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By TuUcu Thondup
1978 Tulku Thondup
Published by Maha Siddha Nyingmapa Center.
U.S.A. - 1982
Table of Contents
Preface ............................................... ......................................... vii
Key Political and Religious Figures in Tibetan History .......................... " ix
Key Figures in the Nyingmapa Tradition.......... ................................. xiii
Key Figures in the Kagyudpa Tradition.............................................. xv
Key Figures in the Sakyapa Tradition.............................................. xvii
Key Figures in the Gelugpa Tradition................................................ xix
Map of India................................................................................ xxi
Map of Ttbet (showing major monasteries)....................................... xxii
I - The Development of Buddhism in Tibet
Introduction.................................................................................. 3
r. Nyingmapa (the Ancient) School............................................... 7
The Transmission of the Nyingmapa Teachings ........................ 13
1. Long Transmission of Canons ............................................. 14
2. Short Transmission of Discovered Dharma Treasures.......... 15
The Nyingmapa Scriptures.. .............................. .......... ............ 17
Nyingmapa Doctrine. ........... ....... .... ...... .................................. 19
Important Nyingmapa Monasteries and Institutions ...... ............ 23
Tibetan Buddhist School Which Resulted From The
Later Spread of the Doctrine.......... . .... ............... ................ ..... .. .. ... 24
II. Kagyudpa School... ......... .............. .............. ................... ......... 25
Kagyudpa Doctrine .... ....................... ........ ..... .......... ........... .... 31
III. Sakyapa School.. ........... ...... ............................ .......... .... ......... 33
Sakyapa Doctrine... ...... .......................... ........ ........ ................. 35
IV. Gelugpa School ....................................................................... 37
Gelugpa Monasteries ............................................................... 39
Gelugpa Doctrine ................. ........ ...... ................. ........... ......... 41
V. Some Other Tibetan Buddhist Schools..................................... 43
1. Kadampa School.. ...... ..... .......................... ........... .............. 43
2. Zhi-ChedPa and Chad Schools. ................. ............... ...... .... 43
1) PhoChod ...................................................................... 43
2) MoChod..................... ...................................... ............ 44
3. Jonangpa School............ ........ ...... ................. .................... 44
II - The Scope of Tibetan Literature
Introduction ............ ................................... ,. . .... . ..... ........ ........ ... . 49
I. The Religious Literature .......................................... '" ... '" ....... 51
A) Religious Literature - According to Origin ..... ... ... ... .......... 51
1. The Literature Translated from Indian Sources ............... 51
(a) The Kajur Collection - The Buddha's Teachings.... 51
(b) The Tenjur Collection - The Works of
Indian Buddhist Scholars.... ............... ..................... 52
2. The Literature Written by Tibetan Scholars .................... 52
(a) The Literature ofthe Nyingmapa School................. 53
(i) The Classification of the Dharma.. .............. .......... 53
(ii) Sutra.................................................................... 53
(iii) Tantra .................................................................. 53
(iv) Study....... ........... ............................ ..................... 56
(b) The Literature of the Sarmapa .... ................. ........... 56
(i) The Classification of the Dharma ..... ...... ........ ....... 57
(ii) Major Texts for Study and Practice ........................ 57
(iii) The Literature of the Kagyudpa School................. 57
(iv) The Literature of the Sakyapa School.................... 58
(v) The Literature of the Gelugpa School....... ............. 59
(vi) The Literature of Some Other Minor Schools ......... 58
B) Religious Literature - According to Subject....................... 63
1. Religion............ ........ ...... ........ ............ .......................... 63
2. History and Biography ................................................... 63
3. Poetic Composition and Yogic Songs ............................ 64
4. Music. Dance. and Art and Architecture ......................... 64
II. The Secular Literature ........ ....... ....... ............. ................. ......... 65
History ............................................................................ 65
Grammar ........................................................................ 66
Poetic Composition. Metrical Literature. and Lexicons...... 67
Logic ............................................................................... 67
Astrology.......... ........ ..................... ................................. 68
Mathematics............................................. ...................... 69
Medicine............. ...... ................ ................ ............... ....... 69
Geography and Cosmology .............................................. 70
Law ................................................................................. 70
Political Writings ....... ........ ........... ......... ...... ........ ............ 70
K) Music and Dance............................................................. 71
L) Drama ............................................................................. 71
M) Art and Craft .. ........... ...................... ......... ....................... 71
Glossary .................................................................................... 73
Index ............................................................................................ 83
This booklet contains two articles which I wrote a few years ago. The
fIrSt, "The Development of Buddhism in Tibet" is a brief account of the
history of the four major Buddhist schools in Tibet. It includes a description
of their doctrines and monastic institutions. These four schools are the
Nyingmapa (the Ancient Ones), who are followers of the Old Tantras
(those tantras translated into Tibetan before the eleventh century a.d.), the
Kagyudpa, Sakyapa, and Gelugpa who are followers of the New Tantras
(those tantras which were translated after the eLeventh century a.d.). The
account which / have given in this article is the traditional version of the
history of Buddhism in Tibet as it appears in Tibetan historical texts.
The second article, "The Scope of Tibetan Literature" is a brief outline
of the subject. It presents a general schema of Tibetan literature,
classifying the works on various subjects - secular and religious. I have
included the names of only a few major literary works ase.xamples of the
literature falling under each heading.
I am grateful to Harold Talbot for editing these articles. My gratitude
also goes to the Center for the Study of World Religions and to Michael
Baldwin and the other members of the Buddhayana Foundation, U.S.A.
for their generous sponsorship, which enabled me to prepare these texts
for printing. I am also thankful to Eric Jacobson for editing, proofreading
and assembling the glossary and index and to Martha Hamilton for doing
the typesetting, artwork and arranging for the texts to be printed.
January, 1982
Tu/ku Thondup
Founders of Religious
Schools and Translators KINGS
2nd cent. Nyathri Tsenpo enthroned in
127 B.C.
First king of Tibet
Founded Chogyal Dynasty
5th cent. Lha-Thotho-Ri Nyen-Tsen
Brought first Buddhist scrip-
tures and religious objects
into Tibet in 433 A.D.
Early Spread of the Doctrine 7th 1 Oth Century A.D.
Thonmi Sambhota
First Tibetan Buddhist
translator. Invented
Tibetan script and
Came from India to teach
Buddhism in Tibet.
Founded Nyingmapa School
Santirakshita t Great Indian
scholars who
Vimalamitra visited Tibet.
Kawa Paltseg Tib t n
Ch Rea
Bairocana ~
eg- 0 Translators
Zhang Yeshey
Surendrabodhi }
Ratnarakshita }
7th cent. Srong-Tsen Gampo (617-698)
Directed the development
of a written form of Tibetan
Inaugurated Buddhism as
the religion of Tibet.
9th cent. Thri-Song DeuTsen
(lQo-844 A.D.)
Invited greatest Indian
saints and yogis to teach
Buddhism in Tibet.
Directed construction of
Samye monastery.
9th cent. Tri Ralpa Chan (866901)
Assassinated by pro-Bon
Nub-Chen Sangye Yeshe
Preserved Tantrik tradition
La Chen Gangpa Rabsal
Re-established Vinaya
Last great translator of
. the Earlier Spread of
the Doctrine.
10th cent. Lang Dharm<;l, ruled 901-906
Persecuted and suppressed
Buddhism in Tibet.
Assassinated by
Lha-Lung Pal-Dor.
End of Chogyal dynasty.
10th-13th No central authority
cent_ (906-1253)
Gradual return of Buddhist
practice in Central Tibet
to the end of the 10th
Later Spread of the Doctrine 10th20th Cent. A.D.
Rinchen ZangPo (958-1051) 10th cent.
First great translator of
the Later Spread of the
Atisa (982-1054) 10th cent.
Founded Kadampa Schoo(
Marpa (10121099) 11th cent.
Founded Kagyudpa School
Kon-Chog Gyalpo 11th-12th
(1034-1102) cent.
Founded Sakyapa School
13th cent. Dro Gon Ghogyal Phagpa
Tsongkhapa (1357-1419)
Founded Gelugpa School.
Given kingship of Tibet by
the Mongol emperor
Kublai Khan, 1253.
Sakyapa Rule began.
14th cent. Chang Chub Gyaltsen
Overthrew Sakyapa rule,
Began Phagtru Kagyudpa
Eleven Phagtru kings.
15th cent. Donyod Dorje
Overthrew Phagtru rule,
Began Rinpongpa rule.
Four Rinpongpa kings.
16th cent. Tsheten Dorje
Overthrew Rinpongpa rule
1566. Began T sangpa rule.
Three Tsangpa kings.
17th cent. Gusri Khan, Mongolian king.
Defeated Tsangpa rule,
Gave rule over Tibet to the
5th Dalai Lama (161782).
Beginning Gelugpa rule.
Present 14th Dalai Lama (1935 )
Early Spread of the Doctrine -
Padmasambhava (9th cent.)
Kawa Paltseg
ChogRo Lu'i Gyaltsen "
Zhang Yeshey Oe
NubCh'en Sangye Yeshey "
Later Spread of the Doctrine -
9th and 10th century A.D.
Came from India to teach
Buddhism in Tibet.
Main Tibetan translators
among the 108.
Preserved Tantrik tradition
Started from later half of the
10th century A.D.
Lachen Gongpa Rabsal
(10th cent. A.O.)
Reestablishedlpreserved Vinaya
in central Tibet.
Smrtijnana (11th cent. A.O.) The last translator of the
Old Tantras.
Some of the great Terton(s) - (Dharma Treasure Discoverers):
Nyang-Ral Nyima1.9f'zer (1124-1192)
Guru Chowang (fi.6;4.-1270/3)
Rig-Ozin God-Oem (1337-1408)
Sangye Lingpa (1340-1396)
Oorje Lingpa (1346-1405)
Ratna Lingpa (1403-1478)
Pad rna Lingpa (1450-?)
Rig-Ozin Jatshon Nyingpo (1585-1656)
Oud-Oul Oorje (16'15-1672)
Lha-Tsun Namkha Jigmed (1597-1650?)
Ter-Chen Gyurmed Oorje (1646-1714)
Rig-Ozin Jig-Med Lingpa (1729-1798)
Jam-Yang Khyen-Tse'i Wang-Po (1820-1892)
Chog-Kyur Ling-Pa (1829-1870)
Some of the great Writers:
Rong-lom Cho-lang (11 cent A.D.) -
Long-Chen Rab-Jam (1308-1363)
Nga-Ri Perna Wang-Gyal (1487-1542)
Lo-Chen Dharmashri (1654-1717/8)
Pal-Tul Rinpoche (1808-1887)
Ju Mipham Nam-Gyal (1846-1912)
Two Kun-Khyen(s) or
Omniscient Ones of
Third Dodrup Chen (1865-1926)
lhen-Phen Cho-Kyi Nang-Wa (1871-1927)
Khenpo Ngag-Wang Pal-lang (1879-1941)
Jig-Tral Ye-Shey Dorje,
the 2nd Dudjom Rinpoche (1904- )
the Supreme Head of the Nyingmapa School
( 1040-1123)
Karmapa Du-Sum Khyen-Pa (1110-1193)
Founded Karma Kagyud
Phag-Mo Tru Pa, Dor-Je Gyal-Po (1110-1170)
Founded Phagtru Kagyud
Won Gom Tshul Thrim Nyingpo (12th cent.)
Zhang-Dar-Ma Trag (1122-?)
Founded Tsha/pa Kagyud
Dar-Ma Wang Chug (12th cent.)
Founded Barompa Kagyud
Tag-Lung Thang-Pa Tra-Shi-Pal (1142-1210)
Founded Tag-Lung Kagyud
Dri-Kung Kyob-Pa (1143-1217)
Founded Dri-Gung Kagyud
Tsang-Pa Gya-Re (1161-1211)
Founded Drukpa Kagyud
Some of the Great Writers
Karmapa Rang-Chung Dorje (1284-1334)
Karmapa Mi-Kyod Dorje (1507-1554)
Pa-Wo Tsug-Lag Threng-Wa (1454-1566)
Situ Ten-Pa'j Nyin-Ched (1698-?)
Kong-Tul Yon-Ten Gyatsho
Rig-Pa'i Dorje, the 16th Karmapa (1924-1981)
1 Oth-ll th Khon Kon-Chog Gyal-Po (1034-1102)
cent Built Sakya monastery in 1073 A.D. and founded
the Sakyapa school.
11th-12th Sa-Chen Kun-Ga Nying-Po (1092-1158)
cent. A great scholar and Siddha
12th cent. Sod-Nam Tse-Mo (1142-1182)
Great teacher of Sakya school.
12th-13th Trag-Pa Gyal-Tshen (1147-1216)
cent. Great teacher of Sakyapa school.
Kun-Ga Gyal-Tshen (1181-1251), Sakya Pandita
The greatest scholar of Sakyapa lineage, brought
Buddhism to Mongolia and created the Mongolian script.
13th cent. Dro-Gon Cho-Gyal Phag-Pa (1235-1280)
Became a preceptor of Kublai Khan, the Chinese Mongol
Emperor, who gave him rule over Tibet in 1253 A.D.
He was the first priest ruler of Tibet.
14th-15th Rong-Ton She-Cha Kun-Rig (1367-1449)
cent. A great scholar who built the Na-Len-Tra monastery in
Phan-Po Valley in 1437 A.D.
Ngor-Chen Kun-Ga lang-Po (1382-1456)
Built Ngor E-Wam Cho-Den monastery and founded
Ngor-Pa sub-school.
15th-16th Shakya Chog-Den (1428-1507)
cent. Great writer.
Go-Rab-Jam Sod-Nam Seng-Ge (1429-1489)
An outstanding writer, scholar and critic and built
Ta-Nag monastery in Tsang in 1414 A.D.
16th cent. Tshal-Chen Lo-Sal Gya-Tsho (1502-1566)
Founded Tshal-Ba sub-school.
20th cent. Kun-Ga Thrin-Le Wang-Gyal, Thri Rinpoche (1945- )
41st and present Holder of the Throne of Sakya.
14th cent.
Tsong-Kha-Pa, Lob-lang Trag-Pa (1357-1419)
One of the greatest scholars and writers of Tibet. He
built Gaden monastery in 1410 A.D., reformed Tibetan
monastic discipline and founded the Gelugpa school.
Gyal-Tshab-Je (1364-1432) . . .
Khe-Drub-Je (1385-1438) Mam disciples of Tsong-Kha-Pa
Cham-Chen Cho-Je (1354-1435)
Built Sera monastery in 1429 A.D_
Jam-Yang Cho-Je (1379-1449)
Built Dre-Pung monastery in 1419 A.D.
Pan-Chen Ge-Dun-Drub (1391-1474), First Dalai Lama
Built Tra-Shi Lhun-Po monastery in 1447 A.D.
Cho-Kyi Gyal-Tshen (Ser-Che'i Je-tsun (1469-1546)
Great writer and scholar.
Pan-Chen Sod-Nam Trag-Pa (1478-1554)
Great writer and scholar.
16th cent_ Sod-Nam Gya-Tsho (1543-1588), Third Dalai Lama
He received the title of Dalai Lama from Mongol king
Altan Khan and he built Ku-Bum monastery.
16th-17th Lob-lang Cho-Kyi Gyal-Tshen (1570-1662)
cent. First Panchen Lama and was the greatest ritual text
compiler of the Gelugpa school.
17th cent. Ngag-Wang Lob-lang Gya-Tsho (1617-82), Fifth Dalai
He became the spiritual and temporal head of Tibet in
1642 A.D.
17th-18th Lob-lang Ten-Pa'i Gyal-Tshen (1635-1723)
cent. First Je-Tsun Dam-pa
He was the highest spiritual and temporal authority of
Mongolia. He built Ri-Wo Ge-Gye-Ling monastery in
Ngag-Wang Tson-Dru, first Jam-Yang lhed-Pa (1648-1721)
He built Tra-Shi-Khyil monastery in 1710 A.D.
18th cent. Chang-Kya Rol-Wa'i Dor-Je (1717-1786)
Chang-Kya successive incarnations were influential
teachers in China.
20th cent. Thub-Ten Lung-Tog, Ling Rinpoche (1903- )
The 97th Holder of the Throne of Gaden, or successor
of Tsong-Kha-Pa.
Ten-Dzin Gya-Tsho (1935- ), the 14th Dalai Lama.
c.;t, .. A .:. b.
, , 0 Dharmsala
, .,pC:J

<;l. __
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(j) Gaya Bang ladesh
Santlnlkelan 0 '-'
o Hyderabad

I N 0 I A N ColOmbO;' J
OCEAN \.r/
100 200 300
Sri nagar
o 50 100
I j
Names of Monasteries:
1 Samye
2 Min-Trol-Ling
3 Dor-Je-Trag
4 Ka-Thog
5 Pal-Yul
6 Dzog-Chen
7 Zhe-Chen
8 Dodrup Chen
9 Tarthang
10 Tshur-Phu
11 Dri-Gung
12 Den-Sa-Thil
13 Dag-Lha Gam-Po
14 Pal-Pung
15 Ri-Wo-Che
16 Sang-Ngag Cho-Ling
17 Sakya
18 Nor-E-Wam Cho-Den
19 De-Ge Gon-Chen
(Lhun-Drup Teng)
20 Dzong-Sar

21 Gaden
22 Dre-Pung
23 Sera
24 Tra-Shi Lhun-Po
25 Chab-Do
(""TIBET; 11
l.I(WU) 28
Lhasa 23 21
Shlgalse 3
_-__ ........ 2.4 ,
28 Ra-Dreng
29 Jo(Mo-) Nang
18 0 V- ,
GYangtaa 18S0UTHERN TIBET 17
_ ., ... .,-' (LHO-KHAJ
...... I' ,
..... ,....,... __ I I l
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Twelve centuries after the Buddha's Mahaparinirvana, Buddism
crossed the Himalayan ranges and reached Tibet, the Land of Snow, in
the 7th century A.D. In the following centuries Buddhism penetrated
into all aspects of Tibetan life and culture and the Tibetan people found
in the teaching of Lord Buddha a source of deep peace, happiness and
fulfillment. Within the structure of Buddhist teaching, various methods
were developed which were suited to different types of individuals.
These various methods are included within the three principle paths or
yanas: Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana. Tibetan Buddhism is
unique in that it contains the scriptures, teachings and traditions of
practice of all three yanas. Its almost infinite depth and richness make it
one of the world's most profound living traditions. This essay is
intended to give a brief account of its development.
When Buddhism reached Tibet, it encountered the ancient native
religion called Bon. Bon is a type of Shamanism in which the spirits of
the sun, moon, mountains and trees are worshipped. The Bon-Pos, as
they were called, also sacrificed animals as part of their religious
practice. For several centuries Buddhism and Bon were in conflict with
one another in Tibet. Buddhism emerged the victor but Bon has
remained a living tradition until the present day. As a result of its
encounter with Buddhism, Bon underwent deep and lasting changes_
Many Bon texts were constructed on Buddhist models and as time
passed the content of the Bon scriptures reflected Buddhist influence.
Buddhist concepts were expressed in the terminology and language
peculiar to the Bon texts. There were even a few-great Tibetan Buddhist
scholars who translated Buddhist texts into the Bon-Po canon by using
the vocabulary employed in the Bon writing. This was done so that the
numerous Bon-Pos of Tibet could also benefit from the Buddhist
Buddhism also had a profound effect on the political situation in
Tibet. Part of the reason for its dramatic and almost total success within
the country was because of the reverence and devotion of some of
Tibet's greatest kings toward the teaching and principles of Buddhism.
In giving an account of the development of Buddhism in Tibet we must
consider the activities of these kings, because their support and pa-
tronage was crucial to the spread of Buddhism in Tibet.
Before the 2nd century B.C. Tibet was not united. There were only
small feudal principalities, warring factions and wandering nomads_
Towards the end of the 2nd century B.C. an exiled Indian prince
reached Tibet and gained control over a substantial portion of the coun-
try. His Tibetan name was Nyathri Tsenpo and in 127 B.C. he was en-
throned as first king of Tibet. He built the first palace in the country, the
YumBu La-Gang in Yarlung Valley_ He and the lineage of kings that
descended from him extended their control over the whole of Tibet.
This lineage came to be known as the Chogyal (ChosrGyal: Dharma
King) dynasty_
In 433 A.D_ the 28th King of the Chogyal Dynasty, Lha-Thotho-Ri-
Nyen-Tsen, received some Buddhist scriptures and religious objects. He
did not understand the meaning of the scriptures but perceived that
they and the sacred objects were things of great value and treated them
with great reverence. This was the first appearance of Buddhist
scriptures in Tibet.
The 33rd king of the Chogyal Dynasty was Srong-Tsen Gampo
(617-698) who was the first of the three great Dharma kings of Tibet.
Before Srong-Tsen-Gampo's time the Tibeten language had no written
form. He sent his minister, Thonmi Sambhota, with many attendants to
India in order to study the North Indian languages. After his return to
Tibet, he developed the first Tibetan script on the basis of Indian
models. He also wrote the basic grammar books for the Tibetan lan-
guage and translated many Buddhist scriptures into Tibetan. Two of the
wives of King Srong-Tsen Gampo also played an important part in the
early history of Buddhism in Tibet. He married princess Bhrikuti,
daughter of King Amsuvarma of Nepal and Princess Wen Che'n,
daughter of the Emperor Tang Tai Tsung of China. Both of these
women were devout Buddhists and they brought many priceless
religious objects with them to Tibet. The most famous image of the
Buddha in Tibet, the Jo-Wo-Yid-Zhin Nor-Bu, was brought from China
by the Princess Wen Che'n. They encouraged and supported the
building of many Buddhist temples within the country. The Tsug-Lag
Khang, the main temple of the capital city of Lhasa, was built under the
patronage of King Srong-Tsen Gampo and Princess Bhrikuti. The King
also constructed three codes of law for the people of the country based
upon the principles and discipline of Buddhism. The reign of King
Srong-Tsen Gampo marked the beginning of the practice of Buddhism
in Tibet_
The 37th Chogyal King, Thri-Song Deu-Tsen (790844 A.D.) is the
second of the three great kings of Tibet. He invited hundreds of Indian
scholars and yogic masters to Tibet. The most famous were: Shantarak-
sita, an abbot of Nalanda University; Guru Rinpoche or Padmasam-
bhava, the greatest Indian Tantric Master; and Vimalamitra, a famous
scholar and yogi.
King ThriSong built the famous Samye monastery. Work was be-
gun on the monastery in 810 and during his reign the first Tibetans
took ordination as Bhiksus (monks). Working under the King's
patronage, the great Indian scholars along with 108 Tibetan translators,
such as Bairochana and Kawa Paltseg, translated numerous Sutra and
texts from Sanskrit into Tibetan. During his reign Tibet attained
a hIgh degree of both secular power and spiritual development. Until
the of Lang Darma, in the 10th Century A.D., his successors
contInued to extend and develop the doctrine of Dharma in Tibet.
. The last of the three great Dharma kings was Thri Ralpa Chen

). the 40th king of the Chogyal Dynasty. His major contribution
was to standardize the methods for translating Buddhist Sanskrit texts
into Tibetan. All the texts translated up to this time were retranslated
according to the new system. Henceforth, the translation of Buddhist
texts was able to proceed with a high degree of accuracy and scholarly
excellence. He also invited many great Indian scholars to Tibet and a
great number of texts were translated into Tibetan. Unfortunately at the
age of 36 he was murdered by his pro Bon ministers.
King Thri Ralpa Chen's elder brother, Lang Darma, became king in
901 A.D. He was the 41st and last king of the Chogyal Dynasty. Lang
Darma was antiBuddhist and with the help of his proBon ministers he
began the systematic destruction of Buddhism in Central Tibet. The
persecution fell especially heavily on the Bhiksu Sangha. Many monks
were forcibly disrobed or killed. The institutions of Buddhist monasti
cism disappeared from Central Tibet for more than half a century.
However, many Tantriks continued to practice covertly as layman and
the powerful Tantric practioner, NubChen Sangye Yeshe extracted a
promise from the king not to harm the Tantriks or the Tantric texts.
After five years of misrule Lang Darma was killed by a Buddhist
priest. After his death his sons fought among themselves for the vacant
throne. However, no one of them was able to succeed and for three and
a half centuries there was no effective central authority in the land. The
different provinces assumed the position of independent states and
were ruled by feudal lords.
During the time of Lang Darma's persecution, three great monks
fled to the province of Kham in Eastern Tibet and maintained the tradi
tion of the Vinaya ordination there. The greatest disciple of these three
monks was LaChen Gongpa Rabsal. After half a century of absence, the
Vinaya lineage of Bhiksu ordination was brought from Kham back to
Central Tibet by ten students who had travelled from Central Tibet to
study with LaChen Gongpa Rabsal. By the end of the 10th century A.D.
the monasteries of Central Tibet were able to resume their activities and
the work of translation and practice was again carried forward. The
great Indian scholar, Smrtijnana, was the most renowned translator of
this period of Tibetan religious history.
