Buddhist Women – The Story of A Survivor

Upcoming Events

Donate – The Dakini Mountain Emergency Fund

Open Dates
Dakini Mountain and Ngakpa International have been severely affected by the pandemic which has caused a major loss of income. Every contribution at this time makes a difference...
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Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

With Geshe Sonam

September 22 - 24, 2020
Study the guide to the way of life of love and compassion, the classic text at the heart of Mahayana Buddhism. This class covers essential topics of Buddhist philosophy including emptiness, bodhichitta...
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Vajrayogini: Teachings and Practice

With Pema Khandro

September 26, 2020
Vajrayogini Practice with Pema Khandro - Vajrayogini is the embodiment of wisdom, joy and fierce compassion, a female buddha venerated by all the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Vajrayogini meditation is practiced as a meditation to realize innate wisdom and intrinsic courage...
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Conversations on Buddhism and Sexuality

With Pema Khandro

October 5, 2020
The subject of Buddhism and Sexuality is a complex issue approached in a variety of ways throughout history. Most recently, in the wake of the #metoo movement, news about sexual abuse and sexual misconduct in Buddhism has brought forward important questions. This series provides a platform for contemplating these questions and the greater context of Buddhist ethics. The goal is to raise awareness, promote education and highlight resources. The series will feature four evenings of conversations between Pema Khandro and Buddhist scholars and teachers. By Donation.
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Conversations on Buddhism and Sexuality

With Pema Khandro

October 6, 2020
Details Coming Soon!
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Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

October 7, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Conversations on Buddhism and Sexuality

With Pema Khandro

October 7, 2020
Details Coming Soon!
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Conversations on Buddhism and Sexuality

With Pema Khandro

October 8 - 9, 2020
Details Coming Soon!
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Dakini Day Chod: Living in the Charnel Grounds

With Pema Khandro

October 12, 2020
A deep dive in the profound method and view of Tibetan Chod meditation and the four feasts. This is a Tibetan meditation which is a potent, dynamic practice for cutting through fear and facing death. It is a practice of healing through ultimate compassion...
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Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

October 14, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Vajra Sangha Retreat

With Pema Khandro

October 17, 2020
After a year of tremendous uncertainty the Vajra Sangha will gather online for the annual Vajra Sangha retreat to meet with Pema Khandro, practice together and study the root and branch vows. The Vajra Sangha are Pema Khandro’s personal long-term students.
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BIPOC Meditation Group

With Pema Khandro

October 19, 2020
This is a meditation group for members who are BIPOC to practice together and talk about how race impacts our lives. If you are interested in learning more about membership, please visit Become a Member or reach out to our Membership Coordinator, Tsal'gyur, at membership@ngakpa.org
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Ngakpa Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

October 21, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Ngakpa Live – Online

With Pema Khandro

October 28, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Excellent Path

With Pema Khandro

October 28, 2020
This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the challenge of integrating meditation into a full, dynamic life […]
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Meditation Instructor Training

With Pema Khandro, Aruna Rig'dzin and Dr. Satya

October 31, 2020 - February 20, 2021
The Meditation Instructor Training supplies the fundamental knowledge and experience necessary to lead meditation classes and one-day meditation intensives [...]

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

November 4, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

November 11, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Ngakpa Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

November 18, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Tara Day Practice (Meditation Monday)

With Dr. Satya

November 23, 2020
White Tara Meditation is a buddhist prayer offered in times of calamities, natural disasters, wars, and major obstacles in order to bring peace and healing to the community and environment.  
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Ngakpa Live – Online

With Pema Khandro

November 25, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

November 25, 2020
This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the challenge of integrating meditation into a full, dynamic life […]
Register Now

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

December 2, 2020
In web-classes, meeting twice a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism[…]

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

December 9, 2020
In web-classes, meeting twice a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism[…]

Birthday Fundraiser Event – Online

December 16, 2020
Pema Khandro Rinpoche's Birthday Celebration & Fundraiser Details TBA, check back soon...
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Ngakpa Live – Online

With Pema Khandro

December 23, 2020
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study... of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen...
Pre-requisites Required to Register. For More Information, Email Info@Ngakpa.org

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

December 23, 2020
This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the challenge of integrating meditation into a full, dynamic life […]
Register Now

Nangsa Obum: Story of a Survivor

This is a brief summary of the legend of Nangsa Obum.  She is beaten almost to death and in the end survives and moves on to live a life devoted to liberation of her self and others. Therefore it is a story of a woman overcoming extreme resistance to her spiritual pursuits. Although those around her do not understand and actively work against her, Nangsa Obum’s diligence makes it possible for her to fulfill her highest aspirations in the end. Her story portrays a Buddhist life that is not easy, yet expresses unrelenting pure intention, virtue and determination.

Nangsa Obum (sNang sa ‘Od ‘bum) was born in wealthy family in south western Tibet in the eleventh or twelfth century. She was married to the king’s son, Drakpa Samdrup. However, both the king and the son loved her. Vying for her favor, Nangsa Obum’s legend tells us that the king and his son gave Nangsa Obum the keys to the royal storehouse. Unfortunately, this made the king’s sister jealous, since those keys had previously belonged to this sister. The king’s sister began a campaign against Nangsa Obum.

Nangsa Obum met a traveling yogi and began to turn towards a Buddhist life. Out of jealousy, the king’s sister told the king that Nangsa Obum was being unfaithful. After hearing this, the king beat her and took her son. Due to the physical and emotional trauma of these events, she became depressed and died.

Upon her death, Nangsa Obum met the Buddha of compassion, Avalokiteshvara. He told her that because of her exceeding virtue, he would send her back to continue living. Her legend states that because of this, Nangsa Obum returned from the dead and came back to life.

Changed by this experience she began preaching the Buddhist teachings to her family and servants but they were not receptive to this. They took her son, scorned her and evicted her. Forced into homelessness, eventually she found a Lama, Shakya Gyaltsen, who was willing to teach her. Through training earnestly she became a great yogini.

However, her troubles did not end. Her husband and his father, the king, came after Ngangsa Obum. They showed up at her teacher’s temple with their army, intending to destroy the monastery, kill the disciples and retrieve Nangsa Obum. They were unsuccessful because the Lama used supernatural powers to defend the disciples and their monastery. The legend of Nangsa Obum says that during this display of powers, Nangsa Obum also revealed special powers, flying above the men gathered there. It was only then that her husband and his father realized that she was an emanation of Dorje Phagmo, Vajrayogini. From then on, she was allowed to practice Buddhism and study with her teacher who was supported by the king.

This is my brief summary of the short version of Obum’s life by Schaeffer (see below), who based his version on previous versions. Apparently, Nangsa Obum’s story had appeared in the numerous previous renditions by Gelek Namgyal and Phoebe Harper (1984), Duncan (1955), Waddell (1895), Cunningham (1940) and Bacot (1924).

References:

(1) Allione, Tsultrim. Women Of Wisdom. Revised edition. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion, 2000. Print.

(2) Gross, Rita M. Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism. SUNY Press, 1993. Print.

(3) Schaeffer, Kurtis R. Himalayan Hermitess: The Life of a Tibetan Buddhist Nun. Oxford University Press, 2004. Print.


Pema Khandro
Pema Khandro is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, humanitarian, and teacher in the rare lineage of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis. Raised in the west, ordained in the Nyingma lineage, enthroned as a tulku and trained as an academic, Pema Khandro presents both a traditional perspective and a modern voice. Read more at: https://www.pemakhandro.org/pema-khandro-extended-biography/