A voluminous commentary on the Uttaratantra
, which, as its title suggests, presents the treatise as a definitive work and elucidates it vis-a-vis the sūtras that are cited within it. It is noteworthy for its scholarship, as an early example of a Tibetan locating the scriptural source material of the Uttaratantra
, as well as being widely considered an influential precursor to Dölpopa's treatment of the text.
Read the text:
Rinchen Yeshé, an expert on the five works of Maitreya, flourished in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and was primarily a teacher of Ngülchu Togmé
(1295–1369). He also briefly taught Dölpopa and is mentioned in Butön’s biography as an esteemed colleague. Rinchen Yeshé’s commentary (RYC), which is not translated in its entirety here but only excerpted, follows the Indian style of lacking a topical outline and headings. Like most other commentaries on the Uttaratantra
, it incorporates a great number of passages from RGVV and (as its longer title indicates) quotes from many supporting sūtras, some at great length (especially from the Dhāraṇīśvararājasūtra
, the Ratnadārikāsūtra
, and the Sarvabuddhaviṣayāvatārajñānālokālaṃkārasūtra
). Rinchen Yeshé says that the reason for writing his commentary by matching it with the sūtras is that other Tibetans who are renowned as scholars had composed commentaries on the Uttaratantra
without having looked at the Indian sūtras and thus accrued flaws in both words and meaning.
It is interesting that RYC has been published in both the collected works of Kadampa masters and a series of Jonang works. As noted before, Butön is said to have referred to Rinchen Yeshé as the one whose philosophical system was later maintained by Dölpopa, who enhanced it greatly (this was my main reason to consult RYC in the first place). RYC does comment on the tathāgata heart in positive terms and subscribes to the disclosure model (as do most commentaries on this text), and, like Dölpopa’s main works, it abounds in sūtra quotes (though it lacks tantric sources). In addition to these more general features, as mentioned above, RYC also contains some passages that can be read as being in accordance with Dölpopa’s later Shentong view (though RYC does not use Dölpopa’s specific terminologies). However, there are also several differences between Rinchen Yeshé and Dölpopa, such as the former’s asserting (like Ngog Lotsāwa and others but unlike Dölpopa) that all sentient beings are pervaded by the dharmakāya (or the three kāyas) as being suitable to be attained as the manifest kāyas and have the disposition of the manifest three kāyas as being suitable to be attained. (pp. 308-309)
- Tib. Dngul chu thogs med.
Is buddha-nature considered definitive or provisional?
Does this text belong to definitive or provisional meaning?
Do all beings have buddha-nature?
To which "turning of the wheel" do the buddha-nature teachings belong?
Do buddha-nature teachings belong to the zhentong or rangtong view of emptiness?
Are there one or three vehicles on the path to buddhahood?
Do the author's writings belong to the analytic or meditative tradition of Uttaratantra exegesis?
What is Buddha-nature?
Tathāgatagarbha as the Emptiness That is an Implicative Negation (with enlightened qualities