A Clear Differentiation of the Three Codes: Essential by Sa-Skya Pandi-Ta Kun-Dga-Rgyal-Mtshan, Sakya Pandita Kunga

By Sa-Skya Pandi-Ta Kun-Dga-Rgyal-Mtshan, Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltshen, Victoria R. M. Scott, Jared Douglas Rhoton

The 1st English translation of the influential and debatable Tibetan Buddhist vintage

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Extra resources for A Clear Differentiation of the Three Codes: Essential Distinctions Among the Individual Liberation, Great Vehicle, and Tantric Systems : The Sdom Gsum ... Six Letters

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At the age of fifty-four, Gorampa became abbot of Ngor Monastery and held that office for four years. His writings, which have come to be accepted as definitive by Sakyapa scholars of later generations, fill thirteen volumes (nine on Mahayanist philosophy and doctrine, four on tantra). He wrote both his major writings on the Three Codeshis General Discourse (DSPD, composed in 1461) and Commentary (DSNSh, composed in 1463)-at Dreylil Dzongkar Kyetshal while in his thirties. For further details of Sapan's career, consult David Jackson's survey of biographical sources (1987, pp.

75 The interrelationship of the three codes had already been touched upon by Sapan's uncle Trakpa Gyaltshen, who, in his text on the root vows of the Vajrayana system (rTsa ba'i ltung ba bcu bzhi pa'i 'grelpa gsal byed 'khrul spong),76 is traditionally said to have posited an essential identity of the three sets of vows through transformation of the two lower codes to the level of tantric observance (gnas gyur ngo bo gcig), though he does not actually use this phraseP In several of his writings, Sa pan cites this work as authoritative.

In this period he evidently composed treatises in the fields of gram~ar (sGra nye bar bsdus pa, Yi ge'i sbyor pa, sMra sgo'i sa bead), lexicon or synonymy (Tshig gi gter), drama (Rab dga'i Jugpa), and prosody or metrics (sDeb sbyor me tog gi chun po), along with an accompanying illustrative poem (bDe bar gshegs pa'i thugs rje bskul pa). Prior to Sapan's efforts, no work on Sanskrit metrics or synonymies is known to have been available in Tibet. While Sapan was still in his thirties (possibly about 1219), his studies in Indian Buddhist epistemology came to fruition in two intimately connected works, the versified Treasure ofReasoning (Tshad ma rigs gter) and its prose autocommentary (Rigs gter rang 'grel).

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