Phywa pa chos kyi seng+ge

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Chapa Chökyi Senge(1109 - 1169) 

Phywa pa [alt. Cha pa] Chos kyi Seng ge. (Chapa Chökyi Senge) (1109–1169). The sixth abbot of Gsang phu ne’u thog, a Bka' gdams monastery founded in 1073 by Rngog Legs pa'i shes rab. Among his students are included the first Karma pa, Dus gsum mkhyen pa and the Sa skya hierarch Bsod nams rtse mo. His collected works include explanations of Madhyamaka and Prajñāpāramitā. With his influential Tshad ma'i bsdus pa yid kyi mun sel rtsa 'grel he continued the line of pramāṇa scholarship started by Rngog Blo ldan shes rab, one that would later be challenged by Sa skya Paṇḍita. He is credited with originating the distinctively Tibetan bsdus grwa genre of textbook (used widely in Dge lugs monasteries) that introduces beginners to the main topics in abhidharma in a peculiar dialectical form that strings together a chain of consequences linked by a chain of reasons. He also played an important role in the formation of the bstan rim genre of Tibetan Buddhist literature, the forerunner of the more famous lam rim. (Source: "Phywa pa Chos kyi Seng ge." In The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, 644. Princeton University Press, 2014.

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On the topic of this person

Philosophical positions of this person

"...both Ngok and Chapa argue that sentient beings do not have tathāgata-essence on the basis of the first reason because they do not have the purified enlightened body of a buddha, rather they have the potential to achieve an enlightened state. However, they agree that sentient beings have the tathāgata-essence from the perspective of the second reason, which is that such-ness is indivisible or nondual. As Ngok states, 'That both a tathāgata and ordinary beings have [tathāgata] essence is actually the case.' The first reason is true only for enlightened beings, but only designated for ordinary beings; the second reason applies to both enlightened beings and sentient beings. Therefore, the two Kadam masters argue that sentient beings do not have the tathāgata-essence from the perspective of either the first reason of the resultant essence or the third reason of the causal essence. Rather it is the second reason that becomes the central point for establishing the link between enlightenment and sentient beings. It is the middle reason that shows that sentient beings and tathāgatas are the same in their ultimate nature. In other words, the only thing that sentient beings have in common with enlightened beings is the ultimate nature of their minds."
Wangchuk, Tsering. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, pp. 17-18.

"Therefore, for both Ngok and Chapa, the Uttaratantra is a definitive work, and it is also a treatise that explains the meaning of the last-wheel sutras such as the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra and the Śrīmālādevīsūtra." Wangchuk, Tsering. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, p. 20.

"For him, the fact that the Uttaratantra teaches all sentient beings as having the buddha-nature shows that the Uttaratantra is a Madhyamaka text, not Cittamātra. Wangchuk, Tsering. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, p. 23.

He predates this debate.

Chapa was clearly a participant in the rngog lugs.

  • "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.
  • Wangchuk's wording of this is confusing or perhaps mistaken, see Wangchuk, Tsering. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, p. 8.

"Tathāgata-essence must not be connected to either the first reason—the notion that the resultant buddha-body pervades all beings—or the third reason which is that causal buddha-nature exists in all beings. Therefore, tathāgata-essence is neither the resultant buddha-body nor the causal buddha-nature, rather it is the ultimate nature of suchness." Wangchuk, Tsering. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, p. 16.

Other names

  • ཆ་པ་ཆོས་ཀྱི་སེངྒེ་ · other names (Tibetan)
  • ཕྱ་པ་ཆོས་ཀྱི་སེངྒེ་ · other names (Tibetan)
  • གསང་ཕུ་ནེའུ་ཐོག་མཁན་རབས་༠༦་ · other names (Tibetan)
  • cha pa chos kyi seng+ge · other names (Wylie)
  • phya pa chos kyi seng+ge · other names (Wylie)
  • gsang phu ne'u thog mkhan rabs 06 · other names (Wylie)

Affiliations & relations

  • Kadam · religious affiliation
  • Sangpu Neutok Monastery · primary professional affiliation
  • gro lung pa blo gros 'byung gnas · teacher
  • byang chub grags · teacher
  • zhang tshe spong chos kyi bla ma · teacher
  • Karmapa, 1st · student
  • phag mo gru pa rdo rje rgyal po · student
  • bsod nams rtse mo · student
  • rma bya byang chub brtson 'grus · student
  • gtsang nag pa brtson 'grus seng+ge · student
  • 'jad pa slob dpon ston skyabs · student
  • slob dpon gtsang pa 'jam seng · student
  • nyang bran pa chos kyi ye shes · student
  • ldan ma dkon mchog seng+ge · student
  • dan 'bag pa smra ba'i seng ge · student