Seventeen Tantras of Mengakdé

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The Seventeen Tantras of Mengakdé (Tibetan: མན་ངག་སྡེའི་རྒྱུད་བཅུ་བདུནWylie: man ngag sde'i rgyud bcu bdun), or Seventeen Tantras of Dzogchen, are a collection of tantras belonging to the "Innermost Unexcelled Cycle" of the Mengakdé class of Dzogchen teachings within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Traditional history

From Rangjung Yeshe wiki:

The first human vidyadhara in the Dzogchen lineage is Garab Dorje, who compiled the 6,400,000 tantras of the Great Perfection. He entrusted these teachings to his main disciple, Manjushrimitra, who classified these into Three Sections of Dzogchen: Mind Section, Space Section, and Instruction Section.

The chief disciple of Manjushrimitra, the great master Shri Singha, divided the Instruction Section into The Four Cycles of Nyingthig: the Outer, Inner, Secret, and Innermost Unexcelled Cycles.

The "Innermost Unexcelled Cycle" consists of seventeen tantras. These are eighteen when adding the Ngagsung Tromay Tantra, which is focused on the protective rites of Ekajati. According to the system of Padmakara, there are ninteen when including the Longsel Barwey Tantra.

These tantras teach in full all the requirements for one person to practice and reveal complete buddhahood within a single lifetime. Each tantra is not dependent upon the others but is complete in itself.[1]

List of the Seventeen Tantras

Editornote image from pexelsdotcom 60x40px.png Editor's note: Sanskrit titles are not included because they are difficult to verify. The order of the list is different in different sources.

There are different lists of the tantras in this class, according to different traditions. Some lists consist seventeen tantras, while other lists consist of eighteen or nineteen tantras. When listed as Eighteen Tantras, the Ngagsung Tromay Tantra (Wylie: sngags srung khro ma’i rgyud) is added to the seventeen.[2] When listed as Nineteen Tantras the Longsel Barwey Tantra (Wylie: klong gsal bar ba'i rgyud) is added.

The Seventeen Tantras are:

  1. 'Self-existing Perfection' (Tibetan: རྫོགས་པ་རང་བྱུངWylie: rdzogs pa rang byung)[3]
  2. 'Reverberation of Sound' (Tibetan: སྒྲ་ཐལ་འགྱུརWylie: sgra thal 'gyur)[4]
  3. 'Self-arising Awareness' (Tibetan: རིག་པ་རང་ཤརWylie: rig pa rang shar)[5]
  4. 'Self-liberated Awareness (Tibetan: རིག་པ་རང་གྲོལWylie: rig pa rang grol)[6]
  5. 'The Mirror of the Heart of Vajrasattva' (Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ་སེམས་དཔའ་སྙིང་གི་མེ་ལོངWylie: rdo rje sems dpa' snying gi me long)[7]
  6. 'The Mirror of the Mind of Samantabhadra' (Tibetan: ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ་ཐུགས་ཀྱི་མེ་ལོངWylie: kun tu bzang po thugs kyi me long)[8]
  7. 'Necklace of Precious Pearls' (Tibetan: མུ་ཏིག་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་ཕྲེང་བWylie: mu tig rin po che'i phreng ba)[9]
  8. 'Lion's Perfect Expressive Power' (Tibetan: སེང་གེ་རྩལ་རྫོགསWylie: seng ge rtsal rdzogs)[10]
  9. 'Shining Relics of Enlightened Body' (Tibetan: སྐུ་གདུང་འབར་བWylie: sku gdung 'bar ba)[11]
  10. 'Kissing of the Sun and Moon' (Tibetan: ཉི་ཟླ་ཁ་སྦྱོརWylie: nyi zla kha sbyor)[12].
  11. 'Blazing Lamp' (Tibetan: སྒྲོན་མ་འབར་བWylie: sgron ma 'bar ba)[13][14]
  12. 'Direct Introduction' (Tibetan: ངོ་སྤྲོད་སྤྲས་པWylie: ngo sprod spras pa) [15]
  13. 'Great Auspicious Beauty' (Tibetan: བཀྲ་ཤིས་མཛེས་ལྡནWylie: bkra shis mdzes ldan)[16]
  14. 'Six Spaces of Samantabhadra' (Tibetan: ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ་ཀློང་དྲུགWylie: kun tu bzang po klong drug)[17]
  15. 'Without Letters' (Tibetan: ཡི་གེ་མེད་པWylie: yi ge med pa)[18]
  16. 'Inlaid with Jewels' (Tibetan: ནོར་བུ་ཕྲ་བཀོདWylie: nor bu phra bkod)[19][20]
  17. 'A Mound of Jewels' (Tibetan: རིན་པོ་ཆེ་སྤུང་བWylie: rin po che spung ba)[21]

Text sources

The Seventeen Tantras are found in the Nyingma Gyubum (Tibetan: རྙིང་མ་རྒྱུད་འབུམWylie: rnying ma rgyud 'bum), volumes 9 and 10, folio numbers 143-159 of the edition edited by 'Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche' commonly known as Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (Thimpu, Bhutan, 1973), reproduced from the manuscript preserved at 'Tingkye Gonpa Jang' (Tibetan: གཏིང་སྐྱེས་དགོན་པ་བྱངWylie: gting skyes dgon pa byang) Monastery in Tibet.[22]

