ཀ་དག་ཆོས་སྐུ་པདྨ་ཚེ་དཔག་མེད། །
Pristine dharmakāya, Padma Amitāyus,
ལོངས་སྤྱོད་རྫོགས་སྐུ་པདྨ་ཀུན་ཏུ་འཆང་། །
Perfect saṃbhogakāya, All-Holding Padma,
སྤྲུལ་པའི་སྐུ་དངོས་མཚོ་སྐྱེས་རྡོ་རྗེ་ལ། །
Manifest nirmāṇakāya, Lake-Born Vajra,
གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་བདག་བརྒྱུད་བྱིན་གྱིས་རློབས། །
Please bless my mind, I pray!“
–Excerpt from ‘A Concise Lineage Prayer’ by Dudjom Rinpoche

Today am happy to offer the first published translation of the 3-volume outline of the ‘Record of Received Transmissions’ (Thob-Yig) of one of the twentieth-century’s greatest Tibetan Buddhist masters, Nyingma teacher and treasure-revealer, Dudjom [Yeshe Dorje] Rinpoche (1904-1987) It is taken from the Kalimpong edition of his Collected Works[ii].  Dudjom Rinpoche was appointed as the first supreme head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, by the 14th Dalai Lama and of the Central Tibetan Administration in the early 1960s, in India[iii]. Dudjom Rinpoche is revered as a realized master, and as a Great Terton and holder of all the teachings of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as that of the Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug schools. Dudjom Rinpoche was also a prolific author, his work, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History, is considered as an authority of the teaching.

I was delighted to be recently asked to help with some work connected to Dudjom Rinpoche and while doing that, discovered that this Record had not been translated or analysed. So, I decided to translate and publish it, not only as a support to that work but also for general public use.  Previously, I translated and published the ‘Record of Transmissions’ for the 16th Karmapa, Rigpe Dorje who was a close Dharma friend and contemporary of Dudjom Rinpoche (a very rare film of them in 1980 both together can be watched here).

Although I don’t currently have any strong personal connection with Dudjom Rinpoche in this life (although I personally had a brief provate audience with one of his yangsi in Bodh Gaya in 2007, and always chant Dudjom Rinpoche’s concise Lion-Faced Dakini sadhana daily!) I always felt profoundly moved on seeing his photo that I have used as the feature image here.  I also wrote a piece about the Chime Sogtig practice and the 15th Karmapa, of which Dudjom Rinpoche is also a lineage-holder.

I may expand on this research further and also do a translation of the 25-volume outline of Dudjom Rinpoche’s Collected Works. However, for now, here is the Outline of the Record of Transmissions below (and can be downloaded here Dudjom Rinpoche’s Received Works Thob-yig as a .pdf). First, I will give a brief overview/analysis of it.

‘Excellent Lamp of Precious Jewels’: Record of Received Transmissions
Dudjom [Yeshe Dorje] Rinpoche (1904-1987)

There are fifty-nine specific transmissions in the three volumes, which are beautifully illustrated (see image below of the first volume’s first pages), and read like a who’s who of the Nyingma Treasure tradition. Almost every major Terton (Treasure-Revealer)’s work was transmitted to Dudjom Rinpoche. He also received transmissions from the Kagyu tradition, such as Jamgon Kongtrul’s  Treasuries – Rinchen Terdzo and Kagyu Ngag Dzod, which are in the first volume. In fact, it is said that Dudjom Rinpoche bestowed the Rinchen Terdzo an amazing thirteen times in one lifetime[iv]. He also received the other Treasuries of Jamgon Kongtrul (Treasury of Knowledge and Treasury of Extensive Instructions. I have provided endnotes regarding the text names and people, (often sourced from Rigpawiki). Please let me know if there are any errors or omissions.

First pages of the Dudjom Rinpoche’s ‘Record of Received Transmissions’ (Thob-yig)


May this new research and translation be of benefit and may the legacy and works of Dudjom Rinpoche flourish and prosper! Music? You Got the Silver by Rolling Stones: ‘you got the silver, you got the gold, you got the diamonds from the mine’.

Translated and compiled by Adele Tomlin, 9th December 2021. 


Dudjom Rinpoche’s ‘Record of Received Transmissions’ (Thob-yig)

from his Collected Works


Excellent Lamp of Precious Jewels: Record of teachings received (zab pa dang rgya che ba’i dam pa chos kyi thob yig rin chen sgron me’i glegs bam dang po/ (oM) – page 5- 552) .

