Wylie:A li kA li gsang ba bsam gyis mi khyab pa chu klung chen po'i rgyud kyi dum bu
Jamgön Kongtrul’s teacher and cocreator of his treasuries, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892), extracted the following sections and added a structural outline and a few notes from the most important source text of the Pacification tradition for inclusion in The Treasury of Precious Instructions. According to his colophon, he considered these three chapters the most essential: Chapter Ten because it contains an exposition of the unique Pacification approach to the five paths, Chapter Seventeen because it contains the crucial empowerments and pledges, and Chapter Twenty-Three because it condenses the introduction, view, meditation, practice, conduct, and results of the essential meaning. He may also have chosen these three because they are the most comprehensible of this fascinating and mystifying tantra.
In his brief background of the lineage in The Treasury of Knowledge: Esoteric Instructions, Kongtrul cites the Ālikāli Inconceivable Secret Great River Tantra and Mahāmudrā Symbol Tantra [the Secret in the Hearts of All Ḍākinīs] as the two source tantras of the Pacification tradition. These were briefly explored in the general introduction. With regard to the Ālikāli Tantra, Kongtrul weaves its title into this statement about Dampa’s accomplishments:
The mighty lord of accomplishment Dampa Sangye mastered the semantic meaning of the unborn ālikāli and through inconceivable secrets taught countless approaches to dharma corresponding to the faculties and dispositions of beings. 
What Kongtrul only hints at with his suggestion that Dampa mastered the “semantic meaning of the unborn ālikāli” (skye med āli kāli’i sgra don) is that practices based on the vowels (āli) and consonants (kāli) of the Sanskrit alphabet were at the heart of the teachings propounded by Dampa Sangye, brought by him from India into Tibet, and were of particularly Indian character. Each syllable or phoneme references a crucial aspect of ultimate reality while at the same time carrying mystical powers even without semantic meaning. This will be revealed, though not explained, in later texts in this volume, particularly the empowerment rituals. But in the tantra itself, these syllabary practices are laid out in great detail. This goes far beyond the use of mantras, which usually have a somewhat translatable meaning. Perhaps that is what is meant here by “unborn.”
The greater part of both of these source tantras concerns the implications of this idea. Yet for the most part, this is what Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgön Kongtrul chose to omit. The three chapters that are included here concern mostly familiar Tibetan Buddhist concepts that could be found everywhere at the time of these two masters. The style is cryptic, though not nearly so much as many of Dampa Sangye’s more famous utterances. However, the essential ideas in these three chapters are explained in two commentaries that follow later in this volume: Distilled Elixir by Lochen Dharmashrī and Stainless Appearance by Sönam Pal.
The last (twenty-fourth) chapter of the Ālikāli Tantra and its interlinear note reveal that Dampa Sangye himself played a major role in the history of this tantra. He reconstituted three somewhat disparate sections (dum bu, still marked as such) of the tantra that were previously divided according to the following story. After the Buddha entrusts the tantra to various protectors, he departs for Kushinagar.
Then the assembly came to the king’s palace and divided the tantra into three parts. The first eight chapters were written on leaves of the wish-fulfilling tree, then encased in a precious crystal vase. The gods summoned it and it rests inside a gandhola on the peak of Supreme Mountain. The middle section of eight chapters was written on the inner bark of the wish-fulfilling tree and encased in a precious silver amulet box. The demigods and yakṣhas summoned it and it rests in a copper house of blazing weapons midway up Supreme Mountain. The last section of eight chapters was written on blue water silk and encased in a golden box. The nāgas summoned it and it rests in the nāga storehouse at the base of Supreme Mountain. Later these three divided treasure teachings were brought together into one and written on the skin of a demoness (srin mo) and put into the skin bag of a white lioness. It rests in the endless knot of the secret treasury in the charnel ground of glorious Oḍḍiyāna.
- 2 Jamgön Kongtrul, Treasury of Knowledge: Esoteric Instructions, p. 261; TOK, vol. 3, p. 407.
- 3 Bodong Chokle Namgyal, Compendium of Suchness, pp. 109–10. This version has klo’i dkor mdzod (“barbarian storehouse”) rather than klu’i dkor mdzod, as in ZC (p. 113) and DV. Note that these three sections of the tantra in no way correspond to the three chapters presented here.
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[[notesforsearch:: This is a commentary on three chapters (10,17, and 23) extracted from the Alikali Tantra with an outline by Khentse Wangpo ('jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse'i dbang po). Colophon written by 'jam dbyangs mkhyen brtse'i dbang po | ]]
- Khentse Rinpoche's ཨཱ་ལི་ཀཱ་ལི་གསང་བ་བསམ་གྱིས་མི་ཁྱབ་པ་ཆུ་ཀླུང་ཆེན་པོའི་རྒྱུད་ཀྱི་དུམ་བུ་ from the Dingri Collection - DOWNLOAD HERE
- A li kA li Tantra from the Dingri Collection - DOWNLOAD HERE
|Information about Unicode Tibetan and the digitization of this text|
|As the only available unicode Tibetan text at the time, Nitartha International's version of the Paro Edition of the gdams ngag mdzod is provided here. However, note that it has not been thoroughly edited and that there may also be mistakes introduced through the conversion process. Eventually we will provide a fully edited version of the entire Shechen Edition, entered and edited multiple times by Pulahari Monastery in Nepal, but as of spring 2015 that project has not been finished. Note that the ཤོག་ལྷེ་ numbers that appear throughout were added by Nitartha Input Center at the time of input. Provided by Nitartha International Document Input Center. Many thanks to Lama Tenam and Gerry Wiener for help with fonts and conversion.|