Compendium of Sādhanas

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Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

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Texts belonging to (and related to) the Compendium of Sādhanas (sgrub thabs kun btus), a collection originally compiled by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892) and later supplemented by Jamyang Loter Wangpo (1847–1914). Note that the volume numbers below correspond to the fourteen-volume Derge edition (reproduced by Dzongsar Institute):

Volume 1

This long-life practice (tshe sgrub) and empowerment (tshe dbang) of Thangtong Gyalpo (1361–1485?) is said to bring together the oral, treasure and visionary teachings. It combines Thangtong Gyalpo's original Glorious Bestower of Immortality ('chi med dpal ster) with Chöjé Lingpa's own treasure revelation and visionary account.

This pith instruction for accomplishing longevity (tshe sgrub) through Thangtong Gyalpo (1361–1485?) is said to bring together the oral, treasure and visionary teachings. According to its colophon, Chöjé Lingpa received the instruction from Thangtong Gyalpo directly in a vision. Jamgön Kongtrul included the text in the Precious Treasury of Revelations (Rinchen Terdzö).

This brief supplication to the saviouress Tārā incorporates and expands upon the literal meaning of the syllables of her root mantra (oṃ tāre tuttāre ture svāhā).

This concise instruction for accomplishing longevity (tshe sgrub) is said to be an abridgement of Thangtong Gyalpo's (1361–1485?) original sādhana. According to the colophon, Khyentse Wangpo composed the practice in a meditation cave used by Thangtong Gyalpo himself.

Volume 2

Lineage prayer for the Mañjuśrī sādhana based on the Gang gi Lodröma praise attributed to Vajrāyudha, which is included in Compendium of Sādhanas.

For this 'means of recitation' (bklag thabs), which provides additional prayers and practices to be said before and after the root text of Chanting the Names of Mañjuśrī (Mañjuśrī-nāmasaṅgīti; 'jam dpal mtshan brjod), Khyentse Wangpo relied upon and adapted the writings of the great Sakya patriarchs Jetsün Drakpa Gyaltsen and Sakya Paṇḍita.

This prayer to Buddha Amitābha, Mañjuśrī the 'Lion of Speech' (smra ba'i seng ge) and the goddess Sarasvatī was composed by Karma Chakmé for his own daily practice. It includes a series of aspirations related to wisdom and intelligence.

Popularly known as the Gang gi lodröma (based on its first four syllables), this is perhaps the most famous praise of Mañjuśrī recited by Tibetan Buddhists. According to legend it was composed by 500 Indian paṇḍitas simultaneously, in response to a request from their abbot, after whom it takes its formal name—Śrī Jñāna Guṇaphala (dpal ye shes yon tan bzang po), "Glorious Wisdom's Excellent Qualities". It is included in the Kriyātantra section of the Tengyur (Toh 2711).

Volume 3

A popular text (Tōh. 748) teaching the incantation (dhāraṇī) and rituals associated with the Blue-Clad (nīlāmbaradhara) form of the deity Vajrapāṇi. According to Karmavajra’s commentary (Tōh. 2676), the dhāraṇī is at once a powerful protection against, and remedy for, spirits, demons and disease.

This brief sādhana of Avalokiteśvara in the form of Mahākāruṇika, The Great Compassionate One, incorporates instructions on examining the nature of mind according to the approach of Mahāmudrā. It is included within the Compendium of Sādhanas (sgrub thabs kun btus).

A two-verse prayer of aspiration to follow Avalokiteśvara, the Great Compassionate One, and contribute to his enlightened activity.

This short maṇḍala liturgy is included within the Compendium of Sādhanas (sgrub thabs kun btus). It features seven heaps representing: 1) Mount Meru; 2-5) the four continents; 6) the sun and 7) the moon.

Extracted from Drakpa Gyaltsen's Four-Maṇḍala Prayer to Tārā (sgrol ma'i gsol 'debs maN+Dal bzhi pa).

This is the commonly recited version of Bhikṣuṇī Lakṣmī’s famous praise of Avalokiteśvara, often known as the Po Praise. It includes several differences from the version preserved in the Tengyur, as noted in the text.

This seven-branch offering, which is found in many Tārā sādhanas, is attributed to the famous nun Lakṣmī (Gelongma Palmo), founder of the Nyungné tradition.

This sādhana of Mahākāruṇika, The Great Compassionate One, incorporates instructions on examining the nature of mind according to the approach of Mahāmudrā. It is included within the Compendium of Sādhanas (sgrub thabs kun btus).

Thangtong Gyalpo recalled this supplication to Noble Avalokiteśvara from the devotional practices of a previous lifetime as the bhikṣu Padma Karpo.

