The Treasury of Precious Instructions

Guide for Readers

This guide to exploring The Treasury of Precious Instructions includes selections from the text, words of advice and praises from distinguished Tibetan teachers, audio and video series from the translators, and helpful resources. Use the navigation menu below to explore each page and discover this truly remarkable and timeless series of texts!

Series Overview

Summary of the Series

The Treasury of Precious Instructions or Dam-ngak Rinpoché Dzö by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Taye, one of Tibet’s greatest Buddhist masters, is a shining jewel of Tibetan literature, presenting essential teachings from the entire spectrum of practice lineages that came from India into Tibet. In its eighteen volumes, Kongtrul brings together some of the most important texts on key topics of Buddhist thought and practice as well as authoring significant new sections of his own.

This is one of Jamgön Kongtrul’s Five Treasuries, his major collections of writing. It is considered one of the most important contributions to Tibetan literature. This Treasury contains the collected transmissions and esoteric instructions of the eight principal practice lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, which trace their lineages back to India. These eight lineages of accomplishment (one model of classifying the practice traditions of Tibet) are encompassed  in 18 volumes. This collection was compiled in roughly chronological order as the traditions developed:

  • Nyingma - Volume 1 & 2
  • Kadam - Volume 3 & 4
  • Sakya Path & Result - Volume 5 & 6
  • Marpa Kagyu - Volume 7-10
  • Shangpa Kagyu - Volume 11 & 12
  • Zhije - Volume 13
  • Chöd - Volume 14
  • Kalacakra & Orgyen Nyendrup - Volume 15
  • Mahasiddha Practice - Volume 16 & 17
  • Jonang - Volume 18
jamgon-kongtrul

Individual Volume Details

Forthcoming

Nyingma, Part One
Volume 1 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Volume 1 and 2are a collection of texts and commentaries from the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism on Dzogchen, or Great Perfection teachings, which introduce us to our most basic nature—the clear and pristine awareness that is the nature of the mind. The Nyingma school was established in the eighth century with the arrival of Indian masters such as Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra in Tibet. Kongtrul classifies the texts included in these volumes according to the Nyingma model of the three yogas (mahāyoga, anuyoga, and atiyoga) and the three categories within atiyoga: the Category of Mind (sems sde), the Category of Expanse (klong sde), and the Category of Direct Transmission (man ngag sde).

The first Nyingma volume includes works that are representative of the first two yogas, while this volume focuses especially on those belonging to the “pith-instruction class,” specifically those related to the unsurpassed secret section—the Heart Essence, or Nyingtik.

Available for Preorder

$49.95 - Hardcover

Nyingma, Part Two
Volume 2 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

On Sale 10/15/2024

According to the understanding of the Nyingma school, the most profound tenet of the Buddha’s teachings is that within the mind of every being—as its bedrock, fundamental stratum, or element—lies the buddha nature. The teachings of this volume each present this essential tenet in a variety of ways and are composed by various Tibetan and Indian masters, including the Buddha, Garab Dorje, Mañjuśrīmitra, Śrīsimha, Jñānasūtra, Padmasambhava, Longchen Rabjam, and Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Taye.

$54.95 - Hardcover

Kadam:
Stages of the Path, Mind Training, and Esoteric Practice, Part One

Volume 3 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Translated by Artemus B. Engle

The third volume of this series covers the teachings and practices of the Kadam lineage. This tradition is based on the teachings of the Indian master Atiśa, who traveled to Tibet in the early eleventh century and stayed for twelve years transmitting teachings that would be embraced by many traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. The three categories of teachings covered here and in the fourth volume of the series—Stages of the Path, Mind Training, and esoteric instructions—correspond to three root texts: Atiśa’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, the aphorisms of the Seven-Point Mind Training, and Atiśa’s Bodhisattva’s Jewel Garland.

Forthcoming

Kadam, Part Two
Volume 4 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

The fourth volume (along with volume 3 which is already available) contains texts from the Kadampa tradition that sprang from the teachings of the great Indian master Atīśa (980–1054) and structured itself on what the late E. Gene Smith called “the fundamental contribution of Atīśa—the Graduated Path (Lam rim), with its emphasis on the exoteric as an indispensable foundation for the esoteric.” These texts are categorized under three headings: the source texts (gzhung), which in this case are short works by Atīśa; the spiritual instructions (gdams ngag), which here focus on the system known as “mental training” (blo sbyong); and the pith instructions (man ngag), which include Vajrayāna teachings and practices.

