Lha Rinpoche

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Lha Rinpoche (Tib. ལྷ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་, Wyl. lha rin po che)[1] — an important translator who was active during the first dissemination of Buddhism to Tibet, from the end of the 8th till the beginning of the 9th century.

All the Kangyur and Tengyur works attributed to him, 12 in total, are texts of the Sarvabuddhasamayoga cycle, of which he either served as a translator or a revisor. Lha Rinpoche translated one major commentary (D 1659) on the root tantra (366), seven texts (D 1664 – 1669 & 1677) on the six mandala deities of Sarvabuddhasamayoga and one sadhana (D 1674). He revised two translations (D 1671 & 1672). It is interesting to note that Lha Rinpoche translated seven (not D 1670) of the eight ritual manuals (D 1664 – 1671) attributed to Kukuraja (Skt.).[2] It is uncertain whether Lha Rinpoche translated or revised the Sarvabuddhasamayoga root tantra (D 366).

For 9 of the 12 translations, Lha Rinpoche worked together in a team with the Indian Pandita Vidyakarasimha (Skt. Vidyākarasiṃha). It is likely that Lha Rinpoche consulted Vidyakarasimha for the remaining 3 translations. Vidyakarasimha worked on more than 20 Kangyur and Tengyur translations with various Tibetan translators.[3] Among them are Yeshe De and Mañjusrīvaram, Kawa Paltsek and Khon Lui Wangpo.[4] Thus, it is likely that Lha Rinpoche was part of the translation team working in Samye.


  1. See TBRC profile of lha rin po che on http://tbrc.org/. Though not all the works listed are actually of Lha Rinpoche. Thus, please consult the colophon of the respective work.
  2. In the Tengyur, eight works in total are attributed to Kukuraja. All of them are ritual manuals for the Sarvabuddhasamayoga, an important Mahayoga Tantra.
  3. See TBRC profile bIr+ya ka ra sing+ha on http://tbrc.org/.
  4. Yuyama, Akira. Prajna-paramita-ratna-guna-samcaya-gatha. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976: xxxii – xxxiii. See TBRC profile 'khon klu'i dbang po on http://tbrc.org/.