Jamgön Kongtrul Lodro Thaye was one of the greatest masters of Tibetan history, who the Tibetologist Gene Smith referred to as Tibet’s Leonardo. It’s difficult to imagine a master who was so learned, spent much of his time in retreat, gave countless initiations and teachings, and yet still managed to write 100 volumes inclusive of all the traditions of Buddhism.

English Publications of Jamgön Kongtrul's Texts

Thus far, Shambhala has published thirty-one titles by Jamgön Kongtrul. There are eighteen more on the way. Below you will find a short summary of our selection along with a handful of excellent books that are not published by us, but are highly recommended. Along with this guide to the works of Jamgön Kontrul in general, you may also find guides for specific series including Kongtrul's A Guide to the Treasury of Precious Instructions.

Tsadra Rinchen Drak
Tsadra Rinchen Drak, the hermiate for Jamgon Kongtrul

Books about Jamgon Kongtrul

The first two books have the most information about Kongtrul himself. These will be joined in 2018 by a definitive biography looking at the life, works, and legacy of this great figure. For a short biography online, please see Alak Zenkar Rinpoche’s biography hosted by Lotsawa House.


The Life of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great

This is the most accessible work available on Jamgon Kongtrul’s life, writings, and influence, written as a truly engaging historical biography. Alexander Gardner, who is a specialist of Jamgon Kongtrul, provides an intimate glimpse into the life of one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist teachers to have ever lived.

The Life of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great

Taught by: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye & Alexander Gardner

$39.95 - Hardcover

The Autobiography of Jamgön Kongtrul: A Gem of Many Colors

This is one of the most fascinating accounts of a Tibetan Buddhist figure available. It also includes The Marvelous Gem-Like Vision: An Account of the Passing of and Funeral Observances for the All-Seeing Lord by Nesar Karma Tashi Chöphel and The Mirage of Nectar: A Fragmentary Account of the Past Lives of Pema Gargyi Wangchuk Thrinlé Drodul Tsal (his own secret name) by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodro Thaye.

The Autobiography of Jamgon Kongtrul

Taught by: Richard Barron (Chokyi Nyima)

$34.95 - Hardcover

The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great: A Study of the Buddhist Lineages of Tibet

This is the compelling study of the Ri-me “movement”—really a revitalization of many of the traditions within Tibet. It includes an introduction to the history and philosophy of those behind the Ri-me phenomenon; a biography of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great; helpful summaries of the eight lineages’ practice-and-study systems, which point out the different emphases of the schools; an explanation of the most hotly disputed concepts; and an overview of the old and new tantras.

The next section focuses on the two major Treasuries that are available or are in process. Kongtrul actually wrote or compiled five of them. The Treasury of Kagyu Vajrayana Instructions, the Treasury of Precious Terma, and the Treasury of Vast Teachings are not included here, but are detailed in Ringu Tulku’s book, Kongtrul’s Autobiography, as well as Gene Smith’s Among Tibetan Texts.

The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great

Taught by: Ann Helm & Ringu Tulku

$24.95 - Paperback

The Treasury of Knowledge is the largest single work by a Tibetan author translated into English. In Tibetan religious literature, its ten books stand out as a unique, encyclopedic masterpiece embodying the entire range of Buddhist teachings as they were preserved in Tibet. In his monumental work, Jamgön Kongtrul presents a complete account of the major lines of thought and practice that comprise Tibetan Buddhism.



Treasury of Knowledge, Jamgön Kongtrül presents a complete account, thought and practice, Tibetan Buddhism

Brief history of The Treasury of Knowledge from Ringu Tulku’s Ri-me Philosophy:

Then, in the Dog and the Pig years [1862–63], when he was fifty years old, Kongtrul wrote the Treasury of Knowledge, both the root text and the commentary. He wrote the root text in the second month of the Water Dog year [1862], when he did a seven-day retreat on the hearing lineage teachings. Earlier, Lama Ngedön had said that Kongtrul should write a treatise on the three vows, and when that was done Lama Ngedön would write a commentary on it. However, Kongtrul thought that several texts on the three vows were already available, and that if he had to write something, it should be more comprehensive in scope and helpful for people who had not studied very much.

