The Profound Inner Principles

With Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye's Commentary Illuminating "The Profound Principles"

By The Third Karmapa
Translated by Elizabeth M. Callahan

- Hardcover
Snow Lion
Pages: 768
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781559394161

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Restricted Text:

In accordance with the instructions of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, this book is intended only for people who have completed the preliminary practices, received pointing-out instructions, and begun a niruttara yidam practice (i.e., any yidam practice from the higher tantras) under the guidance of a qualified teacher.



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 as sugatagarbha, 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 and a selected bibliography; and an index.