The period we have been discussing so far down to the end of the
10th century is known in the Tibetan historial works as the period of the
Early Spread of the Doctrine (bsTamPa sNgaDar). The Tantric texts
that were translated up to the end of this period are known as the Earlier
Translated Tantras (gSangsNgags sNgaa'Gyur) or Old Tantras. Smrti
jnana was the last great translator of these texts. The lineage of teach
ing based on these texts is known as the Nyingmapa (The Old Ones).
This remained a powerful Buddhist lineage in Tibet up until the present
time, and will be discussed in some detail on the following pages.
The texts translated after the beginning of the 10th century are
known as the New Tantras (sNgags gSarMa). Tibetan religiOUS
historians refer to this period of Tibetan history as the Later Spread
(bsTanPa Phyi-Dar) of the Doctrine. The first great translator of the
New Tantras was Rin-Chen lang-Po (Rin-Ch'en blang-Po, 958-1051).
Marpa Chokyi Lo-Dro (Ch'os-Kyi Blo-Gros, 1012-1099) and Drog-Mi
Shakya Ve-She (a'Brag-Mi Shakya Ve-Shes, 993-1050) were also great
translators of this period.
Various major and minor schools developed based on different
texts within the New Tantras. The Kagyudpa school was founded by
Marpa (1012-1099) and the Sakyapa School was founded by Khon-
Kon-Chog-Gyal-Po (dKon-mCh'og rGyal-Po, 1034-1102). The Kadampa
School was founded by the renowned Indian scholar of Vikramashila
known as Atisha (982,1054).
Before discussing the contributions of these various schools to the
religious history of Tibet it is necessary to conclude briefly our
discussion of Tibetan political history. Increasingly during the period of
the Later Spread of the Doctrine, especially after the development of
the powerful Gelugpa School in the 14th century, Buddhism exerted a
powerful influence and then completely dominated the political life of
This development began in the 13th century when Dro-Gon Cho-
Gyal-Phag-Pa (a'Gro-mGon Ch'os-rGyal a'Phag-Pa, 1235-1280) of the
Sakyapa School became the spiritual tutor of Kublai Khan, the
Mongolian King who eventually became the Emperor of China. The
Khan in gratitude for PhagPa's teaching and blessing, made him the
ruler of all Tibet in 1253. This was the first time that the supreme
secular authority was held by a monk. After Phag-Pa, a series of
Sakyapa kings ruled Tibet for almost a hundred years.
In 1349 Chang-Chub Gyal-Tshan (Byang-Ch'ub rGyal-mTshan) of
the Phag-Tru (Phag-Gru) clan overthrew the Sakyapa rulers and became
king of Tibet. Then a succession of eleven PhagTru kings ruled Tibet
for 106 years.
During this period, the celebrated scholar Lobzang Tragpa (Blo
blang Grags-Pa, 1357-1419) from Tsongkha, Amdo in Eastern Tibet
founded the Gelugpa school. Tsongkha-Pa, as he was known, was a
great scholar who wrote many works. He and his disciples built many
large monasteries. He stressed the importance of the fundamental
teachings of Buddhism and the strict observance of monastic
discipline. In time the Gelugpa became one of the most politically
powerful of the Tibetan Buddhist Schools. From the 17th century until
1959 the Dalai Lamas of this school were both the spiritual and
temporal leaders of Tibet.
Before the Gelugpa assumed power, Tibet was ruled by two
successive feudal dynasties. In 1435 Don-Vod Dorje of the Rinpung clan
overthrew the Phag-Tru king and four succeeding Rinpungpa kings
ruled Tibet for 130 years. In 1566 Tshe-Ten Dorje (Tshe-brTan rDo-rJe)
of the Tsang-Pa (gTsang-Pa) overthrew the Rinpungpa ruler and three
succeeding kings of this dynasty ruled Tibet for 76 years.
Then in 1642 the forces of Gusri Khan of the Qosot Mongols de-
feated the Tsangpa rulers and offered the lordship of Tibet to the 5th
Dalai Lama (1617-1682). The present Dalai Lama is the 14th in this
. . .. We will now discuss the various Buddhist Schools that developed
In Tibet, beginning with the Nyingmapa School.
I. Nyingmapa (rNying-Ma-Pa) School
The Ancient Ones
This school was founded by the Indian Tantric master, Padmasam-
bhava, during the time of King Thri-Song-Detsen in the 9th century
A.D. Various versions of his life are given in the Tibetan scriptures of
the Nyingmapa Tradition, of which the following is a general outline.
He was born from a lotus blossom in the MilkOcean in the country
of U-rGyan (Oddiyana) which modern scholars believe to be the Swat
Yalley of Pakistan. He took birth eight years after the Buddha's
Mahaparinirvana He attained the deathless Siddhi through Tantric
practice and at the age of more than 1000 years went to Tibet in the 9th
century. His followers believe that he is still alive in the Rakshas' land
(Srin-Po'i Gling) and can be seen by realized persons.
After his lotus birth, King Indrabodhi of Oddiyana found him in the
Milk Ocean while he was returning from a successful trip in search of a
WishingGem. The king brought him to his palace and as he had no
heir, he made him the crown prince. Eventually Padmasambhava
married Khadro Od-Chang-Ma (mKha'-a'Gro A'od-a'Chang-Ma). But he
asked the king to allow him to renounce the kingdom in order to lead a
life of religious practice. When the king refused, Padmasambhava
exercising Skillful Means, kiJled a wicked minister's son - who was to
die at that time because of his past karmic effects - while they were
playing. According to the law of the land Padmasambhava was
banished from the country to a cemetary where he took up Tantric
teachings and practices. This was in accordance with his wishes and he
then visited other cemeteries to receive Tantric teachings and perform
Tantric practices and he subdued the male and female spirits of those
places. He was blessed by the Wisdom Dakinis Kha-DroMa Zhi-Wa-
Tsho (mKha'-a'Gro-Ma Zhi-BaaTsho) and YajraYarahi. He then visited
different teachers and studied medicine, astrology, logic, and art. He
received Bhikshu (monk) ordination from Acharya Prabhahasti. He
studied the Yoga Sastras from Acharya Prabhahasti, Yinaya from
Ananda, and Tantra including Dzog-Pa ChenPo (rDzog-Pa Ch'enPo -
Atiyoga, Skt.) from Prahevajra, Shrisinha, Nagarjuna, Hum-
kara,Yimalamitra and Buddhaguhya, who were all accomplished
masters. Through his practice he received the attainments of the
various Tantras.
A very significant happening in his life occurred when he visited
the Sahora Kingdom. He gave teaching to the princess of the kingdom
and her 500 ladies in waiting all of whom became nuns. The news
reached the king that a very handsome stranger- like the son of the
gods - was staying with the princess and her maidens. The king
ordered that the Guru be burnt in a mountain valley filled with wood
and oil. The Guru was to be wrapped in many cloths and the burning to
take place before the people of Sahora. After a few days the Guru was
not only unharmed but with the miraculous powers he had transformed
the burning oil and wood into a mountain lake. He was sitting on a lotus
blossom in the middle of the lake attended by many gods and Dakinis.
Upon seeing this the king and his subjects repented of their evil ways
and Padmasambhava was taken to the king's palace as a guest of
honor. The king himself received teachings from him and offered him
his kingdom and the hand of the Princess Mandarava. The Guru took
Mandarava as his consort and together they went to the Maratika Cave,
located in what is now Nepal, in order to do Tantric practice. There they
both achieved the Deathless Attainment.
Then Padmasambhava with his consort decided to return to the
Kingdom of Oddiyana. Upon arriving in the country he was recognized
by the evil minister whose son he had killed and the King ordered that
he and his consort be burnt in a big fire of sandalwood. After a few days
the Guru by his miraculous power had transformed the fire into a
beautiful lake and he and his consort were sitting on a lotus blossom in
the middle of the lake. The king, ministers and all people had faith in
him as a great teacher and he remained in Oddiyana for 13 years as the
Chaplain of the Palace. He gave powerful Tantric teachings such as the
Ka-Du Cho-Kyi Gya-Tsho (bKa'a'Dus Ch'os-Kyi rGya-mTsho), a
condensed text of sadhanas and many fortunate people of the land
including the king attained the Vidyadhara Siddhi. After leaving
Oddyiana the Guru went to Nepal in order to do further practice. With
the support of the Nepalese Princess Shakya-Devi he achieved the
Supreme Attainment through the deep practice of the Sadhanas of
Yang-Dag (Vishuddha) and DorJe Phur-Ba (rDorJe Phur-Ba -
Vajrakila) divinities. Through this practice he attained and has
remained in the form (body) of Mahamudra Vidyadhara.
He then visited many parts of India such as Hurmuja (a small island
of Oddiyana), Sikodhara, Dhanakosha, Rukma, Tirahuti, Kamaru,
Tharu, Champa, Khasya, Triling (south India), Kanchi and Maghadha
(central India). In these places he manifested different forms and
subdued the evil spirits wherever he went. He gave various kinds of
teachings and many of his disciples attained Siddhis (powers) which
result from the successful practice of meditation and yoga.
At this time the great Dharma King Thrisong Deutsen (790844)
was ruling Tibet. He was the most powerful ruler in Tibetan history and
under his guidance Tibetan forces captured Ch'angAn, the capital of
the Tang Dynasty and also penetrated all the way to Maghadha in
Central India. King Trisong Deutsen as well as being a powerful secular
ruler was also deeply devoted to the cause of Buddhism. He invited the
great Indian Buddhist scholar and saint Shantaraksita, an Abbot of
Nalanda University, to Tibet. The King and the Abbot launched the
building of Samye monastery, the first Buddhist monastery in the
country. However, because of the influence of the king's wicked
ministers and the local evil spirits, it was impossible to carry out the
building of the monastery. At the suggestion of Shantaraksita the king
invited Padmasambhava, who by this time had the reputation of being
the most powerful Tantric master in India, to Tibet in order to defeat the
forces obstructing the construction of the monastery. It was for this
reason that Padmasambhava travelled to Tibet. He quickly pacified and
all the forces opposed to the construction of Samye Monastery,
as well as defeating all the other forces that were attempting to prevent
the teaching of the Dharma in the Land of Snows. He gave both
Mahayana and Tantrayana teachings to many fortunate persons.
Together with his realized consort, Khadro Yeshe Tshogyal
(mKha'a'Gro YeShes mTshorGyal), he traveled with his miraculous
power throughout Tibet doing various Tantric practices, performing
miracles, giving teachings and blessing hundreds of caves, mountains,
lakes, monasteries and temples as sacred places. Hundreds of Tibetans
who received his teaching and blessing attained siddhis. He had 25
principle disciples (rJe-a'Bang Nyer-INga) including the king.
The great Samye with its main temple, twelve smaller temples,
four great stupas and 108 smaller stupas all surrounded by a high wall,
was completed within five years. It was the center from which Buddhism
spread to all corners of Tibet. Many great Indian Pandits were invited to
Tibet by the king and they worked with Tibetan scholars on the
translation of the Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Tibetan. In one
of the smaller temples (sGra-bsGyur rGya-Gar Gling) of Samye
Monastery, one hundred Indian pandits and Tibetan translators worked
together on the translations of Sutras and Tantras. Many Tibetan texts
were also brought from other lands by the miraculous power of Guru
Rinpoche and were translated into Tibetan. Thus when the great Indian
Buddhist scholar Atisha who visited Tibet in 1042 A.D. saw the library
at Samye Monastery, he was surprised to find so many Tantras which he
had never seen in India. ''These Tantras," he said, "may have been
brought from the Land of Dakinis by the power of Guru Rinpoche." In
the biography of Atisha it is said that that was one of the three reasons
why he realized that there is no end of Tantras.
Thus the mission of Guru Rinpoche to Tibet firmly established
Buddhism in the Snow Land. He cleared away the forces that were
hindering it and taught the Dharma in such a skillful manner that many
Tibetans attained realization. The school that grew out of his mission is
known as the Nyingma or Nyingmapa and it has survived through an
unbroken lineage of masters until the present day.
But Padmasambhava's work in Tibet did not end with the
establishment of Buddhism. He told the king that by his meditative
POwer he could transform Tibet into a rich and prosperous land. He
transformed barren, rocky lands into pastures and caused water to
spring from rocks, Unfortunately some of the king's ministers were anti-
Buddhist and they told the king that the Indian Tantrik was turning
Tibet into a developed land in order to make it a part of India. The
ministers intrigued against him and forced the king to ask him to return
to India. The king prostrated before the Guru, made many offerings of
gold and with a heavy heart asked him to return to India. Padmasam-
bhava said that he had not come to Tibet for gold. He told the king that
for him everything was gold and to prove his point he transformed
several ordinary objects into gold. Then he said:
"Good happenings bring misery (ill luck),
The old compassion is the cause of anger.
The mind of the king was changed by the
The ministers and evilspirits of Tibet are
For sentient beings who are experiencing the result
of bad karma,
Even the Victorious Ones (Buddhas) are powerless
to help them . ..
Before leaving for India the Guru gave the teaching of the Man-Ngag
Ita-Ba'i a'Phreng-Ba to the king and others. When he left, a large party
accompanied him part of the way to see him off. The wicked ministers
sent eighteen men to kill him but when they encountered
Padmasambhava, he made them motionless by his miraculous power.
There is some dispute among Tibetan scholars about the length of
the Guru's stay in Tibet. Some accounts say that he was forced to leave
Tibet because of the influence of the anti-Buddhist ministers. But the,
Nyingmapa accounts of his mission in Tibet say that only one of his
magical emanations left the country and the real Guru remained at the
request of the king. These accounts state that the Guru remained in
Tibet for 55 years 6 months. During this time he visited many solitary
places with his consort Yeshey Tshogyal and continued to perform
powerful Tantric practices in the country. Some accounts say that he
visited Samye Monastery and gave teachings there and again was
threatened by the king's ministers. This time these ministers were
finally silenced by a display of his Tantric powers. The accounts that
support Padmasambhava's long stay in Tibet (55 years 6 months) agree
that he only left Tibet during the reign of King ThriSong Deutsen's son;
Prince Muthri Tsenpo. He finally left for the Rakshas' Land in the year
864 with an impressive display of his magical power by riding a horse
through the air at a place called Gung-Thang La-Thog before the king,
Muthri Tsenpo, his ministers and thousands of people who had
gathered to see him off.
Guru Rinpoche visited many places in Tibet, snow-peaks, caves,
forests, lakes, and temples. He blessed these places and in some of
them he concealed various materials, including Dharma texts recording
teachings in full or symbolic form, prophesies of the future of Tibet,
and sacred objects and images. The Teachings he entrusted to his
Disciples and the concealed objects and symbolic scripts to the
protection of Dharmapalas, who would hand them over at the
appointed times in future ages to the appropriate Ter-Ton(s) (gTersTons
- Dharma Treasure Revealers).
Before considering the teachings of the Nyingmapa School, we
must first round out our account of the activities of King ThriSong
Deutsen (790-844 A.D.) and his immediate successors who contributed
!o !he establishment of Buddhism in Tibet. King Thri-Song Deutsen
mVlted many other great Indian scholars and saints to Tibet along with
Padmasambhava and Shantaraksita. Mahapandita Vimalamitra, Dhar
makirti, Buddhagupta, Kamalashila, Vishuddhasiddha, Shantagarbha
and Manjushri came to Tibet from India, Kashmir and Nepal. Also the
Tibetan scholars and translators Bairochana, Kawa Paltseg, Chogro Lu'i
Gyaltllen, Zhang Yeshey De went to India and Nepal many times to
receive Buddhist teaching and bring back texts to Tibet. During this
time hundreds of texts were translated into Tibetan including texts from
the Vinaya, Abhidharma, Hinayana and Mahayana Sutras as well as
Tantric texts. These special Tantras of the Nyingmapa school -
Maha Yoga, AnuYoga and AtiYoga (rDzogsPa Ch'enPo) were trans
lated in Tibetan by Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra and Bairochana
during this time.
It was during this era that the first Tibetans took monastic ordina
tion. The king wanted to determine whether or not Tibetans were
capable of upholding the many (254) and strict vows which fully
ordained Bhikshus must maintain. Seven men were selected for a test
case and these men are known in Tibetan historical records as the
Seven Men of Trial (SadMi MibDun). They were successful in keeping
the vows and hundreds of Tibetans followed in their footsteps and
became fully ordained monks. Two sanghas (religious communities)
were founded: The Sangha of Renounced Ones (Bhikshus) and the
Sangha of Tantriks.
The succession of kings who followed Thri Song Deutsen until the
time of Lang Darma supported and encouraged the spread of Dharma.
This period of Tibetan religious history culminated in the reign of King
RalPa Chen (866901). He invited the Indian scholars Jinamitra,
Shilendrabodhi, Surendrabodhi and Danashila to Tibet and together
with the Tibetan translators they carried on the work of translating the
Buddhist scriptures. At this time the Tibetan grammatical systems were
revised and strict rules were laid down in order to ensure the accuracy
of the translations. These rules were known as the rOyal.Po's b'Kas
bChad, the rules by the order of the king. Unfortunately the king was
killed by antiBuddhist ministers at the age of 36 and his older brother,
Lang Darma, who was actively against the Dharma came to power and
severely persecuted Buddhism in Central Tibet. He ruled only five years
before being killed by a Buddhist priest, but his suppression of
Buddhism was so thorough that the Dharma virtually disappeared from
Central Tibet for half a century. This ends the period known as the Early
Spread of the Doctrine in which the Nyingmapa lineage was firmly
established in the Land of Snow.
The Transmission of the Nyingmapa Teachings
The transmission or way in which the teachings of a spiritual
lineage originate, (particularly if the teachings have mystical and yogic
aspects) and are handed down from one generation to the next is very
important. It is necessary that the accuracy of the teachings be
maintained if they are to be efficacious. Thus all effective spiritual
traditions pay great attention to the transmission of their teachings and
take great pains to ensure that they are properly communicated from
generation to generation. We will now consider the manner in which the
profound body of Nyingmapa teachings was transmitted to the
generations of practitioners.
Many Sutra teachings of the Buddha and of Buddhist scholars,
which were translated in the period of the earlier translation are still
present and being practiced in their respective lineages. The Vinaya
teachings and the lineage of Bhikshu ordination survived by bringing
back the earlier tradition from Kham to central Tibet. Most Tibetan
Bhikshus today belong to this tradition from the Earlier Spread. The
scriptures of the original Abhidharma from the Tripetaka never
reached Tibet. The Abhidharma of Asanga and Vasubandhu were
during the Earlier Spread by Jinamitra and the translator Kawa
They taught the Abhidharma to Lha-Lung Paldor and We (dBas)
Yeshe Gyalwa. The latter went to Kham where he spread these teachings.
. IPrajnaparamita texts were translated and taught by rLang-Khams-
Pa Go-Ch'a. Madhyamika texts were translated and taught by Pandit
the translator Chog-Ro Lu'i-Gyaltshen, Shantaraksita,
Karnalashila, and others.
With the translators Kawa Paltseg, Chogro Lu'i Gyaltshen, and
Nanam Yeshe GyaItshen, Acharyas Danashila and Kamalashila
translated the following Sutras: Kon-Tseg (dKon-brTsegs - Ratnakuta),
Phal-Wo-Ch'e (Phal-Bo-Ch'e - Avatamsaka), Sher-Ch'in (Sher-Phyin
- Prajna-paramita). The Chinese Archarya Kamalashila with the
translator Ma Rinch'en Chog (rMa-Rin-Ch'en mCh'og) translated many
sutras from the Chinese. Along with the Tibetan translators
Shantaraksita translated many texts of the Tripitaka. Padmasambhava
with Nub Nam-Kha'i Nying-Po (sNubs-Nam-mKha'i sNying-Po) and
others translated many Tantras. With the translator Nyag (gNyags)
Jnanakumara, Acharya Vimalamitra translated many Inner and Outer
Tantras. The names of the translators are recorded at the end of each
text in both the Kagyur and Tangyur.
The teachings of the Nyingmapa Tantras are transmitted through
two major systems: Ring-Gyud Kama (Ring-brGyud bKa'-Ma - the
Long Transmission of the Canons) and Nye-Gyud TerMa (NyebrGyud
gTer-Ma - the Short Transmission through the Discovered Dharma
Treasures). The Kama teachings were transmitted by earlier teachers to
. their disciples through an unbroken lineage of teachers and students.
;The TerMa teachings were texts concealed at various places by Guru
Rinpoche to be discovered in later times by highly realized lamas
known as Tertons (gTer-Tons - Dharma Treasure Discoverers).
1. Long Transmission of Canons
These are the Tantric teachings which the Buddha himself taught
through the manifestation of various divinities. Most of them were
taught by the Primordial Buddha Dharmakaya (Samantabhadra) and
transmitted to disciples in various ways. According to the Nyingmapa
School the transmission of Tantric teaching occurs in three stages:
1) The Primordial Buddha transmits the teaching to his
inseparable disciples, the Sambhogakaya Buddhas, through direct
Mind Transmission (dGongsbrGyud) without verbal or physical
2) The Sambhogakaya Buddhas such as Vajrasattva transmit
teaching to Nirmanakaya emanations in different realms including the
human realm through Indication Transmission (brDabr Gyud). This
type of transmission is accomplished by verbal and physical
3) In India and Tibet most teachers transmit teaching to their
disciples through Hearing (ear) Transmission (sNyanbrGyud). This
method is the most commonly used for ordinary beings. Beginning
with Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra and other teachers, the Hearing
Transmission was started in Tibet and it has continued until the present
day. The Mind Transmission and Indication Transmission also still exist
among teachers of high Tantric meditational attainment. All of these
systems of transmission are very important because according to the
Tantric teaching it is necessary to receive the proper transmission in
order to practice. Tantric meditation practiced without receiving the
proper transmission is dangerous or unbeneficial.
The Nyingmapa system of teaching has six levels of Tantras: The
Three Outer Tantras and The Three Inner Tantras. The Three Outer
Tantras are the Kriya Tantra, Charya Tantra and Yoga Tantra. The
Three Inner Tantras are the MahaYoga, Anu-Yoga and Ati-Yoga. The
Three Outer Tantras were brought to Tibet by Acharya Buddhagupta
and others. The Three Inner Tantras'reached Tibet as follows:
1) Maha-Yoga: Vajrasattva taught the 18 Great Tantras to King Ja
of Sahora in India. This king also received them from Vimalakirti who
had received them from Vajrapani at the Malaya mountain (Sripada) in
Sri Lanka. After passing through many teachers Buddhaguhya received
them and then transmitted them to Vimalamitra. He gave the teachings
of Maha-Yoga to the Tibetan translators Ma (rMa), Nyag (gNyag) and
others. Padmasambhava also taught some of these Tantras to his
disciples, including the Drub-Pa Kagyed, the Eight Sadhanas of Great
2) Anu-Yoga: King Ja also received the teachings of this Yana
from and Vimalakirti. The king then taught them to Siddha
and they passed through many teachers finally reaching the
'flbetan NubChen Sangye Yeshey (gNub-Ch'en Sangs rGyas Ye-Shes)
\yho was one of the twenty-five principal disciples of Padmasambhava.
He taught them in Tibet and his lineage has survived to the present day.
3) Ati-Yoga: Vajrasattva transmitted these teachings to the Nir-
manakaya emanation Garab Dorje (dGa-Rab rDo-rJe - Prahevajra)
who passed them to a lineage of teachers including Padmasambhava,
Vimalamitra and Bairochana who taught them to Tibetans. Ati-Yoga
(rDzogs-Pa Ch'en-Po) has three divisions: Semde (Sems-sDe - Chitta-
varga), Long-De (Klong-sDe - Abhyantarvarga) and Men-Ngag-De
(ManNgag sDe - Upadeshvarga). The first two divisions of the AtiYoga
teachings were brought to Tibet by Bairochana, Tibet's greatest
translator. The Man-Ngag De which is also known as the Man-Mgag
Nying-Thig (Man-Ngag sNyingThig - Instructions on the Innermost
Essence of the Heart) are the deepest teachings of the Nyingmapa
School. They were brought to Tibet by Padmasambhava and Vimala-
mitra and then passed through two lineages of transmission. The first
was taught by Vimalamitra and passed through various teachers until it
reached the great Nyingmapa saint and scholar Kun-Khyen Long-Chen
RabJam (Kun-mKhyen Klong-Ch'en Rab-a'Byams, 1308-1363). The
second lineage of transmission was taught by Padmasambhava to his
consort Khadro Yeshey TshoGyal (mKha'a'Gro Ye-Shes mTsho-rGyal)
and Princess Perna Sal (Pad rna gSal). He concealed these teachings to
be re-discovered at a later time. A few centuries later a reincarnation of
the Princess Perna Sal called Perna Lethro Tsal (Padma Las-a'Phro
rTsal) discovered the texts and her incarnation Kun-Khyen Long-Ch'en
Rab-Jam composed extraordinary commentaries on them. Thus in the
figure of KunKhyen LongCh'en Rab-Jam the two Nying-Thig lineages
converged. He was the greatest scholar and saint of the middle period
of the Nyingmapa tradition. He wrote 200 treatises on various subjects
and his writings are some of the most important treasures of the
Nyingmapa lineage and especially of the ManNgag NyingThig
transmission. In the later period of the Nyingmapa School, the most
important propagator of the teachings was Kun Khyen Jig-Med Ling-Pa
(Kun.mKhyen a'Jig Med Gling-Pa, 1729-1798) who was a great teacher
and writer.
