Rinchen Terdzö Series
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Texts belonging to (and related to) the Rinchen Terdzö (rin chen gter mdzod) or Precious Treasury of Revelations, one of the five treasuries of Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thayé (1813–1899). Note that the volume numbers below correspond to the Shechen Publications edition (2007–2008):
This epic of Guru Padmasambhava, as recorded by Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal, was revealed by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye as a “siddhi”. The text consists of ten short chapters, each related to a different aspect of the master’s life and activities.
- The Life and Liberation of Padmākara, the Second Buddha from A Precious Garland of Lapis Lazuli by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Extracted from the famous collection of the life stories of 108 treasure revealers called A Precious Garland of Lapis Lazuli, this account of Guru Padmasambhava's life and liberation synthesises and even comments upon earlier sources.
- The Melodious Sound of Gathering Auspiciousness: A Prayer Based on the Liberational Life of the Omniscient Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Jamgön Kongtrul composed this biographical prayer (rnam thar gsol 'debs) to Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo by extracting verses from a longer prayer to the masters of the Shangpa Kagyü lineage. For this edition, which is found in the Rinchen Terdzö, Jamyang Khyense Chökyi Lodrö composed three additional verses that refer to Khyentse Wangpo's parinirvāṇa and rebirth.
- The Melodious Speech of Samantabhadra: A Prayer to the Glorious Master Jamgön Kongtrul Thaye by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
This prayer to Jamgön Kongtrul was composed by the master himself at the request of one of his disciples. It contains references to his life and the qualities he considers important, such as—to adopt the words of the text—the pure perception, with which he upheld all Buddha's teachings impartially.
- A Beautiful and Wondrous Udumbara Garland: A Supplication and Summary of the Chronicles of Padma, The Life and Liberation of the Precious Guru of Uḍḍiyāna by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
This prayer beautifully summarizes the Padma Kathang (The Chronicles of Padma), one of the most famous and influential of Guru Padmasambhava's many biographies. It reveals how Guru Rinpoche manifests in an infinite variety of forms in order to protect and spread the Buddhadharma.
- A Prayer Recalling the Life and Liberation of the Precious Master Padmasambhava by Nyangral Nyima Özer
This prayer in 26 verses recounts the major events of the life of Guru Padmasambhava, from his miraculous birth upon a lotus to his final departure from Tibet for the land of the rakṣasas. Upon recollecting each stage or episode in the Guru's life, the reader requests empowerment and blessings.
- Cloud Banks of Blessings: A Prayer Recounting the Eleven Deeds of the Life and Liberation of the Guru from Uḍḍiyāna by Ratna Lingpa
A prayer to Guru Rinpoche recounting eleven significant deeds in his life: 1) forming the enlightened intention to tame beings, 2) descending into the lotus flower, 3) spontaneously taking birth, 4) enjoying the pleasures of a prince, 5) taking ordination, 6) practicing various austerities, 7) overcoming Māra's hosts, 8) attaining complete awakening, 9) turning the wheel of the Dharma, 10) engaging in yogic disciplines, and 11) hiding terma treasures to spread the Dharma far and wide.
- Three Reasons for Confidence: A Work Telling the Life and Liberation Story of the Great Master Padmākara by Tāranātha
Tāranātha composed this biography of Padmasambhava in 1610. It is unique insofar as it does not follow the version of the life-story recounted in numerous terma texts. Instead, it follows the historical perspective of the Testimony of Ba, as well as several Nyingma tantras and their commentaries.
This version of the famous confession, revealed as part of the Tukdrup Barché Kunsel (thugs sgrub bar chad kun sel) cycle, differs slightly from the eleventh chapter of the Immaculate Confession Tantra, with minor variations throughout and an additional two lines at the very end.
- Le'u Dünma—Chapter 7. The Prayer to Guru Rinpoche that Spontaneously Fulfills All Wishes (Sampa Lhundrupma) by Tulku Zangpo Drakpa
- The Brilliant Essence: The Ritual Manual for the Secret Embodiment of the Guru (Lama Sangdü) by Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje
Gyurme Dorje compiled this ritual manual (las byang) for the Secret Embodiment of the Guru (bla ma gsang 'dus) revelation of Guru Chökyi Wangchuk (1212–1270) in order to facilitate elaborate offering practice on each tenth day of the lunar month at Mindrolling Monastery.
