Padma Karpo Translation Committee

Padma Karpo Translation Committee PKTC located in the USA is the translation committee of Tony Duff (Lama Padma Namgyal). Visit http://

The committee is famous for its high-quality translations of texts of the Indian and Tibetan Buddhist traditions and provision of assistance for translators.

We are pleased to announce our latest publication "Teachings of the Hermit of Mandong".  It explains taking refuge in th...

We are pleased to announce our latest publication "Teachings of the Hermit of Mandong". It explains taking refuge in the Three Jewels and arousing and developing enlightenment mind (bodhichitta) according to the Kadampa tradition of Atisha and also the Kagyu lineage. The text has the particular feature of being truly heartfelt and not just another dry exposition. It forms an excellent companion to our last publication "Shantideva's Entering the Conduct of a Bodhisatva".
The explanation on our web-site gives all the details, so I'll not say more here:

Taking Refuge and Arousing Bodhichitta Explained According to Atisha's Lineage. This book contains two teachings, one on taking refuge in the Three Jewels and one on the development of bodhichitta or enlightenment mind.

I have some news.  For the last year and a half I've been translating Shantideva's very famous text "Entering the Conduc...

I have some news. For the last year and a half I've been translating Shantideva's very famous text "Entering the Conduct of a Bodhisatva". It has already been done, you might think. Well yes, but not quite like this.

There have been a few translations of the basic text into English over the last several decades. They have their shortcomings and, especially, all of them stumble over the ninth chapter, on prajna, which is so difficult that even very learned Tibetans find it incomprehensible and even great masters have been known to balk at explaining the chapter.

Therefore, we did not simply produce another translation, but made a book that is an especially rich resource for reading and studying Shantideva's text. It features a long introduction that explains many key points about the text, points that are essential to know but are not usually known to the average reader. That is followed by a plain translation of the text, without any of the usual apparatus such as footnotes, end-notes and all of the other paraphernalia that detracts from the text itself. This plain translation is perfect for those wanting simply to read or recite the text. That is followed by another complete rendition of the text but this time with a very extensive and insightful commentary woven into it. This commentary comes from one of Tibet's greatest authors, the fourth head of the Drukpa Kagyu, Padma Karpo.

This commentary will give anyone who wants to know more about Shantideva's famous but rather terse text extraordinary insights into all sorts of meanings that are often unclear in the plain text itself. Especially, it clarifies many points in the ninth chapter, giving insights into the chapter which are not readily or usually understood. To give you a further idea of just how much material is included in this new book, note that it is 450 pages long.

The book is available through our shop at

The book came about because I needed a text to teach the Great Vehicle to my own students and in the end benefitted greatly from our group readings of the text, which helped to get the translations involved into English that really worked. Therefore, it is not just advertising hype if I say that the book will prove to be enormously beneficial for anyone wanting to recite or study the text. Therefore, I have a request. Please share this post with as many people as possible. Please tell your circle of Buddhist friends about it. It will be of benefit! Thank you for your attention and consideration.

The Bodhisatvacaryavatara or Entering the Bodhisatva's Conduct by Shantideva is one of the favourite books for followers of Tibetan Buddhism.

Gampopa's Five-Part Mahamudra teachingWe have just sold our last copy of a book called "Gampopa's Five-Part Mahamudra". ...

Gampopa's Five-Part Mahamudra teaching

We have just sold our last copy of a book called "Gampopa's Five-Part Mahamudra". I am in the process of re-editing and re-publishing it. The Five-Part Mahamudra is one of the most important Mahamudra teachings of the Kagyu lineage in general.

Doing the work of re-editing it brought up many memories. It reminded me of how I went off to Asia after Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche died, specifically to learn everything I could about Mahamudra and Dzogchen, not to mention the Buddha's teachings in general. A dharma book usually presents perhaps one text but this one is very unusual in that it contains several texts by different authors during a span of 900 years of Buddhist teachings in Tibet.

In the 1990's I travelled India and Nepal to get the complete teachings of Five-Part Mahamudra. With a note of humour, I found myself doing what Marpa had done, travelling to the homeland of the Buddha's teachings, meeting with the best lineage holders and then translating the materials I'd received from them. Re-editing the book made me remember walking the dusty roads of hot North India on the journey to get all the teachings on Five-Part Mahamudra. I received teachings from Situ Rinpoche and many others.

