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Tertön (Tib. གཏེར་སྟོན་, Wyl. gter ston) — a revealer of spiritual treasures (terma) hidden by Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyal for the benefit of future generations.

Major Tertöns

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

Starting with the first tertön, Sangyé Lama (1000–1080) and Drapa Ngönshé (1012–90), discoverer of the Four Medical Tantras, there have been hundreds of masters who specialized in the discovery of terma, continuing up until the present day with Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche and Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

There are said to be one hundred great tertöns and one thousand minor ones, of whom five in particular are known as the ‘Five Sovereigns’:

Other famous terma masters were:

Rigdzin Gödem, revealer of the Northern Treasures

Teachings on Tertöns

Further Reading

  • Jamgön Kongtrul, Life Stories of the Hundred Tertöns, Wyl. gter ston brgya rtsa'i rnam thar
  • Tulku Thondup, Hidden Teachings of Tibet: An Explanation of the Terma Tradition of the Nyingma School of Buddhism (Boston: Wisdom, reprint edition 1997)