A complete translation of two of the eleventh-century Seventeen Tantras—texts that are among the most important in all of Tibetan Buddhism.
“If one knows the Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra, the Self-Liberated Vidya Tantra, and the Tantra Without Syllables, one will have command over the general meaning of the tantras, like a king who has command over his subjects.”—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle
The eleventh-century Seventeen Tantras are the most important texts in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of the Great Perfection. This boxed set provides two luminous translations. The first is the only complete English translation of the Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra, which is the major commentary tantra on all aspects of the doctrine of the Great Perfection. The second, the Self-Liberated Vidya Tantra, outlines the structure of Dzogchen tantras in general and also provides a detailed outline of the Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra.
Malcolm Smith also offers a comprehensive introduction and two vital appendices: (1) a brief historical account and survey of the Seventeen Tantras and (2) an examination of the themes of the Seventeen Tantras, translated from the commentary to the String of Pearls Tantra. This is vital reading for any student of Dzogchen.
"I sincerely rejoice that Acarya Malcolm Smith, a translator conversant in two languages, has now translated these two volumes directly from Tibetan into English with altruism, skill, and great diligence, and that Wisdom Publications, renowned throughout the world, has chosen to publish them."
– from the foreword by Tulku Dakpa Rinpoche
"Malcolm Smith's rendition of the original tantras included in the present collection are particularly faithful to the flavor of the original texts, using a precise English lexicon, which really helps readers generate a pertinent picture of what the originals actually state."
– from the foreword by Jean-Luc Achard, author of The Six Lamps
Acarya Malcolm Smith has certainly given the world a rare gift by presenting to English-reading Dzogchen practitioners this skilled translation of the first two volumes of the Seventeen Tantras, the Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra and its accompanying commentarial tantra, the Self-Liberated Vidya Tantra.
The exceptional features of each of the seventeen tantras of Ati Yoga’s quintessential secret cycle of the upadesa class are described with metaphors. The Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra is described with the metaphor of the ocean. The eighty-four chapters of this oceanic treatise detail the pinnacle view, meditation, conduct, and result of all paths of Buddhadharma presented in this world. As the destined Dharma of this time, this translation is extremely timely. I wish to express deep gratitude to Malcolm and the wonderful Zangthal team for their noble aspiration and qualified capacity to finally bring these most precious teachings that exist in our world into the English language.
– Sangye Khandro, Translator and Teacher, Light of Berotsana Translation Group
“Malcolm Smith’s translation of these two tantras has opened a door to fundamental, previously inaccessible Nyingma teachings. With a comprehensive knowledge and experience of the subject, Smith has created an erudite translation that is not only accurate but also clear in meaning and beautiful to read. This work is an important milestone in the translation of Tibetan Buddhist texts.”
– Peter Alan Roberts, translator of The Mind of Mahamudra
“In 1975, when the magnificent Buddhist master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche visited the West for the first time, an event comparable to the Indian adept Vimalamitra bringing Dzogchen from India to Tibet, among the very first transmissions he gave was the reading of the Rigpa Rangshar Tantra (Self-Arisen Vidya Tantra). Now this preeminent tantra has finally arrived in the English language to be taught and studied, read and re-read, contemplated, savored, and practiced by all fortunate people. This crown jewel of human civilization covers all the big questions in life and brings certainty about the deepest topics to interrupt, transform, and free the mind from confusion and ignorance. Even merely hearing its title forms a connection to realizing the innermost nature of reality. I deeply rejoice in this.”