A Blaze of Fire in the Dark by Rig-’dzin rdo-rje (Martin Boord)

A Blaze of Fire in the Dark

Homa rituals for the fulfilment of vows and the performance of deeds of great benefit

A Blaze of Fire cover draftVajrakīla Texts of the Northern Treasures Tradition
volume three

by Rig-’dzin rdo-rje (Martin J Boord)

Together with a perusal of the historical role of sacrificial and magical fire rituals (homa) in the tantric Buddhist communities of medieval India, this volume presents a wealth of new texts and translations from the Byang-gter tradition of Tibet.  From the root texts of the wrathful homa rites of Vajrakīla, revealed as Dharma treasures by Rig-’dzin rgod-ldem in 1366, this book traces the evolutionary development of these practices in the light of innovative ritual strategies taught by important holders of the lineage over the course of three generations.  The major text composed by Rig-’dzin padma ’phrin-las in 1695 (Accomplishing All Deeds) has remained the standard work on this subject for more than three centuries, being regularly performed to this day at the mother monastery of Dorje Drak as well as among the wider community of those who follow the Northern Treasures Tradition in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Ladakh, and the rest of the world.  Also to be found herein are vital pith instructions by the mahāguru Padmasambhava on the proper mental attitude and aspect of highest wisdom understanding that are to be brought to bear in the proper performance of these esoteric ritual practices.

edition khordong at Wandel Verlag, Berlin, 2015, 228 pages, with 17 illustrations, English and partly Tibetan and Sanskrit, sewn pages, hard cover, 15 x 22 cm, 460g, 42€, available on 4th of April 2015, ISBN: 978-3-942380-20-1

Content and Preface: here

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The Path of Secret Mantra: Teachings of the Northern Treasures Five Nails

I am very happy to announce our latest gem, a translation of Pema Tinley’s (padma ’phrin-las) detailed explanation of the “Five Nails” practice, Rigzin Godem’s Jangter Ngöndro Zer Nga. H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, the present head of the Nyingma school, has repeatedly taught from this text, with oral translation into English by Khenpo Chowang. Martin Boord carefully edited this book and complemented it by translating missing parts. As well as the “Five Nails”, this book contains general and extraordinary tantric teachings up to the Dzogchen view. This book is therefore a valuable compendium of  tantric practice, useful not only for Jangter (byang gter) practitioners but for all those who are seriously interested in engaging in the Buddhist tantric path and in giving meaning to their lives. Sarva Mangalam

The Path of Secret Mantra:

Teachings of the Northern Treasures Five Nails

Pema Tinley’s guide to vajrayāna practice


Explanation of Rigzin Godem’s Jangter Ngöndro Zer Nga
(byang gter sngon ‘gro gzer lnga)
according to the commentary by Rigzin Pema Tinley
Byang gter bla rdzogs thugs gsum sogs spyi khyab kyi sngon ‘gro gzer lnga’i khrid yig yang tig gces sgron gzhung don rab gsal gyi zhabs ‘degs yang gsal gyi tshul du bkod pa cha lag dang bcas pa

translation and oral transmission by Khenpo Chowang

edited by Martin Boord

From the cover blurb:
“Born in a period of political uncertainty and religious efflorescence, the late seventeenth-century master of the Northern Treasures (Byang-gter) tradition, the mahāvidyādhara Pema Tinley (Padma ’phrin-las) is widely renowned for his perceptive insight, his boundless concern for the welfare of others and his scholarly excellence.  The Great Fifth Dalai Lama himself repeatedly refers to Pema Tinley in his autobiographical writings, calling him “the best of reincarnations” and “spiritual son of supreme virtue.”

In this masterful guide to the full spectrum of vajrayāna practice, Pema Tinley leads the reader along an exciting path of self re-discovery towards the all-encompassing state of deep natural awareness – the completely perfect condition of buddhahood, endowed with wisdom, compassion and abundant joyful energy.  Moving from a simple series of daily contemplative practices that gradually bring the errantly wandering mind under control and train it to focus upon the true meaning of life, the author skilfully encourages his audience eventually to abandon all meditation on “objects with signs” until it can rest easily without supporting props in the vast expanse of blissful awareness in which all appearances are recognised as the spontaneous display of non-dual emptiness.

All Buddhists have something to learn from this book, a complete guide to the innermost path of secret mantra, written by one of its foremost authorities.”

