The Feature of the Expert, Glorious King

Teaching on the Three Lines That Strike the Key Points, root text and auto-commentary by Dza Patrul, book by Tony Duff

TitleThe Feature of the Expert, Glorious King
Sub-titleTeaching on the Three Lines That Strike the Key Points, Root Text and Commentary by Dza Patrul
AuthorTranslations and extensive introduction by Tony Duff
Details108 pages, 1 colour plate, 5.5" X 8.5", US$20, available on paper and in PDF e-book format
ISBNpaper book 978-9937-824-43-9, e-book 978-9937-572-23-1
TextsTibetan texts in Tibetan script included

The first Patrul Rinpoche is one of the important lineage holders of the Longchen Nyingthig transmission of innermost Great Completion (Dzogpa Chenpo).  He wrote many texts on Great Completion practices.  One of them has become particularly famous as a manual for the practice of Thorough Cut (Thregcho).  It is treasured for its particularly clear and complete explanation of the practice from the very beginning all the way to the very end of the practice.  These days, it is the text most commonly used to explain the practice

The actual title of this text is "The Feature of the Expert, Glorious King".  The Expert, Glorious King is Patrul's description of himself as someone who has the lineage and means to provide this explanation of one of the most profound practices of dharma.  The lineage of innermost Dzogchen has several root teachings on Thorough Cut practice and all of them can be used as a basis for a manual of how to practice Thorough Cut.  One of the most popular ones is a teaching that came from Garab Dorje after he had passed away.  This teaching was given as a set of three lines of instructions to his disciple Manjushrimitra and is generally known as the "Three Lines".  Patrul's text is actually an explanation of the Three Lines teaching from Garab Dorje.  Patrul used the three lines as a basis and then expanded on them so that their meaning could be more easily understood.  For that reason, the text has become known as The Three Lines that Strike the Key Points.  It is so commonly called by this name that many people do not know the actual name of the text.

There are a number of translations of the text floating around but all of them are lacking in various ways.  One of biggest problems with these translations is that most of them were made by translators who were not fully familiar with the material.  The result is that most translations make major mistakes in the translation and all of them miss out on the subtleties of meaning involved.  Proof of this is contained in the fact that most of them even mistranslate the title, not understanding its words or their significance!  Because of this Tsoknyi Rinpoche asked Tony, who had already heard, practised, translated, and explained this text and the teachings on Thorough Cut in general for many years, to make a very careful translation of the text.

Patrul Rinpoche not only wrote this text but wrote his own, short commentary to it as well.  The commentary certainly will help anyone to understand the very terse words of the original text.  Therefore this book contains translations both of the root text and Patrul's own commentary to it.  The book also includes an introduction that tells more about the text, notes and a glossary that provide significant help with the unique terminology involved, and an explanation of what the title actually says!

Download Tibetan text in TibetD format: • available here.