Translator(s): Geshe Lobsang Tharchin / Michael Roach
Publisher: Paljor Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8185132186
The entire teachings of Buddhism explained in a few short pages by the greatest Buddhist master of ancient Middle Asia.
The spread of the teaching of Gautama Buddha began in India over two thousand years ago and reached perhaps its highest peak in the hidden mountain kingdom of Tibet, five centuries before our time. The great illuminary of this renaissance of the religion of total peace was Tsongkapa (1357-1419). He inspired a movement that by the time Tibet was lost in 1959 saw nearly a million monks living in thousands of monasteries around the country.
Tsongkapa was the greatest commentator in the history of Buddhism and wrote some 10,000 pages in eloquent explanation of the entire range of the ancient Buddhist classics. He undertook the challenge of compressing all this knowledge into a single poem. The result was his famous Three Principal Paths, fourteen verses written for a favored student in a faraway land.
Tsongkapa's masterpiece appears here with a commentary by the illustrious Pabongka Rinpoche (1878-1941), generally regarded as the foremost Tibetan teacher of Buddhism during the last century. The work has been translated by Geshe Lobsang Tharchin, one of the last Buddhist masters of old Tibet.
TSONGKAPA (1357-1419), also known as Je Rinpoche Lobsang Drakpa, was perhaps the single greatest commentator in the 2,500 year history of Buddhism. He was born in the district of Tsongka in eastern Tibet and took his first vows at a tender age. As a teenager he had already mastered much of the teachings of Buddhism and was sent by his tutors to the great teachings of Buddhism and was sent by his tutors to the great monastic universities of central Tibet. Here he studied under the leading Buddhist scholars of his day; it is said as well that he enjoued mystic visions in which he met and learned from different forms of the Buddha himself. The 18 volumes of Tsongkapa's collected works contain eloquent and incisive commentaries on virtually every major classic of ancient Buddhism, as well as his famed treatises on the steps of the Path to Buddahod.
His students, who included the first Dalai Lama of Tibet, contributed hundereds of their own exposition of Buddhist philosophy and practice. Tsongkapa founded the Great Three monasteries of Tibet. where by custom nearly 25,000 monks have studied the scripturer of Buddhism over the centuries. He also instituted the great Monlam festival, a period of religiuos study and celebration for the entire Tibetan nation. Tsongkapa passed away in his 62nd year, at his home monastery of Ganden in Lhama, the capital of Tibet.
KHENCHEN THRANGU RINPOCHE was born in Kham in 1933. At the age of five he was formally recognized by the Sixteenth Karmapa and the previous situ Rinpoche as the incarnation of the great Thrangu tulku. From the ages of seven to sixteen he entered Thrangu monastery and studied reading, writing, grammar, poetry, astrology, memorized ritual texts and completed two preliminary retreats. At the age of sixteen he began the study of the three vehicles of Buddhism under the direction of Khenpo Lodro Rabsel.
He also spent time in retreat. At the age of twenty-three and the time of the Chinese Military takeover, Rinpoche left Tibet for Rumtek monastery in Sikkim where the Karmapa had his seat in exile. At the age of thirty-five he took the geshe examination before 1,500 monks at Buxador monastic refugee camp in Bengal and was awarded the highest degree of Rabjam. On his return to Rumtek he was named Khenpo or main teacher of Rumtek and all other Kagyu monasteries and became abbot of Rumtek monastery and also of the Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist studies also at Rumtek. He has been the personal teacher of the four principle Kagyu tulkus: Shamar Rinpoche, Situ Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtul Rinpoche, and Gyaltsab Rinpoche.
The First Path: Renunciation
The Second Path: The Wish to Achieve Enlightenment for every living being
The Third Path: Correct View
A Secret Key