Choekey Section –Main Collections

In general, the collections consist of subjects varying from Rigney, Zhung, Namthar, Choejung/Gyalrab to Nyendrub, Men-ngag. Dam-ngag, Nyam-gur and miscellaneous subjects. In the collections are also Kangyur (8 sets), Tengyur (5 sets), Sungbum/Kabum and Bon Kangyur and Tengyur.

All of the collections of the above subjects are in Uchen and Umey scripts either in woodblock prints, offset prints and hand written which run over 14,800 titles mainly grouped by the four major schools of Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism: Nyingma, Kagyu. Sakya and Geluk.

Modern bound books (collection)

Modern bound books of all schools of Vajrayana Buddhism are kept in the ground floor of the main library building. Most of the books are written in Choekey but there are also some works in Dzongkha and Sanskrit. Additionally, there are three different editions of the ancient Buddhist Canon offset printed and bound modern style shelved here: Nyingma edition of the Derge Kanjur and Tenjur (published under the direction of Tarthang Tulku, 1981); Tibetan Tripitaka, Peking edition (1955-1961); Urga Kanjur (1973-74, reprinted 1990-94).

Traditional Pecha (looseleaf) format Books

The books of pecha (looseleaf) format wrapped in cloth in the traditional way are (kept in the first, second and top floors of the main library building). For ease of reference, we have colour-coded the wrappings by school/tradition as follow:

  • Bon – blue;
  • Kagyu – orange;
  • Gelug – yellow;
  • Nyingma – red;
  • Sakya – green;
  • Buddhist Philosophy (root texts and commentaries) – orange;
  • Rigney (traditional arts and sciences) – pink.

Sakya and Geluk Collection

This collection is housed on the first floor of the Library. The collections include works of the Bön, Kadam, Sakya, Jonang, Zhalu, and Geluk traditions of Tibet as well as Rigney – works on the traditional sciences; traditional medicine, astrology and so forth. Also included in this collection are the root texts of Buddhist Philosophy (thirteen main texts) and commentaries on Buddhism as seen through a scholar’s perspective.

Other works include the entire Kangyur and Tengyur of the Bön tradition, believed to have been translated from the ancient Zhang-Zhung language. These books are wrapped in blue cloth.

Sakya tradition titles include the Collected Works of the Sakya Masters (Sakya Kabum), the Collection of all Tantras (Gyud de Kuntu), the Collection of all Sadhanas, the collected texts of the Path and Fruit (Lam Dre) teachings, and many other works by lamas of the Sakya tradition. Particularly noteworthy in this collection is the collection of the complete works of Serdog Panchen Shakya Chogden (1428-1507), one of the greatest scholars of the Sakya School. Due to sectarian rivalry these works were suppressed in Tibet and only one copy, transcribed by the 9th Je Khenpo Shakya Rinchen, survived in Bhutan at the hermitage of Phajoding Ogmin Nyipa above Thimphu. Facsimile editions of these texts were published by the National Library in 1975.

Nyingma Collection

This collection is housed in the second floor of the Library and the collectionentirely comprises works from the Nyingma (Ancient) tradition of Bhutan and Tibet. Important works in the Nyingma section include different editions of the 100,000 Tantras of the Ancient Tradition (Nyingma Gyudbum), the Precious Treasury of Revealed Teachings (rinchen ter dzo) in 100 volumes, and the two complete editions of the Collection of Oral Instructions of the Ancient Tradition (Nyingma Kama).

In addition to these there are revealed teachings (ter-chos) of all the important treasure revealers of Bhutan and Tibet. These include the ter-chos of Padma Lingpa, Dorje Lingpa, Ratna Lingpa, Nyangral Nyima Ozer, Sangay Lingpa, Rigdzin Goedem, Jatshon Nyingpo, Longsal Nyingpo, Namchoe Migyur Dorje, Jigme Lingpa, and Chogyur Lingpa as well as the entire collected works of important Nyingma scholars such as Rongdzom Pandita, Longchen Rabjam and Ju Mipham.

Kagyu Collection

Housed on the top floor of the Library building is Kagyu collection or texts. These comprised of the collected works of Milarepa, Rechungpa, Gampopa, Phagmo Drupa, Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje, Kunkhyen Padma Karpo, Je Sakya Rinchen, Je Gedun Rinchen and numerous other important Kagyu masters.