Dharma

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Dharma texts from the Longchen Nyingtik Field of merit

Dharma (Skt.; Tib. ཆོས་, chö; Wyl. chos) — the word used to refer to the teachings of the Buddha (Skt. Buddhadharma). It has many shades of meaning, including ‘the spiritual path’, or ‘spirituality’ in general. It also refers to phenomena, meaning things and events. See also ten meanings of Dharma.

Contents

Subdivisions

Dharma of transmission

The Dharma of transmission (Skt. āgama dharma; Wyl. lung gi chos) consists of the three collections (pitaka): Vinaya, Sutra and Abhidharma.

Dharma of realization

The Dharma of realization (Wyl. rtogs pa'i chos) is the threefold higher training:

  • The training in higher discipline, which is the subject matter of the vinaya collection.
  • The training in higher meditation, which is the subject matter of the sutra collection.
  • The training in higher wisdom, which is the subject matter of the abhidharma collection.

Jikmé Lingpa said that if you understand that meaning of a single verse, that constitutes the Dharma of scripture or transmission, and if you give rise to a virtuous mind for just an instant, that is the Dharma of realization.[1]

Eight Qualities of the Dharma

According to Maitreya's Uttaratantra Shastra, the Dharma has eight qualities of cessation and the path:

Path:

1) purity, since free from emotional obscurations
2) clarity, since free from cognitive obscurations
3) remedy, since it overcomes both obscurations

Cessation:

4) inconceivable, since beyond concepts
5) utterly peaceful, since it is free from karma and disturbing emotions
6) unfathomable, since individually cognized

And

7) cessation; and
8) the path.

Notes

  1. tshigs bcad gcig gi don shes na/ de ni lung gi bstan pa yin/dge sems skad cig skyes pa na/ de ni rtogs pa’i bstan pa yin.

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