Jamgon Kongtrul's commentary roots the Shastra into the root teachings around Mahamudra. This is not an introductory text, but is fascinating from both a historical development standpoint--particularly as a bridge between Tathagatagarbha literature and the development of Vajrayana Buddhism. Aug 04, Paul rated it it was amazing Shelves: buddhism.
If you're new to Buddhism, you probably should not start with this text unless you feel strongly drawn to it! But if you have some acquaintance with Vajrayana and have done some practice and study in that tradition, then I would say: dive in. If the stated authorship of the book is authentic, then it is arguably the most important single work of literature ever published, for the text is a poem channeled by the Indian Buddhist sage If you're new to Buddhism, you probably should not start with this text unless you feel strongly drawn to it!
If the stated authorship of the book is authentic, then it is arguably the most important single work of literature ever published, for the text is a poem channeled by the Indian Buddhist sage Asanga, in the 4th century AD, from Maitreya, the next buddha. It is concerned with one of the key teachings of Vajrayana, namely, tathagatagarbha or buddha nature: the doctrine that every single sentient being is equally endowed with the capacity to achieve the complete enlightenment of a buddha.
That enlightenment entails not only the permanent end of one's own suffering, but a radical transformation of one's being such that one becomes a nonstop cause of lasting benefit to others. The text stresses that this transformation is so profound that it is not conceivable even to those who are already very advanced on the path toward it. This English edition, translated by Rosemarie Fuchs, presents the original poem, followed by three layers of commentary: - an initial commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, a 19th-century Tibetan master - explanations of this commentary by a current Tibetan master, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche - translator's notes This means lots of flipping back and forth through the text, but that's not too much of a liability, since this material cannot be read quickly anyway.
It is a deep and authoritative explanation of what exactly enlightenment is, how it is achieved, and how it manifests once it is attained.
- Get this edition.
- Buddha Nature : The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary (Reprint) [Paperback].
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It has taken me 7 months to read it, and maybe that was too fast. I first studied this text, briefly, in as a student in the monastic college at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia.
I valued it so highly that I bought 2 copies of the expensive hardback, one for my dharma library and one to rest on my home shrine to represent the "mind" portion of the symbols there. To be honest, I myself am not sure about the provenance of the book. Is Maitreya a real "person," and did he indeed dictate the root text of this work? These are now questions of faith rather than fact, but Jamgon Kongtrul the Great and Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche both represent the gold standard of dharma teaching, and their words here are precious, regardless of how the root text originally arose.
This teaching is profound and inspiring; it is telling us that each one of us--including you as you read these words--has the potential to realize complete enlightenment as a buddha. Having come to the teaching, it's now only a question of how much we want it. Mar 13, Stephen Blache rated it it was amazing Shelves: dharma-study.
A profound text to study and examine our basic orientation to our concepts of self, outer phenomena, and transcendent reality. View 1 comment. Good commentary on a very important but hard to understand in depth sutra. Finally, I've found some clear answers to the question "what is a buddha? Mar 14, Timothy rated it really liked it.
The notes in the back are mostly instructions by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, they're great! Tracy rated it it was amazing Jan 07, Allen Harrison rated it it was amazing Apr 19, Jamieson Prevoznak rated it it was amazing Dec 08, John Pappas rated it really liked it Dec 30, Edward Dickey rated it it was amazing Feb 13, Tom rated it it was amazing Mar 09, Riku rated it really liked it Apr 17, Linda Moquin rated it really liked it Dec 30, Gelong Tashi rated it it was amazing Nov 02, Ron Moss rated it it was amazing May 25, Yeshe-Phillip Carbo rated it liked it Jun 30, Anastasia rated it really liked it Jul 12, Dan rated it it was amazing Jan 29, Tanya Judge rated it it was amazing Dec 09, David rated it it was amazing Jan 01, Cindy rated it it was amazing Mar 23, Jeremy rated it really liked it Jun 12, Jacques rated it liked it May 17, Andy Karr rated it liked it Oct 08, Ingmar De Boer rated it really liked it May 20, Miguel Infante Jr.
Deborah Fisher rated it it was amazing Sep 30, Daniel rated it it was ok Aug 06, Fred Rogers rated it it was amazing Feb 23, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Arya Maitreya. Arya Maitreya. Books by Arya Maitreya. So again Asanga did three more years of retreat. At the end of it, after twelve years with no results, he left the retreat and he saw an old female dog that was covered with maggots.
He was filled with great compassion for the dog and for the maggots. He thought that if he took the maggots off and put them on the ground, they would starve. So he cut off a piece of his leg, a piece of flesh from his leg, and put it on the ground.
Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra… | LTC Library | TinyCat
Also he thought that if he removed the maggots with his fingers he would harm them, but if he removed them with his tongue it would be much better. So he bent down, closed his eyes, and stuck out his tongue to take the maggots off the old dog. But he could never reach the dog.
He opened his eyes and the dog turned out to be Maitreya. So it was the idea of love that was able to cut through all of this obscuration. Whenever you blew your nose, all the snot from your nose landed on my robe, so here it is. Then Asanga was taken by Maitreya to the Tushita Buddha-field, the realm of the gods here represented by the Buddha-field Tushita, and he listened to the stages of the extensive teachings of how to understand voidness and put them into practice by Maitreya.