With that in mind, during the breaks between sessions of a one-week retreat, he wrote the root text of the Treasury of Knowledge, a treatise on the three higher trainings of discipline, meditation, and wisdom. Later on, he showed this to Jamyang Khyentse, who told him, “When you wrote this you must have been inspired by the blessings of the lamas, and your channels opened by the power of the dakinis. You should place the Treasury of Knowledge at the head of the Five Great Treasuries, and you need to write a commentary on it.”

To encourage him, Khyentse gave him many gifts along with these words. So, in only three months, from the fourth month until the seventh month of the Iron Pig year [1863], Kongtrul wrote the commentary to the Treasury of Knowledge, with Khenchen Tashi Özer acting as the scribe. The part that was left undone was finished during the warm weather of the following year.

Book One: Myriad Worlds

This first book of the Treasury, which serves as a prelude to Kongtrul’s survey, describes four major cosmological systems found in the Tibetan tradition—those associated with the Hinayana, Mahayana, Kalachakra, and Dzogchen teachings. Each of these cosmologies shows how the world arises from mind, whether through the accumulated results of past actions or from the constant striving of awareness to know itself.

The Treasury of Knowledge: Book One

Taught by: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye & Kalu Rinpoche Translation Group

$29.95 - Hardcover

Books Two, Three, and Four: Buddhism’s Journey to Tibet

Beginning with the appearance of the Buddha in our world (Book Two), it describes the Buddha’s life, his enlightenment, and what he taught (Book Three) from a multitude of Buddhist viewpoints. Buddhism’s transmission to and preservation in Tibet is the focus of the main part of this volume (Book Four), which describes the scriptural transmissions and lineages of meditation practice as well as the Buddhist arts that together make up the world of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Treasury of Knowledge: Books Two, Three, and Four

Taught by: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye & Ngawang Zangpo

$49.95 - Hardcover

Book Five: Buddhist Ethics

This volume is the fifth book of that work and is considered by many scholars to be its heart. Jamgön Kongtrul explains the complete code of personal liberation as it applies to both monastic and lay persons, the precepts for those aspiring to the life of a Bodhisattva, and the exceptional pledges for practitioners on the tantric path of pure perception.

The Treasury of Knowledge, Book Five

Taught by: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye & Kalu Rinpoche Translation Group

$49.95 - Hardcover

Book Six, Parts One and Two: Indo-Tibetan Classical Learning and Buddhist Phenomenology

The first two parts of Book Six, contained in this volume, respectively concern Indo-Tibetan classical learning and Buddhist phenomenology. The former analyzes the traditional subjects of phonology and Sanskrit grammar, logic, fine art, and medicine, along with astrology, poetics, prosody, synonymics, and dramaturgy. The principal non-Buddhist philosophical systems of ancient India are then summarized and contrasted with the hierarchical meditative concentrations and formless absorptions through which the “summit of cyclic existence” can genuinely be attained. Part Two examines the phenomenological structures of Abhidharma—the shared inheritance of all Buddhist traditions—from three distinct perspectives, corresponding to the three successive turnings of the doctrinal wheel.

The Treasury of Knowledge: Book Six, Parts One and Two

Taught by: Gyurme Dorje & Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye

$49.95 - Hardcover

Book Six, Part Three: Frameworks of Buddhist Philosophy

This volume, Frameworks of Buddhist Philosophy, is his masterful survey of the broad themes and subtle philosophical points found in more than fifteen hundred years of Buddhist philosophical writings. In a clear and systematic manner, he sets out the traditional framework of Buddhism’s three vehicles and four philosophical systems, and provides an overview of the key points of each system. His syncretic approach, which emphasizes the strengths of each of the systems and incorporates them into a comprehensive picture of philosophical endeavor, is well-suited for scholar-practitioners who seek awakening through the combination of analytical inquiry and meditation.

The Treasury of Knowledge: Book Six, Part Three

Taught by: Elizabeth M. Callahan & Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye

$44.95 - Hardcover

Book Six, Part Four: Systems of Buddhist Tantra

The tantric path is often referred to as the indestructible way of secret mantra, the essence of which is the indestructible union of wisdom (the understanding of emptiness) and method (immutable great bliss). This volume sets forth the various systems that constitute this path, both those of the ancient tantra tradition and of the new tradition.