The book that resulted is unusual in that it has several texts on the subject, each one carefully chosen to give the reader not only the teachings but a sense of the different styles of the really great authors of the Kagyu lineage. The book is capped by a long explanation given by Bengchen Tenga Rinpoche of a key text by the first head of the Drigung Kagyu, Jigten Sumgon. That text is also included in the book. Moreover, these writings span nine hundred years, so that the reader gets a very intimate sense of how writing and teaching styles of the Kagyu developed during that long period. And, the book's introduction has detailed information about the various authors in the book and their styles of writing and teaching.

The text starts with excerpts from Gampopa's Collected Works in which he explains the Five-Part method of Mahamudra practice for the first time. He gives the explanation to one of his three great yogi disciples, Phagmo Drupa, who you might know of through his appearance in the Rain of Wisdom book.

The texts in the book have some serious teachings on Mahamudra, including explicit instructions on Mahamudra itself, dealing with topics such as introduction to the nature of mind and the practices that go with that. It is an amazing collection of teachings of the lineage, with nothing held back. You might not be a Kagyu type of person, but if you are interested at all in the fourth empowerment teachings of Mahamudra (and by extension of Thorough Cut in Dzogchen), you will find many explanations of these systems.

This is getting long already and I don't want to bore you. Mainly I wanted to let you know a little about this publication which has somewhat been overlooked as everyone chases after Dzogchen teachings. You can read more about the book and make a purchase of it here (paper and PDF are both available). The page shown has all of our books connected with the Kagyu and it is on that page:

Tibetan Buddhist texts, English translations, Tibetan dictionaries, Tibetan software, and Tibetan fonts

NEW BOOK on DZOGCHEN.  We recently published a particularly important book on Nyingthig (Quintessence) Dzogchen.  It is ...

NEW BOOK on DZOGCHEN. We recently published a particularly important book on Nyingthig (Quintessence) Dzogchen. It is a complete presentation of a prayer of the Longchen Nyingthig tradition that is recited every day by Tibetan practitioners. It comes with a lengthy introduction that provides necessary context, followed by the prayer itself and then three, increasingly detailed commentaries that elucidate the meaning of the prayer.

The prayer was received by Jigmey Lingpa from Longchen Rabjam as part of the transmission of Longchen Rabjam's realization to Jigmey Lingpa. Jigmey Lingpa then passed it on to one of his disciples. Since then, the prayer has become very popular amongst Tibetans and is recited every day by many practitioners. However, it has not been translated into other languages until now, so has not become popular amongst Westerners.

The prayer is only nine four-line verses long, but contains the essence of Longchenpa's realization. As you can imagine then, the prayer is very terse and almost impossible to understand without explanation. There are very few commentaries to the prayer, but I obtained the three main ones and arranged them in appropriate order following the prayer itself.

The third commentary is the largest by far and has significant explanations of both Thregcho and Thogal in relation to the prayer. It is by the first Getse Mahapandita, who was one of the great scholar-practitioners of Kathog Monastery in East Tibet. It is regarded as especially important because of its complete explanation of the prayer, including explanations of how the meanings of Thregcho and Thogal are contained within the prayer.

Finally, I put some effort into making the translation of the prayer so that it works not only as a translation of the prayer but as something suitable for recitation in English. You can purchase the book either as a paper book or a PDF e-book or both (purchasing both comes with a significant discount) here:
And you can see a listing of our newest books here:

Tibetan Buddhist texts, English translations, Tibetan dictionaries, Tibetan software, and Tibetan fonts

Ken McLeod recently gave a very good explanation of the intent of Sending and Taking, which is one of the key practices ...

