Development Stage

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Development Stage (Tib: bskyed rim; Skt: utpattikrama)

Along with Perfection Stage, one of two main divisions of tantric practice. Development stage involves the visualization of deities and pure realms, the recitation of mantra and resting the mind in samadhi. Respectively, these three elements purify the practitioners ordinary body, speech and mind, perfect the innate nature of these three: vajra body, speech and mind, and mature the student so that they are prepared for perfection stage practice. These three elements, referred to in the Nyingma School as purification, perfection and maturation, or dag rdzogs smin in Tibetan, are said to be the primary functions of this stage of practice.

Development stage practice is also said to correlate with and purify the birth process (whereas perfection stage relates primarily to the stages of death). Thus, there are said to be four main styles of practice: very elaborate, elaborate, simple and utterly simple (not to be confused with a similar but slightly different categorization found in the Dzogchen teachings. These four correlate with the four types of birth: egg birth, womb birth, heat/moisture birth and instantaneous birth

Tibetan Sources on Development Stage

  • kun mkhyen bstan pa’i nyi ma. (2000). bskyed rim gyi zin bris cho ga spyi ‘gros ltar bkod pa man ngag kun btus zhes bya ba bzhugs so. Delhi: Chos Spyod Publications.
  • klong chen rab ‘byams. (1999). rdzogs pa chen po sems nyid ngal gso’i ‘grel pa shing rta chen po zhes bya ba bzhugs so. Contained in rdzogs pa chen po ngal so skor gsum dang rang grol skor gsum bcas pod gsum, Vol. 1, pp. 113-730 & Vol 2, pp. 1-381. Scanned edition of the prints from a ‘dzom ‘brug pa chos sgar. New York: Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center.
  • —. (1998). dpal gsang ba'i snying po de kho na nyid nges pa'i rgyud kyi 'grel pa phyogs bcu'i mun pa thams cad rnam par sel ba zhes bya ba bzhugs so. Kathmandu: Shechen Monastery (computer version).
  • klong chen ye shes rdo rje (Kangyur Rinpoché). yon tan rin po che’i mdzod kyi mchan ‘grel theg gsum bdud rtsi’i nying khu zhes bya ba bzhugs so. Kathmandu: Shechen Monastery (unpaginated computer version).
  • ‘jam dgon kong sprul blo gros mtha’ yas. (2000). theg pa’i sgo kun las btus pa gsung rab rin po che’i mdzod bslab pa gsum legs par stong pa’i bstan bcos shes bya kun khyab ces bya ba bzhugs so. Kathmandu: Padma Karpo Translation Committee.
  • ‘jigs med gling pa. yon tan rin po che’i mdzod las ‘bras bu’i theg pa rgya cher ‘grel rnam mkhyen shing rta. Kathmandu: Shechen Monastery (unpaginated computer version).
  • —. (1985). bla ma dgongs pa 'dus pa'i cho ga'i rnam bzhag dang 'brel ba’i bskyed rdzogs zung ‘jug gi sgron ma mkhyen brtse’i me long ‘od zer brgya pa. Paro, Bhutan: Lama Ngodrup and Sherab Demy.
  • ‘ju mi pham rgya mtsho. gsang ‘grel phyogs bcu’i mun sel gyi spyi don ‘od gsal snying po. Publication data unknown.
  • lo chen dharma shri. dpal gsang ba'i snying po de kho na nyid nges pa'i rgyud kyi rgyal po sgyu 'phrul drwa ba spyi don gyi sgo nas gtan la 'bebs par byed pa'i legs bshad gsang bdag zhal lung zhes bya ba bzhugs so. Kathmandu: Shechen Publications.
  • ngag dbang dpal bzang (Khenpo Ngaga). srog sdom gzer bzhi’i zin bris kun mkhyen brgyud pa’i zhal lung zhes bya ba bzhugs so. Publication data unknown.
  • zhe chen rgyal tshab ‘gyur med padma rnam rgyal. (2004). bskyed rim spyi’i rnam par bzhag pa nyung gsal go bder brjod pa rab gsal nor bu’i me long. New Delhi: Sechen Publications.
  • yon tan rgya mtsho. yon tan rin po che’i mdzod kyi ‘grel pa zab don snang byed nyi ma’i ‘od zer. Kathmandu: Shechen Monastery (unpaginated computer version).


Sources in Translation

  • Dilgo Khyentse. 2002. Pure Appearance. Halifax: Nalanda Translation Committee.
  • Dudjom Rinpoche. (1991). The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History. Translated by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein. Boston: Wisdom Publications.
  • Gyatrul Rinpoche. (1992). Generating the Deity. Translated by Sangye Khandro. Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications.
  • Jamgön Kongtrül. (1996). Creation and Completion: Essential Points of Tantric Meditation. Translated by Sarah Harding. Boston: Wisdom Publications.
  • Jigme Lingpa, Patrul Rinpoche, Getse Mahapandita. (2007). Deity, Mantra and Wisdom: Development Stage Meditation in Tibetan Buddhist Tantra. Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications.
  • Khamtrul Rinpoche. (1994). Dzogchen Meditation. Translated by Gareth Sparham. Dharamsala, India: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.
  • Khenpo Namdrol. (1999). The Practice of Vajrakilaya. Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications.
  • Padmasambhava and Jamgön Kongtrül. (1986). Light of Wisdom, Vol. II. Translated by Erik Pema Kunsang. Kathmandu, Nepal: Rangjung Yeshe Publications.
  • Thinley Norbu. (1983). The Small Golden Key. Boston: Shambhala Publications.
  • Tsele Natsok Rangdröl. (1987). The Mirror of Mindfulness: The Cycle of the Four Bardos. Translated by Erik Pema Kunsang. Kathmandu, Nepal: Rangjung Yeshe Publications.

Alternate Spellings

Creation Stage
Creation Phase
Development Phase
Generation Stage
Generation Phase
Kyerim