2. Short Transmission of Discovered Dharma Treasures
The Terma transmission is referred to as a short transmission
because the lineages connected with it are generally very short. For
example, if a disciple of Padmasambhava takes rebirth as a Terton in
the 20th century, there is no need to have a long lineage of lamas
proceeding him. He himself has received the blessing and empower-
ment from Padmasambhava, attained realization, and is thus second to
Padmasambhava in the lineage of transmission.
At the time of Padmasambhava's mission in Tibet he and his
consort YeShey TshoGyal concealed many texts and religious objects
to be discovered by future disciples. The disciples who discovered them
were known as Tertons (gTer-sTon). These lamas discovered the texts
and objects through their high attainments in meditation and
communicated them to disciples who were ready to hear them. Padma
sambhava himself foretold of the people who would become Tertons
and gave details of their birth.
The first Terton Sangye Lama (Sangs-rGyas Bla-Ma) appeared in
the 11th century. Following him, there were hundreds of lamas who
specialized in the discovery of these treasures. There were One Hundred
Great Tertons and one thousand minor ones. Among the One Hundred
Tertons there were five great ones who were known as the Five Kings.
They were: 1) Nyang-Ral Nyi-Ma Od-Zer (Nyang-RaI Nyi-Ma A'od-Zer,
1124-1192); 2) Guru Cho-Wang (Ch'os-dBang, 1164-?); 3) Dor-Je Ling-
Pa (rDo-rJe Gling-Pa, 1346-1405); 4) Padma-Ung-Pa (Gling-Pa, 1450-?);
and 5) Jam-Yang Khyen-Tse (a'Jam-dByangs mKhyen-brTse, 1820-
The Nyingmapa Scriptures
Most of the important Sutra, Abhidharma, Vinaya, Prajnaparamita
and Tantric texts are contained in the Ka-Gyur or Kajur (bKa' -a'Gyur)
collection of the Buddha's canons which contains 1046 treatises in 104
volumes_ The Nyingmapa also study the works contained in the Ten-
Gyur or Tanjur (bsTan-a'Gyur) collection which consists of commen-
taries by Indian Buddhist scholars on the Sutras and Tantras_ This
collection contains 3863 treatises in 221 volumes_
There is also a large body of literature important to the Nyingmapa
school which is not included in these two large collections_ Some of the
most important texts are given as follows: 1) the Nying-Ma Gyud-Bum
(rNying-Ma rGyud-a'Bum) which is a collection of Ancient Tantras in 33
volumes which was recently reprinted in New Delhi; 2) the Terma
literature of the One Hundred Great Ter-Ton(s)_ One of the most
important collections of this literature is the Rin-Chen Ter-Dzod (Rin-
Ch'en gTer-mDzod) in 60 volumes compiled by Kong-Tul Yon-Ten Gya-
Tsho (rKong-sPrul Yon-Tan rGya-mTsho) (1813-1899)_ This collection
was published under the auspices of Venerable Khyentse Rinpoche
(Bhutan) and the Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok, Sikkim; 3) the Men-
Ngag Ta-Treng (Man-Ngag iTa-a'Phreng) and Ma-Mo Sang-Wa Le-Kyi
Thig-Le (Ma-Mo gSang-Ba Las-Kyi Thig-Le) by Guru Padmasambhava
and 4) the works of Vimalamitra and Bairochana_
Some of the most important works written by Nyingmapa saints
and scholars are listed as follows: 1) the works of Rong-Zom Cho-Kyi
lang-Po (Rong-Zom Ch'os Kyi bZang-Po,10th century); 2) the 200
treatises of Kun-Khyen Long-Ch'en Rab-Jam (1308-1363); 3) the works
of Pal-Tul Rinpoche (dPal-sPrul Rin-Po-Ch'e) 1808-?); 4) the works of Mi-
Pham Rin-Po-Ch'e (1846-1912) in 32 volumes; 5) the works of the 3rd
Dodrup Chen Rinpoche (rDo-Grub-Ch'en Rin-Po-Ch'e) (1865-1926) in 6
volumes; and 6) the works of Khenpo Zhenga (mKhan-Po gZhan-dGa',
1871-1927) in 15 volumes_
Nyingmapa Doctrine
The Nyingmapa School classifies all of the Buddha's teachings and
paths to enlightenment into Nine Yanas. The first three yanas are called
the Hetu-Laksana-Yanas or Yanas of Cause. They are known as the
Shravakayana, Pratyeka-Buddhayana and the Bodhisattvayana. The last
six yanas are called the six Phala-Vajrayanas or Yanas of Result. These
yanas contain the Tantric teachings and are known as the Three Outer
Tantras and Three Inner Tantras. We will now give a brief explanation of
each of these yanas.
1) Shravaka-Yana (Vehicle of Listeners; Hinayana): The disciples
of this ya'na accept anyone of the eight pratimoksa vows of moral
discipline. They accept the selflessness of persons (Pudgala-niratma)
but not the selflessness of phenomena (Dharma-niratma). The mind and
body is relaxed through the practice of tranquility meditation. They do
insight meditation on the Four Truths and their sixteen aspects and
t!1rough the perfection of the four paths - Sambharamarga,
Prayogamarga, Darshanamarga and Bhavanamarga-they attain peace
dnd happiness for oneself_ They attain gradually the four stages of
result: Stream Enterer, Once-Returner, Never-Returner, and Arhat_
2) Pratyeka-Buddhayana (Silent Buddha; Hinayana): discipies of
this path observe anyone of the eight pratimoksa vows as do the
Shravakas. They assert the view of Pudgala-niratma, but in regard to
the view of Dharma-niratma, they accept the selflessness of objects but
they hold the view that the smallest moment of consciousness is true.
They practice tranquility meditation, meditation on the Four Truths
with their sixteen aspects of interdependent arising (Pratitya-
samutpada). Through these efforts one can attain the state of Arhat-
hood for oneself.
3) Bodhisattvayana (Mahayana): Disciples of this path assert that
all persons and phenoma are without any self or truth. They practice
many of the same meditations as in the above two yanas but practice is
done with the intention of achieving enlightenment of Buddhahood for
the benefit of all living beings. This intention to achieve enlightenment
for the benefit of all is known as 'Bodhicitta' and is one of the distinctive
marks of the Mahayana path. In addition, they practice the Six Per-
fections (paramitas): generosity (dana), ethics (sila), patience (ksanti),
strenousness (virya), contemplation (samadhi) and wisdom (prajna).
They train in the Four Paths, meditate on the two-fold Niratma and the
37 Wings of Enlightenment (Bodhi-pakshi). After practicing for three
countless eons (asankhya-kalpa) they attain the Mahaparinirvana,
Supreme Enlightenment. After attaining this state they continue to
appear in the world of beings in various forms until all creatures attain
The next six yanas of the Nyingmapa are all within the practice of
the path of Tantra. A quotation from one of the ancient tantras (Tshul-
gSum-sGron-Me) gives a brief indication of the meaning of the Tantric
The aim is the same, but there is no delusion,
There are many skU1{ul means and no difficulties,
It is for people of sharp intellect;
Hence, the Tantrayana is supreme.
The goal of all the yanas is the same - enlightenment or Buddhahood
- but the way of practice is different. In the lower yanas, one attempts
to avoid defilement or uses various means as antidotes against defile
ment. But in the Tantric paths the defilements themselves are used as a
means to attainment. The goal is to see all aspects of existence as
perfect and pure. This it is skillful means to attain Buddhahood.
A. The Three Outer Tantras (Phyi-rGyud sDe-gSum)
1) Kriya Yoga (8ya-rGyud): Disciples of this path concentrate on
the purification of body, speech and mind. They live mostly on vege-
tarian foods, sweets and dairy products. They assert that within Abso-
lute Truth (Parmartha) all things are equal but in the Relative Truth
(Samvriti-Satya) they hold that the divinities are lords and the disciples
are servants. They visualize the divinity in front of them and make
offerings and recite prayers and mantras. Generally, the devotee does
not visualize as himself the divinity. By meditating on the body, speech
and mind of the divinity the disciple receives the divinity's blessing.
After six or seventeen lifetimes of such practice one will attain the Tri-
kula-vajradhara State.
2) ChaJ'ya Yoga (also known as Upaya Yoga; sPyod-nGyud): The
disciples of this path maintain the same philosophical view as in the
Yoga-Tantra (below) and practice much as in the Kriya-Yoga Tantra
(above). The main difference is that they visualize the divinty as a friend
or close relation and concentrate on the stabilization of their coritem-
plation. They attain the state of Vajradhara within seven lives.
3) Yoga Tantra (rNal-a'Byor-rGyud): The disciples of this path
maintain that within Absolute Truth all existents are free from any
conceptualization, are empty and shine with radiant clarity. Within
Relative Truth all appearances are regarded as the Mandalas of
divinities. They do not pay much attention to the cleaning of the body,
speech or mind as these things are automatically purified as a result of
meditation. Their meditation has two aspects: with char-acteristics and
without characteristics. In the first stage the disciples visualize
themselves as the divinity and then invite the wisdom divinity (Ye-Shes
Pal and dissolve it into the visualized form (Dam-TshigPa). Then
offerings etc. are made. In the second stage, the disciples concentrate
on the meaning of Tathata, the non-duality of characteristicless
absolute nature and all appearances, which are divinities.
B. The Three Inner Tantras (NangrGyud sDe.gSum):
In the Outer Tantras the distinction between the Two Truths is
maintained, divinities are not visualized with their female consorts the
five meats are not taken and one does not attain the final result in'this
lifetime. In the Inner Tantras the Two Truths are held to be inseparable,
all phenomena are equal, the five meats and five nectars are taken, the
divinities are visualized with their consorts, and the final result can be
attained in this life. The Tantras of these three yanas are the special and
distinctive Nyingmapa practices.
1) Maha Yoga: The disciples of this path enjoy all things without
being in any way attached to them. Within absolute truth all things are
accepted as the essence of the mind and the Dharmakaya. All
manifestation, thoughts and appearances are considered to be the
sacred aspects of the divinities within relative truth. The disciple
purifies all existents as divinities and concentrates on the non-duality of
bliss, clarity and no-thought. One can attain enlightenment in this life.
2) Anu Yoga: This practice does not concentrate so much on the
visualization of the deities. Rather, the disciple stresses the perfection
(rDzogs-Rim) of bliss, clarity and no-thought (bDe-Ba, gSal-Ba and Mi-
rTog-Pa). This is done through yogic practices on the veins, semen and
energy (rTsa, Thig-le and rlung) in the body. They assert that all
appearances are the three great mandalas which are Spontaneous,
Empty and Great Bliss. There are two paths contained within this
Tantra: The Path of Liberation (Grol lam) and the Path of Skillful Means
(Thabs-Lam)_ In the path of liberation one meditates on the no-thought
wisdom and sees all appearances as divinities and their Pure land. In
the path of skillful means one attains wisdom by using the four or six
chakras of the body. Through these practices one may attain
Buddhahood in this life.
3) Ali-Yoga (rDzogs-Pa Ch'en-Po - Mahasandhi Yoga): This is the
highest teaching of the Nyingmapa, and it is exclusively a Nyingmapa
teaching and practice.
Dzogchenpas assert that all the appearances or apparent
phenomena are illusions of the deluded mind. They are false because in
reality their nature is free from conceptualizations. In nature all
existents are the same and they are pure in the Dharmakaya. In practice
there is no acceptance or rejection, rather all existents are accepted as
manifestations of the nature, Dharmata.
There are three aspects in Dzogchen teachings: Sem-De (Sems-sDe
- Chittavarga), long-De (Klong-sDe - Abhyantarvarga) and Men-
Ngag-De (Man-Ngag sDe - Upadeshavarga). These teachings are
instructions which introduce the student to the nature of the mind or
the nature of all existents - the Dharmata (Awareness) by the
innermost direct method of practice. After receiving the introduction to
this nature, one maintains the practice to make dear and to stabilize
this state of Awareness and to attain freedom from worldly defilements
forever. When this meditation on the nature of mind is perfected, all
eXistents will dissolve into the vast expanse of Dharmata, the Dharma-
Important Nyingmapa Monasteries and Institutions
There are about 1000 Nyingmapa monasteries in Tibet. Some of
the major ones are as follows:
The Samye monastery built by Guru Padmasambhava and Shan-
tarakshita in the 9th century is the most important as it was Tibet's first
major monastic institution. The TsugLag Khang (gTsug-Lag-Khang)
and Ra-Mo-Ch'e temples of Lhasa built by King Srongtsen Gampo in the
7th century and many other ancient temples are of Nyingmapa origin.
However, in recent centuries most of these temples are of now
administered by the Gelupa Order.
Some of the important monasteries of the present day are given as
In Central Tibet: Min-Trol Ling (sMin-Grol Gling) monastery built
by Ter-Chen Gyur-Med Dor-Je (gTer-Ch'en a'Gyur-Med rDo-rJe,
1646-1714) in 1676. Dor-Je Trag (rDo-rJe Brag) monastery built by Rig-
Dzin Ngag-Gi Wang-Po (Rig-a'Dzin Ngag-Gi dBang-Po) in 1659.
In Kham: Ka-Thog monastery built by Ka-Dam-Pa De-Sheg (bDe-
gShegs, 11221192) in 1159. Pal-Yul (dPal-Yul) monastery built by Rig-
Dzin Kun-Zang Shey-Rab (Rig-a'Dzin Kun-bZang Shes-Rab) in 1665.
Dzog-Ch'en (rDzogs-Ch'en) monastery built by Padma Rig-Dzin
(Rig-a'Dzin, 1625-1697) in 1685. Zhe-Ch'en monastery built by the 2nd
Rab-Jam Gyur-Med Kun-Zang Nam-Gyal (Rab-a'Byam a'Gyur-Med Kun-
bZang rNam-rGyal) in 1735. Khor-Dong (,Khor-gDong) Monastery of
Chang-Ter (Byang-gTer) tradition.
In Golok and Amdo provinces: The Dodrup Chen monastery built
by the second Dodrup Chen Rinpoche. Tarthang monastery built by
Lhatul Rinpoche. Tung-Kar monastery of Ser-Tha. Rong-Wo Srib-Gon
monastery of Re-Kong. Rong-Wo Nyin-Gon of Re-Kong.
There are also a large number of Nyingmapa monasteries in
Bhutan and some in Sikkim, Ladhakh and parts of Nepal. In recent
years there are also a gowing number of Nyingmapa centers and
temples in Europe and the United States.
In general the Nyingmapa tradition in Tibet did not have one head
for the whole school. But since coming to India, the Nyingmapa
recognize H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, the incarnation of the great Terton
Dudjom Lingpa, as supreme head with his main seat in Nepal.
Tibetan Buddhist Schools Which Resulted
From The Later Spread of the Doctrine
The persecution of the Dharma by the anti-Buddhist King Lang
Darma marks the end of the Earlier Spread of the Doctrine in Tibet
Towards the end of the 10th century Buddhism began to reappear in
Central Tibet. The 11 th century in Tibetan religious history was a time of
great progress and development of Buddhism in Tibet. Many new teachers
and texts arrived from India dUJing this period and many Tibetans went to
India to study. The texts which were translated dwing the 11 th century
and afterwards are known as the New Tantras. These texts and teachers
who had mastered the teachings founded new Buddhist schools in Tibet
These schools are generaUy known as the Sar-Ma or New Ones. We begin
our survey of these schools with the Kagyudpa SchooL
II. Kagyudpa School (bKa'-brGyud-Pa)
Transmission of the Oral Teaching
The Kagyudpa School has two main schools and many minor ones.
The two main school are: Shangpa Kagyudpa (ShangsPa bKa' brGyud)
and Dagpo Kagyudpa (DvagsPo bKa'brGyudPa).
A. Shangpa Kagyudpa:
This school was established by the great yogi and Siddha Khyung-
Po NalJor (rNala'Byor - the yogi of Khungpo, 9781079). He spent 50
years studying Sutra and Tantra in India, Nepal and Tibet. He had many
teachers including Sukhasidha, Rahulagupta and the rainbow body
form of Nigu, the consort of Mahasiddha Naropa. The ZhangZhong
monastery in Shang valley was his principal monastery. In addition, he
built 100 other monasteries. He taught for 30 years and had 80,000
His main teaching were on the five tantras: Sambhara, Haivajra,
Mahamaya, Guhyasamaja and Vajrabhairava. He also transmitted the
teachings of Nigu, Sukhasiddha and the doctrine of Mahamudra. This
lineage has survived until the present time but it is not very well known
at present.
B. Dagpo Kagyudpa:
'Dagpo Kagyudpa' translated literally means transmission of the
order (canon) of Dagpo (DvagsPo). Dagpo is one of the names for the
great scholar and yogi Gampopa who lived in the Dagpo valley and
played a decisive role in the establishment of this school in Tibet.
The founder of the school was MarPa LoTsaBa (also known as
Ch'osKyi BloGros, 10121099). He first studied with DrogMi LoTsa-
Wa (a'BrogMiLoTsaBa) (9931050) in Tibet and he then went to India
three times and Nepal four times. He took teachings from 108 teachers.
His two principal teachers were the Indian Mahasiddhas Maitripa and
Naropa, both of whom were among the 84 Mahasiddhas of Buddhist
India. He learned many Tantric teachings including the doctrine of
Mahamudra from these realized teachers. Through the teaching and
blessing of Mahasiddha Maitripa he accomplished the absolute reali
zation of Mahamudra. Upon returning to Tibet he transmitted the
teachings of Sambhara, Guhyasamaja, Haivajra, Mahamaya and others
tantrasto his disciples. His four principal disciples were known as the
Four Pillars. They were: NgogTon ChoKu DorJe (rNgogsTon Ch'os-
sKurDorJe), TshurTon WangNgo (mTshurStong dBangNgo), Mey-
Ton TshonPo (MessTon TshonPo) and Milarepa (miLa Ras-Pa).
Milarepa (10401123) was Marpa's greatest disciple and much of
the teaching of this school passed through him. He was one of the most
famous yogis and poets in Tibetan religious history. When he was
young he took up the practice of black magic in order to take revenge
On the enemies of his family. Through the powers he gained practicing
black magic he destroyed his enemies' crops and killed 37 people.
Then he realized the consequences of the evil deeds he had committed
and decided to practice the Dharma in order to purify himself. He
studied with different teachers and then met Marpa who became his
root lama. Marpa subjected him to six years of arduous labor in order
that he might be purified of the bad karma he acquired through
practicing black magic. At the end of this period of trial Marpa initiated
him into the Tantric Mandalas. He then practiced in mountain caves
sometimes living for months on a diet of herbs. Because of the power of
his TumMo (gTumMo - Heat Yoga) he wore only a cotton cloth in the
dead of the Himalayan winter. He had many diSciples who attained
realization. His two main disciples were DagPo LhaJe (Dvags-Po Lha-
rJe) and Re-Chung-Pa (Ras-Chung-Pa).
Dagpo Lhaje (the doctor from Dagpo valley and also known as
Gampopa) was born in 1079. His wife died when he was in his twenties
and he decided to renounce the world and become a monk. He received
the teachings of the Kadampa tradition and of Milarepa and these two
traditions merged within him. He obtained the supreme realization and
became a great scholar. He wrote many scholarly texts, the most
famous being the Dag-Poi Thar-Gyen (Dvags-Po'i Thar-rGyan) in which
the teachings of the Kadampa tradition and those of Milarepa are
combined. Because of the renown of Dag-Po Lha-Je's scholarship this
school became known as the Dagpo Kagyud. From t.his original school,
Four Major SubSchools and Eight Minor SubSchools developed. The
Four Major Sub-Schools of the Kagyudpa are: Karma Kargyu (or
Kamtshang Kagyud), Phagtru Kagyud, Tshalpa Kagyud and Barom
1) Karma Kagyud (Kar-Ma bKa'rGyud): This school grew out of the
disciples of Karmapa DuSum Khyen:Pa (Dus-gSum mKhyen-Pa)
(1110-1193). He studies with many teachers including Gampopa and
Rechungpa, attained the supreme realization and built monasteries at
Karma Lha-Ding (IDing) and Tshur-Phu (mTshur-Phu). His incarnation
was known as Karmarpa Pakshi and he was the first recognized
incarnation (Tulku) in Tibet. He visited the court of the Mongols who at
that time ruled China and he became the Chaplain of the Emperor, who
bestowed the title 'Karmapa Pakshi' on him. The Karmarpa lineage is
the head of this school and now is generally recognized as the head of
the whole Kagyudpa lineage. The present Karmarpa, the XVlth, Rig-Pa'i
Dor-Je (Rig-Pa'i rDo-r Je) who was born in 1924 presently lives in
Sikkim and has traveled to many countries throughout the world. He
has established over 100 meditation centers in the West.
The Karmarpas are also known as the Black Hat Lamas because
from the first or second Karmarpa (there is a scholarly dispute on this
point) they have worn a black hat made from the hair of 10,000,000
dakinis. This hat which is worn on ceremonial occasions has been
passed through the entire lineage of the Karmarpas. In Tibet the main
monastery of this lineage is Tshur-Phu monastery located in the center
of the country. The third Karmapa, Rang-Chung Dor-Je (RangByung
rDo-rJe), was a great Siddha and scholar and the eighth Karmarpa Mi-
Kyod Dor-Je (Mi-bsKyod rDo-rJe), was a renowned writer.
This school produced many other great lamas. One of the most
famous was Situ Cho-Kyi Nyin-Ched (Ch'os-Kyi Nyin-Byed) who built
the great Kagyudpa monastery of Pal-Pung (dPal-sPung) in Dege,
Kham. He was also a great scholar and wrote 15 texts including the
famous commentary to the Tibetan grammatical roots texts. While
Jiving in Pal-Pung monastery the great 19th century scholar and writer
Kong-Tul Yon-Ten Gya-Tsho (rKong-sPrul Yon-Tan rGya-mTsho)
(1813-1899) wrote and compiled 100 volumes of both Nyingmapa and
Kagyudpa teachings. His works are known as the Dzod-Nga (mDzod-
Nga) - the Five Treasures of Kontrul.
The other lineages of highly attained reincarnations of the Karma
Kagyud are: Zha-Mar-Pa (Zha dMar-Pa) or Red Hat, Gyal-Tshab (rGyal-
Tshab), Situ and Ne-Nang Pa-Wo (gNas-Nang dPa'-Bo) Lamas.
2) Phagtru Kagyud (Phag-Gru bKa' -brGyud): This school was
founded by Phag-Mo Tru-Pa Dor-Je Gyal-Po (Phag-Mo Gru-Pa rDo-rJe
rGyal-Po) who was born in 1110. He took teachings from many teachers
including Gampopa who taught him the Mahamudra doctrine. He built
a monastery at a place known as Phag-Mo (now called gDan-Sa mThil)
in Southern Tibet and his tradition came to be known as Phagtru
Kagyud. He had many disciples. Some of them were Tag (sTag)-Lung
Thang-Pa, Na (sNa)-Phu-Pa, ling-Re Perna Dorje (Gling-Ras Padma rDo-
rJe), Tsang-Pa, Gyal-Re Cho-Je Jig-Ten Gon-Po (gTsnag-Pa rGya-Ras
Ch'os-eJe a'Jigs-rTen mGon-Po), Kal-Den Ye-Shey Sengye (sKal-IDan
Ye-Shes Senge), Ye-Phug-Pa, Kyer Gom-Pa (Gyer-bsGom-Pa) and Gyal
(rGyal)-Tsha Rin-Po-Ch'e Kun-Dan (lOan) Re (Ras)-Pa. Many sub-schools
developed from the disciples of Phagmo Trupa. In 1349 Chang-Chub
Gyal-Tshen (Byang-Ch'ub rGyal mTshan) of this school became ruler of
Tibet which helped to spread the influence of this tradition.
3) Tshalpa (Tshal-Ba) Kagyud.: This school was founded by Zhang
Dar-Ma Trag (Grags) who was born in 1122_ His main teacher was Won-
Gom Tshul-Thrim Nying-Po (dBon bsGom Tshul-Khrims sNying-Po)
who was a close disciple of Gampopa. He built the Gung-Thang
monastery and had many disciples.
4) Barom Kagyud (a'Ba-Rom bKa' brGyud): This school was
founded by Dar-Ma Wang-Chug (dBang-Phyug) of Barom in Northern
Tibet. He was a close disciple of Gampopa and attained great realization
as a result of his teachings_ He built the Barom monastery and thus his
tradition is known as the Barom Kagyud.
The Eight Minor sub-schools of the Kagyud lineage all developed
from the Phagtru Kagyud School. They were founded by disciples of
Phagmo Trupa. They are outlined as follows:
1) Drikung Kagyud (a'BriGung bKa'-brGyud): This school was
founded by Kyura Rinpoche (sKyu-Ra Rin-Po-Che, 1143-1192). He
received the highest Kagyudpa teachings from Phagmo Trupa and
became a great scholar and famous Bhikshu. When he gave teachings
55,000 people sometimes attended including 10,000 monks. He built a
monastery in the Drikung valley in Central Tibet and his tradition is
known as the Drikungpa. He wrote a series of scholarly volumes called
the Gong-Chig (sGongs-gChig). The most famous scholar and writer in
the later history of this tradition was Rin-Ch'en Phun-Tshogs who wrote
on aspects of both Nyingmapa and Kagyudpa teaching. There are still a
large number of Drikung Kagyud followers and monasteries in Ladakh.