Ken McLeod recently gave a very good explanation of the intent of Sending and Taking, which is one of the key practices in Atisha's mind training system. I appreciated Ken's explanation very much because he set straight several major misunderstandings that have now become pervasive about what the practice is and how it is supposed to work. Very briefly stated, one of the biggest misunderstandings regarding Sending and Taking is that it has become a cure-all for other's problems when in fact it is meant for the purpose of developing one's own bodhichitta. I do not wish to get into a protracted discussion of this here, but the mis-understandings of the practice have become pervasive. Therefore, I would like to point out that there is a very nice explanation of the two systems for developing bodhichitta that came into Tibet from India (one of which is Atisha's Mind Training, the other of which is Maitreya's system). The explanation, which supports what Ken had to say, can be found in my book "A Complete Session of Meditation":

Tibetan Buddhist texts, English translations, Tibetan dictionaries, Tibetan software, and Tibetan fonts

PKTC - Tibetan Grammar

Tibetan pronunciation... A friend in the US called me some days ago, asking for help with the correct pronunciation of Tibetan language. So, I taught him the basics over Skype. Over the years he had tried to teach himself Tibetan pronunciation using the publications on the subject that are available in English. He expressed considerable surprise when he found out what the actual Tibetan system is for pronouncing letters and then words. He was surprised because what is written in those publications is not anything like the actual Tibetan system. What is written in them is very mis-leading, in fact. So I spent an hour with him, taking him through the actual Tibetan system of pronunciation. After an hour there was still a long way to go, but his Tibetan pronunciation had changed and now was beginning to sound like Tibetan. I've sometimes thought of putting on some classes on this subject for the sake of people who are trying to learn Tibetan language but who can't get the hang of it using what is currently available. If enough people asked, I'd be willing to do something on Skype. There would be a fee, as this sort of work is part of my livelihood.
In the meantime, or as a support for that, there is a very long chapter in one of our Tibetan grammar books that has a complete treatment of the system of pronunciation, including the translation of a Tibetan grammar text that deals specifically with that. The book is the standard reference to Tibetan grammar, volume one. A complete listing of all our Tibetan grammar works, including that one, is available here:
If you are genuinely interested in learning correct Tibetan pronunciation, contact me at [email protected] . I *do not* respond to Facebook messenger. If enough people are interested, the classes will be done by Skype.

Samantabhadra's Prayer with Commentaries, Volume I

Greetings friends! Samantabhadra's Prayer is one of the most popular prayers from the sutras. Some translations of it into English have been available for a while. We published one a couple of years ago that went much further than the previous ones. For example, the translation was done based on my reading all 20 of the commentaries by Indian masters, such as Nagarjuna, that were preserved in the Tibetan Buddhist Canon.

When I did the translation, I was very hopeful that it might become a basis for all-day readings of the prayer in English. I know of some Westerners who have done that privately, but recently one of my friends organized an all-day reading using our translation at his Tibetan Buddhist temple in Sacramento, California. When I heard about this, I was truly delighted to have my prayers at the time of the translation fulfilled. Here is his report, unedited. I hope it might enthuse others to do the same:

I led the Samantabhadra Prayer practice on New Year's Day. We began at 10:00 a.m. with the usual Refuge, Bodhicitta, 7-Branches, and Mandala Offering text with which we begin everything at the Temple. Then I talked a bit about the context of the prayer, your Dzogchen Monastery experience, your return to the Indian commentaries, and your translation. Then we read your translation of the Sutra portion, after which we read the prayer aloud together until 6 p.m. We wound up doing about 4 recitations per hour, about 28 all together. We paused for a couple of minutes between recitations. This was my idea to give people a chance to catch up to the recitation mentally. But we didn't stop for anything else. At about 4 p.m. we took a 30 minute break.

About eight people stayed for the entire recitation, but about another 20 people came in and recited with us for a period of time and left, which is what I encouraged people to do because I wanted as many people as possible to participate at least a little bit.

There was a lot of positive feedback, both from all-day participants and from drop-in participants. I think we can make it an annual tradition and grow and enhance the actual practice. Regarding your kind offer of a translation of a Tibetan liturgy for the all-day practice, I'll need to discuss that with more people and see if we can get that going with appropriate donations. I know of at least one person who bought the book already as a direct result of the recitation practice and I'm reasonably certain that several people will buy it, though exactly when they will is impossible to determine.

