Machik Kunga Bum was born in a monkey year in the thirteenth century in a place called Tashi Dokhar in the On region. Her father was named Tsangpa Dorje Wangchuk and her mother was named Lhakyi Peldzom, who was said to have been an incarnation of Shekarza Dorje Tso, a legendary disciple of Yeshe Tsogyel. She stayed at Densatil until she was six, and later took ordination from a Nyingma lama named Drakpa Gyeltsen, receiving from him the name Kunga Bum.
She studied with many lamas of multiple traditions and received numerous empowerments and instructions, which she practiced until mastering. She entered a retreat in the so-called Clear Light Cave at the Drak Yongdzong cave complex for seven years, seven months, seven days and seven hours. While there she received various prophesies from ḍākinī, including one from Vajravārahī that she would reveal a treasure text there titled the Secret Mother Tantra, Daily Practice Cycles . She transmitted this treasure to people across the U region.
She transmitted her treasures to Dungtso Repa, with whom she is said to have engaged in consort practice, and they collaborated on teaching.
Kunga Bum attracted considerable numbers of disciples, and taught widely. At the end of her life she entered another retreat at Tashi Yanggon in On and at a hermitage near the Jemo Stūpa. She passed away after seven days, reportedly amidst signs of accomplishment such as the attainment of the rainbow body.
By the nineteenth century her lineage had been lost, but was revived by Jamgon Kongtrul and Chokgyur Lingpa. Kongtrul reported in his One Hundred Treasure Revealers that he located a copy in Yarlung Sheldrak and another in Drakyongdzong, which she is said to have reconcealed as treasure. In the same source Kongtrul reports that Chokgyur Lingpa revived the transmission by claiming to have received it in a former life. In his autobiography Kongtrul relates a dream from 1859 in which he saw himself in the form of Dungtso Repa, and that he thereby received the transmissions for both Dungtso Repa’s and Kunga Bumpa’s treasures.
Source: Treasury of Lives