Casey Kemp at the 2019 Tathāgatagarbha Symposium

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Casey Kemp at the 2019 Tathāgatagarbha Symposium
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Casey Kemp presents an overview and analysis of Jigten Gonpo’s explanation of luminosity as outlined in his text 'Od gsal rnam lnga gcig tu bsre ba'i man ngag, a pith instruction on merging (bsre ba).

Abstract from the Author

The Luminous Basis for Buddhahood: ’Jig rten mgon po’s Pith Instructions for Merging the Nature of Mind with the Dharmakāya
This paper will present an overview and analysis of 'Jig rten mgon po’s (1143–1217) explanation of luminosity (prabhāsvaratā; 'od gsal ba) from his Mahāmudrā perspective in terms of basis, path, and fruit. This is most clearly outlined in his 'Od gsal rnam lnga gcig tu bsre ba'i man ngag, a pith instruction on merging (bsre ba), a genre of Bka' brgyud teachings generally associated with the nā ro chos drug tradition. While chos drug instructions on luminosity tend to focus on deep sleep tantric practices, this text outlines luminosity in terms of mind’s true nature, which is to be pointed out, recognized, and ultimately merged with the dharmakāya. 'Jig rten mgon po offers a five-fold typology of luminosity: the luminosity of the basis, the path, dream, the bar do, and the ultimate. In this text, he explicitly explains that the luminosity of the basis is the nature of mind, described in terms of buddha-nature, and is none other than the dharmakāya itself. 'Jig rten mgon po goes on to explain the process of “merging” this basis with the path luminosity by way of pointing out instructions, which subsequently merges with the dream and bar do states naturally through direct recognition. Finally, this (collective) recognition of the basis is to be merged with the ultimate luminosity, the dharmakāya. 'Jig rten mgon po thus offers a framework for how the different types of tantric and non-tantric luminosity as understood in the early Bka' brgyud Mahāmudrā tradition can be merged by taking the nature of mind as both the basis for Buddhahood and ultimately inseparable from the fruit of the dharmakāya.

Sources Mentioned

Secondary Publications Mentioned

People Mentioned

Jikten Gönpo
1143 ~ 1217
Nāropa
1012/1016 ~ 1100
Fabrizio Torricelli
Milarepa
1052 ~ 1135
Marpa Chökyi Lodrö
1012 ~ 1097
Gampopa
1079 ~ 1153
First Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa
1110 ~ 1193
Eli Franco
1953

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Featuring Casey Kemp
Creator University of Vienna, Tsadra Foundation
Event Tathāgatagarbha Across Asia (18 July 2019, University of Vienna, Austria)
Related Website Buddha-Nature Project
Video Web Location Tathāgatagarbha Across Asia
Creation Date 18 July 2019
Citation Kemp, Casey. "The Luminous Basis for Buddhahood: ’Jig rten mgon po’s Pith Instructions for Merging the Nature of Mind with the Dharmakāya." Paper presented at the University of Vienna Symposium, Tathāgatagarbha Across Asia, Vienna, Austria, July 2019. Video, 41:36. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7VQkhK1CE0.