Page 1 of 1

new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:50 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
Have not read it yet, but promises to be the most comprehensive one.

Tsongkhapa: a Buddha in the Land of Snows by Thupten Jinpa.

This reviewer liked it:

https://sacredstream.org/tsongkhapa-a-b ... -of-snows/

Re: new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:01 am
by n8pee
Nearly done with it. Highly recommend.

Re: new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:46 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
A bit from Jinpa's Introduction:
Assessing the depth of his thought and the breadth of his legacy, traditional Tibetan historians and modern scholars alike rank Tsongkhapa among the most important figures in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. Who was Tsongkhapa? There is no simple answer to this question. For his followers, especially the most devout, Tsongkhapa was “the second Buddha,” “the regent of the Buddha,” “Guru Mañjuśrī, the buddha of wisdom,” “the Sovereign Lord of the Dharma Kingdom,” and the “Light of the Buddha’s Doctrine.” For members of other Tibetan Buddhist schools, including even his critics, he was still “the Great Tsongkhapa from the East,” “the Teacher, the Great Tsongkhapa,” or “the Precious Guru Lobsang Drakpa,” Lobsang Drakpa being his monastic ordination name.

Re: new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 3:34 am
by n8pee
Interesting fact in the book: Tsongkhapa had a cursory brush with Dzogchen.

Re: new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:23 pm
by conebeckham
n8pee wrote: Fri Apr 24, 2020 3:34 am Interesting fact in the book: Tsongkhapa had a cursory brush with Dzogchen.
some have suggested a more than casual brush......

Re: new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:25 pm
by n8pee
some have suggested a more than casual brush......
I'd be curious to hear more on this as the biography just mentions that Tsongkhapa didn't seem to be influenced in any way. As a Gelug student who has never received any type of Dzogchen teaching, it is an interesting subject.

Re: new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:47 pm
by Malcolm
n8pee wrote: Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:25 pm
some have suggested a more than casual brush......
I'd be curious to hear more on this as the biography just mentions that Tsongkhapa didn't seem to be influenced in any way. As a Gelug student who has never received any type of Dzogchen teaching, it is an interesting subject.
The very first work in Tsongkhapa's collected works, after his biography, is a text on Dzogchen.

https://www.tbrc.org/#library_work_View ... 0%7CW22109

Re: new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:36 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
Malcolm wrote: Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:47 pm The very first work in Tsongkhapa's collected works, after his biography, is a text on Dzogchen.

https://www.tbrc.org/#library_work_View ... 0%7CW22109
Here is an old thread on the subject:

viewtopic.php?t=3483

Re: new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:07 pm
by n8pee
Here is an old thread on the subject:

viewtopic.php?t=3483
That was an interesting rabbit hole, though I certainly do not wish to re-hash any of that debate in this thread. I do think we can all agree that Tsongkhapa was a genius as well as an incredible yogi.

In my sangha, it was always interesting to hear my guru address those that associated Dzogchen as a 'shortcut'', as though there was no need to spend so much time with the generation/completion stage practices. Perhaps this is the case? Of course as we all know there are so many different paths based on the predispositions and abilities of practitioners.

Re: new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:36 pm
by Malcolm
n8pee wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:07 pm
Here is an old thread on the subject:

viewtopic.php?t=3483
That was an interesting rabbit hole, though I certainly do not wish to re-hash any of that debate in this thread. I do think we can all agree that Tsongkhapa was a genius as well as an incredible yogi.

In my sangha, it was always interesting to hear my guru address those that associated Dzogchen as a 'shortcut'', as though there was no need to spend so much time with the generation/completion stage practices. Perhaps this is the case? Of course as we all know there are so many different paths based on the predispositions and abilities of practitioners.
Dzogchen, while a secret mantra path, since it is dependent on empowerments and its practice involves the vajra body, is not a path of creation and completion. Creation and completion can be used by Dzogchen practitioners, but it is not the path of Dzogchen. Dzogchen has a different approach.

Re: new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:22 am
by n8pee
Dzogchen, while a secret mantra path, since it is dependent on empowerments and its practice involves the vajra body, is not a path of creation and completion. Creation and completion can be used by Dzogchen practitioners, but it is not the path of Dzogchen. Dzogchen has a different approach.
Sadly I haven't had the merit to have meet with Dzogchen teachings. My impulse is to ask for an explanation on how Dzogchen enables a practitioner to obtain the union of no more learning as compared to completion stage practices, but I realize that topic is not suited to the medium of an online forum.

Re: new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Sun May 10, 2020 5:46 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
From chapter Five on the Mystery of Guru Mañjuśrī:
We have textual evidence in the form of letters that Tsongkhapa’s own teacher, Rendawa, believed in
Tsongkhapa’s unique access to the deity to such a degree that he would request Tsongkhapa to consult
Mañjuśrī on his behalf and ask him for specific instruction. Tsongkhapa himself on several occasions
speaks explicitly of his communication with Mañjuśrī. In a letter to Umapa, he relates how the instructions
he had received from the deity with Umapa’s help had been profoundly beneficial. In that same letter,
Tsongkhapa speaks about how one of his own students, Tokden Jampel Gyatso, was also experiencing
visions of the deity. Finally, as we shall see later, Tsongkhapa’s writings contain a set of important
notes he made from instructions he had received from Mañjuśrī, which he later sent to Rendawa in the
form of a scroll.
In brief, the evidence is compelling that the key figures here—Tsongkhapa himself, Rendawa, Umapa,
and later Tokden Jampel Gyatso—as well as many of their contemporaries fully believed in Tsongkhapa’s
special communication with Mañjuśrī. And so, although I do not attempt to establish whether
Tsongkhapa’s contact with Mañjuśrī was “real” in any scientific or objective sense, there is no denying
that it was experientially and socially real for him, for his closest teachers and students, and for the
broader milieu in which he lived and practiced the Buddhist path.

Re: new biography of Je Rinpoche

Posted: Tue May 12, 2020 2:33 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
During their conversation, Umapa told Tsongkhapa that even from his early years as a young yak herder
in eastern Tibet, he would have occasional visions of Mañjuśrī and would receive teachings. He
confided, “Although I have tried my best to examine whether or not this is a genuine visionary encounter, I
still haven’t been able to gain full conviction. In fact it was Mañjuśrī who urged me this time to go and
receive the Sarasvatī blessing from you.” Then, while Umapa was experiencing visions of Mañjuśrī,
Tsongkhapa asked him some important questions concerning the view of emptiness and other points of
Dharma practice. After considering his answers, Tsongkhapa told Umapa that the visions that he had were
credible and that he should not have any further doubt about their authenticity. He then advised the mystic,
“You should fervently pray to Mañjuśrī, but you must remember that the form that one sees with the eyes is
not actually Mañjuśrī himself. The genuine form of a meditation deity appears only at the level of mental
cognition, not sensory perception.”
From chapter Three.