October 11, 2017.
Today, I’m delighted to share with you my progress on The Catalogue Project. In case you don't recall, when you recently supported Jnanasukha Foundation's promotion of our new book, The Life & Visions of Yeshe Tsogyal, you also became a sponsor of our new translation project,The Catalogue Project. Or, you may have set up a monthly sponsorship of $30 for this project or sent a one-time donation.
Early on, I decided to do this work as a semi-retreat, meaning that during this time, I focus only on this project with as little interference as possible from other responsibilities. I love this idea and as you can imagine, I look forward to many Catalogue Retreats!
On August 29, I started my first Catalogue Retreat. A few days and 15 solid hours later, the titles of the texts and some colophons in Volume One were translated! A few more hours and I created this overview:
There are 98 texts in Volume One. All of them are Guru texts and I've provisionally categorized them as follows:
- Guru Yoga: 35
- Guru Accomplishment Sadhana: 23
- General Guru Sadhana: 6
- Empowerment: 10
- Feast Offering: 10
- Supplication: 4
- Aspiration Prayer: 1
- Transference: 1
- Other: 8
In addition, a few texts are for particular masters or deities:
- 2 for Amitabha
- 2 for Kalachakra
- 4 for Orgyen Norlha, Guru Rinpoche’s wealth form
- 3 for Pema Gyalpo, the Lotus King, one of the Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche and the form in which Padmasambhava originally appeared in our world.
- 2 for the mahasiddha, Thangtong Gyalpo
- 1 for Treasure Protectors
The most common attributed authorship is Namtrul and Tare Lhamo and variations thereof, such as Jigme Namkha Lingpa and Tare Dechen Lhamo. Often, Tare Lhamo is called the Mantra-Born Tare Devi and Namtrul the old mantrin or the aimless Jigme. In many cases, Namtrul refers endearingly to Tare Lhamo as his life-long companion.
When the colophon includes a location, the most common is Rikzin Gatshal, the private residence of the eminent couple at Nyenlung, their administrative seat. There are a few that were written at Apang Rinpoche’s monastery, Tsimda. Five were written on pilgrimage in Central Tibet at the Jokhang, Kangri Tokar or Samye Chimphu. However in the majority of cases, a location is not specified. Several other minor places unknown to me are also indicated for some texts.
From David Germano’s Re-membering the Dismembered Body of Tibet: Contemporary Tibetan Visionary Movements in the People’s Republic of China, I learned that the treasure sites of the eminent couple are, as expected, mostly in Eastern Tibet in Golok and Amdo. They include Amnye Machen, Nyenpo Yurtse, Kokonor and lesser known locales. In Central Tibet, they include Samye Chimphu, Kangri Tokar and Tsogyal Latso.
Many texts are sub-titled with the word From followed by another title such as Secret Dakini’s Treasury, Dakini’s Treasury of Symbols, Most Profound Vital Essence of Ati, Most Profound Profound Vital Mind Essence, Most Profound Treasure Trove of Knowledge, Mind Treasure of the Profound, Vast Expanse Treasure Trove of Awareness, Most Profound, Profound Dakki Heart Essence, Unsurpassable Secret Tantra, Pure Vision’s Expanse Treasury of Wisdom, Secret Treasury of the Wisdom Dakini, and Sky Expanse Treasury of Dharmata.
Frankly, I don’t know what these titles refer to but help is on the way!
Anam Thubten Rinpoche has kindly accepted my request to help with The Catalogue Project. He is from Golok and met Tare Lhamo as a child. He's also knowledgeable beyond belief. Our first meeting is later this week. This is a super great blessing for this project!
If you would like to have a draft of Volume 1 Titles and Colophons, please click here. Please do not share this document.
My next Catalogue Retreat starts on Dakini Day, October 14, and it’s onto Volume Two! Thank you for placing your trust in me and for sponsoring this translation project. Tashi Delek!
Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo