Denma Tsemang

ISSN 2332-077X

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Denma Tsemang b.750?

Born in the Denma region of Kham, Denma Tsemang (ldan ma rtse mang) was a Sanskrit scholar and translator and is credited with fashioning the elegant calligraphy of the Tibetan script. He is credited with being a member of the translation team under Śāntarakṣita that worked on the Vinaya, sutra, and Abhidharma, and on the team that translated sadhana texts under the leadership of Padmasambhava. He was said to have perfect comprehension and recall.

In his capacity as scribe he is credited with writing out numerous texts that were later discovered as treasure, including the Deshek Dupa, or Assemblage of Sugatas (bde gshegs 'dus pa), discovered by Nyangrel Nyima Oser.

The later treasure revealer Orgyen Lingpa (o rgyan gling pa, b. 1323) attributed to him the materials from which he drew the Gyelpo Katangyik (rgyal po'i bka' thang yig).




Tarthang Tulku. 1975. The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava. Cazadero: Dharma Publications.

Dudjom Rinpoche. 2002. The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein, trans. Boston: Wisdom.

Smith, Gene. 2006. “Siddha Groups and the Mahasiddhas in the Art and Literature of Tibet.” In Holy Maddness: Portraits of Tantric Siddhas. Rob Linroth, Ed., New York: Rubin Museum of Art, pp. 63-75.

Nyang Ral Nyima Oser. 1993. The Lotus-born. Erik Pema Kunsang, trans. Boston: Shambhala.

’Jam mgon kong sprul blo gros mtha’ yas. 2007. Gter ston brgya rtsa. In Rin chen gter mdzod chen mo. New Delhi: Shechen.

Gu ru bkra shis. 1990. Gu bkra’i chos ’byung. Beijing: Krung go’i bod kyi shes rig dpe skrun khang, 172.


Arthur Mandelbaum
August 2007