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Distinguishing Dharma and Dharmata by Asanga and Maitreya

Distinguishing Dharma and Dharmata by Asanga and Maitreya
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Item Code: NAC254
Author: Asanga & Maitreya
Publisher: Sri Satguru Publications
Edition: 2001
ISBN: 8170307163
Pages: 120
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
weight of the book: 150 gms
About the Book

With a commentary by Thrangu Rinpoche Geshe Lharampa.

Translated by Jules Levinsion.

Asanga in the fourth century mediated on maitreya for twelve years and them was able to meet the Maitreya Buddha directly who gave him five works including this text. Asanga then went on to found the Mind only or Chittamatra school of Buddhism.

This text which contains both the root verses of maitreya and a commentary on these verses by Thrangu Rimpoche begins by giving the characteristics of dharma which is ordinary phenomena as we perceive it as unenlightened beings. Phenomena is described in detail by giving its characteristics its constituents or elements and finally its source which is the mind. Discussed are the eight consciousnesses especially the alaya consciousness and how it creates the appearance of this world. Understanding dharma allows us to understand how we build up a false illusion of this world and this then leads to out problems in samsara.

Next the text discusses dharmata or phenomena as it really is not as it appears in detail. In describing this sphere of reality or pure being the text gives the characteristics of dharmata where it is located and the kinds of meditation needed to develop a perception of the true nature of reality.

Finally there is a discussion of how one transforms ordinary dharma into dharmata i.e. how one reaches awakening or enlightenment. This is discussed in ten famous points and this is actually a guide or a map to how to proceed along the Buddhist path.

This text has been extensively studied in Tibet particularly among the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions. Now the student can read this profound work and a clear commentary on it by a world renowned scholar who has been studying and also putting this text into practice for the last half century.


Chapter One
IAn Introduction to the Treatise 1
A. The Meaning of the Title (verse 1) 1
B. The Homage (1b) 6
C. Why this text was written (2) 6
Chapter Two
IIThe Brief presentation of the text 11
A. The definition of Dharma and Dharmata (3,4) 11
B. The Characteristics of Dharma and Dharmata 12
1. The Characteristics of Dharma (5) 12
2. The characteristics of Dharmata (6) 16
C. The Rationale Behind these Definitions (7,8) 17
D. The Relationship between Dharma and Dharmata (9) 18
Chapter Three
IIIThe Detailed Explanation of Dharma (10) 27
A. An Overview of Dharma (11)
1. The Defining Traits 27
2. The Rationale 27
3. Being Neither Same nor Different 27
4. Elements of the world (12) 28
A. The Common Aspects (13)28
B. The Uncommon Aspects (14) 29
5. The Source 29
A. The Alaya Consciousness (15,16) 29
B. The Other Consciousness (17) 29
6. Clearing away doubts (18) 33
Chapter Four
IVRealization of Dharmata 43
A. The Brief Explanation (19) 43
Chapter Five
B. The Detailed Explanation 51
1. The Definitive Traits (20a) 51
2. The Location (20b) 52
3. Definitive Verification (21) 52
4. Awareness (22) 53
5. Mindfulness (23) 53
6. Immersion (24) 54
Chapter Six
C. The Transformation of Dharma into Dharmata (25) 55
1. Essence of the Transformation (26) 55
2. Ingredients of the transformation (27) 56
3. An Individual’s Transformation (28) 58
4. Traits of the transformation (29) 59
5. Realizing what is required (30) 59
Chapter Seven
6. The Foundations for the Transformation (31) 63
(a) The Focal Requirement (32)63
(b) Abandoning Unfavorable phenomena (33-34) 64
(c) Stages of Meditation (35) 66
(d) Defining Traits of Dharmata (36-38)67
(e) Benefits of Non Conceptual Wisdom (39) 69
(f) Thorough knowledge (40) 70
(1) Noncon, Wisdom as an antidote (41) 70
(2) Characteristics of Noncon wisdom (42) 72
(3) Full understanding of Distinctive marks (43) 74
(4) A full understanding (44) 75
Chapter Eight
(g) Meditation in the Transformation (45-48) 79
Chapter Nine
(h) The Levels and five paths (49-52) 85
Chapter Ten
(i) The Disadvantages of No Transformation (53) 91
(j) The Benefits of the Transformation (54)93
Chapter Eleven
VThe Conclusion 95
A. The Compatibility of Dharma and Dharmata (55)95
B. The Author of the Text (56-57) 96
Glossary 99
Glossary of Tibetan Terms 111
Notes 115
Mipham’s General Introduction of the text 119
Index 123
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