2) Taglung Kagyudpa (sTag Lung bKa'brGyudPa): TraLung
ThangPa TraShi Pal (bKraShis dPal) who was born in 1142 founded
this school. He was an attendant to Phagmo Trupa, received the
complete teachings and attained the realized state of meditationless
Mahamudra. He built a monastery in the Taglung valley and his
tradition was named after the valley. He had 3,000 students. The
famous scholar NgagWang TragPa (NgadBang GragsPa) was also
instrumental in the development of this tradition. SangGyal Won Trag
Pa Pal (SangsrGyal dBon GragsPa dPal), a nephew of Gampopa built
the Riwoche monastery in Kham. The monastery is noteworthy in that it
contains different colleges for the study of the different schools in
Tibetan Buddhism.
3) Yamzang Kagyud (gYambZang bKa'-brGyud): This school was
founded by Phagmo Trupa's disciple Ye-Shes(Shes)Senge. He received
the highest realization just by seeing the Guru and listening to the'
introductory instructions in meditation. His chief disciple Ya-Zang-Pa
(gYa'-bZang-Pa) who was born in 1169 and built the Yazang monastery.
The tradition took its name from this monastery.
4) Throphu Kagyudpa (Khro-Phu bKa' -brGyud-Pa): This tradition
was founded by Rin-Po-Ch'e Gyal (rGyal)-Tsha and Kun-Den Re-Pa (Kun-
lDan Ras-Pa) who were brothers (some accounts say'nephew and uncle)
and disciples of Phagmo Trupa. Rin-Po-Ch'e Gyal-Tsha built the
Throphu monastery. They had a nephew called Throphu Lotsawa - the
translator from Throphu valley. He tookAeachings and the Bhikshu
vows from his uncles and then went to Nepal and studied with many
Indian teachers including the great Pandita Shakyashri of Kashmir. He
built an 80 foot statue of Maitri Buddha within the Throphu monastery
and wrote many important texts.
5) Shugseb Kagyud (Shugs-gSeb bKa'brGyud): This tradition was
founded by Pagmo Trupa's disciple Cho (Ch'os)Kyi Senge who built
Nye-Phu Shug-Seb (sNye-Phu Shugs-gSeb) monastery. The school is
named after this monastery.
6) Yepa Kagyud (Vel-Ba bKa'-brGyud-Pa): This tradition was
established by Yel-Wa Ye-Shey Tseg (Vel-Ba Ye-Shes-brTsegs). He built
the Shar Dor-Je Dang (Shar rDo-rJe rDangs), Lho Yel-Phug and Chang
Ta-Na (Byang rTa-rNa) monasteries.
7) Martshang (sMar-Tshang) Kagyud: This tradition was started by
Marpa Richen Lodro (sMar-Pa Rin-Chhen Blo-Gros) of MarShod in
8) Drukpa Kagyud (aBrugPa bKa'-brGyud): This tradition waS
established by Phagmo Trupa's highly realized disciple Ling-Re-Pa_
(Gling-Ras-Pa) and the latter's disciple Tsangpa Gyare (gTrang.Pa rGya; -
Ras) (1088-1158). This school eventually divided into three subschools
known as the Middle (or Central) Drukpa, Lower Drupka and Upper
Drupka Kagyud_ Each of these three branches is briefly discussed.
a) The Par-Druk (Bar-a'Brug) - Middle Drukpa Kagyud:
Pa (1248-1308) was a highly realized disciple of Phagmo Trupa who had
many disciples and who constructed a monastery at Na (sNa)-Phur. His
disciple TsangPa GyaRe (gTsang-Pa rGyaRas) (1161-1211) became a
famous teacher whose teachings were sometimes attended by as many
as 50,000 people. After building the LongBol (Klong-rBol) and Ra-
Lung monasteries he went to a place called Nam (gNam)-Gyi Phu to
build a monastery. When he and his party reached NamGyi Phu they
saw nine roaring dragons flying in the sky. The Tibetan word for dragon
is "a'Brug" which is being pronounced as "Druk". The flying dragons
were taken to be an auspicious omen and the monastery and the
lineage which sprang from it came to be known as the Drukpa. This
school eventually became very popular in Tibet. Its foHowers were
simple people, content with few material possessions who were known
for their deep practice of the Dharma. There is a Tibetan proverb which
Half of the people are Drukpa Kagyudpas,
Half of the Drukpa Kagyudpas are beggars,
And half of the beggars are Drub Thobs (Siddhas).
Later in this tradition many great scholars appeared including
Sang-Gye Dor-Je (Sangs-rGyas rDo-rJe), Pod Khe-Pa (Bod-mKhas-Pa)
and Padma KarPo (dKar-Po). Padma Kar-Po (1527-?) was a famous
scholar whose collected works covers fouteen volumes. Among the
Drukpa Kagyudpas he is known as KunKhyen (Kun-mKhyen - All
Knowing). He was the fourth Druk-Ch'en incarnation of Tsang-Pa Gya-
Re (gTsang-Pa rGya-Ras). He founded the SangNgag ChoLing (gSang-
sNgags Ch'os-Gling) monastery near the Tibetan-Assamese (an Indian
State) border. This monastery became the residence of the Druk-Ch'en
incarnations. Two lineages of incarnations came from him - PagSam
Wang-Po (dPagbSam dBang-Po) and NgagWang Nam-Gyal (Ngag-
dBang rNam-rGyal) (1594-1651). The latter went to Bhutan and became
both the spiritual and temporal head of the country. Eventually this
school became very powerful in Bhutan and in the Tibetan and
Bhutanese languages Bhutan is known as "Druk" (a'Brug) or country of
the dragon.
The greatest Siddhas of this school are Tsang-Nyon (gTsang
sMyon) (1452-1507), Druk-Nyon Kun-Leg (a'Brug-sMyon Kun-Legs)
(l455-?), Wu-Nyon (dBus-aMyon, 1458-?).
b) The Med-Druk (sMad-a'Brug) - Lower Druk-Pa Kagyud: This sub
school was founded by Lo-Re-Pa Dar-Ma Wang-Chug (Lo-Ras-Pa Dar-Ma
dBang-Phyug) who was a disciple of TsangPa Gya-Re. He lived a very
humble and strictly disciplined life. He built the Wu-Ri (dBu-Ri) and
Senge-Ri monasteries. The tradition he founded is known as Med-Druk.
c) The Tod-Druk (sTod-a'Brug) - Upper Druk-Pa Kagyud: This sub
school was founded by GodTsang-Pa Gon-Po Dor-Je (rGod-Tshang-Pa
mGon-Po rDo-rJe) who was also an important disciple of TsangPa Gya-
Re. He was very highly realized, led a simple and austere life and had
many disciples. His main disciples were O-Gyen-Pa (O-rGyanPa),
Yang-Gon-Pa (yang-dGon-Pa), Chil-Kar-Pa (sPyil-dKar-Pa) and Ne-Ring-
Pa. Ba-Ra-Wa Gyal-Tshen Pal-lang (a'Ba'-Ra-Ba rGyal-mTshan dPal-
blang) (1255-1343) was one of the greatest scholars of this lineage.
Ogyenpa Rin-Chen-Pal (1230-?) who was a disciple of God-Tshang-Pa
became a great Siddha and visited Bodhagaya, Jalandara, Oddiyana
and China. He wrote many works including a famous guide to the
Oddiyana country. He had many disciples including the Karmapa Rang-
Chung Dor-Je (Rang-Byung rDo-rJe), Khar-Chu-Pa (mKhar-Chhu-Pa)
(1284-1339) and Tog-Den DaSeng (rTogs-IDan lla-Seng).
At the present time the most well known of these sub-schools are
the Karma Kagyud (or Karma Kam-tshang), Drukpa Kagyud and
Drikung Kagyud.
Kagyudpa Doctrine
The Kagyudpa teachings are based on the Kadampa tradition and
the Tantras of the New Translation. The special teachings of this school
are A) the NaroCho-Trug (Na-Ro Ch'osTrug - Six Yogas of Naropa)
from the Indian Mahasiddha Naropa and B) the Mahamudra teachings
of Mahasiddha Maitripa.
A) The Naro Chodruk (Six Yogas of Naropa):
There are six aspects of this advanced Vajrayana meditation
practice. They are briefly described as follows.
" 1) Twnmo (gTum-Mo: Heat Yoga): This is the basic practice of the
Six Yogas of Naropa in which the veins, air, heat and semen are used to
produce the four kinds of bliss and to actualize the wisdom of the union
of bliss and emptiness. The union of bliss and emptiness is known as
the Mahamudra.
2) Gyulu (sGyuLus: Maya Body): The purpose of this practice is to
make further progress on the path of realization. Through the practice
of this yoga the meditator is taught to see all appearance as the illusory
body of the deities.
3) Milam (rMiLam: Dream): This yoga is used to test the strength
of the practice. The meditator is trained to maintain awareness during
sleep and dream states.
4) OdsaL (a'od-gSaI: Radiant Clarity): This practice is the essence
of the path. The meditator practices until he achieves the State of the
Unbom Radiant Clarity Samadhi in which all of existence becomes the
spontaneously arising body of clarity and emptiness.
5) Bardo (Bar Do: Intermediate state between death and rebirth):
This practice is used to actualize the union of clarity and emptiness in
the intermediate state through the experience of the Maya-Body and
Radiant Clarity.
6) Phowa (a'PhoBa: Transference): This practice is used to
maintain the continuity of the path throughout one's life. If the
meditator should die before perfecting the path through this practice he
. is able to continue his practice into the next life. By this practice the
meditator can enter the Pure State through the door of the Mahamudra.
There is another type of Phowa called "a'PhoBa Grong-a'Jug" which
enables the practitioner to transfer his consciousness into another
The lineage of this teaching came from the celestial Buddha
Vajradhara, Mahasiddha Tilopa, Mahasiddha Naropa, The Great
,Translator Marpa, Milarepa and Gampopa, etc.
8) Mahamudra (Phyag-rGyaCh'enPo):
The Mahamudra teachings have two aspects: The Mahamudra of
the Sutra and Mahamudra of Tantra.
In the Mahamudra of Sutra it is taught that the nature of mind is
Radiant Clarity and undefiled. The meditator meditates directly on
9l1modified mind which is inseparable from appearances and empti-
ness. The Relative Truth is the sudden defilements and the Absolute
Truth is the Buddha Nature. In reality, all existents are free from all con-
ceptualization and are emptiness.
In the Mahamudra of Tantra the meditator is introduced to the
nature of mind and concentrates on that one pointedly. As a result, the
lung (rlung) (air or energy) enters the Wu-Ma (dBu-Ma - central vein)
and generates the Tum-Mo (gTum-Mo, heat - Chandali, Skt.) and
develops the four kinds of bliss. The meditator then concentrates on the
union of bliss and emptiness in order to attain the final goal of the
Mahamudra state.
The lineage of the Mahamudra teachings came from the Indian
Mahasiddha Maitripa and was introduced into Tibet by the translator
Marpa who passed it to Milarepa who passed it to Gampopa. These
teachings have been passed through an unbroken lineage of masters
down to the present day.
The fundamental teachings of the various schools of the Kagyudpa
tradition are the same. However, the different schools had, slightly
different methods of practice and interpretation.
III. Sakyapa (Sa-sKya-Pa) School
Grey Earth School
Khon Kon-Chog Gyal-Po (a'Khon dKon-mChhog rGyal-Po, 1034-1102)
was the founder of this schooL In 1073 he built a monastery in Upper
Tsang_ At the place where he built this monastery the color of the earth
was grey. 'Sa-Kya' means grey earth and the monastery and the
tradition that came from it are known as Sakyapa_
The earlier generation of the Khon clan were noted followers of the
Nyingmapa_ But Khon Kon-Chog Gyal-Po went to the great translator
Orog-Mi Ye-Shey (a'Brog-Mi Ye-Shes, 993-1050) and received the
teactiings and initiations of the New Tantra (gSar-Ma). He was
instructed in the Lam-Ore (Lam-a'Bras - the path and result) teachings
which had been expounded by the Indian Mahasiddha Bairupa.
Khon Kon-Chog Gyal-Po's son, Sa-Chen Kun-Ga Nying-Po
(Sa-Ch'en Kun-dGa'-sNying-Po, 1092-1158) became a great scholar and
Siddha. He received the special Lam-Ore teachings from Mahasiddha
Bairupa himself who came to the Sakya monastery by his miraculous
power and stayed and taught for one month. Two of Sa-Chen Kun-Ga
Nying-Po's sons Sod-Nam Tse-Mo (bSod-Nams rTse-Mo, 1142-1182)
and Trag-Pa Gyal-Tshen (Grangs-Pa rGyal-mTshan, 1147-1216),
became great scholars and Siddhas. Their younger brother's son, Kun-
Ga Gyal-Tshen (Kun-dGa' rGyal-mTshan, 1181-1251), became the
greatest scholar of the Sakyapa schooL He was recognized as the
highest authority on the teachings of the lineage. He became a Bhikshu
and wrote many scholarly volumes. Later he became known as the
Sakya Pandita. He defeated the great South Indian Pandit, Hari-
Nanda, in a debate in the Kyirong valley between Tibet and Nepal. He
was invited to the Chinese court by the Mongolian Emperor of China,
Gotan who was the grandson of Gengis Khan. He became the supreme
teacher at the Chinese court and devised the script and grammar for the
Mongolian language.
The Sakya Pandita's younger brother's older son, Oro-Gon Cho-
Gyal Phag-Pa (a'Gro-mGon Chhos-rGyal a'Phags-Pa, 1235-1280) was a
great teacher and became the first Lama Ruler of Tibet. He studied
under his uncle's guidance and became a highly realized Lama. After
his uncle's death he became the guru to the Chinese Emperor Kublai
Khan. In return for receiving Abhishekha (initiation) the Emperor
offered him central, western and southern Tibet. At the time of his
8e<:ond visit to China the emperor offered him additional areas of
Tibetan territory. He thus became the ruler of Tibet and the Sakyapas
the country for a century after 1253 A.D.
... The Sakyapa school produced many great scholars throughout its
long history in Tibet. Its five greatest scholars are known as the Sa-Kya
;<iong-Ma Nam-Nga (Sa-sKya Gong-Ma rNam-INga): The Five Supreme
,pnes of the Sakyapa. They were the Sakya Pandit, Sa-Chen, Sodnam,
[rak-Pa and Phag-Pa. Some of the other great scholars of the school are
(gYag-Phrug), Rang-Ton (Rong-sTon), Ngor-Pa, Dzong-Pa
(rDzong-Pa), Go Rab-Jam (Go Rab-a'Byams) and Sakya Chog-Den
(mCh'og-IDan)_ Go Rab-Jam-Pa Sod-Nam Senge (bSod-Nams Senge)
who was born in 1429 is one of the most famous writers of the Sakyapa_
He is known as Kun-Khyen (Sarvajna, Skt_) which means All Knowing_
He wrote 15 famous books and built the Ta-Nag Thub-Ten Ling (rTa-
Nag Thub-bsTan Gling) monastery in Tsang_
In addition to the main Sakyapa school there are two subschools of
this lineage: Ngor-Pa and Tshar-Ba_ Ngor-Chen Kun-Ga lang-Po (Ngor-
Ch'en Kun-dGa' bZang-Po) (1382-1456) built the Ngor E-Wam Choden
(E-Wam Ch'os-IDan) monastery and it eventually became the second
greatest Sakyapa monastery and a subschool of the main lineage_ The
followers of another great teacher, Tshal-Chen Lo-Sal Gya-Tsho (Tshal-
Ch'en Blo-gSal rGya-mTsho) (1502-1566) established another
subschoo) which became known as the Tshar-Ba_
Since the lineage was founded the primacy of the Sakyapa lineage
has been passed through the Khon clan_ They are also the heads of the
main Sakya monastery _ The present head of the Sakyapa school is Thri
Rinpoche Kun-Ga Thrin-Le Wang-Gyal (Khri Rin-Po-Che, Kun dGa'
a'Phrin Las dBang-rGyal) who was born in 1945 and lives in India_
[n addition to the Sakya and Ngor monasteries in Tsang, the other
important monasteries are: Lhun-Drub-Teng (Lhun-a'Grub sTeng) in
Dege (sDe-dGe) province, Dzong-Sar Tra-Shi Lha-Tse (rDzong-gSar
bKra-Shis Lha-rTse) in Kham, Nalentra in Phen-Yul, Ta-Nag (rTa-Nag)
and Nyen-Yod (mNyan-Yod) in Central Tibet and Deur Cho-De (IDeur:
Ch'os-sDe) in Amdo_
Sakyapa Doctrine
The special teaching of this school is the Lam-Dre teachings or the
Path and Result. The view of Lam-Dre is said to be "Clarity and
Emptiness without grasping" or 'The undifferential nature of Samsara
and Nirvana". Within the Lam-Dre teachings there are two aspects:
A) Sutra and B) Tantra_
A) Sutra: Within the Sutric aspect there are two traditions: 1) Nagarjuna
and 2) Maitrinatha.
1) Nagi3Jjuna: This tradition teaches the three Dog-Pa (bZlog-Pa)
practices. Dog-Pa means to reverse. These three practices are:
a) By meditating on the suffering of Samsara, the difficulties of
obtaining a human birth, the law of Karma and Maitri (compassion) one
will reverse oneself from unvirtuous actions.
b) First, reflecting on the grasping of one's own body, to
examine as follows: if the body is real, then it should be real from the
beginning and independent of any causes and conditions. But the body
has developed and functions only because of causes and conditions. By
knowing this one will develop the certainty that the body is without
reality. By meditating on this, one will cease to take the
conceptualizations of grasping self as truth (Satyagrahana) and will
reverse the concept of Self-Grasping (grasping self or ego as true).
c) Then one ceases to reflect on no-truth (Asatya): one will
reverse the view of no-truth by recognizing that emptiness is free from
grasping at an object; by recognizing that whether phenomena exist or
do not exist is beyond the conception of the mind; and by dwelling in
the state free from conceptualization and grasping.
2) Maitnnatha: This tradition teaches that the natural Clarity-
". Wisdom of the Basis is the foundation of both Samsara and Nirvana. By
" not recognizing this it we are in delusion and are grasping as true the
dual appearances of subject and object. This delusion is the root of
Samsara and the purpose of the path this to destroy this ignorance by
dissolving that duality into the Dharma-Space (Dharmadhatu).
B) Tantra: The tantric aspect of the Lam-Dre teachings is used for the
.' realization of the nature of the mind. First, one should recognize the
ordinary mind and then meditate on the union of clarity and emptiness.
From this practice one can find the Mind of natural wisdom
, spontaneously arisen and meditate on the meaning of it. Through this
;practice the mind will not be distracted by delusions. All appearances
,then arise as the play of wisdom. If deluded reflections still arise, then
by recollection and mindfulness the delusory appearances transform
themselves into the Nature of Wisdom.
)/ The lineage of the Lam-Dre teachings came through the Indian
Bairupa, Purva-Krisna, Damaupa, Avadhutipa and Gayadhara
monastery (dGa'IDan Khri-Pa) was Gyal-Tshab-Je and then Khe-Drub-
Je_ Since that time the throne-holders of Gaden have been the senior-
most scholars and they are the heads of the qelugpa School. The
present Ga-Den Thri-Pa is Ling Rinpoche, senior tutor to the Dalai
Lama, who is now living in India.
Gelugpa Monasteries
The Gelugpas constructed huge monastic establishments in many
parts of Tibet. Some of the most important ones were:
1) Ga-Den (dGaIDan) Monastery: This monastery was built by
TsongKha-Pa himself in 1409. It is located 25 miles from Lhasa and
has residences for 4,000 monks. It had two major colleges (Gra-
Tshangs) for study of both Sutra and Tantra.
2) Dre-Pung (a'Bras-sPung) Monastery: This monastery was built
by TsongKha-Pa's disciple Jam-Yang Cho-Je, in 1416. It is located
three miles west of Lhasa and has accomodation for 9,000 monks. It
has three colleges for the study of Sutra and one college for the study
and practice of Tantra. .
3) SeRa Monastery: This monastery was built by Tsong-KhaPa's
disciple, Cham Chen Cho-Je in 1419. It is located Ph miles north of
Lhasa and has accomodation for 7,000 minks. It has two colleges for
Sutra study and one for Tantra.
4) Tra-Shi Lhun-Po (bKra-Shis Lhun-Po): This monastery was built
. by Pen-Chen GeDunTrub, the first Dalai Lama, in 1447. It has
residences for 4,000 monks and three colleges for Sutra study and one
for Tantra. It was the seat of the Dalai Lamas until the first Panchen
Lama became head of the monastery. The first Panchen Lama, Lob-
Zang Cho-Kyi GyalTshen (Blo-bZang Ch'os-Kyi rGyal-mTshan)
(1570-1662), was one of the greatest Gelugpa scholars and the tutor of
,the fifth Dalai Lama. Since his time this monastery has been the seat of
:the Panchen Lamas. The present Panchen Lama was born in 1938 and
now in China.
'i" 5) Gyud-Med Tra-Tshang (rGyud-sMad GraTshang - Lower
,\tantric Training College): This monastic college is located in Lhasa and
founded by SheyRab Senge (Shes-Rab Senge), a disciple of Tsang
in 1440. It has accomodation for 500 Tantric Bhikshus.
6) Gyud-Tod Tra-Tshang (rGyudsTod Gra-Tshang - Upper
Training College): This monastic college was founded by Kun-
Don-Trub (Kun-dGa' Don-Grub), a disciple of SheyRab Senge, in
It is a training college for 900 Tantric Bhikshus.
7) ChabDo (Ch'ab-mDo) Monmastery: This monastery is located
'lnthe Kham province of Eastern Tibet. It was built by Tsong-Kha-Pa's
;!SciPle, ChamChen Choje in 1437.
8) sKu-a'Bum Monastery: This monastery is located in the Amdo
I of Eastern Tibet at the birthplace of TsongKha-Pa. It was built
I!,th the adVice and blessing of the third Dalai Lama, Sod-Nam Gya-
I?O (bSod-Nams rGya-mTsho) (1543-1588). It has residences for 3700
and has three colleges. One of the colleges is for medicine and
itt other two are for Sutric and Tantric study and practice.
9) TraShi Go-Mang (bKraShis sGo-Mang) Monastery: This
was built by Jam-Yang ZhedPa NgagWang Tson-Dru
bZhadPa Ngag-Bang brTsona'Grus, 1648-1721), a
disciple of the fifth Dalai Lama, in 1710. It is located in the Amde
province of Eastern Tibet and has residence for 3700 monks. Manl
great scholars have come from this monastery such as
Ten-Pa'i Dron-Me (Gong-Thang bsTan-Pa'i sGron-Me). It has foUl
colleges: one for Sutra, two for Tantra and one for medicine_
10) dGon-Lung Monastery: This monastery was built by Don-Yoe
Cho-Kyi Gya-Tsho (Chhos-Kyi rGya-mTsho) in the Amdo province 01
Eastern Tibet in 1592. From this monastery the great Chang-Kyc
(Chang-sKya) and Tho-Kvan (Thos-bKvan) incarnations spread thE
Gelugpa teachings into Mongolia and parts of China. Many Buddhisl
scriptures were translated from Tibetan into Mongolian and Chinese al
this monastery.
11) Ri-Wo Ge-Gye-Ling (Ri-Bo-dGe-rGyas-Gling or Ta-Khu-Ral:
Monastery: This monastery was located in Hal-Ha, Outer Mongolia and
was founded by the first Je-Tsun Dam-Pa, Lob-lang Ten-Pa'i Gyal
Tshen (rJe-bTsun-Dam-Pa, Blo-blang bsTan-Pa'i rGyal-mTshan;
(1635-1723) who was an incarnation of Taranath. The Jetsun Dampa
was the highest lama in Mongolia and occupied a position c0mparable
to that of the Dalai Lama in Tibet. This monastery was his residence. 11
had 27,000 monks and 11 colleges.
There were also hundreds of smaller Gelugpa monasteries in
Mongolia before the coming of the Communists. In addition there were
also a few Gelugpa monasteries in China before 1949.
GeJugpa Doctrine
The Gelugpas are within the Prasangika-Madhyamika
philosophical tradition and they largely adopted the method of practice
taught by Atisha in the Kadampa system_ Their Tantric teachings, from
the New Translation of the Tantras, are the Kriyayoga Tantra,
Charyayoga Tantra, Yoga Tantra and Anuttarayoga Tantra_ The method
of the Kadampa School is summarized in the following passage:
''To accept all the doctrines (of Buddha) as instructions.
To understand that all the instructions are the main
path (or part of the path) that leads a person to the
attainment of Buddhahood, and to practice the three
stages of the path (higher, middle and lesser) according
to one's own capacity.
