e-book Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra With Commentary

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Uttaratantra: History of the Text

These 4 locations in All: Open to the public Book English Deakin University. University of Sydney Library. Open to the public. These 2 locations in New South Wales: These 2 locations in Victoria: Open to the public ; held Book English Show 0 more libraries None of your libraries hold this item. Found at these bookshops Searching - please wait 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: 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. 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.

Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary

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: 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. Perhaps the teachings on Buddha-nature, they thought, were not appropriate. Perhaps because it had an indication of the clear light, the subtlest mind in tantra, that it was hidden.

Uttaratantra: History of the Text — Study Buddhism

I have absolutely no idea. Why were the Prajnaparamita Sutras hidden? And then it was only recovered at the time of Maitripa, and one would correlate it with the history of that time. Or probably Western academics would say that it was just written probably by Maitripa at the time that it was actually written. One could speculate on the basis of history, of what was going on at the time, but nothing pops out in my mind that was particularly noteworthy at the time of Maitripa.

Arya Maitreya - Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra [Treatise on the Highest Continuum]

Buddhism was not forbidden. That was at the beginning of the eleventh century when this text would have appeared, and so one could think that in a time of invasions and massacres that people would need encouragement with teachings on Buddha-nature, and so the time was ripe for that. One could speculate like that. The great Tibetan translator Ngog Lotsawa Loden Sherab rNgog Lo-tsa-ba Blo-ldan shes-rab went to Kashmir and he studied with this pandit Sajjana, and he translated the text and he brought it back to Tibet.

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Now prior to that, Atisha had actually done a translation of this, together with Nagtso Lotsawa Nag-tsho Lo-tsa-ba , and two other very famous translators: Patsab Lotsawa Pa-tshab Lo-tsa-ba Lotsawa means translator , and actually Marpa also translated the text. The commentaries from the Gelug tradition and the Sakya tradition follow this. Now there was another line of transmission that went through a young boy who went with Ngog Lotsawa to Kashmir and also was there studying with Sajjana. He wrote a commentary on the text together with another great master Tsan Drime Sherab gTsan Dri-med shes-rab.

This tradition puts the emphasis on the Buddha-nature being the clear light consciousness, rather than clear light object or a voidness, and so this is the other-voidness gzhan-stong explanation. 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: 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 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: 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: It is a deep and authoritative explanation of what exactly enlightenment is, how it is achieved, and how it manifests once it is attained.

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.


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  • Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary by Arya Maitreya.

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.

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Having come to the teaching, it's now only a question of how much we want it. 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,