Wonder of wonders! My prayer was fulfilled! May there be more of the same! May there be! May there be!
Here's a link to the two volumes of the prayer and commentaries on it:

Tibetan Buddhist texts, English translations, Tibetan dictionaries, Tibetan software, and Tibetan fonts

The View and Practice of Quintessence Dzogchen

I am very pleased to announce that we have published a new book on Dzogchen. The book contains three rare texts by Dza Patrul. Here's a link to the description on the book on our web-site:
Alternatively, you can read about it and purchase it through our shop:
Paper and e-book versions are available. Many people have purchased a copy since we announced it yesterday and there have been some exceptionally good comments about it already.
Our shop also has all of the other texts by Dza Patrul on this page:

Details of Padma Karpo Translation Committee's book 'The View and Practice of Quintessence Dzogchen'

PKTC - Home

Announcement about our Tibetan Dictionaries for iOS (iPhone and iPad devices)

Quite a few people use our dictionaries for iPhone and iPad. Apple did a complete rewrite of their iOS operating system over the course of the last year and a half. They pretty much forced all developers of software for iOS to stop selling their current software and to rewrite their software for the new version of iOS, version 11. So, we put in the effort and did the work and now all five of our Tibetan dictionaries for iOS are completely updated and back in the iTunes / Apple App store.

Four of the five updated dictionaries can be downloaded by users who have purchased the dictionaries in the past.

The fifth dictionary, our flagship Illuminator Encyclopaedic Tibetan-English Dictionary, is also available but not as a free upgrade. The dictionary comes with the newly released 2017 version of the dictionary and, as always, must be purchased.
You can read more about the dictionaries and / or purchase them through this page on our web-site:

Many people have been asking and waiting for this new version of the dictionaries that is compatible with iOS11. Therefore, please share this post so as to inform as many of those people as possible. Thank you.

Padma Karpo Translation Committee directed by Lama Tony Duff provides Tibetan Buddhist text translations, digital Tibetan dictionaries, digital Tibetan texts, and Tibetan word processors.


This is the special month for Buddhists. As an offering to others, I'm posting a chunk each day of Longchen Rabjam's marvellous exposition of the Buddha's story. This has never been seen in English before and real does bring on faith in the faithful ... Cheers!


This year's update for the Illuminator Encyclopaedic Tibetan-English Dictionary has arrived for Windows. (OSX and iOS updates will be here soon and will be announced.) There are several hundred new entries and improvements to existing entries. There is also a lot of new material from Longchenpa's writings. New purchases can be made here:

and update purchases for existing (valid) owners of the dictionary can be made here:

The new purchase's page gives a lot of information about the Illuminator Dictionary. More than that, it is a doorway to several other Tibetan-Tibetan and Tibetan-English dictionaries, some free, some not. It links to several pages providing a vast array of free Tibetan-Buddhist texts and reference materials. There is also a free, custom-programmed reader to go with all those free offerings. And there are instructions on how to build a high quality digital library of Tibetan texts that is fully searchable, printable, usable, etcetera. There is a custom-programmed word-processor to go with it that allows you to make true Tibetan-style pecha and also make them with interlinear translations if you want.

This whole system has been one of my personal offerings to the work of translating Tibetan Buddhism into English and other languages. There's a lot of free but high-quality material here. You can install the software and look at some texts just to have a look and then uninstall it if it is not helpful.

The Illuminator Dictionary is known for being the best available Tibetan-English dictionary. It has over 30,000 entries, each carefully written by myself, based on forty years of a vast amount of hearing of oral instruction directly from Tibetans in Tibetan. I still remember the day that, having built the custom software needed to deal with Tibetan lettering, I sat down and typed in the first Tibetan word of the dictionary and then typed its definition in English. Since then, I have typed in every single word, without any copying or plagiary of other's work! It has been a massive undertaking but has helped considerably in the translation of Tibetan Buddhism into English and other languages, too.

This image shows a Tibetan text being viewed and words in the text being looked up on the fly in our dictionaries:

Cheers and best wishes for the new year, Lama Tony

Support Tibetan Text Translation!

It's the time of our annual request for donations to support our work. Please follow the link and donate to our grand Resting Up Trilogy project, now in its final year. We really need your support! Thankyou.

Please donate to Tony Duff and PKTC's fundraising campaign

Support Tibetan Text Translation!