The Gelugpas stress the teaching on interdependent arising to
that all things are empty and free from conceptualization.
if,According to the doctrine of interdependent arising, all phenomena are
self-nature and arise because of mutually interdependent
and conditions. Thus phenomena are empty in that they lack
:!:self-nature and do not function independently of one another.
:e:" The Gelugpas practice both the Sutras and Tantras according to
[;'t,the method of the "Stages of the Path" which is a gradual method
with the Preliminary Practices and ending with the
of Transcendental Wisdom. In their Tantric practice they use
stages (Rim-gNyis): development (bKyed-Rim) and perfection
!li,(rDzogs-Rim)_ Through the use of this method they realize emptiness
the spontaneously arising bliss and attain the fully perfected

The deep and intensive study of the Buddhist scriptures is strongly
by the Gelugpa school. For the study of Sutra the following
are mainly used: 1) the Nyaya texts of Dignaga and Dharmakirti;
Prajnaparamita of Maitrinatha and Asangha; 3) the Madhyamika
of Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti; 4) the Abhidharma of Vasubandhu
Asangha; and 5) the Vinaya text of Gunaprabha. In addition to the
MS'riginal texts, many commentaries by both Indian and Tibetan scholars
studied. For example, just considering Dre-Pung monastery alone,
Tra-Shang (college) has a different Yig-Cha (commentarial texts)
by Gelugpa scholars of their own Tra-Tshang. The study of the
:f$!riginal texts is done on the basis of these commentaries. The following

are mainly studied: Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara, Vajrabhai-
Haivajra, Kalachakra and Vajrayogini.
The following quotations from the works of Tsong-Kha-Pa give an
of the main points of the Gelugpa teachings. In Drang-Ngey
Leg-Shed Nying-Po (Drangs-Nges Legs-bShad sNying-Po) he says:
By the assertion of the inevitable interdependent arising of
of Samsara and Niroana,
Destroy all the characteristic conceptualizations;
By the moon-like teachings of Chandrakirti,
When the Kumud garden-like mind and eyes have opened,
By seeing the path shown by Buddhapalita,
Who will not hold the excellent philosophy of Nagarjuna
as supreme?
In the Lam-Tso Nam-Sum (Lam-gTso rNam-gSum - the Three
Principal Aspects of the Path), he says:
If you do not have the wisdom of realizing the nature (real
Even if you have gained the experience of revulsion from
the Samsara and have generated Bodhicitta, '
You cannot cut the root of Samsara;
So try the means of understanding interdependent arising
Whoever sees that the functioning of cause and result
Of all the existents of Samsara and Niroana is inevitable
And destroys all conceptualization,
Enters the path "Pleasing to the Buddha ".
As long as you see the two -
Appearances, the inevitable interdependent arising,
And emptiness, the non-assertion (of its existence) -
as separate,
You still do not understand the vision of the Buddha.
When simultaneously without alternative,
Youjust see that interdependent arising is ineVitable,
It destroys all grasping at the oblects of conception,
Then the analysis of the Darshan (view) is complete.
IV. Some Other Tibetan Buddhist Schools
1. Kadampa (bKa'-gDams-Pa) School: The great Indian scholar
Atisha Dipamkarashirijnan (982-1048) founded this schooL He was an
abbot of Vikramashila Monastic University which was one of the three
greatest centers of Buddhist learning during his time in India. He was
invited to Tibet in 1042 by YeShe Od (Ye-Shes A'od) and Chang-Chub
Od (A'od) who were closely related to the dynasty of the early Dharma
Kings of Tibet. He gave many teachings on the Buddhist Sutras and
instructions for correctly practicing the teachings_ He wrote the famous
text, "The Light of the Path". In this short work he explained all the
Buddha's teachings as one path dividing it into three parts for persons
of higher, middle and lesser intelligence. He lived and taught in Tibet
until the time of his death.
His renowned disciple, Drom-Ton (a'Brom-sTon) (1004-1064) built
the Ra-Dreng (Ra-bsGreng) monastery to the north of Lhasa and it
became the source of the Kadampa teachings. Drom-Ton's three
principal disciples were Po-To-Ba, Phu-Ch'ung-Ba and Chen-Nga-Wa
(sPyan-sNga-Ba).The Kadampas emphasized strict and earnest practice
.and full understanding of the meaning of the teachings_ Their teachings
are simple and mostly in local dialects but are deep and full of meaning
.and inspiration.
A separate Kadampa school did not survive but their teachings and
examples deeply influenced the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
This is because the original Kadampas were all hermits and did not
build monasteries. Their followers, however, did construct monasteries
these became the foundation of the Kagyur and Gelugpa sects. The
Qelugpas call themselves the New Kadampa and the Kagyudpas say
that their teachings are the confluence of the Mahamudra and
; 2. Zhi-Ched-Pa (Zhi-Byed-Pa) and Chod (gChod): Zhi-Ched-Pa
.rneans "pacification" or the "doctrine which pacifies suffering:This
lineage was founded in Tibet by the great South Indian Saint Pha-Dam-
ipa Sang-Gye (Sangs-rGyas). He visited Tibet on five occasions, the last
being in 1098 after his return from China.
t His teachings were based on the Prajnaparamita Sutras and the
philosophy of Nagarjuna. The distinctive aspect of Pha-Dam-Pa Sang-
;,QYes' teaching was the method he used to pacify suffering. In most
fypes of teaching the defilements which are the cause of suffering are
:Frst purified then the suffering is dissolved. But in this method the
is first purified and then the defilements which are its cause
.Clre eliminated. In this practice the suffering itself is used as a practice.
yJhe teaching of this lineage went through three periods of development
:Varked by Pha-Dam-Pa Sang-Gyes' different visits to Tibet.
The teachings of Chod are a major practice of this schooL Chod
tneans 'to cut off, specifically to cut off the ego and defilements which
)Clre the root of samsara. There are two types of Chod: a) Pho-Chod (male
$hOd) and b) Mo-Chod (female Chod). The practice of Mo-Chod is the.
,!;?ost popular.
a) Pho-Chod: This teaching was transmitted by Pha-Dam-Pa Sang.
Gyes to Kyo-Ton Sod-Nam (sKyo-sTon bSod-Nams) and Ma-Ra Ser-Po
(sMa-Ra Ser-Po) who in turn transmitted it to Nyon-Pa Se-Rang (sMyon-
Pa Se-Rong), Tse-Ton (rTsesTon) and SumTon (Sum-sTon).
b) Mo-Chog: This lineage was transmitted by Kyo-Ton-Sod-Narn
to the great frmale saint MaChig LabDron (sGron) (1031-1124). She is
recognized by all Tibetan schools as a Wisdom-Dakini in human form.
Because of her influence the Chod teachings were established in the
different schools in all parts of Tibet and have been passed down to the
present time. There were numerous Chod texts and teachings that
came from her in different forms. Many of them were discovered as
Dharma Treasures (gTer). She spent the last years of her life in a cave at
Zang-Ri Khar-Mar (Zangs-Ri mKhar-dMar) in Southern Tibet.
Both Chod teachings are based on the Prajnaparamita Sutras. The
basic practice is to purify the defilements by completely cutting off
grasping at self which is the root of samsara. The Six Paramitas
fections) are practiced by giving away one's own body and possessions
to all including the most fearful beings in dangerous places without
attachment, fear or doubt. MaChig Lab-Kyi Dron-Ma divided the Chod
into three aspects:
'To travel to dangerous and solitary places is the
To transform the body as food for demons is the
Inner Chad,
To cut off the single thing (grasping) from the root
is the Actual-Chad.
Whoever practices these three Chods is a yogL ..
At present there is no separate lineage of this tradition but
teachings are practiced in all the schools, especially in the Nyingmapa
and Kagyudpa. ..
3. Jonangpa Oo-NangPa) School: This lineage was founded in.
Tibet by Yu-Mo Mi-Kyod Dor-Je (Yu-Mo Mi-bsKyod rDorJe) who was a.!
great teacher of the Kalachakra Tantra. He attained a profound
realization of the meaning of emptiness which is called ZhenTong
(gZhan-sTong). KunPang Thug-Je Tshan-Dru (Kun sPang Thugs-rJe
brTson-a'Grus) (1243-?) who was a holder of this lineage built a;
monastery at Jo-MoNang and it became the source of the Jo-NangPa
teachings. His great disciple, DolPo Shey-Rab Gyal-Tshen (Dol-Bo
ShesRab rGyal-mTshan) (1292-1361) became a very famous scholar of
his time. He expounded the Zhen-Tong philosophy in his Ri-Cho Ngey-
Don Gya-Tsho (RiCh'os NgesDon rGyamTsho) and Ka-Du Zhi-Pli.
(bKa'bsDu bZhiPa). According to his teaching the Kun-gZhi (Alaya ..
universal ground or basis) has two parts: wisdom and sense. Wisdom is
the absolute truth of Buddha nature which is true, pure, eternal and
exists in all beings. But because of the delusion of the senses, thiS,
undifferentiated, pure natural state is obscured. Through the practice
the 'Six Yogas' taught by the JoNangPa the obscurations of the
are removed and the absolute state is attained. The disciples of this
school mainly rely on Dol-Po SheyRab Gyal-Tshen's works for study
and practice. His most famous disciples were Sa-lang MaTi RinChen
(Sa-blang Ma-Ti RinCh'en) and Po-Tong Chog-Le NamGyal (Po-
Tongs-Phyogs-Las rNam.rGyal, 1306-1386). In later centuries Kun-Ga
were great teachers and scholars of this lineage. However, in the 17th
century because of political difficulties this school ceased to function
actively in Central Tibet but it remained powerful in Eastern Tibet until
recent times. The Shar Dzam-Thang (Shara'DzamThang) monastery
built by KaZhiPa RinChenPal (KabZhi-Pa RinCh'endPal), a great
disciple of DolPo SheyRab GyalmTshen, in Golok province became
the: center of the JoNangPa doctrine in recent centuries.
, The scriptures and meditation practices of the Tibetan lineages
differ from one another according to their origins in the various
transmissions from India and the varying needs of their diSciples in
Tibet. Yet all these schools are the same in the crucial sense of directly
or indirectly leading to the same goal, Enlightenment. Similarly,
different medicines are the same in the sense that they all make people
For many centuries the teachings of Buddhism deeply influenced
all aspects of Tibetan life and culture. Many monks and high lamas
meditated on the teachings of the Buddha, Bodhisattvas and Siddhas
and wrote extensively on all facets of the Buddha's Dharma. Eventually
the discipline of Buddhism permeated all levels of Tibetan society and
"set the tone for the whole life of the people. Thus, any discussion about
the life, history, culture, and literature of Tibet must take Buddhism
into account as a predominating factor. This is especially true for
Tibetan literature because literary Tibetan was developed mainly in the
7th century A.D. for the purpose of translating the Buddhist scriptures
into Tibetan.
In the intellectual world beyond the confines of Tibetan society, the
Tibetan language is important because of the richness and vastness of
the Buddhist literature contained within its scope. It is one of the four
major Buddhist languages. The others are Sanskrit, Pali and Chinese.
The main treasury of Buddhist literature in India until the 12th
century A.D. was written in Sanskrit. It is an especially important source
for the Mahayana, unfortunately, due to historical circumstances many
of these priceless original Sanskrit texts. were lost.
Pali, the ancient language of Magadha, was the major medium and
source for Hinayana Buddhist literature. In later centuries the rich
treasury of Hinayana scripture was preserved in the Theravadin
countries. Especially important are the Tripitaka and the Atthakatha,
the huge commentary on the Tripitaka written by Acarya
Beginning in the early centuries of our era, many Buddhist texts
were translated into Chinese, and on this foundation Chinese became a
major source of Buddhist literature. But compared to Tibetan Buddhist
literature, Prof. Nalinaksa Dutt has written: "The Tibetan collections of
translations of Indian texts is much larger than the Chinese. In a
comparison made by Prof. Sakai Shinten between the Tibetan and
Chinese versions of the Indian texts, he finds the Chinese translations
are wanting in 670 texts of the Kajur and 3452 of the Tenjur." He further
said "One of the most outstanding contributions made by Tibetan
scholars was the preservation of Sanskrit texts in literal and accurate
Tibetan translations, in which they surpassed the Chinese in accuracy
and volume."
Thus it can be said that the Tibetan language contains the richest
collection of Buddhist literature in the world today. All aspects of the
BUddhist tradition - Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana - are
contained within its scope. The translation and exposition of the
Buddha's Dharma formed the basis of literary Tibetan. Buddhism
became the fountainhead of Tibetan literature and the main source of
Tibetan cultural life.
We will classify Tibetan Literature into two broad divisions: (I)
Religious and (II) Secular. Although there was very little literature that
was not influenced by religious concepts, there are many texts whose
main subject matter deals with non-religious subjects such as grammar,
medicine and law. These works are classified within the secular
literature. Only works which deal primarily with religious themes are
placed in the category of religious literature.
The religious literature can be classified in two ways:
(A) according to origin and (B) according to subject. According to
origin, there is first of all (1) a large body of literature translated from
Indian sources into Tibetan. Secondly, (2) there is the enormous
volume of religious works written by Tibetan scholars. According to
subject, the religious literature falls into four divisions: 1. Religion, 2.
History and Biography, 3. Poetic Composition and Yogic Songs and 4.
Art, Music and Dance.
A) Religious Literature - According to Origin
1. The Literature Translated from Tibetan Sources
(a) The Kajur Colledion-The Buddha's Teachings
The Kajur contains the scriptures of both Sutras and Tantras.
Although many of the Sutras were translated in the period of the Later
Spread of the Doctrine (bsTanPa Phyi-Dar), most of them were
translated into Tibetan during the Earlier Spread of the Doctrine
(bsTanPa sNgaDar) and revised during the period of the Later Spread.
Most of the tantras contained in the Kajur are New Tantras (gSang.
sNgags gSarMa) but there are also a few scriptures of the Old Tantra in
this collection. The New Tantras are those which were translated
beginning with LoCh'en RinCh'en bZangPo (9581051). The Old
Tantras are the tantric scriptures translated from the 7th century A.D.
until the time of Acharya Smrtijnana at the beginning of the 11 th
century. Most of the Old Tantras are contained in the rNyingMa
rGyud.'Bum collection. The contents of the Kajur are as follows:
No. Title of the SubDivlsions
1. rGyud (Tantra)
2. SherPhyin (Prajnaparamita)
3. dKonbrTsegs (Ratnakuta)
4. PhalCh'en (Avatamsaka)
5. mDo (Sutra)
6. a'DulSa (Vinaya)
7. The Collection of rNyingMa rGyuda'Bum
(Pracin T antras)
* These figure based on Peking Edition.
+ These figures based on Delhi publication
No. of No. of
Vol. * Treatises*
24 729
23 30
6 1
32 269
104 1046
(b) The Tenjur Collection - The Works of Indian Buddhist SChOlil
The Tenjur (bsTan-a'Gyur) is the collection of commentarial
written by ancient Indian Buddhist scholars on the
Mahayana, and Tantra and translated into Tibetan. The Tenjur
contains texts on secular subjects and these are included within
secular literature section. The Dharma literature of the Tenjuril
, classified according to the following subdivisions:"
No. Title of th SubDivisions
1. bs Tod-Tshogs (Stotras)
2. rGyud-a'Grel (fantra-tika)
3. Sher-Phyin (Prajnaparamita)
4. dBu-Ma (Madhyamika)
5. mDo-a'Grel (Sutra-tika)
6. Sems-Tsam (Citamatra-Yogacarya)
7. mNgon-Pa (Abhidharma)
8. a'Dul-Ba (Vinaya)
9. sKyes-Rabs (Jatakamala)
10. sPring-Yig (Lekha)
11. Thun-Mong and Ngo-mTshar bsTanbChos
(Sadharana Shastra)
No. of No. of
liz 63 ""
85% 3120
16 40
17 257
10 40,
18 45.
18 66
/2 8
V2 42
5 86
(out of (out of
12112) 143)
185 3786
2. The Literature Written.by Tibetan Scholars
There is vast literature written by thousands of learned Tibetan:
scholars and sages on various aspects of Buddhism. This literature
marily concerns itself with the interpretation and explanation of the;
Sutras, Tantras and commentaries written by great Indian scholars.
In order to understand this indigenous literature, it is necessary to
know something about the Buddhist schools which developed in Tibet.
These schools developed from the experience and wisdom of renowned
Tibetan scholars and sages, and from the literary expression of their '
In Tibet four major and many minor Buddhist schools developed.
The four major schools are: Nyingmapa. Kagyudpa, Sakyapa and
Gelugpa. The main division between these schools is in relation to the
Tantras, although there were also different interpretations of the Sutras
among these schools. The followers of the Old Tantras or Earlier Trans-
lation (sNga'-a'Gyur) are known as the Nyingmapa or Old Ones. The
followers of the later translated tantras (Phyia'Gyur) are known as the
Sarma or New Ones. The Kagyudpa, Sakyapa and Gelugpa lineages are
all within the Sarma tradition of Tantra. In the following discussion of
the literature produced by these schools, a few of the special features of.
each are pointed out.
.. These figures based on Peking Edition.
r t ~ ) The Literature of the Nylngmapa School
(I) The Classification of the Dharma
The Nyingmapa classifies the whole Buddhist doctrine into Nine
The Three Yanas of Paramita or Sutra are:
(a) Sravakayana (Hinayana)
(b) Pratyeka-Buddhayana (Hinayana)
(c) Bodhisattva (Mahayana)
The Three Outer Tantras of Vajrayana are:
(a) Kriyayoga
(b) Caryayoga
(c) Yogatantra
The Three Inner Tantras of Vajrayana are:
(a) Mahayoga
(b) Anuyoga
(c) Atiyoga
(li) Sutra
The original texts and commentaries are contained in the Kajur
.and Tenjur.
(iii) Tantra
There are some tantras contained in the Kajur and Tenjur from
both the Earlier and Later periods of translation which are common to
all schools. But the different schools would emphasize certain tantras,
and these scriptures became special aspects of practice for a particular
lineage. The special tantras of the Nyingmapa are the scriptures of the
Mahayoga, Anuyoga and Atiyoga (or rDzogs-Pa Ch'en-Po). Most of
.these teachings are contained within the Old Tantra collection (rNying-
Ma rGyud-a'Bum). The three major divisions of the Old Tantra are:
bKa'-Ma (Canon), gTer-Ma (concealed Dharma Treasures), and Dag-
sNang (Pure Vision).
1) Kama (bKa'-Ma) - These tantras are the Three Inner Tantras
translated into Tibetan by Guru Padmasambhava, Pandit Vimalamitra,
and others (in the 9th century A.D.), and transmitted through an
unbroken lineage of lamas to the present day. Some of the major works
within this division of Tantra are:
Mahayoga: (a) Tantra - The Mayajala Tantra (sGyu-a'Phrul-Drva-
Ba) and 18 Great Tantras (Tantra Ch'enPo sDe
bChobrGyad) and
(b) Sadhana - Scriptures of Sadhanas of Eight Great
The Tantras of a'Dus-Pa mDo
The 18 Tantras (Sems-sMad bCho-brGyad) of Sems-
sDe, 9 Tantras (Klong-dGu) of KlongsDe, and 17
Tantras (bChubDun rGyud) of Man-Ngag sDe.
Compiled Kama texts: sMin-Gling gTer-Ch'en, aMin-Gling Lo-Ch'en
and rGyalSras gZhan-Phan mTha' -Vas compiled many of the Kama
texts. Later in some monasteries annual Sadhana rituals of the
bKa' -Ma sadhanas (bKa' -Ma'i mCh-od-Khag bChu-gSum)
performed in assembly. The 13 Sadhanas are: (1) a'Dus-Pa mDo, (21l
sGyu-a'Phrul Zhi-Khro, (3) Sangs-rGyas mNyam-sByor, (4)
Rol-Ba, (5) Na-Rag Dong-sPrugs, (6) gShin-rJe gShed Ru-mTshon
Nag, (7) Yang-Dag So-Lugs and Sa-Lugs, (8) Phur-Pa Rong-Lugs,
Lugs and SaLugs, (9) Lung-Lugs Tshe-sGrub, (10) Guru Drag-dMar Aoii!:!
Bran-Lugs, (11) rGyud-mGon Legs-IDan, (12) sMin-Gling
and (13) Ch'a-gSum (the last two are additional texts). . ,,\ll
2) Terma (gTer-Ma) - Many tantric scriptures and
Guru Rinpoche were concealed in different sacred places
by the mystic power of Guru Rinpoche, Dakini YeShes
and others, to be discovered by future disciples. They were discovereJ'&l
in later centuries by the Hundred Great Tertons (Dharma Treasure
coverers) and many other gTer-sTons. The discovery of these
began with Terton Sans-rOyas Bla-Ma (1000?-1080?) and
mNgonShes-Chan (1012-1090) and has continued until the
day. There are two kinds of Termas: Sater and Gong Ter. 'ifil
a. Sater (Sa-gTer) - These texts were discovered by Tertons in,!'l
material objects such as mountains, lakes, temples and rocks. Most olli
the important SagTer scriptures fall into two major categories.);
First, there is. the important gTer-Ch'os literature which is in three;!)l
parts: Bla-Ma, rDzogs-Ch'en, and Thugs-Je Ch'en-Po. ';'.\
Bla-Ma: The peaceful and Wrathful Guru Sadhanas:
1 Bla-Ma gSang-a'Dus of Guru Ch'os-dBang
/ (1212-1270)
2 Thugs-sGrub of Riga'Dzin rOod-IDem
3 Bla-Ma Nor-Bu rOya-mTsho of Padma Gling-Pa (1450-?)
4 Thugs-sGrub of Ratna Gling-Pa
5 Guru Drag-dMar of Nyang Nyi-Ma Od-Zer
6 Guru Drag dMar of Ratna Gling-Pa
rDzogs-Ch'en: The scriptures on rDzogs-Ch'en teachings:
1 Virna sNying-Thig of IDang-Ma Lhun-rOyal
Its commentary Bla-Ma
2 mKha'a'Gro sNying Thig,
Its commentary mKha'
a'Gro Yang-Tig
2a lab-Mo Yang-Tig, a com-
mentary of both Virna
sNying-Thig and mKha'-
a'Gro Yang-Tig
by Kun-mKhyen Klong-
Ch'en-Pa (1308-1367)
of Padma Las-a'Brel-rTsal
by Kun-mKhyen Klong-
by Kun-mKhyen Klong-
3 dGongs-Pa lang-ThaI of Rig-a'Dzin rGod-IDem
4 Kun-blang dGongs-a'Dus of Padma Gling-Pa
Thugs-rJe Ch'en-Po: Avalokiteshvara scriptures:
1 Mani bKa'-a'Bum of Grub-Thob Ngos-Grub
2 Yang-sNying a'Dus-Pa
3 bDe-gShegs a'Dus-Pa
and Nyang
of Guru Ch'os-dBang
of sMin-Gling gTer-Ch'en
Secondly, there is another important gTer-Ch'os with three parts:
bKa' -brGyad, dGongs-'Dus. and Phur-Pa_
bKa'-brGyad.: There are three major texts:
1 bKa'-brGyad bDe-bSgegs
a'Dus-Pa of mNga'-bDag Nyang
2 bKa' -brGyad gSang-Ba
Yongs-rDzogs of Guru Ch'os-dBang
3 bKa' -brGyad Drag-Po
Rang-Byung Rang-Shar of Rig-a'Dzin rGod-IDem
1 Bla-Ma dGongs-a'Dus
Phur-P;p (Vajrakila)
1 sPu-Gri
2 Yang-gSang Bla-Med
of Sangs-rGyas Gling-Pa
( 1340-1396)
of Guru Ch'os-dBang
of Ratna Gling-Pa
b. Gong Ter (dGong-gTer) - These texts were discovered within
the Realized Mind of Tertons in which they recalled teachings given by
Guru Rinpoche and others, which were then written down. Some of
them are:
1 mDzod-bDun (the seven
2 gNam-Ch'os
of Kun-mKhyen Klong-
of Mi-a'Gyur rDorJe
3 Klong-Ch'en sNying-Thig of Kun-mKhyen a'Jigs-Med
Gling-Pa (1729-1798)
3) Dag-Nang (Dag-sNang) - These are scriptures received from
divinities and Gurus by Tertons in pure meditative vision.
1 sNying-Thig texts of gYu-Thog Yon-Tan
2 Rig-a'Dzin Srog-sGrub of Lha-bTsun Nam-mKha'
a'Jigs-Med (1597 1650?)
Collection of Ter-Ch'os (gTer-Ch'os) and Dag-Nang: rKong-sPrul
Von-Tan rGya-mTsho (1813-1899) brought together many of the
important Ter-Ch'os in a collection of 61 volumes called the Rin-Ch'en
gTermDzod. It was printed in dPal-sPung monastery (Kham), mTshur-
Phu monastery (central Tibet) and in Delhi, India.
