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Guru Rimpoche Padma-Sambhava painting
Padma-Sambhava depicted

Padma Sambhava ("The Lotus Born"), also called Guru Rinpoche, was an Indian sage who brought Buddhism from India to to Bhutan and Tibet in the 700s CE.

Padmasambhava had several consorts, and practiced secret sexual tantric rites with them. One of them was Princess Sakya Devi from Nepal. Together they gained complete Great Enlightenment, we are told. Padmasambhava is known for hiding religious treasures in lakes, caves, fields and forests, too. According to Tibetan tradition, the Tibetan Book of the Dead was among these hidden treasures.

Unless otherwise shown, the extracts that follow are from the book The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation or the Method of Realizing Nirvana through Knowing the Mind, edited by Walter Y. Evans-Wentz. [Lik]

Knowing that a text is a rendering can be helpful in its way

Knowing One's Mind, Seeing One's Reality, Called Self-liberation, from "The Profound Doctrine of Self-Liberation by Delving Upon the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities" according to Lama Karma Sumdhon Paul's and Lama Lobzang Mingyur Dorje's English Rendering [see Lik 191].

Another rendering might be:

Herein is contained the [art of] knowing the mind, the seeing of [mind in its] nakedness, called self-liberation, from the profound doctrine of self-liberation by delving (meditating) on the peaceful and wrathful deities [cf. Ibid.].

Delve, contemplate and meditate are used as synonyms. And the Sanskrit word dhyana, contemplate, is the basis of the word Zen, and of doing Zen as well. It is also implied that "a naked mind" is self-liberation or akin to it. A "naked mind" is not one of preconceived ideas. It is akin to the "beginner's mind" of Soto Zen.

History Glimpses

Padma-Sambhava was a great pioneer teacher of the Tantric School of Buddhism to the people of Tibet. He arrived there from northern India in 747 CE on being invited by the Tibetan King,. Under royal patronage he helped considerably in making Tibet Buddhistic. Translation work went into it. [See more]

Padma-Sambhava is credited with founding the oldest school of Buddhism there is in Tibet. Its more esoteric teachings are set forth in the Adiyoga System {all 195].

An Eastern branch of Adiyoga arose in China independently of the direct personal influence of Padma-Sambhava; it was inspired by the same Yogachara school of India that inspired his teachings in Tibet. The founders of the Eastern Branch, Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra, reached China together in 719 CE. They are thought to have been Padma-Sambhava's fellow students in India {195-96].

The present treatise is attributed to Padma-Sambhava. It expounds the method of realizing the Great Liberation, also termed Nirvana, by yogic understanding of the One Mind [Primordial Essence], and appertains to the sayings of the Great Perfection of the Dhyana School. Between it and the Treatise on Achieving Pure Consciousness . . . on which the Pure Consciousness Sect of China is based, there is a very close doctrinal relationship [196].

Of the Doctrine of the Great Perfection itself, the Guru Marpa says, "It is excellent . . . This is a doctrine for those intellects that are most highly developed [196, see also Tm 277-8]."

Points extracted from Evans-Wentz' eulogising introduction

This yogic treatise . . . teaches that one needs only to look within oneself to find Truth [197].

Tibetan Masters of Yoga, by projecting a mental image, . . . have demonstrated [a] yogic method of materialization [cf. 197 and 291].

Conquerors of Life and Death vow not to enter Nirvana until all things are restored to the divine at-one-ment [199].

The Sole Reality [Primordial Essence] is also the One Mind, the All-embracing Universal Mind [cf. 199].

In this supreme system of realizing Truth in its undivided unity by knowing the self, all yogic practices and use of concentration-points are transcended by it: "the most excellent of yogas" [cf. 200].

Any system of yoga is, according to our text, no more than a preparation for the truly Great Path (Mahayana) that leads to the supramundane, to the One [cf. 200].

Without mind there would be no world [as humans experience it] [201].

In the True State the pluralistic Universe does not seem to exist. [cf. 201].


Padma-Sambhava Teachings

Part 1: From the Introductory Preliminaries

One's mind [better: Primordial Essence] is understood by this method [202].

