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MELODIOUS SONG OF THE DEMON-DESTROYING VAJRA (Dujom Dorje Luyang): Jamgon Kongtrul’s Vajrakīlaya Supplication, Text, Lineage, Three Aspirations and Four Kīlas plus full transcript of teaching by 8th Garchen Rinpoche

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‘I do not seem phenomena, I only see dharmāta/their nature. I do not see sentient beings, I only see Buddhas. I do not see consciousness, I only see primordial wisdom.’

‘Within bliss I find emptiness. From bliss arises the sambhogakāya and from clarity arises the nirmanakāya.’ –Jetsun Milarepa

“[When] a dark-blue weapon—the perfection of self-born rikpa—arises in the gate of lifeforce as primordial wisdom wrath, the all-pervasive wisdom kīla strikes into the open dharmadhātu space: May it sever dualistic thoughts!” –excerpt from Jamgon Kongtrul’s Vajrakīlaya Lineage Supplication

“In the Vajrakīlaya Tantra, it speaks about a blazing dark blue weapon appearing in space. Even the most powerful weapon in the world, like a nuclear bomb, cannot destroy self-grasping, which has been there since beginningless time. It is because of self-grasping that we keep wandering in samsara. It is something extremely powerful and very difficult to destroy….From a relative perspective, we possess this karmic imprint, or habitual pattern of a dualistic perception of self and other, and that perception is shattered by the dark blue weapon of HUM. “ –8th Garchen Rinpoche


For the full moon today, and as an offering fellow vajra brothers and sisters and HE Garchen Rinpoche, I offer this new research post on Jamgon Kongtrul’s Lineage Prayer, Melodious Song of the Demon-Destroying Vajra (Dujom Dorje Luyang) recited and taught by 8th Garchen Rinpoche during the recent Vajrakīlaya Drubchen at Garchen Institute (November 13-17 2021).

First, is my own personal research on the text and lineage of Jamgon Kongtrul’s Vajrakīlaya supplication. I have written before about a Chogyur Lingpa Vajrakīlaya Lineage Supplication here. This post considers the Jamgon Kongtrul Supplication, which lists two main lineages: the oral transmission and the revealed treasure tradition. I also briefly consider Kongtrul’s practice and transmission of Vajrakīlaya. The full lineage prayer is re-produced below in Tibetan and English.

Second, I offer a full transcript of the teachings (Days 1-5) given on this Supplication by Garchen Rinpoche during the Drubchen. Rinpoche (an accomplished Vajrakīlaya master) discusses several important points in the Supplication about motivation, view, conduct and practice, followed by the meaning of the four kīlas:

All-pervasive awareness kīla

Immeasurable compassion kīla

Bodhicitta kīla of signs and meaning

Material kīla of signs.

He also explains the meaning and significance of the symbolism of male-female union and bliss, using a teaching by Milarepa. I have published that in full below.

Generally, it is advised to have received the Vajrakīlaya empowerment before reading these teachings, so those with the empowerment and transmission, please contact me here for the free 70 page transcript, including this research introduction. Here is a lovely recording of the Vajrakilaya mantra and also one of Garchen Rinpoche chanting it here.

Music? It is a full moon and it is demonskilling time’, so it has to be The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen. For the sheer energy, brilliance, joy and wrath of Vajrakīlaya, Voodoo Chile by Jimi Hendrix…’Well I stand up next to a mountain, and chop it down with the edge of my hand!’

May this be of benefit in helping us accomplish the blissful wisdom dagger to slay the afflictive demons of self-clinging, anger, hostility, aversion, jealousy and so on!

Written and compiled by Adele Tomlin, 19th November 2021.

Origin, intention and textual source of Jamgon Kongtrul’s Song

The Melodious Song of the Māra-Destroying Vajra Lineage Prayer (Dudjom Dorje Luyang) by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye (‘jam mgon kong sprul blo gros mtha’ yas) (1813-1899) is published in his Treasury of Extensive Instructions (Gyachen Kadzo Chenmo)[1]. In Volume 11 of Kongtrul’s Treasury, there are thirty texts on Varjakīlaya practice and instructions.

In the colophon of the lineage supplication, Kongtrul explains why he composed it:

Because there was a need, this was written at the Isle of Nine Dragons at Shubha Monastery by Yonten Gyatso [[[Jamgon Kongtrul]]], who based his path on the yogic practice of this particular exalted deity. May virtue and goodness increase![2]

I have been unable to locate or source Shubha Monastery and the Isle of Nine Dragons in Tibet. I asked one of Kongtrul’s contemporary biographers, Dr. Alex Gardner about this and he told me he has also been unable to locate it. If anyone has any information on this, please let me know.

In the title of the supplication is the general Vajrakīlaya lineage of the oral transmission and revealed treasures. The lineage thus refers to two separate Vajrakīlaya lineages. These are detailed below.

