Drubtab Kuntu

སྒྲུབ་ཐབས་ཀུན་བཏུས།

The Compendium of Sādhanas

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche Transmissions

From October 1, 2022, Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche will be bestowing the transmissions and teachings of the Compendium of Sādhanas (Drubtab Kuntu) at the Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Institute in Himachal Pradesh, India. This compendium contains tantric cycles, instructions, and prayers from all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and was collected by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo himself and completed by his student Jamyang Loter Wangpo.

The empowerments, reading transmissions, and teachings will take several months to complete and involve tantric samaya commitment, which has been detailed by Rinpoche here. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is an incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, so receiving these tantric teachings from him is considered to be particularly auspicious. More information on the details of the location and event can be found on Siddhartha’s Intent website.

During the transmissions, Khyentse Vision Project will be publishing a special set of translations that are found in both the Compendium of Sādhanas and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s Collected Works (Kabum).

Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Institute in Chauntra

Overview

Full Title:        The Compendium of Sādhanas: A Wish-Granting Well of Precious Attainments

sgrub pa’i thabs kun las btus pa dngos grub rin po che’i ’dod ’jo

Summary:       A vast collection of meditation liturgies, rites, and instructions belonging to the four classes of tantra from various Tibetan Buddhist lineages.

Compilers:      Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamyang Loter Wangpo

Number of Volumes:  14

First page of text from the Drubtab Kuntu

Content per Volume:  

  1. Three white deities and longevity sādhanas
  2. Protectors of the three families and deities of wisdom including Mañjuśrī and Sarasvatī
  3. Avalokiteśvara, Vajrapāṇi, and Tārā
  4. Deities from the highest class of tantra including Cakrasaṃvara, Guhyasamāja, and White Tārā
  5. Various tathāgatas, the Four Deities of Kadampa, the Six Deities of Vajrāsana, Three Secret Sādhana cycles of Shangpa, and deities from the Kālacakra Tantra
  6. Three deities from the Vajrapañjara Tantra and deities of purification
  7. Mañjuśrī Ekavīra, deities of pacification, deities of enrichment, and remedial deities
  8. Remedial deities and deities of wealth
  9. Deities of wealth, guardian deities, and protectors
  10. Various daily practices, prayers, and rituals
  11. Miscellaneous practices, dedication prayers, and index
  12. Supplementary material including collections of mantras and longevity deities
  13. Supplementary material including longevity empowerments and Vajrakīla
  14. Eighty-four mahāsiddhas and protectors

Like the Treasury of Oral Instructions (Dam Ngag Dzö) or the Treasury of Jewel Mines (Rinchen Ter Dzö),[1] the Compendium of Sādhanas (Drubtab Kuntu)[2] is among the monumental collections of texts assembled by the nonsectarian masters of the nineteenth century. Initially compiled by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo beginning in the 1840s and eventually completed by his disciple Jamyang Loter Wangpo, the Compendium contains a vast array of Vajrayāna cycles of teachings from the four classes of tantra from numerous lineages. These cycles are of varying lengths, depending on the number of texts included. The tantric cycles contained within this collection comprise a range of material, including:

  • Notes on the history of the teaching
  • Texts of Indic origin (usually a sādhana)
  • Rituals of authorization, blessing, or empowerment
  • Meditation liturgies of various lengths
  • Prayers to the lineage masters
  • Explanations of the authorization rituals
  • Various types of practice instructions for the sādhana
  • Retreat instructions
  • Teaching manuals
  • General rituals, such as torma rituals, feast offering, and fire offerings
  • Specific rites related to the activity of the deity
  • Praises and prayers
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

Historical Context

The name Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo is often mentioned in one breath with the name Jamgön Kongtrul (1813–1899) and the Rimé project that originated in Kham, Eastern Tibet. The Rimé ideal of unbiased appreciation of the teachings of all lineages was neither new nor was it unique to the lamas of Kham. Many Tibetan masters of the past, such as Longchenpa (1308–1363) or Tsonkhapa (1357–1419), studied with teachers of different traditions and held these lineages in high esteem. However, by the nineteenth century many authentic lineages were on the brink of extinction due to various circumstances, including institutional and political ones.[3]

