There are various known Tibetan Buddhist texts describing Muktinath-Chumig
Gyatsa, dating back to the 16th century AD. At least two of these
texts were in the possession of the local people of Muktinath, but
the local people lost them as one can read in The Clear Mirror.*
Jampal Rabgyé Rinpoche
Late abbot of Chumig Gyatsa Muktinath Lama Jampal
Rabgyé Rinpoche (1908 AD-1978 AD) - the late grandfather
of the current abbot of Chumig Gyatsa Muktinath
Lama Wangyal - decided to write down a pilgrimage guide to make
sure the oral transmission of pilgrimage guide known to him would
be saved for future generations.
Comments on translation and publication
We chose not to add links to the
text. See the Muktinath
Picture Album for pictures and related links connected to the
Clear Mirror. For additional comments, please see end
of the translation.
You can also download the full translation
of the Clear Mirror in PDF-format (135 KB) to view and print it
with the free Acrobat
A Pilgrimage Guide to the Major Sacred Place
Chumig Gyatsa (One Hundred Springs)
By Jampal Rabgyé Rinpoche
from Tibetan into English by Ngawang Zangpo and offered by him to
Muktinath Lama Wangyal in the year of the Iron Snake, 2128 (2001 AD).
Muktinath Foundation International
during the time of the doctrine of the fully and completely enlightened
Buddha Shakyamuni, Guru Rinpoché was born in a lotus-flower
in the wonderful and excellent western land of Oddiyana. Within this
worldly realm, his fortune was to become a prince of the royal family
the land of India, he cut through all his misunderstandings [of the
In Cool Grove, he attained the two forms of accomplishment. In Varanasi,
he turned the wheel of the sacred teachings.
Due to karmic connections and aspirations made in past lifetimes,
The Tibetan king Tri-song Dé-u Tsen invited the Lotus-Born
Master from Oddiyana to Tibet.
At the great Samyé Monastery in central Tibet, he tamed the
Further, in the Land of Jambu's four directions and its central region.
He blessed all mountains and glacier lakes
And concealed many treasures for the benefit of future sentient beings.
He bound under oath all Tibetan gods and cannibal demons
And spread the Buddhist doctrine throughout the Himalayas.
Now he suppresses the cannibal demons in the south-west.
He has not passed away but lives on as the lord-protector of all beings:
Lotus-Born Master, the three bodies of enlightenment in one, at your
feet I bow.
Hindus and Buddhists consider this major sacred place a special location.
Hindus call it Muktinath, while we Buddhists call it Chumig Gyatsa
(The Hundred Springs), comparable to the thirty-third heaven, Joyous.
This text will present a brief account of its origin.
the past, Tibet's king Tri-song Dé-u tsen sent a translator
to India to invite the Great Master to tame the land for the great
Samyé Monastery. As the Great Master traveled to Tibet, he
considered the people of Lo-wo as his disciples and constructed a
temple here in Lo-wo. As its inner sacred support, the Lotus-Born
Master sculpted a statue resembling himself, to be placed in the temple.
That temple is now the Lamp Temple and the inner sacred support within
it, the statue made by the Guru's own hand, is the Guru "Looks-like
me" statue that can now be seen there.
this place has been blessed by India's eighty great accomplished masters.
With the intention to benefit sentient beings, those masters took
an Indian cliff called Ral-pa-chen (in Tibetan) with the tips of their
fingers and made the wish that it cover a boiling lake of poison.
They flung it into space and it fell to earth, covering the boiling
lake of poison. Then the accomplished masters went to offer many prostrations
and circumambulations to the monarch of the Himalayas, Kailash Mountain.
They washed themselves in Lake Manasarovar, then brought 80 gourds
of water to this special, sublime sacred place. They stayed above
the Vajra Palace and dreamed that on this central, great sovereign
mountain, the sacred circle of the sixty-four deities of Supreme Bliss
This sublime sacred place that appears as a mountain
Is the great female consort, Vajra Yogini.
Its appearance is the male consort; its emptiness, the female.
Appearance and emptiness are in inseparable union.
This is the palace of male and female Supreme Bliss.
