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07/02/2022 20:46
Zhitro - Wikipedia
In Tibetan Buddhism and Bön, Zhitro (Standard Tibetan: ཞི་ཁྲོ) or Shitro zab-chos zhi khro
dgongs pa rang grol, also known as kar-gling zhi-khro[1] refers to a cycle of teachings revealed by
the terton Karma Lingpa and traditionally believed to have been written by Padmasambhava. The
practices involve a mandala of 100 peaceful (zhi) and wrathful (khro) tantric deities and associated
teachings and tantric practices which focus on those deities which represent the purified elements
of the body and mind. These hundred peaceful and wrathful deities are believed to manifest to a
deceased person following the dissolution of the body and consciousness whilst they are in the
intermediate state, or bardo, between death and rebirth. The Bardo Thodol, commonly known in
the West as "The Tibetan Book of the Dead", forms one section of Karma Lingpa's Zhitro cycle.[2]
The Zhitro teachings are closely related to the Guhyagarbha Tantra and are considered an Inner
Tantra. [3]
See also
External links
A prominent sadhana, or practice text, is part of a group of bardo teachings which are held in the
Nyingma tradition to have originated with Padmasambhava in the 8th century and were
rediscovered as terma, or 'treasure teachings' in the 14th Century by the tertön Karma Lingpa. The
Zhitro mandala teachings were found in the same terma collection as the Bardo Thodol, a text well
known in the West as The Tibetan Book of the Dead.
The Dzogchen practice of Zhitro involves viewing the body as a mandala of both peaceful and
wrathful deities, the inclusivity promoting awareness in the practitioner of the universality of
Buddha-nature. As a subtle body practice using yogic practices to manipulate the lung, or subtlewinds, of the body, this is a completion stage practice of the Inner Tantras. The Lion's Roar Tantric
Glossary[4] describes the Zhitro mandala practice:
Zhi-khro is a practice of Tibetan Buddhism involving visualizing the body as a
composite of the 100 peaceful and wrathful deities. In the practice, the deities are first
visualized in mandalas of 42 peaceful and 58 wrathful deities centered in the heart,
throat and crown chakra, and then in all the channels and nadis of the body.
Shugchang, et al. (2000) define and frame the Zhi-khro teachings in relation to the Inner Tantras,
Anuyoga, Atiyoga, Guhyagarbha tantra, rigpa, Śūnyatā, non-duality, kye-rim, dzog-rim and
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Zhitro - Wikipedia
The zhi-khro, which translates as the peaceful and wrathful deities, is considered part
of the inner tantra. It is actually a condensed teaching based upon the essential
meaning of the Guhyagarbha Tantra combined with the views expressed in the anu and
ati yoga teachings. Many great masters have said that the zhi-khro teachings are the
inner tantra of the inner tantra. In this case we're not making distinctions among the
various inner tantras, nor between the creation and completion stages, but joining
them all together. This is the union of rigpa and emptiness, the oneness of birth, death,
and life experiences. There is no basis for discriminating because all are aspects of one
true nature. Nothing is rejected or exclusively accepted. This teaching is known as the
one that unifies everything into a single state.[5]
Janet Gyatso (2006) relates how Zhitro was received by Yeshe Tsogyal through the wang of a
She... is robbed by seven bandits whom she then converts to Buddhist practice. She
proceeds with the bandits on a magic carpet to the place Oḍḍiyāna where they all
receive peaceful and wrathful deity practice (zhitro) initiations from a vidyādhara, who
gives her the secret name Kharchen Za and cavorts in bliss with her.[6]
See also
Bardo Thodol
Guhyagarbha Tantra
Six realms
Reality in Buddhism
Tantra techniques (Vajrayana)
1. Norbu, Namkhai (1989), "Foreword", in Reynolds, John Myrdin (ed.), Self-liberation through
seeing with naked awareness, Station Hill Press, Inc., p. ix
2. Padmasambhava; Karma Lingpa; Gyurma Dorje (2005). Jinpa, Thupten; Coleman, Graham
(eds.). The Tibetan Book of the Dead: First Complete English Translation,. His Holiness the
Dalai Lama (introduction). London and New York: Viking, Penguin Classics.
ISBN 9780713994148. OCLC 60794350 (
3. "Shitro (Bardo) Practice" (
rg/Shitro_(Bardo)_Practice.htm). 12 February 2008. Archived from the original
( on 12 February 2008. Retrieved
4 March 2021.
4. Lion's Roar Tantric Glossary (
5. Shugchang, Padma (editor); Sherab, Khenchen Palden & Dongyal, Khenpo Tse Wang (2000).
A Modern Commentary on Karma Lingpa's Zhi-Khro: teachings on the peaceful and wrathful
deities. Padma Gochen Ling. Source: Zhikhro (
(accessed: December 27, 2007)
6. Gyatso, Janet (2006). A Partial Genealogy of the Lifestory of Yeshé Tsogyel. Harvard
University. JIATS, no. 2 (August 2006), THDL #T2719, 27 pp. Source: A Partial Genealogy of
the Lifestory of Yeshé Tsogyel (
02gyatsoj.xml&v=p) (accessed: November 16, 2007)
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Zhitro - Wikipedia
External links
Shitro 100 Deity Practice: Prayers for the Dying and Understanding the Bardo (https://web.arc
The True Foundation of Practice: By Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (
Significant detail and listing of the Hundred_peaceful_and_wrathful_deities with their Wylie
transcription (
The death ritual as guidance through the Bardo. "Secret Doctrienes of the tibetan book of the
dead", Detlef Ingo Lauf, Shambala 1977 (
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