Four modes

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Four modes (Skt. caturvidha; Wyl. tshul bzhi) are:

  1. literal (or morphemic) (tshig gi tshul)
  2. general (spyi'i tshul)
  3. hidden (sbas pa'i tshul)
  4. ultimate (mthar thug gi tshul)

Alternative Translations

  • Four programs of interpretation (Thurman)
  • Four styles (Matthew Kapstein)
  1. lexical
  2. general
  3. concealed
  4. conclusive

Further Reading

  • Robert Thurman. 'Vajra Hermeneutics' in Donald S. Lopez (ed.), Buddhist Hermeneutics. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1993
  • Appendix 1. The Six Limits & Four Modes pp.161-166 in The Light of Wisdom Volume 1. Root text by Padmasambhava and commentary by Jamgön Kongtrül the Great. Published by Shambhala Publications ISBN 0-87773-566-2

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