Clarifying misconceptions that state that the Martsang Kagyu is mixed other traditions

Q: If it is asked: When did the unfounded claims – that the Martsang Kagyu tradition is mixed with other religious traditions, that it is broken, or has dissolved into other traditions – commence or where does its basic discussion have its origin ?

1.In the Western year 1984 a Chinese elder ,Chang, Yi-Suen , wrote in the last volume of the great Tibetan-Chinese dictionary that “Martsang Sherab Senge was the founder of the Martsang Kagyu tradition, that later on this tradition merged with the Nyingma Peyul tradition in a place called Khams, and that the reincarnated masters of this tradition are referred to as the Karmapas”.

It appears that Chang, Yi-Suen did not at all know the name of the founder of the Martsang tradition, Marpa Sherab Yeshe, as Chang, Yi-Suen incorrectly claims Sherab Senge to be its founder.

Suppose one would accept that what is being said in this paragraph is true and the Martsang tradition is mixed with the Nyingma Peyul tradition; so also accept that the Karmapas are the reincarnations of the Martsang teachers?!  Accepting some points of one paragraph but rejecting other points of the same paragraph, is that not contradictory to logic and truth ?

If the Chinese elder Chang, Yi-Suen did not even know the origin of the Karmapas, then one will be able to understand that he did not know the history of the Martsang tradition either.

Before Chang, Yi-Suen wrote the Tibetan-Chinese dictionary, not even one text had been seen that mentioned that the Martsang tradition is mixed with other Dharma traditions. Furthermore, there are no historical facts or third-party references to support the claim that the Martsang tradition is mixed with other religious traditions and that the reincarnations of the Martsang tradition are the Karmapas? This is clearly just an opinion and not based on reference or fact. Therefore, if one investigates critically, one’s doubts will automatically get cleared away.

2. Rango Tulku mentioned in the text Martsang Denrab[1] that Lama Katok Tashi Gyatso in particular wrote an explanatory text on Trekchoe[2]in which he emphasized the Martsang Mahamudra, and mentioned that the text ‘Chagdzo Yerme’ contains a combination of ‘Gongpa Zangtal’[3] and ‘Thoegal’[4]. He goes on to say that, according to Jamgoen Kongtrul Rinpoche’s ‘Treasury Of Instructions’, there is no other Martsang teaching lineage other than the‘Chagdzo Yerme’ which contains a combination of ‘Gongpa Zangtal’[5] and ‘Thoegal’, contained in the Peyul tradition.

This paragraph by Rango Tulku, that is mentioned above, is the only so-called ‘proof’ that the Martsang tradition is mixed with other religious traditions. But in it, there is no mention of even one word that the Martsang tradition is mixed with other religious traditions.

We have researched whether a text written by Tashi Gyatso such as this existed or not, and for that purpose examined three different sections of Kongtrul’s text – ‘Treasury Of Instructions’ – which was available in Tibet in 2012 and 2013, and thus far determined that such a text did not exist

More evidences are translating from Tibetan to English at the moment, we will update more information once the translation context is ready.

[1]text on the history of the succession of abbots of the Martsang tradition
[2] Early translation for Vipashyana; together with ‘Thoegal’, it forms the essential part of Dzogchen in the Nyingma tradition
[3]lit. ‘unimpeded realization’
[4] ‘Thoegal’ is also referred to as The Great Completeness in the Dzogchen practiceof the Nyingma tradition
[5]lit. ‘unimpeded realization’