The Seventeen Tantras of Innermost Luminosity

Known by various names,

with bcu dun being '17' and rgyud meaning 'Tantra', these texts of the Mannagde (Esoteric Instructions) Class belong to the fourth of the Four Cycles of Nyingtig teachings of the Dzogchen tradition.

Tershad: Glyph indicating a Terma Often, as can be seen in items 1 and 13, the texts are known by various short and long forms of their Tibetan name, making identification rather difficult for someone not acquainted with the language. In addition, items 3 and 14 illustrate how Tibetan titles can be translated in various ways without any such translation being more accurate; and a comparison between items 1 and 12 shows how important it is to pay attention to the Tibetan terms as the translations almost appear as the same for both.

  1. Natural Arising of Awareness (rig pa rang shar) or Great Tantra of Self-Arising Awareness (rig pa rang shar chen po'i rgyud) or Rangshar Tantra (rang shar gyi rgyud)
  2. Mirror of the Heart of Vajrasattva (rdo rje sems dpa' snying gi me long)
  3. Lion's Perfect Expressive Power (seng ge rtsal rdzogs), Tantra of the Perfected Lion (seng ge rtsal rdzogs kyi rgyud)
  4. Absence of Letters (yi ge med pa), Letterless Tantra and/or Tantra of No Letters (yi ge med pa'i rgyud)
  5. Beauteous Good Auspices (bkra shis mdzes ldan), Tantra of Graceful Auspiciousness (bkra shis mdzes ldan gyi rgyud), Tantra of Great Auspicious Beauty (bkra shis mdzes ldan chen po'i rgyud)
  6. Penetration of Sound (sgra thal 'gyur), Dra Talgyur Root Tantra (sgra thal 'gyur rtsa ba'i rgyud)
  7. Mirror of the Heart of Samantabhadra (kun tu bzang po thugs kyi me long), Tantra of Samantabhadra's Mind Mirror (kun bzang thugs kyi me long gi rgyud)
  8. Blazing Lamp (sgron ma 'bar ba), Blazing Lamp Tantra and/or Tantra of the Radiant Lamp (sgron ma 'bar ba'i rgyud)
  9. Studded Jewels (nor bu bkra bkod), Array of Fine Gemstones and/or Norbu Trako (nor bu 'phra bkod), Tantra of Studded Jewels (nor bu phra bkod kyi rgyud)
  10. Coalescence of Sun and Moon and/or Union of Sun and Moon (nyi zla kha sbyor), Tantra of the Union of Sun and Moon (nyi zla kha sbyor gyi rgyud)
  11. Pearl Necklace (mu tig phreng ba), Pearl Garland Tantra (mu tig phreng ba'i rgyud) and/or (mu tig 'phreng ba'i rgyud)
  12. Natural Liberation of Awareness (rig pa rang grol), Tantra of Self-liberated Awareness (rig pa rang grol gyi rgyud)
  13. The Six Spheres (klong drug; klong drug pa) or Sixfold Expanse (klong drug gi rgyud) or Six Spheres of Samantabhadra (kun tu bzang po klong drug pa'i rgyud)
  14. Naturally Born Perfection (rdzogs pa rang byung) and/or Self-Existing Perfection
  15. Black Wrathful Goddess (nag mo khros ma); referring to a black form of Vajrayogini (khros ma nag mo)
  16. Blazing Relics of the Buddha-Body (sku gdung 'bar ba), Tantra of Shining Relics (sku gdung 'bar ba'i rgyud)
  17. Mound of Gemstones (rin chen spungs), Tantra of the Jewel Mound and/or Tantra of Piled Gems (rin chen spungs pa'i rgyud)