The Treasury of Knowledge: Book Six, Part Four

Taught by: Elio Guarisco & Ingrid Loken McLeod & Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye

$35.95 - Hardcover

Book Seven and Book Eight, Parts One and Two: Foundations of Buddhist Study and Practice

Foundations of Buddhist Study and Practice comprises Book Seven and Book Eight, Parts One and Two of the Treasury of Knowledge. Book Seven elucidates the various keys needed to correctly interpret, understand, and contemplate Buddhist teachings, including the secret teachings of the Vajrayana. Parts One and Two of Book Eight explain how the teachings are to be integrated into one’s life through the practice of meditation, which unites a state of one-pointed attention with profound insight into emptiness. Jamgön Kongtrul’s evenhanded, elegant, and authoritative statement of such controversial doctrines as unqualified emptiness (“self-empty”) and qualified emptiness (“other-empty”), provisional and definitive meaning, and conventional and ultimate truth as presented in the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism will appeal to both serious Dharma practitioners and advanced students and scholars.

The Treasury of Knowledge: Book Seven and Book Eight, Parts One and Two

Taught by: Richard Barron (Chokyi Nyima) & Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye

$34.95 - Hardcover

Book Eight, Part Three: The Elements of Tantric Practice

The Elements of Tantric Practice sets forth the essential components of the path of highest yoga tantra, a system of meditation that unites wisdom and compassion in its two phases of practice. The first phase, that of creation, relies primarily on the use of the imagination to effect personal transformation. The phase of completion allows the practitioner to perfect the process of transformation by training in methods that manipulate the energies and constituents of the mind and body. The result of this path is the direct experience of the fundamental nature of mind and phenomena. The Elements of Tantric Practice concerns the meditative processes of the inner system of secret mantra—that of highest yoga tantra—and is based primarily on tantric sources. The author introduces the subject by describing the path of tantra and its underlying principles. The main body of the book deals with two major elements essential to all highest yoga tantras: the practice of the creation phase and that of the completion phase. For the first phase, Kongtrul describes the visualization sequences in which ordinary perceptions are transformed into the forms of awakening and explains how these practices purify the stages of cyclic existence—life, death, and rebirth. The creation phase prepares the practitioner for the techniques of the completion phase, which entail focusing directly on the channels, winds, and vital essences that form the subtle body. Kongtrul presents the key elements of a variety of tantras, including the Guhyasamaja and Yamari, belonging to the class of father tantras and the Kalachakra Hevajra Chakrasamvara Mahamaya Buddhakapala and Tara mother tantras. All these tantras share a common goal: to make manifest the pristine awareness that is the union of emptiness and bliss.

The Treasury of Knowledge: Book Eight, Part Three

Taught by: Elio Guarisco & Ingrid Loken McLeod & Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye

$44.95 - Hardcover

Book Eight, Part Four: Esoteric Instructions

This volume, Esoteric Instructions, deals with meditation—specifically tantric meditation. Esoteric Instructions is a collection of intimate records of personal teachings by masters that simplify tantric meditations by providing pertinent examples and very personal and helpful hints to disciples based on the master’s own experience. Although originally oral in nature, they have been codified and passed down through specific lineages from teacher to student.

The Treasury of Knowledge: Book Eight, Part Four

Taught by: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye & Sarah Harding

$59.95 - Hardcover

Books Nine and Ten: Journey and Goal

Journey and Goal focuses on the spiritual path—the journey and the resultant state of enlightenment to which it leads—the goal. Extensively varied perspectives are offered not only from within the many schools of Buddhism, but also from the different levels of practice and attainment. This is in fact the most comprehensive treatment of these themes to appear in the English language.

The Treasury of Knowledge: Books Nine and Ten

Taught by: Richard Barron (Chokyi Nyima) & Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye

$49.95 - Hardcover

Kongtrul's Treasury of Precious Instructions (Dam-ngak Rinpoché Dzö)

treasury of precious instructions

2016 saw the first release in this eighteen-volume work on the eight lineages of accomplishment, one model for the classifications of practice traditions in Tibet. The Treasury of Precious Instructions was compiled in a roughly chronological order including the following:

  • Nyingma - Two Volumes (876 pages)
  • Kadampa Tradition - Two Volumes (1,190 pages)
  • Sakya Path & Result - Two Volumes (930 pages)
  • Marpa Kagyu - Four Volumes (1,567 pages)
  • Shangpa Kagyu - Two Volumes (1,304 pages)
  • Pacification & Severance - Two Volumes (900 pages)
  • Kalachakra & Orgyen Nyendrup - One Volume (626 pages)
  • Mahasiddha Practice and Miscellaneous Teachings - Two volumes (1,088 pages)
  • 108 Instruction Manuals of Jonang & Catalog - One Volume (630 pages)

We are publishing the volumes asynchronously. Releases will spread out over the next few years.

