Chos nyid kyi lam khrid

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chos nyid kyi lam khrid
Guiding Instructions on the Path of the Nature of Phenomena

One of a series of short texts by the Kadam scholar Kyotön Mönlam Tsultrim, which represent an intersection between the works of Maitreya, particularly the Ratnagotravibhāga, and the practical instructions of Mahāmudrā.

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Description from When the Clouds Part

This text says that it presents a summary of the pith instructions on the path according to the intention of Maitreya, consisting of the foundation of the path, the way of being mistaken in the form of saṃsāra, the stages of the path arising in the mind stream, and the manner in which buddha wisdom arises.[1] The foundation of the path is the disposition that is mind’s natural luminosity. Those who are said to lack the disposition are explained according to Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra III.11. According to Uttaratantra I.41, in those who have the dispositions of śrāvakas, pratyekabuddhas, and the mahāyāna, weariness of saṃsāra and striving for nirvāṇa arise from the disposition. The remainder of the text follows the outline of the Dharmadharmatāvibhāga and is essentially a summary of that text with some additional comments. At the time of the fruition, since the nature of phenomena is free from stains, pure mind is buddhahood— this is the nature of phenomena’s having seized its own ground (rang sa zin pa). There are three ways buddha wisdom arises. Since its essence is free from the stains of thoughts, all knowable objects appear as the nature of phenomena—appearances are the dharmakāya (this is certainly reminiscent of the Kagyü Mahāmudrā hallmark "the essence of thoughts is dharmakāya"). To teach the dharma to others is the sambhogakāya and to attain mastery over the mind is the nirmāṇakāya. [2] Enlightened activity is presented as in the Uttaratantra through its two main features of being without thoughts and being uninterrupted. Since the nature of phenomena has seized its own ground,[3] it does not arise through thoughts. Since the nature of phenomena is permanent, the stream of its own wisdom is uninterrupted. Also, since the dharmadhātu abides as the essence of a body of wisdom and since mastery over appearances is attained, the realization of the three kāyas increases.

      The colophon of this text presents the following transmission lineage up to Mönlam Tsültrim—Maitreya, Ratnākaraśānti, Sajjana, Su Gawé Dorje, Purangpa Chenpo,[4] Dölpa,[5] Trelhepa,[6] uncle and nephew Chepa,[7] and a certain Shangpa.[8] (pp. 320-321)

  1. Skyo ston smon lam tshul khrims 2007d. This work is not translated below but only briefly summarized here.
  2. The text sometimes also uses terms such as "beyond mind" (blo ’das) and "pointing out" (ngo sprod).
  3. An interlinear gloss says that this means that thoughts have become without basis.
  4. Tib. Phu rangs pa chen po.
  5. Tib. Dol pa. This is probably Dol pa shes rab rgya mtsho (1059–1131), a student of Potowa Rinchen Sal.
  6. Tib. Gre lhas pa. This is probably Geshé Drepa (Tib. Sgre pa), one of Gampopa’s teachers. If this is the case, there would be a direct connection between Gampopa and Mönlam Tsültrim’s textual lineage of the Maitreya texts in general and the Mahāmudrā-style pith instructions on the Uttaratantra and the Dharmadharmatāvibhāga in particular.
  7. Tib. Chas pa khu dbon.
  8. Tib. Shangs pa.

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Other Titles ~ chos nyid kyi khrid
Text exists in ~ Tibetan