Luminous Heart

From Buddha-Nature

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LibraryBooksLuminous Heart


This superb collection of writings on buddha nature by the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284–1339) focuses on the transition from ordinary deluded consciousness to enlightened wisdom, the characteristics of buddhahood, and a buddha’s enlightened activity. Most of these materials have never been translated comprehensively. The Third Karmapa’s unique and well-balanced view synthesizes Yogācāra, Madhyamaka, and the classical teachings on buddha nature. Rangjung Dorje not only shows that these teachings do not contradict each other but also that they supplement each other and share the same essential points in terms of the ultimate nature of mind and all phenomena. His fusion is remarkable because it clearly builds on Indian predecessors and precedes the later often highly charged debates in Tibet about the views of Rangtong ("self-empty") and Shentong ("other-empty"). Although Rangjung Dorje is widely regarded as one of the major proponents of the Tibetan Shentong tradition (some even consider him its founder), this book shows how his views differ from the Shentong tradition as understood by Dölpopa, Tāranātha, and the First Jamgön Kongtrul. The Third Karmapa’s view is more accurately described as one in which the two categories of rangtong and shentong are not regarded as mutually exclusive but are combined in a creative synthesis. For those practicing the sūtrayāna and the vajrayāna in the Kagyü tradition, what these texts describe can be transformed into living experience. (Source: Shambhala Publications)

Citation Brunnhölzl, Karl, trans. Luminous Heart: The Third Karmapa on Consciousness, Wisdom, and Buddha Nature. Nitartha Institute Series. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications, 2009.