His Holiness Khöndung Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, the 42nd Sakya Trizin, the eldest son of His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin, is considered one of the most highly qualified lineage masters of Tibetan Buddhism. Renowned for his erudition and the clarity of his teachings, Rinpoche belongs to the prestigious Sakya Khön family, whose successive generations have provided an unbroken lineage of outstanding masters. From birth, His Holiness was the recipient of countless blessings, empowerments, and teachings from His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin as well as many other learned and accomplished masters, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche. In March 2017, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche became the leader of Sakya tradition, and he has since continued to guide and inspire Dharma students from around the world.
THE BODHISATTVA PATH FROM GROUND TO FRUITION
Commentary on Sakya Paṇḍita’s Clarifying the Sage’s Intent
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Discover profound teachings on the Buddhist path from His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin Ratna Vajra, one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most prominent leaders.
His Holiness Ratna Vajra Rinpoche is one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most highly qualified teachers, having received all the major empowerments, transmissions, and teachings directly from his father, Gongma Trichen Rinpoche, the forty-first Sakya throne holder and one of the most senior teachers of the Sakya tradition. Following in the footsteps of his forefathers, His Holiness is renowned for the purity of his transmission, always taking great care to offer to his disciples the teachings as he faithfully received them. To the great fortune of his non-Tibetan-speaking students, His Holiness is also fluent in English, giving them a direct access to his teachings.
In this book, His Holiness offers profound commentary on Sakya Paṇḍita’s Clarifying the Sage’s Intent, one of Tibet’s most revered works on the bodhisattva path. Elucidating Sakya Paṇḍita’s teachings in exquisite detail, His Holiness describes the ground of Buddhist practice as the spiritual potential for liberation that is present in the hearts of all beings. He outlines the foundational practices of taking refuge and cultivating the resolve to become awakened, before detailing the six perfections, the levels of accomplishment of bodhisattvas, and the fruition of practice as a fully awakened buddha.
- 294 pages, 6 x 9 inches
- ISBN 9781614297963
Sounds of Innate Freedom, Volume 4
Sounds of Innate Freedom: The Indian Texts of Mahāmudrā are historic volumes containing many of the first English translations of classic mahamudra literature. The texts and songs in these volumes constitute the large compendium called The Indian Texts of the Mahāmudrā of Definitive Meaning, compiled by the Seventh Karmapa, Chötra Gyatso (1456–1539). The collection offers a brilliant window into the richness of the vast ocean of Indian mahamudra texts cherished in all Tibetan lineages, particularly in the Kagyü tradition, giving us a clear view of the sources of one of the world’s great contemplative traditions.
Besides the individual dohās (couplets), vajragītis (vajra songs), and caryāgītis (conduct songs) in this second volume in publication, the three extensive commentaries it contains brilliantly unravel enigmas and bring clarity not only to the specific songs they comment on but to many other, often cryptic, songs of realization in this collection. These expressive songs of the inexpressible offer readers a feast of profound and powerful pith instructions uttered by numerous male and female mahāsiddhas, yogis, and ḍākinīs, often in the context of ritual gaṇacakras and initially kept in their secret treasury. Displaying a vast range of themes, styles, and metaphors, they all point to the single true nature of the mind—mahāmudrā—in inspiring ways and from different angles, using a dazzling array of skillful means to penetrate the sole vital point of buddhahood being found nowhere but within our own mind. Reading and singing these songs of mystical wonder, bliss, and ecstatic freedom, and contemplating their meaning, will open doors to spiritual experience for us today just as it has for countless practitioners in the past.
The Play of Mahamudra
“This new collected edition of Khenpo Migmar Tseten’s Play of Mahamudra volumes constitutes a veritable treasure for all who are deeply engaged on the path to enlightenment. Khenpo Migmar’s translation of Mahasiddha Virupa’s Treasury of Dohas and of Sachen Kunga Nyingpo’s Praise to Virupa makes us intimately familiar with the essence of these root texts, and his elucidation of the Dohas offers us a deep and clear understanding of their core meaning. Anyone who truly contemplates on Mahasiddha Virupa’s words is certain to attain realization.”
