The four Essential Buddhist Texts included in this anthology are The Opening of the Dharma by
Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche; Foundation of Buddhist Meditation by Venerable Kalu Rinpoche; The
Great Seal of voidness by the first Panchen Lama and A Key to Madhyamika by his holiness the
Fourteenth Dalai Lama. It is hoped that the publication of this anthology of translated
scriptures, all of which are indigenous Tibetan works by very highly respected scholar-yogis,
will further an understanding of the panoramic and trans-sectarian approach of the great Tibetan
Buddhist teachers of past and present.
Since its inception in 1970 the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives has maintained a constant
programme of translation and publication of works related to Tibetan history, religion and
culture. This resulted in the production of a large number of manuscripts and monographs, many of
which over the years been published in booklet from by the Library.
The following anthology contains four essential texts on Tibetan Buddhism. The first of these,
The Opening of the Dharma by Jamyang Kyen-tse Cho-kyi Lo-dro (1896-1959) was first published by
the LTWA in 1974 and presents a brief history of the advent of Buddhism to Tibet and its
consequent spread and development into the various traditions that have come down to us today.
The author, a renowned Nying-ma Lama, lucidly describes the main doctrines, showing how, although
each sect approaches the teachings of Buddha somewhat differently, the differences are largely in
terms of what aspects of Buddhism that have come from the experiences of the lineage etc. The
text ends with a summary of the teachings common to all Tibetan traditions.
Chapter II, The Foundation of Buddhist Meditation, by Ven. Kalu Rinpoche, outlines four basic
meditation practices common to all sects of Tibetan Buddhism. The author is the present head of
the Shang-pa-gyu Tradition and one of Tibet’s foremost meditation masters, having guided more
than two hundred disciple through the three year retreat. The four techniques the sets forth,
which are known as “the four ways to turn the mind”, comprise four fundamental meditations; the
laws of karma of karma and its functioning and the unsatisfactory nature of samsaric existence.
This work was first published as a pamphlet by the LTWA in 1973.
Chapter III, The Great Seal of voidness, by the First Panchen Lama (1570-1662), presents an
outline of the six major Mahamudra tradition of Tibet and then a detailed account of the last of
these historically to emerge, i.e., the ear whispered Geluk lineage. Panchen Rinpoche’s brief
text is clarified with a commentary by Geshe Ngawang Dhargye, who since 1971 has been a resident
teacher at the Library of Tibetan works and Archives. This text was translated and published as a
booklet in 1975.
Chapter IV, A key to the Madhyamaka by His Holiness the present Dalai Lama sets forth the
Nagarjuna-Chandra-kirti approach to emptiness that became extremely popular in all sects of
Tibetan Buddhism. Originally translated and published in 1974, this work deals with what is
traditionally held as the most profound subject in Buddhist philosophy: Shunyata. The approach is
both direct and spontaneous providing a workable guide for beginners to meditation upon
It is hoped that the publication of this small anthology of translated scriptures, all of which
are indigenous Tibetan works by very highly respected scholar-yogis, will further an
understanding of the Panoramic and trans-sectarian approach of the great Tibetan Buddhist
teachers past and present.
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