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At the Lake of Mebartsho

Since he was interested in things religious, Pema Lingpa received instructions by his aunt Drubthob Zangmo, the consort of the »iron bridge builder«, Thangtong Gyalpo. One day, Guru Rinpoche appeared and handed him a scroll with prophesies concerning the discovery of hidden treasures. Following the instructions, together with his friends, he made his way to Mebartsho where a small lake is located in a gorge. Shortly before arriving at the lake, Pema Lingpa suddenly had a very strange look on his face. Then he jumped, completetly clothed, into the lake. As he reemerged, he held in his hands a small treasure chest containing religious objects.


This incident caused great surprise and some people began to spread malicious rumors. Therefore, on another day, a large audience gathered on the shore as Pema Lingpa wanted to dive into the lake again. Holding a butterlamp in his hand, Pema Lingpa said: »If I am a demon I am going to die. However, if I am the spritual successor of Guru Rinpoche, I will find the treasures and my lamp will still be burning when I reemerge.« Pema Lingpa jumped into the water and reappeared on the surface after a short time, holding in his hands a ritual skull, a Buddha statue and the burning butterlamp. From then on the people believed in him and his reputation as a Tertön* quickly spread.

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In these waters, Pema Lingpa is supposed to have found his first treasure, deposited on the bottom of the lake by Guru Rinpoche.
Photograph by Christian Schicklgruber