Fourteen root downfalls

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Fourteen root downfalls (Tib. རྩ་ལྟུང་བཅུ་བཞི་, tsa tung chu shyi, Wyl. rtsa ltung bcu bzhi) — fourteen major samayas in the Sarma tradition.

There are two variations of the root tantric vows, one specific to the Kalachakra Tantra and one common to all Highest Yoga Tantras.[1] The latter is presented here:

  1. disrespecting the vajra master
  2. transgressing the words of the buddhas
  3. insulting one’s vajra brothers and sisters
  4. abandoning love for sentient beings
  5. abandoning the bodhichitta in aspiration or application
  6. criticizing the teachings of the sutras and tantras
  7. revealing secrets to those who are unworthy
  8. mistreating one’s body
  9. abandoning emptiness
  10. keeping bad company
  11. failing to reflect on emptiness
  12. upsetting those who have faith in the teachings
  13. failing to observe the samaya commitments
  14. denigrating women


Indian Shatras

Sarma Commentaries

  • Khedrub Norzang Gyatso, A Lamp to Illuminate the Closely Bonding Practices (Wyl. Dam-tshig gsal-ba'i sgron-me)
  • Tsongkhapa, An Explanation of Secret Mantra Ethical Discipline: A Cluster of Fruit of Actual Attainments (Wyl. gSang-sngags-kyi tshul-khrims-kyi rnam-bshad dngos-grub-kyi snye-ma)

Nyingma Commentaries

Oral Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha


  1. Alexander Berzin, see External Links & Philippe Cornu, Dictionnaire Encyclopédique du Bouddhisme.

External Links