This book does not only contain a detailed practical explanation of the Five Nails, but also an introduction to meditation practice through the yogas of waking, sleeping, bathing, eating and daily practice as well as the preliminary practice of body, speech and mind. It explains in detail how to do the Five Nails practice, which is the Northern Treasure entry into the path of secret mantra, and gives explanation of its deeper meaning. The book also explains the extraordinary preliminaries, which consists on focussing the mind on one’s body as the deity, focussing the mind on one’s speech as mantra and focussing on the mind itself as the deity’s insignia. In the end of the book the main practice will be explained as achieving the view through meditation and achieving meditation through the view and finally various modes of empowerment for the direct introduction and oral instructions for those who have received the direct introduction. This book is a wish-fulfilling gem for any serious practitioner and a reliable companion an this path to give meaning to ones live.

Khenpo Chowang, is mainly known through his visits to Darnkow during the summer retreats where he accompanied and translated for H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche. He did this also during the transmission of this specific teaching. He is a teacher in two Shedras in Gangtok, Sikkim, where he also teaches in detail about the “Five Nails” with the help of Pema Tinley’s text. He lives at the Gonjang monastery, above of Gangtok. Khenpo-la is a sovereign scholar and teacher and most helpful during the Jangter Summer Retreats at Drophan Ling in Poland. Martin Boord is well known as a western expert of the vajrakila practice. He has translated many texts of Pema Tinley and is well versed with this teaching of the five nails. More about Martin Boord on our website here.

edition khordong at Wandel Verlag, Berlin, 2014, 268 pageswith 6 illustrations, English and partly Tibetan, soft cover, 15 x 22 cm, 380g, 12,80€ till 30.09.2016, 15€ from 1.10.2016 onwards, available from 31st of July 2014, ISBN: 978-3-942380-18-8

Content & preface: path_of_secret_mantra_content

Addition for download as PDF:

  • Mandala_offering (2,6 MB)
    Offering the world maṇḍala, translation by Martin Boord
  • Offering_the_mandala (147 kB)
    Recitation format with word-to-word translation, translated by James Low

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A Cloudburst of Blessings by Rig-’dzin rdo-rje (Martin Boord)


A Cloudburst of Blessings

The water initiation and other rites of empowerment for the practice of the Northern Treasures Vajrakīla

Vajrakīla Texts of the Northern Treasures Tradition
volume four

by Rig-’dzin rdo-rje (Martin J Boord)

Of crucial importance in the life of anyone who wishes to follow the path of secret mantra, the occasion of a tantric empowerment stands out as a pivotal moment of guidance in which the stages and direction of the path to be followed are made clear.  All too often, however, practitioners in the western world have been forced to remain little more than spectators, patiently witnessing the profound initiation rites of their own ‘vajra empowerments’ as outsiders, because the rites are conducted in a foreign language and in a manner that is not at all easy to understand.  Now, in order to encourage full participation by English-speaking disciples who wish to take the mantra path to heart, a complete series of ritual empowerments for the deity Vajrakīla in the tradition of the Northern Treasures has been translated and annotated.  Bringing joy to disciples, may all confusion be dispelled and may the clear light of wisdom illuminate the world!

Together with the Tibetan texts translated herein, this book contains a number of teachings from the mahāsiddhas of India with regard to the three special codes of tantric conduct: that of a skull-bearing ascetic, the vow of the consort, and the conduct of a madman.  Violating all social niceties and worldly conventions, these radical and transgressive instructions remind us of the words of kLong-chen rab-’byams-pa, “When one sees the reality of existence, one spontaneously bursts out laughing!”

edition khordong at Wandel Verlag, Berlin, approx. end of 2017, approx. 340 pages, with … Illustrationen, English and partly Tibetan and Sanskrit, sewn pages, hard cover, 15 x 22 cm, g, 49€, available approx. end 2017, ISBN: 978-3-942380-23-2

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Tulku Thondup

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche was born in Golok, Eastern Tibet. At the age of five, every aspect of his life changed suddenly and dramatically. He was recognized as the reincarnation of Khenpo Konchog Dronme (Khenpo Kome), a celebrated scholar and adept of the Dodrupchen Monastery, a famous learning institution of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Political changes in Tibet caused him to flee to India in 1958, where he stayed for 22 years. He taught Tibetan and Tibetan literature at Lucknow University (1967-76) and Visva Bharati University (1976-80).

In 1980, Tulku Thondup came to the United States as a visiting scholar at Harvard University. Since then, he has been living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he engages in translation and writing on Tibetan Buddhism, particularly the Nyingma teachings, under the auspices of the Buddhayana Foundation.

Founded and managed by Michael Baldwin and Harold Talbott, the Buddhayana Foundation is a tax-exempt organization in Marion, Massachusetts, dedicated to preserving and promoting the wisdom and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Harold Talbott writes and researches in the field, and edits Tulku Thondup’s writings.