  1. Lineage of obtaining the refuge vows and the branches of knowledge (bshad bya’i yan lag skor dang skyabs ‘gro’i sdom pa thob pa’i brgyud pa/ page 5- 20).
  2. Teachings on the Early Translations (snga ‘gyur bka’ ma’i thob yig/ dus gsum gyi rgyal ba thams cad kyi dgongs pa’i gsang mdzod snga ‘gyur bka’ ma’i chos skor rnams rang skal du ji ltar nos pa’i tshul/ page 21-152).
  3. Essential Drop of the Oral Instructions on Dzogchen (Dzogpa Chenpo Nyingtig) (rdzogs pa chen po’i man ngag snying thig gi thob yig/ theg pa rim dgu’i rtse rgyal ‘od gsal rdzogs pa chen po’i man ngag snying thig zab mo’i skor rnams ji ltar thob pa’i tshul/ page 153 -188).
  4. The Treasury of Ngam-ngag Rinpoche (gngams ngag rin po che’i mdzod la thos bsam ji ltar byas pa’i tshul/ page 189 -256).
  5. Ripening, liberating and stabilizing of ‘Treasury of Kagyu Mantras’ [Kagyu Ngag Dzod] (bka’ brgyud sngags mdzod kyi smin grol rgyab brten dang bcas pa ji ltar nod pa’i tshul/ page 257 -282).
  6. Profound commentary on the Two Signs Root Tantra: The Two Segments; Condensed version of Hevajra Tantra (rtsa brgyud brtag pa gnyis pa’i bshad bka’ zab mo’i thob yig/ page 283 -288).
  7. Teaching on Avalokiteshvara [Mani Kabum] bestowed by King Songtsen Gampo, mainly the Drubthob Ngodrub (ma Ni bka’ ‘bum du grags ba’i skor gtso bor grub thob dngos grub dang / zhal gdams dang gab pa mngon phyung gi skor sogs nyang dang ston pa shA ka bzang gi gter ma sogs phyogs gcig tu bsgrigs pa’i chos skor gyi thob yig/ page 289 -300).
  8. Nectar of the Ripening and Liberation of the Great Treasury of the Gathered Essential Heart of the Main Dharma of the Close/Direct Lineage Profound Treasures (nye brgyud zab mo gter gyi chos sde gtso che ba rnams snying po’i bcud du dril ba rin che na gter gyi mdzod chen po’i smin grol gyi bdud rtsi rang skal du ji ltar nos pa’i tshul/ page 301 -470).
  9. Great Treasury of Precious Instructions [Rinchen Terdzo Chenmo]: the complete ‘extraordinary’ teachings, activities, sadhanas, empowerments and divisions (rin chen gter gyi mdzod chen mo’i nang tshan dbang dang sgrub phrin man ngag las tshogs thun mong ma yin pa’i bka’ rgya can zur du bkol ba rnams tshang bar thob pa’i tshul/ page 471-484).
  10. The Four Tantras: Eight Branches of the Essential Nectar, Secret Instructions of Tantras[v] (rgyud bzhi’i thob yig/ bdud rtsi’i snying po yan lag brgyad pa gsang ba man ngag gi rgyud kyi thob yig/ page 485 -490).
  11. Nyang[vi] Ter [Treasure of Nyang] Eight Great Teachings [Ka-gye][vii]: the Complete transmissions and empowerments (nyang gter bka’ brgyad bde bshegs ‘dus pa’i dbang lung yongs rdzogs kyi thob yig/ page 491 -542).
  12. Nyang Ter of Troma [the Wrathful Female][viii] (nyang gter khros ma’i thob yig/ page 543 -550).
  13. Great Mind and Kila [Phurba] of Guru Chowang[ix] (gu ru chos dbang gi phur pa dang thugs chen skor thob yig/ page 551 -558).


zab pa dang rgya che ba’i dam pa chos kyi thob yig rin chen sgron me’i glegs bam gnyis pa/ (aH)

