Lam rim chen mo

From Buddha-Nature

LibraryCommentariesLam rim chen mo

lam rim chen mo

Lam rim chen mo. In Tibetan, "Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path"; the abbreviated title for one of the best-known works on Buddhist thought and practice in Tibet, composed by the Tibetan luminary Tsong khapa Blo bzang Grags pa in 1402 at the central Tibetan monastery of Rwa sgreng. A lengthy treatise belonging to the lam rim, or stages of the path, genre of Tibetan Buddhist literature, the Lam rim chen mo takes its inspiration from numerous earlier writings, most notably the Bodhipathapradīpa ("Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment") by the eleventh-century Bengali master Atiśa Dīpaṃkaraśrījñāna. It is the most extensive treatment of three principal stages that Tsong kha pa composed. The others include (1) the Lam rim chung ba ("Short Treatise on the Stages of the Path"), also called the Lam rim 'bring ba ('"Intermediate Treatise on the States of the Path") and (2) the Lam rim bsdus don ("Concise Meaning of the Stages of the Path"), occasionally also referred to as the Lam rim chung ngu ("Brief Stages of the Path"). The latter text, which records Tsong kha pa's own realization of the path in verse form, is also referred to as the Lam rim nyams mgur ma ("Song of Experience of the Stages of the Path"). The Lam rim chen mo is a highly detailed and often technical treatise presenting a comprehensive and synthetic overview of the path to buddhahood. It draws, often at length, upon a wide range of scriptural sources including the Sūtra and śāstra literature of both the hīnayāna and Mahāyāna; Tsong kha pa treats tantric practice in a separate work. The text is organized under the rubric of the three levels of spiritual predilection, personified as "the three individuals" (skyes bu gsum): the beings of small capacity, who engage in religious practice in order to gain a favorable rebirth in their next lifetime; the beings of intermediate capacity, who seek liberation from rebirth for themselves as an arhat; and the beings of great capacity, who seek to liberate all beings in the universe from suffering and thus follow the bodhisattva path to buddhahood. Tsong kha pa's text does not lay out all the practices of these three types of persons but rather those practices essential to the bodhisattva path that are held in common by persons of small and intermediate capacity, such as the practice of refuge (śaraṇa) and contemplation of the uncertainty of the time of death. The text includes extended discussions of topics such as relying on a spiritual master, the development of bodhicitta, and the six perfections (pāramitā). The last section of the text, sometimes regarded as a separate work, deals at length with the nature of serenity (śamatha) and insight (vipaśyanā); Tsong kha pa's discussion of insight here represents one of his most important expositions of emptiness (śūnyatā). Primarily devoted to exoteric Mahāyāna doctrine, the text concludes with a brief reference to Vajrayāna and the practice of tantra, a subject discussed at length by Tsong kha pa in a separate work, the Sngags rim chen mo ("Stages of the Path of Mantra"). The Lam rim chen mo's full title is Skyes bu gsum gyi rnyams su blang ba'i rim pa thams cad tshang bar ston pa'i byang chub lam gyi rim pa. (Source: "Lam rim chen mo." In The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, 465-66. Princeton University Press, 2014.

Access this text online

Philosophical positions of this text

Text Metadata

Text exists in ~ Tibetan
Literary Genre ~ Stages of the Path - lam rim

This Text on Adarsha - If it doesn't load here, refresh your browser.

"Emptiness" is not in the list (Yogācāra, Madhyamaka) of allowed values for the "PosYogaMadhya" property.