Oral Transmission Lineage – Dakinis, Princesses, Padmasambhava down to the Sakya Khon clan

To the lineage of the oral transmission I pray—Primordial Lord Samantabhadra; Vajra-Holder; Five FamiliesHerukas; Great Lekyi Wangmo; Prabhahasti; Vajra Thötreng Tsal; Vimalamitra; Māra-Destroying Queen of Bliss; Śīlamañju; Śākyadevī; the king and his subjects, the twenty-five; and in particular, Nanam, Chim, Shübu, Rongzom, and the clan of Khon: May the fortress of the view be gained!

In this section of the supplication is the oral/hearing lineage which comes from Samanthbadra, deities, female dakinis, Guru Padmasambhava and down the to Sakya lineage of the Khon family. Boord (2013:11-12) says that:

“Having been taught among the gods and nāga, the doctrines of Vajrakīla were transmitted to the human realm where they were spread in India by Indrabhūti, Dhanasaṁskṛta, Śrīsiṁha, Prabhahasti and an unnamed kāpālika brahmin. In Nepal, they were taught by Śīlamañju and Śākyadevī. Śīlamañju is said to have taught a prostitute by the name of Śānti who, in her turn, transmitted the doctrines to Guṇapatala (a prince of Nepal) so that they then became widely known in that country and Śākyadevī is said to have taught them to Dharmakośa by whom they were subsequently propagated throughout Oḍḍiyāna. The doctrines are also said to have been taught in Khotan by Vairocana and in Tibet by Padmasambhava, Vairocana and Vimalamitra.”

Here is some information on some of those mentioned in Kongtrul’s Lineage Prayer.

Ḍākinī Karmendrāṇī (mkha’ ‘gro ma las kyi dbang mo) is the dakini to whom it is said Vajradharma entrusted the teachings of Kagyé which had been sealed in caskets and placed within the stupa of Shankarakuta (Deché Tsekpa) in the Cool Grove charnel ground in India. In turn she transmitted the Eight Sadhana Teachings to the Eight Vidyadharas and later the Assemblage of Sugatas to Padmasambhava. Received the Vajrayana teachings from Vajrasattva and transmitted them to Hungchenkara, one of the eight Vidyadharas of India. She also entrusted to Guru Padmasambhava the transmission of the Eight Commands, the Union of the Sugatas (bka’ brgyad bde gshegs ‘dus pa).

Prabhahasti ( ‘od kyi glang po), one of the eight vidyadharas of India; he received and practised the Vajrakīlaya tantra from the Kagyé cycle.

Vajra Thotreng Tsal (Guru Padmasambhava), the wrathful form or Padmasambhava

Vimalamitra (dri med bshes gnyen) aka Mahavajra — one of the most learned Indian Buddhist masters and translators. He went to Tibet in the ninth century, where he taught extensively, and composed and translated numerous Sanskrit texts. The quintessence of his teaching is known as the Vima Nyingtik, one of the Heart-essence teachings of the Great Perfection.

Śīlamañju. Tibetan tradition holds that the entire corpus of Indian kīla lore was systematized by Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, and the Nepali Śīlamañju, while on retreat together at Yang-le-shod (present-day Pharping, Nepal).[3]

Śākyadevī. It is said in The Life and Liberation of Padmākara, the Second Buddha from A Precious Garland of Lapis Lazuli by Jamgon Kongtrul[4] that she was a Princess who not only became the consort of Padmasambhava but was the cause of Padmasambhava receiving the Vajrakīla teachings:

“Proceeding next to Yangleshö, situated between India and Nepal [this is in Nepal], the Guru met Śākyadevī, daughter of the Newar king Puṇyadhara, and accepted her as his sādhana support and consort. Together they practised glorious Śrī Heruka, but were hindered by spirits, rākṣasas and magical creatures’ intent on creating obstacles — causing a three year drought and, with it, famine and disease. So Padmasambhava sent two messengers to India to ask his gurus for a teaching that would counter them. They returned, laden with the tantras and commentaries of Vajrakīla. The moment they arrived, the obstacles were pacified. It rained, and the drought, disease and famine came to an end. The Guru and Śākyadevī both attained the great accomplishment of the third vidyādhara level, ‘vidyādhara of the great seal, or mahāmudrā’.”

Nanam Dorje Dudjom (sna nam rdo rje bdudjoms) (8th-9th cent.) — one of King Trisong Detsen’s ministers, sent to Nepal to invite Padmasambhava to Tibet. He became one of Guru Rinpoche’s main twenty-five disciples. When receiving empowerment from Guru Rinpoche, his flower fell on the mandala of Vajrakīlaya. Through the practice he became an accomplished mantrika, who could fly with the speed of the wind and pass through solid rock. The name Dorje Dudjom means ‘Indestructible Subduer of Mara.’ In the Autobiography of Jamgon Kongtrul it relates how Kongtrul requested a Vajrakīlaya empowerment from his teacher. Before granting it, his teacher had a pure vision where he received the transmission directly from Nanam Dorje Dudjom and subsequently bestowed the empowerment on Jamgon Kongtrul.