You can also download the descriptive catalog.

An Overview of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Available Books in the Treasury of Precious Instructions

We currently have six volumes available with more volumes scheduled to release each year.  A full description of each volume can be found in the Catalog here.

Mahāsiddha Practice, the sixteenth volume, presents a selection of teachings and practices centered on the mahāsiddhas, Indian tantric masters. The mahāsiddha Mitrayogin, whose work forms the majority of this volume, visited Tibet in the late twelfth century. His ritual texts along with instructions are here translated from Tibetan, including sādhanas, empowerments, guru yogas, authorization rituals for protector deities, and detailed compositions on Mahāmudrā practice, or resting in the nature of mind. In addition to instructions given by mahāsiddhas, this volume includes ritual practices to visualize them and transmit their blessings, beginning with a devotional text composed by Jamgön Kongtrul himself.

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Volume 11 of the series, Shangpa Kagyu, presents a selection of teachings and practices from the Shangpa Kagyu practice lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. This tradition derives from the celestial being, or ḍākinī, Niguma and her human Tibetan disciple, the eleventh-century yogi Khyungpo Naljor Tsultrim Gönpo of the Shang region of Tibet. The scriptural source material for this practice tradition is twofold: the yogic teachings of the Six Dharmas of Niguma and nature of mind teachings from the text Amulet Box Mahamudra.

The tantric basis of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition is the five principal deities of the new translation (sarma) traditions and in particular the Five-Deity Cakrasamvara practice. The six parts of this sizable volume include source scriptures, liturgies, supplications, empowerment texts, instructions, and practice manuals composed by Niguma, Virupa, Taranatha, the compile Jamgon Kongtrul, and others.

Volume 5 of the series, Sakya: The Path with Its Result, presents a selection of teachings and practices from the Path with Its Result (Lamdre) practice lineage of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The Sakya lineage derives from Virupa, Dombhi Heruka, and other Indian masters, or mahasiddhas, and passes through Gayadhara and his Tibetan disciple Drokmi Lotsawa Sakya Yeshe (992–1072). The practice tradition centers around the teaching and transmission of the Hevajra Tantra and its subsidiary texts. In three parts, this volume includes, respectively: the root text, commentary, and outlines for the Indian mahasiddha Virupa’s core text, the Vajra Verses; the liturgies for empowerment and offering rituals specific to a Hevajra Tantra practice lineage; and instructional manuals for practice.

The Pacification of Suffering

In this volume, Kongtrul presents a diverse corpus of texts from the Zhije (Pacification) tradition that trace especially to the South Indian master Dampa Sangye (d. 1117), whose teachings are also celebrated in the Chöd (Severance) tradition. It includes source scriptures by Dampa Sangye, empowerments by Lochen Dharmashrī (of Mindroling), and guidance by Dampa Sangye, Lochen Dharmashrī, and Sönam Pal. Also included are lineage charts related to the transmission of Zhije teachings as well as detailed notes and an orientation to the texts by translator Sarah Harding.

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The One Hundred and Eight Teaching Manuals

This volume, which is not about the Jonang tradition (!), is actually the most essential volume of the entire Treasury.    Kongtrul included it but its author is the 16th century adept Jetsun Kunga Drolchok.  Kongtrul  describes the teachings and transmissions in this volume as “supports for all the foregoing teachings”.  In other words this is the wellspring of the content in the previous volumes.  It was the inspiration for Jamgön Kongtrül and the essential basis for all the other teachings.

The manuals are in fact mostly Kagyu, Sakya, and Kadam, with a few from the Nyingma tradition as well.  It ranges from foundational Buddhist teachings (e.g. Parting from the Four Attachments, lojong, etc.) to the tantric practices from across all the eight “chariots” or traditions that came from India.