  1. Nanam Dorje Dudjom’s[10] Manifestation: RIgdzin Gokyi Dem Truchen’s[11] Treasure (sna nam rdo rje bdud ‘joms kyi rnam ‘phrul rig ‘dzin rgod kyi ldem ‘phru can gyi gter chos skor ji ltar thob pa/  page 7 -58).
  2. Great Dharma Teachings of the ‘Gathering of the Guru’s Intention’ (Lama Gongpa Dupa)[12] (bla ma dgongs pa ‘dus pa’i chos sde chen po ji ltar nos pa’i tshul/ page 59 -86).
  3. Emanation of Langdro Lotsawa[13]; the Great Terton, Ratna Lingpa’s Dharma Treasures (lang gro lo tsA ba’i rnam ‘phrul gter chen rat+na gling pa’i gter chos rnams ji ltar thob pa/ page 87 -132).
  4. Vidyadhara Great Terton, Pema Lingpa[14]’s Profound Dharma  (rig ‘dzin gter chen pad+ma gling pa’i zab chos skor ji ltar thob tshul/  page 133 -178).
  5. Profound Dharma of the ‘self-liberated mind of the peaceful and wrathful ones’ (Zhi Tro Gongpa Rang drol) [15](zab chos zhi khro dgongs pa rang grol gyi skor thob pa’i tshul/ page 179 -188).
  6. Incarnate Gya Zhangtrom[16]’s Treasure ‘Black Manjushri, Master of Life’ (Jamphel Tsedag Nagpo)[17]’s  (sprul sku rgya zhang khrom gter ‘jam dpal tshe bdag nag po’i yang zhun yang zlog me’i spu gri phung po’i thob yig / page 189 -196).
  7. Tulku Ogyen Lingpa[18]’s Treasure: Chronicle of Pema (Padma Kathang)[19] (sprul sku o rgyan gling pa’i gter ma pad+ma bka’ thang gi thob yig/ page 197 -200).
  8. Vidyadhara Jatson Nyingpo[20]’s Dharma Treasure (rig ‘dzin ‘ja’ tshon snying po’i gter chos skor gyi thog yig/ page 201 -218).
  9. Lhatsun Dharma Treasure (lha btsun gter chos skor/ khrag ‘thung nam mkha’ ‘jigs med rtsal gyi zab mo dag sngang gi chos sde thob pa’i tshul/ – Other Title. page 219 -238).
  10. Tragthung Dudul Nuden Dorje[21] Tsel’s Profound Dharma (khrag ‘thung bdud ‘dul nus ldan rdo rje rtsal gyi zab gter chos skor rnams ji ltar nos pa’i tshul/ bdud ‘dul gter chos skor/  page 239 -280).
  11. The Victorious Powerful One, Great Fifth Dalai Lama’s ‘Pure Vision Terma’ (Dagnang Gyachen)[22] (rgyal ba’i dbang po lnga pa chen po’i dag snang rgya can nyer lnga’i thob yig/ page 281 – 284).
  12. Terdag Lingpa[23]’s Dharma Treasure (rig ‘dzin gter bdag gling pa’i gter chos skor gyi thob yig/ smin gling gter chos skor gyi tho yig – Other Title / page 285 -316).
  13. Collected Works of Dharma King, Terdag Lingpa, Pema Garwang Gyurme Dorje Tsel (chos rgyal gter bdag gling pa’am pad+ma gar dbang ‘gyur med rdo rje rtsal gyi bka’ ‘bum ji ltar thob pa’i tshul/ smin gling gter chen gyi bka’ ‘bum ji ltar thob pa’i tshul/ – Other Title page 317 -328).
  14. Choje Lingpa Dzamling Dewai Dorje’s Dharma Treasure: The Bindu of the Mind of Vajrakilaya[24] (chos rje gling pa ‘dzam gling bde ba’i rdo rje’i gter chos rdo rje phur pa thugs kyi thig le’i skor/ page 329 -332).
  15. Terchen Gampopa, Ogyen Drodul Lingpa Dorje[25]’s ‘Great Wrathful Secret Master’ (gter chen sgam po pa o rgyan ‘gro ‘dul gling pa rdo rje rgyal po rtsal gyi gter chos gsang bdag drag po chen po’i skor gyi thob yig/ page 333 -334).
  16. Wangdrag Dudul Rolpa’s Mind Bindu of the Immortal Long-Life Accomplishment (dbang drag bdud ‘dul rol pa rtsal lam gzhan yang kun bzang ‘od zer gyi gter chos tshe sgrub ‘chi med thugs thig gi skor gyi thob yig/ page 335 -338).
  17. Gyen Dorje Thogme[26]’s Treasure of (rgyan rdo rje thogs med kyi gter chos tshe sgrub ‘od kyi drwa ba’i zab chos bdun pa sbas yul sgo ‘byed yid bzhin ‘od ‘phro’i skor gyi thob yig/ page 339 -350).
  18. Profound Treasure of Gyen Dorje Drag Ngag[27] (rgyan rdo rje drag sngags rtsal gyi zab gter las/ zhi khro’i dang phur pa yang gsang thugs thig skor gyi tho yig/ page 351 -354).
