Mipham’s Sword of Wisdom explores the Nyingma lineage understanding of valid cognition in Vajrayana Buddhism. This translation, a clear and concise primer on higher realization through valid cognition in Buddhist philosophy, presents these ideas in English for the very first time and includes the sutra presentation of the two truths and the tantra teachings of the two truths as the purity and equality of all phenomena.
Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche began teaching at the Central University in Sarnath, India in 1967, and for the first few years he was the only faculty member and administrator in the Nyingma department, where he taught up to twelve classes daily. He continued teaching at the Central University for seventeen years.
During that time, Mipham’s Sword of Wisdom was the first text studied in the sequence of courses in the Nyingma department. Since there was no textbook, Khenchen Palden would write notes on the blackboard and students would copy them before the notes were erased at the end of each class. Eventually some of the students compiled their notes and Khenchen used them as the basis for this commentary, The Radiant Light of the Sun and Moon, which he wrote in full in 1984 and the Central University published in 1986.
“Mipham’s Sword of Wisdom is the essence of the Dharma itself! Khenchen Palden Sherab was a true lineage holder and scholar, a compassionate and humble man whose work can be trusted to be in perfect accord with the teachings of all the lineage masters, so we can rely on his teachings with absolute confidence. This text contains the power, blessing, and kindness of the incomparable Mipham Rinpoche, so it is like the very soul and heart of Manjushri himself! It is my heartfelt prayer that everyone read this text and take these teachings purely and honestly into their hearts.”—Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche
“I am very pleased that this seminal text by the first Mipham has been translated and made available in English. This book presents direct perception and reasoning as the most valid way to know reality, starting with the truth of cause and effect and extending to the realization of nondual wisdom.”—Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
“I am delighted with this translation of Mipham Rinpoche’s Sword of Wisdom. Personally, this text has helped me so much in understanding the system of basic logic and reasoning that elucidates the profound meaning of the two truths. It is a true gem for beginners and learned alike. Time and time again, it can serve as an invaluable resource to refine and deepen one’s knowledge of all schools of the Buddhadharma.”—Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
“Although we think we have understood emptiness as the ultimate teaching of the sutras and tantras, we haven’t really delved into the depths of its meaning and still continue to see things with ordinary perception and are unable to rest freely in the ultimate true nature. Mipham provides the tools for us to actualize the supreme timeless awareness and become naturally liberated and boundlessly compassionate, which is the final result of our practice.”—His Holiness Shenphen Dawa Norbu Rinpoche
“I have found it to be extremely well written and with great blessings. I am reminded constantly of Khenchen Rinpoche’s teachings and his kindness, and I found boundless joy in this sublime work.” —Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche
“The great scholar and advanced spiritual master Jamgon Mipham’s Sword of Wisdom is a classic work that explicates valid cognition. I am happy to see it now available in English with commentary and scholarly appendices that will be very helpful for serious students in understanding this profound and important text.”
—His Holiness the Sakya Trichen
Published by: Wisdom Publications
Translated by Ann Helm and Khenpo Gawang