The Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra, Book 14

An Overview of Buddhist Tantra

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Choying Tobden Dorje
Ngawang Zangpo
  • Boulder, CO: 
    Snow Lion Publications
    , November
     357 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Kali Nyima Cape forthcoming.


In 1838, Choying Tobden Dorje, a Buddhist yogi-scholar of eastern Tibet, completed a multivolume masterwork that traces the entire path of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism from beginning to end. Written by a lay practitioner for laypeople, it was intended to be accessible, informative, inspirational, and above all, practical. Its twenty-five books, or topical divisions, offer a comprehensive and detailed view of the Buddhist path according to the early translation school of Tibetan Buddhism, spanning the vast range of Buddhist teachings from the initial steps to the highest esoteric teachings of great perfection. Choying Tobden Dorje’s magnum opus appears in English here for the first time.

An Overview of Buddhist Tantra is the fourteenth volume from this collection and the first in the series to focus on tantra. Whereas previous volumes presented the general exoteric teachings of Buddhism, this work outlines the esoteric practice of tantra according to the Nyingma system. The author defines the parameters of tantra by dividing the work into outer and inner tantras, and concludes with explaining the result of the tantric path—enlightenment itself. Designed to be a companion for dedicated practitioners who receive direct instructions from a qualified teacher, this work is a comprehensive manual that provides the foundation for understanding the genuine and profound teachings of Buddhist tantra.

This is a restricted text meant to only be read by those who have completed the preliminary practices according to tantric Buddhist custom.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Choying Tobden Dorje (1787–1848) was a brilliant Vajrayana master of eastern Tibet. His masterwork, The Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra, remains the main text studied by Tibet’s Ngakpa lineages of lay Buddhist yogi-practitioners.

Ngawang Zangpo (Hugh Leslie Thompson) completed two three-year retreats under the direction of the late Kalu Rinpoche. He is presently working on a number of translation projects that were initiated under the direction of Chadral Rinpoche and Lama Tharchin Rinpoche. He has also contributed to Kalu Rinpoche's translation group's books Myriad Worlds and Buddhist Ethics.

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