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The Naked Truth, by Gendün Chöpel

The Naked Truth (bden pa gcer bu)

by Gendün Chöpel (dge ‘dun chos ‘phel, 1903-1951)

Translated from the Tibetan by Erick Tsiknopoulos

The naked truth, terrifying to behold,

Should never be covered with the garb of self-deception.

This is the first sacred vow of the scholar:

So strive to keep it with diligence; even at the cost of your life.

མཐོང་ན་འཇིགས་པའི་བདེན་པ་གཅེར་བུ་ལ། །

རང་མགོ་བསྐོར་བའི་གོས་ཀྱིས་མི་གཡོགས་པ། །

འདི་ནི་མཁས་པའི་དམ་ཚིག་དང་པོ་སྟེ། །

སྲོག་ལ་བབས་ཀྱང་འབད་པས་བསྲུང་བར་འཚལ། །

(Translated from the Tibetan by Erick Tsiknopoulos, November 8th, 2012; revised exactly five years later on November 8th, 2017.)




Erick Tsiknopoulos View All

Erick Tsiknopoulos (b. 1981) is an American translator of Tibetan, a scholar, researcher and postgraduate student in Buddhist Studies, a teacher and tutor of Tibetan language, a writer and editor, a voracious reader in various subjects, and an experienced world traveler. He is the founder and primary Tibetan translator of the Sugatagarbha Translation Group, and the creator of their main website,, which currently features English translations of over 400 Tibetan texts. Many of his translations have been published in various forms, including as books.

He has been a student of Buddhism since 1999, a student of Tibetan Buddhism since 2003, and a student of Tibetan language since 2005. He has been translating Tibetan texts into English since 2007, has been based in India and Nepal studying Tibetan language and Buddhism intensively and translating Tibetan texts since 2008, and has been working professionally as a Tibetan-English translator and interpreter since 2009.

He is available for contact via email at: and

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