53570291 Buddhist Civilization in Tibet

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BUDDHIST CIVILIZATION IN TIBET By TuUcu Thondup 1978 Tulku Thondup Published by Maha Siddha Nyingmapa Center. U.S.A. - 1982 BUDDHIST CIVILIZATION IN TIBET Table of Contents Preface ............................................... ......................................... vii Key Political and Religious Figures in Tibetan History .......................... " ix Key Figures in the Nyingmapa Tradition.......... ................................. xiii Key Figures in the Kagyudpa Tradition.............................................. xv Key Figures in the Sakyapa Tradition.............................................. xvii Key Figures in the Gelugpa Tradition................................................ xix Map of India................................................................................ xxi Map of Ttbet (showing major monasteries)....................................... xxii I - The Development of Buddhism in Tibet Introduction.................................................................................. 3 r. Nyingmapa (the Ancient) School............................................... 7 The Transmission of the Nyingmapa Teachings ........................ 13 1. Long Transmission of Canons ............................................. 14 2. Short Transmission of Discovered Dharma Treasures.......... 15 The Nyingmapa Scriptures.. .............................. .......... ............ 17 Nyingmapa Doctrine. ........... ....... .... ...... .................................. 19 Important Nyingmapa Monasteries and Institutions ...... ............ 23 Tibetan Buddhist School Which Resulted From The Later Spread of the Doctrine.......... . .... ............... ................ ..... .. .. ... 24 II. Kagyudpa School... ......... .............. .............. ................... ......... 25 Kagyudpa Doctrine .... ....................... ........ ..... .......... ........... .... 31 III. Sakyapa School.. ........... ...... ............................ .......... .... ......... 33 Sakyapa Doctrine... ...... .......................... ........ ........ ................. 35 IV. Gelugpa School ....................................................................... 37 Gelugpa Monasteries ............................................................... 39 Gelugpa Doctrine ................. ........ ...... ................. ........... ......... 41 V. Some Other Tibetan Buddhist Schools..................................... 43 1. Kadampa School.. ...... ..... .......................... ........... .............. 43 2. Zhi-ChedPa and Chad Schools. ................. ............... ...... .... 43 1) PhoChod ...................................................................... 43 2) MoChod..................... ...................................... ............ 44 3. Jonangpa School............ ........ ...... ................. .................... 44 II - The Scope of Tibetan Literature Introduction ............ ................................... ,. . .... . ..... ........ ........ ... . 49 I. The Religious Literature .......................................... '" ... '" ....... 51 A) Religious Literature - According to Origin ..... ... ... ... .......... 51 1. The Literature Translated from Indian Sources ............... 51 (a) The Kajur Collection - The Buddha's Teachings.... 51 (b) The Tenjur Collection - The Works of Indian Buddhist Scholars.... ............... ..................... 52 2. The Literature Written by Tibetan Scholars .................... 52 (a) The Literature ofthe Nyingmapa School................. 53 (i) The Classification of the Dharma.. .............. .......... 53 (ii) Sutra.................................................................... 53 (iii) Tantra .................................................................. 53 (iv) Study....... ........... ............................ ..................... 56 (b) The Literature of the Sarmapa .... ................. ........... 56 (i) The Classification of the Dharma ..... ...... ........ ....... 57 (ii) Major Texts for Study and Practice ........................ 57 (iii) The Literature of the Kagyudpa School................. 57 (iv) The Literature of the Sakyapa School.................... 58 (v) The Literature of the Gelugpa School....... ............. 59 (vi) The Literature of Some Other Minor Schools ......... 58 B) Religious Literature - According to Subject....................... 63 1. Religion............ ........ ...... ........ ............ .......................... 63 2. History and Biography ................................................... 63 3. Poetic Composition and Yogic Songs ............................ 