Buddhist Women – The Story of A Survivor

Upcoming Events

Self-Paced Course: Medicine Buddha

With Pema Khandro, Aruna Rig'dzin and Satya Shiva

Open Dates
A web-class co-hosted by the Buddhist Studies Institute & theYogic Medicine Institute. By donation [...]
Register Now

Self-Paced Course: Changing Your Karma

With Pema Khandro, Aruna Rig'dzin and Satya Shiva

Open Dates
Cleanse & Clear Your Body & Mind in this Guided Online Course. By donation [...]
Register Now

Transforming Fear When Loved Ones are Dying – Online

With Pema Khandro

April 13, 2020
A Webcast to Support Your Resilience. Tips to practice self care and empathy, and how to be there for yourselves and others. By donation [...]
Register Now

Dakini Day Chod – Online

With Pema Khandro

April 17, 2020
Practice the Laughter of the Dakinis on Dakini Day, a practice of healing through ultimate compassion. Donations Welcome ~ No one turned away [...]
Register Now

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

April 22, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]
Register Now

Empathy Training – Online

With Pema Khandro, Aruna Rig'dzin and Satya Shiva

April 29 - May 20, 2020
This four week training will focus on how to be there for oneself and others through tough emotions, in stressful times and even when empathy is most difficult to come by.
Register Now

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

May 6, 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

May 13, 2020
In web-classes, meeting twice a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism[…]

Dakini Day Chod – Online

With Pema Khandro

May 17, 2020
Practice the Laughter of the Dakinis on Dakini Day, a practice of healing through ultimate compassion. Donations Welcome ~ No one turned away [...]
Register Now

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

May 27, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]
Register Now

Retreat with Pema Khandro

With Pema Khandro

May 29 - 31, 2020
Details tba
Register Now

Retreat

June 1 - 7, 2020
Details tba
Register Now

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

June 3, 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

June 10, 2020
In web-classes, meeting twice a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism[…]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

June 24, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]
Register Now

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

July 1, 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

July 8, 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 […]

Dzogchen Meditation Retreat

With Pema Khandro

July 21 - 26, 2020
Join Pema Khandro Rinpoche for a five-day meditation retreat in the lush meadows and scenic rolling hills of Northern California’s Tahoe National Forest. This retreat is an immersion in Tibetan Buddhism’s restorative practices to awaken [...]
Register Now

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

July 22, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]
Register Now

Free Intro to Meditation Instructor Training – Online

With Pema Khandro, Aruna Rig'dzin and Satya Shiva

August 3, 2020
Join Pema Khandro Rinpoche, Aruna Rig’zin and Satya Shiva for a free introduction to the upcoming Meditation Instructor Training.  The training details will be covered along with time for Q&A. For full details and curriculum, visit: https://ngakpa.org/meditation-teacher-training/
Register Now

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

August 5, 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

August 12, 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 […]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

August 26, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]
Register Now

Vajrayana Training – Online

With Pema Khandro

September 2, 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

September 9, 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 […]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

September 23, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]
Register Now

Vajra Sangha Retreat

With Pema Khandro

October 1 - 6, 2020
Closed Retreat, for the Vajra Sangha only.
Closed

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 […]

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 […]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

October 28, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]
Register Now

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 […]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

November 25, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]
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[…]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

December 23, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]
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/