Three major structural themes

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As regards the three major structural themes (Tib. ཆིངས་ཆེན་པོ་གསུམ་་, ching chenpo sum, Wyl. chings chen po gsum) used when teaching or explaining a text, one can teach in any of the following three ways:

  1. dividing the text into sections, which is likened to the leaping of a tigress;
  2. covering every word of the text, which is compared to the slow crawl of a tortoise; or
  3. reviewing a section, which is likened to the majestic posture of a lion.

The metaphor is of a lion majestically turning its head and looking behind at the ground it has covered.[1]


  1. Patrul Rinpoche, Preliminary Points to be Explained when Teaching the Buddha's Word or the Treatises

Alternative translations

  • Three great key points (Andreas Kretschmar)

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