Seventeen Tantras

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Seventeen Tantras of the Great Perfection (Tib. dzogchen gyü chu dün, རྫོགས་ཆེན་རྒྱུད་བཅུ་བདུན་, Wyl. rdzogs chen rgyud bcu bdun) of the Category of Pith Instructions, which were brought to Tibet by Vimalamitra and Guru Padmasambhava. Each tantra is not dependent upon the others but complete in itself.

  1. Self-existing Perfection (Tib. dzogpa rangjung, རྫོགས་པ་རང་བྱུང་ , rdzogs pa rang byung)
  2. Without Letters (Tib. yigé mépa, ཡི་གེ་མེད་པ་ , yi ge med pa)
  3. Self-arising Primordial Awareness (Tib. rigpa rang shar, རིག་པ་རང་ཤར་ , rig pa rang shar)
  4. Self-liberated Primordial Awareness (Tib. rigpa rangdrol, རིག་པ་རང་གྲོལ་ , rig pa rang grol)
  5. Piled Gems (Tib. rinpoche pungwa, རིན་པོ་ཆེ་སྤུང་བ་ , rin po che spung ba)
  6. Shining Relics of Enlightened Body (Tib. kudung barwa, སྐུ་གདུང་འབར་བ་ , sku gdung 'bar ba)
  7. Reverberation of Sound (Tib. dra talgyur, སྒྲ་ཐལ་འགྱུར་ , sgra thal 'gyur), the root tantra (Tib. tsawé gyü, རྩ་བའི་རྒྱུད་ , rtsa ba’i rgyud) of these seventeen tantras
  8. Great Auspicious Beauty (Tib. tashi dzeden, བཀྲ་ཤིས་མཛེས་ལྡན་ , bkra shis mdzes ldan)
  9. The Mirror of the Heart of Vajrasattva (Tib. dorje sempa nying gi melong, རྡོ་རྗེ་སེམས་དཔའ་སྙིང་གི་མེ་ལོང་ , rdo rje sems dpa' snying gi me long)
  10. The Mirror of the Mind of Samantabhadra (Tib. kuntuzangpo tuk kyi melong, ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ་ཐུགས་ཀྱི་མེ་ལོང་ , kun tu bzang po thugs kyi me long)
  11. Direct Introduction (Tib. ngotrö trepa, ངོ་སྤྲོད་སྤྲས་པ་ , ngo sprod spras pa)
  12. Necklace of Precious Pearls (Tib. mutik rinpochei trengwa, མུ་ཏིག་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་ཕྲེང་བའི་རྒྱུད་ , mu tig rin po che'i phreng ba)
  13. Sixfold Expanse of Samantabhadra (Tib. kuntuzangpo long druk, ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ་ཀློང་དྲུག་ , kun tu bzang po klong drug)
  14. Blazing Lamp (Tib. drönma barwa, སྒྲོན་མ་འབར་བ་ , sgron ma 'bar ba)
  15. Union of the Sun and Moon (Tib. nyi da khajor, ཉི་ཟླ་ཁ་སྦྱོར་ , nyi zla kha sbyor)
  16. Lion's Perfect Expressive Power (Tib. sengé tsaldzog, སེང་གེ་རྩལ་རྫོགས་ , seng ge rtsal rdzogs)
  17. Array of Jewels (Tib. norbu trakö, ནོར་བུ་ཕྲ་བཀོད་ , nor bu phra bkod)

The tradition of Vimalamitra adds to them the Tantra of the Wrathful Mother, Protectress of Mantras (ngak sung tröma), to make eighteen in all, while the tradition of Padmasambhava also arrives at a total of eighteen by adding the Tantra of the Blazing Expanse of Luminosity (longsal barma). Generally, however, both the Tantra of the Wrathful Mother, Protectress of Mantras, from Vimalamitra’s tradition and the Tantra of the Blazing Expanse of Luminosity from Padmasambhava’s tradition are added to the Seventeen Tantras of the Innermost Secret Nyingtik Cycle, making a total of nineteen altogether.

Further Reading