Five principal considerations

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The panditas of the glorious monastic university of Nalanda would teach the Buddha’s words in terms of the five perfections and the treatises by means of five principal considerations (Tib. རྩིས་མགོ་ཡན་ལག་ལྔ་, Wyl. rtsis mgo yan lag lnga), which are:

  1. Who is the text’s author? (Tib. མཛད་པ་པོ་, Wyl. mdzad pa po)
  2. From which scriptures does the text draw? (Tib. ལུང་གང་ནས་བཏུས་, Wyl. lung gang nas btus)
  3. To which category does it belong? (Tib. ཕྱོགས་གང་དུ་གཏོགས་, Wyl. phyogs gang du gtogs)
  4. What is its basic theme from beginning to end? (Tib. དབུ་ནས་ཞབས་སུ་བསྡུས་པའི་དོན་, Wyl. dbu nas zhabs su bsdus pa'i don)
  5. For whose benefit and for what purpose was it composed? (Tib. དགོས་ཆེད་སུ་ཞིག་གི་དོན་དུ་མཛད་, Wyl. dgos ched su zhig gi don du mdzad)

Explaining the five principal considerations is necessary because it engenders confidence in the authenticity of the teaching. [1]


  1. Patrul Rinpoche, Preliminary Points To be Explained when Teaching the Buddha's Word or the Treatises, translated by Adam Pearcey.

Alternative Translations

  • Five topics of presentation (Padmakara Translation Group)
  • Five measures (Thomas H. Doctor)
  • Five points (Ringu Tulku Rinpoche)
  • Five types of preliminary assessment (Andreas Kretschmar)

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