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Karma Lingpa

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Karma Lingpa (Kar ma gling pa, b. c. 1350), a great tertön, is embraced as a reincarnation of Chokro Luyi Gyaltsen (cog ro klu'i rgyal mtshan), a great master, and accepted as the revealer of the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead. Karma Lingpa took body in southeast Tibet as the eldest son of Nyida Sangye (Nyi zla sangs rgyas), the great Tantric practitioner. At an early age, Karma Lingpa engaged in esoteric practices and achieved many siddhi; when he reached fifteen years of age, he discovered several terma texts on top of Mount Gampodar amongst which were a collection of teachings entitled The Self-Emergence of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities from Enlightened Awareness (zhi khro dgongs pa rang grol), Bardo Thodol.

Dubgyur (2006) charts the influence of Karma Lingpa's Bardo Thodol- the judgment of the Dead on the Bhutanese Criminal Trial System. Dobgyur states that this text is a legal and historical source of importance on which most of the modern Criminal Procedure of Bhutan is based through the enactment of the Butanese Civil and Criminal Procedure Code in 2001.


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