The precious and unsurpassable teachings taught by the Buddha of our times, Buddha Shakyamuni, have continued from the moment the Buddha first turned the wheel of dharma until today through the very vital and important tradition of transmissions. From the moment that buddhadharma was first taught by Buddha Shakyamuni in Sarnath to the present day, the path of learning, studying, contemplating and practicing these peerless teachings has been filled with many hardships and perils. It is only through the kindness of all the masters and practitioners in the past who came before us and received these teachings, practiced them, held them and passed them on that it is possible for us to receive them today in an unbroken and continuous line. Therefore, we gain the good fortune and possibility to practice these teachings and earn merit for ourselves and for the benefit of all sentient beings.
The tradition of Buddhism that developed and flourished in Tibet can be traced back and principally contributed to Padmasambhava, who was invited by the Tibetan King Trisong Deutsen at the advice of Shantarakshita, a great Indian scholar and pandita. It was through the efforts and dedicated hard work of Padmasambhava and the great translators of Tibet that the precious teachings were brought from India into Tibet and transmitted all across Tibet where Buddhism grew and flourished right up till the Chinese invasion in 1959.
Two Streams of Nyingma Teachings
The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism has two main streams of teachings- the Kama (bka’ ma) and Terma (gter ma). The kama teachings comprise of the oral teachings and transmissions passed orally in an unbroken line from master to student. The terma teachings are various precious transmissions that were concealed by Padmasambhava to be revealed later at the right time by the right person to whom it was entrusted by Padmasambhava himself. These two streams of transmission are pivotal and of the utmost importance for the study, practice and flourishing of the authentic buddhadharma.
The Kama teachings are the teachings of the inner tantras translated into Tibetan by Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra and other great translators in the 9th century and transmitted through an unbroken lineage of teachers to the present day.
In accordance with the command of her father and root guru Kyabje Mindrolling Trichen, Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche sponsored the Kama transmissions during the winter of 1997-1998. These precious and unbroken transmissions were graciously bestowed by Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche to the fortunate sangha of Mindrolling so that these transmissions could be practiced and propagated by the next generation of practitioners for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Minling Chökhor (Entire Mindrolling Lineage Transmissions)
Established in 1676 in the Drachi Valley by the great Dharma king Chögyal Terdag Lingpa, Mindrolling attracted monks from the length and breadth of Tibet. Mindrolling was, and is today, considered by all the great masters of Tibetan Buddhism, and especially by all the teachers of the Nyingma lineage, as an inspiring example of the practice of the pure and profound Dharma of Vajrayana Buddhism. From the time of Terdag Lingpa, the Mindrolling Monastery has always been referred to as the chu ‘go or source of the Nyingma teachings.
Many precious teachings, on the brink of being lost, were compiled and restored under the guidance of Terdag Lingpa. He authored a magnificent treatise, the Terchen Kabum (collected works), containing expositions on the various branches of studies of Tibetan Buddhism in sixteen volumes. Terdag Lingpa also compiled texts such as the bDud ‘joms Bhum Zang, a collection of various empowerments on which the Great Terdzöd was later based.
The gathered collection of transmissions particular to the Mindrolling lineage is collectively known as the Minling Chökhor. These include all the termas discovered by Terdag Lingpa and several older transmissions, such as Kagyed Desheg Düpa and Lama Sangdü, which Terdag Lingpa and Lochen Dharmashri revitalized by reviving these precious teachings which were almost lost at the time and re-transmitting them in the authentic way. During the months of April and May of 2007, in accordance with the command of her root guru and father Kyabje Mindrolling Trichen, Jetsün Mindrolling Khandro Rinpoche sponsored the entire Minling Chökhor. These invaluable transmissions were most graciously bestowed by Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche, one of most pre-eminent and respected masters of the Nyingma school and the oldest and senior most tulku within the Mindrolling lineage. The Minling Chökhor transmissions were held at the Mindrolling Monastery in Dehra Dun, India.
The Rinchen Terdzöd (The Precious Treasury of Terma) is one of the most treasured and important set of transmissions of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. The Rinchen Terdzöd is a compilation of the treasure teachings of Guru Rinpoche, Vimalamitra, Vairotsana, and other great masters, which were concealed during their own time and later discovered by eminent tertöns, or treasure-revealers, between the 11th and 19th centuries.
In an effort to preserve these precious terma treasures, the great masters Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Chokgyur Lingpa collected them into 64 volumes called Rinchen Terdzöd, or the Precious Treasury of Terma. This collection was described by the 15th Gyalwang Karmapa as “the quintessence of the ocean-like teachings of the sugatas, the profound Vidyadhara Pitaka of the Early Translation School.”
It was the wish of Kyabje Mindrolling Trichen Rinpoche that the Rinchen Terdzöd be bestowed, once again, for the new generation of teachers and students of Tibetan Buddhism and for the continuation and flourishing of Tibetan Buddhism in general, and of the Nyingma School, the Sublime Tradition of the Ancient Translations, in particular. In accordance with the wishes of Kyabje Mindrolling Trichen, her root guru and father, Her Eminence Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche sponsored the entire event.
In the face of repeated heartfelt supplications to Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche by the sangha of Mindrolling to bestow the Rinchen Terdzöd for the benefit of all practitioners of the Buddhadharma, to the great good fortune and joy of everyone at Mindrolling, Rinpoche most graciously agreed. The Rinchen Terdzöd took place on the campus grounds of Mindrolling Monastery in Dehra Dun, India and was received by thousands of participants. Among these participants were many pre-eminent masters of Tibetan Buddhism who will be the future holders of dharma and the ones to pass on these precious teachings to the next generation of dharma practitioners.
Your donation will be directed to Samten Tse Charitable Society. STCS is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, established to support and fund the work and various charitable projects of Her Eminence Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche in India and abroad.