This famous prayer to Guru Padmasambhava for the elimination of all obstacles on the spiritual path is the outer practice of The Guru's Heart Practice: Dispelling All Obstacles on the Path (bla ma'i thugs sgrub bar chad kun sel), a joint revelation of Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
- The Prayer to Guru Rinpoche that Spontaneously Fulfils All Wishes (Sampa Lhundrupma) from The Guru’s Heart Practice: The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa’s revelation of the Sampa Lhundrupma (bsam pa lhun grub ma), a 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). The prayer is very similar to Tulku Zangpo Drakpa’s Sampa Lhundrupma prayer, which is counted as the final chapter of the Le’u Dünma or Prayer in Seven Chapters.
- The Vajra Lute: A Brief Fulfilment for the Guru Practice of Vidyādhara-Assembly by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
Four sets of concealed instructions (gab byang) related to the practice of Rigdzin Düpa (Vidyādhara Assembly), on 1) the wisdom deity, 2) the mantra, 3) the palanquin (do li) samādhi, and 4) the results of the practice.
- The Root Empowerment of the Vase Conferring Majesty from the Heart-Essence of the Vast Expanse by Jigme Lingpa
A practice of confession and offering as a means to purify vows and restore commitments related to every level of the path, from the śrāvaka vehicle through to Atiyoga or the Great Perfection. The text was first revealed by Jigme Lingpa in 1760 while he was staying at Samye Chimphu.
- The Vidyādhara Assembly (Rigdzin Düpa), the Inner Practice from the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse by Jigme Lingpa
The inner guru practice Vidyādhara Assembly (Rigdzin Düpa) features Guru Padmasambhava and Mandāravā at the centre of the maṇḍala, surrounded by the eight vidyādharas, twenty-five disciples and other deities.
- The Prayer of the Tenth Days in Guru Rinpoche’s Life Story entitled ‘The Nucleus of Blessings’ by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Jamgön Kongtrul wrote this biographical prayer (rnam thar gsol 'debs) to Guru Padmasambhava at the request of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. It focuses on the deeds the Precious Guru is said to have performed on the tenth day of each month, when he is commemorated by his followers.
- The Tambura’s Yearning Song of Devotion: A Prayer Summarizing Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal’s Life and Liberation by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye composed this beautiful prayer summarizing Samten Lingpa’s famous terma biography of Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal in 1893 at the request of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and the yoginī Doshul Khandro.
- The Offering Clouds of the Indestructible Ladies of Sound: Concise Garland of Offerings of the Sixteen Vajra Goddesses by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
In this brief treasure text, Padmasambhava prophesies the many ways in which he will reveal himself to disciples in the future. He encourages his students to pray to him continually and gives specific instructions on how to invoke him on the tenth day. The text concludes with a description of the destined revealer of this treasure, Ratna Lingpa.
This commentary on the Ārya Mañjuśrī Tantra Garbha, which is said to encapsulate the famous Mañjuśrī Nāma Saṃgīti, appears anonymously in the Treasury of Precious Revelations (rin chen gter mdzod), but is thought to have been written by the editor of that collection, Jamgön Kongtrul.
Sometimes classified as a Sukhāvatī aspiration (bde smon), this well-known prayer for the dedication of virtue (dge ba bsngo ba) is attributed to Buddha Amitābha, who spoke to Tulku Mingyur Dorje in a vision in 1657.
- Prayer to the Lineage of the Supreme Hayagrīva Emanation from the Aural Transmission by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Meeting the Buddha Face to Face: A Pith Instruction on Realizing the Fortress, Ravine, and View of the Practice of Vajrakīla by Guru Chökyi Wangchuk
This pith instruction on how to accomplish Vajrakīla (or Vajrakīlaya) was given by Guru Padmasambhava to his closest disciple Khandro Yeshé Tsogyal. Following the Atiyoga approach, the text comments on the oft-quoted verses of the Vajrakīla Root Tantra Fragment (Tōh. 439). This and a short protector offering, also preserved in the Treasury of Revelations (Rinchen Terdzö), are the only two surviving texts from Guru Chöwang’s Vajrakīla revelation.
- The History of the Hearing Lineage of the Profound and Secret Practice of Siṃhamukhā by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo recounts the origin of the teachings of Siṃhamukhā and how they have been subsequently passed down to him. He closely follows the story associated with the lineage of Bari Lotsawa (ba ri lugs).
- The Cascading Essence of Great Bliss: An Empowerment Ritual for the Female Practice of the Queen of Great Bliss, from the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Jamgön Kongtrul compiled this empowerment text for Yumka Dechen Gyalmo on the basis of the original treasure revelation, Blessing and Empowerment for the Female Practice. The result is "clear yet concise," as Kongtrul himself put it, and less elaborate than the later arrangement by Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima (1865–1926).
