rdzogs chen rgyud bco brgyad

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Eighteen Dzogchen Tantras - (rdzogs chen rgyud bco brgyad)


According to Khandro Nyingtik

Shri Singha then bestowed upon Padmasambhava the empowerments of the Great Perfection’s Heart Essence of the Dakinis, numerous scriptures of instructions on its application, and, as supportive teachings, these Eighteen Dzogchen Tantras:

  1. The Dra Talgyur Root Tantra,
  2. the Tantra Beyond Letters as the basis,
  3. the Tantra of Shining Relics on signs,
  4. the Tantra of Self-existing Perfection on empowerment,
  5. the Tantra of Pointing-Out Instructions,
  6. the Blazing Lamp Tantra,
  7. the Tantra of Self-Manifest Awareness,
  8. the Tantra of the Mind Mirror of Vajrasattva,
  9. the Tantra of Piled Gems,
  10. the Tantra of the Union of the Sun and Moon,
  11. the Tantra of Studded Jewels,
  12. the Tantra of Self-Liberated Awareness,
  13. the Pearl Garland Tantra,
  14. the Tantra of the Heart Mirror of Samantabhadra,
  15. the Tantra of Graceful Auspiciousness,
  16. the Tantra of the Perfected Lion,
  17. the Tantra of the Six Spheres,
  18. and the Tantra of Samantabhadri’s Sun of the Brilliant Expanse.

from Wellsprings, EPK


According to Vima Nyingtik


Descriptive list by Khenpo Ngawang Palzang

1. The Dra Talgyur Root Tantra, which resembles the gateway and key to the Luminous Essence, the supreme vehicle, explains how to attain the level of nirmanakaya and how to accomplish the welfare of others through practices related to sound.
2. The Tantra of Graceful Auspiciousness, which resembles a wheel, teaches how to establish the nature of awareness and how to identify the basis of confusion and the unmistaken wisdom.
3. The Tantra of the Heart Mirror of Samantabhadra, which resembles a sword, shows how to identify and cut through pitfalls and errors and how to establish what is intrinsic.
4. The Tantra of the Blazing Lamp, which resembles a radiant gemstone, teaches how to identify the “lamps” related to awareness, their terminology, analogies for how wisdom arises, the unity of awareness, and how to clear misconceptions about self-cognizance and how to practice.
5. The Tantra of the Mind Mirror of Vajrasattva, which resembles the sun, teaches how the lamps are the self-display of awareness. By means of twenty-one pointing-out instructions, the different types of people recognize wisdom. It further teaches the four key points and how to practice.
6. The Tantra of Self-Manifest Awareness, which resembles the ocean, teaches how to resolve the view, meditation, and action.
7. The Tantra of Studded Jewels, which resembles refined gold, shows how to eliminate the defects and sidetracks connected to the view and the practice of meditation, conduct, and fruition.
8. The Tantra of the Pointing-Out Instructions, which resembles showing a mirror to a maiden, describes, through various indications, how to apply the essence of awareness in one’s practice.
9. The Tantra of the Six Spheres of Samantabhadra, which resembles a great garuda, teaches how to purify and prevent rebirth in the six realms and how to manifest the pure realms of self-display.
10. The Tantra Beyond Letters, which resembles the King of Mountains, describes the actual means of practice, how to abandon activities and live in places free from defects, the four ways of freely resting, how to sustain naturalness, as well as the undefiled method of the main part of practice.
11. The Tantra of the Perfected Lion, which resembles a lion, explains the degrees of progress and the signs that occur, how to stabilize awareness, and how to increase the level of experience.
12. The Pearl Garland Tantra, which resembles a garland ornament, is taught for the sake of preventing awareness from straying by means of bringing it to maturation. It teaches how to practice and reach familiarity and liberation.
13. The Tantra of Self-Liberated Awareness, which resembles a knotted snake that uncoils by itself, teaches how awareness is uncreated but is liberated by itself, how to control appearances, how to grow familiar with the vajra chain, and how to naturally free all of samsara and nirvana.
14. The Tantra of Piled Gems, which resembles a king’s treasury, explains how the manifest qualities are all the essence of space and awareness.
15. The Tantra of Shining Relics, which resembles a king taking control of his land, describes the outer and inner signs of awareness reaching maturity that are manifest before and after the time of death in order to inspire and instill confidence in others.
16. The Union of Sun and Moon Tantra, which resembles a child climbing onto its mother’s lap, shows which experience a person undergoes in the intermediate state, the bardo, after passing away. It teaches how to resolve one’s master’s oral instructions during the bardo of this life, how to stabilize awareness during the bardo of dying, how to attain enlightenment through recognizing awareness during the bardo of dharmata, and, if necessary, how to be assured of a rebirth in a natural nirmanakaya realm during the bardo of becoming and there attain buddhahood without further rebirths.
17. The Tantra of Self-Existing Perfection, which resembles a river, teaches how to prepare to be a suitable recipient of the teachings by means of the four empowerments.
18. The Tantra of the Wrathful Black Guardian Shri Ekajati, which resembles a sharp razor, describes how to protect the practitioner against harms inflicted by others.

From Quintessential Dzogchen. Translation by EPK.


  • Old list:

Eighteen Dzogchen Tantras (received by Padmasambhava from Shri Singha): Dra Talgyur Root Tantra, the Tantra of Graceful Auspiciousness, the Tantra of the Heart Mirror of Samantabhadra, the Blazing Lamp Tantra, the Tantra of the Mind Mirror of Vajrasattva, the Tantra of Self-manifest Awareness, the Tantra of Studded Jewels, the Tantra of Pointing-out Instructions, the Tantra of the Six Spheres of Samantabhadra, the Tantra of No Letters, the Tantra of the Perfected Lion, the Pearl Garland Tantra, the Tantra of Self-liberated Awareness, the Tantra of Piled Gems, the Tantra of Shining Relics, the Union of Sun and Moon Tantra, the Tantra of Self-existing Perfection, and the Samantabhadri Tantra of the Sun of the Luminous Expanse. Comp. with rdzogs chen rgyud bcu bdun, rdzogs chen rgyud bcu dgu RY