Sems-gchik-po (pronounced sem-chic-po), "One Mind" - W. Y. E.-W. [203n].

First Charge

This yogic treatise . . . teaches that one needs only to look within oneself to find Truth [Primordial Essence of Eternity] [197].

Tibetan Masters of Yoga, by projecting a mental image, . . . have demonstrated [a] yogic method of materialization [cf. 197 and 291].

Conquerors of Life and Death vow not to enter Nirvana until all things are restored to the divine at-one-ment [Primordial Essence] [199].

The Sole Reality [Primordial Essence] is also the One Mind, the All-embracing Universal Mind [cf. 199].

In this supreme system of realizing Truth [Primordial Essence of Eternity] in its undivided unity by knowing the self, all yogic practices and use of concentration-points are transcended by it: "the most excellent of yogas" [cf. 200].

Any system of yoga is, according to our text, no more than a preparation for the truly Great Path (Mahayana) that leads to the supramundane, to the One [Primordial Essence] [cf. 200].

Without mind there would be no world [as humans experience it] [201].

In the True State [Primordial Essence of Eternity] the pluralistic Universe does not seem to exist [cf. 201].


Great Padma-Sambhava Teachings

Part 1: From the Introductory Preliminaries

One's mind is understood by this method [202].

Sems-gchik-po (pronounced sem-chic-po), "One Mind" - W. Y. E.-W. [203n].

First Charge


Or emaho: Interjection expressive of compassion for all living creatures - cf. W. Y. E.-W. [203n].

One mind embraces the whole Sangsara and Nirvana eternally, ever clear, radiant and not visible [cf. 203].

Sangsara: the manifested Universe, Nirvana, the state beyond. - TK]

Sacred Scriptures [otherwise] contain but few words relating to knowledge of the mind and the fit way of applying it practically [cf. 204].

Second Charge

Kye! Blessed ones, listen well.

Kye is use as an invocation; here as a charge, and may be translated as 'O!' - See W. Y. E.-W. [204n].

Mind is widespread.*

Individuals who do not know the mind, do not know themselves [205].

Those fettered by desires, lack self-control [cf. 205].

Unsound beliefs and practices result in increased bondage - W. Y. E.-W. [205-6n]

There is really no duality, so pluralism is untrue [206].

By attaining at-one-ment, duality is transcended [206].

The perception of the whole Sangsara and Nirvana, as an inseparable unity, are in one's mind [cf. 207].

This aphorism [The whole Sangsara and Nirvana, as an inseparable unity, are one's mind] expounds most succinctly the ultimate teaching - W. Y. W.-E. [207n]

Practicing Dharma, free from attachment, grasp the essence of the teachings by knowing Reality [cf. 207].

Third Charge

Mind is intuitive "quick-knowing" [cf. 208].

The deep mind is also termed prajna, wisdom-awakening beyond reasoning [208, 208n].

The One Mind is the source of all Sangsara and bliss beyond [cf. 208].

One's mind-self is different from one's soul (atman) [cf. 208].

Mind-self: sems-nyid (pronounced sem-nyi). Atman (from Sanskrit) is soul; cp. Tibetan bdag (pronounced dag), self or ego [208, 208n-209n].

"The Great Symbol" (Mahamudra), is of the highest (or subtlest) at-one-ment and (Inner) Essence.

Sanskrit Maha-Mudra, Great Symbol, etc., is Anuttara, the highest and final doctrine, also known as Dharma Karma, of practically applied doings - [cf. 209, 209n].

Subtle Essence is an All-foundation [cf. 209, 209n].

Part 2: Practical Application

Mind per se, in its true or natural state, is unmodified, primordial quiescence . . . mind per se is comprehended by its . . . timelessness - W. Y. E.-W. 210n]

Mind in its true, naked, and timeless state is invisible and quite intelligible, and can be realised as unity above differentiation [cf. 211].

Time in essence is timeless, space in essence is spaceless [cf. W. Y. E.-W., 211n].

In similar language Plotinus teaches that the One possesses no magnitude, etc. [See W. Y. E.-W., 211n, 212n].