(iv) Study
The main texts for study of the Sutra root texts and
are: the Phar-Phyin (prajnaparamita), dBu-Ma (Madhyamika),
(Vinaya) and mNgon-Pa (Abhidharma)_ The main Tantras to be studiecl!
are: the Guhyagarbha Tantra with commentaries, the
Kun-mKhyen Long-Ch'en-Pa (1308-63), sDom-gSum (three
Nga'-Ris Pan-Ch'en (1487-1542) and the texts on Kama and Terma
sMin-Gling gTer-Ch'en, Lo-Ch'en Dharmashri and
In the present century the major works on Sutra to be studied
the texts of the gZhung-Ch'en bChu-gSum (Thirteen Great Texts)
the commentaries written on them by dPal-sPrul
(1808-1887) (6 Volumes), Mi-Pham rNam-rGyal (1846-1912) (321il
Volumes) and especially the commentaries of gZhan-Phan
sNang-Ba. The gZhung-Ch'en bChu-gSum (Thirteen Great Texts)

1 So-Sor Thar-Pa'i mDo by Sakyamuni"""
(Pratimoksa-sutra) Buddha
2 a'Dul-Ba mDo-rTsa-Ba (Vinayasutra) by
3 mNgon-Pa Kun-bTus (Abhidharma-
samuccaya) by Asangha
4 mNgonPa mDzod
(Abhidharmakosha) by Vasubandhu
5 dBu-Ma rTsa-Ba Shes-Rab (Prajna
nama mula madhyamika) , by Nagarjuna
6 dBuMa-La a'Jug-Pa
(Madhyamikavatara) by Chandrakirti
7 bBu-Ma bZhi-brGya-Pa
(Catuhsatakasastra) by Aryadeva
8 Byang-Ch'ub SemsdPa'i sPyod-PaLa
a'Jug-Pa (Bodhicaryavatara) by Shantideva
9 Phar-Phyin mNgon-rTogs-rGyan
(Abhisamayalankara nama
Prajnaparamita) by Asangha
10 Thegs-Pa Ch'en-Po'i rGyud-Bla-Ma'i
(Mahayanasutralankara) by Asangha
11 bBus-mTha' rNam-'Byed
(Madhyantavibhanga) by Asangha
12 Ch'osDang Ch'os-Nyid rNam-a'Byed
(Dharmadharmatavibhanga) by Asangha
13 Thegs-Pa Ch'en-Po'i rGyudBla-Ma'i
bsTan bChos (Mahayanottaratan-
trasutra) by Asangha
(b) The Literature of the Sarmapa
The other three major Buddhist schools-Kagyudpa, Sakyapa and
Gelugpa-are within the Sarma (gSar-Ma, New Tantra) tradition. The
Sarma schools have many of the same original texts for study and
practice. The differences among them result from different lineages of
teaching and different interpretations of the subtle meanings of the
scriptures by Tibetan scholars and commentators. Also, some of
have their own special teachings transmitted from Indian
r$iddhaS such as the Phyag-rGya Ch'en-Po (Mahamudra) of the Kag-
and the gSung-Ngag Lam-a'Bras (teaching on the Path and
of the Sakyapa. The teachers who first translated and spread the
liSarrna literature were the great Tibetan translators, Rin-Ch'en bZang-Po
a'Brog-Mi (993-1050), MarPa (1012-1099), and others.
"" (i) The Classification of the Dharma
Three Sutric Yanas:
(a) Sravakayana (Hinayana)
(b) Pratyeka-Buddha Yana (Hinayana)
(c) Bodhisattvayana (Mahayana)
Four Vajrayanas:
(a) Kriyayoga
(b) Caryayoga
(c) Yogatantra
(d) Anuttarayogatantra
(1) Pitrtantra
(2) Matrtantra
(3) Advitiyatantra
(ii) Major Texts for Study and Practice
The basic texts are the literature from the Canon of the Buddha
the works of great Indian scholars in the Kajur and Tenjur
?c:collections. But the numerous commentaries written by both Indian
Tibetan scholars contained slightly different interpretations of the
IKbasic works. These differences influenced the development of the
schools in Tibet, as indicated above. In some of the larger
different monastic colleges (Grva-Tshangs) had their own
texts (Yig-Ch'a) to study, practice and uphold.
f:Ri: Some of the major texts for Sutra study are: Pramanasamuccaya of
Seven Treatises on Logic by Dharmakirti, Six Treatises by
!GiNagarjuna on Madhyamika, Five Treatises by Maitrinath and Asangha
Mahayana Philosophy, Abhidharmasumucaya by Asangha and
by Vasubandhu on Abhidharma, and the Vinayasutra
Gunaprabha on Vinaya.
i< Some of the root tantras are: Guhyasamaja and Vajrabhairaba of
;;;}he Pitrtantra; Cakrasamvara, Mahamaya and Haivajra of the
!!i'Matrtantra; and the Kalacakra and Manjusrimulatantra of Advitiya-
(iii) The Literature of the Kagyudpa School
The founder of the Kagyudpa (bKa'rGyud-Pa) school was the great
r:translator and sage Mar-Pa Ch'os-Kyi Blo-Gros (10121099). He visited
:,India three times and received the Tantric Teachings from Mahasiddha
i;Naropa, Maitripa and others. He then transmitted and expounded these
t;:,dOctrines in Tibet. The other renowned scholars and sages in the
lineage are the great yogi MiLa Ras-Pa (1040-1123), the
famous scholar sGam-Po-Pa (1079-1153), the First Karmapa Dus-gSurn
mKhyen-Pa (1110-1193), a'Bri-Gung a'Jig-rTen gSum-mGon
(1143-1217), gTsang-Pa rGya-Ras (1161-1211), Situ bsTan-Pa'i Nyin-
Byed (1698-?) and Kong-sPrul Yen-Tan rGya-mTsho (1813-1899)_
Study - The basic literature for study is the same as for the
general Sarma Tradition. The highest philosophical teaching of the
Kagyudpa is the Mahamudra (Phyag-rGya Ch'en-Po) which is a special
teaching of this school. Marpa received this teaching from the Indian
Mahasiddha Maitripa. It has two aspects: Sutric Mahamudra and Tantrk
Mahamudra. Another important special teaching of this school is the
Six Yogas of Naropa. These Six Yogas are: Heat Yoga (gTum-Mo),
Illusory Body (sGyu-Ma), Dream (rMi-Lam), Clear Light (ad-gSa I),
Intermediate State (Bar-Do) and Consciousness Transference (pho-Ba).
The Kagyudpa school emphasizes the basic practice of all three yanas:
the practice of Revulsion (Nges-a'Byung) from Samsara of the
Sravakayana, Developing the Bodhi-Mind (Byang-Sems) of the Maha-
yana, and Observing the Vows (Dam-Tshig) of the Vajrayana.
Some of the Kagyudpa works for study are:
1 mGura'Bums and rNam-Thars of Mar-Pa and Mi-La
2 gSung.a'Bums of sGam-Po-Pa (3 Volumes) and Pag-Mo
Gru-Pa (1110-1170) (6 Volumes)
3 bKa'-a Bums of Karmapa Dus-gSum mKhyen-Pa (1110
1193), Rang-Byung rDo-rJe (1284-1334) and MibsKyod
rDorJe (1507-1554) .. '
4 gSunga'Bums of Glang-Ras-Pa, gTsang-Pa rGya-Ras',
(1161-1211) (1 Volume), a'Bri-Gung a'JigsrTen m G e n ~
Po (1143-1217), a'BrugPa KunLegs (q455-?), Padma'
dKar-Po (15271592) (14 Volumes), dBang-Phyug rDo-
rJe (1554-1603), Zhva-dMar mKha'-sPyod dBang-Po
(1350-1405), dKonmCh'og Yon-Tan, gTshug-Lag.
Phreng-Ba (1454-?) (9 Volumes), Situ Ch'os-a'Byung<
(1700-1774) (12 Volumes) and Kong-sPrul Yon-Tan:
rGya-mTsho (90 Volumes).
(iu) The Literature of the Sakyapa School
a'Khon dKon-mCh'og rGyal-Po (1034-1102) founded the Sakyapa
(Sa-sKya-Pa) school and built the Sakya monastery in 1073 A.D. The
great scholar and translator a'Brog-Mi Sakya Ye-Shes (993-1050) after
studying for many years at Nalanda Mahavihara and other places in
India, received many teachings from Siddha Shantipa, Naropa,
Guhyagarbha and others, and translated them into Tibetan. a'Brog-Mi
also translated the scriptures of gSung-Ngag Lam-a'Bras (the teachings
of the Path and Result) which he received from Gayadhara and
transmitted them to his disciple a'Khon dKon-mCh'og rGyal-PO
(1034-1102). There were five famous scholars of this school known as
the Five Supremes (Gong-Ma rNamINga). They were: Sa-Ch'en Kun-
dGa'sNyingPo (1092-1158), bSod-Nams rTse-Mo (1142-1182), Grag
Pa rGyal-mTshan (1147-1216), Sakya Pandita Kun-dGa' rGyal-mTshan
(1181-1251) and a'Gro-mGon Ch'os-rGyal a'Phags-Pa (1235-1280)_
Some of the other great Sakya scholars were: Rong-sTon Shes-Bya
Kun-Rig (1367-?), Ngor-Ch'en Kun-dGa' bZang-Po (1382-1456), gYag-
Phrug Sangs-rGyas dPal (1348-?), and Go Rab-a'Byams-Pa bSod-Nams
Seng-Ge (1429-1489)_
Study - The main texts for study are those for the Sarma
Tradition_ The major texts for Sutra study are the Six Great Volumes
(Pod-Ch'en Drug)_ They are: Tshad-Ma RiggTer by Sakya Pandita and
Pramanavartika by Dharmakirti on logic, Vinayasutra by Gunaprabha,
Abhidharmakosha by Vasubandhu, Abhisamayalankara nama Prajna-
paramita of Asangha, Madhyamikavatara by Chandrakirti and the
general texts for sutra and tantra.
The special teachings of this school are: The Teaching of the Path
and Result and the Thirteen Golden Doctrines_ The Teaching of the
Path and Result (gSung-Ngag Lam-a'Bras) has both sutric and tantric
aspects for realizing the indivisibility of Samsara and Nirvana (a'Khor-
aDas dByer-Med). The Thirteen Golden Doctrines are: Three Doctrines
of mKa'-aPyod-Ma, Three Doctrines of dMar-Ch'en divinities, Three
Doctrines of dMarCh'ung divinities and the doctrines of Seng-gDong
sNgon-Mo, aJam-dPal Nag-Po, Ch'i-Med rDo-rJe Lha-Mo and Jambhala
dMar-Po_ Some of the Sakyapa literary works are:
1 The gSung-a'Bum (Collections of Works) of Gong-Ma rNam-
lNga (The Five Supreme Teachers) (15 Volumes)_
2 The Works of Ngor-Ch'en Kun-dGa' bZang-Po (1382-1456)
(4 Volumes)_
3 gSung-a'Bum of Go Rab-a'Byams bSodNams Seng-Ge (1429-
3 1489) (15 Volumes)_
4 a'Jam-dByangs mKhyen.brTse'i dBangPo (18201892) (10
(u) The Literature of the Gelugpa School
The eminent scholar rJe Tsong-Kha-Pa Blo-bZang Grags-Pa
(1357-1419) is the founder ofthe Gelugpa school. This lineage is in the
tradition of the bKa'-gDams-Pa school of Atisha Dipamkarasrijnana
(982-1054) of India. Je Tsong-Kha-Pa expounded and wrote renowned
texts and commentaries on Sutras, Shastras and Tantras, and founded
the dGa'lDan monastery in 1409. Some of the numerous scholars and
writers of this school are: mKhas-Grub dGe-Legs dPal-bZang
(1385-1438), rGyal-Tshab Dar-Ma Rin-Ch'en (1364-1432), the 1st Dalai
Lama dGe-a'Dun-Grub (1391-1474), who built the bKra-Shis Lhun-Po
monastery in 1447 A_D., a'Jam-dByangs Ch'os-rJe (1379- 1449) who
built the aBras-sPungs monastery in 1416, Byams-Ch' en Ch'os-r Je, who
built the Se-Ra monastery in 1419 and Ch'ab-mDo monastery in 1437,
Shes-Rab Seng-Ge, who built the rGyud-sMad Gra-Tshang (Lower
Tantric College) in 1440, Kun-dGa' Don-Grub who built the rGyud-sTod
. Gra-Tshang (Upper Tantric College) in 1474, Pan-Ch'en Ch'os-Kyi
rGyal-mTshan (1570-1662), rGyal-dBang bSod-Nams rGya-mTsho
(1617-1682), and a'Jam-dByang bZhad-Pa Ngag-dBang brTson-a'Grus
(1648-1721), who built bKra-Shis sGo-Mang monastery in 1710 A.D_
Study - The texts for study are the same as mentioned for Sarma_
Their main emphasis for study and practice are: the strict observance of
monastic discipline, the study of the texts through reasoning of logical
expression, adherance to the philosophical doctrine of Prasangika
Madhyamika, practice of Dharma in the system of "Three Stages of
Path", and accomplishing the Spontaneous Wisdom (IHan-sKyes-KYi
Ye-Shes) and Illusory-Body (sGyu-Lus) through the practice of two
stages (Rim-gNyis) of Guhyatantra, Cakrasamvara, Vajrabhairaha and
other Tantras. .
Some of the enormous literary works of Gelugpa scholars are:
1 The gSung-a'Bum of rJe Tsong-Kha-Pa (20 Volumes, 210
mKhas-Grub-dGe-Legs dPal-bZang (10
rGyal-Thab Dar-Ma Rin-Ch'en (8 Volumes)
a'Dul-a'Dzin Grags-Pa rGyal-mTshan (1374-?)
(2 Volumes).
Pan-Ch'en dGe-a'Dun Grub (5 Volumes)_
Pan-Ch'en bSod-Grags
rJe-bTsun Ch'os-Kyi rGyal-mTshan (1469-1546)
Pan-Ch'en Blo-bZang Ch'os-Kyi rGyal-
mTshan (5 Volumes).
rGyal-dSang lNga-Pa (30 Volumes)_
lChang-sKya rDo-rJe (1717-?) (5 Vols.)
a'Jam-dByangs bZhad-Pa(1648-1721) (15 Vols_}
Klong-rDol Bla-Ma (1719-1794)_ ..
(vi) The Literature of Some Other Minor Schools
1. Zhi-Byed-Pa - A great Siddha of India, Pha Dam-Pa
rGyas, visited Tibet five times (last time in 1098 A_D.) and taught the ..
Zhi-Byed (Pacifier of Suffering), the teachings of Transcendental.
Wisdom (Prajnaparamita). His tradition is known as Zhi-Byed-Pa. In this
tradition the most famous Yogini of Tibet, Ma-Chig Lab-Kyi sGron-Ma.
(1031-1129), taught the Prajnaparamita through practice of gChod
(terminating the defilements). There are many gChod texts of both
Kama and Terma traditions and they are practiced in both Kagyudpa
and Nyingmapa schools.
2. Jo.Nang-Pa - Kun-sPang Thugs-rJe brTson-a'Grus (1243-n
founded a monastery at a place called Jo-Nang and his tradition is:
known as the Jo-Nang-Pa. In this tradition both Kun-mKhyen DolSu
Shes-Rab rGyal-mTshan (1292-?), a great scholar (especially of
Kalacakratantra) and the well-known historian, Taranath, wrote many
famous literary works on various subjects.
3. Shang-Pa bKa'-brGyudPa - The Great Siddha, Khyung-PO
rNal-a'Byor (978-1079), received the teachings of Six Yogas of Nigu;
and Five Tantras from Nigu, Maitripa and Sukhasiddhi in India and
taught them in Tibet.
4. ZhvaLuPa - The celebrated Tibetan scholar SusTon
RinCh'en Grub (12901364) became a great master of Kalacakratantra
and 70 other doctrines. He edited and put into present form the Kajur
and Tenjur Collections. His tradition is known as SuLugs.
5. Bo-DongBa - SoDong PhyogsLas rNamrGyal (13751451)
who was a great scholar and writer founded this tradition. He wrote 132
volumes of texts and commentaries on various subjects.
Most of the minor schools functioned as distinctive schools when
their teachers were living, but at present many of them have merged
into one of the major schools or are a subschool of one of the major
~ h o o l s . Although they have not retained their identity as separate
schools. the works of their great scholars are still studied.
B) Religious Literature - According to Subject
The religious literature of Tibet can be divided into four categories:
Religion; History and Biography; Poetic composition and Yogic Songs;
and Music, Dance, Art and Architecture_ Religion comprises the main
body of the literature and the other categories are branches of it.
1. Religion
There are various ways of arranging this vast body of literature but
all of its works fall into three categories: the view, the practice and the
'conduct. .
Some of the texts on View (ITa-Ba Darshan) are:
1 Hinayana: Abhidharmakosha by Vasubandhu
2 Mahayana: Six Treatises on Madhya-
mika by Nagarjuna
3 Vajrayana: Man-Ngag ITa-a'Phreng by Padmasambhava
Some of the texts on Practice (bsGom-Pa) are:
1 Sutra: Bodhipathapradvipa by Dipamkarasrijnana
2 Tantra: sNgags-Rim Ch'en-Mo by rJe Tsong-Kha-Pa
Some of the texts on Conduct (sPyod-Pa) are:
1 Pratimoksa: Vinaya-sutra by Gunaprabha
2 Bodhisattva: Bodhicaryavatara by Shantideva
3 Tantra: sNgags-sDom from sDom-
gSum rNam-Nges by Dharmasri
2. History and Biography
The Ch'os-a'Byung (Religious History) works recount the major
events in the transmission of the teaching and the activities of the
teachers and their disciples_ Some of the major Ch'os-a'Byung texts are:
1 Ma-Ni bKa'-a'Bum by Grub-Thob Ngos-Grub
and Nyang (1124-1192)
2 Padma-bKa' -Thang and by O-rGyan Gling-Pa
O-rGyan bKa'-Thang (1450-?)
3 Thub-bsTan gSal-Bar Byed-Pa'iby Klong-Ch'en Rab-
Nyi-A'od Byams (1308-1363)
4 Ch'os-aByung Rin-Po-Ch'e'i
5 Sa-sKya'i gDung-Rabs
6 Padma rGyas-Pa'i Nyin-Byed
7 mKhas-Pa'i dGa' sTon
8 dGos-a'Dod Kun-a'Byung
9 Bai-Dur Ser-Po
by Bu-sTon (1290-1364)
by Kun-dGa' bSod-Nams
by Padma dKar-Po
(1527 -1592)
by gTshug-Lag a'Phreng-
Ba (1454-?)
by Taranatha (1575-?)
by Sangs-rGyas rGya-
mTsho (1653-1705)
10 a'Dzam-Gling Tha-Gru Khyab-
Pa'i rGyan
11 Lha-dBang gYul-Las rGyal-
Ba'i rNga-Bo-Ch'e
by a'Jigs-Med Gling-Pa
by a'Jigs-Bral Ye-Shes
rDo-rJe (1904- )
Some of the rNam-Thar (Biography) texts are:
Padma bKa'Thang - the biography of Padmasambhava, Bai-Ro'j
and biographies of Jo-Bo Atisha, Mar-Pa, Mi-La Ras-Pa, Sa:
sKya Pandit, Ch'os-rGyal a'Phag-Pa, Klong-Ch'en Rab-a'Byams, rJ
Tsong-Kha-Pa, rGyal-dBang INga-Pa and Ngos-Kyi Yul-Dang Ngos-Kyi
Mi-Mang of the 14th Dalai Lama_
3. Poetic Composition and Yogic Songs
There are two major aspects of Tibetan religious poetry: Poems
Ngag) and Yogic Songs (mGur).
The religious poems in the Tenjur are:
1 Bodhisattvavadana Kalpalata by Ksemendra
2 Buddhacarita by Asvaghosha '
3 Jatakamala by Aryasura
Some of the Tibetan works are:
The poetic literature written by Karmapa MisKyod rDo-rJe, Taran-
atha, dPa'Bo gTsug-Lag a'Phreng-Ba, rGyal-dBang INgaPa Ch'en-Po,'
sMin-Gling Lo-Ch'en, Gung-Thang sTan-gGron, I'nDo-mKhar-Ba, and
MiPham rNam-rGyal.
Some of the Yogic Songs are:
1 Doha-KosaGiti /
2 Dohas of other Mahasiddhas
3 mGur'aBum
4 bKa'-rGyud mGur-mTsho
5 mGur-a'Bum
6 mGur
7 mGur
by Saraha
from the Tenjur
of Mi-La-Ras-Pa
of Mi-sKyod rDo-rJe
of a'Brug-Pa Kun-Legs
of IChang-sKya Rol-Pa'i
of Lha-bTsun Nam-mKha'
4. Music, Dance, Art and Architecture
Music and Dance - In the Sutric Tradition, musical instruments,
(Rol-Mo or Rol-Ch'a) and vocal music (dByang), are used to accompany
religious ceremonies, but in the Tantra they are an important part of the:;
practice itself. Sacred dances are also performed in order to transform
oneself into the divinity and show this aspect to others. There are many:
texts on music (dByang-Yig) and dance (a'Ch'am-Yig) that contain
instructions for this aspect of religious practice. . .'
Art and Architcture - In the Vinaya and Tantric texts there is
body of literature which is comprised of manuals of instructions for the.
architecture of temples, monastic residences and stupas. There'is alsO'
an extensive literature that gives detailed instructions for the proper,
proportions and design of Mandalas, Cakras and Images.
Except for some texts in the Tenjur Collection, there is little
Tibetan literature that was not influenced by religious conceptions. The
Tenjur texts whose subject matter is predominantly secular are: 67
treatises (21 volumes) on logic; 28 treatises (2 volumes) on grammar; 7
treatises (5 volumes) on medicine; 18 treatises (VZ volume), on art; and
57 treatises (7V2 volumes) on other general subjects.
On the basis of subject matter, there are a number of other
important Tibetan literary works which are considered within the
secular literature. They are included under the following headings:
History; Grammar; PoeticComposition; Metrical Literature and
Lexicons; Logic; Astrology; Mathematics; Medicine; Geography and
Cosmology; Law; Political Writings; Music and Dance; Drama; and Arts
and Crafts.
A) History (rOyal Rabs)
In Tibetan literature there are two major aspects of history (Lo-rGyus):
Secular history (rGyal-Rabs) and Religious history (Ch'os-a'Byung)_ The
secular history mainly relates the events in the succession of kings and
other political and social happenings. There are works dealing with
both the older period of Tibetan history and works concerned with
more recent times.
Some major works of historical literature are:
1 bKa'Ch'en Ka-Khol-Ma Will of King Srong-bTsan
2 rBa-bZhed Zhabs-bTags-Ma by rBa gSaI-sNang and rBa
3 rBa-bZhed gTsang-Ma
4 Deb-Ther dMar-Po (1346) by Tshal-Pa Kun-dGa' rDo-rJe
5 rGyal-Po, Blon-Po and by O-rGyan Gling-Pa
bTsun-Mo bKa'-Thang (gTer-Ma) (1323-?)
6 Deb-Ther dMar-Po (gSar-Pa) by bSod-Nams Grags-Pa
7 Deb-Ther sNgon-Po by a'Gos-Lo gZhon-Nu dPal
8 Bod-Kyi rGyal-Rabs from by gTsug-Lag a'Phreng-Ba
mKhas-Pa'i dGa'sTon (1454-?)
9 Bod-Kyi rGyal-Rabs gSal-Ba'i by Sakya bSod-Nams rGyal
Me-Long mTshan (1312-1375)
10 Bod-Kyi Deb-Ther dPyid-Kyi by 5th Dalai Lama (1617-82)
rGyal-Mo'i Glu-dByangs
11 Deb-Ther rGya-Tsho
12 Deb-Ther dKar-Po
by Brag-dGon Zhabs-Drung
by dGe-a'Dun Ch'os-a'Phel
13 Bod-Kyi Srid-Don rGyed-Rabs by W.O. Shakab-Pa (1907- )
8) Grammar
Tibetan grammatical literature contains both texts and commen-
taries on Sanskrit grammar translated from Indian sources and gram-
matical texts for the Tibetan language itself. It was important for
scholars to know Sanskrit grammar because so much literature was
translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan and the Tibetan alphabet,
grammar, and literary forms were formed on the basis of Sanskrit
Some of the important Sanskrit grammar texts translated into
Tibetan are:
1 Panini-vyakarana Sutra
2 Candra-vyakarana Sutra
3 Kalapa-vyakarana Sutra
4 Sarasvata-vyakarana
by Panini
by Candragomi
by Saptavarma
by Anubhuti
In addition to the commentaries on Sanskrit grammars by India"
scholars which are in the Tenjur Collection, there are many
commentaries by Tibetan scholars. Commentaries on the Candra-
Vyakarana were written by Lo-Ch'en Thugs-rJe dPal, Zhva-Lu Ch'os-
sKyong bZang-Po and Situ Ch'os-a'Byung. dPang-Lo wrote a commen-
tary on the Kalapa and Taranath wrote one on the Sarasvata.