The golden eastern mountain
Has the form of the noble gentle lord-protector.
The intermediate hills--white, yellow, red, and green--
Are the twenty-one Taras.
The southern, yellow mountain
Has the form of the Transcendent Conqueror Shakyamuni.
In such a wonderful, sublime sacred place,
A river, as large as a horse-tail, emerged.
At that place, Lotus-Born Master
Made tenth-day offerings continually, without fail.
It is known as the sublime place of Dakini Land.
Within it, the meditative experience and realization
Of the assembly of the eighty accomplished masters increased.
When they danced, one thousand impressions of their footprints were
left in stone.
All were concealed as treasures,
Except for two, which were left for beings' benefit.
This is a place for fortunate persons to practice tantra;
Persons without such fortune cannot practice here.
This musical sound of water in the South
Is an offering of water to the Three Roots,
By the kings of the nagas, Ga-wa and Jok-po.
If you go 36 yards from there, toward the South,
You find the renowned, major sacred site,
Which is endowed with outer, inner, and secret qualities.
Outwardly, it is the lord-protectors of the three kinds of beings.
The fire from water is All-Seeing One (Chenrézi);
The fire from earth is Gentle Splendor (Manjushri);
And the fire from stone is Lord of Secrets (Vajrapani).
Inwardly, the three poisonous obscuring emotions are burned:
Fire burn in the water of purified desire;
Fire burns in the earth of purified anger;
And fire burns in the stone of purified stupidity.
Secretly, this is the non-dual union of the male and female deities:
Fire burns in the water of transcendent knowledge;
Fire burns in the earth of skilful means;
And fire burns stably within the stone of union.
You will gain accomplishment by seeing or hearing this.
At the one hundred and eight springs,
The eighty accomplished masters
Each made a reservoir in the earth.
From the heatless turquoise Lake Manasarovar,
They brought the finest, blessed water.
"In a future time of decline,
There will be many sentient beings who will commit negative acts,
Such as those of immediate retribution.
They will be reborn in the hell of unceasing torment.
To guide those sentient beings,
The hundred and eight springs,
That even by drinking a mouthful of this water,
They will not have to experience the sufferings of such torment:
Let alone other forms of suffering."
They thereby expressed their great wishes for beings' benefit.
After having concealed this as a precious treasure,
One hundred and eight springs
Each accomplished master had a staff,
Which he or she used as a walking-stick.
They each planted a staff in the ground
And said that marked their residence.
The trees that grew from their staffs
Can still be seen today.
Along the pilgrimage path of this sublime sacred place,
In the rock is Guru Drakpo's hand-implement,
A self-arisen scorpion.
Slightly above that place,
There is the clear impression of a foot in stone,
Which Lotus-Born Master from Oddiyana made
With positive aspirations for sentient beings' happiness.
Close to that boulder,
Lies a sign of the treasures, an impression of a vajra.
Within it lies the dakinis' drinking water.
On it, there is a self-arisen garuda.
In the north-west of this sublime sacred place,
Between the Pu-hrang region and the monastery,
There is a blessed impression of the Buddha's foot.
In the east of this sublime sacred place,
There are impressions
Of Lotus-Born Master from Oddiyana's
A kapala, tea churn, tea-strainer, and ladle.
Such amazing things can be seen there.
That location's name is Ja-dong Dong-mo.
In the south-east of this sublime sacred place,
Near the place called Accomplishment of the Deity,
There are two particularly exalted impressions of the feet
Of Lotus-Born Master from Oddiyana.
The right foot's impression is wearing a boot;
The left foot's is clearly of a bare foot.
This place is called Impressions of the Guru's Feet.
Continue here for part 2
( back to top)
on Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa
The MFI is collecting copies of all scientific publications and manuscripts
on Muktinath- Chumig Gyatsa. Places
of Pilgrimage in Thag, published in 1979 by David Snellgrove
and Shampa Ngawang of Drumpa. This publication describes not only
Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa, but other Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the
area as well. Regarding Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa The
Clear Mirror is the most detailed and literary pilgrimage
guide available so far.
The Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project (NGMPP)
might bring more texts on Muktinath-Chumig Gaytsa in the future.