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Tibetan Buddhist canon
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bka' 'gyur. (kangyur). In Tibetan, "translation of the word [of the Buddha]," one of the two traditional divisions of the Tibetan Buddhist canon, along with the BSTAN 'GYUR, the translation of the treatises (sASTRA). The bka' 'gyur comprises those SuTRAs and TANTRAs that were accepted by the tradition as spoken or directly inspired by the Buddha. The collection was redacted, primarily by the fourteenth-century polymath BU STON RIN CHEN GRUB, based upon earlier catalogues, lists, and collections of texts, particularly a major collection at SNAR THANG monastery. The four major editions of the bka' 'gyur presently in circulation (called the Co ne, SNAR THANG, SDE DGE, and Beijing editions after the places they were printed) go back to two earlier branches of the textual tradition, called Them spangs ma and 'Tshal pa in modern scholarship. The first xylographic print of the bka' 'gyur was produced in China in 1410; the Sde dge bka' 'gyur, edited by Si tu Gstug lag chos kyi 'byung gnas (1700-1774) was printed in the Tibetan kingdom of Sde dge (in present-day Sichuan province) in 1733. While the collection is traditionally said to include 108 volumes (an auspicious number), most versions contain somewhat fewer. The Snar thang edition holds ninety-two volumes, divided as follows: thirteen volumes of VINAYA, twenty-one volumes of PRAJNAPARAMITA, six volumes of the AVATAMSAKASuTRA, six volumes of the RATNAKutASuTRA, thirty volumes of other sutras, and twenty-two volumes of tantras. The BON tradition formulated its own bka' 'gyur, based on the Buddhist model, in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century.
bstan 'gyur. (tengyur). In Tibetan, "the translated treatises," or sASTRA collection; referring to the second of the two major divisions of the Tibetan Buddhist canon, along with the BKA' 'GYUR, or "translated word [of the Buddha]." The bstan 'gyur collection contains approximately 225 volumes of commentarial literature and independent works, comprising more than 3,500 texts, most of which were written by Indian Buddhist exegetes. It exists in numerous editions, but was less frequently printed than its companion collection, the bka' 'gyur. Subjects covered include hymns of praise (stotra), SuTRA commentaries, works on PRAJNAPARAMITA, MADHYAMAKA and YOGACARA philosophies, ABHIDHARMA, and VINAYA, TANTRA commentaries, and technical treatises on logic, grammar, poetics, medicine, and alchemy.
Bu ston chos 'byung. (Buton Chojung). A history of Buddhism in India and Tibet composed in 1322 by the Tibetan polymath BU STON RIN CHEN GRUB. The full name of the work is Bde bar gshegs pa'i bstan pa'i gsal byed chos kyi 'byung gnas gsung rab rin po che'i mdzod; it is available in English in the 1931-1932 translation of major parts by EUGÈNE OBERMILLER, done in collaboration with Mongolian monks educated in Tibetan monasteries. The text is in two parts: a history and an important general catalogue of Tibetan Buddhist canonical literature, one of the first of its kind. The first chapter of the Chos 'byung draws on the VYAKHYAYUKTI and is a general discussion of the exposition and study of Buddhist doctrine. The second chapter is a traditional history dealing with the spread of the doctrine in the human world, the three turnings of the wheel of DHARMA (DHARMACAKRAPRAVARTANA), the councils (SAMGĪTI), the collection of the Buddhist doctrine into authoritative scriptures, the date of the Buddha, the followers who came after him, and the decline of the doctrine in India. The history of Buddhism in Tibet is divided into a section on the earlier (SNGA DAR) and later spread (PHYI DAR) of the doctrine. The third section is the general catalogue of Buddhist canonical literature in Tibetan translation. It is divided into SuTRAs and TANTRAs, then again into the words of the Buddha (bka') and authoritative treatises (bstan bcos). The words of the Buddha are subdivided based on the three turnings of the wheel of the dharma with a separate section on MAHAYANA sutras; treatises are divided into treatises explaining specific works of the Buddha (again subdivided based on the three turnings of the wheel of the dharma), general expositions, and miscellaneous treatises. Bu ston similarly divides the tantras into words of the Buddha and authoritative treatises and deals with both under the division into four "sets" (sde) of KRIYA, CARYA, and YOGA, and MAHAYOGA tantras. This latter division is again subdivided into method (UPAYA), wisdom (PRAJNA), and both (ubhaya) tantras. In MKHAS GRUB DGE LEGS DPAL BZANG's explanation (Rgyud sde spyi'i rnam bzhag), a work based on Bu ston's model, but incorporating the influential scheme of TSONG KHA PA, the divisions of mahAyoga are subsumed under the general category of ANUTTARAYOGATANTRA (highest yoga tantra). The tantric commentaries are organized following the same schema.