Shubu Pelgyi Sengé (Shud bu dpal gyi seng ge, eighth century), believed to be a disciple of Padmasambhava in the eighth century.

Rongzom Chokyi Zangpo (rong zom chos kyi bzang po, mid 11th to 12th Century), widely known as Rongzom Mahapandita, Rongzom Dharmabhadra, or simply as Rongzompa, was one of the most important scholars of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Together with Longchenpa and Ju Mipham, he is often considered to be one of the three “omniscient” writers of the school. It is said that Rongzom was the first to receive the entire Dzogchen teachings of both Vimalamitra and Vairotsana after the time of those two masters.

Clan of Khon. ‘Also known as the Sakya clan, the Khon clan came into existence around the end of the Yarlung dynasty. The Khon developed the Sakya tradition in the eleventh century in the place called Sakya due to the pale soil of the valley. Khon Konchok Gyelpo built what later developed into Sakya Monastery in 1073. His great-grandson Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyeltsen was regarded as the greatest scholar of his age. Kunga Gyeltsen’s nephew Pakpa Lodro Gyeltsen became Imperial Preceptor under Khubilai Khan and instituted Mongol rule in Tibet, based at Sakya, that lasted until the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty in the fourteenth century. The Khon clan continues to control the Sakya tradition and Sakya Monastery.’

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo received the Sakya lineage transmissions and he transmitted the lineage to Jamgon Kongtrul (see below).

Revealed Treasure Transmission Lineage – Chokyi Wangchuk to Chogyur Lingpa

To the lineage of revealed treasures, I pray—Venerable Chokyi Wangchuk, Rigdzin Godem Plumed With Vulture Feathers, Stainless Vajra Sangyé Lingpa, Rinchen Palzang, Self-Liberated Padma Ling, Düdül Nüden, Dzamling Dorjé Tsal, Raton, Chogyur Lingpa, and the rest: May the perilous path of meditation be crossed!

The next section of Kongtrul’s Lineage Prayer refers to the lineage of revealed treasure. [5] Here the lineage starts with the Nyingma treasure-revealer, Venerable Chokyi Wangchuk.

Venerable Chokyi Wangchuk (gu ru chos kyi dbang phyug, 1212–1270) was an important treasure revealer. Interestingly Chokyi Wangchuk’s consort was Jomo Menmo (jo mo sman mo), an established treasure revealer herself. He was also instrumental in establishing the notion that treasure revelation requires the practice of sexual yoga. He claimed that he could not understand one of his own revelations, the Kabgye Sangwa Yongdzok (bka’ brgyad gsang ba yongs rdzogs) until after he had opened his yogic central channel via sexual yoga. He is said to have revealed eighteen troves of earth treasure (sa gter – that is, texts and objects physically concealed in the earth) and one trove of mind treasure (dgong gter – a scripture concealed in his own mind stream in a prior incarnation). Among the most influential are the Lama Sangdu (bla ma gsang ‘dus), a sadhana and practice on Padmasambhava that includes the widely used prayer known as the Seven Line Supplication; the Sangdu Lamai Tukdrub (gsang ‘dus bla ma’i thugs sgrub); the Kabgye Sangwa Yongdzok (bka’ brgyad gsang ba yongs rdzogs), one of the three treasure cycles on the Kabgye, or Eight Commands, central to the Mahāyoga section of Nyingma tantra. The Lama Sangdu cycle is also the core of an extensive sacred dance ceremony performed yearly at most Nyingma monasteries, usually on the anniversary of Padmasambhava , the tenth day of the fifth (or sometimes sixth) month of the lunar calendar, known as the Eight Aspects of Guru Rinpoche (gu ru mtshan brgyad).[6]

Rigdzin Godem Ngodrup Gyaltsen ( rig ‘dzin rgod ldem dngos grub rgyal mtshan) (1337-1408) was a major terton who discovered the Northern Treasures (Jang Ter; Wyl. byang gter). He became known as Rigdzin Gödem because, at the age of twelve, three vulture feathers spontaneously grew from the crown of his head. When he was twenty-four, five more grew. Rigdzin Godem literally translates as “Vidyadhara Vulture Feathers”.

Sangye Lingpa (sangs rgyas gling pa) (1340–1396) was a tertön who revealed the Lama Gongdü cycle and the Golden Garland Chronicles (Kathang Sertreng).

