Takdrol

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Takdrol (Wyl. btags grol) is one of the “five methods that lead to liberation without the need for meditation”. These are sometimes given as:

  • liberation through seeing (chakras) (Tib. tongdrol; Wyl. mthong grol);
  • liberation on hearing (mantras and dharanis) (Tib. tödrol, Wyl. thos grol);
  • liberation by tasting (amrita) (Tib. nyongdrol, Wyl. myong grol);
  • liberation by touch[1] (mudra) (Tib. takdrol, Wyl. btags grol); and
  • liberation by recollection or thinking (which includes the practice of phowa) (Tib. drendrol)[2]

Numerous kinds of takdrol exist: many are mantras in diagrams (Skt. yantra; Tib. sung khor, Wyl. srung 'khor) related to the Dzogchen teachings, and others belong to the tantras. The takdrol can form part of a more detailed empowerment, or it can be given independently as a simple empowerment on its own. Sometimes a text of a tantra is used as a takdrol and worn, for example, in a locket on the top of the head.[3]

Takdrols can also be placed on a deceased person's body after death—and either buried or burned with the body—in order to help alleviate their suffering during the bardo.[4]

Notes

  1. or 'wearing'
  2. Also called liberation through meditation (Tib. gomdrol, Wyl. bsgom grol)
  3. Source: Endnotes to Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection, by The Dalai Lama, page 231—Information kindly given by Tulku Thondup Rinpoche.
  4. Source: Songtsen: Kyabje Kangyur Rinpoche’s Tagdröl yantra. Link here

Literature

  • Karma Lingpa, Liberation Through Wearing, The Natural Liberation of the Aggregates (Wyl. zab chos zhi khro dgongs pa rang grol las btags grol phung po rang grol zhes bya ba bzhugs so)

Further Reading

  • Phillippe Cornu, Le livre des morts tibétain (Paris: Buchet/Chastel, 2009), page 337-344.

Oral Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha