The Nyingma Tradition

BDRC has an excellent collection of Nyingma texts as a result of its close connections with Nyingma lamas. For decades, BDRC’s founder, Gene Smith, was both a student and friend of H.H. Dilgo Khyentse (1910-1991), who was the head of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism from 1987-1991.

Dilgo Khyentse always stayed in Gene’s home whenever he went to New Delhi. In those days Dilgo Khyentse traveled with a sizable entourage, including several tulkus who would go on to become great lamas and supporters of BDRC, foremost among them Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.

After Dilgo Khyentse’s passing in 1991, the custodianship of the Nyingma literary heritage passed to Alak Zenkar Rinpoche. Thanks to the efforts of these two lamas and the many other publishers of Nyingma works, Gene was able to gather a massive collection of Nyingma writings and revelations, and share them with the BDRC community.

Gene Smith with Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Sangyum Khandro Lhamo, Tulku Pema Wangyal Rinpoche, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, Matthieu Ricard, and others, in the 1970s.

The past twenty years has been a golden age of Nyingma publications. Nyingma publishers in Lhasa, Kham, Amdo, Chengdu, and elsewhere have collected, edited, and published successively larger editions of the Nyingma Kama and created finely edited computer-input editions of the collected works of Longchenpa, Jikmé Lingpa, Dza Patrul, and other pillars of the Old School. Concurrently, Nyingmapas have published countless volumes of the classic terms cycles and even more of local terma traditions from Nyarong, Nangchen, Golok, and elsewhere.

BDRC has made great efforts to acquire all of these important works and share them with its global readership. Through BDRC’s field work, we have also preserved and made accessible many Nyingma works that had not previously been widely circulated.

Below is a list of the highlights of our recent Nyingma acquisitions. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to BDRC today to support the collection and dissemination of literary treasures such as these Nyingma texts.

Page from The Collected Works of Mewa Khenchen Norbu Tenzin (1898-1950).

རྙིང་མ་རྒྱུད་འབུམ།༼བྲིས་མ། གཞི་ཆེན་དགོན།༽ A manuscript edition of the Nyingma Gyubum in 30 volumes from Zhichen Monastery in Kham. This full-color scan captures the unique features of the original such as the red thumbprints on the title pages of each volume.

དཔལ་ཡུལ་དགོན་དུ་བཞུགས་པའི་དཔེ་རྙིང་། 63 volumes of heirloom texts from the library of the Pelyul Monastery in Derge, one of the six “mother monasteries” of the Nyingma School. The outline of this collection is largely complete for your easy navigation and discovery. Scholars of the material culture of Tibetan books will find this a treasure trove as it contains pothi from different centuries and printeries, a variety of scripts, and irreplaceable paratext including seals.

གནམ་ཆོས་སྐོར་གྱི་ལག་བྲིས་དཔེ་རྙིང་ཕྱོགས་སྡེབས། Another gem from the Pelyul tradition: a finely-calligraphed set of the Namchö Treasures of Mingyur Dorje in six volumes.

གནམ་ཆོས་རྫོགས་ཆེན་ཁྲིད་ཐོད་རྒལ་འོད་གསལ་གྱི་ཟབ་ཁྲིད་སངས་རྒྱས་ལག་འཆང་། “Buddhahood in the Palm of Your Hand,” the profound instructions of the Pelyul Namchö system of Dzokchen. BDRC is dedicated to seeking out and digitizing the surviving manuscripts of the essence of Buddhist contemplation such as this precious volume.

ཨ་འཛོམས་འབྲུག་པ་འགྲོ་འདུལ་དཔའ་བོ་རྡོ་རྗེའི་གསུང་ཕྱོགས་བསྡུས། The First Adzom Drukpa, Drodul Pawo Dorje (1842-1924) was a student of Jamgon Kongtrul, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Dza Patrul and other Nyingma masters of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This compilation of his works is comprised of manuscripts and woodblock prints of his termas and writings. It can be read in tandem with the computer input edition of his sungbum (Lhasa, 2013). For more on this figure who bridged the Rimé Period and the tumultuous twentieth century please see his biography on the Treasury of Lives.

རྨེ་བ་མཁན་ཆེན་ནོར་བུ་བསྟན་འཛིན་གྱི་གསུང་འབུམ། The Collected Works of Mewa Khenchen Norbu Tenzin (1898-1950). The author was a student of Khenpo Shenga and as such his twelve-volume sungbum is comprised of commentaries on the classic shastras of Indian Buddhism (rgya gzhung chen po rnams). In addition to the rare content, the production values of this set are also remarkable. The design elements are traditionally Tibetan but the illustrations, text highlights, decorations, and so forth, were all created on computer.

ཤུག་སྒང་གཏེར་ཆེན་པདྨ་འདུས་པ་རྩལ་ཀྱི་ཆོས་སྐོར། The collected treasures and writings of Shukgang Tertön Pema Dupatsel (1870-1932). This eleven-volume collection has never been published and this may be the only surviving copy. Even if it is computer-input and later released in paperback form, scholars and practitioners will always want to consult BDRC’s color scans of the original.

ཆུ་མའི་སྔགས་མང་དུ་བཞུགས་པའི་དཔེ་རྙིང་སྐོར། 3 short volumes from the personal library of a tantrist of the Chuma Ngakmang community in Repkong.

འབར་བའི་རྡོ་རྗེའི་གསུང་དཔེ་རྙིང་། The collected treasures and teachings of Barway Dorje (1836-1918) of Nangchen. He was a master of Barom Kagyu lineage and also a prolific treasure revealer. His biography has been translated into English.

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