The lineage then goes down to from Rinchen Palzang and Self-Liberated Padma Ling to:

Terton Rigdzin Duddul Dorje (gter ston rig ‘dzin bdud ‘dul rdo rje) (1615-1672) was a nyingma tertn and one of the main students of Jatson Nyingpo. In the middle of the 17th century, he played a critical role in re-strengthening the Katok Monastery lineage and its initial monastery which had fallen into disrepair.

Dzamling Dorje Tsal (dzam ling rdo rje rtsal), or Choje Lingpa (chos rje gling pa) aka Gawalung Terton (dga’ ba lung gter ston) (1682-1720/1725), was originally a main Kagyu tulku from Réchung Puk, in Yarlung. As a terton of the 18th century, he contributed greatly to the opening of the hidden-land of Pemako. Then from Raton to:

Chogyur Lingpa, (mchog gyur bde chen zhig po gling pa) (1829-1870) — one of the great tertons who was a contemporary and friend of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgon Kongtrul, and, like Khyentse Wangpo, was entrusted with the seven special transmissions.

Jamgon Kongtrul’s lineage and practice on Vajrakīlaya

Jamgon Kongtrul received many Vajrakīla transmission in his life, from both the oral and revealed treasure lineages. In the Life Story of Jamgon Kongtrul , Alex Gardner writes about Kongtrul’s Varjakīla retreat when he was 28 years old:

“He next turned to the practice of Vajrakīla, one of the central deities of the Nyingma tradition. He began a three-month retreat on the deity on December 2, 1841,and ended it around the start of the new lunar year, early February 1842. Kongtrul did not record which ritual system he relied on for this Vajrakīla retreat, but it was likely Ratna Lingpa’s Unsurpassed Innermost Vajrakīla cycle. He had previously received several Vajrakīla transmissions as part of larger collections, such as Ratna Lingpa’s Peaceful and Wrathful Deities, which he received from the Fifth Karma Chakme in 1834 at Karma Gon, and the Eight Commands: Gathering of Sugatas liturgy of Nyangrel Nyima Wozer, the transmission for which he received from Zhechen Wontrul in 1832. Kongtrul would henceforth perform an annual year-end Vajrakīla retreat to repel harm, although the liturgies would change over the years. Kongtrul would receive the transmissions for multiple Vajrakīla cycles by the end of his life; there are close to one hundred Vajrakīla texts in the Treasury of Revelations by twelve different treasure revealers.”

During this three-month Vajrakīlaya retreat Kongtrul reports visions and dreams, including sexual yoga with women:

“His dreams during the three-month retreat included several devotional episodes featuring Situ Rinpoche and the Fourteenth Karmapa, and a vision of a mountain surrounded by the worldly protective deities, headed by the Karma Kagyu protector Lord of Rakṣa with a Garland of Skulls. One morning at dawn, he practiced lucid dreaming. Finding himself outside a building where Situ was staying, he decided to circumambulate. On the path, he encountered a woman whom he recognized as a ḍākinī, who had a delighted manner about her. Kongtrul joined with her in sexual intercourse, and by doing so he had a stable experience of all four Dzogchen visions. This was to be only the first of several sexual dreams Kongtrul felt warranted recording. Soon after the Vajrakīla retreat ended, he dreamed of a woman with a single eye in the middle of her forehead, an eye which reflected the surroundings like a mirror. They conversed, and she transformed into a beautiful woman. Kongtrul and the now attractive woman joined together in sexual congress, sitting in the center of a room with four doors. Two figures emanated from them and moved toward the entrances, representing two of the four trainings of a tantric yogi: pacifying and enriching. The other two, magnetizing and wrathful, did not have time to manifest before the dream began to fade. On April 11, 1842, immediately afterwards, Kongtrul fell ill. It was something akin to an asthma attack, and it lasted a full month. This illness was a major life event and will be discussed in the next chapter.”

In the eleventh month of the Fire-Hare year [1867] Jamgon Kongtrul is said to have received the transmission of the Vajrakīlaya Tantra and teachings from Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, who came to at Palpung Monastery on a teaching visit. Khyentse acted as the vajra master for a Vajrakīlaya Drubchen at Palpung and then gave extensive teachings on the Tantra as well as empowerment, transmission and detailed instructions on the Vajrakīlaya hearing lineage.

Kongtrul also revealed termas himself on Vajrakīlaya with Chogyur Lingpa. In his autobiography it states that he completed a retreat on Guru Chöwang’s Razor cycle of Vajrakīla. Of course, much can be said about Kongtrul’s practice and transmission of Vajrakīlaya. I will leave this here for now as a taster.