64 4. Music. Dance. and Art and Architecture ......................... 64 II. The Secular Literature ........ ....... ....... ............. ................. ......... 65 A) B) C) D) E) F) G) H) I) J) History ............................................................................ 65 Grammar ........................................................................ 66 Poetic Composition. Metrical Literature. and Lexicons...... 67 Logic ............................................................................... 67 Astrology.......... ........ ..................... ................................. 68 Mathematics............................................. ...................... 69 Medicine............. ...... ................ ................ ............... ....... 69 Geography and Cosmology .............................................. 70 Law ................................................................................. 70 Political Writings ....... ........ ........... ......... ...... ........ ............ 70 K) Music and Dance............................................................. 71 L) Drama ............................................................................. 71 M) Art and Craft .. ........... ...................... ......... ....................... 71 Glossary .................................................................................... 73 Index ............................................................................................ 83 v PREFACE This booklet contains two articles which I wrote a few years ago. The fIrSt, "The Development of Buddhism in Tibet" is a brief account of the history of the four major Buddhist schools in Tibet. It includes a description of their doctrines and monastic institutions. These four schools are the Nyingmapa (the Ancient Ones), who are followers of the Old Tantras (those tantras translated into Tibetan before the eleventh century a.d.), the Kagyudpa, Sakyapa, and Gelugpa who are followers of the New Tantras (those tantras which were translated after the eLeventh century a.d.). The account which / have given in this article is the traditional version of the history of Buddhism in Tibet as it appears in Tibetan historical texts. The second article, "The Scope of Tibetan Literature" is a brief outline of the subject. It presents a general schema of Tibetan literature, classifying the works on various subjects - secular and religious. I have included the names of only a few major literary works ase.xamples of the literature falling under each heading. I am grateful to Harold Talbot for editing these articles. My gratitude also goes to the Center for the Study of World Religions and to Michael Baldwin and the other members of the Buddhayana Foundation, U.S.A. for their generous sponsorship, which enabled me to prepare these texts for printing. I am also thankful to Eric Jacobson for editing, proofreading and assembling the glossary and index and to Martha Hamilton for doing the typesetting, artwork and arranging for the texts to be printed. January, 1982 Tu/ku Thondup vii KEY POLITICAL & RELIGIOOS FIGORES IN TIBETAN HISTORY Founders of Religious Schools and Translators KINGS 2nd cent. Nyathri Tsenpo enthroned in 127 B.C. First king of Tibet Founded Chogyal Dynasty 5th cent. Lha-Thotho-Ri Nyen-Tsen Brought first Buddhist scrip-tures and religious objects into Tibet in 433 A.D. Early Spread of the Doctrine 7th 1 Oth Century A.D. Thonmi Sambhota First Tibetan Buddhist translator. Invented Tibetan script and grammar. Padmasambhava Came from India to teach Buddhism in Tibet. Founded Nyingmapa School Santirakshita t Great Indian 5 scholars who Vimalamitra visited Tibet. Kawa Paltseg Tib t n Ch Rea Bairocana ~ eg- 0 Translators Zhang Yeshey De Surendrabodhi } Shilendrabodhi Danashila Ratnarakshita } Dharmatashila Jnanasena Indian Scholars Tibetan Scholars 7th cent. Srong-Tsen Gampo (617-698) Directed the development of a written form of Tibetan language. Inaugurated Buddhism as the religion of Tibet. 9th cent. Thri-Song DeuTsen (lQo-844 A.D.) Invited greatest Indian saints and yogis to teach Buddhism in Tibet. Directed construction of Samye monastery. 9th cent. Tri Ralpa Chan (866901) Assassinated by pro-Bon ministers. be Nub-Chen Sangye Yeshe Preserved Tantrik tradition La Chen Gangpa Rabsal Re-established Vinaya tradition_ Smrtijnana Last great translator of . the Earlier Spread of the Doctrine. 