Translating the Works of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
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The literary legacy of Khyentse Wangpo is encapsulated in two distinct collections: the Kabum (Collected Works) and the Kabab Dun (Seven Transmissions). These two collections provide a comprehensive view of Khyentse Wangpo’s life and literary contributions, which were prolific and diverse. His writings span the full scope of Tibetan Buddhist lineage traditions, reflecting the nineteenth-century nonsectarian Rimé spirit that he embodied.
The collected writings of Khyentse Wangpo in 25 volumes, covering a diverse range of genres and topics.
Kabab Dun
The collected treasure teachings of Khyentse Wangpo in 22 volumes, based on the Seven Transmissions.
Khyentse Wangpo’s Kabum is a twenty-five-volume collection that serves as the primary repository for his writings spanning over five decades, with a total of over 14,000 pages. It encompasses a wide array of subjects and literary genres, including texts on Buddhist practices, rituals, sādhanas, spiritual instructions, histories, biographies, pilgrimage guides, as well as diverse fields of knowledge, such as grammar and medicine. Additionally, it contains personal writings like letters and guidance to students, providing glimpses into Khyentse Wangpo’s inner life and spiritual accomplishments. It is divided into eleven sections, each with a specific thematic focus, spread across the volumes:
  1. Praises and supplications
  2. Discourses
  3. Notes and excerpts on the intent of Sūtra and Tantra
  4. Teachings on the meaning of Sūtra and Tantra
  5. Sādhana rituals
  6. Major and minor fields of knowledge
  7. Historical writings, various biographies, monastic chronicles, and letters
  8. Miscellaneous works
  9. Guru yoga and vajra songs
  10. Personal advice and instructions
  11. Lists of sacred sites and objects, dedication prayers, aspirations, and invocations of auspiciousness
Kabab Dun
The Kabab Dun showcases Khyentse Wangpo’s unparalleled status in Tibetan history as an extraordinary treasure revealer (tertön) and accomplished lineage-holder. Khyentse Wangpo was one of the very few masters who was entrusted with all seven types of teaching transmissions (kabab), and was renowned as one of the five great Tertön Kings. The collection comprises twenty-two volumes with a total of about 15,400 pages and is structured around the seven transmissions:
  1. Oral transmissions
  2. Earth treasures
  3. Rediscovered treasures
  4. Mind treasures
  5. Recollections
  6. Pure visions
  7. Aural lineages
The Kabab Dun consists primarily of texts linked to Khyentse Wangpo’s visionary revelations as the tertön Pema Ösal Do Ngak Lingpa and Ösal Trulpe Dorje. The treasures (terma) he revealed include important and widely practiced cycles such as the Chimé Pagme Nyingtik, Vima Lhadrup and Tsasum Drildub. The collection also contains works by various authors, including contemporary masters, to supplement Khyentse Wangpo’s treasure cycles. It features writings by his direct disciples, such as Jamgön Kongtrul, Chokgyur Lingpa, and Adzom Drugpa. It also includes works by subsequent generations of masters and scholars who upheld Khyentse Wangpo’s tradition, most notably Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, Dilgo Khyentse Tashi Paljor, and Khenpo Puntsok Namgyal, who was appointed by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche as the current custodian of the Kabab Dun in Dzongsar, Tibet.
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