Bliss, clarity and compassion and the four kīlas – 8th Garchen Rinpoche’s Teaching

In his detailed teachings, Rinpoche discusses the following lines of Kongtrul’s lineage prayer: ‘May the fortress of the view be gained!’ (the view); ‘May the perilous path of meditation be crossed!’ (the path); and ‘May the life-force of conduct be seized!’ (the conduct). Then there are detailed teaching on the four kīlas mentioned in the supplication:

All-pervasive awareness kīla

Immeasurable compassion kīla

Bodhicitta kīla of signs and meaning

Material kīla of signs.

This includes a teaching on bliss, using a quote by Milarepa, that I have reproduced below here:

“Also, when we look at the deity in the secret mantra, often we see the deity in union the yab-yum. Regarding that , a disciple actually once asked me ‘so if the deity appears as male and female in union, and the male has the female on his on his lap, should I have the same kind of yum on my lap?’ They asked many other lamas that, not just me.

It is not about actually having a yum/consort on your lap, this is an outer sign that represents an inner meaning that we need to understand here. What does the male and female union represent? The union of male and female represents the way in which all sentient beings in the six realms come into existence; through the union of the male and female. Also, what this union shows is through the union, they experience great bliss and this is how beings come into existence. So, this feeling of bliss is not recognized by ordinary beings and it is actually an inexpressible feeling, it cannot be expressed by words. It is called the co-emergent, or innate, feeling of bliss and it naturally dwells within everyone’s Buddha nature. It is just that ordinary people don’t recognize that, so when they do experience bliss, they cling to that dualistic appearance of themselves and others. If on the other hand, we do not cling to the bliss and there is no grasping to self and other, then this ordinary experience of bliss becomes primordial awareness. It matures. If it doesn’t mature and we continue to grasp at a duality then temporarily this feeling of bliss will lead to attachment and clinging. That creates samsara temporarily. However, it is something that sentient beings can actually understand because it is their true nature, everyone’s true nature.

What is really represented by the union of the male and female? When you see the yab-yum, it is something you can relate to, and you think ’oh this must be so nice, and so happy and pleasurable’. There’s a real feeling, or resonance that arises in your own mind. Then, you understand once you recognize this bliss and experience that the actual bliss arising in their minds comes from not grasping at duality of self and other. Not by thinking that the other person exists and not taking ownership of the other person and clinging to them. If we do that, if we begin to cling to each other and fixate on the true existence of what we perceive, of the other person, then this union creates samsara, as attachment increases. The vajrayana practice is a method to not become attached when this bliss arises.….

Milarepa said ‘within bliss I find emptiness’. So one finds this non-conceptuality within bliss and this non-conceptuality is dharmakaya. Then, he said ‘from bliss arises the sambhogakaya’, and ‘from clarity arises the nirmanakaya’. You should remember these three lines by Milarepa. These are like your life force. The non-conceptuality is the dharmakaya, within bliss is the sambhogakaya, and within clarity is the nirmanakaya. These words are genuinely truthful and unchanging.”

In relation to the last kīla, Garchen Rinpoche spoke about the importance of engaging in wrathful activities out of love and compassion and not anger and aversion, otherwise they themselves are creating the very causes for being re-born in the hell realms:

“The last one of the four kīlas, is the material kīla of signs. Some people, especially those who have a lot of anger and jealousy, think that this material kīla of signs is a fearsome killer that destroys others. They are coming really from a place of aggression, such as wanting to destroy certain others. Actually this kind of view is is extremely mistaken. The entire practice is an activity of bodhichitta, and if it is performed with an aggressive mind of aversion, that itself is actually the seed for being born in the hell realms. That is certainly not at all how we engage in these practices as Buddhist practitioners. All of our practices and activities are from bodhichitta. This is also clearly mentioned in the Vajrakīlaya tantra, where it says that the fierce destructive activities of kīlaya is a skillful means, and not an act of hatred, it is an act of compassion. This is how we should understand it.”

For those with the empowerment, please contact me here for the full transcript (days 1-5).

Further Reading/Sources

Boord, Martin:

(1993). Cult of the Deity Vajrakīla. Institute of Buddhist Studies.

(2002). A Bolt of Lightning From The Blue. Edition Khordong.

(2013) GATHERING THE ELEMENTS: The Cult of the Wrathful Deity Vajrakīla according to the Texts of the Northern Treasures Tradition of Tibet (Byang-gter phur-ba) Vajrakılaya Texts of the Northern Treasures Tradition. Volume One. Edition Khordon. Wandel Verlag.

8th Garchen Rinpoche, (2022). Vajrakīlaya: A Complete Guide with Experiential Instructions. Translated by Ari Kiev. Shambhala Publications.

Mayer, Robert (1996). A Scripture of the Ancient Tantra Collection: The Phur-pa bcu-gnyis. Kindsdale Publications.

Khenpo Namdrol, (1990) The Practice of Vajrakīlaya (Snow Lion Publications).

Kongtrul, Lodro Thaye, Autobiography Gem of Many Colours, tr. Richard Barron.