Volume 5

Volume 7

Volume 8

Volume 9

Volume 10

A supplication to the lineage of the Seven Points of Mind Training (blo sbyong don bdun ma), or Verses of Mahāyāna Mind Training.

A non-sectarian (ris med) prayer to 25 of the most important figures in Tibetan Buddhism, five for each of the five major traditions: Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyü, Kadam and Geluk.

This brief prayer to the buddhas and bodhisattvas, learned and accomplished masters of India, and figures from all Tibetan traditions, reflects the author's famously nonsectarian approach.

Popularly known as "With Skilful Means and Compassion..." (thabs mkhas thugs rje ma), this is the liturgical arrangement of the Dvādaśakārastotra, Nāgārjuna's praise of the twelve great acts performed by Buddha Śākyamuni.

This supplication to the gurus of the lineage of transmission for Śāntideva's classic text down to Kunga Zangpo himself includes a request for the inspiration and blessings required to perfect the bodhisattva path.

A prayer to the lineage of masters who held the instructions for the famous four-line teaching from the Buddha and Mañjuśrī down to Ngorchen's own guru, Sharchen Yeshe Gyaltsen (shar chen ye shes rgyal mtshan, 1359–1406).

Volume 11

This aspiration to accomplish the eleven transcendent perfections—generosity, ethical discipline, patience, diligence, meditative concentration, insight, skilful methods, strength, aspiration, primordial wisdom and the dharmakāya—is popular in the Sakya tradition, and is included within the Compendium of Sādhanas.

In the sūtra The Question of Maitreya (Toh. 85, Maitreya­paripṛcchā, byams pas zhus pa), Buddha Śākyamuni recounts this prayer that Maitreya made as a bodhisattva aspiring to accomplish the six perfections and attain the ten bodhisattva levels. The prayer is also included in the Miscellaneous section of the Tengyur (Toh 4378).

Popularly known as 'The Teachings Blaze' (bstan 'bar ma), this prayer for the spread of the teachings (bstan rgyas smon lam) is especially popular in the Gelug tradition. The first verse appears to be taken from the Pratimokṣa-sūtra (so sor thar pa'i mdo), while the remainder of the prayer, from the second verse onwards, is to be found in Atiśa Dīpaṃkara's Great Compendium of the Sūtras (Mahāsūtrasamuccaya; mdo kun las btus pa chen po).

So popular and influential is Samantabhadra’s “Aspiration to Good Actions” (bzang spyod smon lam) from the Gaṇḍavyūha chapter of the vast Avataṃsaka Sūtra, it is known as the king of all aspiration prayers. It is included in the Dhāraṇī section of the Kangyur (Toh 1095) and the Miscellaneous section of the Tengyur (Toh 4377).

These three famous verses, related to the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Saṅgha, are drawn from a longer text that appears in the Kangyur and in the Tengyur, where the text is attributed to Nāgārjuna. The version here is taken from the Compendium of Sādhanas.

Volume 12

Volume 13

The Vajrakīla Root Tantra Section (or Fragment) (Tōh. 439), the remains of a much larger Vajrakīla tantra, was discovered and translated into Tibetan by Sakya Paṇḍita (1182–1251). According to the text's colophon, it was Guru Padmasambhava who brought the original to Tibet. The tantra contains several famous verses that appear in most Vajrakīla sādhanas and is the only Vajrakīla text included within the Kangyur. The edition translated here includes a colophon by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and benedictory verse by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö.

This brief prayer to Guru Padmākara, which Khyentse Wangpo says came to him spontaneously, includes requests to dispel all obstacles and fulfil all wishes.

A compilation of several well-known prayers, including the Seven-Line Prayer, verses from the Le'u Dünma, and four-line invocations of the masters Nyangral Nyima Özer (1124–1192) and Guru Chökyi Wangchuk (1212–1270), which is included in the Compendium of Sādhanas (sgrub thabs kun btus).

This terma (gter ma), which Tulku Zangpo Drakpa revealed and passed on to Rigdzin Gödem (1337–1408), presents a sūtra-like scenario in which Buddha Śākyamuni reveals a dhāraṇī for subduing enemies and demonic forces.

This famous prayer to Guru Padmasambhava for the spontaneous fulfilment of wishes forms the outer section of The Guru’s Heart Practice: The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel (thugs sgrub yid bzhin nor bu). This version of the prayer, without the colophon, appears in volume thirteen of the Compendium of Sādhanas compiled by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.

Volume 14

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Vajrayāna Buddhism places restrictions on the reading and practice of certain texts, which are intended only for those who have received the requisite empowerments, transmissions and instructions.

If you are unsure as to whether you are entitled to read or practice a particular text please consult a qualified lineage-holder.

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