Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Series
Compassionate incarnation of the blessings of Khyentse Wangpo,
In whom the wisdom of Mañjughoṣa and the rest,
All the buddhas and bodhisattvas are gathered together,
Lodrö Gyatso, at your feet I pray!
Texts by and about the renowned non-sectarian master Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö ('jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse chos kyi blo gros, 1893–1959) of Dzongsar:
In this appeal to Hindu worshippers who practise animal sacrifice, Jamyang Khyentse explains the karmic consequences of taking life and questions how compassionate deities could ever sanction such a rite.
A simple instruction based on the so-called Four Dharmas of Gampopa: 1) turning the mind toward the Dharma, 2) making progress along the path, 3) clarifying confusion, and 4) allowing confusion to dawn as wisdom.
In response to a question from his spiritual consort, Khandro Tsering Chödrön, Jamyang Khyentse explains the essence of the path in just a few lines. (Khandro's question is in the form of an acrostic poem, the opening syllables of its four lines being the first four syllables of the Tibetan alphabet).
Among the best-known compositions of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, 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).
Verses of general advice on how to practise the path, from the preliminary contemplations through to the more advanced practices of the generation and completion phases, written for an unnamed student.
- All-Pervading Auspiciousness: An Aspiration for the Spread of the Teachings of the Eight Great Chariots of the Practice Lineage | Nonsectarianism
An aspiration for the spread of the teachings of the so-called Eight Great Chariots of the Practice Lineage (sgrub brgyud shing rta chen po brgyad): Nyingma, Kadam, Sakya, Marpa Kagyü, Shangpa Kagyü, Kālacakra, Pacification and Severance, and Approach and Accomplishment of the Three Vajras.
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this prayer following the untimely passing of Princess Sangay Deki in Sikkim in 1957. The prayer is for the enlightenment of all with whom he was connected, even those who merely heard his name, but especially his devoted followers and disciples.
A short prayer for the spread of the tradition of Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa, Jamgön Kongtrul and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and for the flourishing of the teachings at Tenchok Gyurme Ling (rten mchog 'gyur med gling), the seat of Chokgyur Lingpa, better known as Neten Monastery.
In this prayer, composed at Bodhgayā, Jamyang Khyentse praises the features of the place Tibetans call the Vajra Seat (rdo je gdan), by comparing it to a celestial realm, and aspires to be reborn there in future.
- Blazing Splendour of Good Fortune: A Prayer for the Spread of the Teachings of the Katok Tradition | Aspiration Prayers
- Burgeoning Joy and Happiness: An Aspiration for the Welfare of the Great Hidden Land of Sikkim | Aspiration Prayers
Written in 1957, the year that Jamyang Khyentse first arrived, this is a prayer for happiness in Sikkim and the fulfilment of the aspirations and prophecies of great masters of the past concerning the welfare of its people.
Composed on the very first day of the Tibetan year of the Water Dragon (26 February 1952), this short prayer invokes the power and truth of the Three Jewels and Three Roots, especially Dorje Drakpo Tsal, in order to overcome invading armies.
- Fostering Recollection to Dispel the Torment of Deluded Perception: An Aspiration for the Bardos | Dying & the Bardos
An aspiration to recognise the true nature of each stage of the bardo experience, from the moment of death and accompanying stages of dissolution through to the bardo of becoming, and thereby attain awakening.
This aspiration, written during an unspecified snake year, incorporates the key elements of the Mind Training teachings, such as taking on others' suffering and giving away one's own happiness, and perfecting relative and absolute bodhicitta.
- The Sage's Powerful Words of Truth: A Prayer for the Spread of the Omniscient Buddha's Teachings | Aspiration Prayers
Written in Bodhgayā at a time when Tibet was facing great turmoil and an uncertain future, this is a non-sectarian prayer for the spread of the Buddhist teachings (bstan rgyas smon lam) in all their authentic forms.
Verses invoking the buddhas' Three Secrets (body, speech and mind), the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma and Saṅgha), Three Roots (guru, yidam and ḍākinī), as well as Red Tārā, Vaiśravaṇa and White Tāra, the Sublime Lady of Immortality ('chi med 'phags ma), for the sake of auspiciousness.
