Tertons and Terma: Treasure-revealers and Treasure Teachings

Broadly, there are three great Transmissions consisting of (a) the Distant Lineage of Transmitted Precepts (Ring-Jud-Kama), (b) the Close Lineage of Treasure (Nye-Jud-Terma), and (c) the Profound Pure Vision Teachings (Zab-mo-dhag-nang). The first is the distant lineage of the teachings (Kama), which is concerned with the teachings of Mahayoga, Anuyoga, and Atiyoga. These are collectively transmitted as ‘the trio of Sutra, magical net, and mind class’ (Dho-Ju-Sem-Sum). The second is the ‘Close Lineage of Terma’, which in turn contains the teachings referred to as ‘the trio of Guru, great perfection, and the great compassionate one’ (La-Dzog-Thug-Sum), these teachings are attributed to the Guru Padmasambhava, the Great Perfection, and Thug can be Gyalwa Gyatso, or the Great Compassionate one, Avalokiteshvara. The third is the profound pure vision lineage, in this stream of transmission, Guru Padmasambhava appears in reality to the ‘Treasure-revealers’ (Tertons) and speaks in person.