So why is the title of this volume called Jonang?  Because that’s where Kunga Drolchok wrote them.  While he held the monastic seat of Jonang monastery, as these guidebooks make obvious, he was a true Rime figure, studying and deeply practicing the most profound dharma without being hung up on identifying himself as a holder of a particular school.

The Sacred Teachings on Severance

In this, the fourteenth volume, Kongtrul compiles the teachings on Severance, or Chöd. It includes some of the tradition’s earliest source scriptures, such as the “grand poem” of Āryadeva, and numerous texts by the tradition’s renowned founder, Machik Lapdrön. Kongtrul also brings together the most significant texts on the rites of initiation, empowerments for practice, and wide-ranging instructions and guides for the support of practitioners. Altogether, this quintessential guide to Severance offers vast resources for scholars and practitioners alike to better understand this unique and remarkable tradition—the way of severing the ego through the profound realization of emptiness and compassion.

On Buddha Nature

The following books focus on Kongtrul’s works related to Buddha Nature.

Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary

This is Kongtrul’s The Unassailable Lion’s Roar, a commentary on one of the five Maitreya texts: the Uttaratantra.  This text discusses the nature of our mind as the very basis of everything on the Buddhist path and presents Maitreya’s text as a background for the Mahamudra teachings in a way that is especially clear and easy to understand. Also included in this volume is a translation of the text itself, as well as Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso’s additional commentary.

When the Clouds Part: The Uttaratantra and Its Meditative Tradition as a Bridge between Sutra and Tantra

This extensive explanation of the Uttaratantra refers to Kongtrul nearly 100 times and includes a translation of his Guiding Instructions on the View of Great Shentong Madhyamaka - Light Rays of the Stainless Vajra Moon. Kontrul refers to this text as "the highest of all dharmas taught by the Buddha, being the unsurpassable one or the peak of the mahāyāna scriptures".

When the Clouds Part

Taught by: Karl Brunnholzl & Asanga & Jamgon Mipham & Maitreya

$49.95 - Hardcover

On Buddha Essence: A Commentary on Rangjung Dorje’s Treatise

Thrangu Rinpoche uses the commentary Kongtrul wrote in 1870 as the basis of this work on the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje’s famous work.

On Buddha Essence

Taught by: The Third Karmapa & Khenchen Thrangu & Peter Alan Roberts

$16.95 - Paperback

More Books

Chöd Practice Manual and Commentary

This is a rich resource for Chöd practitioners. It contains the Chöd sadhana written by the Fourteenth Karmapa in three versions: Tibetan, a phonetic rendering of the Tibetan, and English translation. Jamgön Kongtrul’s commentary on the sadhana, which forms the bulk of this book, supplies the necessary amplification and clarification; it is given both in English and Tibetan. An important feature of the commentary is the inclusion of illustrations for the different stages of visualization discussed within the commentary. All in all, this is an essential practice tool and reference guide for the serious Chöd practitioner.

Chod Practice Manual and Commentary

Taught by: The Fourteenth Karmapa Thekchok Dorje & Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye & V. V. Lama Lodo Rinpoche

$19.95 - Paperback

Sacred Ground: Jamgön Kongtrul on “Pilgrimage and Sacred Geography”

This work describes two journeys: a journey outward to specific pilgrimage places in eastern Tibet, and a journey inward to the sacred world of tantra, accessible through contemplation and meditation. It sheds light on Himalayan Buddhists’ concepts of sacred land, places of pilgrimage in tantric Buddhism, and how pilgrimage is undertaken. It enhances our appreciation of the world and its sacred aspect everywhere—first and foremost, where we sit now. On the basis of this judicious choice of rare Tibetan texts, translated here for the first time, correlating inner and outer pilgrimage, this book is of considerable value to the Buddhist practitioner.