Jamyang Khyentse wrote these behavioural guidelines (bca' yig) for the Sakya monastery of Tupten Tashi Gepel Ling (thub bstan bkra shis dge 'phel gling), also known as Sagang (sa sgang), from his residence at Dzongsar during the Earth Tiger year (1938–1939).
Verses of aspiration written for the publication of A Brilliant Elucidation of Logical Reasoning (rigs lam rab gsal snang ba), Ju Mipham Namgyal Gyatso's annotation commentary (mchan 'grel) to Dignāga's Pramāṇasamuccaya.
These verses of aspiration are appended to the version of The Clarifying Light: A Prophecy of the Future (ma 'ongs lung bstan gsal byed sgron me) that appears in the 12-volume edition of Jamyang Khyentse's collected writings.
Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö wrote this brief autobiography as a supplement to the collected biographies of lineage masters for the Chöd (gcod) practice known as The Whispered Transmission of Machik's Secret Conduct (ma gcig gsang spyod snyan brgyud) or The Whispered Transmission of Thangtong Gyalpo (thang stong snyan brgyud).
Brief surveys, taken from Jamyang Khyentse's personal notebook, of the life of Ngadak Sempa Chenpo Chögyal Puntsok Rigdzin (1592–1656) and the lives of the incarnations of Lhatsün Namkha Jigme (1597–1650)
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.
- 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 | Karchak
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.
- Swift Enlightened Activity: A Concise Ceremony of Offering and Prayer to Mahākāla and Consort | Dharma Protectors
This brief practice of Mahākāla and consort was composed in the presence of the sacred Mahākāla image at Sakya Monastery, most likely in 1956, at the request of three close disciples, including the young Sogyal Rinpoche.
Written at the request of Lhasé Sogyal, the king of Yönru in Lithang, this short text covers the key points of Trekchö, from the foundational prerequisites to the unique Dzogchen preliminary of 'demolishing the house of the ordinary mind' and the main meditation practice of Dzogchen itself.
A short essay concerning the identity and significance of the warrior-deity Gesar, the subject of offering rites (gsol mchod) by prominent figures such as Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje (1800–1866), Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892) and Mipham Namgyal Gyatso (1846–1912).
Guru Rinpoche Prayers
This prayer was composed in 1956, the Fire Monkey year, at Samye, while Jamyang Khyentse was offering a tsok feast in the presence of the special ‘Looks Like Me’ image of Guru Padmasambhava (gu ru nga 'dra ma) .
Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö wrote this prayer in Lhodrak Kharchu on the tenth day of the monkey month in the monkey year (1956)—a point in the Tibetan calendar that holds particular significance for followers of Guru Padmasambhava.
This guru sādhana (bla sgrub) focuses on the master logician Dharmakīrti, but the text also makes apparent reference to one of Jamyang Khyentse's main teachers, Khenpo Kunzang Palden (c.1862–1943), who is also known as Kunzang Chödrak, or Samantabhadra Dharmakīrti.
- Rain of Wisdom, Love and Spiritual Power: A Guru Yoga of the Three Mañjughoṣas of the Land of Snow | Guru Yoga
A guru yoga focusing on the so-called Three Mañjuśrīs of Tibet, i.e., Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364), Sakya Paṇḍita (1182–1251) and Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa (1357–1419). Here, Jamyang Khyentse further identifies Longchen Rabjam with the bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi and Tsongkhapa with the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara.
- The Merry Sea of Blessings: A Guru Yoga of the Lord of Sages, Peerless Teacher of All, Including the Devas | Guru Yoga
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this guru yoga focusing on Buddha Śākyamuni (including his sambhogakāya form as Vajradhara and dharmakāya as Samantabhadra) in January 1958 at Rajgir (ancient Rājgṛha) following a visionary experience several days earlier at Bodhgayā.
A list of the kings of Derge (sde dge) and their ancestors from the semi-divine progenitor Gar Namtsa Druk onwards, including numbered generations beginning with Gar Tongtsen, a minister to Songtsen Gampo.