Today is Manjushri day for Nepali Buddhists. Apropos of that, here is a quote from Longchenpa's Resting Up Trilogy. It should help to understand why the translation of this massive work that my translation committee has undertaken is so important for Tibetan Buddhist practitioners. For over a year now, I have posted quotes from the Trilogy consisting mainly of quotes and exhortations to practice. I've deliberately not posted much in the way of Vajra Vehicle teachings. That does not mean that the topics of Dzogchen and the rest of the Vajra Vehicle are not shown in the Trilogy. The very opposite is true. The full name of the Trilogy is "The Dzogchen Resting Up Trilogy" and the whole, massive work in fifteen texts provides a complete map of the path that culminates in Dzogchen.

As part of his discussions on mind, Longchenpa explains that the inner reality of mind is beyond concepts. He does that using quotations from sutras and the Dzogchen ta**ra "The All-Creating King", which is the root ta**ra of the Mind Section of the Dzogchen teachings. In particular, he quotes the section of The All-Creating King that defines how the enlightenment mind (bodhichitta) should be understood. The definition is made using three perspectives. The three have been translated using the now rather well-known phrase "example, meaning, and sign". However, there are failures in that translation that have led to a significant misunderstanding of the definition of enlightenment mind according to the Dzogchen teaching.

The phrase actually says "example, fact, and logic". It should be interesting to understand this. In Tibetan terminology, the same as in English, you use an example to get a better understanding of something, so there is no problem with the first of the three terms. However, in Tibetan, when you want to indicate the thing that the example is actually talking about, you use the word "don". That word can mean "meaning" but also has several other meanings, the correct of which here is "fact". Here were are not talking about the conceptual "meaning" of the example but are talking about the actual "fact" beyond concept to which the example points. The third item refers to the reasoning or "logic" used in a logical proof. The word for that in Sanskrit was "sign", therefore it is not wrong to translate this as sign, though it is much clearer to translate it as "logic". The translation "sign" has led to a major misunderstanding of what this third item means, with many people thinking that this is enlightenment mind being shown "as a sign". It actually means the logical reason that shows why enlightenment mind is what it is. This last point would be too much to explain here, it being connected with why the inner core of mind -- mindness -- goes on non-stop.

The point here is that Longchenpa's use of the quotation from this ta**ra opens the door to an understanding of a major presentation of enlightenment mind found in the Dzogchen ta**ras. It goes even further, because this same teaching from The All-Creating King is the basis for the entire second chapter of Longchenpa's Treasury of Dharmadhatu. If his presentation of this teaching is understood here in the Trilogy, then it is much easier to understand the meaning of that whole chapter of the Treasury of Dharmadhatu. There are a multitude of points like this that the Trilogy opens up for the reader.

Longchenpa's Dzogchen Resting Up Trilogy is packed with material from every level of the teachings that only ever serves to increase knowledge and faith in the Buddhist tradition of teaching. We've been at work on this Trilogy for two years now. We are on track and will complete it this year, but we really do need your financial support!

The definition of enlightenment mind from the All-Creating King Root Ta**ra:

It cannot be shown as a concept-label thing,
Cannot be seen as a referenced object,
Cannot be known as something expressed in words;
This essence that does not come from a cause
Is free of all designation using superimposition.
If you want definitely to realize this fact,
Its example is to conceive of it as space,
The fact pointed to is birthless dharmata, and
The logic is mindness that has no stopping.
Dharmata which is like space is illustrated
Using the example of "being like space".

Please donate to Tony Duff and PKTC's fundraising campaign

Support Tibetan Text Translation!

Its a dreary day in Kathmandu, so I find a little comfort in the sunshine of our most recently uncovered prayer of Longchen Rabjam. I post it here for your thoughtful enjoyment. Please also spare a thought for our three-year project to punctiliously translate the entire Dzogchen Resting Up Trilogy of Longchen Rabjam. This is an amazing exposition of the whole Dzogchen path to enlightenment in a total of fifteen texts. In this new year we are again in need of sponsorship.

Blazing brightly on the surface of this massive heap of virtue
May unfathomable wisdom like the disks of sun and moon
Vanquish with certainty the darkness of the four continents
Of all migrators and illuminate the good path of emancipation!