Gardner, Alex, (2019) The Life of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great (Snow Lion Publications).

Tomlin, Adele (2020):

Jamgon Kongtrul

GATHERING ALL INTO ONE AND WISDOM OF THE WRATHFUL DAGGER: OM AH HUM vajra recitation, Vajrakīlaya and transforming afflictions (by 8th Garchen Rinpoche) and new translation of Milarepa’s Song on the Ten Pāramitās

The Karmapas, Chogyur Lingpa and Vajrakīlaya

NEW TRANSLATION: ‘Excellent Path to Awakening: Lineage Prayer to the ‘Seven Profound Cycle’ Kīla; by Chogyur Lingpa


[1] “rdo rje phur pa bka’ gter spyi khyab brgyud par bcas pa la gsol ba ‘debs pa bdudjoms rdo rje’i glu dbyangs/.” In rgya chen bka’ mdzod. TBRC W23723. 11: 13 – 20. new delhi: shechen, 2002.

[2] ཅེས་པ་འདིའང་ཉེར་མཁོའི་ཆེད་དུ་ཤུ་བྷ་འབྲུག་དགུ་གླིང་དུ་ལྷ་མཆོག་འདི་ཉིད་ཀྱི་རྣལ་འབྱོར་ལ་མོས་པ་ལམ་བྱེད་ཡོན་ཏན་རྒྱ་མཚོས་སྦྱར་བ་དགེ་ལེགས་འཕེལ།།

[3] According to Boord, “it was precisely during this retreat that the many strands of kila lore were finally woven together into a coherent masterpiece of tantric Buddhism and thus it helps to illuminate the process by which tantric methods were being related to soteriology at this time.

[4] For English translation of this text, see:

[5] Khenpo Namdrol, in his book The Practice of Vajrakīlaya (1990), talks about how there are three terma transmissions of the Vajrakīlaya teachings. One relates to King Trisong Detsen, one to Yeshe Tsogyal, and the other to Nanam Dorje Dudjom. The latter was rediscovered by his reincarnation, Lerab Lingpa. The Gur Khukma Vajrakīlaya treasure discovered by the great 20th century master Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok also belongs to this same tradition.

[6] Meeting the Buddha Face to Face A Pith Instruction on Realizing the Fortress, Ravine, and View of the Practice of Vajrakīla by Guru Chökyi Wangchuk. This pith instruction on how to accomplish Vajrakīla (or Vajrakīlaya) was given by Guru Padmasambhava to his closest disciple Khandro Yeshé Tsogyal. Following the Atiyoga approach, the text comments on the oft-quoted verses of the Vajrakīla Root Tantra Fragment (Tōh. 439). This and a short protector offering, also preserved in the Treasury of Revelations (Rinchen Terdzö), are the only two surviving texts from Guru Chöwang’s Vajrakīla revelation.

[7] Also known as the Sakya clan, the Khon clan came into existence around the end of the Yarlung dynasty. The Khon developed the Sakya tradition in the eleventh century in the place called Sakya due to the pale soil of the valley. Khon Konchok Gyelpo built what later developed into Sakya Monastery in 1073. His great-grandson Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyeltsen was regarded as the greatest scholar of his age. Kunga Gyeltsen’s nephew Pakpa Lodro Gyeltsen became Imperial Preceptor under Khubilai Khan and instituted Mongol rule in Tibet, based at Sakya, that lasted until the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty in the fourteenth century. The Khon clan continues to control the Sakya tradition and Sakya Monastery.


Song of the Māra-Destroying Vajra: A supplication to the general Vajrakīlaya lineage of the oral transmission and revealed treasures by Jamgon Kongtrul

To the lineage of the oral transmission I pray—Primordial Lord Samantabhadra; Vajra-Holder; Five FamiliesHerukas; Great Lekyi Wangmo; Prabhahasti; Vajra Thötreng Tsal; Vimalamitra; Māra-Destroying Queen of Bliss; Śīlamañju; Śākyadevī; the king and his subjects, the twenty-five; and in particular, Nanam, Chim, Shübu, Rongzom, and the clan of Khön[7]: May the fortress of the view be gained!

To the lineage of revealed treasures, I pray—Venerable Chökyi Wangchuk, Rigdzin Gödem Plumed With Vulture Feathers, Stainless Vajra Sangyé Lingpa, Rinchen Palzang, Self-Liberated Padma Ling, Düdül Nüden, Dzamling Dorjé Tsal, Ratön, Chogyur Lingpa, and the rest: May the perilous path of meditation be crossed!

To the Dharma lineage holders, I pray—Venerable Ma, Nyak, the eight glorious disciples, Nub, So, Zur, Odren, Lang, the Youthful Ātsāra, Langlab Jangdor and his four supreme disciples, Venerable Darchar, Rinzang, Rok, Chal, Terdak Ling, Chagmé, and the others: May the life-force of conduct be seized!