The Quintessential Deep Mind is at-one with all deep minds [cf. 212].

Mind in its true state is of Reality [cf. 212].

Primordial Essence is able to assist assertions of It.*

Without knowing the subtle mind, many take to wrong paths and turns [cf. 212 etc.].

Mind in its true state is of Reality [cf. 212].

Some are able to discover the One in the One Essence, or the own Sole Mind.*

That is the witness of the Tathagatha, the Buddha; as well of Padma-Sambhava and illustrious sages of old.

Reality is the One; and the One is a simple way of referring to It [In part W. Y. E.-W.: 212n].

One can measure Reality's spatial aspects, as the State of Reality is a sort of measuring-out (of mayic order) too.

These are very ancient and Vedic teachings.

There is no distinction between mundane and eternal in the One Deep Mind [cf. 212n].

Thinking is of the very essence of mind [cf. 213].

Mind is Absolute Truth in its mundane aspect [cf. 213n].

The very quintessence of energy is also allied with One Deep Mind [cf 213n].

All phenomena are depth-created [cf. 213n].

Divine Wisdom dawns in accordance with its own time [214].

One is to attain right understanding of mind by stilling of the mundane mind [cf. 214n].

The Void is divided by some Lamas into eighteen degrees, by others into seventy degrees [cf. 214n].

Sanskrit Shunyata or sunyata appears to be translated into Void and Emptiness most often. However, Daizetz T. Suzuki holds another opinion, and so does Huang-po, Dogen and others. Find several of their neat points and observations here: [Link].

The yogic knowing of mind is attained in a state of timelessness: that is the mind's or Divine Wisdom's own time [cf. 214n].

As the mind is no more disturbed, mental disturbances can be made to dwindle, and we can progress towards and find Nirvana as a beyond-state [cf. 214n].

Divine Wisdom is like the ever-flowing current of a river [cf. 215].

Objective appearances tend to fetter [cf. 215].

Snying-po (pronounced nying-po), pith, heart, essence, or essentiality, is also a secret essence of the Sun [cf. 215n].

Be no longer fettered by continuous anima-seeking, or "officialism" [cf. 215].

Plotinus' teaching is rather parallel. According to an old fable, foolish Narcissus wished to grasp an image of himself in a stream, fell into it and was carried away by the current [cf. 215n].

External appearances belong to allotted places [cf. 216].

There is no other place of meditation than the mind [216].

What Plato has called the realm of Ideas, Mahayanists call the One Mind, the homogeneous at-one-ment [also called the Primordial Essence]. - W. Y. E.-W. [cf. 216n].

Reality [Primordial Essence] is only one, the degrees of Ignorance are infinite [cf. Ashvaghosha, in 216n].

After the Sun has risen, the fog vanishes [cf. 216n].

The mind ceases to think, the world vanishes. - With Ramana Maharsi [216n].

Look within your own mind [217].

Look within your own still mind for Essence [cf. 217].

Deep mind is transparent and omniscient; omniscient mind is transparent [cf. 218].

The babe of Wisdom is Natural Wisdom, and the babe of Wisdom is a Clear Light also. Wondrous it is [cf. 218].

At bottom one's own inner mind is not any thing in itself that shines; it is Existence without sangsaric characteristics [cf. 218n].

Fruit, hbras-bu ( pronounced dra-bu), serves as a technical term for yogic results of applying the best parts of yoga: A wondrous fruit is improved karma [cf. 219n, 220n in this].

More specifically, various aspects of results (fruits) are:

  1. Ability to enter the stream of progressive perfection.
  2. Exhaustion of all karmic need of rebirth save the final one.
  3. A final birth is had.
  4. The supramundane state of overcome ignorance.
Further, the Tibetan Kanjur sorts five classes of fruits thus:
  1. Good mental and moral education.
  2. Improved living, not depending on education.
  3. Spiritual precedence attained by a non-teaching Buddha.
  4. Spiritual precedence of a candidate for Buddhahood.
  5. Omniscience.
The most excellent teachings contain the most excellent of practices. The most excellent teachings and practices are free from error - and the Path consists in applying them in individually fit and very skilled ways too [cf. 220].

