Manjushri (Tibetan: Jampel Yang)

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Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary by Arya Maitreya (by Arya Maitreya, comm. by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, additional explanations by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, trans. by Rosemarie Fuchs)

All sentient beings, without exception, have buddha nature, the inherent purity and perfection of the mind, untouched by changing mental states.

The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra, one of the "Five Treatises" said to have bee dictated to Asanga by the Bodhisattva Maitreya, presents the Buddha's definitive teachings on how we should understand this ground of enlightenment and clarifies the nature and qualities of buddhahood. This seminal text details with great clarity the view which forms the basis for Vajrayana, and especially Mahamudra, practice. Thus it builds a bridge between the Sutrayana and Vajrayana levels of the Buddha's teaching, elaborated here in Jamgon Kongtrul's commentary.

Called the Unassailable Lion's Roar, Kongtrul presents Maitreya's text as a background for the mahamudra teachings in a way that is especially clear and easy to understand. Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche provided the annotations and the explanations on which the present translation is based. A renowned scholar and highly accomplished yogi, he is a living example of the ongoing tradition of oral transmission.


Center of Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka in the Kagyu Tradition
by Karl Brunnhölzl           

Madhyamaka is a potent and universally accessible means of calming our suffering and awakening to our innate wisdom. The Center of the Sunlit Sky artfully rescues this brilliant teaching from its unwarranted reputation for intellectual opacity and reinstates it as a supremely practical tool kit for everyday living. The aim of this book is to take Madhyamaka out of the purely intellectual corner into which it--unjustly--gets boxed. It is an attempt to show how Madhayamaka actually addresses and works with all of our experiences in life.

The book follows the original Indian sources as well as the standard commentaries on Madhyamaka in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. At the same time, these materials are adapted for a contemporary audience, combining the familiar sharpness of Madhyamaka reasonings (launching a massive assault on our cherished belief systems) with exploring the practical relevance of the Madhyamaka way of mind training.

Part One of the book, "The General Presentation of Madhyamaka in the Kagyu Tradition," provides an overview of the transmission of Madhyamaka from India to Tibet and its relation to Vajrayana and Mahamudra, followed by a general presentation of Madhyamaka in terms of ground, path, and fruition. Further chapters are devoted to the Autonomist-Consequentialist distinction, the controversial issue of "Shentong-Madhyamaka," the distinction between expedient and definitive meaning, and a penetrating presentation of the major differences between the Eighth Karmapa's and Tsongkhapa's interpretations of Madhyamaka.

Part Two consists of a brief introduction to the Bodhicaryavatara and a translation of the Pawo Rinpoche's commentary on its ninth chapter (on knowledge).

The Second Pawo Rinpoche, Tsugla Trengwa (1504-1566) received the majority of his education from the Eighth Karmapa and was a teacher to the Ninth Karmapa. He was a master of sutra and tantra, composed many excellent expositions of dharma teachings, and spent his whole life in protecting and furthering the teachings of the practice lineage.

Karl Brunnhölzl, M.D. was trained as a physician and also studied Tibetology. He received his systematic training in Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy and practice at the Marpa Institute for Translators, founded by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. Since 1989 he has been a translator and interpreter from Tibetan and English. He is presently mainly involved with the Nitartha Institute as a teacher and translator.

"These English translations and the accompanying analysis of the Second Pawo Rinpoche's and the Eighth Karmapa's commentaries explain Madhyamaka in the Kagyu tradition. Therefore, this work will be very important for students of Buddhism." --Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, tutor to the Seventeenth Karmapa

"The first volume of the Nitartha Institute Series, and a study text for Naropa University's Buddhist Studies program, The Center Of The Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka In The Kagyu Tradition presents the tradition of Madhyamaka Buddhism as more than a purely intellectual exercise, showing how it directly addresses daily life experience. Chapters discuss understanding of two realities, Madhyamaka meditation, the distinctions between Autonomists and Consequentialists, and much more. Overall, The Center Of The Sunlit Sky is a determined effort to publish a thorough understanding of the Kagyu view of Madhyamaka for Western readers. Though undoubtedly meant for those already familiar with Buddhism's basic tenets, The Center Of The Sunlit Sky presents complex philosophical and spiritual precepts in as clear and direct terms as possible for Western minds. A 'must-have' for anyone seeking to better understand the Madhyamaka Buddhism as has been practiced in Tibet for centuries." --Midwest Book Review