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He was there for a morning of the gods, which was fifty human years. The Abhisamayalamkara explains from the point of view of Svatantrika, specifically Yogachara Svatantrika, but ultimately points to the Prasangika view.
Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra With Commentary
The fourth one, Uttaratantra , that actually is a Prasangika text. The other three are Chittamatra, although some say the last one, Differentiating Phenomena and their Actual Nature, is like a commentary to Uttaratantra. The texts of Maitreya have played a great influence in Tibet.
They are studied by all the different traditions. Then it goes through each point of the outline, first with a brief indication of the subject matter, then with an extensive explanation, and then, at the end, an abbreviated summary of the meaning. The two texts from this that are studied most by Tibetans are the Abhisamayalamkara , the Filigree of Realization , and that takes as its subject matter the different levels of voidness.
Because in Svatantrika you have the person being devoid of one impossible way of existing and all phenomena being devoid of other ways of impossible ways of existing. It discusses these different levels, which is the manifest topic that is discussed in Prajnaparamita , but in greater depth.
It discusses in great detail the stages of the realization of the mind that understands voidness. Whereas the Uttaratantra discusses the root, or foundation, from which all of this is possible, which is the Buddha-nature. This is the qualities of the everlasting mind-stream of the practitioner upon which good qualities can be developed and faults can be removed. The title of the text has four words in Sanskrit, which are very meaningful.
That stream has a basis level, or ordinary situation, when it is not yet purified from these stains; the path level, which is when it is partially purified, particularly the stage of a bodhisattva arya; and the resultant level, when it is fully purified. That refers to the third turning of the wheel of Dharma, or the third round of transmission, which was the latest and supreme teaching of Buddha. That also is a main topic of the text. So we get the title of: a composition to indicate a Mahayana vast vehicle of mind, which is the furthest everlasting stream, the everlasting stream of mental continuum taught in the furthest or ultimate teaching.
To understand that, we need to understand the three rounds of transmission of the Dharma.
This is what is usually translated as the three turnings of the wheel of Dharma this is a classification system for sutra, not for tantra. Although the non-Gelugpa schools refer to and analyze these three rounds in terms of the time when Buddha taught them so the third round would be the last round that Buddha taught in time , Tsongkhapa, in the Gelug tradition, classifies and explains them differently according to the subject matter. According to the subject matter, the first turning of the wheel of dharma the first round of transmission teaches that all phenomena have true existence.
podirorunte.ml Then the second round teaches that all phenomena lack true existence. The third round according to Tsongkhapa is the teachings of the Chittamatra, the mind only school, which says that some phenomena have true existence this would refer to voidness and nonstatic phenomena whereas the others do not this refers to the static phenomena other than voidness, what are known as the completely conceptual phenomena.
In Uttaratantra it speaks of clear light on a sutra level so it returns to voidness as an object. If we understand the third round in terms of speaking about the mind that understands voidness, the subject clear light, then we can say this is the furthest everlasting stream.
And Uttaratantra , our text here, can be understood as a text that expounds or explains in terms of that. So when it says in the text that the nature of mind is clear light, although we can understand this on a sutra level to mean that the nature of the mind is clear light as an object in other words, voidness and also clear light as a mind, which refers to the defining characteristics or conventional characteristics of mind, which is clarity and awareness, we can also say that this points to the ultimate end point of what Buddha intended — which is the clear light subtlest consciousness as discussed in the highest class of tantra anuttarayoga tantra.
And so we find in some commentaries that in addition to the sutra explanation we also have an anuttarayoga tantra explanation. The first three of them, Abhisamayalamkara , Mahayanasutralamkara , Madhyantavibhanga , these texts were taught publicly and widely and openly, and they passed down in India through a lineage of Dignaga Phyogs-kyi glangs-pa and Sthiramati Blo-gros brtan-pa , and many famous commentaries were written to them, particularly by Haribhadra Seng-ge bzang-po.
We have this tradition of treasure texts in India; the oldest example would be the Prajnaparamita Sutras which were hidden and then recovered by Nagarjuna. Here we have this Uttaratantra and the Differentiating Phenomena from their Actual Nature also being hidden as treasure texts and found later in India. The text was rediscovered or recovered by Maitripa Mai-ti-pa somewhere between the tenth and eleventh centuries. Marpa studied in India with two great teachers: Naropa and Maitripa. Maitripa saw light coming from the center of a stupa and he investigated it, and these two texts by Maitreya were there; he found them.
And so he gets the name Maitripa from Maitreya. He made requests to Maitreya, and Maitreya appeared in a vision and gave the oral transmission of the texts. This is how they came about. It passed down through a line of two more Indian pandits Ratnavajra Rin-chen rdo-rje and Sugata bDe-bar gshegs-pa and, from the second of them, it went to Pandit Sajjana.
Sajjana is the one who transmitted it to Tibet. I have no idea. It is just said that this was inappropriate for that time.
Related Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra With Commentary
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