Books of Kiu-te

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The Books of Kui-te are said to be the tantra section (Tibetan: rGyud-sde) of the Tibetan Buddhist canon. According to Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the Book of Dzyan is one of the secret volumes of this collection:

The Book of Dzyan—from the Sanskrit word “Dhyâna” (mystic meditation)—is the first volume of the Commentaries upon the seven secret folios of Kiu-te, and a Glossary of the public works of the same name. Thirty-five volumes of Kiu-te for exoteric purposes and the use of the laymen may be found in the possession of the Tibetan Gelugpa Lamas, in the library of any monastery; and also fourteen books of Commentaries and Annotations on the same by the initiated Teachers.
Strictly speaking, those thirty-five books ought to be termed “The Popularised Version” of the Secret Doctrine, full of myths, blinds, and errors; the fourteen volumes of Commentaries, on the other hand—with their translations, annotations, and an ample glossary of Occult terms, worked out from one small archaic folio, the Book of the Secret Wisdom of the World—contain a digest of all the Occult Sciences. These, it appears, are kept secret and apart, in the charge of the Teshu-Lama of Shigatse. The Books of Kiu-te are comparatively modern, having been edited within the last millennium, whereas, the earliest volumes of the Commentaries are of untold antiquity, some fragments of the original cylinders having been preserved. With the exception that they explain and correct some of the too fabulous, and to every appearance, grossly-exaggerated accounts in the Books of Kiu-te—properly so called—the Commentaries have little to do with these.[1]

Despite Mme Blavatsky's claim that some of the books of Kiu-te were public, they remained unidentified until 1981, when David and Nancy Reigle proposed they are the collection of Buddhist Tantras, known in Tibetan as rGyud-sde:

The problem of the identification of the books of Kiu-te was largely due to the phonetic transcription of the name, "Kiu-te," which when rendered in its unphonetic transliteration would be "rGyud-sde".[2]

See also

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Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XIV (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1995), 422.
  2. What Are the Books of Kiu-te? by David Reigle.