Gomchung Sherab Jangchub b.1130 - d.1173
Name Variants: Dakpo Gomchung; Dakpo Gomchung Sherab Jangchub; Sherab Jangchub
The earliest available biography of Gomchung Sherab Jangchub, an extremely brief one composed by Zhang Yudrakpa Tondru Drakpa (zhang g.yu brag pa brtson 'grus grags pa), tells us only that he was named Rongchung (rong chung) after his region, and that he received the name Sherab Jangchub on the occasion of his full ordination. Fortunately this picture can be filled out a little bit by later sources. He was a direct disciple of Gampopa Sonam Rinchen (sgam po pa bsod nams rin chen, 1079-1153), receiving from him all the precepts and empowerments. Indeed, Gampopa was his uncle, since his father was Gampopa’s elder brother named Gyapa Sere (rgya pa se re). His mother was named Tsecham (tshe lcam). Gomchung’s oldest brother was the better-known Gompa Tsultrim Nyingpo (sgom pa tshul khrims snying po, 1116-1169), and he had still another brother named Drakdze. He succeeded his brother Gomtsul as the third abbot of Daklha Gampo (dwags lha sgam po). Since this must have occurred immediately after Gomtsul’s death in 1169, and since Gomchung himself died in his forty-fourth year, it is probable that his dates are 1128-1171. Still, it is difficult to be certain, especially since one modern source dates him to 1130-1173.
The South Gorge Dharma History (lo rong chos 'byung) tells of some of Gomchung’s miraculous abilities. He could start fires by simply holding his breath and pointing his finger and could make himself invisible. This source is the only one that tells us how he died. He fell off a rock at the retreat place of Gampo Zanglung (sgam po zangs lung). In each of the places where his blood spattered rainbows appeared and there was a shower of flowers. His disciples made reliquaries at each of these spots. Following him in the abbatial succession was Dakpo Duldzin (dwags po 'dul 'dzin, 1134-1218).
Roerich, George, trans. 1996. The Blue Annals. 2nd ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas, pp. 465-6.
Tshe dbang rgyal. 1994. Lho rong chos 'byung. Lhasa: Bod ljongs bod yig dpe rnying dpe skrun khang, p. 180.
Grags pa ’byung gnas. 1992. Gangs can mkhas grub rim byon ming mdzod. Lanzhou: Kan su’u mi rigs dpe skrun khang, pp. 837-8, where his dates are given as 1130-1173.
Zhang g.yu brag pa. 1972. Bka' 'thor bu. Tashijong: Sungrab Nyamso Gyunpel Parkhang, p. 360.
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- Historical Period