One may discern four progressive stages in the "Yoga of Knowing the Mind", progressive stages that apply to other common yogas too: (1) The seed of Truth is sown and instructions given. (2) Improved, ongoing mental understanding of teachings. (3) Dynamic practice. (4) Harvest of the seeds sown and instructions practiced: Fruits appear if the sown seeds (including methods) are suitably watered and cultivated by sound and long contemplation practice [cf. 220n, 221n].

A repetitive style is very common in old teachings; it is not holy per se, yet it could help memorization of salient parts of the material [cf. 221n].

The subtle Light is without change [cf. 221].

In order to comprehend Essence as Light, prolonged, adequate contemplation on It is usually necessary. There are definitive methods. Through them one may see glimpses of inner Light. The glimpses and the intensity of the perceived subtle Light may be prolonged, and in the end quite "indefinitely" [cf. 221n].

There are Three Times in at-one-ment [Primordial Essence of Eternity]: The past, present and future [cf. 222].

Three divisions of Time exist in a quite homogeneous, resplendent True State that is well above Time, and yet the "prolonged", extracted present seems to remain [cf. 222, 222n].

Enlightened mind consists of homogenous Sangsara in the present [cf. 222n].

The Wisdom Realm transcends all contemplation [cf. 223].

The resplendent True State remains present [cf. 222, 222n].

Buddhahood is of vast esoteric significance; and requires exhaustive and deep self-cognition first of all [cf. 223n].

One should see the Divine Resplendence inside become sight itself and thereby let out any obstacle to unity with the Immutable Being as Supreme Beauty of the Essentiality-Mind [cf. 223n].

The Dharma-Kaya is equivalent to Perfect Buddhahood [cf. 223n].

Buddhahood knowledge is also of wide esoteric significance [cf. 223n].

There are such things as "Nothing more" around [cf. 224].

There are such things as surpassing excellence and end of a meditation session too [cf. 224].

There is no need to fall under the sway of Ignorance [cf. 224].

These teachings seek the scholarly seeker who has sought them [224n].

One should be aware that there are seemingly paradoxical aspects of treading the Path of contemplation, practice, and realization - and attaining to other fruits of deep contemplation too [cf. 224].

See Patanjali (book 3, verses 1-4 etc) for keys to success-attainments from deep, prolonged focus, samyama, on this and that in contemplation. Dharana (mental focus, being one-pointed); dhyana (contemplation); and samadhi, prolonged and bettered contemplation) together form samyama, which is the basis for further accomplishments in yoga, it is held.

There are no two such things as existence and non-existence [225].

Ekam sat, oneness is, is an ancient Sanskrit teaching. And "existence and non-existence" form a pair of dualist concepts that in the end have next to nothing to do with the regular and boring, drilling practices into Thatness that keeps looming above and deep inside [cf. 225].

From eternity there is not any thing to be practised, and there is no need to fall [cf. 225].

Perfecting one's practice results in calming of thought waves [cf. 225, 225n].

As a limpid, calm ocean can be ruffled into waves, the Serene Deep Mind can also be ruffled. Contemplation is for calming those waves (Skr. vasanas, tendencies etc.) [cf. 225n].

The One cannot really be well described [cf. 225].

A prolonged teaching. Our thoughts and descriptions of The One Reality are just of temporary expedience. Further, terms and ideas are to be dropped in deep contemplation anyhow, for mental constructs and opinions are sources of deep errors and may block further progress if not carefully prevented. Interestingly, being unaffected by the opinions of others may be akin to this [cf. 225n].
      The Absolute Reality can be realized, but it cannot be described by use of words, for words are only symbols representing mundane, or sangsaric, concepts, explains W. Y. E.-W. [225n].

There is an innumerable variety of fruits of yoga [226].

There is no need to fall under the sway of the dualities of accepting and rejecting . . . these teachings [226].

The Buddha Essence, the Thatness, has three aspects for manifesting itself. They are called the Tri-Kaya. - W. Y. E.-W. [cf. 226n].

