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About Erick Tsiknopoulos
Erick Tsiknopoulos (b. 1981) is a translator of Tibetan texts, a scholar and researcher in Buddhist and Asian religious studies, an instructor in Tibetan language, a published author, writer and editor, an avid reader in various subjects, an experienced expat and world traveler, a dedicated multi-linguist and aspiring polyglot, and occasionally a Tibetan-English oral interpreter.
Many of his translations have been published in various formats in many countries around the world, in both printed and electronic forms. He has translated several hundred Tibetan texts into English. In addition to Tibetan, he has also studied and has knowledge of Japanese, Sanskrit, Pali and Chinese to some degree of facility, which he also refers to in his translations and research. Other than these languages, he has also studied Greek, Latin, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, Hindi, Nepali, Romanian, Bulgarian, Indonesian and even a bit of Thai.
He is the founder of Trikāya Translations, an officially registered translation agency, and the Trikāya Translation Group, a committee of scholars dedicated to translating the classic texts of Tibetan literature into English and other modern languages.
Erick Tsiknopoulos has been studying Buddhism since 1999, Tibetan Buddhism since 2003, and Tibetan language since 2004. He began translating Tibetan texts into English since 2007. He lived in India and Nepal from 2007 to 2019, where he studied Tibetan language and Buddhism intensively, and translated Tibetan Buddhist texts full-time, while researching them with native Tibetan scholars. He has been working professionally as a Tibetan-English translator and interpreter since 2009; primarily as a textual translator, but also sometimes as an oral interpreter.
For over 11 years in India and Nepal, Erick Tsiknopoulos engaged in immersive and in-depth field research of Tibetan language, culture and Buddhism. Of some special note is that he attended numerous teachings in McLeod Ganj with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama from 2009 to 2019, on a regular basis several times a year. During this time he also occasionally traveled throughout East and Southeast Asia, where he gained firsthand experience of the local Buddhist cultures and traditions in those regions.
He is currently working towards a Master’s of Arts (MA) degree in Buddhist Studies through the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He also completed one year of MA coursework in Buddhist Studies through the International Buddhist College, Thailand.
Among some of his longer translation projects were the Tibetan edition of the 29 and 31 Chapter Versions of the Sūtra of Golden Light (suvarṇaprabhā-sottama-sūtra), the longer and extensive forms of that sūtra, and the Tibetan edition of the Lotus Sūtra (saddharma-puṇḍarīka-sūtra), along with its sole Tibetan commentary from the Tengyur, which is currently his main translation project.
Another of his main projects was the translation of the large collection of texts comprising the Heart Sphere of Yuthok (g.yu thog snying thig), the main Tantric, or Vajrayāna, Buddhist practice cycle which is intimately connected to the practice of Traditional Tibetan Medicine. He began this work in 2012, and the hitherto completed texts from this cycle are scheduled to be published in late 2019. Following that the translation of the Heart Sphere of Yuthok cycle will be published in its entirety.
He has translated numerous works by modern Tibetan teachers, including but not limited to the following:
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso)
His Holiness Sakya Trichen Gongma Rinpoché, Ngawang Künga Tekchen Pelbar (the 41st Sakya Trizin)
His Holiness Düdjom Rinpoché (Jigdrel Yéshey Dorjé)
His Holiness Trulzhik (Trulshik) Rinpoché (Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö)
Khenpo Jigmey Püntsok Rinpoché
Chobgyé Trichen Rinpoché (Lobzang Tubten Rinchen Legshay Gyatsoi Dé)
Dzongsar Khyentsé Chӧkyi Lodrӧ
Khunu Lama Rinpoché I (Tendzin Gyeltsen)
Khunu Lama Rinpoché II (Khunu Negi Rinpoché)
The 10th Sangyé Nyenpa Rinpoché
Lamchen Gyelpo Rinpoché
Katok Rigdzin Chenpo Rinpoché (Payma Wangchen Dorjé)
Yongdzin Loppön Tendzin Namdak Rinpoché
Tsangpa Tulku Rigchok Rinpoché
Bönpo Géshey Sheyrab Püntsok
Māratika Dungdzin Rinpoché (Ngawang Jigdrel Chökyi Wangchuk)