$44.95 - Hardcover

Sakya:
The Path with Its Result, Part One

Volume 5 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Translated by Malcolm Smith

The fifth volume of this series, Sakya: The Path with Its Result, is the first of two volumes that present 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 Virūpa, Dombhi Heruka, and other Indian masters, or mahāsiddhas, and passes through Gayadhara and his Tibetan disciple Drokmi Lotsāwa Śākya Yeshe (992–1072). The practice tradition centers around the teaching and transmission of the Hevajra Tantra and its subsidiary texts.

Sakya II

$39.95 - Hardcover

Sakya:
The Path with Its Result, Part Two

Volume 6 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Translated by Malcolm Smith

The sixth volume of this series, and part two of Sakya: The Path with Its Result, completes Kongtrul’s presentation of a selection of texts from the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. This volume includes the complete teachings and practices of the Eight Ancillary Path Cycles. These eight complete the nine path cycles that begin with Virūpa’s Vajra Verses found in volume five of the series. These path cycles are generally only taught to students who have received the entire Path with Its Result (Lamdre) teaching. They contain oral instructions transmitted to Drokmi Lotsāwa by the early eleventh-century Indian masters—Ācārya Vīravajra, Mahāsiddha Amoghavajra, Pandita Prajñāgupta of Oddiyāna, and Pandita Gayadhara. These cycles provide copious material on the creation and completion stages, which was incorporated later into the Three Tantras literature, the signature Vajrayāna teaching of the Sakya school.

marpa

$49.95 - Hardcover

Marpa Kagyu, Part 1:
Methods of Liberation

Volume 7 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Translated by Elizabeth M. Callahan

The seventh volume of the series, Marpa Kagyu, is the first of four volumes that present a selection of core instructions from the Marpa Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. This lineage is named for the eleventh-century Tibetan Marpa Chokyi Lodrö of Lhodrak who traveled to India to study the sutras and tantras with many scholar-siddhas, the foremost being Naropa and Maitripa.

Forthcoming

Marpa Kagyu, Part Two
Volume 8 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Marpa Kagyu, Part Three
Volume 9 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Marpa Kagyu, Part Four
Volume 10 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Volume 8-10(along with volume 7 which is already available) focus on teachings from the Kagyu tradition of Marpa the Translator (1012–1097)—Kongtrul’s primary affiliation, at least at that stage of his life—with its numerous schools and subschools. In the Vajrayāna context, the Kagyu teachings have a dual emphasis on the path of skillful method (Tib. thabs lam), epitomized by the Six Dharmas of Nāropa, and the path of freedom (Tib. grol lam), that is, the teachings on Mahāmudrā.

$44.95 - Hardcover

Shangpa Kagyu:
The Tradition of Khyungpo Naljor, Part One

Volume 11 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Translated by Sarah Harding

Volume 11 of the series, Shangpa Kagyu, is the first of two volumes that present a selection of teachings and practices from the Shangpa practice lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. This tradition was established in Tibet by the eleventh-century yogi Khyungpo Naljor, who had received profound esoteric teachings from many great Indian masters, especially the two yoginīs Niguma and Sukhasiddhi, as well as Maitrīpa, Rāhula, and Vajrāsana. He established a monastery in the Shang region of Tibet, from which the lineage derives its name.

ShangpaV2

$49.95 - Hardcover

Shangpa Kagyu:
The Tradition of Khyungpo Naljor, Part Two

Volume 12 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Translated by Sarah Harding

This is the second of two volumes that present teachings and practices from the Shangpa Kagyu practice lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. This tradition derives from two Indian yoginīs, the dākinīs Niguma and Sukhasiddhi, and their disciple, the eleventh-century Tibetan yogi Khyungpo Naljor Tsultrim Gönpo of the Shang region of Tibet. There are forty texts in this volume, beginning with Jonang Tāranātha’s classic commentary and its supplement expounding the Six Dharmas of Niguma. It includes the definitive collection of the tantric bases of the Shangpa Kagyu—the five principal deities of the new translation (sarma) traditions and the Five-Deity Cakrasamvara practice. The source scriptures, liturgies, supplications, empowerment texts, instructions, and practice manuals were composed by Tangtong Gyalpo, Tāranātha, Jamgön Kongtrul, and others.

$39.95 - Hardcover

Zhije:
The Pacification of Suffering

Volume 13 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Translated by Sarah Harding

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.

$59.95 - Hardcover

Chöd:
The Sacred Teachings on Severance

Volume 14 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Translated by Sarah Harding

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.

