rNgog Blo‐ldan‐shes‐rab's Summary of the Ratnagotravibhāga

From Buddha-Nature

rNgog Blo‐ldan‐shes‐rab's Summary of the Ratnagotravibhāga
Dissertation
Dissertation

The purpose of the present thesis is to study the origin of the RGV's tradition in Tibet, studying the earliest Tibetan commentary, Theg chen rgyud bla ma'i don bsdus pa by rNgog-lo, and to clarify the historical and doctrinal background of the transmission of the RGV from India to Tibet as well as rNgog-lo's impact upon the later doctrinal development with regard to the RGV. To avoid the kind of prejudices that sometimes appeared in the course of the later doctrinal development, we remain mindful of the gap between the original purport of the RGV, which clarified the Buddha nature teaching in line with a group of the “Buddha nature sūtras” (critical successors of the Prajñāpāramitāsūtras), and that of later Indian and Tibetan traditions, which sometimes integrated the Buddha nature teaching into their Madhyamaka or Yogācāra while losing sight of the RGV's original purport. One of the tasks in the present thesis is to clarify how such a gap had arisen and come to be accepted by a certain tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Part I, the historical and doctrinal background, consists of six chapters: Chapter 1 describes the authorship and the history of the transmission of the RGV in India, using Indian and Tibetan materials. Chapter 2 studies six different Tibetan translations of the RGV, clarifying how the RGV was transmitted from India to Tibet. Chapter 3 outlines rNgog's life and writings. Chapter 4 presents rNgog's philosophical positions taught in his RGV commentary. Chapters 5 and 6 discuss the impact of his interpretations on the later Tibetan doctrinal developments, and reactions to them. Part II is a critical edition of rNgog-lo's RGV commentary, Theg chen rgyud bla ma'i don bsdus pa (1a‐46a5 and 65a5‐66a4), preceded by an explanation of textual materials and an outline of the whole text. Part III presents an annotated translation of that commentary.

Appendix A presents a diplomatic edition of rNgog-lo's “topical outline” of the RGV, his other work related to the RGV (discovered at Kharakhoto and preserved in the British Library). Appendix B presents a critical edition of a versified summary of the RGV in Sanskrit, the Mahāyānottaratantraśāstropadeśa composed by the Kashmiri Paṇḍita Sajjana, a teacher of rNgog-lo. Appendix C provides another Sanskrit commentary on the RGV, Vairocanarakṣita's Mahāyanottaratantraṭippaṇī, while appendix D presents translations of relevant passages from the Sākārasiddhi and Sākarasaṃgraha of Jñānaśrīmitra. Appendix E presents rNgog-lo's identification of the passages of the RGVV that refer to the Nidānaparivarta (“introductory chapter”) of the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra, as well as a topical outline of this chapter of the sūtra. Appendix F investigates the dating of Blo-gros-mtshungs-med, who among later Tibetans criticized rNgog-lo's position most severely. Appendix G presents a list of commentaries on the RGV. Appendix H lists records of the RGV's transmission lineage from gsan yigs. (Kano, introduction, 12–13)

Citation Kano, Kazuo. "rNgog Blo‐ldan‐shes‐rab's Summary of the Ratnagotravibhāga: The First Tibetan Commentary on a Crucial Source for the Buddha-Nature Doctrine." PhD diss., University of Hamburg, 2006.