10th cent. Lang Dharm"':!": Essence Drops. Subtle spiritual energy which moves body, the understanding and control of which constitutes part of one's training in esoteric Buddhist practices and specifically in the attainment of Great Bliss. BODHIPAKSHIKA DHARMA (SkL) The 37 Wings of Enlightenment: 1) 4 Smnyupasthana - 4 Foundations of Mind{ulness 2) 4 Samyakprahana - 4 Efforts 3) 4 Rddhipada - 4 Types of Powers 4) 5 Indriya - 5 Faculties or Controlling Powers 5) 5 Bala - 5 Forces 6) 7 Bodhyanga - 7 Elements of Enlightenment 7) Arya - Ashtangamara - Eightfold Noble Path. These are the 37 essential aspects of the Buddhist path of practice. The first 12 are for the practice of the Path of Accumulation, the next 10 are for the Path of Application, the next 7 are for the Path of Insight and the final 8 are for the Path of Meditation. TRANSMISSIONS In the Dzog-Chen tradition, the teachings are communicated in three ways: 1) Mind Transmission: Direct mind to mind transmission among the Buddhas. 2) Indication Transmission: Transmission by signs among highly realized beings (Vidyadharas). 3) Hearing Transmission: Verbal transmission from master to disciple. TRANQUILLITY MEDITATION (Shamatha, Skt.) Meditation whose purpose is the quieting and progressive focusing of the mind. It is necessary to practice this before attempting Insight Meditation. TRIPIT AKA (Skt.) Three Baskets. The three collections of the Buddha's canonical teachings: 1) Sutra - CoUected Discourses 2) Vinaya - Collected Instructions on Proper Behavior 3) Abhidharma - CoUected Analyses of the Import of the Sutras. TSA WU-MA (rib.) The central energy channel in the human body. To lead the rLung into this central channel is one way of perfection of esoteric practice. Achieving this, one attains a high realization. TULKU (Tib.) Due to the all-pervasive skill and compassion of the Buddha's teachings innumerable "manifestations" of Enlightened Awareness continually occur in myriad forms - as bridges, works of art and in human form. All serve to aid beings in easing their suffering and stimulating their quest for full Enlightenment. In Tibet, Tulku is a title given to rebirths of highly accomplished beings. 80 TCIM-MO (Tib.) HeatYoga. Psychic Heat. One of the Six Yogas taught by the great Naropa and others as a means to generate the Great Bliss, the ultimate goal of Tantrik practice. TWO TRUTHS Buddhiust teachings recognize the necessity of comprehending reality (satya) from two viewpoints - the Absolute and the Relative. These are sometimes known as the Two Truths: 1) Absolute Truth (Paramartha, Skt.) - Reality apprehended from the absolute or ultimate viewpoint, which comprehends the voidness (Shunyata) of all phenomena. 2) Relative Truth (Samvrtisatya, Skt.) - Reality apprehended from the relative viewpoint, which comprehends that all phenomena are dependently co-arisen (Pratityasamupada, Skt.). VAJRA VARAHI (Skt.) Diamond Sow. A sow-headed goddess, especially invoked to subdue ignorance. VAJRADHARA (SkL) DORJE CHANG (Tib.) A Sambhogakaya form of Enlightened Mind_ In the Sarmapa or New Tantras of Tibet, Vajradhara is the most important figure and is the source of the esoteric teachings. V AJRASA TTV A (Skt.) DORJE SEMP A (Tib.) A Sambhogakaya Buddha taken as an object of meditation especially for the purification of defilements. VAJRAYANA (Skt.) The Adamantine Vehicle. The highest of the Three Vehicles or levels of practice in Buddhism. See also, Mantrayana. VINA Y A (Skt.) A collection of Lord Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings on proper moral conduct. See also, Tripitaka. VISUALIZATION DIVINITY (DAM-TSHIGPA, Tib.) This is the visualized form of the deities in Tantrik meditative practice. See Wisdom Divinity. WISDOM-DAKINIS (KHADROMA, Tib.) Immortal, or enlightened goddesses. WISDOM DIVINITY (YESHES-PA, Tib.) This is the actual deity which the meditator invites to come and dissolves into the visualized form of the deity in Tantrik meditative practices. See Visualized Divinity. WISHING-GEM . A gem which fulfills or grants one's wishes. This symbolizes Enlightened Mind which is like a wishingjewel, because it wishes. Y ANA (Skt.) f . Vehicle or Way. A coherent and consistent way 0 prac.l"; .. ; ... t.f.,;;,,. iliSlIll Buddha's teachings. Buddhism has been classified into 4, 6 or 9 Yanas according to different traditions. In the most popular sense, Buddhism is known nowadays in three categories of progressively faster paths of attainment: Hinayana, Mahayana and Tantrayana (or Vajrayana). YANAS OF CAUSE The Mahayana is divided, according to Tibetan tradition, into the Yana of Cause (Hetuyana, Slct.) and Yana of Result (Phalayana, Slct.). The former is associated with the vehicle of perfection (Paramitayana) because the perfections act as stimuli or causes leading to spiritual fulfillment. The latter, the result vehicle, is the body of Tantrik teachings (Mantrayana). Both of these are aspects of the Mahayana, hence their foundation is the cultivation of an Enlightened Mind (Bodhicitta). YOGA (Skt.) Spiritual exercises or practices. YOGA SHASTRAS (Skt.) Literary writings on mysticism....