The rays of the Sun are innumerable and of varying effects, they are of one source and one homogeneous nature - With W. Y. E.-W. [cf. 226n].

In Tibetan, Nirvana is synonymous with Ye-sangs-rgyas-pa (pronounced Ye-sang-gay-pa). Ye = Eternal, or Beginningless, Sangs = Purification, and Rgyas-pa = Complete, or Full. Buddhahood is then viewed as the Completely Purified State. Aside from it the Mahayana recognises three states of Nirvanic enlightenment. They are: (1) Conditional Nirvana; (2) Unconditional Nirvana; and (3) unlocalised, or absolute Nirvana - With W. Y. E.-W. [226n].

"The Middle Path" does not fall under the sway of any extreme [cf. 227].

Eight aims indicate eight limits as well [cf. 226, 226-27n].

Going for gain and not loss, good name and not bad name, praise and not defamation, happiness and not misery, are four aims. In this connection, very good teachings when practised and realized, makes one transcend (rise above and beyond) several limited views into the True State - With W. Y. E.-W. [226n].

Essence-attunement brings on an unbroken continuity of memory [cf. 227].

What is Essential is akin to the use of Great Symbols too, and must be called surpassingly excellent [cf. 227].

The Other Shore often means Transcendence, beginningless and endless. [cf. 227].

One is eventually to let the Other Shore become one's foundation; it is the All-Foundation [cf. 227].

Complete spiritual enlightenment means realization of the True State . - With W. Y. E.-W. [227n].

Birth, Illness, Old Age, and Death pertain to transitory phenomena, Nirvana not; as it transcends the realm of phenomena - With W. Y. E.-W. [227n].

True Beingness involves bliss with freedom from illusive thoughts, and contains nothing damned - With W. Y. E.-W. [227n].

The emancipated one works and achieves up to inconceivably great miracles - With W. Y. E.-W. [227n].

He that seeks to know himself should know that the level of Buddhahood is not to be realized externally first. Buddhahood is a natural side of one's mind; we do not need to seek outside ourselves, for Buddhahood is already innate. Seeking throughout the Three Regions, is is quite impossible to attain Buddhahood without knowing the mind [cf. 228, 228n].

Unless one realizes the Buddhahood [innate] in one's mind, Nirvana is obscured [229n].

One abounding in understanding may at times shine forth like the Sun [cf. 228].

Unless one sees the Buddha in one's mind, one may not hurrah full well [cf. 229].

The Wisdom of Nirvana and the Ignorance of the Sangsara cannot truly be differentiated [cf. 229].

Erring and non-erring form a unity [cf. 229].

Some beings attain deliverance [cf. 229].

Seek within your own self-illuminated, self-originated mind first: let gross concepts vanish [cf. 229].

In the final yogic analysis, if we search for what we already have, we are fools [cf. 229n].

Letting mental concepts regularly and methodically glide away in contemplation (dhyana) can be very helpful on the Path [cf. 229n].

One is to let the radiance from the One Immaculate Mind emancipate the mind [cf. 230].

Immaculate Thatness shines clearly inside, and forms disappear [cf. 230].

In Hridaya [the central source, "inner heart"] many names and forms disappear as inward-attuned attention is turned back into itself, so to speak [cf. 230n].

By attention turned on itself, the mind may eventually be retained within the Hridaya [cf. 230n].

Introspection can bring on subjective vision [Skt. antarmukha-drishti]. Extrospection on the other hand is favoured by and perhaps favouring "the objective vision" of common consensus [cf. 230n].

Within the Hridaya, the primal thought of "I", gradually dwindles and recedes into a Transcendent Self or Atman - it is the Brahmanical equivalent to the One Mind of Mahayana [cf. 230n].

A Real Vision refers to and is extracted in the homogeneous wholeness-field inside first [cf. 230n].

The enlightened remains merged in a homogeneous whole, it can be inwardly perceived or felt [cf. 230n].

Glamour of appearances may breed pretences, which become harmful around the bend unless you are careful [cf. 230n].

