Eleven deeds

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Guru Rinpoche (courtesy of Terton Sogyal Trust)

Tulku Tsultrim Zangpo in A presentation of the Guru’s Eight Manifestations and his Eleven Deeds (Tib. gu ru mtshan brgyad kyi rnam bshad mdzad pa bcu gcig)[1] stated that all the hundreds of thousands of biographies of Guru Rinpoche can be summarized by Eleven Deeds. Tsultrim Zangpo then quotes from the fifth chapter entitled The Chronicle of the Ministers (Tib. blon po’i bka’ thang)[2] of the terma treasure the Five Chronicles, revealed by Orgyen Lingpa, which lists them. Accordingly, they are:

  1. Forming the enlightened intend of taming beings ('gro 'dul dgongs pa mdzad)
  2. Entering the 'womb' of the lotus (pad+ma’i lhums zhugs mdzad)
  3. Spontaneously taking birth (rang byung bltams mdzad)
  4. Enjoying the pleasures of a prince (rgyal sras rol rtsed mdzad)
  5. Taking ordination (rab tu byung mdzad)
  6. Practicing various austerities (dka’ thub sna tshogs mdzad)
  7. Overcoming Maras hosts (bdud dpung 'joms mdzad)
  8. Attaining enlightenment as a Buddha (sang rgyas byang chub mdzad)
  9. Turning the Wheel of Dharma (chos ‘khor bskor mdzad)
  10. Practising yogic discipline (brtul zhugs spyod pa mdzad)
  11. Hiding terma treasures so that the Dharma will spread far and wide and never wane (bstan pa mthar rgyas mi nub gter sbed mdzad)

Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche explains that Guru Rinpoche's life is characterized by eleven deeds rather than the twelve deeds traditionally ascribed to the Buddha because he has not passed into parinirvana.[3]


  1. tshul khrims bzang po. "gu ru mtshan brgyad kyi rnam bshad mdzad pa bcu gcig." In ‘’gsung 'bum/_tshul khrims bzang po/.’’ TBRC W1PD26799. 7: 155 - 182. [s.l.]: [s.n.], [n.d.]. http://tbrc.org/link?RID=O1PD36463%7CO1PD364632DB25996$W1PD26799
  2. o rgyan gling pa. "blon po bka'i thang yig." In bka' thang sde lnga TBRC W17319.: 521. pe cin: mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 1986, 1997 printing. http://tbrc.org/link?RID=O1GS139908%7CO1GS1399081GS139918$W17319
  3. Lerab Ling, 30 July 2011