Gyamarwa Changchub Drak

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Gyamarwa Changchub Drak (Wyl. rgya dmar ba byang chub grags) was an important scholar born in the late eleventh or early twelfth century. He studied Madhyamika, Pramana and other philosophical topics with Khyung Rinchen Drak and Kangpa She’u Lodrö, and soon became an expert. From Lhajé Dawé Özer, he received many pith instructions related to the secret mantra from the lineage of Ancient Translations, and from Lhopa Könchok Pal he received instructions on mind training. As a result of his studies, he gained a reputation for excellent scholarship; and, in addition, he was also a holder of the lineage of pith instructions. In places such as Nyangro and Tölung, Sethang and elsewhere, he taught Madhyamika, Pramana, the treatises of Maitreya and other topics. His students included Chapa Chökyi Senge, Karmapa Düsum Khyenpa, Phagmodrupa Dorje Gyalpo, Chokro Chökyi Gyaltsen, Shyang Bal Tsepa, Kyilkhar Lhakhangwa and many other learned scholars. Chapa Chökyi Sengé, in particular, said that it was from Gyamarwa that he learned all the various tenets of Madhyamika and Pramana.


Gyamarwa’s writings included commentaries on the Pramanasamuccaya and Madhyamaka Two Truths, and many original treatises, including summaries of Pramana and Middle Way philosophy. Recently discovered works include Ascertaining the Nature Itself in the Middle Way (dbu ma’i de kho na nyid gtan la dbab pa), which was found in a volume[1] in the Nechu temple at Drepung Monastery, Summary of the Bodhicharyavatara (spyod ‘jug bsdus don)[2], and his clear explanation of the meaning of the text of the Bodhisattvacharyavatara[3]


  1. Outer Tsa 19
  2. from volume Tsa 13
  3. from volume Tsa 15 in Drepung’s Nechu Lhakhang

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