Forthcoming

Kalachakra and Orgyen Nyendrup
Volume 15 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Volume 15 includes teachings from the last two of the eight lineages of accomplishment: that of Vajra Yoga (also known as the Six Branches of Union, or Jordruk) and Dorje Sumgyi Nyendrup (Stages of Approach and Accomplishment of the Three Vajras). The former is a system of advanced tantric practices based on the teachings of the Kālacakra tantra, particularly as transmitted through the Jonang tradition of Tibet. Though ostensibly a tantra of the Sarma tradition, the Kālacakra was also highly esteemed in the Nyingma school. The great Nyingma master Jamgön Ju Mipam Gyatso (1846–1912) wrote a two-volume commentary on the Kālacakra cycle and considered the teachings of this tradition to reflect those found in the Dzogchen approach of the Nyingma. The final lineage is the least known among the eight, one transmitted by the master Orgyenpa Rinchen Pal (1230–1309), who was also a student of the second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi (1204–1283), and a teacher of the third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje (1284–1339). Orgyenpa received this lineage, which incorporates practices also found in the Vajra Yoga approach, in a visionary transmission from Vajravārāhī and other ḍākinīs. Although the lineage continued unbroken until Kongtrul’s time, it was another tradition that he considered “exceedingly rare and in danger of dying out.”

$39.95 - Hardcover

Mahasiddha Practice:
From Maitrayogin and Other Masters

Volume 16 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Translated by Padmakara Translation Group

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.

Forthcoming

Mahasiddha Practice
Volume 17 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

In a traditional manner to ensure an auspicious conclusion to the collection, volume 16 and 17 (16 available now) contains transmissions focusing on the deities of longevity: the white Tārā, Amitāyus, and Uṣṇīṣavijayā.
As Kongtrul writes:

The ninth section of this collection contains a number of unrelated teachings—spiritual advice that derives from various traditions. These include the blessing ritual and instructions concerning the Eighty-Four Mahasiddhas; the individual empowerments and instructions for The Six Instructions of Maitripa; the cycles of Mahakarunika Chittavishramana and The Threefold Quintessential Meaning as  transmitted in the Zhalu tradition; the five definitive instructions on Avalokiteshvara; Thangtong Gyalpo’s practice associated with the six-syllable mantra; the Mahamudra instructions and The Sutra Ritual of the Sage from the Bodong tradition; the instruction on chandali and the transference of consciousness transmitted by Rechen Paljor Zangpo; the “mother transference” of Rongtön; the instructions on the “seven lines of specific transmission” according to the new translations of the Jonang tradition; and various kinds of alchemical procedures.

The collection concludes in a positive manner with the authorizations for the three deities of longevity, the intimate oral lineage of the seven-day longevity sadhana, the instructions for the longevity practice of White Tara according to the tradition of Bari Lotsawa, and a ritual to honor the three deities of longevity.

$39.95 - Hardcover

Jonang:
The One Hundred and Eight Teaching Manuals

Volume 18 of the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Translated by Gyurme Dorje

In this volume, Kongtrul expands on The One Hundred and Eight Guidebooks, a collection of teaching manuals compiled by the sixteenth-century Tibetan master Kunga Drolchok, adding Indic source texts, Tibetan antecedents, and later interpretations. Though compiled by a Jonangpa abbot and transmitted by the Jonang tradition, these teaching manuals are actually drawn from the Kadam, Sakya, Kagyu, and, to a lesser extent, Nyingma traditions.

Additional Resources
On The Treasury of Precious Instructions

Watch the Video Series

Treasury Precious Instructions Videos

In 2016, the Tsadra Foundation sponsored a series of talks on the Treasury of Precious Instructions focusing on Kongtrul and the specifics of the Eight Chariots.  Translator and teacher Sarah Harding who has been immersed in this work for decades and has completed several volumes of this work leads the conversations.  Also included are Elizabeth Callahan and Acharya Tenpa Gyaltsen.

Listen to the Talks

This series of talks on the Eight Chariots, or Practice Lineages, is also available for streaming, downloading, or listening to on your podcast app of choice.

Ringu Tulku on the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Ringu Tulku is extremely happy that the Tsadra Foundation is translating the Treasury of Precious Instructions, a collection of the most profound teachings from all 8 lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. He says, "I feel that this is a golden time for the translation of Tibetan Buddhist texts into English and other languages."

Matthew Kapstein on Dam Ngak in the Treasury of Precious Instructions

Read Matthew Kapstein's chapter from Tibetan Literature: Studies in Genre, one of the great collections of scholarly works on Tibetan literature.  This paper focuses on Dam Ngak (gDams ngag) or special instructions.  He uses the Jonang volume from Jamgon Kongtrul's Treasury of Precious Instructions as the basis.