Part VII: Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and the ‘Union of All Innermost Essences’, from the ‘Pure Visions’ of the 5th Dalai Lama

The seventh installation about the Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo transmissions is on the ‘Union of All Innermost Essences ‘ empowerment from the pure visions of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, given on the 13th day of the event (22 January 2020), photos of which can be seen here.

HE Schechen Rabjam Rinpoche preparing for the Union of All Innermost Essences’ empowerment at Siliguri monastery, India, January 2020.


Bearing the Seal of Secrecy/Sangwa Gyachen

Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, the Great Fifth Dalai Lama

The empowerment given was for the Tukdrup Yang Nying Kundü,  “the Mind Sadhana: Union of All Innermost Essences” (ཐུགས་སྒྲུབ་ཡང་སྙིང་ཀུན་འདུས་, thugs sgrub yang snying kun ‘dus) of Padmasambhava’s Eight Manifestations. It comes from a “pure vision”(དག་སྣང་, dag snang) terma of the 5th Dalai Lama, contained in his Sangwa Gyachen (གསང་བ་རྒྱ་ཅན་, gsang ba rgya can). Both the sadhana and its related empowerment texts were arranged by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.

The Sangwa Gyachen (in English: ‘Bearing the Seal of Secrecy’), visionary teachings of the 5th Dalai Lama, are composed of twenty-five sections dealing with distinct visions, including the Union of All Innermost Essences. Pure vision or visionary revelations are teachings received by masters directly from deities or gurus, in experiences or in dreams. More specifically, in the Nyingma tradition, pure vision teachings are one of the three main transmissions (babs so), as well as one of the seven authoritative transmissions (bka’ babs bdun) received by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa.

According to sources, the 5th Dalai Lama had a very strong interest and connection to the Nyingma lineage:

He received the transmissions for the Nyingma Kama from Zurchen Choying Rangdrol and was known as a dedicated practitioner of the Northern Treasures revealed by Rigdzin Godem. While in retreat on the Dynamic Energy of Vajra Wrath, the secret mind sadhana of the Northern Treasures, the Fifth Dalai Lama experienced a series of pure visions. With the help of His scribe and secretary Gelong Jamyang Drakpa, He recorded these as the Pure Visions Sealed with Secrecy.

To the enduring benefit of the Nyingma teachings, the Great Fifth forged a relationship with Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje. Gyurme Dorje, then only eleven years old, received his first monastic vows from the Great Fifth and went on to become the great terton, or revealer of hidden treasures, known as Terdak Lingpa. Terdak Lingpa regarded the Great Fifth as one of his two main teachers while the Great Fifth in turn received many empowerments and transmissions from Terdak Lingpa. In 1676, with patronage from the Great Fifth, Terdak Lingpa founded Orgyen Mindroling Monastery. From that time up to the present, Mindroling has performed rituals for the wellbeing of the Tibetan government under the Dalai Lama.

The Union of All Innermost Essences

Orgyen Dorje Chang and consort, Yeshe Tshogyel

The empowerment and sadhana text of the Union of All Innermost Essences is found in the Collected Works of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (see the Catalogue below for other pure vision Sangwa Gyachen works he arranged):

There is an English translation of the sadhana text (entitled ‘Clouds of Offerings to Delight the Lotus-Born’) by the Padmakara Translation Group which can be bought here. Sadly, it does not give any public details about the translators and who they got the transmission and empowerment from (an essential piece of information before purchase!). (UPDATE: someone who reads this website told me that ”in the preface it states that it was translated and published for the visit and consequent empowerment of it by HH Dalai Lama in Nantes in 2008. No names given, but I would assume it was someone from that sangha in France in 2008.”)

The empowerment of this sadhana is reported to have been given by the 14th Dalai Lama to the Rigpa Sangha on the following occasions:

  • Paris, 7th October 1982
  • San Jose, California, 1989
  •  23rd September 2000

The 14th Dalai Lama is reported to have said that both the 5th and 13th Dalai Lamas had a powerful connection to Guru Rinpoche.

Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche

The sadhana and empowerment refer to the Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche (gu ru mtshan brgyad), which are the eight principal forms assumed by Guru Rinpoche at different points in his life:

  • Guru Tsokyé Dorje, ‘Lake-born Vajra’ (birth)
  • Guru Shakya Sengé, ‘Lion of the Shakyas’ (ordination) (gu ru shAkya seng ge)
  • Guru Nyima Özer, ‘Rays of the Sun’ (subjugating demonic spirits)
  • Guru Padmasambhava, ‘Lotus-born’ (establishing Buddhism in Tibet); Guru Pema Jungné (gu ru pad+ma ‘byung gnas)
  • Guru Loden Choksé ‘Wise Seeker of the Sublime’ (mastery of the teachings)
  • Guru Pema Gyalpo ‘The Lotus King’ (kingship)
  • Guru Sengé Dradrok ‘The Lion’s Roar’ (subjugation of non-buddhists)
  • Guru Dorje Drolö ‘Wild Wrathful Vajra’ (concealing terma, binding spirits under oath)

They are called in Tibetan Guru Tsen Gyé, the eight ‘names’ of the Guru; each manifestation demonstrates a different principle that unveils the innermost nature of mind. As Guru Rinpoche said: “Mind itself is Padmasambhava; there is no practice or meditation apart from that.”

