bza' Ye shes mtsho rgyal is the name of the consort of Padmasambhava
according to the hagiographies of Myang ral, the 12th century teacher
who first codified the Padmasambhava histories. She belongs to 25
Rig dzin, first disiples of Padmasambhava. Rig dzin means "holder
of knowledge or awareness" (rig pa knowledge 'dzin pa, to hold,
sanscrit: Vidyadhara). These masters are considered to be highly
accomplished due to their meditations and ritual practices.
The title "knowledge holder " may refer to all masters who transmit
esoteric teachings to their disciples, but there is a distinct group
of eight masters, said to have meditated near Bodhgaya, to which
Padmasambhava belonged during his studies in India. In this series
of initiation cards, instead of the distinct group of eight Indian
masters, there are both Tibetan and Indian masters' names on these
initiation cards. Some of the Tibetans are known as disciples of
Padmasambhava who were famous religious teachers traditionally believed
to have lived in 8th to 9th century, in Tibet and the neighboring
vallies in Bhutan.
The biographical literature for Padmasambhava was codified during
the lifetime of the lama Myang ral (1124-1192 or 1204) who wrote
the earliest known biography, but two other major biographies were
compiled in the fourteenth century by rDo rje gling pa (1346-1405).
The tradition of the group of the Rig dzin is present in the earliest
biography by lama Myang ral, but more fully developed as rituals
in the writings of Sangs rgyas gling pa (1340-1396).
Tsogyel was born princess of Kharchen. Kharchen was one of the seven
Central Tibetan principalities subjected by Songtsen Gampo. Courted
by princes of two other kingdoms, Kharchu and Zurkhar, Tsogyel would
have neither and absconded to Womphu (the valley in which one of
the three Taktsang power places is located). Finally, the Emperor
married her when she was twelve or thirteen years old.
...The King Trisong Detsen was ensconced in the Samye monastery
itself. While the Bon ministers sought the Guru's life, the King
begged for initiation into the Tantra. Guru Pema insisted that Trisong
Detsen wait a year for his initiation, and during that year the
King married Tsogyel. Thus when the King again asked the Guru for
initiation, he could offer Tsogyel along with his Empire as the
The empire that Trisong Detsen offered his Guru included China,
Jang (south of Lithang), Kham, Jar, Kongpo, Bhutan, Purang, Mangyul,
Guge, Hor, Mongolia and the Northern Plains (Jang-thang)...
...At the age of sixteen (ca. 773) Tsogyel received initiation.
The King's admission that he had given his queen to the 'vagrant
sadhu' was the cause of a raucous quarrel in council between the
Buddhist and the Bonpo factions. The senior ministers Lugung Tsenpo
and Takra Lutsen were the most active opponents of the King. Mama
Zhang (Ma-zhang) was also present in council but played no part
in the dispute. The King felt sufficiently strong to decree the
building of monasteries and hermitages, and that any opposition
to himself or the Guru would be punished. The violent reaction of
the Bon ministers caused the King to compromise - both Guru Pema
and Tsogyel would be banished. However, with the King's connivance,
they went to Tidro to meditate...