Bu ston rin chen grub. (Buton Rinchen Drup) (1290-1364). A Tibetan scholar, translator, and encyclopedist, renowned for systematizing the Tibetan Buddhist canon into its present form. According to Tibetan hagiographies, Bu ston was born into a lineage of tantric practitioners and considered a reincarnation of the Kashmiri master sAKYAsRĪBHADRA. Having mastered tantric ritual at an early age, he then received ordination at the age of eighteen. He trained under numerous teachers, studying all branches of Buddhist learning and eventually earned a reputation especially for his knowledge of the KALACAKRATANTRA. At age thirty, Bu ston accepted the abbacy of ZHWA LU monastery in central Tibet, where he authored and taught his most influential works; his entire corpus fills twenty-eight volumes in one edition. Bu ston's tenure at Zhwa lu was so influential that it provided the name for a new lineage, the so-called Zhwa lu pa (those of Zhwa lu) or the Bu lugs tshul (the tradition of Bu ston). In about 1332 Bu ston completed his famous history of Buddhism (BU STON CHOS 'BYUNG) and it was during this time that, based on previous canonical lists, he began to reformulate a classification system for organizing the Tibetan canon. Bu ston was not the only editor (among them were Dbu pa blo gsal and Bcom ldan rig pa'i ral gri), but he was the most important figure in the final redaction of the BKA' 'GYUR and BSTAN 'GYUR; he compared manuscripts from the two major manuscript collections at SNAR THANG and 'Tshal, added other works not found there, eliminated indigenous Tibetan works, decided on criteria for inclusion in the canon, standardized terminology, and decided on categories under which to include the many volumes. It is customary in modern works to include Bu ston in the SA SKYA sect and indeed his explanations of the ABHISAMAYALAMKARA and the ABHIDHARMASAMUCCAYA, among others, are considered authoritative by that sect. But his influence is not limited to that sect; for example, TSONG KHA PA's commentary on the perfection of wisdom (LEGS BSHAD GSER 'PHRENG), and his explanation of the different types of tantra (SNGAGS RIM CHEN MO) (both authoritative texts in the DGE LUGS sect) borrow heavily from Bu ston's work. Bu ston is one of several key figures in the history of Tibetan Buddhism to be referred to as kun mkhyen, or "all knowing."
Chos kyi 'byung gnas. (Chokyi Jungne) (1700-1774). Tibetan Buddhist scholar recognized as the eighth TAI SI TU incarnation, remembered for his wide learning and his editorial work on the Tibetan Buddhist canon. He traveled extensively throughout his life, maintaining strong relationships with the ruling elite of eastern Tibet and the Newar Buddhists of the Kathmandu Valley. Born in the eastern Tibetan region of SDE DGE, Chos kyi 'byung gnas was recognized as a reincarnate lama (SPRUL SKU) by the eighth ZHWA DMAR, from whom he received his first vows. He would go on to study with KAḤ THOG Rigs 'dzin Tshe dbang nor bu (1698-1755), from whom he learned about GZHAN STONG ("other emptiness"). At the age of twenty-one, he accompanied several important Bka' brgyud hierarchs, the Zhwa dmar and the twelfth KARMA PA, to Kathmandu, a journey that was to have a profound impact on the young Si tu's life. He returned to eastern Tibet in 1724, where he was received favorably by the king of Sde dge, Bstan pa tshe ring (Tenpa Tsering, 1678-1738). Under the latter's patronage, Chos kyi 'byung gnas founded DPAL SPUNGS monastery in 1727, which became the new seat for the Si tu lineage (they are sometimes called the Dpal spungs si tu). Between the years 1731 and 1733, he undertook the monumental task of editing and correcting a new redaction of the BKA' 'GYUR section of the Tibetan Buddhist canon, to be published at the printing house of Sde dge. Although in his day Tibetan knowledge of Indian linguistic traditions had waned, Chos kyi 'byung gnas devoted much of his later life to the study of Sanskrit grammar and literature, which he had first studied with Newar panditas during his time in Kathmandu. He sought out new Sanskrit manuscripts in order to establish more precise translations of Sanskrit works already translated