Tapihritsa

Deities & Enlightened Teachers
 

Tapihritsa, born in the seventh to eighth century to a nomadic family who lived in the country of Zhang Zhung (now northwestern Tibet and beyond), is considered both a historical figure and an enlightened being who represents the true nature of reality.

Tapihritsa was the 25th master in an orally transmitted lineage, known as the Zhang Zhung Nyen Gyü, who transmitted dzogchen pith instructions on the nature of mind to only one or two single students. All of these masters attained the rainbow body, or body of light, meaning that upon their passing, the physical body disappeared from sight, leaving no trace. After achieving the rainbow body, Tapihritsa later appeared as a young boy to offer guidance and teachings to Nangzher Löpo. He allowed his student to write down the core teachings for the benefit of future generations.

Tapihritsa, like Tonpa Shenrap, is often held as the central image of refuge in the field of merit during meditation practice.