Monthly Archives: February 2024

Nyingma Perspective on Obstacles to the Revelation of Treasures (gter ma)

by Jean-Luc Achard

While the discovery of Treasures is generally seen as a very auspicious sign, in particular for those attending a “public revelation” (khrom gter), as well as for the immediate environment of the treasure site (gter gnas) and the locals, situations (lit. “defects”) resulting from not revealing Treasures (ma thon pa’i skyon) are the particular causes of ominous events. Thus, when the circumstances surrounding a revelation fall under the power of demonic forces (bdud), the Treasure Revealer will potentially lack the specific “good fortune” necessary to carry out his revelation. In a wider perspective, this is often portrayed in apocalyptic literature as a dramatic state of affairs leading to the arising of intense sufferings for Tibet and its inhabitants. In such a context, both the “king of Tibet” (bod kyi rje) and the population will face dire obstacles. To illustrate this situation, in his Precious Garland (Rin chen phreng ba), Setön Pema Wangchen first quotes a passage from the Seven Topics of the Crucial Precepts of the Heart Drops (sNying tig gnad kyi man ngag don bdun), a treasure revealed by tertön Zangpo Drakpa, in which it is said:

If, having fallen under the power of the demons, (the tertön) lacks the good fortune to reveal Treasures,
The Tibetan king and his people will experience unbearable sufferings.

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  1. I would like to thank Marianne Ginalski for her kind suggestions and corrections. []
  2. As quoted by Setön in his Precious Garland (Rin chen phreng ba), p. 391: gal te bdud kyi dbang du gyur nas gter thon pa’i skal ba dang mi ldan na: bod kyi rje ‘bangs bzod pa’i thabs med pa’i sdug bsngal la sbyor ro/. []