in the Tibetan canon; he is esteemed in Tibet for his knowledge of Sanskrit grammar. In addition to his prolific scholarly work, Chos kyi 'byung gnas was an accomplished painter as well as a gifted physician, much sought after by the aristocracy of eastern Tibet. In 1748, he visited Nepal once again, where he translated the SvayambhupurAna, the legends concerning the SVAYAMBHu STuPA, into Tibetan. He was received amicably by the rulers JayaprakAsamalla (1736-1768) of Kathmandu, Ranajitamalla (1722-1769) of what is now Bhaktapur, and PṛthvīnArAyana sAha, who would unify the Kathmandu Valley under Gorkhali rule several decades later. Chos kyi 'byung gnas' collected writings cover a vast range of subjects including lengthy and detailed diaries and an important history of the KARMA BKA' BRGYUD sect coauthored by his disciple Be lo Tshe dbang kun khyab (Belo Tsewang Kunkyap, b. 1718). He is retrospectively identified as an originator of what would become known as Khams RIS MED movement, which gained momentum in early nineteenth century Sde dge.
dombī Heruka. A tantric adept counted among the eighty-four MAHĀSIDDHAs, often depicted riding a tiger with his consort. As recorded in his hagiographies, he was originally king of the Indian region of MAGADHA and received teachings on the HEVAJRATANTRA from the SIDDHA VIRuPA. These he practiced for twelve years in secret while continuing to skillfully administer his kingdom. He then secretly took a low-caste musician, a dombī, as his consort and continued his practice of TANTRA with her. (The word heruka is rendered khrag thung, "blood drinker," in Tibetan.) When his subjects discovered their king's transgression of customary social and caste restrictions, dombī Heruka abdicated the throne and disappeared with his consort into the jungle, where they continued to practice tantric yoga for twelve years. Later, the kingdom was wrought with famine and the subjects searched for their former king to request his assistance. dombī Heruka then emerged from the jungle astride a tigress, brandishing a snake in one hand. Displaying miraculous signs of his mastery, he denied the subjects' request and departed for the celestial realms. dombī Heruka is an important member of the lineage of the Hevajratantra and, according to some accounts, was a disciple of NĀROPA as well as a teacher of ATIsA DĪPAMKARAsRĪJNĀNA. Seventeen texts attributed to him are preserved in the BSTAN 'GYUR section of the Tibetan Buddhist canon. He is also known as dombīpa.
Gyi jo lo tsā ba Zla ba'i 'od zer. (Gyijo lotsāwa Dawe Öser) (c. eleventh century). A Tibetan translator renowned as the first scholar to render the KĀLACAKRATANTRA into Tibetan. The year in which this project was completed, 1027, marks the beginning of the modern Tibetan calendar. Gyi jo lo tsā ba composed translations of many other tantric works still preserved in both the BKA' 'GYUR and BSTAN 'GYUR sections of the Tibetan Buddhist canon.
Kanjur (Tibetan) bka’ ’gyur (kang-gyur, kan-jur) [from bka’ sacred word + ’gyur translation] The portion of the Tibetan Buddhist canon containing the sutras, the texts ascribed to the Buddha himself and called the “Buddha Word” (Sanskrit buddha-vachana). The second part of the Tibetan Buddhist cannon, the Tanjur, contains sastras or commentaries and other scholastic works. The Kanjur consists almost entirely of works translated from Sanskrit or other Indian languages. Although the texts contained in the Kanjur are overwhelmingly of Indian origin, the compilation of the Kanjur was done in Tibet, and in structure it differs greatly from the old Indian Tripitakas. Four more or less complete recensions of the Buddhist canon survive: the Pali, the Chinese, the Tibetan, and the Mongolian, this last, however, being a translation of the Tibetan. The first three recensions differ from each other in content and arrangement. The overall arrangement of the Kanjur is in three sections, giving the Sanskrit names: Vinaya (monastic discipline), Sutra (discourses of the Buddha), and Tantra (esoteric and ritual texts). The Sutra section is divided into several subsections. Each section or subsection contains numerous individual texts.
