Patrul Rinpoche Series
From the murals of Shechen Monastery. Used with permission of Rabjam Rinpoche.
Outwardly you are the bodhisattva Śāntideva,
Inwardly the lord of incarnations, Śāvaripa,
Secretly the supreme and noble Self-liberation of Suffering—Avalokiteśvara—in person:
Jikmé Chökyi Wangpo, to you I pray!
Texts by and about the great Rimé master, Dza Patrul Orgyen Jigme Chökyi Wangpo (rdza dpal sprul o rgyan 'jigs med chos kyi dbang po, 1808–1887):
Written for his close disciple, Alak Dongak Gyatso (1824–1902), this text of Patrul Rinpoche offers advice on the purpose and significance of solitude. Brief as it is, the work is of interest not only for its comments on retreat, but also for the clues it holds about Alak Dongak's life, especially as no complete biography has yet come to light and his writings have not survived.
Alak Zenkar Rinpoche offers a concise account of the extraordinary life and teaching career of Dza Patrul Orgyen Jigme Chökyi Wangpo (1808–1887), one of the most influential Tibetan masters of the nineteenth century. The biography has been reprinted a number of times since it was first published in the 1980s, and is included in most recent editions of Patrul's most famous work, Kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung.
This prayer to the masters of the lineage of explanation for Bodhicaryāvatāra, from Patrul Rinpoche back through the generations as far as Śāntideva, and before him to Buddha Śākyamuni and Mañjuśrī, is also an aspiration to take the central message of the text to heart.
- The Brightly Shining Sun: A Step-by-Step Guide to Meditating on the Bodhicaryāvatāra | Bodhicaryāvatāra
Patrul Rinpoche was renowned for his mastery of, and fondness for, Śāntideva's classic guide to the way of the bodhisattvas, and this is his practical manual for applying its wisdom and meditating on its key themes.
Buddhist Philosophy & Teachings
This survey of the five paths (lam lnga) and ten stages or bhūmis (sa bcu) explains the practices and qualities associated with each and every phase of the Mahāyāna path, from its initial point of entry through to its eventual culmination with the attainment of enlightenment.
Taking a famous four-line prayer as his basis, Patrul Rinpoche explains the practice of taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Saṅgha, and arousing bodhicitta, in both its relative and ultimate forms.
One of Patrul Rinpoche's better known works, this pithy presentation of the two levels of truth is more than just a guide to what "relative" and "absolute" signify; it is also a practical instruction on how to apply such understanding in meditation.
This brief work on pedagogical theory outlines the qualities and approaches of three different types of teacher (a fully enlightened buddha, arhat and learned paṇḍita), before discussing the science of listening and explaining the purpose of titles.
- The Concentrated Seed: How to Distinguish the Tenets of Non-Buddhist and Buddhist Schools | Buddhist Philosophy
In this short guide to Buddhist and non-Buddhist philosophical tenets, Patrul Rinpoche begins by outlining the tīrthika views of eternalism and nihilism. He then summarizes the views of the śrāvaka schools of Vaibhāṣika and Sautrāntika, as well as the two kinds of pratyekabuddha, the various branches of Cittamātra, and the Svātantrika and Prāsaṅgika strands of Mādhyamika. To conclude, he offers a brief overview of the various levels of secret mantra.
This short work in verse offers advice on the natural self-liberation (rang grol) of thoughts and emotions, which Patrul Rinpoche repeatedly identifies as the key to the view, meditation and conduct of the Great Perfection.
- Self-Liberating Meditation: A Profound Method for Attaining Enlightenment according to the Ultimate Great Perfection | Dzogchen
Sometimes known by its first four syllables as Eko Eko (translated as "Have you heard? Have you heard?") and sometimes as Self-Liberated Wisdom-Mind, this is a comprehensive and popular instruction on Dzogchen meditation. Although the emphasis is on remaining natural and unaltered (machöpa), the text also offers advice on how to integrate and adapt to the various experiences and circumstances a practitioner might face. The style is direct, eloquent and moving.
Patrul Rnpoche's explanations in this brief guide to the Longchen Nyingtik preliminary practices mostly follow those given in his classic text, The Words of My Perfect Teacher (Kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung). Still, this condensed text offers useful reminders of the most important points of the practice, especially the details of the visualizations.
- Excellent Explanation from the Scriptural Tradition: A Brief Guide to the Stages of Meditating on the General Themes of the Ornament to the Prajñāpāramitā | Prajñāpāramitā
In this practical guide to meditating on the teachings of the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras, as outlined in Maitreya's Abhisamayālaṃkāra, Patrul discusses the attitude and training of a bodhisattva. He repeatedly emphasises the fact that enlightened activity for others' benefit—and not simply realization—is the ultimate goal.
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this twelve-line prayer to Patrul Rinpoche during the festival of Chökhor Düchen in 1860. The text identifies Patrul as an emanation of Śāntideva and the early Dzogchen adept Aro Yeshe Jungne, and praises his qualities of renunciation, bodhicitta and wisdom.
Prayers & Practices
This prayer of aspiration covers the entire Buddhist path, but places special emphasis on the cultivation of bodhicitta in its various forms. For to have bodhicitta, says Patrul Rinpoche, is to have "all that's needed to attain enlightenment."
This brief practice calls upon the goddess Tārā and other deities to grant their inspiration and blessings, so that the practitioner's lifespan, merit, prosperity, renown, good fortune, magnetism (dbang thang) and 'windhorse' (rlung rta) may all increase.
Only recently discovered, this prayer of dedication by Patrul Rinpoche is to be recited when the construction of a temple is complete. It is not only an aspiration for the new temple to prosper and be of as much benefit as possible, but also a plea to the protective spirits to watch over the temple and guard its contents.
- The Ritual of the Bodhisattva Vow according to the tradition of Patrul Rinpoche arranged by Chatral Rinpoche | Bodhicitta
This elaborate ritual for taking the bodhisattva vow, which includes preliminary recitations and practices as well as the vow itself, was arranged according to the tradition of the great Dza Patrul Rinpoche (1808–1887) by the holder of his lineage, Chatral Rinpoche Sangye Dorje, in 1986.
Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King
- The Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King – Commentary | Striking the Vital Point in Three Statements
- The Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King—Root Text | Striking the Vital Point in Three Statements
- The Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King—Root Text (arranged in Tibetan-English verses) | Striking the Vital Point in Three Statements
This brief guide to explaining Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje's famous aspiration prayer, known as 'The Secret Vajra Knot' (rdo rje rgya mdud), provides a topical outline of its contents, and, in so doing, reveals the vastness of its vision.
- Topical Outline of the Prayer That Swiftly Fulfils All Wishes (Sampa Nyur Drupma) | Guru Rinpoche Prayers