Here we see Red Garuda above the head of the Jonang Master, Kunchen Dolpopa.

The Red Garuda is usually emblematic of fire, so the reference may be to the blazing of the fire of enlightenment, or a reference to Garuda’s protective qualites.


Kunchen Dolpopa was the first Jonang master to extensively teach Zhentong. In his most famous work, Mountain Dharma: An Ocean of Definitive Meaning (ri chos nges don rgya mtsho), Kunchen Dolpopa clarified the Zhentong view. These are referred to as the teachings of the “Heart’s Essence” (snying po’i don). As Kunchen Dolpopa’s Mountain Dharma and other Jonang texts were banned in the 17th century, they became extremely rare. In the 1970s and 1980s a few of these texts were re-discovered and re-printed, notably through the agency of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

From the same source:

”The Red Garuda’s Cry to the Kalkins of Shambala”

Imperial Drala[1] of all dralas, Kalki Lord of Life,

you are primordial existence.

You hold in your left hand the crystal mirror,

the living storehouse consciousness of all. ki

Imperial Drala of all dralas, Kalki Lord of Life,

you are primordial aspiration.

In your right hand you brandish a crystal sword,

the inner nature of the seventh defiled consciousness. so

Imperial Drala of all dralas, Kalki Lord of Life,

you are primordial power.

You wear the blazing golden armor of life

and the snow-white pennants on your helmet flutter in the wind.

You are the life of the six sense consciousnesses. a la la

Descend now on the swirling divine thread

that rises from our offering of longing.

Now with your shining blade,

slash like lightning through clouds of confused desires, doubts and calculation,

that distort and veil the splendor of your pure domain.

Riding on the great horse of moving wind itself,

releasing and binding the elements and space

with your firm command, like the roar of thunder,

show the fearless tiger of the living seas,

the all-conquering lion of the living wind,

the deathless eagle of the living fire,

and the sovereign dragon of the living earth.

Show the true realm and the righteous rule of Shambala!

Pure, real, undeluded, and uncontrived newness.

Show the true realm and the righteous rule of Shambala,

that is the intrinsic life force of all beings.

Swiftly, swiftly, please do this now!

 ki ki so so ashe lha gyel lo tak seng khyung druk di yar kye (x3)

O Kalki Lord, in this faithless time,

please remain with us and do not depart.

Remain here, moving on the pathways of virtue.

Remain here, resting on the raging flames of existence.

Remain here, sustained by the flesh and blood of men and beasts.

Remain here, subduing the fears and delusions of all realms.

Remain here as our only sovereign and law.

Please remain by day and night

and sing to us in waking and in dreams.

om ah hum ho ham ksha


[1] Drala: Tibetan: dra, enemy or opponent, and la, above; above the enemy; unconditioned wisdom and power beyond dualism; beyond opposites.

ADDITIONAL RED GARUDA MANTRAS:

Red Garuda mantra (Bon):

hum tro ta ya ghar ru na

tri trom

ha ra nye lo yo so thun tu

And a Garuda Gayatri (Hindu):

om tat-purushaya vidhmahe

suvarna pakshaya dhimahi

tanno garuda prachodayat om

Suvarna means ‘golden’, but gold is considered reddish in Asia.

This wonderful image and texts were kindly supplied by Tashi Nyima.

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