Btsan kha bo che

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བཙན་ཁ་བོ་ཆེ་
Tsen Khawoche(b. 1021 - ) 

Tsen Khawoche was an eleventh-century disciple of the Kashmiri paṇḍita Sajjana. He is credited by Tibetan historians for giving rise to the "meditative" tradition of exegesis of the Ratnagotravibhāga, a main source of buddha-nature theory in Tibet, which heavily influenced Mahāmudrā and the "other-emptiness" philosophical position.

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Philosophical positions of this person

Karl Brunnhölzl cites ShAkya mchog ldan: "The definitive meaning that he found from having studied the dharmas of Maitreya is explained by those in his lineage as follows. The sugata heart is the naturally pure wisdom, luminous by nature, that pervades [everyone] from buddhas to sentient beings. In earlier times these [two approaches] were known as "the difference between explaining the dharmas of Maitreya as the tradition of characteristics (mtshan nyid kyi lugs) and explaining them as the meditative tradition (sgom lugs)." However, in both cases there is no contradiction because the explanation according to the first approach is more profound at the time of eliminating the clinging to characteristics, while the explanation according to the latter approach is needed so that the sugata heart can function as the support of qualities." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, p. 124.


Karl Brunnhölzl cites ShAkya mchog ldan: "The sugata heart is the naturally pure wisdom, luminous by nature, that pervades everyone from buddhas to sentient beings." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, p. 124.

"Kunga Drölcho provides some context for Dsen Kawoché’s view and for the following excerpts from the latter’s teachings, which Kunga Drölcho compiled as Guiding Instructions on the View of Other-Emptiness: As for the Guiding Instructions on the View of Other-Emptiness, Dsen Kawoché said, "The Kashmiri paṇḍita Sajjana made the following very essential statement: ‘The victor turned the wheel of dharma three times—the first wheel teaches the four realities of the noble ones, the second one teaches the lack of characteristics, and the final one makes excellent distinctions. Among these, the first two do not distinguish between what is actual and what is nominal. The last one was spoken at the point of certainty about the ultimate by distinguishing between the middle and extremes and by distinguishing between phenomena and the nature of phenomena. " Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, pp. 142-143.

Karl cites Kongtrul stating, "TOK calls Ngog’s tradition of the Maitreya texts "the oral transmission of explanation" (bshad pa’i bka’ babs) and Dsen’s lineage, "the oral transmission of practice" (sgrub pa’i bka’ babs), saying that they are asserted to hold the views of Madhyamaka and Mere Mentalism, respectively." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, p. 124.

  • "These two traditions of rngog and btsan were respectively called the "analytical tradition" (thos bsam gyi lugs) and "meditative tradition" (sgom lugs)." Kano, K., Buddha-Nature and Emptiness, p. 242
  • "The lineage through Ngog Lotsāwa is often called "the exegetical tradition of the dharma works of Maitreya" (byams chos bshad lugs), while Dsen Kawoché’s transmissions represent "the meditative tradition of the dharma works of Maitreya" (byams chos sgom lugs)." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, p. 123.
  • Kano. K., Buddha-Nature and Emptiness, p. 242, footnote 4. Van der Kuijp via Shakya mchog ldan.
  • Mathes cites Gö Lotsāwa as stating, "The followers of the tradition of Tsen (Btsan) maintain that since the luminous nature of mind is the buddha nature, the cause of buddha[hood] is fertile" Mathes, K., A Direct Path to the Buddha Within, p. 33.
  • "According to BA, those who follow the tradition of Dsen Kawoché (Tib. Btsan Kha bo che) hold that since the tathāgata heart is the naturally luminous nature of the mind, it is the powerful vital cause of buddhahood. TOK agrees, saying that, according to the Eighth Situpa, the texts in Dsen Kawoché’s lineage accepted a really established, self-aware, self-luminous cognition empty of the duality of apprehender and apprehended to be the powerful vital cause of buddhahood." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, p. 65.
  • Karl Brunnhölzl cites ShAkya mchog ldan: "The sugata heart is the naturally pure wisdom, luminous by nature, that pervades everyone from buddhas to sentient beings." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, p. 124.

Other names

  • དྲི་མེད་ཤེས་རབ་ · other names (Tibetan)
  • dri med shes rab · other names (Wylie)

Affiliations & relations

  • Kadam · religious affiliation
  • grwa pa mngon shes · teacher
  • Sajjana · teacher

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