A lineage prayer for the practice of Chimé Pakmé Nyingtik ('chi med 'phags ma'i snying thig), the Heart-Essence of the Deathless Noble Tārā, a revelation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo which is associated with longevity.
- Activities for Uncovering Primordial Wisdom from the Chimé Pakmé Nyingtik, ‘The Heart Essence of the Sublime Lady of Immortality’ by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
The longer sādhana of The Heart Essence of the Sublime Lady of Immortality, or Chimé Pakmé Nyingtik ('chi med 'phags ma'i snying thig), the popular long-life practice of Tāra in union with the Lord of the Dance, which Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo discovered as a mind treasure in 1855.
- The Garland of Utpala Flowers: A Prayer to the Masters of the Lineage of Zabtik Drolchok by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- The Shower of Great Bliss: A Prayer to the Lineage of the Female Awareness-Holder (Yumka) by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- The Single-Form Daily Practice from Chimé Pakmé Nyingtik (The Heart Essence of the Sublime Lady of Immortality) by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- A Glorious Garland of Great Bliss, the Root Sādhana of the Queen of Great Bliss, Yumka Tsogyal, from the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse revealed by Jigme Lingpa
These commonly cited verses of commitment (dam bca' ba) occur several times in the Precious Treasury of Revelations (rin chen gter mdzod) and are also to be found in the collected writings of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Chokgyur Lingpa and Tertön Sogyal. The translation here is based on the commentary by Ju Mipham (1846–1912).
- Emptying the Hells from their Very Depths: The Sovereign Practice for the Confession of all Impairments and Breakages of Vows and all Negative Actions and Obscurations from the revelation of Guru Chökyi Wangchuk
This practice of confession and fulfilment, popularly known as Narak Kong Shak, was arranged by combining elements of Guru Chökyi Wangchuk’s revelation called Kagye Sangwa Yongdzok together with the Kagye Drakpo Rangjung Rangshar of the Northern Treasures.
This brief liturgy for offering the eight auspicious substances (bkra shis rdzas brgyad) and seven emblems of royalty (rgyal srid sna bdun) is often recited as part of consecration and longevity rites.
- The Rain of Virtue and Goodness: A Short Practice for Consecrating Representations of Enlightened Body, Speech and Mind by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
This popular rite of consecration (rab gnas) includes the standard elements of bathing, drying, and dressing (for which it draws upon the Bodhicaryāvatāra), before inviting the wisdom deities, sealing them within the image, empowerment, opening of the eyes, transformation, offering and praise, and prayers to remain until the very ends of the aeon.
- Damchen Chitor: A Brief Practice of Torma Offering to the Oath-Bound Guardians by Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje
- Jewels of Many Colours: Ordinary Fire Pūjas for the Four Activities Based on a Single Substance to Easily Conclude Approach and Accomplishment by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Jamgön Kongtrul composed this simple fire offering (me mchod) ritual for each of the four activities—pacifying, enriching, magnetizing and subjugating—because he could not find anything similar. It is included within his Treasury of Revelations (rin chen gter mdzod).
- Liberation Upon Hearing: An Explanation of the Phenomena of the Intermediate State by Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje
This explanation of the bardos is composed so that it can be read aloud as part of a ritual to guide the deceased. The explanation begins with the meaning of bardo, or intermediate state, in general; it then goes on to describe the process of dying and the subsequent phases, the bardos of dharmatā and becoming, in detail.
Lhatsün Namkha Jikmé revealed this famous smoke offering rite from the Accomplishing the Life-Force of the Vidyādharas (rig 'dzin srog sgrub) while he was opening up the hidden land of Sikkim. This is the version of the practice that appears in the Rinchen Terdzö collection.
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 short practice of Vajrapāṇi in the form of Ucchuṣma is part of the treasure cycle The Essence of Liberation: Self-Liberation of the Wisdom Mind (grol thig dgongs pa rang grol). The text provides a short history of the practice, instructions on how it should be performed, a prophecy about the treasure-revealer, and instructions on the vase ritual.
- The New Glorious Bestower of Immortality: A Long-Life Practice and Empowerment that Unites the Oral, Treasure and Visionary Teachings by Chöje Lingpa
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.
- The Sādhana and Empowerment for the Extremely Close Lineage of the Long-Life Practice that Unites the Oral, Treasure and Visionary Teachings by Chöje Lingpa
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).