In his praise of the eight manifestations entitled A Garland of Youthful Utpalas (ut+pal gzhon nu’i do shal), Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo lists the eight as:

  • Guru Tsokyé Dorje
  • Guru Loden Choksé
  • Guru Pema Gyalpo
  • Guru Shakya Sengé
  • Guru Nyima Özer
  • Guru Sengé Dradrok
  • Guru Dorje Drolö
  • Guru Padmakara

In the empowerment of The Union of All Innermost Essences, Guru Rinpoche and his Eight Manifestations appear as:

  • the master Padma Thötreng,
  • the vidyadhara Padmajungné,
  • the bhikshu Padmasambhava,
  • the scholar Loden Choksé,
  • the majestic and overpowering Padma Gyalpo,
  • the yogin Nyima Özer,
  • the bhagavan Shakya Sengé,
  • the great wrathful Senge Dradok and
  • the crazy Dorje Drolö.

Various images of all eight forms of Guru Rinpoche can be viewed here.

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo catalogue:  Sangwa Gyachen texts

For the geeks among you (like me), who are interested in the other texts Khyentse Wangpo arranged from the 5th Dalai Lama’s Sangwa Gyachen, I have made a small catalogue below of those published in the Gangtok edition of Khyentse Wangpo’s Collected Works (TBRC W21807, mkhyen brtse’i dbang po; gsung ‘bum/_mkhyen brtse’i dbang po/; W21807, 23 ff. (pp. 271-315). gonpo tseten, gangtok. 1977-1980):

White Tara

  • rgya can sgrol dkar sgrub thabs dbang chog bcas pa ‘chi med zla snang/23 ff. (pp. 271-315)
  • rgya can sgrol dkar brgyud ‘debs/ 1 f. (pp. 169-170).

Jigten Wangchug

  • rgya can ‘jig rten dbang phyug rgyun khyer/ 3 ff. (pp. 195-199).
  • rgya can ‘jig rten dbang phyug brgyud ‘debs/1 f. (p. 169).
  • rgya can ‘jig rten dbang phyug dbang chog ‘phags mchog dgyes pa’i ‘jug ngog/22 ff. (pp. 201-243).
  • rgya can ‘jigs rten dbang phyug gi phrin las ‘phags mchog dgyes pa’i mchod sprin/12 ff. (pp. 171-193).


  • rgya can tshe dpag rgyun khyer ‘chi med snying po/ 3 ff. (pp. 25-29).
  • rgya can tshe dpag bsnyen yig bdud rtsi’i snying po/3 ff. (pp. 83-87).
  • rgya can tshe dpag byin ‘bebs/2 ff. (pp. 31-34).
  • rgya can tshe dpag dbang grangs gsog/2 ff. (pp. 63-65).
  • rgya can tshe dpag dbang chog/ 14 ff. (pp. 35-61).
  • rgya can tshe dpag sbyin sreg ‘chi med snang ster/ 14 ff. (pp. 67-81).
  • rgya can tshe dpag med dwang ma bcud ‘dren gyi brgyud ‘debs/ 1 f. (p. 3).
  • tshe dpag me dwang ma bcud ‘dren gyi phrin las khrigs su bsdebs pa ‘chi med ‘dod ‘jo/ 11 ff. (pp. 3-23).

Long-Life deities                                            

  • tshe lha rigs lnga ‘chi med mchog sbyin gyi sgrub thabs dbang chog bcas/18 ff. (pp. 89-123).
  • rgya can tshe lha rigs lnga bsnyen yig/ 5 ff. (pp. 125-133).
  • nye brgyud tshe khrid sgrub thabs dbang chog bcas/17 ff. (pp. 135-167).

Four deities

  • gnyen po lha bzhi’i sgrub thabs dbang bskur bcas pa grub gnyis dpal/24 ff. (pp. 317-364).
  • rgya can gnyen po lha bzhi’i sgrub/3 ff. (pp. 365-370).
  • gnyen po lha bzhi’i don dbang/ 4 ff. (pp. 371-377).

Eight Manifestations

  • thugs sgrub las byang pad+ma dgyes pa’i mchod sprin/ 7 ff. (pp. 487-499).
  • dbang chog pad+ma dgyes pa’i ‘jug ngogs/ thugs sgrub/9 ff. (pp. 501-517).

Yeshe Tshogyel

  • mtsho rgyal las byang bde chen char ‘bebs/12 ff. (pp. 519-541).

Mind in Comfort and Ease

  • sems nyid ngal bso’i sgrub phrin snying rje’i zla snang/12 ff. (pp. 245-267).


Further Reading

Samten Karmay, Secret Visions of the Fifth Dalai Lama, Serindia, 1998.


2 thoughts on “Part VII: Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and the ‘Union of All Innermost Essences’, from the ‘Pure Visions’ of the 5th Dalai Lama

  1. Tashi Delek Adele,
    I do have a copy of Clouds of Offerings to Delight the Lotus Born from Padmakara. I was present in 1989 when HH Dalai Lama conferred this in 1989 in San Jose, and many years later I finally found out it was available and ordered it from Padmakara. In the preface it states that it was translated and published for the visit and consequent empowerment of HHDL in Nantes in 2008. No names given, but I would assume it was someone from that sangha in France in 2008. Hope that answers your question (sort of.)

    1. Thanks for the information Kelly 😁 That’s good to know. Will update the post with that info soon. Generally speaking, a basic academic standard for translations should state the translator, whom they got the transmission and instruction from etc. otherwise it’s a bit like taking an empowerment from a lama whom you don’t know whom they got it from etc.

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