The Great Universe symbolizes Brahman [cf. 230n].

The All-Consciousness is in some ways as the sky, but just by analogy. Knowing the mind does not depend on the sky-symbol [cf. 231].

One is to let concepts fade away [dwindle in contemplation] [cf. 231].

Everything postulated of Sangsara, arises [in part, at least] from mental concepts [cf. 231].

Different mental constructs can bring on various views [cf. 231].

Vacuousness is figurative; hence the Voidness too is merely figurative [cf. 231].

The Buddha only provisionally uses words and definitions to goad beings on - but one is to abandon symbolism to directly enter into the true reality [Skt. tattva]. If we indulge ourselves in sophistry reasonings and thus foster particularisations, do we have enough Wisdom? [cf. 231n].

"Mind-chains", "mind-associations", meaning "association of ideas", can change world-conceptions [cf. 231, 231n].

These are in essence very basic ideas of psychoanalysis too [cf. 231-32n]

Different classes of beings conceive ideas in different ways [cf. 232].

The unenlightened "see" (understand) according to mental concepts [as told] [cf. 232].

Various doctrines conform to deep sets of mental concepts [cf. 232].

To see things as a multiplicity . . . is to err [232].

There are sub-human creatures and there are beings in non-human worlds [cf. 232n].

The unenlightened remain fettered to dualism, quite incapable of transcendent at-one-ment [cf. 232n].

The unenlightened look upon the sangsara with what is popularly known as "a jaundiced eye", that is, with illusion or self-deception [cf. 232n].

Buddhism contains a transcendental system of psychotherapy to cure mankind of assuaging, unfounded beliefs [cf. 232n].

Buddhahood Mind shines without being perceived [cf. 233].

Through a certain dynamic thought-process, emancipation is granted rather automatically [cf. 233].

The quintessence of a mental concept is divine [cf. 233].

"Divine Wisdom" is also a mind-concept (an idea), and not solely a unificative inward state [cf. 233].

Objective things are understood through the constructs of mind, or mental concepts and such symbols, and are not conceived of apart from the mind inside [cf. 233n].

One-pointedness is a mental concept. "Existence and non-existence" are also concepts of the mind [cf. 234].

Perfections of this doctrine of perfection include charity and method that leads into profound one-pointedness of mind [cf. 234n].

What seems most paradoxical could be a formulation of worthwhile and careful thinking [cf. 234n].

All conceivable terms of conditions and things may be seen as symbolic (representational) [cf. 234n].

What utterly uninhibited Mind conceives can come into being [cf. 235].

Transcendent mind delivers, brings Liberation [cf. 235].

It looks natural for the mind to think and visualise [cf. 235n].

The ocean in our teachings represents inner mind in its naturalness - a homogeneous expanse as a completely tranquil sea at rest - and many thought-processes may bring about waves and repercussions [cf. 235n].

Outward symbols often assist teachings, and inner symbols may assist divine attainments [cf. 235n etc.].

One Mind [Primordial Essence] is nothing else [cf. 236].

To be real, Reality [also called Primordial Essence] is to be itself [cf. 236].

Normally, the body has to be disciplined for Thatness [Primordial Essence] to be attained or realised - through transcending much and common thinking [cf. 236n].

Not until the sesame seed is pressed and the milk churned, do oil and butter appear. Sentient beings are of the Buddha essence, but not until they realize this can they attain elixir and Nirvana [cf. 237].

By realization a cowherd may attain Liberation [237].

Literacy is not essential; an illiterate cowherd may attain Liberation [cf. 237n].

Concluding part

Even pandits go astray if they have not tasted the One Mind [Primordial Essence] and hence do not know It [cf. 237].

Explanations from blind leaders are quite unnecessary [cf. 237n].

Seek concise and profound, exceedingly vast Wisdom, and heed the own naked Deep Mind inside [cf. 238, 238n].