—His Holiness the Sakya Trichen
In this collection, renowned Tibetan Buddhist teacher Lama Migmar Tseten provides essential commentary on the mystical songs of the Indian Buddhist rebel-saint Virupa. One of the most celebrated tantric masters of Buddhist India, Virupa’s songs describe his realization of mahamudra, the ultimate nature of reality. Intimate and highly engaging, The Play of Mahamudra unpacks these songs with meticulous clarity, making Virupa’s insights accessible to modern readers.
Freeing the Heart and Mind: Volume 3
Collected from teachings by His Holiness, this book is a warm and comprehensive introduction to the Buddhist path as told by the patriarch of the Sakya order. His Holiness offers explanations of the philosophical tenets of the Mahayana path and in particular the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism—giving down-to-earth advice for practicing in the world today, including
- the principles of tantra,
- the value of retreat,
- the history of the Sakya lineage,
- ecology from a Buddhist perspective,
- biographies of great women practitioners,
- and other fascinating topics.
This is a must-read for anyone interested in following a Buddhist spiritual path.
Freeing the Heart and Mind: Volume 2
His Holiness the Sakya Trichen, the forty-first head of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism, with his trademark clarity and deep wisdom here unpacks two texts by the legendary thirteenth-century Drogön Chögyal Phagpa. A founding father of the Sakya school, Chögyal Phagpa became the first imperial preceptor under Kublai Khan and thus converted the Mongols to Tibetan Buddhism. His two texts presented here, A Gift of Dharma to Kublai Khan and A Garland of Jewels—the second of which was written as advice for Prince Gibek Timur—are marvels of insight.
Freeing the Heart and Mind includes a biography of Chögyal Phagpa by Ngawang Kunga Sönam, himself an important Sakya throneholder. A Gift of Dharma to Kublai Khan and A Garland of Jewels are then presented in sparkling translation, each accompanied by penetrating commentary from His Holiness. Freeing the Heart and Mind takes these two texts, written initially for royalty, and reveals how their timeless lessons—how to meditate, the personal characteristics we should cultivate, and the states on the path to buddhahood—can be incorporated into our lives today.
Featuring a gorgeous full-color photo section, this book can be enjoyed either as the second volume in the course developed by His Holiness or as a stand-alone volume on its own merits.
Read more about Freeing the Heart and Mind: Volume One here.
Freeing the Heart and Mind, Volumes 1 and 2
In Part One: Introduction to the Buddhist Path, His Holiness the Sakya Trichen—the head of the glorious Sakya lineage, one of the four primary schools of Tibetan Buddhism—presents the essential Buddhist teachings of the four noble truths, universal compassion, and the proper motivation for practice. This book opens by sharing a private teaching His Holiness gave to a young newcomer seeking to understand this great master’s spiritual heritage. His Holiness’ advice inspires us to integrate the living power of these teachings into our daily lives.
Part Two: Chogyal Phagpa on the Buddhist Path unpacks two texts by the legendary thirteenth-century Drogön Chögyal Phagpa. A founding father of the Sakya school, Chögyal Phagpa became the first imperial preceptor under Kublai Khan and thus converted the Mongols to Tibetan Buddhism. His two texts presented here, A Gift of Dharma to Kublai Khan and A Garland of Jewels, which was written as advice for Prince Gibek Timur, are marvels of insight.
Freeing the Heart and Mind, Part Two begins with a biography of Chögyal Phagpa by Ngawang Kunga Sönam, himself an important Sakya throneholder. The two texts are then presented in sparkling translation, each accompanied by penetrating commentary from His Holiness, who takes these texts, written initially for royalty, and shows how their timeless lessons—how to meditate, the personal characteristics we should cultivate, and the states on the path to buddhahood—can be incorporated into our lives today.
Taken together, these two books form an essential course developed by His Holiness the Sakya Trichen, showcasing his trademark clarity and deep wisdom.