Sacred Ground

Taught by: Ngawang Zangpo

$24.95 - Hardcover

Machik’s Complete Explanation: Clarifying the Meaning of Chöd (Expanded Edition)

While this is not by Kongtrul, his influence comes clearly across throughout the translator’s introduction. This expanded edition also includes Machik Lapdrön’s earliest known teaching, the original source text for the tradition, The Great Bundle of Precepts on Severance (Chöd), which is found in Kongtrul’s Treasury of Precious Instructions. This pithy set of instructions reveals that the teachings of the perfection of wisdom are the true inspiration for Chöd. Machik developed a system, the Mahamudra Chöd, that takes the Buddha’s teachings as a basis and applies them to the immediate experiences of negative mind states and malignant forces. Her unique feminine approach is to invoke and nurture the very “demons” that we fear and hate, transforming those reactive emotions into love. It is the tantric version of developing compassion and fearlessness, a radical method of cutting through ego-fixation.

Machik's Complete Explanation

Taught by: Sarah Harding

$34.95 - Hardcover

Enthronement: The Recognition of the Reincarnate Masters of Tibet and the Himalayas

Even the most casual contact with the culture, politics, or religion of Tibet and the surrounding region brings outsiders face-to-face with the institution of reincarnate spiritual masters. Past masters are identified as small children installed in their predecessor’s monastery in a ceremony called “enthronement” and educated to continue the work of their former incarnation. This custom has provided a principal source of spiritual renewal for Himalayan Buddhists for the past thousand years. The introduction places the subject of reincarnate meditation masters within two major contexts: the activity of bodhisattvas, and in modern Tibetan society, where the reappearance of past masters is both natural and profoundly moving. Tai Situpa Rinpoche, a contemporary reincarnate master and a leader of the Kagyu lineage, describes the process of finding other reincarnate masters.


Taught by: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye & Ngawang Zangpo

$19.95 - Paperback

The Great Path of Awakening: The Classic Guide to Lojong, a Tibetan Buddhist Practice for Cultivating the Heart of Compassion

Here is a practical Buddhist guidebook that offers techniques for developing a truly compassionate heart in the midst of everyday life. For centuries, Tibetans have used fifty-nine pithy slogans originally presented in the Kadampa master Chekawa’s Seven Points of Mind Training—such as “A joyous state of mind is a constant support” and “Don’t talk about others' shortcomings”—as a means to awaken kindness, gentleness, and compassion.

This edition of The Great Path of Awakening contains an accessible, newly revised translation of the slogans from Chekawa’s text. It also includes illuminating commentary from Jamgön Kongtrul that provides further instruction on how to meet every situation with intelligence and an open heart.

The Great Path of Awakening

Taught by: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye & Ken McLeod

$16.95 - Paperback

Jamgön Kongtrul’s Retreat Manual

The Kagyu and Nyingma traditions of Himalayan tantric Buddhism require a long period of intensive training in meditation—a three-year, three-month retreat—before a practitioner is considered to be a qualified teacher.Jamgön Kongtrul’s Retreat Manual was written in the mid-nineteenth century and is intended for those who wish to embark on this rigorous training. It guides them in preparing for retreat, provides full details of the program of meditation, and offers advice for their re-entry into the world.

Jamgon Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Taught by: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye & Ngawang Zangpo

$29.95 - Paperback

The Teacher-Student Relationship

It is crucial for students of Vajrayana Buddhism to find an authentic wisdom teacher and know how to properly rely upon that teacher in order to awaken to their Buddha Nature and thereby attain full enlightenment. Fortunately, the topic has been thoroughly explored by Jamgön Kongtrul in the tenth chapter of The Treasury of Knowledge, singled out here. This essential text clearly lays out what credentials and qualities one should look for in a wisdom teacher, why a wisdom teacher is necessary, and how the relationship between this teacher and disciple best develops once it is established.

The Teacher-Student Relationship

Taught by: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye & Ron Garry & Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche & Lama Tharchin

$24.95 - Paperback

The Torch of Certainty

is Kongtrul’s famous ngöndro text, exploring the nature of impermanence, the effects of karma, the development of an enlightened attitude, and devotion to the guru. Kalu Rinpoche, Deshung Rinpoche, and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche also add commentaries and explain the significance of The Torch of Certaintyfor modern-day students and practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Torch of Certainty

Taught by: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye & Judith Hanson

$22.95 - Paperback

Other Contributions and Compilations by Kongtrul

The Profound Inner Principles with Jamgön Kongtrul Lodro Taye’s Commentary Illuminating “The Profound Principles”

