Difference between revisions of "Beacon of Certainty"

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[[Image:Mipham.JPG|frame|[[Mipham Rinpoche]]]]
 
[[Image:Mipham.JPG|frame|[[Mipham Rinpoche]]]]
'''The Beacon of Certainty''' (Tib. ''Ngeshé Drönmé''; [[Wyl.]] ''nges shes sgron me'') — is a commentary composed by the 19th century scholar [[Mipham Rinpoche]] at a very young age <ref>According to [[Khenpo Jikmé Phuntsok]] and [[Troshul Jamdor]] Mipham Rinpoche composed ''The Beacon of Certainty'' at the age of six.</ref>. It is structured around seven questions including quite practical issues of everyday practice such as "Does one meditate analytically or in calm abiding?"  Because of its thoroughness in addressing the foundations of the Nyingma-pa tradition, from Madhyamika philosophy to the view of Dzogchen, it is a key text studied in virtually all Nyingma-pa shedras.  The title, "The Beacon of Certainty", and the subsequent arguments, remind practitioners that unwavering certainty in the view is like a shining beacon that illuminates our spiritual path.
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'''The Beacon of Certainty''' (Tib. ''Ngeshé Drönmé''; [[Wyl.]] ''nges shes sgron me'') — is a commentary composed by the 19th century scholar [[Mipham Rinpoche]] at a very young age <ref>According to [[Khenpo Jikmé Phuntsok]] and [[Troshul Jamdor]] Mipham Rinpoche composed ''The Beacon of Certainty'' at the age of six.</ref>. It is structured around seven questions including such practical issues of everyday practice as "Does one meditate analytically or in calm abiding?"  Because of its thoroughness in addressing the foundations of the Nyingma-pa tradition, from Madhyamika philosophy to the view of Dzogchen, it is a key text studied in virtually all Nyingma-pa shedras.  The title, "The Beacon of Certainty", and the subsequent arguments, remind practitioners that unwavering certainty in the view of the indivisible union of appearance and emptiness is a shining beacon that illuminates the spiritual path.
  
 
While giving insight into the key points of view and meditation on the level of [[madhyamaka]] and tantra, the main purpose of this text is to elucidate the teachings of [[Dzogchen]]<ref>John W. Pettit, ''Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism'' (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1999), page 5.</ref>, and the introduction to [[Khenpo Kunpal]]'s commentary reads:
 
While giving insight into the key points of view and meditation on the level of [[madhyamaka]] and tantra, the main purpose of this text is to elucidate the teachings of [[Dzogchen]]<ref>John W. Pettit, ''Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism'' (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1999), page 5.</ref>, and the introduction to [[Khenpo Kunpal]]'s commentary reads:

Revision as of 16:40, 20 June 2011

The Beacon of Certainty (Tib. Ngeshé Drönmé; Wyl. nges shes sgron me) — is a commentary composed by the 19th century scholar Mipham Rinpoche at a very young age [1]. It is structured around seven questions including such practical issues of everyday practice as "Does one meditate analytically or in calm abiding?" Because of its thoroughness in addressing the foundations of the Nyingma-pa tradition, from Madhyamika philosophy to the view of Dzogchen, it is a key text studied in virtually all Nyingma-pa shedras. The title, "The Beacon of Certainty", and the subsequent arguments, remind practitioners that unwavering certainty in the view of the indivisible union of appearance and emptiness is a shining beacon that illuminates the spiritual path.

While giving insight into the key points of view and meditation on the level of madhyamaka and tantra, the main purpose of this text is to elucidate the teachings of Dzogchen[2], and the introduction to Khenpo Kunpal's commentary reads:

This Precious Beacon of Certainty is like an eye that brings all the difficult points of sutra and tantra into focus. Externally, it accords with Prasangika; internally, it accords with the Sutra that Gathers all Intentions (Tib. Gongpa Düpé Do ; Wyl. dgongs pa ’dus pa’i mdo) and the Guhyagarbha Tantra; secretly, it accords with the Great Perfection[3].

In his own introduction to the text, Khenpo Jamyang Drubpé Lodrö writes:

This sacred work, The Precious Beacon of Certainty, sheds its light of definitive understanding on important points from our own and other tenet systems.
It is a dragon’s roar to wake us from the sleep of foolish meditation,
And a sword to cut through error and wrong view.
With crucial points drawn from sutras and tantras of definitive meaning,
Showing the progressive stages on the Great Vehicle’s general path of sutra and mantra,
For the Ancient Translation School, the unique tradition of the Lake-born Buddha.

Structure of the Text

The text is structured as answers to the following seven questions:

  1. According to which of the two negations do you explain the view?
  2. Do arhats realize both types of selflessness?
  3. Does meditation involve grasping at an object?
  4. Should we do analytical meditation or settling meditation?
  5. Which of the two truths is most important?
  6. What is the common object of disparate perceptions?
  7. Does Madhyamaka have a position or not?

Translations

  • John W. Pettit, Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, Wisdom Publications, 1999

Commentaries

It is also said that Pöpa Tulku's Distinguishing Views and Tenets is a 'meaning commentary' on Beacon of Certainty. A commentary by the contemporary teacher Khangsar Tenpé Wangchuk is awaiting publication.

Teachings given to the Rigpa Sangha

Notes

  1. According to Khenpo Jikmé Phuntsok and Troshul Jamdor Mipham Rinpoche composed The Beacon of Certainty at the age of six.
  2. John W. Pettit, Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1999), page 5.
  3. Ibid. page 128