English Translations

  • The Consequence of Sound is translated by Christopher Wilkinson in The Jewel Maker: The Great Tantra on the Consequence of Sound (CreateSpace, 2017).
  • Self-Arising Wisdom-Awareness is translated by Malcolm Smith in The Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra (vol 1) and The Self-Liberated Vidya Tantra (vol 2): A Translation of the Rigpa Rang Shar (vol 1) and A Translation of the Rigpa Rangdrol (vol 2) (Wisdom Publications, 2018). Chapters 39 and 40 translated by H. V. Guenther in Wholeness Lost and Wholeness Regained (SUNY Press, 1994).
  • Self-Liberated Wisdom-Awareness is translated by Smith in The Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra (vol 1) and The Self-Liberated Vidya Tantra (vol 2).
  • The Mirror of the Heart of Vajrasattva is translated by Wilkinson in The Mirror of the Heart of Vajrasattva (CreateSpace, 2017).
  • The Mirror of the Heart-Mind of Samantabhadra is translated by Wilkinson in The Secret Kissing of the Sun and Moon: Three Upadesha Tantras of the Great Perfection (CreateSpace, 2016).
  • The Necklace of Precious Pearls is translated by Wilkinson in The Pearl Necklace Tantra: Upadesha Instructions of the Great Perfection (CreateSpace, 2016).
  • The Lion's Perfect Expressive Power is translated by Wilkinson in The Lion Stops Hunting: An Upadeśa Tantra of the Great Perfection (CreateSpace, 2016). Excerpts from the fourth chapter are translated by Janet Gyatso in Buddhist Scriptures (Ed. Donald Lopez, published by Penguin Classics, 2004)
  • The Shining Relics of Enlightened Body is translated by Wilkinson in A Mound of Jewels: Three Upadesha Tantras of the Great Perfection (CreateSpace, 2017).
  • The Kissing of the Sun and Moon is translated in The Secret Kissing of the Sun and Moon.
  • The Blazing Lamp is translated by Christopher Hatchell in Naked Seeing: The Great Perfection, the Wheel of Time, and Visionary Buddhism in Renaissance Tibet (Oxford University Press, 2014), and translated in A Mound of Jewels.
  • The Direct Introduction is translated in The Secret Kissing of the Sun and Moon.
  • Great Auspicious Beauty is translated by Wilkinson in A Subtle Arrangement of Gemstones: Two Upadesha Tantras of the Great Perfection (CreateSpace, 2018).
  • The Six Spaces of Samantabhadra is translated by Wilkinson in The Six Spaces of the All Good: An Upadesha Tantra of the Great Perfection (CreateSpace, 2017).
  • Without Letters is translated by Wilkinson in Eight Early Tantras of the Great Perfection: An Elixir of Ambrosia (CreateSpace, 2016).
  • Inlaid with Jewels is translated in A Subtle Arrangement of Gemstones.
  • A Mound of Jewels is translated in A Mound of Jewels.

The Seventeen Tantras are quoted extensively throughout Longchenpa's (1308 - 1364?) 'The Precious Treasury of the Way of Abiding' (Tibetan: གནས་ལུགས་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་མཛོདWylie: gnas lugs rin po che'i mdzod) translated by Richard Barron and Padma Translation Committee (1998).[23] This work is one of Longchenpa's Seven Treasuries and the Tibetan text in poor reproduction of the pecha has been graciously made available online by Keith Dowman and Gene Smith.[24] The Seventeen Tantras are also extensively discussed in Longchenpa's Precious Treasury of Philosophical Systems, also translated by Richard Barron, as well as in Vimalamitra's Great Commentary, translated in Buddhahood in This Life, by Smith.

Additionally, an explanatory tantra (Skt: vyākhyātantra) of the Seventeen Tantras named Total Illumination of the Bindu (Tib: thig le kun gsal) has been published in a translation by Keith Dowman in the book "Everything Is Light" (Dzogchen Now, 2017).

References

  1. Rangjung a-circle30px.jpg The_Dzogchen_Tantras
  2. Thondup, Tulku & Harold Talbott (Editor)(1996). Masters of Meditation and Miracles: Lives of the Great Buddhist Masters of India and Tibet. Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Shambhala, South Asia Editions. ISBN 1-57062-113-6 (alk. paper); ISBN 1-56957-134-1, p.362
  3. Source:THLIB Ng.94
  4. Source:THLIB Ng.95
  5. Source:THLIB Ng.96
  6. Source:THLIB Ng.97
  7. Source:THLIB Ng.98
  8. Source:THLIB Ng.107
  9. Source:THLIB Ng.100
  10. Source:THLIB Ng.101
  11. Source:THLIB Ng.102
  12. Source:THLIB Ng.103
  13. Source:THLIB Ng.104
  14. Hatchell, Christopher (2009). Naked Seeing: The Great Perfection, the Wheel of Time, and visionary philosophy in renaissance Tibet. University of Virginia, p. 373
  15. Source:THLIB Ng.105
  16. Source:THLIB Ng.106
  17. Source:THLIB Ng.99
  18. Source:THLIB Ng.108
  19. Source:THLIB Ng.109
  20. Wilkinson, Christopher (2018). "A Subtle Arrangement of Gemstones: Two Upadesha Tantras of the Great Perfection". CreateSpace, p. 2
  21. Source:THLIB Ng.110
  22. Guarisco, Elio (trans.); McLeod, Ingrid (trans., editor); Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye, Kon-Sprul Blo-Gros-Mtha-Yas (compiler) (2005). The Treasury of Knowledge: Book Six, Part Four: Systems of Buddhist Tantra. Ithaca, New York, USA: Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 1-55939-210-X, p.520
  23. Barron, Richard (trans), Longchen Rabjam (author): Precious Treasury of the Way of Abiding. Padma Publishing (1998) ISBN 1-881847-09-8
  24. Source: http://www.keithdowman.net/dzogchen/gnas_lugs_mdzod.htm (accessed: Sunday October 11, 2009)

External links

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