With masterful clarity and precision, The Profound Inner Principles delineates the principles and foundations of Vajrayāna practice. Rangjung Dorje presents the nature of things—mental and physical—and looks at the cause of delusion, what delusion creates, and how delusion is corrected. His explanations capture the principles of the Vajrayāna’s niruttara tantras, with a special focus on the structure and functioning of the body. Just assugatagarbha, or Buddha Nature, is the nature of our mind, the potential for awakening lies within our body. The Mahāyāna literature refers to this pure potential as the evolving gotra, whereas the Vajrayāna refers to it as the “vajra body”—the subtle body of channels, winds, and bindus with six elements (earth, water, fire, wind, space, and wisdom-bliss). The vajra body is not only our innate capacity, it is also our path. Understanding its components and properties is essential for most meditators. The overarching theme of the text is that we need to understand how Buddha Nature is present in sentient beings, those on the path, and buddhas. All the details concerning the mind’s workings, the vajra body’s structures, and the meditations, paths, and stages will reinforce that understanding and give us insight into how and why the Vajrayāna path provides access to wisdom through the body.

This translation includes a commentary by Jamgön Kongtrul with extensive footnotes containing extracts from all the other important commentaries to The Profound Inner Principles, several glossaries with annotations by the translator, a works cited list, a selected bibliography, and an index.

The Profound Inner Principles

Taught by: Elizabeth M. Callahan & The Third Karmapa

$49.95 - Hardcover

Timeless Rapture: Inspired Verse of the Shangpa Masters

This book is a compilation of the songs of the Shangpa Kagyu masters and offers a rare glimpse into the mysticism of this tradition based mainly on the profound teaching of two women, Niguma and Sukhasiddhi. Kongtrul compiled this compendium of spontaneous verse sung by tantric Buddhist masters from the tenth century to the present and includes translations as well as short descriptions of each poet’s life and a historical overview of the lineage. Kongtrul chooses songs that are also teachings. They address thepractical and relevant questions for all Buddhists: how to live a meaningful life, how to confront death, and how to enter and remain within the sacred sanctuary of the mind’s nature: enlightenment.

Timeless Rapture

Taught by: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye & Ngawang Zangpo

$29.95 - Hardcover

Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times

Kongtrul was known to say that “there was no area of Tibetan soil larger than a horse’s hoof untouched by Guru Rinpoche’s feet.” This collection has four very different Tibetan accounts of his story: one by Jamgön Kongtrul; one according to the pre-Buddhist Tibetan religion Bön, by Jamyang Kyentse Wongpo; one based on Indian and early-Tibetan historical documents, by Taranata; and one by Dorje Tso. In addition, there are supplications by Guru Rinpoche and visualizations to accompany them by Jamgön Kongtrul.

Guru Rinpoche

Taught by: Ngawang Zangpo

$29.95 - Hardcover

Buddhist Fasting Practice: The Nyungne Method of Thousand-armed Chenrezig

While not by Kongtrul, Wangchen Rinpoche relies heavily on Kongtrul’s writings, referencing him throughout the book. Nyungne is a profound, two-and-a-half-day practice of purification and healing developed by a nun (from varying accounts Kashmiri or from the Swat area of present-day Pakistan) who developed this practice and healed her leprosy. It involves the keeping of strict vows; the second day is devoted to complete silence and fasting. The meditation centers on the recitations, mantras, and guided visualizations of the Thousand-Armed Chenrezig, the embodiment of all the buddhas’ loving-kindness and compassion. Translated as “abiding in the fast,” Nyungne is said to be effective in the healing of illness, the nurturing of compassion, and the purification of negative karma.

Buddhist Fasting Practice

Taught by: Wangchen Rinpoche

$34.95 - Paperback

Tibetan Treasure Literature: Revelation, Tradition, and Accomplishment in Visionary Buddhism

This exploration of the terma tradition has Kongtrul featured, no surprise considering the vastness of his work with terma texts.

Tibetan Treasure Literature

Taught by: Andreas Doctor & Jamgon Mipham

$29.95 - Paperback

Additional Books by Other Publishers

Other titles by Kongtrul include the volumes of Light of Wisdom (Rangjung Yeshe) and Creation and Completion (Wisdom) and, for an excellent source on terma, his own Hundred Tertons (KTD).

Lotsawa House hosts many other translations of Kongtrul.