In the middle of the unfathomable ocean, the principal essence,
The twofold accumulation, is like the gem adorning the crown of the ruler of nagas;
May it dispel all the shortfalls of the nine beings without exception,
Restoring them completely with a rain of dharma and the nine things desired!

May the very strong mount of the essence, the supreme vehicle,
Carry the great burden of the migrators in the three becomings
And having steered them all onto the path of enlightenment,
Take them on to the city of great emancipation!

You can find more quotations from the Trilogy over on Lama Tony's page:

Please donate to Tony Duff and PKTC's fundraising campaign


The Illuminator Dictionary is alive and well! We have heard gossip saying that the dictionary is not being developed but it is not true! The 2017 versions (Windows, OSX, iOS) will be delivered soon and will have nearly 1000 new entries over last year's version as well as improvements in pre-existing entries. And we are not stopping there--because of the large amount of translation work that we are involved with, the dictionary will continue to be improved for the foreseeable future. For those who don't know so much about Tibetan-English dictionaries, the Illuminator is widely regarded both by academics and practitioner-translators as the best available dictionary of the sort.

Cheers! More Longchenpa quotes coming soon!

Tibetan style-Buddhist meals and Oryoki

I was working on Longchenpa’s chapter on arousing the enlightenment mind (bodhichitta) yesterday and discovered an explanation of the way to eat. As I read on, I realized that he was giving a summation of the full system for eating a meal as found in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. I learned the system and the liturgy that goes with it as a student of Trungpa Rinpoche. It’s an amazing practice that was originally intended for monastic venues but, with the brilliance of Trungpa Rinpoche, became an important practice for laypeople. I wrote a book a few years ago that talks about the practice and how it can be used by lay people, specifically so that anyone could immediately try it out and use it without needing special teaching, etcetera.

The book includes the Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels and a complete commentary to it, based on Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings. The book also includes the liturgy for the practice and a complete explanation of it. There’s enough in the book that anyone could turn an ordinary meal from beginning to end into bodhisatva practice.

(Oryoki is the Japanese name for the monastic practice of taking a meal as practised in Japan.)

Padma Karpo Translation Committee's listing of Tibetan Buddhist publications

Support Tibetan Text Translation!

We have been at work on the massive composition by Longchenpa called "The Resting Up Trilogy". We have been at it for nearly two years and have made substantial progress on it. It really is massive -- the name says trilogy but in fact there are fifteen texts in all, running out to about two thousand pages in English. We have one sponsor for the work but are very short of the funds needed for the work. Those of you who are interested in Longchenpa and especially in this, his biggest work on Dzogchen, are asked please to consider us and make a donation to the work.
The link is here:

To whet your appetite and perhaps also to give you some assistance with the bizarre US presidential election, here is a piece from Longchenpa's treatise on Illusion:

The conqueror has rightly taught all dharmas as the two modes of illusion.
In order to induce the realization of the nature of that teaching,
I have extracted the vital essence of ta**ra, scripture, and foremost instruction
Which I will now explain according to my experience, so listen!

The Buddha has taught that all the dharmas of appearance and becoming in samsara and nirvana appear while not having self-nature, like illusions. The Middle Length Mother says:

Subhuti, all dharmas are like dreams, like illusions. Even nirvana is like a dream, like an illusion. And if there is a dharma that is superior even to nirvana, that also is like a dream, like an illusion.

The Sutra Petitioned by the Illusionist Utterly Good says:

Good One, you should understand
Each and every dharma as illusory.

In regard to that, all dharmas of samsara appear to the mind by the power of mental latencies coming to life, for which reason they are called “mis-conceived illusions”. All dharmas of nirvana appear to wisdom as rigpa’s own lustre; these appearances of the kayas and wisdoms are spontaneously existing, beyond the dharmas of conceived things and concept labels, for which reason they are called “authentic illusions”.

Please donate to Tony Duff and PKTC's fundraising campaign


Ely, MN


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Does anyone know of the 84 types of parasites they speak of in the video at 7:45 ?
The illuminator dictionary isn't working anymore on the iOS 11 for iPhone nor iPad. Are you planning to make any update?