"The book is geared toward the contemporary Buddhist practitioner; Brunnholzl discusses not only Madhyamaka methods of reasoning but also their use in analytic meditation...follows a Tibetan commentarial format in which one raises rhetorical questions, outlines one's own system in response, and supports one's argument with quotes from authoritative Indian sources." --Buddhadharma

"This book gives, for the first time in Western publications, a comprehensive presentation of the unique Kagyü view of Madhyamaka...In sum, this is a pioneering effort to make Kagyü scholarship on Madhyamaka philosophy known to a wider audience." --The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, author of Wild Awakening


Essential Practice: Lectures on Kamalashila's Stages of Meditation in the Middle Way School (Thrangu Rinpoche, trans. by Jules B. Levinson)

"Centuries ago, the Indian master Kamalashila taught Tibetans the essential points of Mahayana practice in a clear, step-by-step, and easy-to-follow way. Now, the great scholar and meditation master Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche makes these profound teachings readily accessible to Western students. I encourage all those interested in beginning or deepening their practice of the mahayana path of wisdom and compassion which leads to the highest enlightenment for the benefit of all beings to read this book." --Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

"In presenting the very first meditation instruction crafted for Tibetans by the master Kamalashila, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche distills the wisdom of India in an intimate, personal instruction, as true for the contemporary Western practitioner as it was in eighth-century Tibet. This text is a must for every serious Buddhist meditator." --Judith Simmer-Brown, Professor of Buddhist Studies, Naropa University


Introduction to the Middle Way: Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara with Commentary by Jamgon Mipham (trans. by the Padmakara Translation Group)

Introduction to the Middle Way presents an adventure into the heart of Buddhist wisdom through the Madhyamika, or "middle way," teachings which are designed to take the ordinary intellect to the limit of its powers and then to show that there is more.

This book includes a verse translation of the Madhyamakavatara by the renowned 7th-century Indian master Chandrakirti, an extremely influential text of Mahayana Buddhism, followed by an exhaustive logical explanation of its meaning of the modern Tibetan master Jamgon Mipham, composed approximately twelve centuries later. Chandrkirti's work is an introduction to the Madhyamika teachings of Nagarjuna, which are themselves a systematization of the Prajnaparamita, or "Perfection of Wisdom" literature, the sutras on the crucial but elusive concept of emptiness. Includes bibliography of Tibetan and Western-language sources.

Chandrakirti's work has been accepted throughout Tibetan Buddhism as the highest expression of the Buddhist view on the sutra level. With Jamgon Mipham's commentary, it is a definitive presentation of the wisdom of emptiness, a central theme of Buddhist teachings. This book is a core study text for both academic students and practitioners of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism.


Jewel Ornament of Liberation: English Translation (trans. by Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen)

The Jewel Ornament of Liberation is a masterwork of Tibetan Buddhism. For more than eight centuries, this text has provided a complete foundation for Buddhist study and practice--covering the initial entry into the path and continuing through to the achievement of Buddhahood. It includes teachings on Buddha-nature, finding a spiritual master, impermanence, karma, the cultivation of bodhicitta, the development of the six perfections, the ten Bodhisattva bhumis, Buddhahood, and the activities of a buddha.

Includes very helpful appendices including an outline of the entirety of the text which elucidates the path to Enlightenment. An excellent companion to the JOL Translation Workbooks.