  19. Vidyadhara Jigme Lingpa[28]’s Mind-Treasure (Gongter): Dzogpa chenpo Longchen Nyingtig (rig ‘dzin ‘jigs med gling pa’i dgongs gter rdzogs pa chen po klong chen snying thig gi thob yig/ page 355 -366).
  20.  Collected Works of Jigme Lingpa (‘jigs gling bka’ ‘bum gyi thog yig/ ‘jigs med gling pa’i bka’ ‘bum gyi thog yig – Other Title. page 367 -388).
  21. Jigme Lingpa’s tantra tradition of Kila (phurba) (‘jigs gling phur pa rgyud lugs skor gyi thob yig/ ‘jigs med gling pa’i rdo rje phur pa rgyud lugs skor gyi thog yig/ page 389 -392).
  22. Thragthung Dudjog Lingpa’s Profound Treasure (khrag ‘thung bdud ‘jogs gling pa’i zab gter gyi thob yig/ page 393 – 460).
  23. Drubwang Pema Dudul’s[29] Profound Treasure Self-Liberation Pervading Space [Khakyab Rangdrol][30] (grub dbang pad+ma bdud ‘dul gyi zab gter mkha’ khyab rang grol gyi thob yig/ page 461 -466).
  24. The Emanation of Great Terton, Kusum Lingpa’s or Rangrig Dorje’s Profound Mind-Treasure: Secret Practice of Vajrasattva, Shaken to the Depths (sprul pa’i gter ston chen po sku gsum gling pa’am rang rig rdo rje’i zab mo dgongs gter rdo rje sems dpa’ gsang sgrub dong sprugs skor gyi thob yig/ page 467 -470).
  25. Gyen Chogyur Dechen Lingpa’s Dharma Treasure: Guru Mind Accomplishment of ‘Eliminating All Obstacles’ (Barche Kunsel) (rgyan mchog gyur bde chen gling pa’i gter chos gu ru’i thugs sgrub bar chad kun sel gyi skor thob pa’i tshul/ page 471 -484).
  26. Wisdom Dakini, Kunzang Chonyi Dekyong Wangpo’s[31] Profound Secret Treasure of Blissful Vajra of Great Bliss (ye shes kyi mkha’ ‘gro ma kun bzang chos nyid bde skyong dbang po’am bde chen bde ba’i rdo rje rtsal gyi zab gter gsang ba skor gnyis kyi smin grol rgyab rten dang bcas pa ji ltar thob pa’i tshul/ page 485 -504).
  27. Great Terton, Jedrung Trinley Jampa[32]’s Origin of Secret Name of Dudjom Namkhai Dorje’s renowned profound Dharma: three roots long-life,  ‘Secret Drop of the Lotus’ (Pema Sangtig)[33] (gter chen rje drung phrin las byams pa’i ‘byung gnas sam gsang ba’i mtshan du bdud ‘joms nam mkha’i rdo rjer grags pa’i zab chos rtsa gsum tshe sgrub pad+ma gsang thig gi skor ji ltar thob pa’i tshul/ page 505 –  508).
  28. Great Terton, Zilnon Namkhai Dorje ‘s Profound Dharma (gter chen zil gnon nam mkha’i rdo rje’i zab chos skor gyi thob yig/ page 509 -516).
  29. Essential Mind-Drop of the Dakinis (Khandro Thugtig)[34]: Mind Treasure (Gongter) of Lingter Pema Zhepa Tsel (gling gter pad+ma bzhad pa rtsal gyi dgongs gter pad+ma mkha’ ‘gro’i thugs thig gi skor thob tshul/ page 517 -518).
  30. Lineage of the transmissions and instructions on ‘Entering the Bodhisattva Conduct’ [Chod Jug] (byang chub sems dpa’i spyod pa la ‘jug pa’i khrid lung gi brgyud pa/ page 519 -520).
  31. Lineage of Transmission and Explanation of ‘The Names of Mañjuśrī’ (Jamphel Tsenjo)’s Explanations of Lobpon Vimala’s Activities[35] (slob dpon bi ma las mdzad pa’i ‘jam dpal mtshan brjod kyi ‘grel pa’i bshad lung gi brgyud pa/ page 521 -522).
  32. Lineage of the ‘Beautiful Garland of  Pearls’, Adornment of the Experts: Explanation of ‘Thirty and Signs’ Grammar (sum rtags[36] kyi ‘grel pa mkhas pa’i mgul rgyan mu tig phreng mdzes kyi brgyud pa/ page 523 -524).
  33. Fine and detailed explanation of the ‘Mirror of Poetics’ (Nyenngag Melong)[37] (snyan ngag me long ma’i bshad pa zhib par nos pa’i brgyud pa/ page 525 -528).
  34. Collected Works of Omniscient Longchenpa[38] (kun mkhyen klong chen pa’i bka’ ‘bum gyi thob yig/  page 529 -563).