Mahāmudropadesa. (T. Phyag rgya chen po'i man ngag). In Sanskrit, "Instructions on the Great Seal"; a text known primarily through its Tibetan translations. It records seminal instructions on the view and practice of MAHĀMUDRĀ, taught by TILOPA to his disciple NĀROPA on the banks of the Ganges River. Due to this setting, the works is commonly known in Tibet as the Phyag chen gang gā ma ("Ganges Mahāmudrā") or simply the Gang gā ma. Several versions are preserved in the Tibetan Buddhist canon and the writings of various Tibetan Buddhist masters.
Maitrīpa/Maitrīpāda. (c. 1007-1085). A tantric adept and scholar from north India, especially associated with the transmission of instructions and songs of realization on the doctrine of MAHĀMUDRĀ. He is known by several names: the Tibetan form Maitrīpa or its Sanskrit original Maitrīpāda; as a Buddhist monk, Matrīgupta; as a tantric adept, Advayavajra and Avadhutipāda. Born in Bengal, Maitrīpa began his training as a Brahmanical scholar but later converted to Buddhism after debating with the scholar NĀROPA. He then received ordination and studied at the Buddhist universities of NĀLANDĀ and VIKRAMAsĪLA under such eminent masters as RATNĀKARAsĀNTI. Maitrīpa is said to have become a great academician, but he was also practicing TANTRA in secret. According to some traditions, Maitrīpa was expelled when liquor and a female consort were found in his room, perhaps by ATIsA DĪPAMKARAsRĪJNĀNA, who was resident abbot of Vikramasīla at the time. He then sought out the adept savaripa in south India and, after a series of trials, was accepted as his disciple, receiving various tantric instructions. Maitrīpa later returned to the north, marrying the king of Malabar's daughter and composing numerous treatises on tantric theory and practice, especially that of amanasikāra ("no mental activity"), which are preserved in the BSTAN 'GYUR portion of the Tibetan Buddhist canon. He was an important teacher of MAR PA.
Mar pa Chos kyi blo gros. (Marpa Chokyi Lodro) (1012-1097). A renowned Tibetan translator and lay Buddhist master who played an important role in the later transmission (PHYI DAR) of Buddhism from India to Tibet. He is regarded as the Tibetan founder of the BKA' BRGYUD sect of Tibetan Buddhism, which traces its lineage to India and the MAHĀSIDDHAs TILOPA and NĀROPA. In his traditional biographies, Mar pa is generally regarded as a reincarnation of the Indian mahāsiddha DOMBĪ HERUKA. Mar pa was born to wealthy landowners in the southern Tibetan region of LHO BRAG and quickly proved to be a gifted child. As an adult, Mar pa was characterized as having a volatile temper, although ultimately compassionate. His parents sent their son to study Sanskrit and Indian vernacular languages with the translator 'BROG MI SHĀKYA YE SHES in western Tibet. Because resources for studying Buddhism in Tibet were limited as the so-called dark period between the earlier dissemination (SNGA DAR) and later dissemination (phyi dar) came to an end, Mar pa decided to make the harrowing journey to India to seek instruction from Buddhist masters. He would make three journeys there over the course of his life. He first spent three years in Nepal, acclimating to the new environment and continuing his study of local languages. There he met two Nepalese teachers, Chitherpa and Paindapa, who offered many religious instructions but also encouraged Mar pa to seek out the master who would become his chief guru, the great SIDDHA NĀROPA. According to tradition, Mar pa studied under Nāropa at the forest retreat of Pullahari, receiving initiations and teachings of several important tantric lineages, especially those of the BKA' 'BABS BZHI (four transmissions) that Nāropa had received from his principal teacher TILOPA. Despite the fame of this encounter, contemporary Tibetan sources indicate that Mar pa himself never claimed to have studied directly with Nāropa, who had already passed away prior to Mar pa's trip to India. Mar pa's other great master was the Indian siddha MAITRĪPA, from whom he received instruction in MAHĀMUDRĀ and the tradition of