Five Treatises of Maitreya

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The Five Treatises of Maitreya (Tib. byams chos sde lnga) - The bodhisattva Maitreya, who will be the next buddha after Shakyamuni, transmitted the root teachings to Asanga, who transcribed them as the ‘Five Treatises of Maitreya’.

Among the five, four are classed as shastras (commentaries) proper, and one falls into the class of oral instructions. The four that are shastras are extensive are:

1. The Ornament of Clear Realization (Skt. Abhisamayalankara; Tib. ngönpar tokpé gyen).
2. The Ornament of the Mahayana Sutras (Skt. Mahayanasutralankara; Tib. tekpa chenpö do de gyen).
3. Distinguishing the Middle from the Extremes (Skt. Madhyantavibhaga; Tib. ü dang ta nampar chepa).
4. The Sublime Continuum (Skt. Uttaratantra Shastra; Tib. gyü lama).

5. The text, Distinguishing Dharma and Dharmata (Skt. Dharma-dharmata-vibhanga; Tib. chö dang chönyi nampar chepa) is very brief and direct in its presentation and is included within the class of oral instructions.