NEW TRANSLATION: ‘The Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen: Instructions to Gelong Rinchen’ by Karma Chagme, translated by Ina Bieler

Karma Chagme

As one of the  purposes of this website is also to promote and share the work of other female translators and scholars in the field, I wanted to share the great news that the first English translation of Karma Chagme’s text ‘The Union of Dzogchen and Mahamudra’ has been translated by Ina Bieler from Tibetan to English and published for the first time by Garchen Institute. A Chinese translation has also been included. It is available  on the Garchen Institut website for free download here.

I have always found Ina’s dedication and amazing talent in both oral and written translation inspiring, to say the least. She has acted as the oral and written translator for one of the most accomplished and enlightened human beings on the planet, HE Garchen Rinpoche for over fifteen years. If people knew the full extent of challenges and obstacles she has faced over the years, and especially while translating this text, they would be amazed.

I was fortunate to meet Ina in person during a Kalacakra empowerment given by Garchen Rinpoche in Portugal, October 2018 and we have been close friends ever since. For more on that see here.

The Text and Author, Karma Chagme

It is a short  text by Karma Chagme (Rāga Asya (1613-78)) called ‘Khedrub Rāga’s Guiding Instructions to Gelong Karma Rinchen on the Union of Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen‘ (mkhas grub a rA gas dge slong karma rin chen la gdams pa’i phyag rdzogs zung ‘jug gi khrid yig, Tibetan edition here).  It is a set of pith and profound instructions given to the Gelong Rinchen on the practice of Mahamudra and Dzogchen.

I have written a little before about this particular text and the author, Karma Chagme, here, when I translated a short excerpt from it a few weeks ago. I also translated and published a Lion-Faced dakini sadhana, by Karma Chagme, with introduction, which can be downloaded here.

Karma Chagme (1613-78)

Karma Chagme (Rāga Asya (1613-78)) was a major teacher of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, and his writings have also become central to the Payul Nyingma order.  The Neydo Kagyu (gnas mdo bka’ brgyud) sub-school of the Karma Kagyu was established by the first Karma Chagme.  A contender for the post of the ninth Karmapa, he was not confirmed but retained the ordination name Karma Chagme. Karma Chagme is known for being a prolific writer and scholar, for his devotion to the pure realm of Sukhāvatī, and for being the teacher of Terton Migyur Dorje who revealed a unique cycle of terma known as the Nam cho (gnam-chos).  Karma Chagme was credited as a Mahasiddha attaining an authentic emanation of Avalokitesvara Gyalwa Gyatso. He also wrote a famous text called the Union of Dzogchen and Mahamudra.

The current Neydo (gNas-mdo) throne holder of Tashi Chöling (bKra-shis chos-gling) monastery is Karma Tendzin Trinley Kunchab Pal Zangbo (Karma bstan-’dzin ’phrin-las kun-khyab dpal-bzang-po). His seat is Neydo Tashi Chöling monastery, located in the Nepali village of Setidevi Bhanjyang, which is near Pharping, a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Kathmandu valley.

Teachings by Garchen Rinpoche  – July 13 – 16 2020

HE Garchen Rinpoche is currently giving exclusive teachings on this commentary, the schedule can be viewed here. They are being streamed live from this youtube channel:


The Translator, Ina Bieler

HE Garchen Rinpoche with Ina Bieler

A two-part interview with Ina, who was also a recipient of the 84 000 Translation grant  can be watched here:


With love, thanks and respect to Ina Bieler and HE Garchen Rinpoche, I hope we meet again soon!


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