drikung Kyabgön Thrinley Lhundrup has used some of Ngok Shedang Dorjes texts as primary source for the compilations His Holiness has completed since 2006.

FAMILY TREE OVER Male members of the NGOK Family:




Please notice with regards to LINEAGE, that there is “high-lighted” (with dark-grey) 8 Ngok Lineage holders, it is Marpa’s pupil Ngok Chöku Dorje, and then 7 successors. The 2nd last that is “grey-marked” is “Ngok Dundrub Gyal” (1331-1398). None the less, in the specific transmission, which has reached H.H. Drikung Kyabgön Thrinley Lhundrup,  the 2nd last Ngok lineage holder is Ngok Sangya Yönten, which can be seen in the same “row”, but another coloum of the family-tree.

Note: This “family-tree” of the Ngok-family, and the showing of the Ngok lineage holders, was published in 2016 in Marco Walther’s article about ‘Ngok Kagyu pa’, and later worked on by Cecile Ducher during her Ph.D. work on the Ngok connection to Kagyu Ngagdzö (planned to be completed by autoum 2017, and defended december 2017). This image is from May 2017. There is most likely made changes to this since then, by especially Cecile Ducher.

Publized 25th of July 2017 by Carl Djung (Karma Könchog Dorje). The first part about Marpa and his pupils, and the succession of Ngoks, as well as She-gyud and Drub.gyud is a excerpt from article compiled and edited by Carl Djung (Karma Könchok Dorje), and proff-read and edited by Jeff Rosenfeld (Könchok Palzang Jangsem), January – June 2017.