In the Yungdrung Bön tradition, the place where the deities and objects of veneration are gathered is called the “Tsok Zhing”, the “Field of Accumulation”. It is also sometimes translated as the “Field of Merit” or the “Merit Field” because what is being accumulated by paying homage and making offerings to this place is merit, or virtue. This is the Merit Field according to the Menri Tradition from a drawing done by the great master and scholar HE Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche.
This is the lineage of monastic discipline. These lineage masters have all taken monk’s vows and therefore wear the appropriate clothing to distinguish them from laypeople.
1. Tritsuk Gyalwa. 16,017 BC – 7,817 BC. This is the name that the enlightened Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche received upon taking ordination as a monk at the age of 31. Although he was already a completely enlightened being, he showed the example of taking the path of renunciation.
2. Tsukshen Gyalwa
3. Drangsong Gyalwa. He was one of Tönpa Shenrap’s eight sons. His birth name was Tobu Bumsang.
4. Tsukse Mawo
5. Tridé Gungdrak
6. Mucho Demdruk
7. Mutsa Trahé. He was from the ancient land of Tazik. He was one of The Six Translators who wrote down the words of Lord Tönpa Shenrap into their respective languages and brought them to their respective countries.
8. Tridé Öpo
9. Lhang Lhang Tsukphü
10. Dangwa Yi Ring
11. Thukar Yeshé
12. Gung Rum Yeshe
13. Ölha Selbar
14. Dzütrul Yeshé
15. Yeshé Tsultrim
16. Yungdrung Tsultrim
17. Tsukphü Tsultrim
18. Gachu Gyalwa
19. Yagong Gyalwa
20. Détsun Rabsel
21. Jotsün Yeshé
22. Muzi Salzang. He was a manifestation of Mucho Demdruk. During a time of suppression, he retreated to a cave and went into a meditation of cessation, stopping all thoughts and sensations. Hundreds of years later, Tribar Tsultrim came upon him in the cave.
23. Tribar Tsultrim. He was the manifestation of Tsukshen Gyalwa. He was born a prince but due to external circumstances, he was banished to Mongolia and became a slave of a local ruler. One day, while looking after the ruler’s horses, he wandered into a cave that looked dark at the entrance but light on the inside. Once inside the cave, he saw a figure that resembled a monk but whose hair had grown down to the ground and become entangled. The karmic connection immediately ripened and he joyfully began prostrating and requesting that the monk awake from his meditation. Day after day, he returned to the cave. First, one of the monk’s eyebrows moved, then a portion of his face. On the third day, he yelled at the slave, “Are you a human or non-human obstacle?” The slave replied that he desired to become his disciple. The monk agreed and gave him full ordination. The monk in the cave was Muzi Selzang.
24. Gyalwa Tsukphü. He was the manifestation of Tobu Bumsang, son of Lord Tönpa Shenrap.
25. Tsukphü Tsultrim. He was the manifestation of Tsukse Mawo.
26. Lachen Mutur. He was born in 952 AD. He was also known by his monastic name, Sherap Tsultrim. He had many disciples, both Yungdrung Bön and Buddhist. He gave his disciples the four signs of monastic ordination which were, Upper and lower garments, a lotus hat and a meditation mat that were all blue. He said that if the articles could not be entirely blue, then they should have parallel seams of blue thread. He was a manifestation of Mutsa Trahé.
27. Nyö Tsün Rinchen Gyaltsen. He was the manifestation of Tridé Öpo.
28. Nyö Künga Tsultrim. He was the manifestation of Lhang Lhang Tsukpü.
29. Gar Rinchen Tsukpü. He was the manifestation of Dangwa Yi Ring
30. Trapü Tsultrim. He was the manifestation of Tuk Kar Yeshé.
31. Nyöla Drukpa Tsultrim Yeshé. He was the manifestation of Gang Rum Tsukpü.
32. Sheltsün Yungdrung. He was the manifestation of Ölha Salwar.
33. Gur Tsün Yungdrung Gyaltsen. He was the manifestation of Yeshé Tsultrim.
34. Khenlop Namnyi
35. Me’u Gongdzö Ritropa. 1038-1096. He was the manifestation of Sertok Chejam and founder of the AH Tri Lineage of Dzogchen teachings. (See previous post, The Saint.)
After these lamas, the lineage splits into four different lines according to the families of Dru, Zhu, Pa and Shen. The following is the lineage of the 1st Abbot of Menri Monastery, Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen.
36. Métön Sherab Ödzer
37. Shentön Namkha Gyaltsen. He was the manifestation of the great lama, Drenpa Namkha.
38. Yorpo Métön Drakpa Pal. He was a manifestation of the great lama, Drenpa Namkha.
39. Dütsi Gyaltsen. He was the manifestation of Lhatri of Zhang Zhung.
40. Darma Gyaltsen. He was the manifestation of Hripa Gyermé.
41. Tsultrim Lama
42. Drogön Martön Gyallé
43. Bartang Zhangtön Sonam
44. Sumtön Lhabum
45. Shentön Drogön Lodro Gyaltsen
46. Shentön Yeshé Lodro. In 1173, he built the temple of Darding Sergo Tramo Tsukla Khang in Darding.
47. Men Gongwa Dülwa Lodro
48. Men Gongwa Sherap Lodro
49. Gya Rongwa Yungdrung Yeshé
50. Drutön Tsultrim Yeshé. He was the Abbot who gave vows to Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen.
51. Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen. 1356-1415. He is known as the Second Buddha and was the founder and 1st abbot of Tashi Menri Monastery in Tibet. (See previous post, Celebration of the Second Buddha.)