The Three Levels of Spiritual Perception
The Three Levels of Spiritual Perception is a revised edition of the classic guide to the Lamdre, a key system of meditation of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Written by one of the first Tibetan masters to live and teach in the United States, it is rendered in a lyrical style that entertains, inspires, and motivates the reader. A key work for all those who are eager to develop and deepen their meditation practice.
Learn more about Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrup at the Treasury of Lives.
The Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism
Since its 1976 publication in Tibetan, Dhongthog Rinpoche’s history of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism has been a key reference for specialists in Tibetan studies. Now English readers can consult it as well through Sam van Schaik’s authoritative, fully annotated and accessible translation.
The book begins by examining the development of Buddhism in India and Tibet, setting the scene for the Khon family’s establishment of the Sakya school in the eleventh century. Rinpoche subsequently provides accounts of the transmission of the Lamdre (the heart of Sakya contemplative practice and other major streams of esoteric instruction) and the Ngor and Tshar branches of the Sakya tradition. Highlights also include surveys of great Sakya and nonsectarian masters such as Rongtongpa, Gorampa, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, and Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. This traditional history, compiled both from earlier histories and from the author’s direct connection to masters of the tradition, is an enormously valuable resource for the study of Tibetan Buddhism.
The tantric Buddhist tradition of the Lam ’bras, the “Path with the Result,” has been practiced in Tibet for almost a thousand years, most prominently within the Sakya lineage. Luminous Lives is the first in-depth study of the literature and history of the Lam ’bras in Tibet. The central focus of the work is a rare Tibetan history that brings alive the story of the earliest men and women practitioners of the Lam ’bras. This text, recording the words of the great Sakya Pandita (1182–1251), was a major source for all later histories of the tradition. Recently rediscovered, it has been reproduced here along with Cyrus Stearns’ excellent translation, introduction, and annotations. Luminous Lives opens a window into the world of one of the great traditions of tantric Buddhism in Tibet.
Taking the Result as the Path
The tradition known as the Path with the Result, or Lamdré‚ is the most important tantric system of meditation practice and theory in the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. This volume contains an unprecedented compilation of eleven vital works from different periods in the history of the Path with the Result in India and Tibet, including the Vajra Lines of the great Indian adept Virūpa (ca. seventh–eighth centuries), the basic text of the tradition. The collection also includes six writings by Jamyang Khyentsé Wangchuk (1524–68) and an instruction manual composed by the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617–62). None of the works in this book have ever been published before in any European language, and most of these writings traditionally have been considered secret. The present translation, an important new volume of the Library of Tibetan Classics, has been made with the personal approval and encouragement of His Holiness Sakya Trizin, head of the Sakya tradition. Students of the Lamdré will rejoice at the availability and lucidity of this major translation of key Sakya texts.
Freedom from Extremes
What is emptiness? This question at the heart of Buddhist philosophy has preoccupied the greatest minds of India and Tibet for two millennia, producing hundreds of volumes. Distinguishing the Views, by the fifteenth-century Sakya scholar Gorampa Sönam Sengé, is one of the most important of those works, esteemed for its conciseness, lucidity, and profundity. Freedom from Extremes presents Gorampa’s elegant philosophical case on the matter of emptiness here in a masterful translation by Geshe Lobsang Dargyay.
Gorampa’s text is polemical, and his targets are two of Tibet’s greatest thinkers: Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelug school, and Dölpopa, a founding figure of the Jonang school. Distinguishing the Views argues that Dolpopa has fallen into an eternalistic extreme, whereas Tsongkhapa has fallen into nihilism, and that only the mainstream Sakya view—what Gorampa calls “freedom from extremes”—represents the true middle way, the correct view of emptiness. Suppressed for years in Tibet, this seminal work today is widely regarded and is studied in some of Tibet’s greatest academic institutions.
Gorampa’s treatise has been translated and annotated here by two leading scholars of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, and a critical edition of the Tibetan text on facing pages gives students and scholars direct access to Gorampa’s own words. José Cabezón’s extended introduction provides a thorough overview of Tibetan polemical literature and contextualizes the life and work of Gorampa both historically and intellectually. Freedom from Extremes will be indispensable for serious students of Madhyamaka thought.
