Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Sungbum Project

Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö

This project has the goal of translating the collected writings (Tib. sungbum; gsung 'bum) of the master Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (1893–1959) of Dzongsar, whom Tulku Thondup Rinpoche called "the greatest master of many lineages of this [i.e., the twentieth] century". He was regarded as an activity emanation (’phrin las kyi sprul pa) of the Rimé pioneer Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892) and, like his predecessor, received a broad-ranging education and championed the idea of non-sectarianism.

In their latest edition, Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö's collected writings include more than a thousand individual texts, from almost every genre of Tibetan literature—history and autobiography through to poetry and ritual. There are short philosophical treatises, pilgrimage guides, details of visionary encounters, instructions on Dzogchen, and songs of realization. There is a commentary on the Seven Points of Mind Training, verses in praise of Sarasvatī composed while travelling by boat along the Ganges, rulebooks for several different monasteries, protectors’ rites, diary extracts, letters to other teachers, and much more.

These writings are of clear historical interest; they provide valuable information about lineages and traditions, as well as some of the places through which Jamyang Khyentse travelled in Tibet and on pilgrimage in India. They are also of great value to practitioners, who will cherish their pithy instructions and authoritative guidance on elements of Buddhist thought and practice. Some texts also contribute to knowledge of Jamyang Khyentse himself and his life: for example, the verse-autobiography and the record of his travels both add to the information contained in the standard biography by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, which was published in English in 2017.

Very few texts from the collection have been translated and published elsewhere.


Three editions of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö’s collected writings have been published to date—a two-volume edition of miscellaneous writings (gsung thor bu) published in the 1960s, an eight-volume edition published in Sikkim in the early 1980s, and, most recently, a twelve-volume edition released in 2012. At least six additional works have come to light since 2012 and are set to be included in any future edition.

Phase One

Phase One of the project, jointly supported by the Khyentse Foundation and Tertön Sogyal Trust, ran from 2019 to 2023. During this four-year period we completed 500 English translations—an unprecedented achievement for such an initiative.

Highlights from this first phase include:


The Play of Illusion: An Autobiography

Jamyang Khyentse wrote this verse autobiography at the request of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910–1991). Its detailed lists of teachings received, practices accomplished and teachings given later formed the basis of the full biography that Dilgo Khyentse himself wrote. Read text >


Opening the Dharma of Dharma: A Brief Discourse on the Essence of All Vehicles

Among the master's best-known compositions, this short text in verse provides an introduction to the history and practice of Tibetan Buddhism and concludes with an appeal for nonsectarianism. It was written at the request of the Indian diplomat and author Apa Pant (1912–1992). Read text >

JKCL Heruka

The Bright Lamp of Wisdom (Yeshe Saldrön): A Guide to the Practice of Guru Yoga

Extensive notes on the Bright Lamp of the Heart Essence (Nyingtik Saldrön) practice preceded by a general discussion of guru yoga and the importance of following a teacher. This text contains some oft-cited statements on the nature of the guru. Read text >


Repository of Every Form of Dharma That Might Be Wished For: A Catalogue to the Published Miscellaneous Writings of the Venerable Guru Jamyang Chökyi Lodrö

by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

A detailed description of the two-volume edition of Jamyang Khyentse's miscellaneous writings (gsung thor bu) published in India in the late 1960s. The catalogue has three sections: 1) the greatness of the author, 2) the character of the texts, and 3) a brief account of the publication process. Read text >

Phase Two

Phase two, when it begins in earnest, will focus on longer texts, including commentaries and biographies.

Meanwhile, we are still completing unpublished drafts and translating some of the texts from the first phase into other languages.

Recent additions include:

Pema Shelpuk

A Guide to the Vairotsana Practice Place in Dzamnang

This verse guide to the sacred site of Vairotsana at Pema Shelpuk, the Lotus Crystal Cave, was originally composed at the request of the resident lama and Jamyang Chökyi Wangpo (1893–1908), the body incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892). The text has only recently been reconstructed from stones on which it was once engraved. Read text >


Aspiration Written for Jamyang Tsultrim of Sakya Tsedong

This aspiration, composed in Lhasa for a Sakya lama named Jamyang Tsultrim, only recently came to light and is not included in any edition of the collected works. Images of the original manuscript, said to be in Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö's own hand, circulated on social media in July 2023. Read text >

Support the Project

Please help by making a donation to support the commissioning of new translations and editorial work. Donate >

This website uses cookies to collect anonymous usage statistics and enhance the user experience.