A bit more about Padma Sambhava: The Tibetan Nyingma tradition contains several lineages that all trace their origins to Padma Sambhava. Nyingma teaches what is known as Vajrayana. Mantrayana (mantra repetition) is an essential part of it. Nyingma teachings of Great Yoga (Mahayoga), or visualisation, and Dzogchen ("Great Perfection"), also called Atiyoga, are two of the most vital ones to reach up to. (Wikipedia, "Padmasambhava"; "Nyingma"; "Mahayoga"; "Dzogchen").

The Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism reflects the Buddhism of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). Within the Nyingma school and other Tibetan schools of Buddhism, much has been reformed over time. The crowning feature of Nyingma is taught to be Dzogchen practice (seeking to examine the fundamental nature of mind directly. Further, there are several books about Padmasambhava, still other books about Nyingma, some on Mahayoga and Atiyoga, and many on Dzogchen (Great Perfection) - many scores of books in English. Some are added to the book list below, but an alert may be in place right here:

Don't get killed by much porridge. Don't think that many words nourish a spirit in the best way either. They are helpful up to a certain level only. Sound and well adapted practice of decent, spiritual methods like meditation, is what is called for mainly, as you can rise beyond words in good meditation. That is what I do well to tell.

The higher forms of yoga, yoga-meditation, contain meditation methods. Make sure you take to the best ones available, and the best suited for you too. I should recommend ◦TM, a way of mantra-meditation. Why? It is ◦"best in some tests", and there is ◦much research into TM too.

Be ye lamps unto yourselves.
And hold fast to the Truth.

- From a Buddha saying [240].


Padma-Sambhava, Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava, Literature  

Lik: Evans-Wentz, Walter Yeeling, ed. The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation or the Method of Realizing Nirvana through Knowing the Mind. London: Oxford University Press, 1968. ⍽▢⍽ Published in the West for the first time in 1954, the text has also been published as "Self-Liberation Through Seeing With Naked Awareness," translated by John Myrdhin Reynolds and published by Snow Lion (2nd ed. 2010). — The translation by Evans-Went's is of liberal and encompassing outlook (which is criticized by some), whereas the one translated and commented on by Reynolds is more limiting in scope; because of "parochialism and need to discredit W. Y. Evans-Wentz."
    It has also been observed: "Reynolds seems allergic to regarding "mind" as universal Mind (the One Mind), or Divine Consciousness . . . the radius of his metaphysics is somewhat restricted. In fact, Reynolds almost comes across as a nitpicker . . . Unlike Evans-Wentz, Reynolds is not about framing Dzogchen within the Perennial Philosophy . . . [W]hereas Padmasambhava himself sees the Oneness of the Self-Realization at the root of all true Dharmas, Reynolds doesn't."
    Keeping probable, translated widening and narrowing-down in mind, it might help to read both. "Each text, despite its flaws, is good," one reader remarks. If it does not help or does not help much, the good thing is to get liberated and then see. As Padmasambhava says in the sixth part of the first chapter, there are many names for a state beyond classifications. The text in Reynold's translation:

Some call it "the nature of the mind" or "mind itself."
Some Tirthikas call it by the name Atman or "the Self."
Some call it . . . "the Perfection of Wisdom."
Some call it by the name Mahamudra or "the Great Symbol."
And some simply call it by the name "ordinary awareness."
    Padmasambhava's term Self-liberation is like Self-Realization in Vedanta or Hindu yoga. Be that as it may, in the Tibetan Nyingma tradition, "You Are the Eyes of the World", by Longchenpa ((1308–64) is good to compare with too.

Tiy: Evans-Wentz, Walter Yeeling, ed. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. 2nd ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1967. ⍽▢⍽ It is a good work. It contains translations of texts and also orally transmitted teachings collected and translated by the late Lama Kazi Dawa Samdup.

Tm: Evans-Wentz, Walter Yeeling, ed. Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa. 2nd ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1969. ⍽▢⍽ The book gives splendid insight into Tibetan Buddhism long ago through a remarkable and well written life story. Milarepa (c. 1052 – c. 1135), one of Tibet's most famous yogis and poets, showed how extreme poverty in a cave may not be total deprivation, thanks to steadfast perseverance through long years and hardships. He found he had been stripped of a great many magnificent illusions thereby. His best known disciples are probably Rechung and Gampopa.

