Re: [INDOLOGY] Kālacakra etexts?

David and Nancy Reigle dnreigle at
Sun Apr 12 20:43:33 UTC 2020

Dear Jonathan, and all,

Thank you for this information about these wonderful electronic resources
for canonical Tibetan materials. It will be helpful for anyone searching
for "Kālacakra etexts" and finding this thread, as it is helpful to me.
Yes, since among the Kangyurs of the Them spangs ma group (which seem to
all be manuscript Kangyurs) only the Stog Palace one was accessible through
its Indian reprint (1975-1980), I pretty much ignored the other ones due to
their inaccessibility. I have now checked the colophons of these at the
first link you gave.

The Ulaanbaatar and Shey Kangyurs, like the Stog Kangyur, have the Shong
ston revision of the Somanātha and 'Bro translation of the
*Kālacakra-tantra*. The colophons of the London and Tokyo Kangyurs were not
given, but I assume that like the others of the Them spangs ma group, they
have the Shong ston revision. Likewise, the Phugbrag Kangyur has the Shong
ston revision, as do all the other Kangyurs whose colophons are shown at
the link you gave.

So although the *Kālacakra-tantra* had been translated into Tibetan several
times, we only had the Shong ston revision and the Jonang revision in the
known Kangyurs. Then among the hoard of manuscripts recently discovered at
the Drepung monastery, the first Tibetan translation of the
*Kālacakra-tantra* that was ever made, made by Bhadrabodhi and Gyi jo
lotsawa, was found. It was published in facsimile in *Dus 'khor phyogs
bsgrigs chen mo*, vol. 2 or kha, 2012 (released in 2014). It is a
pioneering translation in the full sense of the word, which is why it was
superseded by better translations that came later. It nonetheless has value
in sometimes helping to determine the correct original readings in Sanskrit

The *Vimalaprabhā* commentary on the *Kālacakra-tantra* fared even better
in the Drepung finds. Not only the first ever translation of it by
Bhadrabodhi and Gyi jo was found, but also an early translation of it by
Tsa mi Sangs rgyas grags, an ethnic Tibetan or Tangut who spent many years
in India and is said to be the only Tibetan to have become an upādhyāya in
an Indian monastery. These are found in volumes 1-4 of *Dus 'khor phyogs
bsgrigs chen mo*.

We would expect that the translation of the *Vimalaprabhā* found in most of
the Tengyurs would be the Shong ston revision of the Somanātha and 'Bro
translation, like their translation of the *Kālacakra-tantra* found in most
of the Kangyurs. But as reported by Cyrus Stearns in a note in his book, *The
Buddha from Dolpo* (2010 ed., p. 326, note 92), in the famed Der-ge
recension it is instead a strange mix. This is despite the colophon
identifying it as the Jonang revision. The first two chapters are the Shong
revision, and the remaining three chapters are the Jonang revision. This is
also true for the Co-ne Tengyur, and the *Vimalaprabhā* as found in the
Der-ge, Lithang, and Urga Kangyurs. The full Shong ston revision is found
in the Peking and Narthang Tengyurs.

Great to learn of your project (, with its current focus
on the *Mahāratnakūṭa* collection and the eventual goal of full
digitization of the Tibetan corpora. Wishing you well with it.

Best regards,

David Reigle
Colorado, U.S.A.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list