Blue Annals

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The Blue Annals (Tibetan: དེབ་ཐེར་སྔོན་པོWylie: deb ther sngon po), completed in 1476, written by Gö Lotsawa Zhönnu-pel (Wylie: gos lo tsā ba gzhon nu dpal, 1392–1481), is a Tibetan historical survey with a marked ecumenical (Rimé movement) view, focusing on the dissemination of various sectarian spiritual traditions throughout Tibet.[1]

An English translation by George de Roerich with help from Gendün Chöphel was published in 1949 and has since remained one of the most widely consulted sources on the history of Tibetan Buddhism up to the fifteenth century.

The Tibetan and Himalayan Library is working on a new online translation of the Blue Annals.[2]

A similar work from a later period is Tuken Lozang Chö kyi Nyima's Crystal Mirror of Philosophical Systems (Wylie: grub mtha' shel gyi me long)[3] completed in 1802.[4] Tuken favored the Gelug school, but he nonetheless provides broad and useful historical information, relying heavily on the Blue Annals himself.


The following modern editions[5] are in print:

  • Chandra, Lokesh (Ed. & Translator) (1974). The Blue Annals. International Academy of Indian Culture, New Delhi. This edition is a reproduction from block prints kept at Kundeling Monastery, Lhasa. The colophon (Chandra 970; Chengdu 1271; Roerich 1093) was composed by Rta tshag 8 Ye shes blo bzang bstan pa’i mgon po (1760–1810).
  • Chengdu (Wylie: si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang) (1984). deb ther sngon po. Two volumes, paginated continuously. According to Martin (1997), this modern edition is based upon the Kundeling Monastery blockprint and collated with the edition of Dga’ ldan chos ‘khor gling (Ganden Monastery), Amdo.
  • Roerich, George N. and Gendün Chöphel, translator (1988). The Blue Annals by Gö Lotsawa. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1976, Reprint in 1979. [reprint of Calcutta, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1949, in two volumes].


  1. Source: [1] (accessed: November 5, 2007)
  2. "Blue Annals". Tibetan & Himalayan Library. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  3. Thuken Losang Chökyi Nyima (2009). The crystal mirror of philosophical systems : a Tibetan study of Asian religious thought. Boston: Wisdom Publicatiaons. ISBN 978-0861714643. 
  5. Source: [2] (accessed: November 5, 2007)


  • Martin, Dan (1997). Tibetan Histories: A Bibliography of Tibetan-Language Historical Works. London.
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