Perfect or Perfected? Rongton on Buddha-Nature : A Commentary on the fourth chapter of the Ratnagotravibhaga
Author: Rongton Sheja Kunrig, Translated and introduced by Christian Bernert
CHODUNG KARMO TRANSLATION GROUP
About the Book
As the most important canonical treatise on Buddha-nature, the Ratnagotravibhaga (also known as Uttaratantrasastra, Tib. rgyud bla ma) established the doctrinal foundations for the Mahayana philosophy of tathagatagarbha, the doctrine according to which all sentient beings are either inherently buddhas or endowed with the potential for awakening. Among the most prominent Tibetan commentaries on this text figures that of the Sakya master Rongtön Sheja Künrig, a prolific writer who was active during the golden age of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. Refuting on one hand the notion that Buddha-nature is synonymous with mere emptiness, and on the other that the mind is inherently endowed with the Buddha qualities, Rongtön argues for an understanding of Buddha-nature that embraces both aspects of the nature of mind: cognizance and emptiness.
RONGTÖN SHEJA KÜNRIG (1376-1449) figures among the greatest teachers of the Sakya tradition. Particularly renowned for his commentaries on the Five Treatises of Maitreya, his vast erudition and extensive teaching career made him one of the most influential masters for the scholastic lineages of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. This volume contains an annotated translation of Rongtön Chenpo’s commentary on the central chapter of this treatise (including the relevant stanzas of the root text), along with an extensive introduction to the historical development of this doctrine and an analysis of Rongtön’s position.