Kirti Tsenshap Rinpoche was a renowned teacher of Tibetan Buddhism with students worldwide. Revered as a teacher by even the Dalai Lama, he was known especially as a master of Buddhist tantra, the powerful esoteric methods for attaining enlightenment swiftly. The teachings in this book are a singular record of his deep learning in that field. Originally delivered in California to a group of Western students, the teachings comment on a classic introduction to tantra by the nineteenth-century Mongolian lama Chöje Ngawang Palden. The work, Illumination of the Tantric Tradition: The Principles of the Grounds and Paths of the Four Great Secret Classes of Tantra, is a staple even today of the curriculum for training young monastics.
Kirti Tsenshap Rinpoche explains the distinctive features of the four classes of tantra—action tantra, performance tantra, yoga tantra, and highest yoga tantra—by describing the way to progress through the tantric paths and grounds (sa lam). He illuminates key issues in tantric practice that are still a matter for debate within the tradition. Finally, he gives a special treatment of the unique methods of Kalacakra tantra, which is regularly taught around the globe by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.