A Direct Path to the Buddha Within: Go Lotsawa's Mahamudra Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga [NOOK Book]

Overview

Maitreya's Ratnagotravibhaga, also known as the Uttaratantra, is the main Indian treatise on buddha nature, a concept that is heavily debated in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. In A Direct Path to the Buddha Within, Klaus-Dieter Mathes looks at a pivotal Tibetan commentary on this text by Go Lotsawa Zhonu Pal, best known as the author of the Blue Annals. Go Lotsawa, whose teachers spanned the spectrum of Tibetan schools, developed a highly nuanced understanding of buddha nature, tying it in with mainstream Mahayana ...
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A Direct Path to the Buddha Within: Go Lotsawa's Mahamudra Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga

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Overview

Maitreya's Ratnagotravibhaga, also known as the Uttaratantra, is the main Indian treatise on buddha nature, a concept that is heavily debated in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. In A Direct Path to the Buddha Within, Klaus-Dieter Mathes looks at a pivotal Tibetan commentary on this text by Go Lotsawa Zhonu Pal, best known as the author of the Blue Annals. Go Lotsawa, whose teachers spanned the spectrum of Tibetan schools, developed a highly nuanced understanding of buddha nature, tying it in with mainstream Mahayana thought while avoiding contested aspects of the so-called empty-of-other (zhentong) approach. In addition to translating key portions of Go Lotsawa's commentary, Mathes provides an in-depth historical context, evaluating Go's position against those of other Kagyu, Nyingma, and Jonang masters and examining how Go Lotsawa's view affects his understanding of the buddha qualities, the concept of emptiness, and the practice of mahamudra.
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Editorial Reviews

Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp
"A fundamental issue for religion in general is how to understand the presence of the sacred in the profane. In Buddhist terms this becomes a question of how to understand the buddha nature that inheres in all sentient beings. Dr. Mathes' study of this issue as dealt with in a late-fifteenth-century Tibetan work is a truly outstanding contribution to this important branch of Buddhist philosophy. He lucidly historicizes a good number of fundamental treatises—their authors, Indian and Tibetan, and their ideas. Mathes' diction is also first rate, rendering his exemplary work easily accessible."
Matthew T. Kapstein
"One of the notable achievements of Tibetan Buddhist thinkers was their remarkable synthesis of speculations from the Mahayana stras concerning buddha nature—the inherent potential of beings for awakening—with the esoteric teachings of the mahamudra, the 'great seal' of realization, inherited from the tantric adepts of India. And no single work embodies this synthesis more fully than does Go Lotsawa's unparalleled commentary on the Ratnagotravibhaga, a text so highly esteemed that its authorship was attributed to the bodhisattva Maitreya.Klaus-Dieter Mathes has rendered an extraordinary service to students of Tibetan intellectual and contemplative traditions by editing this singular work in full, and now here providing us with a clear and meticulous English translation of its key sections. His thorough introduction and annotations resolve the many difficult points found herein and place Go Lotsawa's contribution in its proper context in the history of the tradition. In A Direct Path to the Buddha Within, Mathes sets a lasting standard for the presentation of Tibetan Buddhist doctrinal writings."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861719150
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 2/8/2013
  • Series: Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 624
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Klaus-Dieter Mathes earned his doctorate at Marburg University, and is a Professor of Tibetology and Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. He previously worked as a research fellow and lecturer at the Asia Africa Institute at the University of Hamburg, Germany. His research in progress deals with the Indian origins of Tibetan Mahamudra traditions. He is also a regular contributor to the Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies.
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Table of Contents

Abbreviations     viii
Preface     ix
Introduction     1
General Remarks     1
Delimitation of the Subject and Methods Employed     3
The Ratnagotravibhaga and Its Vyakhya     7
The Reaction of Mainstream Mahayana to the Theory of Buddha Nature     17
The Tibetan Historical Context
The Development of Various Traditions of Interpreting Buddha Nature     25
Ngog Loden Sherab's Analytical Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga     25
Ratnagotravibhaga Commentaries in the Meditation Tradition     32
The Mahamudra Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga     34
The Zhentong Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga     45
Various Positions Related to Zhonu Pal's Interpretation     49
The Position of the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje     51
The Position of Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen     75
The Position of Sabzang Mati Panchen     84
The Position of Lodro Tsungme     91
The Position of Longchen Rabjampa     98
The Position of Barawa Gyaltsen Palzang     113
A Comparison of the Positions     125
A Short Account of the Most Important Events in Zhonu Pal's Life     131
Translation
Zhonu Pal's RatnagotravibhagavyakhyaCommentary     151
Translator's Introduction     151
Technical Notes     154
The Commentary on the Treatise "Mahayana-Uttaratantra": The Mirror Showing Reality Very Clearly (Introduction and Initial Commentaries)     157
Introduction     157
The Commentary for Those with Sharp Faculties     169
The Commentary for Those with Average Faculties     180
The Explanation of RGV I.1     181
The Explanation of RGV I.2     204
The Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha     205
Buddha Nature and Its Purification through the Three Dharmackras     214
Enlightenment, Buddha Qualities, and Activity     309
A Short Explanation of RGV I.3     312
Zhonu Pal's Views on Buddha Qualities, Emptiness, and Mahamudra
Buddha Qualities     317
General Remarks     317
Different Views on Buddha Qualities     318
The Blossoming of Subtle Qualities     320
The Examples Used to Illustrate the Growth of the Qualities     342
The Ontological Status of the Buddha Qualities     344
Two Types of Emptiness     351
Zhonu Pal's Mahamudra Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga     367
The Ratnagotravibhaga as a Basis for Mahamudra Instructions      367
The Three Dharmacakras: Mahamudra Hermeneutics     368
The Mahamudra Approach of Yogic Direct Valid Cognitions     373
Sutra-Based Mahamudra Meditation     377
The First Mahamudra Yoga of One-Pointedness     381
The Second Mahamudra Yoga of Freedom from Mental Fabrications     382
The Third Mahamudra Yoga of One Taste     384
The Fourth Mahamudra Yoga of Nonmeditation     385
The Four Mahamudra Yogas and the Ratnagotravibhaga     386
Zhonu Pal's Justification of a Sudden Mahamudra Path     397
Pairs of Paradoxes     406
Conclusion     411
Notes     423
Table of Tibetan Transliteration     555
Bibliography     565
Subject Index     589
Indian Text Index     607
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