Added literature

Dargay, Eva M. The Rise of Esoteric Buddhism in Tibet. 2nd rev. ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1979.

Dudjom Rinpoche, Jikdrel Yeshe Dorje. The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History. Trs. Gyurme Dorje, and Matthew Kapstein. Boston, MA: Wisdom Publications, 1991.

Freemantle, Francesca. Luminous Emptiness: Understanding the Tibetan Book of the Dead. London: Shambhala, 2001.

Guenther, Herbert. The Teachings of Padmasambhava. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1996. ⍽▢⍽

Lipman, Kennard, tr. Secret Teachings of Padmasambhava: Essential Instructions on Mastering the Energies of Life. London: Shambhala, 2010.

Longchenpa. You Are the Eyes of the World. 2nd ed. Tr. Kennard Lipman and Merrill Peterson. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion, 2010.

Padmasambhava. Advice from the Lotus-Born: A Collection of Padmasambhava's Advice to the Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal and Other Close Disciples. Tr. Erik Pema Kunsang (Erik Hein Schmidt). 3rd ed. Århus, DK, and Hong Kong: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2012. ⍽▢⍽ Recommended.

⸻. Guru' Heart Practices: Texts for Dispeller of Obstacles. Revealed by Chokgyur Lingpa and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. Ed. and comp. Marcia Dechen Wangmo [Marcia Binder Schmidt]. Tr. Erik Pema Kunsang (Erik Hein Schmidt), Hong Kong: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2014.

⸻. The Light of Wisdom: The Conclusion. Root Text by Padmasambhava. Commentary by Jamgöl Kongtrül. Comp. Chokgyur Lingpa. Tr. Erik Pema Kunsang (Erik Hein Schmidt). Commentary by Lodro Taye. Notes by Jamyang Drakpa. Contributor: Pema Trinley Nyingpo. Ed. Marcia Binder Schmidt. Hong Kong: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2013.

⸻. Natural Liberation: Padmasambhava's Teachings on the Six Bardos. Commentary by Gyatrul Rinpoche. Tr. B. Alan Wallace. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1998.

⸻. Self-Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness: An Introduction to the Nature of One's Own Mind from The Profound Teaching of Self-Liberation in the Primordial State of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities. A terma text of Guru Padmasambhava Expounding the View of Dzogchen, Rediscovered by Rigdzin Karma Lingpa. 2nd ed. Tr. John Myrdhin Reynolds. Itacha, NY: Snow Lion / Shambhala, 2010. ⍽▢⍽ John Reynolds is a good translator/editor/author in the field of Tibetan Dzogchen, although perhaps a little bit biased.

Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal. The Legend of the Great Stupa and The Life Story of the Lotus Born Guru. Berkeley, CA: Dharma Publishing, 2004. ⍽▢⍽

Taranatha, Jonang. A Biography of the Great Master Padmasambhava. Tr. and ed. Cristiana De Falco. Arcidosso, GT: Shang Shung Institute, 2011. ⍽▢⍽

Tsogyal, Yeshe. The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, Part 1 and 2. Trs. Douglas, Kenneth, and Gwendolyn Bays. Emeryville, CA: 1978. ⍽▢⍽ Here is "a treasury of esoteric teachings related in highly symbolic poetic form" from a guru who brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibetans in a large way. The text conveys insight and is valuable for students of the Nyingma tradition. The extraordinary Padmasambhava is said to be "never far from those with faith, or even from those without it."
    The original biography was recorded in the eighth century by his consort, princess Yeshe Tsogyal. The 108 cantos relate to stages of his life and also indications of a path to enlightenment. The book was translated from the French by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays, and then corrected with the original Tibetan.

Tsogyal, Yeshe. The Lotus-Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava. Tr. Erik Perna Kunsang. Boston, MA: Shambhala, 1999. ⍽▢⍽Traditional accounts: The yogi Padmasambhava grew up an adopted prince, was banished, burned at the stake, and continued unscathed for a long, long time. Tibetans tell he subjugated demons and taught the Buddha's teachings in their country.

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