Mahasiddha Thangtong Gyalpo (also know as Tsöndrü Zangpo) is one of the most
extraordinary realised Masters of the Tibetan tantric tradition. He lived from 1385 to 1509
(almost 125 years !).
Religious tradition say that he was at the same time a reincarnation of
a mind emanation of Guru Rinpoche and an incarnation of Lama Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen.
His name Thangtong Gyalpo mean "The King of the empty plain",
because once as he was meditating in the plain of Tsang,
he saw five Dakini approach him while singing, and one part of their song was :
"Here on the great empty plain,
The Yogi that understand vacuity sit
Fearless like a King.
We name him the King of the empty plain !"
During his very long life, Thangtong Gyalpo travelled a lot in China, Tibet, Buthan
and other country, he is said to have studied with over 500 Masters.
He became famous as an accomplished Yogi, an alchemist, metalurgist,
doctor, pionner of civil ingeneering, as a Terton (spiritual treasure revealer)
and was the founder of Tibetan opera !
His most famous realisation were his Chakzampa iron chain bridges
(the number of iron bridges he made is between 58 and 508, tradition is unclear
on exact number). He also made many wooden bridges, organised many ferry
to make pilgrims cross rivers and erected many temples and stupa.
Local tradition say that Thangtong Gyalpo had attained such a high level of
that he was sometime using his left thigh as an anvil while forging iron links for bridges !
Most of the time, he was using indestructible "stone anvils" that
only him knew how to make.
Some of those magical anvils are STILL in use in the city of Paro in Buthan
600 years later, and they are still in perfect shape !
Tradition speak about a special iron tempering technique using beer
(or another yellow substance, tradition is unclear) to make iron impossible to rust.
It is a fact that after 600 years most links of the iron bridges are still rust free !
In 1979 the government of Buthan got one iron link from a bridge analysed
to try to understand the secret of its making. It appeared that where the link
was soldered there was an unusual percentage of arsenic.
The technique to use arsenic to make iron rust free is lost but was also know by Romans
as some roman swords also countain traces of arsenic.
Mahasiddha Thangtong Gyalpo also composed many medecine formula, amulets and
special prayers to stop wars, protect from epidemia, poison and natural disaster such as
The magical pentacle of Thangtong Gyalpo to protect against earthquake.
In 2015 when a big earthquake hit Nepal, in the Solu Khumbu district, one whole village
was destroyed, with the exception of one single house that was intact...
it was later found that
this pentacle was exposed on the wall of this house.
You can also find a good quality version of this pentacle on the FPMT website.
Another magical prayer against natural disaster by Thangtong Gyalpo.
This antique Tsa Tsa of Thantong Gyalpo is said to have been made by the Master
An iron link of a Chakzampa bridge.
This big Phurba is made of about 30% of iron from a Chakzampa bridge.
Tibetan laguage video about Thangtong Gyalpo.
Here we can hear the voice of the 12th reincarnation of Thangtong Gyalpo.