THE EXTREMELY SECRET DAKINI OF NAROPA:
Vajrayogini Practice and Commentary
Pabongkha Dechen Nyingpo, Translated by David Gonsalez
408 pp., 8 photos, $65
Available now at www.snowlionpub.com
The Extremely Secret Dakini of Naropa is the commentary to the practice of Vajrayogini in the Naro Kachö lineage composed by Kyabje Pabongkha as revealed to him directly by Vajrayogini herself. This text has become the basis for almost every subsequent Vajrayogini commentary in the Gelug tradition. Kyabje Pabongkha’s commentary is both very thorough in its presentation and deeply inspiring. It provides rich detail about all eleven yogas of the generation stage, the transference of consciousness, tsok offering, left-sided conduct and many other auxiliary practices, making it essential for practitioners of Vajrayogini. There is also a stunning explanation of the completion stage, providing many extraordinarily profound methods unique to the practice of Vajrayogini because of its relationship to the Six Yogas of Naropa.
The second half of the book contains several sadhanas for the practice of Vajrayogini, including the extensive, middling, and concise generation stage, the practice of Vajrayogini combined with six-session guru yoga, as well as two sadhanas on the transference of consciousness.
Pabongkha Dechen Nyingpo (1874-1941) was a towering figure in the twentieth-century Gelug tradition; he was the root lama of Trijang Rinpoche as well as most of the Gelug teachers of the following two generations. His writings fill eleven volumes, and his practice texts and commentaries are considered authoritative.
David Gonsalez has been practicing Buddhism for twenty years. He has completed many solitary retreats and has translated numerous sadhanas and texts. He served for many years as the personal translator and attendant for Gen Lobsang Chophel. He is the president of Dechen Ling, a nonprofit organization that works with the Tibetan community in exile to reestablish their monasteries and traditions.
In translating this classic Tibetan guide on the meditative practice of Vajrayogini, as well as the sadhanas, into English, David Gonzalez has made important resources available to serious Vajrayana practitioners that would enrich their deep engagement with the Dharma. In this volume, the translator succeeds most admirably in capturing both the profundity and the liveliness of spirit that characterize the original Tibetan text of the famed Tibetan master Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche.
Thupten Jinpa, Principal translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama, whose translations include Mind Training: The Great Collection.
Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo was an outstanding master of Tibetan Buddhism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His works and teachings on Vajrayogini are based on his reception of the rare, restricted, golden lineage coming through the Sakya tradition. He also added up the exceptional qualities of Ganden Nyangyü’s extraordinary methods of Jamgon Lama Tsongkhapa. As Pabongkha himself says, this Vajrayogini commentary is the fabric woven out of the cloth of Sakya and Gelugpa lamas together. This is one of teachings that practitioners can use to transform themselves into a Buddha, like the artists who shape beautiful images out of raw materials.
The translation of this was done by David Gonsalez under the instruction of Gen Lobsang Chophel, who happened to be one of the secretaries to the late H. H. Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang. It has to be perfect. Thank you for the publication of this wonderful translation and I strongly recommend authorized practitioners to study this.
David Gonsalez provides a great service in presenting English renditions of Pabongkha’s writings on the Vajrayogini tradition, the most wondrous Sakya lineage known as Naro Khachoma, or Naropa’s Space Dancer. This tantric method has been used for centuries by lamas of Himalayan India, Mongolia, and Tibet as part of the dream yoga training, as well as for the trainings in bardo yoga and powa, or blasting to a pure land at the moment of death.
In brief, the Vajrayogini tradition has played a most integral role in the enlightenment of thousands of practitioners of Central Asia. There is no doubt that it will continue to do so in the West, where Tantric Buddhism is so quickly gaining momentum.
Glenn Mullin, author, translator and teacher
I am confident that David's sincere motivation and knowledge to make these tantric practices available in English will be of great value to those who are earnest practitioners of Venerable Vajrayogini.
Restriction: The material in this book is restricted. This book may be read only by those who have received a Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment. In order to practice this material, the best situation would be that one has received the empowerment of Vajrayogini in the Naro Kachö tradition together with the commentary and oral transmission. At the very least, one must have received the empowerment of Vajrayogini in the Naro Kachö tradition.
- To order the book go to Snow Lion website
- A number of Vajrayogini practice texts (in booklet format) are available for immediate download at the online store of Dechen Ling Press.