These early, foundational Dzogchen texts--clear, lyrical, and rich in metaphor--were smuggled into Tibet in the eighth century on white silk, written in goat-milk ink that would become visible only when exposed to heat. These five texts are the root of Dzogchen practice, the main practice of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Vairotsana, a master among the first generation of Tibetan Buddhists, reveals here a truth that is at once simple and deeply profound: that all existence--life itself, everyone one of us--is originally perfect, just as is. Keith Dowman's sparkling translation and commentary provide insight and historical background, walking the reader through the truths encountered in this remarkable book.
"The five texts translated into English in this book are considered the first transmission of Dzogchen to Tibet. They were transmitted by a Tibetan monk called Vairotsana who distinguished himself not only in the field of translation, emerging as the greatest of the Tibetan lotsawas, but also as a traveler and pilgrim who left the Land of the Snows for the hills of the Hindu Kush to bring back a canon of Dzogchen texts from its closely guarded source. They constitute the root and essence of Dzogchen in Tibet."
– from the foreword by Bhakha Tulku, founder of the Vairotsana Foundation
"Precise and poetic, authentic and elusive, these sweet translations bring the warm breath of the Dzogchen tradition into our daily lives. A major contribution to the exciting spread of Dzogchen in modern times."