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo grew up in Derge, a relatively independent kingdom in Eastern Tibet, whose rulers were known for their support of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Nurtured by this spirit, Khyentse Wangpo had a profound appreciation for all traditions and the purest devotion for their lineage holders, regardless of their institutional affiliation or their rank in society. Acutely aware of the potential, irreversible loss of countless precious teachings, Khyentse Wangpo chose the life of a wandering monk over that of the leader of a monastic institution. For a total of about thirteen years, he traveled extensively to receive all the instructions he could from the major and minor lineages. His closest collaborators on this mission were Jamgön Kongtrul, Mipham Gyatso (1846–1912), and Loter Wangpo (1847–1914).[4] Their combined work resulted in a period of unparalleled literary productivity. Hundreds of volumes containing teachings from all lineages of Tibetan Buddhism were produced under the leadership of the great Khyentse.

Jamyang Loter Wangpo

The Compendium

One of the auspicious fruits of Khyentse Wangpo’s efforts is the Compendium of Sādhanas. He started this work around the age of twenty during his first stay in Central Tibet. The basis was a collection called the Golden Volume, which contained instructions for many tantric teachings from the Sakya and Kadampa traditions.[5] To these, he added other authentic teachings he had received from various traditions, expanding the Compendium to ten volumes. Whenever a cycle of teachings was missing important elements—a lineage prayer, a short sādhana, instructions for the authorization ritual, and so on—Khyentse Wangpo would write the missing texts to complete the cycle. Dilgo Khyentse said, “At the heart of these great Dharma treasuries lie almost all Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s extraordinary secret writings—particularly in the Compendium of Sādhanas.”[6] Indeed, the Compendium contains about 240 original compositions of Khyentse Wangpo, most of which are also found in his Collected Works (Kabum). To ensure the continuity of all these lineages, he gave the transmission for these teachings on four occasions over the course of his life.[7]

“At the heart of these great Dharma treasuries lie almost all Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s extraordinary secret writings—particularly in the Compendium of Sādhanas.”

—Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Besides the individual cycles, Khyentse Wangpo included in the Compendium entire collections, such as the Hundred Teachings of Bari Lotsāwa (1040–1111) and the Hundred Teachings of Narthang; the teachings and authorization rituals for the eighty-four mahāsiddhas according to two lineages; some Nyingma teachings from both Kama and Terma traditions; as well as ancillary material, such as general explanations on tantra, special instructions on the subtle body, and so forth. Dilgo Khyentse stated, “Eventually, the exhaustive compilation of this great Dharma treasury was completed, brimful with many, many wonderful qualities, like that of describing the correct and absolutely reliable method for perfecting the two accomplishments, free from the extremes of being too elaborate or too abbreviated.”[8]

Before his passing, Khyentse Wangpo instructed his students to expand and complete the Compendium. Thus, Jamgön Kongtrul and Loter Wangpo collaborated to produce an additional five volumes, including many works from Khyentse Wangpo himself. With the task completed, the entire collection was ready for publication. A fourteen-volume manuscript was produced, which became the basis for the 1902 xylograph edition from Derge. This edition was reproduced by photomechanical process and published in 1970 by Dzongsar Institute in Kangra, India. Two digitized editions have been published since, one in 2002 by Guru Lama from Sachen International in Kathmandu and the other in 2015 in Chengdu.

Today, the Compendium of Sādhanas is widely used. Most authorization rituals and practice liturgies given by Sakya lamas—except for the Lamdre and Vajrayoginī cycles—are taken from this collection. With each cycle of teaching comprising all the elements needed for transmission and practice, it represents an invaluable resource for both lamas and practitioners of all traditions.