A concise summary of the history of Sikkim with a special focus on its royal genealogy, possibly notes taken when reading the original 'Bras ljongs rgyal rabs by the ninth Chogyal Thutob Namgyal and Maharani Yeshe Dolma.
This prayer to the extraordinary Gyarong Khandro Dechen Wangmo, who was considered to be an emanation of Mandāravā, was written by Jamyang Khyentse at the request of Khandro Tsering Chödrön (1929–2011).
In these addenda to the standard lineage prayer for Longchen Nyingtik (klong chen snying thig), which is known as The Continuous Shower of Blessings, Jamyang Khyentse highlights two versions of the lineage received by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo: the full transmission from Khenpo Pema Vajra and the transmission of realization from Jigme Gyalwe Nyugu.
- The Beautiful Garland of Uḍumbara Flowers: A Prayer to the Previous Incarnations of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Prayers
Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö himself composed this prayer to the 'garland' of his own previous incarnations (skye phreng gsol 'debs), from the Buddha Mañjuśrī down to his immediate predecessor, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892).
- The Moon’s Illusory Reflection to Gladden the Devoted: A Prayer to the Successive Rebirths | Prayers
Long Life Prayers
- Prayer for the Long Life of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö by Shechen Gyaltsab Gyurme Pema Namgyal | Long Life Prayers
- Prayer for the Long Life of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö by Gatön Ngawang Lekpa | Long Life Prayers
Jamyang Khyentse composed this prayer entitled 'Removing Obstacles in the Life of the Ḍākinī' (ḍā ki'i sku tshe'i 'phrang bzlog) for the longevity of his consort Khandro Tsering Chödrön (Āyu Dharma Dīpam) at the request of Parkö Chöpel, a carver of printing blocks at Dzongsar.
- The Magical Wish-Fulfilling Tree: A Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama | Long Life Prayers
- The Melody of The Nectar of Immortality: A Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Supreme Victor and Omniscient One by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Long Life Prayers
- The Music of Immortality: A Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö | Long Life Prayers
- The Sweet Song of Māra's Defeat: A Prayer for the Long Life of the Great Tertön and Vidyādhara Lerab Lingpa | Long Life Prayers
These notes on the Seven Points of Mind Training appear to derive from the celebrated commentary of Sé Chilbu Chökyi Gyaltsen (1121–1189). Unfortunately the notes do not cover the entire root text and their brevity is suggestive of lecture notes or an aide-memoire.
This short prayer, which is addressed directly to the sacred stūpa of Svayambhū (known to Tibetans as Pakpa Shingkun—“Noble All-Trees”) in Nepal, was composed at the site itself, and is part of a series of prayers addressed to the three major stūpas of the Kathmandu Valley.
This is a poetic guide to the sacred site of Yangleshö (yang le shod) near the village of Pharping to the south of the Kathmandu Valley, where it is said that Guru Padmasambhava attained the level of a Mahāmudrā vidyādhara. Jamyang Khyentse wrote the text following a series of visionary experiences; it has the quality of a revelation and ends with a series of cryptic prophecies.
- A Song of Perfect Joy: In Praise of the Sacred Sites of Rājgṛha, Vulture Peak and Nālandā | Pilgrimage
Verses in praise of three sacred sites: Rājgṛha (rgyal po'i khab), the ancient capital of Magadha; Vulture Peak (bya rgod spungs ri), where Buddha taught the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras; and Nālandā (nālendra), site of the famous monastic university.
- Gathering Auspiciousness: A Prayer of Aspiration before the sacred Mahābodhi Temple and its Imagery, Magadha, Land of the Āryas | Pilgrimage
Although entitled a praise of Vārāṇasī, this short poetic work concerns Sarnath or Ṛṣipatana, located approximately 10 kilometres from that ancient city. It was in the deer park of Sarnath that Buddha Śākyamuni first taught, setting in motion the Wheel of Dharma.
Verses in praise of the sacred site of Yangleshö (yang le shod) near the village of Pharping to the south of the Kathmandu Valley, where it is said that Guru Padmasambhava attained the level of a Mahāmudrā vidyādhara.