zab pa dang rgya che ba’i dam pa’i chos kyi thob yig rin chen sgron me’i glegs bam gsum pa/ (hUM) – page 5 -558.

  1. Collected Works of Great Lotsāwa Ngawang Chophel (lo tsA ba chen po ngag dbang chos dpal rgya mtsho’i gsung ‘bum skor gyi thob yig / page 7 -20).
  2. Complete Collected Works of Khedrub Natsog Rangdrol (mkhas grub sna tshogs rang grol gyi bka’ ‘bum yong rdzogs ji ltar thob pa’i tshul/  page 21 -28).
  3. ‘Treasury of Knowledge’ [Sheja Dzo][39](shes bya kun la khyab pa’i mdzod ji ltar thob pa’i tshul/ page 29 -30).
  4. ‘Treasury of Extensive Teachings’ [Gyachen Kai Dzo][40] (rgya chen bka’i mdzod kyi thob yig/  page 31 -84.
  5. Complete Collected Works of Peltrul Ogyen Jigme Chokyi Wangpo[41] (dpal sprul o rgyan ‘jigs med chos kyi dbang po’i gsung ‘bum ji ltar thob pa’i tshul/  page 85 -106).
  6. Complete Collected Works of Jamgon Mipham Namgyel Gyamtso[42](‘jam mgon mi pham rnam rgyal rgya mtsho’i gsung ‘bum ji ltar thob pa’i tshul/ page 107 -150).
  7. Dodrub Jigme Trinley Ozer[43]’s Third incarnation Jigme Tenpe Nyima[44]’s Collected Works (rdo grub ‘jigs med phrin las ‘od zer gyi sku phreng gsum pa ‘jigs med bstan pa’i nyi ma’i gsung ‘bum gyi skor ji ltar thob pa’i tshul/  page 151 -178).     
  8. The One Taste Kangyur  (bka’ ‘gyur ro cog rnams ji ltar thob pa’i tshul/ page 179 -382).
  9. The Secret Mantra Early Translations Collected Works  (gsang sngag snga ‘gyur rgyud ‘bum rin po che’i skor ji ltar nos pa’i tshul/  page 383 -468).
  10. The Tengyur [Commentaries on Buddha’s Teachings] (bstan ‘gyur las ji tsam nos pa’i tshul/ page 469 -544).
  11. Various Sacred Dharmas of Lama Chojor Gyamtso (bla ma chos ‘byor rgya mtsho sogs las dam pa’i chos sna tshog pa ji ltar thob pa’i tshul/  page 545 -550).
  12. Final Note (mjug byang /  page 551 -558).

Compiled and translated by Adele Tomlin, 9th December 2021. Copyright Tomlin/Dakini Publications.

Dudjom Rinpoche’s Previous Incarnations
Further Reading

Dudjom Rinpoche,

The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History, Wisdom Publications. 1991.

Counsels from My Heart, Padmakara Translation Group, Shambhala 2003

A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom: Complete Instructions on the Preliminary Practices of the Profound and Secret Heart Essence of the Dakini, Padmakara Translation Group (Boston & London: Shambhala Publications, 2011)

Collected Works (In gsung ‘bum/_’jigs bral ye shes rdo rje). TBRC W20869.  Kalimpong: dupjung lama, 1979-1985.

Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche, with Samye Translation Group. Light of Fearless Indestructable Wisdom: The Life and legacy of H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, Snow Lion Publications, 2008.

Ron Garry, Wisdom Nectar: Dudjom Rinpoche’s Heart Advice (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2005)

Rigpa Wiki Entry for Dudjom Rinpoche

Lotsawa House – Translations of texts by Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, at Lotsawana House


[i] རྩ་ལྟུང་དང་པོར་རྩི་མེད་སྣང་ཆུང་ཤོར། །


དོན་ལ་ལྡོག་མིན་འདིར་སྣང་ཞེན་པས་སྟོན། །

བླ་མ་བསྟེན་བཞིན་མོས་གུས་རིམ་གྱིས་བྲི། །

དག་སྣང་ཚབས་སུ་མཉམ་འགྲོགས་ལོག་པར་མཐོང་། །


[ii] This is the Kalimpong edition and the only online edition of the Collected Works of Dudjom Rinpoche. Apparently, there is another hard-copy edition but this is only available in Bhutan. See: gsung ‘bum/_’jigs bral ye shes rdo rje. TBRC W20869. 21: 5 – 558. kalimpong: dupjung lama, 1979-1985.

[iii] In terms of the life of Dudjom Rinpoche, one of the best current resource is the Rigpawiki entry, here.