- Opening the Door to Great Bliss: An Aspiration Towards the Realm of Abhirati by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
An aspiration to be reborn in the eastern pureland of Abhirati (mngon dga'), the realm of Vajra Akṣobhya. The text is included in the Shechen edition of the Rinchen Terdzö as part of Longsal Nyingpo's (1625–1692) Longsal Dorje Nyingpo (klong gsal rdo rje snying po) cycle.
- The Indestructible Vajra Garland, An Aspiration Prayer for the Lives of the Supreme Holders of the Non-Sectarian Teachings by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
Kongtrul wrote this prayer while at the site of Yamalung, sacred for its connection with Guru Padmasambhava. In a series of verses aspiring for the longevity of all non-sectarian teachers, he offers not only a powerful practice text, but also a concise statement of his celebrated Rimé ideals.
- The Bestowal of Supreme Immortality: A Prayer to the Lineage of Mitrayogin’s White and Red Amitāyus by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A prayer to the lineage of Mitrayogin's Amitāyus practice, part of the Heart-Essence of the Mahāsiddha Mitra (grub chen mi tra'i snying thig) cycle, revealed as a pure vision by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
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).
- A Prayer to Jowo Rinpoche Combined with Aspirations and a Means to Receive the Four Empowerments by Jigme Lingpa
Jigme Lingpa wrote this prayer for a student who was accumulating prayers before the famous Jowo Rinpoche statue in the Jokhang temple in Lhasa. It is not only a prayer to Śākyamuni Buddha, but also a means to receive the four empowerments: vase, secret, wisdom-knowledge, and the supreme empowerment of great rays of light.
Ju Mipham composed this sādhana of Śākyamuni Buddha, or '[Śākya]muni-ritual' (thub chog), at the request of Orgyen Tendzin Norbu (1841–1900). Both the sādhana and its vast 'supporting teaching' known as The White Lotus (rgyab chos padma dkar po) are among the most popular of Mipham's works.
This aspiration prayer is said to have been spoken by Guru Padmasambhava when revealing the Vajradhātu maṇḍala in the temple of Samye. The text was revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa and transcribed by Jamgön Kongtrul. Generally, it is known as Mönlam Chokchu Düzhima (Aspiration of the Ten Directions and Four Times), a name which derives from the prayer's first four syllables.
- Words to Delight the Sovereigns of the Dharma: A Prayer of Aspiration for the Flourishing and Spread of the Ancient Translation Tradition by Mipham Rinpoche
This famous prayer for the spread of the teachings of the Nyingma tradition is among Mipham Rinpoche's most famous compositions. It is recited daily at the annual Monlam Chenmo festival and was the subject of a major commentary by Mipham's student and lineage-holder, Shechen Gyaltsab Pema Namgyal (1871–1926).
One of the better known instructions from the collection known as Responses to Questions, Advice from the Guru's Direct Instructions (bla ma dmar khrid kyi zhal gdams zhus lan skor), which is included in the Precious Treasury of Revelations (rin chen gter mdzod). The text contains simple advice from Guru Padmasambhava for his elderly disciple, Ngok Sherab Gyalpo.
This famous prayer of aspiration, which was a terma revelation of Pema Lingpa (1450–1521), is said to record the words of Yeshe Tsogyal to Guru Padmasambhava as he was about to leave Tibet for the land of the rakṣasa demons.
- The Powerful Prayer of Aspiration from the Tantra of the Great Perfection that Reveals the All-Penetrating Wisdom Mind of Samantabhadra (Kunzang Mönlam) by Rigdzin Gödem
This famous prayer of aspiration of Buddha Samantabhadra (kun bzang smon lam), which is taken from the All-Penetrating Wisdom Mind (dgongs pa zang thal) revelation, is among the most popular texts of the Dzogchen tradition. Its recitation is especially recommended during solar and lunar eclipses, at the solstices and new year, as well as during earthquakes and other environmental anomalies.
- Radiant Sunlight of the Victors’ Teachings: A Brief, First-Hand Account of the Liberating Life-Story of the Great Emanated Treasure Revealer by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
This short autobiography, composed in verse, covers the main events in the great treasure-revealer’s life from 1829, the year of his birth, until 1865, which was five years before he passed away at the age of 42.
- The Brief Tsok Feast Offering Prayer from 'The Profound Path of the Ḍākinīs' Heart Drop' by Dudjom Rinpoche
As Dudjom Rinpoche explains in the colophon, he revealed this practice in 1936. He had fallen sick and his disciple Trulshik Pawo Dorje (1876–1962) performed a hundred feast offerings and fulfilment practices on his behalf. Early the next morning, Dudjom Rinpoche had a dream in which a woman spoke these words; he wrote them down, and the following day his illness disappeared completely.