In this verse text, probably composed in 1958, Jamyang Khyentse playfully marvels at modernity and expresses a sense of wonder upon encountering the vast Indian city of Kolkata and all its unfamiliar attractions for the first time. The real highlight of the city as he sees it, however, is the chance to view the Buddha's relics, which were housed at the Indian Museum.
- Offering Clouds to Delight the Victorious Ones, Combining A Praise of Redreng with a Prayer of Aspiration | Pilgrimage
Composed in 1955 when Jamyang Khyentse passed through the area, this is a short verse text in praise of Redreng/Reting, the famous monastery founded by Atiśa's foremost disciple, Dromtönpa Gyalwé Jungné, in 1056–1057.
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this text in praise of Lhodrak Kharchu as he passed through the sacred place in 1956. The site is associated with Namkhai Nyingpo, who is said to have attained accomplishment here through the practice of Yangdak Heruka.
This short prayer to the sacred stūpa at Namo Buddha, which commemorates the Buddha's sacrifice—during one of his previous lives—of his own body to feed a hungry tigress and her cubs, is part of a series of prayers addressed to the three major stūpas of the Kathmandu Valley.
A short poetic text in praise of Śrāvastī (mnyan yod), where Buddha Śākyamuni spent many rainy seasons and where, it is said, he defeated rival teachers in a contest of miraculous ability. Jamyang Khyentse composed the work during a visit to the town in 1956.
- The White Lotus Garland of Immortality: In Praise of the Supreme Vajra Place, Tso Pema (Lotus Lake) | Pilgrimage
Tso Pema (mtsho padma) or 'Lotus Lake' in Rewalsar, Northern India is identified with a lake in the ancient kingdom of Zahor, which was created, it is said, when the king and his ministers attempted to burn Guru Padmasambhava and his consort Mandāravā alive. The master transformed his funeral pyre into a lake, where he appeared, unharmed and seated upon a lotus.
- Brief Supplementary Text for Intensive Practice (Drupchö) of the Sublime Lady of Immortality (Chimé Pakmé Nyingtik) | Chimé Pakmé Nyingtik
A brief supplementary guide (zur rgyan) to the practice of Chimé Pakmé Nyingtik in the form of an intensive ritual (sgrub mchod) conducted over several days. The text includes practical instructions and liturgies for the preparation, main part and conclusion of the practice.
In this verse panegyric, Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö praises the great Machik Labdrön (ma gcig lab sgron, 1031–1129) and incorporates references to many key terms and concepts from the Chöd ('Cutting') practice for which she is renowned.
- Fully Blossomed Learning and Contemplation: A Praise of the Great Spiritual Friend Jamyang Gyaltsen | Praise
Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö praises the great eleventh-century poet and yogi Milarepa, describing him as a ‘crown-jewel’ among the many siddhas, or accomplished adepts, to have appeared in the Land of Snows.
Written in Kolkata, a city associated with Kālī, these verses of praise identify the goddess as having "a hundred names and thousand attributes" and as being one with Samantabhadrī, Prajñāpāramitā, Ekajaṭī and many other prominent female deities in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon.
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this hymn in praise of the goddess Sarasvatī while he was visiting Palpung Monastery in Eastern Tibet. The text includes her mantra, the recitation of which is said to bring increased intelligence.
A prayer to invoke the blessings of five key figures in the Heart Essence (snying thig) tradition of the Great Perfection: Vimalamitra, Melong Dorje, Kumārarāja (Kumaradza), Longchen Rabjam and Jigme Lingpa.
Jamyang Khyentse composed this prayer to the great revealer of the Longchen Nyingtik when he passed through the master's place of residence, the Yarlung Valley, during his first trip to central Tibet in 1925.
- Prayer on the Occasion of the Reading Transmission for the Omniscient King of Dharma's Thirteen-Volume Collected Writings | Prayers
This prayer to Jamyang Gyaltsen occurs twice in the latest version of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö's collected writings. The colophon to this second occurrence provides the circumstances of its composition: when Jamgyal gave the reading transmission for his new 13-volume edition of Gorampa Sonam Senge's writings at the Dragang retreat centre.
