In Tibetan religious literature, Jamgön Kongtrül's Treasury of Knowledge in ten books stands out as a unique, encyclopedic masterpiece embodying the entire range of Buddhist teachings as it was preserved in Tibet. Tibetan Buddhist teachers expected their students to study Buddhist philosophical texts as well as practice reflection and meditation; present-day students have also realized that awakening has its source in study as well as in reflection and practice. This volume, Esoteric Instructions, deals with meditation—specifically tantric meditation. Esoteric Instructions is a collection of intimate records of personal teachings by masters that simplify tantric meditations by providing pertinent examples and very personal and helpful hints to disciples based on the master's own experience. Although originally oral in nature, they have been codified and passed down through specific lineages from teacher to student.
About the Author
Jamgön Kongtrül (18131899) was a versatile and prolific scholar. He has been characterized as a "Tibetan Leonardo" because of his significant contributions to religion, education, medicine, and politics.
What People are Saying About This
"The Treasury of Knowledge excellently presents the entire corpus of the sutra and mantra traditions from the paths of the common sciences all the way up to the uncommon Great Perfection or Atiyoga, which is the culmination of the nine vehicles."—H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche
"Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Tayé was one of the leading scholars of the nineteenth century. He broke through sectarian constraints and achieved a deep understanding of the the different philosophical approaches in Tibet. I have no doubt that by studying Kongtrul's works readers will be inspired to emulate his great qualities of humility, dedication, patience, and nonsectarianism."—H.H. the Dalai Lama
"Upon seeing the Treasury of Knowledge, the first Khyentse Rinpoche (a contemporary of Lodrö Thayé) said that it was so inclusive of all knowledge that it did not seem to be composed by a human being but must have been written through the blessing of the dakinis."—Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
"In his monumental Treasury of Knowledge, [Jamgön Kongtrül] presents a complete account of the major lines of thought and practice that comprise Tibetan Buddhism. . . . By studying Kongtrül's works, readers will be inspired to emulate his great qualities of humility, dedication, patience, and nonsectarianism."—The Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies
"Jamgön Kongtrül was a true saint, a great scholar, an exemplary teacher, a renowned physician, a peacemaker, and one of the most prolific writers of Tibet. The Five Great Treasuries of Kongtrül . . . enshrine all the wisdom of Tibet."—Ringu Tulku, author of The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great
"I am pleased that this volume of The Treasury of Knowledge, Esoteric Instructions, has been translated by Sarah Harding, whom I respect as an eminent and experienced translator and senior student of the late Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche—one of the five emanations of Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Tayé himself. I highly encourage anyone interested in the study and practice of Dharma to study this text, as it holds great blessings."—Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, author of It's Up to You
"This volume of The Treasury of Knowledge presents the culmination of Jamgön Kongtrül's treatment of Buddhist meditation training, revealing the complete spectrum of the traditions of profound instructions known as the eight great practice lineages. Here, Sarah Harding has produced a masterful translation of this pithy work, augmented it with historical overviews, and provided an introduction rich in insights and background material. This book—a treasury in itself—will undoubtedly be appreciated both by scholars of comparative studies of the different systems and by practitioners wishing to broaden their knowledge of meditation methods."—Ingrid McLeod
"Jamgön Kongtrül is considered to be one of the great leaders of the nonsectarian movement in Tibetan Buddhism and his Treasury of Knowledge is considered to be one of the most important texts for reference and study in Tibetan Buddhism. Many Tibetan teachers have a compact edition of this monumental work in their travel bags in order to consult it again and again for detailed questions of all types, and not infrequently whole chapters serve as the basis for courses."—Cornelia Weishaar-Gunter
"This book has a place in libraries. . . . [It gives] concise outlines of tantra as practiced in different Buddhist traditions."—Mandala