To the deities of Vajrakīlaya’s maṇḍala, I pray—Vajrasattva, within whom the magical web of all peaceful and wrathful deities is subsumed; Dharmevajra, Master of all Secrets; Vajravidāraṇa, who severs the root of delusive thoughts; deity within whom the activities to tame [[[sentient beings]]] according to their needs are condensed into one; body of compassionate wrath arisen from the dharmadhātu sphere; blazing great māra-destroyer, who dances with a hundred moods; Glorious Great Heruka Vajrakumāra; Consort Khorlo Gyedepma, innate union of primordial wisdom and space; ten powers and perfections expressed by the ten wrathful ones; animal-faced emanations; gatekeepers; oath-bound [[[protectors]]]; Īṣhvari goddesses; and the rest: May I be victorious over Māra!

[When] a dark-blue weapon—the perfection of self-born rikpa—arises in the gate of lifeforce as primordial wisdom wrath, the all-pervasive wisdom kīla strikes into the open dharmadhātu space: May it sever dualistic thoughts!

[When] the aggregates and elements—the three seats—[are realized] as filled with vajra wheels, and unelaborated consciousness is accomplished as the great-bliss vajra, the kīla of immeasurable compassion strikes the beings of the six realms: May they seize the lifeline of compassion!

[When] the union of wisdom and form—meaning and sign—generates sparks of terrifying wrathful ones, the bodhicitta kīla strikes into the consort’s secret space: May clouds of emanations, the sublime sons, be sent forth!

[When] existence and beings are fully realized as vajra wrathful ones, the material kīla of signs that never lets go, strikes at harm-doers who grasp at the three poisons and appearances: May it penetrate them to their final end!

Conquering the demon of the aggregates, let this body of fully ripened karma become liberated as the deity! Conquer the demon of afflictions with the seal of bliss and emptiness! Conquering the demon of death, gain power of immortal life! Conquering the demon of the gods, attain the spontaneously perfected ground!

May the four activities and eight qualities be swiftly accomplished! In particular, may the flames of wrathful mantra rites incinerate the vicious hearts of enemies and obstructers who cause hindrances. And thus, may the sublime state of the Glorious Great Heruka be attained!”

English translation by Ina Bieler (Garchen Institute, 2021).

རྡོ་རྗེ་ཕུར་པའི་བཀའ་གཏེར་སྤྱི་ཁྱབ་བརྒྱུད་པར་བཅས་པ་ལ་ གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་པ་བདུད་འཇོམས་རྡོ་རྗེའི་གླུ་དབྱངས་ཞེས་བྱ་བ་བཞུགས་སོ།

ཐོག་མའི་མགོན་པོ་ཀུན་བཟང་རྡོ་རྗེ་འཆང་།རིགས་ལྔ་ཁྲག་འཐུང་ལས་ཀྱི་དབང་མོ་ཆེ། འོད་ཀྱི་གླང་པོ་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཐོད་ཕྲེང་རྩལ།དྲི་མེད་བཤེས་གཉེན་བདུད་འདུལ་བདེ་ཆེན་རྒྱལ། ཤཱི་ལ་མཉྫུ་དཔལ་གྱི་མཆོད་གནས་མ།རྗེ་འབངས་ཉེར་ལྔ་ཁྱད་པར་སྣ་ནམ་འཆིམས། ཤུད་བུ་རོང་ཟོམ་འཁོན་རིགས་བཀའ་བརྒྱུད་ལ།གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་ལྟ་བའི་རྫོང་ཐོབ་ཤོག

ཆོས་ཀྱི་དབང་ཕྱུག་རྒོད་ཀྱི་ལྡེབ་འཕྲུ་ཅན།སངས་རྒྱས་གླིང་པ་དྲི་མེད་རྡོ་རྗེའི་ཞབས། རིན་ཆེན་དཔལ་བཟང་རང་གྲོལ་པདྨ་གླིང་།བདུད་འདུལ་ནུས་ལྡན་འཛམ་གླིང་རྡོ་རྗེ་རྩལ། རྭ་སྟོན་མཆོག་གྱུར་གླིང་སོགས་གཏེར་བརྒྱུད་ལ།གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་སྒོམ་པའི་འཕྲང་ཆོད་ཤོག

རྨ་གཉགས་དཔལ་གྱི་མཚན་བརྒྱད་གནུབས་སོ་ཟུར།འོ་བྲན་རླངས་དང་ཨཱ་ཙཱར་ནུ་རུའི་ཞབས། ལང་ལབ་བྱང་རྡོར་མཆོག་གི་སློབ་མ་བཞི།འདར་འཕྱར་རིན་བཟང་རོག་དཔྱལ་གཏེར་བདག་གླིང་། ཆགས་མེད་ཞབས་སོགས་བཀའ་བབ་ཆོས་བདག་ལ།གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་སྤྱོད་པའི་སྲོག་ཟིན་ཤོག

