detail of thangka showing Rang-rig Togden’s bell

Iron Drilbu

the iron-handled bell of Rang-rig Togden

The bell handle and vajra of Rang-rig Togden were made of iron – as were those of ’a-Shul Pema Legden. These, like the gÇod drum of Rang-rig Togden, were passed on to ’a-Shul Pema Legden and then to Aro Yeshé. ’a-Shul Pema Legden also received a gift of a similar set made by A-Kyong Düd’dül Dorje. When both these sets were presented to Aro Yeshé – he gave them to his sang-yums, A-yé Khandro and A-shé Khandro – although in the iconographic form of Aro Yeshé, he is shown with the set he inherited from his father (and previous incarnation) ’a-Shul Pema Legden.

Ngak’chang Rinpoche comments:
The use of iron was common amongst the gö-kar chang-lo’i dé. When I was in Switzerland in 1994 I met Kyabjé Gangten Tulku Rinpoche and had the good fortune to be able to sit and discuss various things with him. One of the subjects we touched upon was the appearance of the gö-kar chang-lo’i dé, and he told me that ngakpas and ngakmas should preferably use implements of iron, bone and leather. He said that iron was the metal which was most connected with space and therefore the primal purity upon which ngak’phang practice was grounded.