DOHĀ, or spiritual song. Mar pa received other tantric transmissions from Indian masters such as JNānagarbha and Kukkurīpā. Upon his return to Tibet, Mar pa married several women, the most well known being BDAG ME MA, who figures prominently in the life story of MI LA RAS PA. He began his career as teacher and translator, while also occupying himself as landowner and farmer. He had intended to pass his dharma lineage to his son DARMA MDO SDE, for whom Mi la ras pa's famous tower was built, but the child was killed in an equestrian accident. Mar pa's accumulated instructions were later passed to four principal disciples: Ngog Chos sku rdo rje (Ngok Choku Dorje), Mes tshon po (Me Tsonpo), 'Tshur dbang nge (Tsur Wangnge), and the renowned YOGIN and poet Mi la ras pa. At least sixteen works translated from Sanskrit by Mar pa are preserved in the Tibetan Buddhist canon. He is also known as Mar pa LO TSĀ BA (Marpa the Translator) and Lho brag pa (Man from Lhodrak). Among the biographies of Mar pa, one of the most famous is that by GTSANG SMYON HERUKA.
Rngog Blo ldan shes rab. (Ngok Loden Sherap) (1059-1110). A Tibetan scholar and translator, nephew of RNGOG LEGS PA'I SHES RAB. After studying under his uncle and participating in the "Council of THO LING" in GU GE, he left for India at the age of eighteen with a group of companions, including RWA LO TSĀ BA. He spent seventeen years pursuing the study of Buddhist texts, including the SuTRAS, TANTRAS, and Buddhist sciences; his main teacher of PRAMĀnA was the Kashmiri logician Bhavyarāja. At the age of thirty-five, he returned to Tibet to become the second abbot of GSANG PHU NE'U THOG monastery near LHA SA. He translated numerous works still found in the BKA' 'GYUR and BSTAN 'GYUR sections of the Tibetan Buddhist canon. These include the PRAMĀnAVINIsCAYA of DHARMAKĪRTI, the five works of MAITREYA, and the major works of what would be dubbed the YOGĀCĀRA SVĀTANTRIKA school. He also composed a number of works himself, which do not seem to have survived. Along with RIN CHEN BZANG PO, he is often referred to as a "great translator" (lo chen); in later works sometimes simply as bdag nyid chen po (S. mahātma). Because of the influence of his translations and his own substantial writings, he is considered along with SA SKYA PAndITA to be a founding figure of Tibetan Buddhist scholasticism.
Rnying ma'i rgyud 'bum. (Nyingme Gyübum). A compendium of the tantras and tantric exegetical literature of the RNYING MA sect of Tibetan Buddhism; considered apocryphal by the redactors of the Tibetan Buddhist canon (BKA' 'GYUR), the collection thus represents an alternative or supplementary Rnying ma canon of tantric scriptures. Numerous editions are extant, including the SDE DGE edition (twenty-six volumes), the Gting kye (twenty-six volumes), the Skyi rong (thirty-seven volumes), the Tsham brag (forty-six volumes), and the Vairo rgyud 'bum (eight volumes). All but the last divide the tantras into the standard Rnying ma doxographical categories of MAHĀYOGA, ANUYOGA, and ATIYOGA, although within those categories differences emerge (the Vairo rgyud 'bum, for example, includes only atiyoga). Further editions include those recently discovered in Kathmandu and the so-called Waddell edition, a close relative to the Gting kye. All but the Sde dge are manuscripts. Catalogues of Buddhist texts were made as far back as the eighth century, but the roots of the Rnying ma'i rgyud 'bum go back to the second propagation of Buddhism in Tibet (roughly the eleventh to thirteenth centuries). In opposition to the new translation sects (GSAR MA) that developed around newly imported tantras, adherents of the earlier translations coalesced into the Rnying ma, or "ancients," sect. There is evidence that 'Gro mgon Nam mkha' 'phel, the son of one of the earliest proponents of the Rnying ma sect, NYANG RAL NYI MA 'OD ZER, arranged a collection of early tantras in eighty-two volumes, which is no longer extant. The Vairo rgyud 'bum also may date as far back as the twelfth century, although its origins are unclear. When BU STON RIN CHEN GRUB edited