Learn more about the Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism series.
Song of the Road
In Song of the Road, Tsarchen Losal Gyatso (1502-66), a tantric master of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, weaves ecstatic poetry, song, and accounts of visionary experiences into a record of pilgrimage to central Tibet. Translated for the first time here, Tsarchen’s work, a favorite of the Fifth Dalai Lama, brims with striking descriptions of encounters with the divine as well as lyrical portraits of Tibetan landscape. The literary flights of Song of the Road are anchored by Tsarchen’s candid observations on the social and political climate of his day, including a rare example in Tibetan literature of open critique of religious power.
Like the Japanese master Basho’s famous Narrow Road to the Interior, written 150 years later, Tsarchen’s travelogue contains a mixture of luminous prose and verse, rich with allusions. Traveling on horseback with a band of companions, Tsarchen visited some of the most renowned holy sites of the Tsang region, incluing Jonang, Tropu, Ngor, Shalu, and Gyantse. In his introduction and copious notes, Cyrus Stearns unearths the layers of meaning concealed in the text, excavating the history, legends, and lore associated with people and places encountered on the pilgrimage, revealing the spiritual as well as geographical topography of Tsarchen’s journey.
A Saint in Seattle
In 1960, the Tibetan lama Dezhung Rinpoche (1906-87) arrived in Seattle after being forced into exile from his native land by the Communist Chinese. Already a revered master of the teachings of all Tibetan Buddhist schools, he would eventually become a teacher of some of Western Buddhism’s most notable scholars. This is the inspiring and unlikely biography of a modern buddha.
Freeing the Heart and Mind
His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, the head of the glorious Sakya lineage, one of the four primary schools of Tibetan Buddhism, presents here the essential Buddhist teachings of the four noble truths, universal compassion, and the proper motivation for practice. This book opens by sharing a private teaching His Holiness gave to a young newcomer seeking to understand this great master’s spiritual heritage. His Holiness’s advice inspires us to integrate the living power of these teachings into our daily lives.
Full of timeless wisdom, Freeing the Heart and Mind contains, in addition to this introduction, an explanation of the teaching Matchless Compassion by the Indian saint Virupa, and a selection of commentaries on the essential teaching called Parting from the Four Attachments. Developed as the first volume in a course of study for students of the Sakya tradition, it nonetheless stands alone as an excellent entry into the teachings of the Buddha.
Freeing the Heart and Mind includes a full-color photo insert of Sakya lineage masters.
A popular guide to the art of living, the Sakya Legshe—or “Treasury of Good Advice”—has been fundamental to the development of Tibetan culture and character. As in Aesop’s Fables, Sakya Pandita uses proverbs and stories to address the basic question: “How are we to live peaceably with ourselves and with others?”
This is the only available English translation of the Sakya Legshe—a book that reveals the heart of the Buddhist way of life.
Read Sakya Pandita’s biography at the Treasury of Lives.
To Dispel the Misery of the World
“Offered here is the pith advice on mind training according to the great vehicle. This is the path followed by all the buddhas and their children of the past, present, and future, the most profound instruction of the oral lineage, and the quintessence of the ocean of all the excellent teachings.”—Ga Rabjampa
This short book contains a wealth of advice for those wanting to become more fully human. When we are disconnected from others we flounder; only by recognizing the profound interdependence of all beings do we flourish and grow. The famous Seven-Point Mind Training, in just a few pages of one-line instructions, provides direct and powerful advice for breaking through the chronic barriers that separate us from those around us. It is easy to see why it is one of the most cherished texts in all of Tibetan Buddhism.
Ga Rabjampa, an influential master of the fifteenth century, here uses the Seven-Point Mind Training as the basis for illuminating the essential teachings on Buddhism, giving special attention to the practices of giving and taking (tonglen) and of transforming adversity into opportunities for spiritual growth.
Learn more about Ga Rabjampa at the Treasury of Lives.