སྒྱུ་འཕྲུལ་ཞི་ཁྲོ་རིགས་འདུས་རྡོ་རྗེ་སེམས།གསང་བ་ཀུན་གྱི་བདག་པོ་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཆོས། འཁྲུལ་རྟོག་རྩད་གཅོད་རྡོ་རྗེ་རྣམ་པར་འཇོམས།གང་འདུལ་ཕྲིན་ལས་གཅིག་ཏུ་རྫོགས་པའི་ལྷ། ཆོས་ཀྱི་དབྱིངས་ལས་སྙིང་རྗེ་ཁྲོས་པའི་སྐུ།བདུད་འདུལ་འབར་བ་ཆེན་པོ་ཉམས་བརྒྱའི་གར། དཔལ་ཆེན་ཆེ་མཆོག་བཛྲ་ཀུ་མཱ་ར།དབྱིངས་ཡེ་ཟུང་འཇུག་འཁོར་ལོ་རྒྱས་འདེབས་ཡུམ། སྟོབས་དང་ཕར་ཕྱིན་ཁྲོ་བཅུ་སྟངས་དཔྱལ་ཚུལ།ཁྲ་ཐབས་སྒོ་སྲུང་དམ་ཅན་དབང་ཕྱུག་སོགས། རྡོ་རྗེ་ཕུར་པའི་དཀྱིལ་འཁོར་ལྷ་ཚོགས་ལ།གསོལ་བ་འདེབས་སོ་བདུད་ལས་རྣམ་རྒྱལ་ཤོག

རང་བྱུང་རིག་པའི་རྩལ་རྫོགས་མཐིང་ནག་མཚོན།སྲོག་གི་གོ་རུ་ཡེ་ཤེས་ཁྲོ་བོར་ཤར། ཁྱབ་བརྡལ་ཡེ་ཤེས་ཕུར་པ་ཆོས་དབྱིངས་སུ།ཐེབས་ནས་གཉིས་འཛིན་རྟོག་ཚོགས་ཆོད་པར་ཤོག

ཕུང་ཁམས་གདན་གསུམ་རྡོ་རྗེའི་འཁོར་ལོར་གཏམས།རྣམ་ཤེས་སྤྲོས་བྲལ་བདེ་ཆེན་རྡོ་རྗེར་གྲུབ། ཚད་མེད་སྙིང་རྗེའི་ཕུར་པ་འགྲོ་དྲུག་ལ།ཐེབས་ནས་ཐུགས་རྗེའི་དཔྱངས་ཐག་ལྡན་པར་ཤོག

དོན་རྟགས་སྐུ་དང་ཡེ་ཤེས་མཉམ་སྦྱོར་བས།མི་བཟད་འབར་བའི་ཁྲོ་བོའི་འདུ་འཕྲོ་ཅན། བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་ཀྱི་ཕུར་པ་ཡུམ་གྱི་མཁར།ཐེབས་ནས་སྲས་མཆོག་སྤྲུལ་པའི་སྤྲིན་སྤྲོ་ཤོག

སྲིད་བཅུད་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཁྲོ་བོར་ཡོངས་གྲུབ་སྟེ།དུག་གསུམ་ཡུལ་སྣང་འཛིན་ནས་མི་གཏོང་བའི། མཚན་མ་རྫས་ཀྱི་ཕུར་པ་གནོད་བྱེད་ལ།ཐེབས་ནས་བརྣག་པའི་གཟེར་ཁ་མཐར་ཕྱིན་ཤོག

ཕུང་པོའི་བདུད་ཆོམ་རྣམ་སྨིན་ལྷ་རུ་གྲོལ།ཉོན་མོངས་བདུད་ཆོམ་བདེ་སྟོང་ཕྱག་རྒྱས་ཐེབས། འཆི་བདག་བདུད་ཆོམ་འཆི་མེད་ཚེ་དབང་བརྙེས།ལྷ་བུའི་བདུད་ཆོམ་ལྷུན་གྲུབ་ས་ཐོབ་ཤོག

ལས་བཞི་ཡོན་ཏན་བརྒྱད་པོ་མྱུར་འགྲུབ་ཅིང་།ཁྱད་པར་དྲག་སྔགས་མངོན་སྤྱོད་མེ་དབལ་གྱིས། བར་ཆད་དགྲ་བགེགས་གདུག་པའི་སྙིང་བསྲེགས་ཏེ།དཔལ་ཆེན་ཁྲག་འཐུང་གོ་འཕང་མཆོག་ཐོབ་ཤོག