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Distinguishing the Views- Moon Rays Illuminating the Crucial Points of the Excellent Vehicle

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Item Code: AZG865
Author: Gorampa Sonam Senge
Publisher: Vajra Books, Nepal
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9789937623261
Pages: 174
Other Details 8.50x5.50 inch
Weight 210 gm
Book Description
About the Author
Gorampa Sönam Senge (1429-1489) was one of the greatest masters and most prolific authors of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Famous for consolidating and systematising the philosophical teachings of his school, his works are considered standard treatises which are still studied at all the philosophical institutions of his tradition and others.

This text is one of his main works on the Madhya maka school of thought. Gorampa starts by refuting two views of reality he holds to be mistaken, namely those taught by Dolbuba Sherab Gyaltsen (1292-1361), often regarded as the founder of the Jonang school, and by Tsongkhapa Lobsang Dragpa (1357-1419), founder of the Gelug tradition. He then presents the Middle Way according to his school, emphasising its adherence to the original intention of the Indian tradition. This treatise offers a key to unlock the profound thought of one of Tibet's greatest luminaries and most influential teachers.

We, the Chodung Karmo Translation Group, are very pleased with the publication of this treatise, the translation of Gorampa Sonam Senge's Distinguishing the Views, one of the most important works on Madhyamaka philosophy in the Sakya tradition.

Khenpo Jamyang Tenzin and Pauline Westwood started working on this translation in 2001, when this text was first taught at our academy, the year of its inauguration. It was produced mainly to assist our students in their studies, with the intention to later publish the text to make it available to a wider audience.

In the meanwhile, José Cabezón and Geshe Lobsang Dargyay published their translation of the same work in 2006. Our project was laid on ice. for some years. Recently, however, we decided that it was important for our work to be published as well. Every reader, every translator has a different way to read and interpret a text. In Tibet too, certain important works by Indian masters were translated more than once, for various reasons.

Students of Madhyamaka philosophy will definitely benefit from this new translation, prepared by one of the most qualified teachers of Gorampa's own tradition, in collaboration with one of his Western students.

This text is a perfect example of the rich philosophical heritage of Tibet. Being polemical in tone, it criticises philosophical views of reality prevalent at Gorampa's time, which he held were not in accord with the original Indian tradition.

The Omniscient Gowo Rabjampa Sönam Senge (Gorampa) was born in 1429 in Eastern Tibet (Kham). At his own request, because he was aware of the suffering of sentient beings even at such a young age, Gorampa was ordained at the age of ten, under Abbot Kunga Bum and went on to study many philosophical texts with Kunga Bum and Rabjampa Sherab Palwa. When he was only twenty years old, he traveled to central Tibet, where he mastered the sutra literature under the guidance of Rongtön Shakya Gyaltsen, Jamchen Rabjampa Sangye Phel and others. He also mastered the mantra literature, which he studied with Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo, Muchen Könchok Gyaltsen and others. He received full bhiksu ordination from Müchen Könchok Gyaltsen at the age of twenty-six. He went on to establish the Institute of Serling in Tsang province and Thubten Namgyal Ling Institute at Tanag Rinchen Tse. At the age of 55 he became abbot of Ngor monastery, where he served for four years. He passed away in 1489 at the age of 61. Known as one of the six ornaments in the Sakya school, he was a great scholar whose fame spread throughout Tibet. It is generally acknowledged that there was not a single scholar in Tibet at that time who could compare with him.

Künkhyen Gorampa wrote with great authority and was renowned for the depth and impartiality of his scholarship. Like his great forerunner, Sakya Pandita, he was rigorous in his pursuit of the authentic meaning of the teachings, which he adhered to without subtracting anything from them or imbuing them with personal beliefs or preferences. Since he composed many texts and was a consummate debater and a great teacher, he performed the three activities of a scholar.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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