the Tibetan Buddhist canon in the fourteenth century, he excluded the tantras found in the Rnying ma'i rgyud 'bum on the basis that he could find no Indic originals with which to authenticate them. Bu ston's position has been shown by Tibetan and Western scholars to have been partisan and inconsistent, and several tantras he excluded, such as the VAJRAKĪLAYA tantras, are accepted by other sects. Some excluded tantras do in fact appear to be early combinations of Indic and Tibetan material, while others, especially later revelatory scriptures (GTER MA) are entirely of Tibetan composition. An early version of the Rnying ma'i rgyud 'bum that may have influenced later editions was that of RATNA GLING PA, no longer extant. The Tshams brag appears to have been commissioned by Tsham brag bla ma Ngag dbang 'brug pa (1682-1748) and was based on a still earlier Bhutanese version. GTER BDAG GLING PA's edition later became the basis for that of 'JIGS MED GLING PA, in twenty-five volumes, which was produced in 1772, and is known as the Padma 'od gling edition. This in turn was the basis for the Sde dge block-print edition, carved between 1794 and 1798 and overseen by Dge rtse pan chen 'Gyur med mchog grub (1761-1829) of KAḤ THOG monastery.
Tanjur (Tibetan) Bstan-hgyur, bstan ’gyur (ten-gyur, ten-jur) Translation of the sastras; the second part of the Tibetan Buddhist canon, the first part being the Kanjur (both words came into Western languages via Mongolian). The Tanjur is divided into three parts: a one-volume collection of hymns or praises to the Buddha, and two voluminous collections of sastras: tantra commentaries and sutra commentaries. Although called commentaries, these also include independent treatises, and the sutra-commentaries section also includes miscellaneous works such as letters, dictionaries, grammars, medical works, etc. The Tanjur is even larger than the Kanjur, containing up to 225 volumes. Four editions are known in the West: Narthang, Peking, Derge, and Cone (cho-ne) — all 18th century blockprints, although the Tanjur is much older as a manuscript collection. The Tanjur contains works assumed to be Tibetan translations of the works of Indian Buddhist masters, other than the Buddha himself. Compositions by Tibetan masters, however authoritative, are not included in the Tanjur.
Tsong kha pa Blo bzang grags pa. (Tsong kha pa Losang Drakpa) (1357-1419). A Tibetan scholar and teacher venerated as the founder of the DGE LUGS sect of Tibetan Buddhism; typically known simply as Tsong kha pa. Born in the Tsong kha region of A mdo in northeastern Tibet, he received his initial lay vows under the fourth KARMA PA and began his religious education in the BKA' GDAMS tradition. In 1372, he traveled to central Tibet for further study. He became a disciple of the SA SKYA scholar Red mda' ba Gzhon nu blo gros (Rendawa Shonu Lodro, 1349-1412) but went on to study under many of the leading scholars of the day, including masters of various schools and sectarian affiliations. Another influential teacher was the lama Dbu ma pa (Umapa), from whom he received instructions on the KĀLACAKRATANTRA. He distinguished himself as a brilliant scholar and exegete of both SuTRA and TANTRA. According to his traditional biographies, Tsong kha pa experienced visions of Indian masters such as NĀGĀRJUNA and BUDDHAPĀLITA, who helped to clarify difficult points of doctrine. He is also said to have maintained a special relationship with MANJUsRĪ, the bodhisattva of wisdom, who appeared in visions throughout Tsong kha pa's life offering instruction and advice; Tsong kha pa is sometimes called 'Jam mgon, or "protected by MaNjusrī." Tsong kha pa's biographies speak of four major deeds undertaken during his lifetime. The first, in 1399, was his restoration of an image of the future buddha, MAITREYA. The second was a council to reform the code of VINAYA, convened in 1403 and attended by monks representing all sects of Tibetan Buddhism. The third was the Great Prayer Festival (SMON LAM CHEN MO) inaugurated in 1409 at the JO KHANG in LHA SA, in which he offered the ornaments