The Buddha Shakyamuni gave an enormous number of important teachings to humanity, but sadly - following his own prediction - within five hundred years of his death the tradition had completely degenerated. Fortunately, the written word is not the only reliable transmission of wisdom; in fact, it may be the least reliable. A single letter out of place can change the whole meaning of a document. Yet, the awakened consciousness can extract knowledge and precise information from even the most elusive and intangible subject. This is why the Buddha always emphasized awakening as the prerequisite.
Nonetheless, there are written documents that accurately convey the wisdom of the Buddhas. Here we present a selection of important scriptures from the many traditions of Buddhism, but with a special focus on Tibetan Buddhism, which has long preserved Tantra and the esoteric teachings.