The teachings of the Lelung tradition originated with Buddha Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light. Buddha Amitabha manifested in three deities: Avalokiteshvara to subdue the males of this world; Khandro Sangwa Yeshe (Secret Exalted Wisdom Dharma) to subdue the females; and as the ‘Great Glorious Hayagriva’ to subdue the wrathful beings. The second manifestation, Khandro Sangwa Yeshe’s teachings are mainly known as the Lelung Cycle of Teachings.
Guru Padmasambhava first introduced the teachings of Khandro Sangwa Yeshe into Tibet in the 8th century. The teachings were bestowed upon King Trisong Deutsen (755-797), Khadro Yeshe Tsogyal and the great translator Vairocana and were later hidden in the secret places of Tibet. When the time was right, the teachings were revealed by the great tertön Mingling Choje Terdak Lingpa or Pema Karwang Gyurme Dorje (1646-1717), who was the speech emanation of Vairocana.
As Guru Padmasambhava prophesized, this teaching lineage (lineage, here, means the original teaching fully introduced with pure motivation from teacher to teacher) was received by the Fifth Lelung Rinpoche, Pema Zhepai Dorje (1697-1740) and he spread the teachings widely in Tibet where they flourished. Many masters and students practiced the teachings until the mid-1950s when, due to upheaval in Tibet, most of the teachings almost disappeared. Now, the present 11th Lelung Rinpoche is trying to preserve these teachings. To read more about this important work, please see the Publication project.