“The Tibetan Buddhist Canon consists of two parts: the Kangyur (bka’ ’gyur, texts ascribed to the historical Buddha and other Buddhas) and the Tengyur (bstan ’gyur, exegetical treatises mostly composed by Indians). Together they are the primary canonical authority for Tibetan Buddhism. The texts they contain have served as the basis for thirteen hundred years of indigenous Tibetan literary activity which extensively cites and analyzes them.

The Kangyur and Tengyur represent one of the three principal canonical collections of classical Buddhist literature in the world: the Tibetan canon (Kangyur/Tengyur), the Chinese canon, and the Pali canon. The Tibetan canon is arguably the most complete of all three versions, and represents in many cases the sole surviving versions of Indian scriptures (in translation).” –Introduction to Tibetan Canons. (thlib.org)

About Kangyur and Tengyur


  • Facts and Figures about the Kangyur and Tengyur (84000.co)
  • “Introduction to the Kangyur and Tengyur” D. Phillip Stanley (thlib.org)
  • Introduction to Tibetan Canons (thlib.org)
  • Tibetan Buddhist Canon (wikipedia.org)
  • Kangyur Bibliographies (thlib.org)

Structure and Organization

  • “Structure of the Kangyur” D. Phillip Stanley (thlib.org)
  • “Structure of the Tengyur” D. Phillip Stanley (thlib.org)
  • “The Tibetan Buddhist Canon: The Kangyur (Bka’ ’gyur) and Tengyur (Bstan ’gyur)” D. Phillip Stanley (thlib.org)


  • “Editions of the Kangyur” D. Phillip Stanley (thlib.org)
  • “Editions of the Tengyur” D. Phillip Stanley (thlib.org)

Genres and Catalog (Degé Edition)






Kangyur Tengyur Databases

840000 read.84000.co
The Reading Room is a browsable catalog of all the texts in the Kangyur and Tengyur.
Trilingual Glossary – translations and definitions of thousands of terms, people, places, and texts from the Buddhist canon.

Buddhist Canons Research Database databases.aibs.columbia.edu
A Project of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies (AIBS) and the Columbia University Center for Buddhist Studies (CCBS) 

Buddhist Digital Resource Center bdrc.io
Founded by E. Gene Smith. In addition to digitizing Buddhist texts in Tibetan, Mongolian, Khmer, Burmese, and other languages, BDRC works at the cutting edge of the digital humanities, including machine translation of Tibetan, handwritten text recognition, and advanced processing of etexts.

Lotsawa House
Texts from and related to the Kangyur (bka’ ‘gyur), the Tibetan canonical collection of the Buddha’s Word (bka’) in translation (‘gyur)
Texts from the Tengyur (bstan ‘gyur), the canonical collection of translated treatises (śāstra; bstan bcos)

Media and Other Resources

  • A Brief History of Buddhist Canon: Conversations with John Canti and Peter Skilling (video) 84000.co
  • Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon: Main Introduction. dsbcproject.org
  • The Nation’s Librarian of Tibetan Books: How Susan Meinheit’s Career Took Her From Washington D.C. to Lhasa and Back Again. bdrc.io