Chöying Rigpay Dorjé Rinpoché
Géshey Namdra Tubten Yarpel
Dr. Nida Chengatsang
He has translated the works of classic Tibetan authors such as:
Ju Mipham Rinpoché (Jamyang Namgyel Gyamtso)
Jé Tsongkhapa (Lobzang Drakpa)
Longchenpa (Longchen Rabjam)
Sachen Künga Nyingpo
Śākya Chokden (Serdok Paṇchen)
Karma Chagmey (Rāga Asya),
Chöjé Marpa Sheyrab Yéshey
King Songtsen Gampo
Nyakla Payma Düddul
Terchen Trulzhik Dongak Lingpa
Takbu Yongdzin Yéshey Gyatso
Gatön Ngawang Legpa
Dza Paltrul Rinpoché
Prior to the publication of all of his completed translations in 2019, the previously published works of Erick Tsiknopoulos, translations which were published using paper or electronic formats, include the following texts:
Melodious and Delightful Laughter: A Clearly-Expressed Chronicle of the Sacred Site of Drakda Lamtso, the Life-Force Lake of Yéshey Tsogyel, by Kelzang Lhündrub, published by the Jnanasukha Foundation, 2009
The Mahālakṣmīni Sūtra (Mahāśrī Sūtra), a Mahāyāna sūtra, 2009, published by World of Feng Shui, 2010 (uncredited)
The Lamp of Advice Which Illuminates That Which Is To Be Adopted And Abandoned, by Khunu Negi Rinpoché (Khunu Lama Rinpoche II), 2010
Mañjuśrī, Green Tārā, and Medicine Buddha sādhanā practice texts, published by Sakya Dokho Ling, a Sakya center in the USA, 2010
The Prayer to Padmasambhava and the Four Elemental Goddesses for Pacifying Disasters Arising from the Elements, published widely online for the occasion of the Japanese earthquake, 2010
The Noble One’s Downpour of Blessings: A Commentary on T’angtong Gyëlpo’s Chenrezig Sādhanā ‘For the Benefit of Beings Pervading Space’, by the 10th Sangyé Nyenpa Rinpoché, 2011, published as a book by Sangyé Nyenpa Rinpoché’s monastery in Nepal, 2012
The Lamp of Pristine Wisdom: A Commentary on Karma Chagmé’s Mañjuśrī Sādhanā ‘Clearing Away the Darkness of Delusion’, by the 10th Sangyé Nyenpa Rinpoché, 2011, published as a book by Sangyé Nyenpa Rinpoché’s monastery in Nepal, 2012
Sunlight Blessings that Cure the Longing of Remembrance: A Biography of the Khunu Mahāsattva, Tenzin Gyelts’en (Khunu Lama Rinpoché), by Lamchen Gyelpo Rinpoché, published in the USA, 2012
The Prayer for the Swift Rebirth of the 9th Khalkha Jetsün Dampa Rinpoché, by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, 2012 (used by Jonang Dharma centers internationally)
Prayer for the Swift Rebirth of Dungsay Thinley Norbu Rinpoché, by the 10th Sangyé Nyenpa Rinpoché, published widely for the use of the Buddhist community, 2012
The Prayer to the Three Great Stūpas of Nepal, by Düdjom Rinpoché (Jigdrel Yéshey Dorjé), published by Khenpo Tenzin Shedrup, India, 2012
Several Dzogchen texts for Bön Shen Ling, a center in New York City, USA (uncredited), 2012
The Negative Retributions of Guns as Seen in the Reviving Hell: An Extract from the Visions of Each Hell, by Nyala Pema Düddul, published in China, 2013
The Concise Medicine Buddha Sūtra, a text from the Kangyur (the Tibetan Buddhist Scriptural Canon), published by Thekchen Chöling Singapore, 2013
The 108 Names of the Exalted Jambhala, a text from the Kangyur (the Tibetan Buddhist Scriptural Canon), published by Thekchen Chöling Singapore, 2014
The Incantation for Protecting and Increasing Wealth and Riches (Imbued with Golden Light, the Dhāraṇī of All Yakṣas], a text from the Kangyur (the Tibetan Buddhist Scriptural Canon), published by Thekchen Chöling Singapore, 2015
Great Treasury of Blessings: Aspiration Verses for the Long Life of Khenchen Lama Pelgyeypa Dorjé Rinpoché, by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, 2015
A Brief Biography of Ngawang Yéshey Tubten [Rabjampa Ngawang Lobzang] (ngag dbang ye shes thub bstan, c. 1807-15 to c. 1889-97), for The Treasury of Lives website (www.treasuryoflives.org), 2015
Saraswatī’s Letter to Chatral Rinpoché’s Students (January 9th, 2016), for the student community of Chatral Rinpoché, Sanggyay Dorje, 2016
Letter from the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Regarding the Passing of Chatral Rinpoché, Sanggyay Dorjé (January 12, 2016), 2016
Spontaneous Accomplishment of Awakened Activity: An Offering Invocation to the Great Lion, Gésar the Gem, by Ju Mipham Rinpoché (Jamyang Namgyel Gyamtso), published in Malaysia, 2016
Bringing Down the Compassionate Blessings of the Great Lion, King of the World (Gésar), by Ju Mipham Rinpoché (Jamyang Namgyel Gyamtso), published in Malaysia, 2016
