Tsasum Drildrub

The Heart Jewel
The Sādhana Practice of the Three Roots Combined into One

This sādhana combines the Three Roots practice into one and is centered on Padmasambhava in the form of Nangsi Zilnon, the one who prevails over all that appears and exists. The terma revelation was first discovered in the eleventh century by Sangye Lama, who is generally regarded as the first Nyingma treasure revealer. It was rediscovered centuries later by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.

The Tsasum Drildrub appears in the Khyentse Wangpo Kabab Dun collection. It also figures in the Precious Treasury of Rediscovered Teachings (Rinchen Terdzö), the massive collection of spiritual treasures compiled by Khyentse Wangpo’s close associate, Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Taye. The original transmission lineage from Sangye Lama (1000-1080) disappeared over time and was only revived after it was rediscovered by Khyentse Wangpo, identified by his treasure revealer name, Dorje Ziji Tsal. Jamgön Kongtrul described the Great Khyentse’s discovery in the Life of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo:

Tsasum Drildrub thangka, courtesy of Dzongsar Monastery, Derge

“Guru Rinpoche appeared in person, while the master himself took on the form of each successive treasure revealer, as he granted each the ripening and completion stages of the relevant instructions all in one go, in perfectly miraculous style. On the first such occasion, Tertön Sangye Lama appeared to him in person, dressed as a tantric priest with a dark maroon shawl over a yellow vest, and granted him the blessing of a teaching in twenty-one parts that he said was his own Tsasum Ngodrub Tenzik revelation. That cycle was in symbolic script, and the main part was never transcribed, but his summarized Tsasum Drildrub practice manual and treasure empowerment are there [with the general sādhana of the Three Roots in the Rinchen Terdzö (vol.4).]”

Lineage prayer

Cloudbanks of Blessings is a lineage prayer composed by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo to accompany the Tsasum Drildrub sādhana. Beyond its inspiring beauty, this prayer is noteworthy for its detailed invocation of the early Nyingma lineages of the Great Perfection and other tantras.

Main Sādhana

The Heart Jewel: The Sādhana Practice of the Three Roots Combined into One  is a comprehensive Three Roots practice for daily use that includes all the elements for retreat and group practice. It centers on a self-visualization of Guru Padmasambhava together with the associated peaceful and wrathful deities of the padma family. The sādhana also includes a longevity invocation, cleansing smoke offerings, torma offerings to the dharmapālas, and feast offerings. Please note: as a feature of the KVP reading room, you can toggle on and off Tibetan and/or phonetics for this sādhana to suit your own practice preferences.

The original translation of both texts was by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and Daniel Staffer in 1990. Subsequent revisions were undertaken by Ani Lodro Palmo, Steve Cline and Jing Rui Huang (1995, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2022). This new edition has been further revised by Steve Cline and edited by Khyentse Vision Project.


Khyentse Vision Project will soon publish a compilation of these Tsasum Drildrub texts aimed at ease of use for practitioners, incorporating a supplemental prayer by the omniscient Longchenpa. Check this page for updates.