of a SAMBHOGAKĀYA to the famous statue of JO BO SHĀKYAMUNI, celebrating the Buddha's performance of the sRĀVASTĪ MIRACLES. The festival became an important annual event, drawing thousands of participants from all quarters of the Tibetan Buddhist world. The fourth was the founding in 1409 of DGA' LDAN monastery, which would become one of principal religious institutions in the Lha sa region and seat of the leader of the Dge lugs sect. Tsong kha pa was an original and penetrating philosopher, who saw reason and intellectual development as key aspects of the path to enlightenment. Born during a period when the Tibetan Buddhist canon had been newly formulated, he sought a comprehensive explanation of the Buddhist path, with the PRĀSAnGIKA-MADHYAMAKA of BUDDHAPĀLITA and CANDRAKĪRTI as the highest philosophical view. His works are marked with a concern with systematic consistency, whether it be between sutra and tantra or PRAMĀnA and MADHYAMAKA. A prolific author, Tsong kha pa's works fill eighteen volumes. Among his best known writings are the LAM RIM CHEN MO ("Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment"), composed in 1402 at RWA SGRENG monastery, the SNGAGS RIM CHEN MO ("Great Treatise on the Stages of Mantra"), and the Drang nges LEGS BSHAD SNYING PO ("Essence of Eloquence on the Definitive and Interpretable"). Tsong kha pa called his system of religious practice the Bka' gdams gsar ma, or "New Bka' gdams," after the sect founded by the Bengali master ATIsA DĪPAMKARAsRĪJNĀNA. His followers were later known as Dga' ldan pa (Gandenpa), "those of Dga' ldan," after the monastic seat established by Tsong kha pa. This was sometimes abbreviated as Dga' lugs pa, "those of the system of Dga' ldan," eventually evolving into the current name Dge lugs pa, "those of the system of virtue." Tsong kha pa's fame was greatly elevated through the political power of the Dge lugs sect after the establishment of the institution of the DALAI LAMA. His tomb at Dga' ldan became an important site of pilgrimage prior to its destruction during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Tsong kha pa's fame in Tibet was sufficiently great that he is commonly known simply as Rje rin po che, the "precious leader."
Zhwa lu. (Shalu). A modest but important monastery near the Tibetan city of Gzhis ka tse (Shigatse), famous as the seat of fourteenth-century polymath BU STON RIN CHEN GRUB, and renowned for its unusual architectural features. The earliest foundations were laid circa 997 by Lo ston Rdo rje dbang phyug (Loton Dorje Wangchuk, b. tenth century), an active teacher during the outset of the later dissemination (PHYI DAR) of Buddhism in Tibet. His disciple, Lce btsun Shes rab 'byung gnas (Chetsün Sherap Jungne, d.u.), established a larger structure in 1027, having promised his master to construct a temple "as large as a small hat," from which its name is derived. The project was completed just prior to a visit of the illustrious Bengali scholar ATIsA DĪPAMKARAsRĪJNĀNA. During the thirteenth century, Zhwa lu formed close ties with the ruling SA SKYA hierarchs and their Mongol patrons. In 1306, the Yuan emperor Temür (1265-1307) appointed Grags pa rgyal mtshan (Drakpa Gyaltsen, d.u.) as prelate, under whom the institution flourished. Bu ston's rise to the abbacy in 1320 is traditionally viewed as the beginning of a new lineage, the so-called Zhwa lu pa ("Those of Zhwa lu") or Bu lugs tshul ("Tradition of Bu [ston]"). It was at Zhwa lu that Bu ston famously redacted the several hundred volumes that would comprise his influential edition of the Tibetan Buddhist canon. The monastery is equally famous for its unique blend of Tibetan and Chinese architecture (most notably, its pagoda-style roof of glazed turquoise tiles) and murals executed under the direction of Newar artist-disciples of the master Newari artisan Arniko.
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Wikipedia - Tibetan Buddhist canon -- A loosely defined list of sacred texts recognized by various schools of Tibetan Buddhism
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