The Kangyur is the full collection of the words and teachings spoken by the Buddha translated into the Tibetan language mainly from Sanskrit but also from Chinese and Pali. The Kangyur is made up of 105 volumes which are printed in the traditional loose leaf pecha style of book. During the days that the Kangyur is read at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery, there will be about 108 monks present and each monk will read a different volume. This makes it possible for the entire Kangyur to be read over a period of a few days.
H. E. Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche has said that reciting the Kangyur periodically helps to continue the Buddha’s influence in this world as there can be no influence without the words. Rinpoche also says, “It is necessary to practice what Buddha has stated, yet it is difficult to practice if one is not able to even read it. So, first read, then study, practice, and ultimately implement.”
The Kangyur is divided into Sutrayana and Tantrayana and the Sutrayana is further divided into 3 sections:
- Vinaya – these are texts on discipline, correct conduct, and behavior for monastics, householder practitioners, and non-practitioners. This is considered to be the foundation for liberation.
- Sutra – these are the words, teachings, and discussions of the Buddhas and Boddhisattvas. Sutras could be Sadhanas which can help to achieve a pure, clean, and peaceful mind. This is considered to be like building a house over the laid foundation.
- Abhidharma – these are texts on all wisdom including worldly wisdom (skills development) and ultimate wisdom (transcendental knowledge). This is considered to be like a person living inside a house after it has been built.
Tantrayana is further divided into 2 sections:
- Outer – Kriya, Upa, and Yoga – these are methods of practicing conduct and require cleanliness which is achieved by regular bathing, changing clothes daily, eating only vegetarian food, and not eating onion and garlic.
- Inner – Father Tantra, Mother Tantra, and non-dual Tantras – these are methods such as meditation for developing wisdom for liberation with the focus on the inside of self.
When the monks recite the Kangyur, it helps all sentient beings benefit from the Buddha’s teachings and is also an excellent way to accumulate a lot of merit. All of the Buddha’s statements are the truth and reciting the truth purifies negative thoughts and emotions and increases knowledge and merit. This ultimately helps sentient beings overcome all obstacles and achieve all aspirations.
May the virtue of anyone who rejoices in this auspicious activity be dedicated to the Enlightenment of all sentient beings.