[iv] According to Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal: “After having granted the whole Rinchen Terdzo empowerments to Dudjom Rinpoche, Phugtrul Gyurmé Ngedon Wangpo made a prophecy to him announcing that “The Rinchen Terdzo represents the activity of the two great Jamgons, and among their disciples I have given his teachings five times, which is a record, but you will give it ten times”. Phugtrul Gyurmé Ngedon Wangpo said to Dudjom Rinpoche ‘You are unmistakably the incarnation of my teacher Dudjom Lingpa. Great Terton, you have changed your old body into this youthful form, but regarding your realization, nothing has changed”.

Lama Tharchin Rinpoche shared the following story: I remember Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo and Jamgon Kongtrul sent someone — Maybe it was Gyurme Ngedon Wangpo? — to Dudjom Lingpa, asking him if he would wish his termas to be included in the Rinchen Terdzo, the collection of termas they were compiling. It is said Dudjom Lingpa kindly replied, “I don’t need your patchwork. Wherever the Rinchen Terdzo will be propagated in the future, my termas will be present there also.” Dudjom Rinpoche gave the Rinchen Terdzo thirteen times. And effectively, wherever and whenever Dudjom Rinpoche gave the Rinchen Terdzo empowerments, he would also give the whole Dudjom Tersar empowerments. So in fact, it was an incarnation of Dudjom Lingpa — Dudjom Rinpoche — who propagated the most the Rinchen Terdzo. (Source Rigpa Wiki:

[v] This ‘Eight Branches’ textbook is on the ancient, medical method of Tibetan art of healing.

[vi] Nyang-rel Nyima Ozer (Nyang ral nyi ma ‘od zer, c. 1124–1192) was an important Nyingma terton, a revealer of terma treasure texts in Tibetan Buddhism. He is considered to be one of the Five King Tertons.  See:

[vii] Ka-gye (bka’ brgyad) or Drubpa Ka-gye (aṣṭamahāsādhana; sgrub pa bka’ brgyad;  ‘the Eight Great Sadhana Teachings’) — the term Kagyé refers to the eight (gyé) sets of Mahayoga teachings or transmissions (ka) entrusted to Padmasambhava and to the eight vidyadharas of India. Among the eight principal deities of the Kagyé mandala, there are five wisdom deities who represent the enlightened body, speech, mind, qualities and activity of all the buddhas and three semi-worldly or worldly deities.

[viii] This Treasure-cycle can be read at:

[ix] Guru Chokyi Wangchuk (gu ru chos kyi dbang phyug) aka Guru Chowang (1212-1270) — the second of five sovereign terma revealers and a speech emanation of King Trisong Detsen. Among his revelations is the practice of Lama Sangdü.

[10] Nanam Dorje Dudjom (sna nam rdo rje bdud ‘joms) (8th-9th cent.) — one of King Trisong Detsen’s ministers, sent to Nepal to invite Padmasambhava to Tibet. He became one of Guru Rinpoche’s main twenty-five disciples. When receiving empowerment from Guru Rinpoche, his flower fell on the mandala of Vajrakilaya. Through the practice he became an accomplished mantrika, who could fly with the speed of the wind and pass through solid rock. The name Dorje Dudjom means ‘Indestructible Subduer of Mara.’ He was born into the Nanam clan (sna nam), in Tsangrong (gtsang rong). Dorje Dudjom became a minister to King Tri Songdetsen (khri srong lde’u btsan) while still a young man. According to the Orgyen Lingpa’s (o rgyan gling pa) biography of Padmasambhava, the Padma Katang (pad+ma bka’ thang), Dorje Dudjom was part of the party that invited Padmasambhava to Tibet. See:

[11] Rigdzin Godem Ngodrup Gyaltsen (rig ‘dzin rgod ldem dngos grub rgyal mtshan) (1337-1408) — a major terton who discovered the Northern Treasures (Chang Ter; byang gter). He became known as Rigdzin Godem because, at the age of twelve, three vulture feathers spontaneously grew from the crown of his head. When he was twenty-four, five more grew. Rigdzin Godem literally translates as “Vidyadhara Vulture Feathers”. He was an emanation of Nanam Dorje Dudjom and a previous incarnation of Terton Sogyal.

[12] Sanggye Lingpa (1340-1396) discovered the Middling Collection of Precepts, the Gathering of the Guru’s Intention (Tibetan: ka du bar wa la ma gong pa du pa) in the great cave of Puri Rinchen Barwa in the year 1364.

[13] Langdro Konchok Jungné (lang gro dkon mchog ‘byung gnas) also known as Langdro Lotsawa — one of the twenty-five disciples of Padmasambhava. He came from the area of Langdro in Tsang and was a minister at the court of King Trisong Detsen. Among his main reincarnations are the great tertons Ratna Lingpa as well as Dzogchen Pema Rigdzin and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo who is said to be is activity emanation.

