The Treasury of Knowledge - Book 6, Part 3

T02083

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In Tibetan religious literature, Jamgon Kongtrul`s Treasury of Knowledge in ten volumes stands out as a unique encyclopedic masterpiece embodying the entire range of Buddhist teachings.

Among the ten books that make up this tour de force, Book Six is by far the longest concisely summarizing the theoretical fields of knowledge to be studied prior to the cultivation of reflection and discriminative awareness. This volume, Frameworks of Buddhist Philosophy, is his masterful survey of the broad themes and subtle philosophical points found in more than fifteen hundred years of Buddhist philosophical writings.

In a clear and systematic manner, Jamgon Kongrul sets out the traditional framework of Buddhism's three vehicles and four philosophical systems, and provides an overview of the key points of each system. His syncretic approach, which emphasizes the strengths of each of the systems and incorporates them into a comprehensive picture of philosophical endeavor, is well-suited for scholar-practitioners who seek awakening through the combination of analytical inquiry and meditation.

This installment, just one of an ambitious project underway to translate the entire Treasury, covers, in Jamgon Kongtrul's very concise style, the entire spectrum of views on the Buddha's teachings as studied in Tibetan Buddhism, from the Four Noble Truths through the Middle Way School tenets regarding emptiness. Jamgon Kongtrul surveys first the Shravakayana and Pratyekabuddhayana approaches to the spiritual path. Then he walks the reader through the philosophical underpinnings of the Mahayana, which is itself broken down into the Mind Only and Middle Way schools (the latter including the Autonomy, Consequence, Self-Empty, and Other-Empty schools, as well as Secret Mantra).

"Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Tayé was one of the leading scholars of the nineteenth century. He broke through sectarian constraints and achieved a deep understanding of the the different philosophical approaches in Tibet. I have no doubt that by studying Kongtrul's works readers will be inspired to emulate his great qualities of humility, dedication, patience, and nonsectarianism. H.H. the Dalai Lama