Overview, historical context, and introduction to the Compendium written by Christian Bernert

Useful References
  • Akester, Matthew, trans. The Life of Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo. By Jamgön Kongtrul. Khyentse Foundation, 2020.
  • Barron, Richard, trans. The Autobiography of Jamgön Kongtrul: A Gem of Many Colors. Ithaca N.Y: Snow Lion, 2003.
  • Dhongthog T. G. 2016. The Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism: A History. Translated by Sam Van Schaik. Somerville MA: Wisdom, 2016.
  • Drubgyud Tenzin Rinpoche and Khenpo Sonam Phuntsok, trans. The Life and Times of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö: The Great Biography by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Other Stories.  Boulder: Shambhala, 2017.
  • Ringu Tulku. The Ri-Me Philosophy of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great: A Study of the Buddhist Lineages of Tibet. Boston: Shambhala, 2006.
  • Van Schaik Sam. Tibet: A History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.
Links

https://siddharthasintent.org/events/drubthab-kuntu-teachings/
https://lotsawahouse.org/topics/compendium-of-sadhanas/
https://khyentsefoundation.org/the-life-of-jamyang-khyentse-wangpo/
https://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Jamyang-Khyentse-Wangpo/4291
https://rywiki.tsadra.org/index.php/sgrub_thabs_kun_btus
https://library.bdrc.io/show/bdr:MW23681

Editions of the Compendium of Sādhanas
  • sgrub thabs kun btus. Kangra: Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Literature and Dzongsar Institute for Advanced Studies, 1970.
  • sgrub thabs kun btus. Kathmandu: Sachen International, 2002.
  • sgrub thabs rin po che kun las btus pa. Khren tu’u: si khron zhing chen bod yig dpe rnying bsdu sgrig khang, 2015.

 

[1] The Treasury of Oral Instructions (Dam Ngak Dzö; gdams ngag mdzod) and the Treasury of Jewel Mines (Rinchen Ter Dzö; rin chen gter mdzod) were compiled by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye (1811–1899), who was both teacher and student of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.

[2] Sādhana (Tib. sgrub pa’i thabs) literally translates as, “means of accomplishment.” The term often refers, in a more narrow sense, to practice liturgies centered around tantric deities. It can also be understood in a wider sense as a whole path or system of practice followed to achieve awakening, involving recitation, rituals, and other practices.

[3] Van Schaik, Tibet, 160f.

[4] Jamgön Kongtrul from Palpung Monastery of the Karma Kagyu tradition was tasked by Khyentse Wangpo with the composition and collection of the Five Great Treasuries (mdzod chen lnga): Treasury of All Knowledge (shes bya kun khyab mzdzod), Treasury of Kagyu Mantras (bka’ brgyud bsngags mzdod), Treasury of Jewel Mines (rin chen gter mdzod), Treasury of Oral Instructions (gdams ngag mdzod), and the Extraordinary Treasury (thun mong ma yin pa’i mdzod); the Nyingma lama Mipham Gyatso with the writing of exegetical treatises according to the Nyingma tradition; and Loter Wangpo from the Sakya Ngor Monastery with the compilation of the Compendium of Tantras (rgyud sde kun btus).

[5] Tib.: Gser pod. This particular volume does not seem extant, possibly because it was considered superseded by the Compendium.

[6] Drubgyud Tenzin Rinpoche and Khenpo Sonam Phuntsok, The Life and Times of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö,  285.

[7] Akester, The Life of Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo, 142–43.

[8] Drubgyud Tenzin Rinpoche and Khenpo Sonam Phuntsok, The Life and Times of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, 285.

Contents

*Extracted from Autobiography of Jamgön Kongtrul, 532–43

VOLUME 1

VOLUME 2

VOLUME 3

VOLUME 4

VOLUME 5

VOLUME 6

VOLUME 7

VOLUME 8

VOLUME 9

VOLUME 10

VOLUME 11

VOLUME 12

VOLUME 13

VOLUME 14