[14] Pema Lingpa or Padma Lingpa (pad+ma gling pa, 1450–1521) was a Bhutanese saint and siddha of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is considered a terchen or “preeminent terton” (gter chen, discoverer of spiritual treasures) and is considered to be foremost of the “Five Terton Kings” (gter ston rgyal po lnga). In the history of the Nyingma school in Bhutan, Pema Lingpa is second only in importance to Padmasambhava.

[15] This is a terma of Karma Lingpa (karma gling pa) (b. 1326) was a 14th century terton who revealed the Shyitro Gongpa Rangdrol cycle, from which come the teachings on the six bardos and the Bardo Todrol Chenmo, the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead.

[16] Gya Zhangtrom (9th or 11th Century), see BDRC P7419.

[17] Master of Life Manjushri (‘jam dpal tshe bdag) was said to have originated from Gya Zhangtrom and adopted by the Northern Treasures tradition.

[18] Orgyen Lingpa (o rgyan gling pa) (1323) — a great terton who revealed the Pema Kathang, the biography of Guru Rinpoche, known as the ‘Sheldrakma’, and the ‘Kathang De Nga’. He is counted among the previous incarnations of Jikme Lingpa and the thirteen successive incarnations of Gyalse Lharje. See biography at:

[19] Pema Kathang (pad+ma bka’ thang), the Chronicle of Padma — a biography of Guru Rinpoche, also known as the Sheldrakma (shel brag ma), was revealed by Orgyen Lingpa from the Crystal Cave (shel brag). It has 108 chapters.

[20] Jatson Nyingpo (‘ja’ tshon snying po) (1585-1686) was a Nyingma Terton his main terma cycle is the Konchok Chidü. He was the first treasurer revealer to characterize Pemako (pad+ma bkod; also spelled pad+mo bkod) as a hidden land (sbas yul) which are regions said to be exceptionally well-suited for religious activity and are foretold and described exclusively through treasure texts. The text that he revealed is entitled The Guidebook to the Hidden Land of Pemako (sbas yul pad+ma bkod kyi lam yig). For a biography see:

[21] Nuden Dorje (Terton title: Samten Lingpa)

[22] The Secret Visions of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Many of the ritual manuals for the deities from the visions were redacted by Terdag Lingpa (gter bdag gling pa) see

[23] Terdak Lingpa [1646 – 1714] was the brother of Minling Lochen, and whose real name was Pema Garwang Gyurme Dorje (padma gar dbang ‘gyur med rdo rje). He is considered to be one of the greatest Tertons of the Nyingma School and founder of Mindrolling Monastery, one of the six main Nyingma Gompas.

[24] Choje Lingpa, a Terton, also known as Orgyen Rogje Lingpa (o rgyan rog rje gling pa, 1682-1725). 12th incarnation of {rgyal sras lha rje mchog grub rgyal po}; = ‘dzam gling rdo rje = bde ba’i rdo rje ye shes rol pa rtsal.

[25] Ogyen Drodul Lingpa Dorje(1757)  is manifestation of Gampopa

[26] Treasure revealer Dorje Tokme (rdo rje thogs med, 1746-1797).

[27] This may refer to Dudjom Dragngag Lingpa (bdud ‘joms drag sngags gling pa (1871-1936).

[28] Jikme Lingpa (‘jigs med gling pa) (1730-1798) is regarded as one of the most important figures in the Nyingma lineage. Also known as ‘Khyentse Özer’, ‘Rays of Compassion and Wisdom’, he was a great scholar and visionary, and discovered the Longchen Nyingtik cycle of teachings and practice through a series of visions from the great fourteenth century master, Longchenpa. With the patronage of the Dergé royal family, Jikme Lingpa published the compilation of Nyingma tantras known as the Nyingma Gyübum and composed a catalogue to accompany it.

[29] Nyagla Pema Dündul (nyag bla padma bdud ‘dul) (1816-1872) — the famous Dzogchen master and terton from Nyarong who was a teacher of Terton Sogyal and who attained the rainbow body in 1872.

[30] Khakhyap Rangdrol (mkha’ khyab rang grol) ‘Self-liberation Pervading Space’, is the most famous terma revelation of Nyala Pema Düdul.

[31] Sera Kandro Kunzang Dekyong Wangmo (1892-1940), one of the greatest female masters of the Nyingma order,  was the guru of many of the most important teachers of the last generation. Dudjom Rinpoche sponsored the collection and publication of the volumes of her Collected Treasure Revelations. See: gter chos/_kun bzang bde skyong dbang mo/. TBRC W21888. 1: 459 – 460. Kalimpong: dupjung lama, 1978.