The Magnetizing Practice of King Gésar, by Ju Mipham Rinpoché (Jamyang Namgyel Gyamtso), published in Malaysia, 2016
Letter from the Office of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa (August 5th, 2016), published widely by the Karma Kagyu community, 2016
The Water Offering of All-Pervading Ambrosial Nectar: From the ‘Treasury of the Expansive Sky of Dharmatā’, a Treasure Teaching (gter ma) of Düdjom Lingpa, published by the Vairostana Foundation (organization of Bhakha Tulku Rinpoché), 2017
The Water Offering of a Treasure Trove of Ambrosial Nectar: From the ‘Treasury of the Expansive Sky of Dharmatā’, a Treasure Teaching (gter ma) of Düdjom Lingpa, published by the Vairostana Foundation (organization of Bhakha Tulku Rinpoché) 2017
Sanctifying Smoke Offering to the Great God Gaṇapati, by Karma Chagmey (Rāga Asya), published by the Vairostana Foundation (organization of Bhakha Tulku Rinpoché), 2017
Dredging the Depths of Deepest Hell: The Concise King of Confessions of Purifying Remorse, by Trulzhik Rinpoché (Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö), published by Māratika Monastery (Nepal), 2017
Extremely Concise Practices of Sanctifying Incense (Sang) and Golden Beverage Offerings (Serkyem), a compilation of texts by Terchen Trulzhik Dongak Lingpa, Trulzhik Rinpoché (Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö), and Düdjom Rinpoché (Jigdrel Yéshey Dorjé), published by Māratika Monastery (Nepal), 2017
The Supplication to Terchen Trulzhik Dongak Lingpa, by Terchen Trulzhik Dongak Lingpa (Himself), published by Māratika Monastery (Nepal), 2017
The Supplication to Lord Trulzhik Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö (Trulzhik Rinpoché), by Trulzhik Rinpoché, Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö (Himself), published by Māratika Monastery (Nepal), 2017
On the Long Life Arrows of Māratika Cave (The Silken Arrows of Longevity), by Māratika Dungdzin Rinpoché (Ngawang Jigdrel Chökyi Wangchuk), published by Māratika Monastery (Nepal), 2017
The Concise Red Scented Smoke Offering (Marsur), by Düdjom Rinpoché (Jigdrel Yéshey Dorjé), published by Māratika Monastery (Nepal), 2017
The Concise Smoke Offering Ritual, by Trulzhik Rinpoché (Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö), published by Māratika Monastery (Nepal), 2017
The Concise Dhāraṇī Ritual for Purifying Offerings, a text from the Kangyur (the Tibetan Buddhist Scriptural Canon), published by Māratika Monastery (Nepal), 2017
The Extremely Concise ‘Dispelling the Faults of Interdependence’, a Treasure Teaching (gter ma) of Tertön Sögyel, published by Māratika Monastery (Nepal), 2017
The Prosperity Practice of Red Tārā, from the ‘Compendium of Vital Extract from the Treasury of Sublime Awakened Mind’, a Treasure Teaching (gter-ma) of Apang Tertön, published by Chagdud Gompa Brazil, 2017
The Awakened Activity of the Mighty Master Mahādeva, the Command Guardian of the Great Compassionate One, a Treasure Teaching (gter ma) of Chokgyur Déchen Lingpa, published by Chagdud Gompa Brazil, 2017
The Glory of the Golden Mountain: A Long Life Prayer for the Unsurpassed Master of the Great Perfection, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoché, by Yongdzin Loppön Tendzin Namdak Rinpoché, published for widespread use by the student community of Chögyel Namkhai Norbu Rinpoché, 2018
Supplication for the Long Life of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, by Sakya Trichen Gongma Rinpoché, Ngawang Künga Tekchen Pelbar (the 41st Sakya Trizin), scheduled for publication by the Melody of Dharma magazine, 2019
His current translation works planned for publication include:
The Heart Sphere of Yuthok (g.yu thog snying thig)
The Sūtra of Golden Light in 29 Chapters (gser ‘od dam pa mdo sde’i dbang po’i rgyal po’i mdo)
The Sūtra of Golden Light in 31 Chapters (gser ‘od dam pa mdo sde’i dbang po’i rgyal po’i mdo)
The Lotus Sūtra (entitled ‘The Tibetan Lotus Sūtra’) (dam pa’i chos padma dkar po’i mdo)
Commentary to the Puṇḍarīka of the Wondrous Dharma [Lotus Sūtra] (dam pa’i chos padma dkar po’i ‘grel ba, dam pa’i chos punda rii ka’i ‘grel ba)
He has also produced the primary translations for important official letters and documents, such as those from the Office of the 17th Karmapa, the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, and Saymo Saraswatī (the daughter of the late Chatral Rinpoché, Sanggyay Dorjé).