Some of the Tibetan grammar texts are:
1 Lung-StonPa SumChu-Pa by Thon-Mi Sambhota
2 rTags-Kyi a'Jug-Pa " "
3 sMa-Ba'i sGo mTshen-Ch'a'by Dran-Pa'i Ye-Shes
4 gNas-brGyad Ch'en-Po'i
rTsa-Ba by Khyi-a'Brug
The first two texts, Sum-Chu-Pa and rTags-a'Jug, are root gram-
mar texts for the Tibetan language. There are many works on these two
texts and some of them are:
1 Sum-rTags a'Grel-Ba
9 Sum-rTags a'Grel-
Ch'en mKhasPa'i
mGul rGyan Mu-Tig
by sNar-Thang Lo-Tsa-Ba ",1.'
by Zhva-Lu Lo-Tsa-Ba
bZang-Po (1441-?);
by Pan-Ch'en bSodNams
by Lo-Ch'en Nam-mKha' bZang-Po
by Q-Phrung-Pa Karma Rab-rGyas
by Zur-mKhar BloGros rGya-mTsho:
by dPa'-Bo gTsug-Lag a'Phreng-8a
by sBra-Ti dGe-bShes Rin-Ch'en
by Situ Ch'os-Kyi sNangBa
C) Poetic Composition, Metrical Literature
and Lexicons
1. Poetic Literature
There is vast poetic literature in the Tibetan language. There are
also a number of works that deal with the rules and system of ancient
Indian poetry. Especially important are the Kavyadarsha by Dandin and
the Maghduta by Kalidasa.
Some of the well-known Tibetan Commentaries on Kavyadarsha
are: the commentaries written by dPangLo, a'Jam-dByangs Kha-Ch'e,
Rin-sPung-Pa, dPa'-Bo, 5th Dalai Lama, Bod-mKhasPa, sMin-Gling Lo-
, Ch'en, KhamPa Ch'osKyi NyiMa, MiPham rNamrGyal and u-rGyan
KunbZang bsTan-a'Dzin.
Some of the great Tibetan poems are contained in the works of:
Sa-sKya Pandit, Kun-mKhyen KlongCh'enPa, rJeTsongKhaPa,
Karmapa MibsKyog rDo-rJe, 5th Dalai Lama, mDo-mKharPa and Kun
Khyen a'Jigs-Med GlingPa.
2. Metrical Literature
The major text for metre (sDeb-sByor) is the Chandaratnakara by
Ratnakarashantipada. Some of the important Tibetan works on metre
are the commentaries written by MibsKyod-rDorJe, sMin.Gling
Lo-Ch'en and a'GyurMed bsTan-a'Dzin.
3. Lexicons
The principle lexicon texts (mNgon-brJod) are: the bilingual
(Tibetan-Sanskrit) lexicon Bye-BragTu rTogsPar SyedPa by Tibetan
scholars; the Amarkosha (a'Ch'iMed mDzod) by Amarsimha and its
commentary, Kamadhenu (A'Dod-a'Joi Sa); Adhidhanamuktamala
(mNgon-brJod MuTigPhreng-Ba) by Aridharasena. The last three
works are translated from Sanskrit. The important Tibetan works are:
mNgonbrJod Tshig-Gi gTer by Sakya Pandita and Prajna (Shes-Rab) by
SasKya-Pa bsTana'Dzin rGyalmTshan.
4. Logic
There are a large number of texts on logic written by both Indian
and Tibetan logicians. The famous works of Buddhist logic such as
those of Dignaga and Dharmakirti were written in order to refute non-
Buddhist philosophies and to defend Buddhist teaching. The method of
argument was based upon logical reasoning rather than an appeal to
scripture or faith. Logic is classified as a common or secular subject by
Buddhist scholars, including Dignaga, and the works on this subject are
not regarded as religious scripture.
Some of the principal Indian works are:
1 Pramanasamuccaya by Dignaga
2 Pramanavartika Karika, etc.
the Seven Treatises by Dharmakirti
3 Tattva-samgraha Karika by Shantaraksita
Some of the main Tibetan works are:
1 Tshad-Ma bsDus-Pa Yid-Kyi by Phyva-Pa Ch'os-Seng
Mun-Sel (1109-?)
2 Tshad-Ma Rig-gTer by Sa-sKya Pandita
3 Tshad-Ma Rig-sNang by Bo-Dong Phyogs-Las
rNam-rGyal (1375/6-1451)
Some of the major commentaries on logical texts written by
Tibetan authors are the works of rGyal-Tshab-rJe, Rong-sTon, Go-Rab-
a'Byams Pa and Mi-Pham rNam-Gyal.
5. Astrology
The major text for Tibetan astrology is the Kalacakratantra (in the
Kajur Collection) and its famous commentaries. The Lalitavistara and
mKha'aGro rGya-mTsho Tantra in the Kajur also contail1 some
material on astrology. The calendar of Sixty-year cycles (Rab-Byung)
was introduced in Tibet in 1027 A.D. as a result of the introduction of
the Kalacakratantra. The eminent scholars, Bu-sTon (1290-1364) and
DolPo (1292-?) wrote many treatises on the Kalacakratantra. In later
centuries four main traditions of astrology developed:
(a) Phug-Lugs (tradition of Phug-Pa): This is the' tradition of those
who followed the astrological texts of Pad-dKar Zhal-Lung and the
supplementary texts written by Nor-bZang rGya-mTsho (1423-1513)
and Phug-Pa Lhun-Drub rGyamTsho. /
(b) mTshur-Lugs (the tradition of mTshur): The tradition of the
followers of the astrological literature written by mTshur-Phu Don-Grup
(c) Phug-Lugs Grub-rTsis: This is a later astrological tradition based
on the texts Bai-Dur dKar-Po by sDe-Srid SangsrGyas rGya-mTsho
(1653-1705) and the Nyin-Byed sNang-Ba by sMin-GlingLo-Ch'en.
(d) mTshur-Lugs Qrub-rTsis: This tradition is based on the text Nyer-
mKho Bum-bZang by Nges-Legs bsTan-a'Dzin.
Some of the other important texts written by Tibetan astrologers are:
1 rTsisKyi bsTan-Chos
mKhas-Pa dGa'-Byed
2 lNga-bDus LagLen and
3 Dusa'Khor a'Grel-Ch'en
4 rTsis-Kun bsDusPa
5 Pad-dKar Zhal-Lung
6 Dusa'Khor a'Grel-Ch'en
and others
by BusTon (1290-1364)
by DolBo (1292-?)
by mKhasGrub rJe (1385-
by Rang-Byung rDo-rJe
by Nor-bZang rGya-mTsho
by Mi-Pham rNam-rGyal
7 rTsis-gZhung Rig-lOan
by mKhyen-Rab Nor-Bu
6. Mathematics
As mathematics is an elementary and essential part of astrology
the traditional source of mathematics has been the commentaries on
the Kalachakratantra. The Abhidharmakosha and Lalitavastara also
contain some material on numerical systems.
But there are no modern texts of mathematics. It is important to
develop such texts in order for Tibetan speaking people to keep abreast
of educational developments.
7. Medicine
There were some Indian and a large number of Tibetan works in the
field of medicine. There are also some methods of medical treatment in
the Vinaya Sutras. The other major Indian medical texts translated into
Tibetan are the Astangahrdayasamhita by Mahavaidyavagohata and
the Yoga-sataka by Nagarjuna.
The greatest Tibetan physician was the later gYu-Thog Yon-Ton
mGon-Po who lived in the 12th century. (There was another great
Tibetan physician by the name of gYu-Thog who lived in the 8th
The main textual source for Tibetan medicine is the sMan-Gyi
rGyud-bZhi (the Four Tantras of Medicine). The Four Tantras are: rTsa-
gGyud; bShad-rGyud; Man-Ngag-rGyud; and rGyud-Phyi-Ma. The
authorship of the Four Tantras is disputed but they are generally
believed to be Canons translated by Bairocana from Sanskrit into
Tibetan and then concealed as Hidden Treasures at Samye monastery.
In the 11 th century, the great gTer-sTon, Grva-Ba mNgon-Shes-Chan
(1012-?) discovered and transmitted them to the later gYu-Thog Yon-
Tan mGonPo. He practiced and taught the Four Tantras and wrote
about 20 treatises on them and other aspects of medicine. The two
major traditions which developed from this lineage are (a) Byang-Pa
and (b) Zur.
(a) Byang-Pa: The tradition was founded by Byang-Pa Rig-lOan and his
followers who wrote many treatises on medicine.
(b) Zur: This tradition was established by the great physician Zur-mKhar
mNyam-NyidrDo-rJe who edited the Four Tantras. He and his followers
wrote extensively on medical subjects.
sDe-Srid Sangs-rGyas rGya-mTsho (1653-1705) wrote the famous
Bai-Dur sNgon-Po and other texts. He also founded a medical college at
Some of the other Tibetan medical texts are:
1 sMan-gZhung Ch'a'-Lag
2 Treatises on the Tantra
by gYu-Thog Yon-Tan Gon-Po
by Byang-Pa Rig-lOan
3 Bye-Ba Ring-bSrel
4 Mes-Po'i Zhal-Lung
5 gChes-bDus
6 bKa'rGya-Ma
7 Bai-Dur sNgon-Po and
by Zur-mNyam-Nyid rDo-rJe
by Zur-mKhar Blo-Gros-rGya-
mTsho (1508-?)
by Dar-Mo sMan-Ram-Pa
by sDe-Srid Sangs-rGyas
rGya-mTsho (1653-1705)
8. Geography and Cosmology
The traditional Tibetan geographical and cosmological texts are
contained within religious works. There is no separate literature for
them. The texts in which these subjects are discussed are: the
Kalacaktatantra (1st chapter); a'Jigs-rTen gZhag-Pa from the Kajur;
Abhidharmakosha by Vasubandu (3rd chapter); Yid-bZhin RinPoCh'e'i
mDzod by KunmKhyen KlongCh'en-Pa (1308-1363); and the various
commentaries on these works. ,
A later work on the geography of Tibet is the a'Jam-Gling rGyas-
bShad by bTsanPo Bla-Ma.
9. Law
The judicial and common law of Tibet was developed by King
Srong-bTsen sGam-Po in the 7th century. The judicial law was enlarged
under King PhagMo-GruPa. Until recently these were the only written
laws of the state. On March 10, 1963 H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama
promulgated a new constitution. /
The literature of the laws of the state are:
(a) Common Law -
1 Lha-Ch'osdGe-Ba bChu
(the 10 virtuous laws)
2 Mi-Ch'os gTsang-Ma bChu-
Drug (the 16 pure laws)
by King Srong-bTsan
sGam-Po (629-710)
(b) Judicial Law -
1 Khrims-Yig ZhalIChe bChu
gSum (the law text of 13
codes of judicial judge-
2 Krims-Yig ZhallChe bCho-
lNgaPa (the law text of 15
codes of judgements)
" "
by King Phag-Mo GruPa
(c) New Constitution -
1 The Constitution of Tibet Promulgated by the 14th
Dalai Lama
10. Political Writings
Some of the Indian works are:
1 Prajnasataka
by Nagarjuna
2 Nitisastraprajnadanda
3 Rajaparikatharatna,vali
(4th chapter)
4 Nitisastrajnaposanabindu
5 Aryakosa
6 Satagatha
7 Vimalaprasnottara
8 Canakya Rajanitishastra
9 Nitisastra
Some of the Tibetan works are:
1 LegsPar.bShadPa RinPo
Ch'ei gTer
2 LugsgNyisKyi bSlabBya
MuThuLi a'PhrengBa
3 rGyalPo LugsKyi bsTan
bChos Saglhi sKyongBa'i
by Nagarjuna
by "
by Ravigupta
by Vararuci
by Amoghavarma
by Canakya
by Masuraksa
by SasKya Pandit
by the 5th Dalai Lama
by MiPham rNamrGyal
11. Music
There are different traditions of Tibetan vocal (GludByangs) and
instrumental (RolCh'a) music. However, most of this music was orally
communicated from generation to generation. There is probably little
written literature on it. Now it is important that it be preserved in writing
and on records for the benefit of future generations.
12. Drama
Two dramatic works from the Tenjur are listed below as well as
some native Tibetan dramas. As with music and dance it is important to
translate this dramatic literature into contemporary dramatic forms and
to expand it with new works.
From the Tenjur:
1 Lokanandanataka
2 Nagananda.namanataka
Some Tibetan works are:
1 glugsKyi NyiMa
2 Dri-Med KunIDan
3 a'GroBa bZangMo
4 PadMa'i TshalGyi llosGar
by Candragomin
by Harsadeva
by dPalsPrul RinPoCh'e
13. Arts and Crafts
There are many craft traditions in Tibet such as drawing, painting,
writing, weaving, stitching, sculpture, metal work, carpentry and
Construction. There are some texts of instructions such as the bZo'iPa
Khra by MiPham rNamrGyal (18461912), but they are mostly taught
through oral and practical demonstration.
Tibetan literature is a vast accumulation of works written over thir-
teen centuries by authors who addressed themselves to an encyclo-
pedic range of subjects. While it is impossible to cover this entire body
of literature, I have tried to impart its general structure for English
speaking readers who are interested in expanding their knowledge of
Tibetan culture.
One of the three divisions of Buddhist canonical writings. It sets forth
the teachings of the Buddha according to logic and analysis.
ABSOLUTE TRUTH (Paramartha, Skt.) See Two Truths
A spiritual Master.
9ne who has subdued emotional defilement. The fourth and final
attainment of the Shravakyana.
"FoeSubduer" is the traditional Tibetan meaning for this term.
"Worthy One" is the common Theravadin meaning.
BHIKSHa (Skt.)
A fully ordained Buddhist monk who observes the the 254 rules of
Enlightened Mind; an attitude intentionally directed toward benefiting
all sentient beings.
BON (Tib.)
The native religion of Tibet before the advent of Buddhism.
A fully Enlightened Being.
Energy centers within the human body, the understanding and control
of which constitute an essential part of the esoteric path of Buddhism.
[n the esoteric teachings of Buddhism there are systems of three, four
and five chakras or more.
CHOD (Tib.)
Cutting off the ego. A special practice based on the Prajna-Paramita
texts. [t was taught by Pha Dam-Pa and then by MaChig Lap-Kyi Dron
Ma for cutting through attachment to phenomena.
Dharma King. This is also the name of the dynasty of the earliest rulers
of Tibet (2nd century B.C .. 10th century A.D.).
Buddhism, or the Buddhist scriptures, practices and attainments.
The Absloute Body of the Enlightened One. This aspect of the Buddha
is represented symbolically in the Nyingma Tradition as Samanta
Bhadra, the Primordial Buddha (Adibuddha) who resides in a condition
free from all elaboration.
The non-substantive nature of phenomena, realization of which is
synonomous with the realization of Shunyata (Skt., voidness) and is the
special realization of a Bodhisattva. By contrast, the Arhat realizes only
the non-substantive nature of the human personality (Pudgala-
Nairatmya, Skt.).
Spiritual forces which protect and preserve the Dharma.
DZOG-RIM (Tib.) (Sampanna Krama, Skt.)
The Completion Stage. A method of Tantrik meditation in which one
visualizes the energy channels (rTsa, Tib.), energy flow (rlung, Tib.) and
energy-essence (Thig-le, Tib.) within the human body.
Also a method of spiritual attainment by means of meditation on the
Tsa, lung and Thigle which dissolves all phenomena into the
meditative state.
A group of famous Indian Buddhist masters of meditation traditionally
noted for their esoteric attainments.
The certainties of teachers, disciple, teachings, time and place.
1) The truth of suffering
2) The truth of the origin of suffering
3) The truth of cessation of suffering
4) The truth of the path to the cessation o{'suffering.
The Four Truths cover the whole of the Buddhist teachings. The Four
Noble Truths were the first teaching which the lord Buddha delivered
in his sermon given at Deer Park near Varanasi.
1) Sambharamarga - path of accumulation
2) Prayogamarga - path of application
3) Darshanamarga - path of insight
. 4) Bhavanamarga - path of meditation.
These are the stages of the practice through which a Buddhist
practitioner attains the goal of Buddhahood.
1) Stream-Enterer
2) Once Returner
3) Never-Returner
4) Arhat
These stages refer to the four degrees of spiritual maturation accord-
ing to the Hinayana tradition: (1) Having merely entered the "stream" of
the Buddhist teachings, (2) Having progressed to the point that one will
only be reborn in Samsara one more time (3) Never having to be reborn
in Samsara, and (4) Having achieved a final victory over the defiling
forces Kleshas, Skt.) of Samsaric existence.
G(JR(J (SIct.)
Source of spiritual guidance and teaching. (See Lama)
HIM Y ANA (Skt.)
The Lesser Path, so-called because, in contrast to the Greater Path
(Mahayana, Skt.), it does not stress the cultivation of an Enlightened
Mind (Bodhic:itta, Skt.). Nowadays the followers of this path are known
as Thervadins (The Elders).
'Meditation whose purpose is the progressive realization of the
essentially empty nature of all phenomena.
KAJ(JR (Tib.)
It is the collection of canonical writings of the Buddha translated into
Tibetan. It was collected together by Bu-Ton (1290-1364) in 108
KARMA (Skt.)
The process of cause and effect. The inexorable fact of retribution:
That every action of body, speech or mind has a definite result
though perhaps delayed and subtle. Contemplation of this truth is
conducive to spiritual maturation.
KAR(JNA (Skt.)
Strong compassion toward sentient beings, perceiving their suffering
along with the ardent wish that they can be free from suffering.
Emotional defilements.
The Developing Stage of meditative practices which involve the
visualization and contemplation of Enlightened Awareness in the form
of deities for the ultimate purpose of realizing the essential purity of all
LAM-DRE (Tib.)
The highest esoteric teachings of the Sakya school, traditionally
associated with the Mahasiddha Virupa.
LAMA (Ttb.)
The highest one, a spiritual master or teacher.
L(JNG (rLung, Tib.)
The subtle energy flow within the energy channels (Tsa) of the human
body. The understanding and control of this flow constitutes part of the
training in esoteric Buddhist teachings.
The Middle Way. One of the major Buddhist philosophical schools
whose primary tenets were composed by Nagarjuna and
Through its methods all philosophical views are shown to be vacuOUS,
thereby helping to establish the central notion of this school - that all
phenomena are inherently void (Shunyata).
The highest and main esoteric practices of the Kagyudpa school of
Tibetan Buddhism.
The Great Cessation or Transcendence of Sorrow, Also refers to the
physical death of Shakyamuni Buddha.
The Greater Vehicle, because it stresses the great importance of
cultivating an Enlightened Mind (Bodhicitta). Along with others, the
Tibetan Buddhists are followers of the Mahayana.
The strong wish that all sentient beings have happiness and loving-
kindness. This is one of the Four lmmeasurables (Apramada, Skt.); so,
called because there is no limit to the benefits of cultivating this
An assemblage of many things. In Tantrik Buddhism this often refers to
the circular assemblage of deities, their retinues, and the pure land in
which they dwell. .
MANTRAS (Skt.); sNgags (fib.)
Sacred syllables which express the essential nature of deities. These are
used as a medium to receive esoteric transmission and powers.
Esoteric teachings. This term refers especially to the mystic syllables in
esoteric practice.
Illusory Body. Through certain esoteric practices the meditator comes
to see all phenomena as the Mandalas of the Tantrik deities, which
appear like an illusory body.
MILK OCEAN (Dhanakosa, Skt.)
The milkywhite lake from which Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava)
was miraculously born.
An ancient and great seat of Buddhist learning in Northern India, in the
state of Bihara. Nagarjuna was one of its many famous scholars. Naropa
was one of its abbots. Both exoteric and esoteric studies were taught
The formbody of Enlightened Mind which is visible to ordinary people.
See Tulku.
Mind free from conceptualization. Through Tantrik practice one
achieves a wisdom which has the qualities of uninterrupted bl iss, clarity
and nothought.
The six perfections:
1) Dana - generousity
2) ShiJa - moral conduct
3) Kshanti - patience
4) Vuya - perseverence
5) Samadhi - meditation
6) Prcyna - wisdom
These perfections are practiced by Bodhisattvas for the benefit of all
sentient beings.
Discriminating Insight. This term includes three kinds of wisdom:
1) The wisdom of hearing
2) The wisdom of pondering
3) The wisdom of meditation.
This last is the wisdom which has the insight that all phenomena have
the absolute nature of Shunyata.
A school of Madhyamika doctrine expounded by Buddhapalita and
Candrakirti which uses the philosophical techniques of forcing the
advocates of opposing views to the absurd limits implied by their
Vows regarding conduct conducive to spiritual maturation, of which
there are eight types:
1) Precepts kept on lunar observance days (Upavashatha)
2) Precepts for laymen (Upasaka)
3) Precepts for laywomen (Upasika)
4) Precepts for novice monks (Shramanera)
5) Precepts for novice nuns (Shramanerika)
6) Training precepts for women probationers (Shikshamana)
7) For monks (Bhikshu)
8) For nuns (Bhikshuni)
Interdependent Arising. The fact that no facet of experience is isolated,
singular, self-sufficient, or due to a single causal factor. Everything
arises due to and owes its existence to a multitude of interdependently
working factors.
The realizations of the stage of Arhat, that the human personality is
non-substantive and empty in nature.
The naturally resplendent lands in which completely Enlightened
Buddhas continuously teach for the benefit of all sentient beings. There
are two kinds of pure lands:
Manifested Pure Lands
Pure Lands with Five Certainties.
RELATIVE TRUTH (SamvritiSatya, Skt.) See Two Truths.
The ritualized practice of contemplation using the Mandalas of Tantrik
The Primordial Buddha (Adibuddha). The Dharmakaya from which the
DzogChen teachings emanate.
The Enjoyment Body or Spiritual Rapture Body of
Awareness which appears with Five Certainties and is iconographically
represented by the Five Buddha Families. This is the pure form body of
the Buddhas.
The community of like minded people who adhere to the teachings of
Lord Buddha.
The major northern Indian literary language which gradually became
the medium of expression for both Buddhist and Hindu philosophers up
until the 12th century when Moslems conquered India. Most of the
original Buddhist scriptures now preserved in Tibetan texts were
translated from Sanskrit.
SARMA (Tib.)
The "new" as opposed to the "old" (Nyingma) translations of Buddhist
T antras from Sanskrit sources. The distinction arose at the time of Rin
Chen ZangPo (9581005 A.D.) and applies only to Tantrik scriptures.
Listeners. Pious listeners to Buddha's teachings, who follow the
doctrine of Hinayana Buddhism.
The vehicle or practice of the Shravakayana, or Listeners.
According to Mahayana doctrine, all phenomenal existence is
inherently free from conceptualization in its true nature and is therefore
empty or void of conceptual meaning.
Accomplished One. An esoteric practitioner who has achieved a high
level of mystic accomplishment.
The accomplishments and powers achieved through esoteric practices.
Cyclic existence. A general term for the recurrent patterns of suffering,
traditionally grouped into the six realms or Iifestyles:
1) gods
2) demigods
3) humans
4) hungary spirits
5) animals
" 6) hell.beings.
Means employed to skillfully respond to any situation so as to help both
oneself and other sentient beings by alleviating suffering and
enhancing their growth toward complete Enlightenment. Such means
can only be effective when employed in conjunction with
Discriminating Insight (P'c;yna, Skt.).
Discourses spoken by the Lord Buddha; one of the three collections
(Tripitakas) of the Buddha's canonical teachings. See also Tripitaka.
Esoteric scriptures which are discourses on swift paths to
Enlightenment. They include the Earlier Translated or Old Tantras and
the Later Translated or New Tantras. See also Sarma.
The Esoteric Vehicle. See Mantrayana.
Thusness. An epithet for the natural, unfabricated and unchanging
nature of ultimate, unconditional Reality which is inherently free from
all concepts.
The collected canonical commentaries on the writings of the Buddha.
These were translated into Tibetan from Indian sources by Indian and
Tibetan scholars.
Dharma Treasure Discover. Those special individuals who have been
empowered and prophesized by Padmasambhava to discover and
decode secret skillful teachings hidden by him for the benefit of future
literally, "The Followers of the Elders." The dominant form of
Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma and Laos. It belongs in the .
category of Hinayana or Southern Buddhism.
THIGLE (Tib.) .. ....>"':!":
Essence Drops. Subtle spiritual energy which moves
body, the understanding and control of which constitutes part of one's
training in esoteric Buddhist practices and specifically in the
attainment of Great Bliss.
The 37 Wings of Enlightenment:
1) 4 Smnyupasthana - 4 Foundations of Mind{ulness
2) 4 Samyakprahana - 4 Efforts
3) 4 Rddhipada - 4 Types of Powers
4) 5 Indriya - 5 Faculties or Controlling Powers
5) 5 Bala - 5 Forces
6) 7 Bodhyanga - 7 Elements of Enlightenment
7) Arya - Ashtangamara - Eightfold Noble Path.
These are the 37 essential aspects of the Buddhist path of practice. The
first 12 are for the practice of the Path of Accumulation, the next 10 are
for the Path of Application, the next 7 are for the Path of Insight and the
final 8 are for the Path of Meditation.
In the Dzog-Chen tradition, the teachings are communicated in three
1) Mind Transmission: Direct mind to mind transmission among the
2) Indication Transmission: Transmission by signs among highly
realized beings (Vidyadharas).
3) Hearing Transmission: Verbal transmission from master to disciple.