A prayer to six master scholars from the Sakya tradition: Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo (1382–1456), Dzongpa Kunga Namgyal (1432–1496), Yaktön Sangye Pal (1350–1414), Rongtön Sheja Kunrig (1367–1449), Gorampa Sonam Senge (1429–1489) and Śākya Chokden (1428–1507).
- The Ambrosia of Blessings: A Prayer to the Vidyādhara of Unparalleled Kindness, Drodül Pawo Dorje | Prayers
- The Treasure of Wisdom Illumination: A Prayer to the Omniscient Sun of the Teachings Sonam Senge | Prayers
- The Treasury of Blessings: A Prayer to Recall the Sublime Masters who Showed Great Kindness to the Land of Snows | Nonsectarianism
A non-sectarian prayer invoking many of the greatest luminaries in Tibetan Buddhist history, from King Trisong Detsen and the twenty-five disciples of Guru Padmasambhava down to Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgön Kongtrul.
Jamyang Khyentse compiled this prophecy from the words of the Buddha. Before an audience that includes Ānanda and the future Buddha Maitreya, the Buddha tells how this text will appear from a meteorite and be disseminated by Avalokiteśvara. He also describes how a series of terrible events, including widespread disease, famine and warfare, will occur during the degenerate age, unless this text can be widely copied and recited as an antidote to such ills.
A short 'means of recitation' (bklag thabs), providing additional prayers and practices to be chanted before and after the root text of the Sūtra of Boundless Life and Wisdom (tshe dang ye shes dpag tu med pa’i mdo).
- Extremely Secret Unelaborate Daily Sādhana for the Heart Practice of the Great Demon-Slayer | Sādhanas
A practice for developing wisdom; it is focused on Guru Loden Chokse (blo ldan mchog sred), a form of Guru Padmasambhava, and incorporates two other deities associated with wisdom, the goddess Sarasvatī and the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī.
- The Accomplishment of Supreme Enlightened Activity: A Recitation Manual for The Vajrakīla Root Tantra Fragment | Vajrakīla
Written for a disciple who was about to travel from Sikkim to Tibet, this brief song encapsulates the message of the intermediate and final turnings of the Wheel of Dharma and explains how to practise the indivisibility of emptiness and compassion.
A simple song of advice addressed to yogins and yoginīs in acrostic form, meaning that each line begins with the successive letters of the Tibetan alphabet—an effect that is (inadequately) reproduced in the translation.
Composed in 1949, this song of lament is addressed to Jamyang Khyentse's principal guru, Jamyang Loter Wangpo (1847–1914). The song expresses the author's grief and sadness at his own misfortune for having failed to encounter his master in visions or dreams.
- Lightning Bands of Compassion: A Song of Lament for Khenchen Kunzang Palden Tupten Chökyi Drakpa | Songs and Poems
- The Excellent Path of Definitive Meaning: An Unmistaken Expression of the Definitive Mahāmudrā | Mahāmudrā
Jamyang Khyentse composed these verses in November 1925 upon learning of the passing of his teacher Katok Situ Chökyi Gyatso (1880–1925). The text makes it clear that Katok Situ's death occurred in the ninth month of the Wood Ox year.
Inspired by the speech of Kunzang Dechen Tsomo (1906–1987), Queen Mother of Sikkim, these verses acknowledge the kindness of past dharma patrons and masters and appeal for nonsectarianism and the flourishing of the teachings.
Swift Rebirth Prayers
- The Swift Fulfilment of Wishes: A Prayer for the Swift Return of the Supreme Tulku of the Fifth Drubwang Dzogchen Rinpoche | Swift Rebirth Prayers
- The Swift Fulfilment of Wishes: Prayer for the Swift Appearance of the Supreme Tulku of the Mañjughoṣa Guru | Swift Rebirth Prayers
- The Tambura of Devotion: A Prayer for the Swift Appearance of the Supreme Tulku of the All-Seeing Conqueror and Cardinal Guardian of the Land of Snows | Swift Rebirth Prayers
- Wondrous Light of the Moon: A Prayer for the Swift Appearance of the Supreme Tulku of Vajradhara | Swift Rebirth Prayers