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche has also been affiliated with Mahasiddha Nyingmapa Center of Massachusetts and Chorten Gonpa (Monastery) of Sikkim, India. He has published many original Buddhist works and translations.

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche has traveled throughout North America, Europe and many parts of Asia teaching on his books and holding workshops.

You will find more about and from him on his website: http://tulkuthondup.com/

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Gathering the Elements by Rig-’dzin rdo-rje (Martin J Boord)


Twenty years after its first, highly acclaimed, appearance — Wandel Verlag is pleased to announce the welcome return of The Cult of the Deity Vajrakīla by Martin Boord.  Now in a newly revised, extended and updated edition incorporating much new material, this much sought for classic study is now available once more under a new title: Gathering the Elements, volume 1 in the series Vajrakīla Texts of the Northern Treasures Tradition.


An overview of the Vajrakīla tradition in all its facets

Front CoverVajrakīla Texts of the Northern Treasures Tradition, Volume 1
von Rig-’dzin rdo-rje (Martin J Boord)

The first volume in this series presents a comprehensive overview of the origin, growth and establishment of the Northern Treasures (Byang-gter) school of Tibetan Buddhism, together with a detailed study of the esoteric wrathful deity Vajrakila (rDo-rje phur-pa) and his cult as represented by the literature and living tradition of this school.

From the roots of kila mythology, deeply embedded within the pre-Buddhist religion of ancient India, the text follows the path of a humble wooden stake towards its magnificent apotheosis as a terrifying god of awesome power by whom all demons are vanquished.  Devotees of the Kīla deity, merging body, speech and mind within the sacred maṇḍala of this glorious vision, experience a spiritual ecstasy equated with the higher siddhi, a profound knowledge utterly free of propositional content, and become imbued with a confident sense of well-being as an indication of having banished the evil hordes of Mara beyond the confines of the world.

The currently available collections of Byang-gter phur-pa texts at the heart of the present study together comprise a total of over 250 separate titles, including root tantra, rites of initiation and empowerment, profound meditations on the nature of enlightenment, rules for the invocation of the system protectors, wrathful ritual activities against enemies and longevity rites for the benefit of the yogin and his sponsors.  All of these topics, and more, are put into context within the pages of this book so that the reader is presented with a comprehensive gathering of the essential elements of the cult of the deity Vajrakīla in the illustrious tradition of the Northern Treasures.

edition khordong at Wandel Verlag, Berlin, 2013, 420 pages, with several illustrations, English and partly Tibetan and Sanskrit, sewn pages, hard cover, 15 x 22 cm, 710g, 49€, available starting 12th of July 2013, ISBN: 978-3-942380-10-2

A newly revised and expanded edition of the work formerly published as The Cult of the Deity Vajrakīla, Institute of Buddhist Studies, Tring 1993

Table of content: Gathering-the-Elements_Content (PDF, 297kB)
Introduction: Gathering-the-Elements_Introduction (PDF 1,7 MB)

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Kun bZang dGongs Pa Zang Thal – Boundless Vision by Tulku Tsultrim Zangpo (Tulku Tsulo)

A Byangter Manual on Dzogchen Training. An Outline Commentary on the Boundless Vision of Universal Goodness

(Tibetan Text)

by Tulku Tsultrim Zangpo (Tulku Tsurlo, Tshul Khrims bZang Po)

Fron cover Boundless Vision in Tibetan

Tibetan text only. Original title: kun bzang dgongs pa zang thal gyi dgongs don phyogs gcig tu bkod pa khrid yig skal bzang re skongs rig ‘dzin dgongs rgyan bzhugs so

This commentary to the very sacred texts and meditation practices of the Dzogchen cycle of the Gongpa Zanghtal by Rigdzin Godem, the great terton (treasure finder) from Tibet, is know for its details and clarity and very high respected among Tibetan scholars of the Dzogchen tradition. The commentary is rarely available, only as an old wood print from Tibet. Tulku Tsultrim Zangpo is highly respected and also H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama speaks in great honour of his writings. The contained teachings are kept very sacred and secret among Tibetans and an introduction through a highly qualified master of the lineage is obligatory. It contains the highest peak of the Tibetan meditation and should be read only by the serious practitioner who is ready for these teachings. In Tibetan it is quiet common for other people just to keep the text on the altar for reverence.

This book contains the Tibetan original text, only in Tibetan language! As appendix it contains an outline of the different chapters contained in the text by Tulku Thondup, in English language. The book has been thoroughly edited and put in chapters following the outline for better accessibility.

ISBN: 978-394-2380-15 7, Tibetan text, edition khordong im WANDEL VERLAG, berlin 2012, 132 Seiten, 15 x 22 cm, Pappeinband, Fadenheftung, 22,80 €
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