Meditation whose purpose is the quieting and progressive focusing of
the mind. It is necessary to practice this before attempting Insight
Three Baskets. The three collections of the Buddha's canonical
1) Sutra - CoUected Discourses
2) Vinaya - Collected Instructions on Proper Behavior
3) Abhidharma - CoUected Analyses of the Import of the Sutras.
TSA WU-MA (rib.)
The central energy channel in the human body. To lead the rLung into
this central channel is one way of perfection of esoteric practice.
Achieving this, one attains a high realization.
TULKU (Tib.)
Due to the all-pervasive skill and compassion of the Buddha's teachings
innumerable "manifestations" of Enlightened Awareness continually
occur in myriad forms - as bridges, works of art and in human form.
All serve to aid beings in easing their suffering and stimulating their
quest for full Enlightenment.
In Tibet, Tulku is a title given to rebirths of highly accomplished
TCIM-MO (Tib.)
HeatYoga. Psychic Heat. One of the Six Yogas taught by the great
Naropa and others as a means to generate the Great Bliss, the ultimate
goal of Tantrik practice.
Buddhiust teachings recognize the necessity of comprehending reality
(satya) from two viewpoints - the Absolute and the Relative. These are
sometimes known as the Two Truths:
1) Absolute Truth (Paramartha, Skt.) - Reality apprehended from the
absolute or ultimate viewpoint, which comprehends the voidness
(Shunyata) of all phenomena.
2) Relative Truth (Samvrtisatya, Skt.) - Reality apprehended from
the relative viewpoint, which comprehends that all phenomena are
dependently co-arisen (Pratityasamupada, Skt.).
Diamond Sow. A sow-headed goddess, especially invoked to subdue
A Sambhogakaya form of Enlightened Mind_ In the Sarmapa or New
Tantras of Tibet, Vajradhara is the most important figure and is the
source of the esoteric teachings.
A Sambhogakaya Buddha taken as an object of meditation especially
for the purification of defilements.
The Adamantine Vehicle. The highest of the Three Vehicles or levels of
practice in Buddhism. See also, Mantrayana.
VINA Y A (Skt.)
A collection of Lord Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings on proper moral
conduct. See also, Tripitaka.
This is the visualized form of the deities in Tantrik meditative practice.
See Wisdom Divinity.
Immortal, or enlightened goddesses.
This is the actual deity which the meditator invites to come and
dissolves into the visualized form of the deity in Tantrik meditative
practices. See Visualized Divinity.
A gem which fulfills or grants one's wishes. This symbolizes
Enlightened Mind which is like a wishingjewel, because it
Y ANA (Skt.) f .
Vehicle or Way. A coherent and consistent way 0 prac.l"; .. ; ... t.f.,;;,,.
Buddha's teachings. Buddhism has been classified into 4, 6 or 9 Yanas
according to different traditions. In the most popular sense, Buddhism
is known nowadays in three categories of progressively faster paths of
attainment: Hinayana, Mahayana and Tantrayana (or Vajrayana).
The Mahayana is divided, according to Tibetan tradition, into the Yana
of Cause (Hetuyana, Slct.) and Yana of Result (Phalayana, Slct.). The
former is associated with the vehicle of perfection (Paramitayana)
because the perfections act as stimuli or causes leading to spiritual
fulfillment. The latter, the result vehicle, is the body of Tantrik
teachings (Mantrayana). Both of these are aspects of the Mahayana,
hence their foundation is the cultivation of an Enlightened Mind
YOGA (Skt.)
Spiritual exercises or practices.
Literary writings on mysticism. A category of esoteric teachings of
Baron, p.27
Nalentra, p. 34
Chabdo, p.39
Chang TaNa, p.28
DenSaThiI, p.27
DrePung, p.41
Deur ChoDe, p. 34
Dodrup Ch'en, p. 23
DoJe-TraglrDo-rJe Brag, p. 23
Druk, p. 29
Drukung, p. 27
DzogpCh'enlrDzogsCh'en, p. 23
Dzong-Sar Tra-Shi Lha-Tse, p. 34
GaDenldGa'-/Dan, p.37-39, 59
dGon-Lung, p. 40
Gung-Thang, p. 27
Gyud Med Tra- Tshang, p. 39
Gyud-Tod Tra-Tshang, p. 39
Institute of Ttbetology, p. 1 7
Karma Lha-Ding, p. 26
Ka- Thog, p. 23
KhorDong, p. 23
Ku-Bum/sKu-a'Bum, p. 39
Kho Yel-Phong, p. 28
Lhurn-Drub- Teng, p. 34
LongBol, p. 29
Min- Trol LinglsMin-Gral G/ing, p. 23
Na-Phur, p. 29
Ngor . Warm Choden, p. 34
NyenYod, p. 34
Nye.phu Shug-Seb, p. 28
Pal-PungldPal-sPung, p.27, 55
dPal YuI, p. 23
Ra-Lung, p. 29
Ri- Wo Ge-Gye Ling, p. 40
Riwoche, p. 28
Rong Wo Nyin Gon, p. 23
Rong- Wo Srib-Gon, p. 23
Samye, p. 9 10, 2223
SeRa, p. 39
Senge-Ri, p. 29
Shar-DorJe Dang, p. 28
Taglung, p. 28
TaNag Thub-Ten LinglTaNag, p. 34
Tar-Thang, p. 23
ThroPhu, p. 28
Tra-Shi Lhun-Po, p. 39
Tshur-Phu, p. 26, 55
Tsug-Lag Khang, p. 22
TungKar, p. 23
YazanglYa-Zang, p. 28
Wu-Ri, p. 29
Zhang-Zhong, p. 25
ZheCh'en, p. 23
Abhidharma, p. 11, 13, 1 7, 41, 52,
Chakrasambhara Tantra, p. 25, 41,57
DagPo'i Thar Gyen (Omament of
Liberation), p. 25
Drang-Ngey LegShed Nyng'Po,
Dzod-Nga (The Five Treasures of
Kontrul), p. 27
Gong,Chig, p. 27
GuhyasaT7li'!ia Tantra, p. 25, 41, 57
Haivajra Tantra, p. 25, 41, 57
Kalachakra Tantra, p. 41, 57
KaMa (bKa.Ma), p. 13, 53-54
Lam- Tso Nam-Sum (Three Principal
Aspects of the Path), p. 42
Mahamaya Tantra, p. 25, 57
Ma'1iushrimuia Tantra, p. 57
ManNgag ITa-Ba'i a'Phreng-Ba
(Garland of Teachings on the View)
p. 10, 17,63
Nyaya Texts, p. 41
Nying-Ma Gyud-BumlrNying.Ma
rGyud-a 'Bum, p. 17, 53
Prajnaparamita, p. 41
p. 13, 17,49,52,57
Terma, p. 10, 13, 15-17
Rin-Chen Ter Dzod, p. 17, 55
Vajrabhairava Tantra, p. 41, 57
Vajrayogini Tantra, p. 41
Vinaya Tests, p. 41 , "
Zhung-Chen Chu-Sum" p;.5{j.
Asangha, p. 41
Atisha, p. 37, 41
Auadhutipa, p_ 35
Bairochana, p_ 11, 17
Balrupa,p_ 33, 35
Ba-Ra- Wa Gyal-Tshen Pal-Zang,
Cham-Chen Cho-Je, p. 37,39
Chandrakirti, p_ 41-42
Chang-Chub Gyal-Tshen, p. 27
Chang-Kya incarnations, p. 40
IChang-sKya Rol-Ba'i rDo-rJe,
p. 60
Chil-Kar-Pa, p. 30
Chogro Lu'i Gyaltsen, p. 11
Cho-Kyi Senge, p_ 28
Ch'os Kyi Blo-Gros (Marpa Cho-Kyi
Lodro), p. 25, 31
Cho-Je Don-Drub Rin-Chen, p. 37
Dag-Po Lha-Je, p_ 26
DoI-PoIDol-Po Shey-Rab Gyal-Tshen
P. 44-45, 68
Damaupa, p. 35
Danashila, p. 11
Dar-Ma Wang-Chug, p. 27
Dalai Lama (Current), p. 38
Dalai Lama, Pan-Chen Ge-Dun Trub,
(First), p. 37
Dalai Lama (Third), p. 39
Dalai Lama (Fifth), p. 40
Dalai Lamas, p. 39
Dharmakirti, p. 11, 41
Dignaga, p. 41
Dodrup Chen Rinpoche, Second
Dodrup Chen Rinpoche, Third, p. 17
Don- Yod Cho-Kyi Gya-Tsho, p_ 40
Dro-mGon Cho-Gyal Phag-Pa, p. 33
Drog-Mi Ye-Shey, p. 25, 33, 35
Druk-Nyon Kum-Leg, p. 29
Duqjom Lingpa, p. 23
Duqjom Rinpoche, p. 22
Dul-Dzin Trag-Pa Gyal-Tshen, p. 37
Du-Sum Khyen-PaIDus-gSum-mKyen-
Dzong-Pa, p. 33
Ga-Den Thri-Pa. p. 33
Gampopa, p. 25-28, 32
Gay Gayadhara, p. 35
God- Tshang-Pa, p. 30
God-Tshang-Pa Gon-Po Dor-Je, p. 29
Gong-Ma Nam-Nga (rNam-//'{ga) _
The Fiue Supremes, p. 58-59
Gong-Thang Ten-Pa'i Dron-Me, p. 40
Go Rab-Jam-Pa Sod-Nam Senge,
p. 34
Gotan, p. 33
Grags-Pa rGyaI-mTshan, p_ 59
Grva-Ba m 'Ngon-Shes-ChanITra- Wa
Ngen-Shey-Chen, p. 69
Gunaprabha, p. 41
Gung-Thang La-Thog, p. 10
Guru/Guru Padmasambhava/Guru
Rinpoche, p. 4, 7-8, 10-11, 13-
15, 22-23, 53-54
Gyal-Tshab Dar-Ma Rin-ChenIGyal-
Tshab-Je, p. 37-38, 60
Gyud-Chen Shey-Rab Senge, p. 37
Han Nanda, p. 33
Jam-Yang Cho-Je, p. 37, 39
Je- Tsun Dam-Pa, First, p. 40
Jinamitra, p. 11
Ka-Dam-Pa De-Sheg, p. 23
Kal-Den Ye-Shey Sen-Gye, p. 27
Kamalashila, p. 11
Karmapa Du-Sum Khyen-Pa, p. 26
Karmapa Pakshi (Second), p. 26
Karrnapa Rang-Chung Dor-Je (Third)
Kawa Paltseg, p. 11
mKha' aura Ye-Shes mTsho-rGyal/
Ye-Shey Tsho-Gyal, p. 9, 15
Khar-Chu-Pa, p. 30
Khe-Drub Ge-Leg Pal-ZangIKhe-Drub-
Je, p. 37-38,60
Khenpo ZhengalgZhan-Phan Ch'os-
Kyi sNang-Ba, p. 17, 56
Khon Kon-Chog Gyal-Po, p. 33, 58
Khyung-Po Lhe-Pa, p. 37
Khyung-Po Nal-Jor, p. 25
Kong- Tul Yon- Ten Gya- Tsho, p. 17,
Kublai Khan, p. 33
Kun-Den Re-Pa, p. 28
Kun-GaDon-Trub, p. 39
Kun-Ga Gyal-Tshen (Sakya Pandila)
p. 33
Kun-mKhyen Dol-Bu Shes-Rab rGyal
mTshan, p. 60
Kun-Khyen Go Rab-Jam-Pa Sod-Nam
Senge, p. 34, 59
Kun-Khyen Long-Ch'en Rab Jam,
p. 15, 17,54,56, 70
Kyer GomPa, p. 27
Kyura Rinpoche, p. 27
Lob-Zang Cho-Kyi Gyal-Tshen (Fl.1'St
Panchen Lama), p. 39, 60
Lang Darma, p. 11, 24
Lhatul Rinpoche, p. 23
Lho-Trag-Pa Nam-Kha Gyal-Tshen,
Ling-Re-Pa/Ling-Re Pema DOlje,
Ling Rinpoche, p. 38
Lob-Zang Ten-Pa'i Gyal Tshen (First
Jetsun Dampa), p. 40
Lo-Ch'en Rin-Ch'en bZang-Po, p. 5,
LoRe-Pa Dar-Ma Wang-Chug, p. 29
Mahapandita Vimilarriitra, p. 4, 11,
Maitrinatha, p. 41
Maitripa, p. 25, 31-32
Manjushri, p. 11
Mar-Pa Lo- Tsa-Ba/MarPa Cho-Kyi
Lo-Dro, p. 25, 31-32
Marpa, p. 31, 58
Marpa Rinchen Lodro, p_ 28
Med She-Rabs Zang-Po, p. 37
Mey-Ton Tshon-Po, p. 25
Mi-Kyod Dor-Je (Eighth Karmapa)
p. 26, 58, 64
Milarepa, p. 24-26, 32
Mi-Pham RinpochelMi-Pham Nam-
p. 17, 56, 67-68, 71
Muthri Tsenpo, Prince, p. 10
Nagaryuna, p. 35, 42, 63
Na-Phu-Pa, p. 27
Naropa, p. 25
Ne-Nang Pa-WolgTsug-Lag a'Phreng-
Ba, p. 27,63
Ne-Pug Pa, p. 30
Ngag- Wang Nam-Gyal, p. 29
Ngag-Ton Cho-Ku DorJe, p. 25
Ngor-Chen Kun-Ga Zang-Pa, p.34
Ngor-Pa, p. 33
Nyathri Tsenpo, King, p. 3
Padma Karpo, p. 29, 58, 63
Padma Rig a'DzinIDzog-Chen
Rinpoche, p. 23
PacimasambhalJa, see Guru
Pag-Sam Wang-Po, p. 29
Pal-T ul Rinpoche, p. 17
Pan-Chen Ge-Dun Trub (First Dalai
Lama), p. 37
Panchen Lama (First), p. 39
Panchen Lama (Present), p. 39
Panchen Lamas, seat, p. 39
Pandita Shakyashri, p. 28
Pen-Chen Ge-Dun Trub (Fl.1'St Darat
Lama), p. 39
Phagmo TrupalPhag-Mo Trupa
Dor-Je Gyal-Po, p. 27-29
Pha Dam-Pa Sang-rGyas, p. 60
Phag-Pa, p. 33
Pod Khe-Pa, p. 29
Puroa-Krisna, p. 35
Pu-Ton (Bu-sTon), p. 37, 63, 68
Rab-a 'Byam a 'Gyur-Med Kun bZang
rNam rGyal, p. 23
Rahulagupta, p. 25
Ral-Pa Chen, King, p. 4, 11
Rang-Chung Dor-Je (Third Karmapa)
Re-Chung-Pa, p. 25-26
Re-Da-Wa Zhan-Nu Co-Dro, p. 37
Rig-a-Dzin Kun-bZang Shes-Rab,
Rig-Pa'i Dor-Je (Sixteenth Karmapa)
Rin-Ch'en Phun Tshogs, p. 27-28
Rin-Ch'en bZang-Po, p. 5, 51, 57
Rin-Po-Ch'e Gyal-Tsha, p. 28
Rol-Pa'i Dor-Je (Third Karmapa),
Rong-Ton, p. 33
Rong-Zom Cho-Kyi Zang-Po, p. 17
Sa-Chen Kum-Ga Nying-Po, p. 33,
Sa-Kya Gong-Ma Nam-Nga (Five
Supreme Ones of the Sakyas)
p. 33
Sakya PanditalKun-Ga Gyal-Tshan,
p. 33, 59, 68, 71
Sang-Gyal Won Trag-Pal, p. 28
Sang-Gye Dor-Je, p. 29
Shantagarbha, p. 11
Shantaraksita, p. 4, 8, 11, 13, 22.
Shantipa Siddha, p. 58
Shey-Rab Senge, p. 39
Situ bsTan-Pa'i Nyin-Byed, p. 58
Smrtijnana, p. 51
bSodNams rTse-MoISod-Nam
TseMo, p. 33, 58
Sod-Nam Gya-Tsho (Third Dalai
Lama), p. 39
Srong- Tsen Gam-Po, King, p. 4
Sukhasiddha, p. 25
Surendrabodhi, p_ 11
Tag-Lung ThangPa, p. 27-28
Taranath Incamation, p. 40, 63
Ter.Chen Gyur-Med
Gling gTer.Chen, p_ 23,.55
Tho-Kwan, incamations, p. 42
Thri Rinpoche Kun-Ga Thin-Le
Wang-Gyal, p. 34
Thri-Song Deutsen, King" p. 4, 8,
Throphu Lotsawa, p. 28
Tog-Den Da-Seng, p. 30
Trag-Pa Gyal-Tshen/Trak-pa, p. 33
Tag-Lung Thang-Pa TraShi, p. 28
Tsang-Nyon, p. 29
Tsang-Pa Gya-Re, p. 27-29
Tsong-Kha-Pa/Lob-bZang Grags-Pa,
p. ~ 3 ~ 3 ~ 41, 59, 60
Tshal-Chen Lo-Sal Gya-Tsho, p. 34
Tshur-Ton Wang-Ngo, p. 25
Vqjradhara, p. 31
Vasubandhu, p. 41, 56
Vimilamitra, p. 4, 7, 11, 13-14, 17
Vishuddhasiddha, p. 11
Won-Gom Tshul- Thrim Nying-Po,
Wu-Nyon, p. 29
Ya-Zang-Pa, p. 28
gYag-Phrug Sangs Gyas dPal, p. 59
Yang-Gon-Pa, p. 30
Ye-Phug-Pa, p. 27
Ye-Shes Senge, p. 28
Yeshe Tshogyal, p. 28
Yel- Wa Ye-Shey, p. 28
Yag- Trug, p. 33
gYu-Thog-Yon Tan mGon-Po, p. 69
Zha-Mar-Pa, p. 27, 58
ZhangDar-Ma Trag, p. 27
Zhang Yeshey De, p. 11
Abhidharma,p_ 11, 13, 17,41,52,
Abhyantarvarga, p. 15, 21, 53
Absolute Truth (Parmartha), p. 20, 32
Anu Yoga, p. 21, 53
Arhathood, p. 19
Ali-Yoga, p. 5, 7, 11, 14,21,53
Atthakatha, p. 49
Awareness (Dharmata), p. 21
Bardo, p. 31
Bhikshus, p. 5, 11, 37
Bodhicitta, p. 19
Bodhi-pakshi (the 37 Wings of
Enlightenment), p. 19
Bodhisattayana, p. 19
Buddha Nature, p. 32
Bya-rGyud (Kriya- Yoga), p. 19
Byang-Pa Rig-lOan, p. 6, 9
Byang-Sems (Bodhi Mind), p. 58
Cakrasamvara Tantra, p. 60
Chakras, p. 21
ChandaU, see also Tum-mo, p. 32
Charya Yoga, p. 20
Chinese (Language), p. 49
Chittavarga (Sems-sDe), p. 21
gChod, p. 60
Clarity- Wisdom of the Basis, p. 35
Dam Tshig-Pa, p. 20
Deathless Attainment, p. 8
bDe-Ba, dSal-Ba & Mi rTog-Pa (Bliss,
Clarity & No Thought), p. 21
Dharmakaya, p. 19, 21
Dharmapalas, p. 10
Dharmata, p. 19, 21
Dog-Pa Practices, p. 35
rDzogs-Pa Ch'erz-Po/Dzogpa
Chenpo/Dzog Chen, p. 5, 11,
Dzog-Rim (Perfection Stage), p. 21,
Earlier Spread of the Doctrine, p. 11,
Four Kinds of Bliss, p. 32
Four Truths, p. 19
Four Stages of Results, p. 19
GrolLam (Path of Liberation), p. 21
Gyu/u (Maya Body), p. 31
lHan-sKyes-Kyi Ye-Shes (Spontane-
ous Wisdom), p. 60
Hinayana, p. 19
Hetu-Laksana- Yanas (Yanas of
Cause), p. 19
Insight Meditations, p. 19
Interdependent Arising, p. 41
bKyed-Rim (Development Stage)
p. 41
Klong-sDe, p. 15, 21, 53
Lam-Dre/gSung-Ngag Lam-a 'Bras
(Path and Result), p. 33, 35,
Lam-Rin Ch'en Mo (Stages of the
Path), p. 37, 41
Land of Dakinis, p. 9
Lung (rLung)/air, p. 21, 3132
Maha Yoga, p. 21, 53
Mahamaya, p. 25
Mahamudra, p. 25,2728,3132
Mahamudra Vidyadhara, p. 8
Mahaparinirvana, p. 19
Mahasandhi Yoga (Ati Yoga)lrDzogs
Pa Ch'enPo, p. 5, 7, II, 14,
Mahayana, p. 3, 19
Mandalas, p. 20
MeNgag sDe, p. 15, 21, 53
Milam (Dream Yoga), p. 31
Nang.rGyud sDedSum (Three Inner
Tantras), p. 20
Naro Chodruk (Six Yogas of Naropa)
New Ones (Sarma or Sarmapa)
p. 24, 56
New Tantras, p. 33, 37, 41
Ngag.Rim ChenPo (Stages of the
Paths of Tantras), p. 37
Nine Yanas, p. 19, 53
Nonduality, p. 2021
Odsal (Radiant Clarity), p. 31
One Hundred Great Tertons, p. 17
Paramitas, p. 19
Path and Result (Lam Dre), p. 33,
Path of Liberation, p. 21
Path of Skillful Means, p. 21
Perfections of Transcendental
Wisdom, p. 41
PhalaVajrayanas (Yanas of Results)
P. 19
Phowala'PhoBa), p, 31, 58
a'Pho.Ba Groga'Jug (practice),
Phyi.rGyud sDedSum (Three Outer
Tantras), p. 20
Phyag.rGya Ch'en.Po (Mahamudra)
p. 25, 2728, 3132
Prajnaparamita, p. 13, 17 41,
4344, 5152, 56, 5960
Prasangika Madhyamika, p. 37,41
Pratimoksa Vows, p. 19
Pratityasamutpada (Interdependent
Arising), p. 19
Prateka.Buddhayana, p. 19
Preliminary Practice, p. 41
Pudgala.Niratma (the selflessness of
persons), p. 19
pure Land, p. 21
Pure State, p. 31
sPyod.mGyud ((Jpaya Yoga), p. 20
Radiant Clarity, p. 31
Raksha's Land, p. 5, 10
Red Hat, p. 27
Relative Truth (SamvritiSatya),
RimNyi (Two Stages), p. 41
SadMi Mi.bDun, p. 11
Sambhogakaya,p, 41
Sangha of Tantriks, p. 11
SarMalSarmapa, p. 24, 33, 56
SemssDe, p. 15,21,53
Seven Men of Trail, p. 11
Shravakayana (Vehicle of Listeners)
Six Perfections, p. 19
Six Yogas of Naropa, p. 31
Stages of the Paths (LamRim Ch 'en-
Mo), p. 37, 41
Stages of the Path of Tantra (Ngag-
Rim ChenMo), p. 37
Supreme Attainment, p. 6
Supreme Enlightenment, p. 19
Tathata, p. 20 .
Terma, p. 10, 13, 1517
Tertons, p. 10, 1517
Thirty.Seven Wings of Enlightenment
p. 19
ThabsLam (Path of Skillful Means)
Three Great Mandalas, p. 21
Three Inner Tantras, p. 1920
Three Outer Tantras, p. 1920
Tranquillity Meditation, p. 19
Trikulavajradhara State, p. 18, 20
nTsa, rLung, ThigLe (Veins, Energy,
Semen), p. 21, 31
TummolgTumMo, p. 3132, 58
Two Truths, p. 20, 32
(Jpadeshavarga (Man-Ngag sDe), p-
Upaya Yoga, p. 20
Vajradhara, p. 20
Vidyadhara, p. 6
Vinaya, p_ 17, 41
Yanas of Cause, p. 19
Yanas of Result, p. 19
Ye-Shes-Pa (Wisdom Divinty), p. 20
Yoga Tantra, p. 20
WuMa, p. 32
Barom Kagyud, p. 2627
ByanggTer Traditions, p. 23
DvagsPo bKabGyudPa, p. 25
Drikung Kagyud, p. 27
Drukpa Kagyud, p. 2829
GyalTshab lineage, p. 27

Kagyudpa, p. 4, 25
Kamtshang Kagyud, p. 26
Karma Kagyud, p. 26
Karmapa lineage, p. 26
Khan Clan, p. 33
Martshang Kagyud, p. 28
Med Drukpa Kagyud, p. 29
Middle Drukpa Kagyucl, p. 28
NeNang PaWo lineage, p. 27
New Kadampa School, p. 37
NgorPa (sub school of Sakyapa)
p. 34
Nyingmapa, p. 3, 910, 21
Phagtru Kagyud, p. 2627
Sakyapa, p. 4, 23
Shakyashri lineage, p. 37
ShangPa bKa'brGyud, p. 25
Shugseb Kagyud, p. 28
Situ lineage, p. 27
Taglung Kagyud, p. 28
TodDruk, p. 29
Throphu Kagyud, p. 28
TsharPa (sub school of Sakyapa)
p. 34
Yamzang Kagyud, p. 28
Yepa Kagyud, p. 28