[32] Jedrung Trinle Jampa Jungne (rje drung phrin las byams pa ‘byung gnas), Precious Lord of Compassionate Enlightened Activity’, aka Dudjom Namkhai Dorje ( bdud ‘joms nam mkha’i rdo rue (1856-1922) was a Taklung Kagyu and Nyingma lama and terton from Kham, Tibet. A Rime master, he was a direct student of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye and such the Fifteenth Karmapa Khakhyap Dorje. In Kham, he became the root master of Kangyur Rinpoche and later, in Pemako, of Dudjom Rinpoche.

[33] This treasure cycle Pema Sangtig can be found at: BDRC W23187.

[34] Khandro Tuktik (Tmkha’ ‘gro’i thugs thig) ‘The Dakini Heart Essence’, aka ‘Treasury of Accomplishments: The Practice of the Profound Path of the Dakini [Yeshe Tsogyal]’ is a terma of Dudjom Rinpoche, revealed as a gongter in 1928. It is the main dakini practice of the Dudjom Tersar lineage, and one of the four main terma cycles of Dudjom Rinpoche

[35] Chanting the Names of Manjushri (Skt. Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti; ‘jam dpal mtshan brjod) — a famous praise of Manjushri, sometimes known as the ‘king of all tantras’. Taught directly by Buddha Shakyamuni, the tantra lists names that praise Manjushri, who is here to be understood not as a bodhisattva but as the embodiment of the primordial wisdom of all buddhas. It consists of 160 verses and mantra sentences. 

[36] “Thirty and Signs”. The popular abbreviation of the “Root Grammar in Thirty Verses” {lung ston pa rtsa ba sum cu pa} and the “Grammar, the Guide to Signs” {lung du ston pa rtag gi ‘jug pa}. These two are often put together like this as one word because they are the only two surviving treatises of the original eight treatises which defined Tibetan grammar. By saying {sum rtags} one effectively says “Tibetan grammar”.

[37] The Mirror of Poetics (Skt. Kāvyādarśa; snyan ngag me long) is an important treatise on the theory of Sanskrit poetics (one of the five minor sciences), written by the Indian pandita Dandin (Skt. Daṇḍin) (c. 6-7th century). It was introduced to Tibetan scholars in the 1220s by Sakya Pandita and thus served as the standard guide for the literary composition of poetry, philosophy, biography and letter writing.

[38] Longchenpa (klong chen pa), also known as Longchen Rabjam (klong chen rab ‘byams), ‘Infinite, Vast Expanse of Space’, or Drime Ozer (1308-1364), was one of the most brilliant teachers of the Nyingma lineage. He systematized the Nyingma teachings in his ‘Seven Treasures’ and wrote extensively on Dzogchen. He transmitted the Longchen Nyingtik cycle of teachings and practice to Jikme Lingpa, and it has since become one of the most widely practised of traditions.

[39] For an overview and editions of this Jamgon Longtrul Treasury text, see here:

[40] For an indez/outline of Jamgon Kongtrul’s Treasury of Extensive Instructions, see here:

[41] Dza Patrul Orgyen Jigme Chokyi Wangpo (rdza dpal sprul o rgyan ‘jigs med chos kyi dbang po) (1808-1887). For bio see here:

[42] Ju Mipham Rinpoche (‘ju mi pham) or Jamgön Mipham Gyatso (‘jam mgon mi pham rgya mtsho) (1846-1912) was a great Nyingma master and writer of the last century, student of Jamgon Kongtrul, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Patrul Rinpoche. Blessed by Manjushri, he became one of the greatest scholars of his time. His collected works fill more than thirty volumes. His chief disciple was Shechen Gyaltsab Pema Namgyal.

[43] Dodrupchen Jikme Trinle Ozer (rdo grub chen ‘jigs med phrin las ‘od zer, 1745–1821) was a Nyingma tertön who was the “heart-son”cof Jigme Lingpa, for whom he became the “principal doctrine-holder” of the Longchen Nyingthig terma cycle. Jigme Trinle Ozer was recognized by Jigme Lingpa as the mindstream embodiment of one of King Trisong Detsen’s sons, Prince Murum Tsenpo.

[44] Third Dodrupchen Rinpoche Jigme Tenpe Nyima (1865-1926) was born in Golok, as the son of Dudjom Lingpa. He had seven younger brothers, all of whom were famous tulkus; received teachings from Patrul, Khyentse Wangpo, Kongtrul, Mipham and Terton Sogyal. An important master in the Longchen Nyingthig.


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