Yang Nying Pudri

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Yang Nying Pudri thangka commissioned by Sogyal Rinpoche

Yang Nying Pudri (Tib. yang snying spu gri), the Razor of the Innermost Essence, a cycle of Vajrakilaya practices revealed as a terma by Tertön Sogyal. It is the main yidam practice of the Rigpa sangha.

Khenpo Jikphun said that the three main Vajrakilaya termas of Tertön Sogyal are Yang Sang Tröpa, which is very long, Yang Nying Pudri, which is of medium length, and Yang Zab Nyingpo, which is quite short.


The Revelation

Tertön Sogyal’s biography, which was written by Tulku Tsullo, describes how the terma was revealed. In the autumn of 1895, Tertön Sogyal went with Jamgön Kongtrul to Tsadra Rinchen Drak, a sacred site closely linked with both Jamgön Kongtrul and Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa, and one of the twenty-five holy places of east Tibet, representing ‘the wisdom mind of enlightened qualities’. There, high up on the hillside, Tertön Sogyal approached ‘The Cave that Delights the Awesome Heruka’, where, his biography recounts:

“The outline of the terma door stood out clearly in the rock face, and when he saw this, he became as if excited and flung a stone at it. At once the earth shook with a great crashing sound, as though a whole mountain was subsiding. An aperture in the rock gaped open, and an exquisite fragrance flooded out to fill the air. Tertön Sogyal plunged his hand into the opening and withdrew a kutsab—a representation of Guru Rinpoche—in a striding posture and gripping vajra and phurba, and along with it, the casket containing the terma of Yang Nying Pudri. Wrapping them carefully in silk so that no one might see, he placed them in the terma chest held by his consort. The terma trove in the rock was also full of amrita, but he said that it was not his to take and he would not remove it. However, his consort pleaded with him insistently, and to avoid disappointing her, he took some of this amrita, which liberates when tasted, and left the remaining treasure just as he had found it. He offered a substitute for the terma, and closed the door and sealed it well. Then Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche approached the site, and together, in joyful gratitude, they all celebrated a tsok feast, offered tormas to please the terma guardians, and made prayers of dedication and auspiciousness on a grand scale, aspiring to benefit the Dharma and all living beings.”


In 1898 Tertön Sogyal traveled to Lhasa to meet the Dalai Lama. His first, momentous, meeting with the Dalai Lama had been ten years earlier, when, it was said, “their wisdom minds instantly merged as one.” Now, following a proclamation of the Nechung oracle, Tertön Sogyal offered the complete cycle of empowerment, transmission, and instruction of the Yang Nying Pudri to the Dalai Lama.

Early the next morning, the Dalai Lama records a vivid dream, in which he found himself before the palace of Guru Rinpoche, where he was met by two celestial beings, singing prophetic verses about this practice of Vajrakilaya. They told him that desire, anger, and ignorance would be eliminated, obstacles overcome and attainments realized, if he performed a thousand tsok offerings according to the Yang Nying Pudri practice. The Dalai Lama’s biography explains: “He awoke, remembering the words very clearly. The Dalai Lama and Lerab Lingpa then decoded their meaning together. And he accomplished the thousand tsok offerings of Vajrakilaya, as the prophecy made clear was the right thing to do.”

Tertön Sogyal then gave the Yang Nying Pudri empowerment to the monks of the Namgyal Monastery in the Potala Palace, who have maintained this practice ever since. In 1899 the mendrup was performed as part of the Mönlam Chenmo, the annual Great Prayer Festival at the New Year in Lhasa, and woodblocks for the entire cycle were carved. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama arranged the Yang Nying Pudri for practice as a drupchen and so composed the text Treasury of Wishes for the Benefit of Self and Others that was used by the Namgyal monks at Lerab Ling.

Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche offered the empowerment of Yang Nying Pudri to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The Empowerment of Yang Nying Pudri

The empowerment has been given to the Rigpa Sangha on several occasions, including:

Teachings on Yang Nying Pudri

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