In particular, he has translated a large and ever increasing number of Mahāyāna sūtras, dhāraṇī scriptures, and other assorted works from the Tibetan Buddhist Scriptural Canon (Kangyur).
He has provided his translation services to numerous Tibetan Buddhist Dharma centers, in both the West and East.
In addition, he served as the main textual translator for Khenchen Lama Pelgyeypa Dorjé Rinpoché, a renowned master of the Nyingma school, since 2010.
Being fluent in spoken/colloquial Tibetan in addition to literary/classical Tibetan, he has also orally interpreted for several Buddhist teachers, including Khorchak Tulku Rinpoché, Géshe Tendzin Ludrup, Sangngak Tenzin Rinpoché, the late Khensur Denma Lochö Rinpoché, Lobsang Chögyël Rinpoché, and Géshe Tséwang Nyima.
Erick Tsiknopoulos utilizes his fluency in colloquial Tibetan, together with his literacy in both modern and classical literary Tibetan, to ensure quality and accuracy in his translations. He does this by way of a thorough linguistic and doctrinal analysis, focused specifically on the relevant textual context. He addressed any difficult points encountered in Tibetan texts directly with Tibetan scholars; via the medium of spoken and written Tibetan.
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Titles By Erick Tsiknopoulos
Contemplate as follows: You yourself are the King Great Lion [Gésar], bright red, blazing with hundreds of beautiful expressions of blissful passion,
HRĪH: Emanated form of the compassion of Skull-Garland Lotus (Payma T’öt’reng), the universal embodiment of the Three Roots,
T’UK-JÉ’I KU-TRUL DZAM-LING SENG-CH’EN JÉ
Great Lion Lord of the World [King Gésar],
OṂ NAMO GAṆAPATI/ JAYA VARANE/ JIVANTIYE SVĀHĀ
[Tibetan pronunciation: OṂ NAMO GAṆAPATI/ DZAYA BARANE/ DZIBANTIYE SŌHĀ]
The factor for the occurence of all of the teachings of the Victorious One,
The supreme interdependence for the accomplishment of the well-being and happiness of beings,
The marvelous manifestor of all peoples’ good fortune:
To the precious vows I prostrate.
From the Ka volume of the ‘Various’ (na tshogs) section in the Kangyur (bka’ ‘gyur), the Tibetan Buddhist scriptural canon; Lhasa edition.
In the Indian Language [Sanskrit]: Ārya Prajñā-pāramitā Vajrapāṇi Mahāyāna Sūtra (ārya-prajñā-pāramitā-vajrapāṇi-mahāyāna-sūtra)
In the Tibetan Language: P’akpa Sheyrap kyi P’aröltuch’inpa Lakna-dorjé‘i Do T’ekpach’enpo (‘phags pa shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa lag na rdo rje’i mdo theg pa chen po)
[In the English Language: The Mahāyāna Discourse to Vajrapāṇi on the Noble Transcendental Practice of Discerning Insight (The Noble Prajñā-pāramitā Mahāyāna Sūtra of Vajrapāṇi)]
NAMO MAHĀGURU PUṄYE-JÑĀNAYE!
(HOMAGE TO THE GREAT TEACHER OF GOOD KARMIC POTENTIAL AND DEEP WISDOM!)
TS’É-PAK-MEY GÖN CH’I-MEY PAY-MA-JUNG
The Defender Amitāyus, the Deathless Padmasambhava,
I go for refuge from now until enlightenment.
By the merit of my practice of generosity and so on,
May I attain buddhahood in order to benefit beings.
Recite a refuge and bodhichitta prayer such as this three times.
If you rely on a friend with knowledge, your intellect will increase.
If you rely on a friend with compassion, you will give birth to Bodhicitta.
If you rely on a friend with contentment, your desires will decrease.
If you rely on a friend with generosity, you will give rise to a giving mind.
If you rely on a friend with a peaceful and restrained temperament, your mind-stream will become good.
Although they arise, they arise from the sky itself;
Although they dissolve, they dissolve into the sky itself.
Rainbows, mist, and fog, these three,
Although they arise, they arise from the earth itself;
Although they dissolve, they dissolve into the earth itself.
Mahākāla the Wish-Fulfilling Jewel, imbued with compassion,
KUM-DOK GANG-RI TAR KAR Ö-ZER T’RO
White in bodily color like a snow mountain, radiating forth beams of light,