"Anyone who knows the Jewel Ornament well can say that they really understand Buddhism."--Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen


Maitreya's Distinguishing Dharma and Dharmata (Thrangu Rinpoche)

This text is very brief and direct in its presentation and is included within the class of oral instructions. It is a work which clearly portrays the character of nothing less than non-conceptual original wisdom, the point of utmost profundity within the Mahayana. With regard to meditation, there are the particular traditions, views and practices of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, the basis of which are the teachings of the Buddha and the commentaries or shastras on those by the great masters. In order to achieve the high view of Mahmudra or Dzogchen, we need to cut our doubts, hinderances and aberrations, which is accomplished by listening to and contemplating the Mahayana dharma.

Realizing dharmata or the nature of mind is what is to be known, and this we understand through hearing and thinking about it. Nevertheless, due to the obstruction of conventional appearances we are not able to realize this. If we can realize this profound nature, then we will naturally separate from confusion and conventional appearances. Thus, this text -- Distinguishing Dharma and Dharmata -- is devoted to identifying exactly what is conventionally true and what is ultimately true. So this text is extremely important for all those who wish to practice the meditations of Mahamudra and Dzogchen.

Includes an outline of the root text (in English), the root text by Maitreya in Tibetan with translation on facing pages. Also, an introduction entitled "Mipham Rinpoche's General Introduction to Distinguishing Dharma and Dharmata"; appendices that include charts of the six realms of samsara, the Five Paths, the Bodhisattva levels, and transformation of consciousness into wisdom; glossary of terms; an index; and a bibliography of the five works of Maitreya.

"The clarity, simplicity, and profoundness of Rinpoche's teaching will bring benefit to many people who are learning and practicing the sacred teachings of Lord Buddha." --H.E. The 12th Tai Situpa


Nalandakirti Journal (Karma Sri Nalanda Institute, #1 1989)

This journal has a distinguished Board of Advisors as well as Editorial Board, and it was published in 1989 in Sikkim. It features scholarly articles and translations from Buddhist traditions, with a particular focus on Tibetan Buddhism. The intent of the journal is to share the knowledge of those teaching, studying, and practicing in the Kagyu tradition.

Introduction by H.E. Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche. Essays include: "The Torch that Clarifies the Essentials of the Ocean of Views" (Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche); "On the Meaning of the Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma, Showing that They Are Not Contradictory" (Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche); "A Concise Analysis of Differing Approaches to Reality" (Khenpo Chodrak Tenpel); "Shentong: The Tathagaragarbha Sutras and the Buddhist Notion of Self" (Susan Shenpen Hookham); and the translation "The Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha: A Selection from Jamgon Kongtrul I's commentary on the Mahayanaottaratantrasastra by Maitreya through Asanga" (Kiki Ekselius and Constance Wilkinson).


Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness (Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, trans. and arranged by Shenpen Hookham)

In this teaching Rinpoche presents the main schools of Buddhist philosophy with their progressively more subtle and refined views of reality. However, it is not just a teaching on the view, but a presentation providing the student the means to realize it through meditation practice. The idea of a series of meditation practices on a particular aspect of the Buddhas's teachings is that by beginning with one's first rather coarse commonsense understanding, one progresses through increasingly subtle and more refined stages until one arrives at a complete and perfect understanding. Each stage in the process prepares the mind for the next in so far as each step is fully integrated into one's understanding through the meditation process.

"The topics contained in the Prajna Editions, which will be teachings of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso are of great importance to all those who seek understanding of the profound view. I pray that this series will be of benefit to all those who can read and meditate on these subjects." Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche


Two Truths (Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, foreword by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche)

The way to understand the Buddha's teachings is to see that they are divided into either the three yanas (vehicles), or the four philosophical tenets. For those who wish to know the view or the philosophy of Buddhism then the best way to learn it is to know the differences between the views of the four philosophical tenets. When the Buddha made these presentations of the different philosophical views, the point was to allow people to investigate with their own intelligence the various teachings, and in that way to become very skilled in the different philosophical views and to able to learn how to analyze things for oneself.

Therefore what Khenpo Tsultrim presents here is the path of reason, the presentation of the two truths by the different philosophical tenets which leads one from a common understanding of what is real to ever more subtle understandings which can eventually lead to that which is beyond the intellect. In addition Khenpo presents meditation instructions for the different stages. Prajna Edition


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