The 18 Tantras of the Mind Section

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Whenever there is talk about the early transmission of Buddhism in Tibet the Eighteen Tantras of the Mind Section are sure to be mentioned. The eighteen are the five early translations of Vairochana (sNga ‘gyur lnga) and the thirteen latter translations of Vimalamitra, all done during the Eighth Century of our era. My current translation project is to translate an edition of the Eighteen Tantras of the Mind Section that was compiled by the minor cleric from Nyewa, Nyima Dorje, who lived in the Twelfth Century. This edition is preserved for us in several sources. For my translation I will use the witness found in the mTshams brag manuscript of the Hundred Thousand Tantras of the Ancients.  It may also be that Nyima Dorje’s edition is the oldest intact set of the Eighteen Tantras still in existence, but this has yet to be verified. The text is 228 pages in the Tibetan, and will result in a published book that is between 400 and 500 pages in length in the English.

Your contribution is a direct support of my ability to take the time and space to see that this is done. Your gift translates into the rent and food needed to see the translation through. I have been translating full time for many years now. I believe the best use of my time is to produce these translations of the ancient Tantras, as I have spent my lifetime learning how to do this. Your support makes it possible.  Any amount you can send is needed and appreciated.  I will send gifts to people who contribute the following amounts:

Maha:  For those who contribute $108, I will send a copy of the book upon completion.

Anu:  For those who contribute $500, I will mention you in the Acknowledgements and send you a book.

Ati:  For those who contribute $1008, I will mention you in the Acknowledgements and send you three personally signed copies of the book.

Thank you.
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The heart-essence of the Blessed One
Is his incomparable body.
His liberation leaves no residue.
Like a shining moon,
Our protector teaches us the meaning of a hero’s true excellence.
You retain an incomparable intent.
I bow to you.

The supreme heart-essence that has no path
And is beyond any path,
Is a Dharma that has been pure from the beginning.
I bow to it.

I also bow to the children of the Buddha
Who respect what this means,
For they maintain its meaning like heroes.

I also bow to the Dharma,
For it is clear in its way.

I also bow to the teachers, questioners, reciters,
Those who meditate on the meaning,
Those who compile,
And those who retain this.

Please support this translation if you can.
Thank you :)
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Then the Blessed One, the glorious All Good One, sat there without saying anything. So Vajradhara praised him:

The heart-essence of the Blessed One
Is his incomparable body.
His liberation leaves no residue.
Like a shining moon,
Our protector teaches us the meaning of a hero’s true excellence.
You retain an incomparable intent.
I bow to you.

The supreme heart-essence that has no path
And is beyond any path,
Is a Dharma that has been pure from the beginning.
I bow to it.

I also bow to the children of the Buddha
Who respect what this means,
For they maintain its meaning like heroes.

I also bow to the Dharma,
For it is clear in its way.

I also bow to the teachers, questioners, reciters,
Those who meditate on the meaning,
Those who compile,
And those who retain this.

Please support this translation effort if you can!
Thank you :)
+ Read More
This is expansive.
It is great.
It is the nectar of all the Dharmas.
It is good.
It is peace.
Our own minds are completely pure.
This is the reward for our vehicles.

It is also our root.
There is nothing whatsoever
That is not retained by the insurmountable Dharma.

What we take on and put down
Are not distinguished.
This is the supreme goodness.

Our lotus bodies are not stained
By the problems that are causes for the hells
Doing evil on the mountain of great enlightenment
Is pure.
The body that develops merit
Is the play of the two great accumulations.

To desire Buddhahood without seeing this
Is like being a blind person.
We traverse our objectives without any visualization.
We will not arrive at our place,
But we will die in a ravine.

From the Tantra on the Great Search for Enlightenment, this is Chapter Eight: Hunger for the Substance of the Tantra that I have Proclaimed.

Please support this translation effort if you can.
Thank you ! ! !
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There is no object to be held onto.
There is also no abode for our minds.
The practice of all the Buddhas
Is the great bliss of non-duality.
The three vehicles make attributions that are delusional,
So what would we get from them?

Wisdom turns out to be our base.
It transcends non-conceptual samadhi.
We are engaged in the essence of enlightenment
Where we do not conceptualize anything at all,
And so we attain the king of non-dual samadhis.

We do not visualize,
And there is nothing to visualize,
So there is no abode for our attachments.
For our direct perception,
We have nothing to determine
That is how it is.

Buddhas and sentient beings are not a duality.
There is no cause and result.
As for using a pathway to contrive things,
How could that be here?

It is through the nature of the heart-essence
That abides in everyone equally
That the Rishis plant their minds into meditation
On objects that are attributed to the planets.
Their path of meditation is not a delusion.
They naturally shake off the great search.

From the Tantra on the Bodhicitta: Shaking Off the Great Search, this is Chapter Three: Presenting Methods to Settle into a Meaningful Attitude.

Please support this translation if you are able to.
Thank you! ! !
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