Btsan kha bo che

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བཙན་ཁ་བོ་ཆེ་
Wylie btsan kha bo che
English Phonetics Tsen Khawoche
Other names
  • དྲི་མེད་ཤེས་རབ་
  • dri med shes rab
Dates
Birth:   1021


Tibetan calendar dates

Dates of birth
Day
Month
Gender Female
Element Iron
Animal Bird
Rab Jyung
About
Religious Affiliation
Kadam
Teachers
grwa pa mngon shes · Sajjana
Links
BDRC Link
https://www.tbrc.org/#!rid=P4654
Treasury of Lives Link
https://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Tsen-Khawoche/7113
Wiki Pages


Buddha Nature Project
Person description or short bio
The namesake of the Tsen Tradition (btsan lugs) of the exegesis of the Uttaratantra, commonly referred to as the Meditation Tradition (sgom lugs). He travelled to Kashmir when he was in his mid-50's in 1076 along with Ngok Lotsāwa and others to study with various scholars, including Sajjana. With Zu Gawai Dorje acting as his translator, he famously requested instructions on the Uttaratantra from Sajjana in order to make it his "death practice" ('chi chos). These instructions became the basis for the Tsen Tradition, which was an important progenitor for later interpretations of the Uttaratantra, such as those associated with Zhentong and Mahāmudrā. He returned to Tibet in 1089, some two or three years before Ngok, and thus was likely the first Tibetan to begin propagating the teachings he had received from Sajjana on the Five Treatises of Maitreya on Tibetan soil.

Expand to see this person's philosophical positions on Buddha-nature.

Is Buddha-nature considered definitive or provisional?
Position: Definitive
Notes: Karl Brunnhölzl cites ShAkya mchog ldan:

"The definitive meaning that he found from having studied the dharmas of Maitreya is explained by those in his lineage as follows. The sugata heart is the naturally pure wisdom, luminous by nature, that pervades [everyone] from buddhas to sentient beings. In earlier times these [two approaches] were known as "the difference between explaining the dharmas of Maitreya as the tradition of characteristics (mtshan nyid kyi lugs) and explaining them as the meditative tradition (sgom lugs)." However, in both cases there is no contradiction because the explanation according to the first approach is more profound at the time of eliminating the clinging to characteristics, while the explanation according to the latter approach is needed so that the sugata heart can function as the support of qualities." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, p. 124.

All beings have Buddha-nature
Position: Yes
If "Qualified", explain:
Notes: Karl Brunnhölzl cites ShAkya mchog ldan: "The sugata heart is the naturally pure wisdom, luminous by nature, that pervades everyone from buddhas to sentient beings." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, p. 124.
Which Wheel Turning
Position: Third Turning
Notes: "Kunga Drölcho provides some context for Dsen Kawoché’s view and for the following excerpts from the latter’s teachings, which Kunga Drölcho compiled as Guiding Instructions on the View of Other-Emptiness:

As for the Guiding Instructions on the View of Other-Emptiness, Dsen Kawoché said, "The Kashmiri paṇḍita Sajjana made the following very essential statement: ‘The victor turned the wheel of dharma three times—the first wheel teaches the four realities of the noble ones, the second one teaches the lack of characteristics, and the final one makes excellent distinctions. Among these, the first two do not distinguish between what is actual and what is nominal. The last one was spoken at the point of certainty about the ultimate by distinguishing between the middle and extremes and by distinguishing between phenomena and the nature of phenomena. " Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, pp. 142-143.

Yogācāra vs Madhyamaka
Position: Yogācāra
Notes: Karl cites Kongtrul stating, "TOK calls Ngog’s tradition of the Maitreya texts "the oral transmission of explanation" (bshad pa’i bka’ babs) and Dsen’s lineage, "the oral transmission of practice" (sgrub pa’i bka’ babs), saying that they are asserted to hold the views of Madhyamaka and Mere Mentalism, respectively." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, p. 124.
Zhentong vs Rangtong
Position:
Notes: He predates the category, but as Stearns remarks, "Tsen Kawoché . . . is often thought to be the first Tibetan to have taught what later came to be known as the Zhentong view." See Stearns, C., The Buddha from Dolpo, pp. 42–3 and pp. 88–9.
Promotes how many vehicles?
Position:
Notes:
Analytic vs Meditative Tradition
Position: Meditative Tradition
Notes: *"These two traditions of rngog and btsan were respectively called the "analytical tradition" (thos bsam gyi lugs) and "meditative tradition" (sgom lugs)." Kano, K., Buddha-Nature and Emptiness, p. 242
  • "The lineage through Ngog Lotsāwa is often called "the exegetical tradition of the dharma works of Maitreya" (byams chos bshad lugs), while Dsen Kawoché’s transmissions represent "the meditative tradition of the dharma works of Maitreya" (byams chos sgom lugs)." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, p. 123.
What is Buddha-nature?
Position: Tathāgatagarbha as Mind's Luminous Nature
Notes: *Kano. K., Buddha-Nature and Emptiness, p. 242, footnote 4. Van der Kuijp via Shakya mchog ldan.
  • Mathes cites Gö Lotsāwa as stating, "The followers of the tradition of Tsen (Btsan) maintain that since the luminous nature of mind is the buddha nature, the cause of buddha[hood] is fertile" Mathes, K., A Direct Path to the Buddha Within, p. 33.
  • "According to BA, those who follow the tradition of Dsen Kawoché (Tib. Btsan Kha bo che) hold that since the tathāgata heart is the naturally luminous nature of the mind, it is the powerful vital cause of buddhahood. TOK agrees, saying that, according to the Eighth Situpa, the texts in Dsen Kawoché’s lineage accepted a really established, self-aware, self-luminous cognition empty of the duality of apprehender and apprehended to be the powerful vital cause of buddhahood." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, p. 65.
  • Karl Brunnhölzl cites ShAkya mchog ldan: "The sugata heart is the naturally pure wisdom, luminous by nature, that pervades everyone from buddhas to sentient beings." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part, p. 124.
Svātantrika (རང་རྒྱུད་) vs Prāsaṅgika (ཐལ་འགྱུར་པ་)
Position:
Notes:
Causal nature of the vajrapāda
Position: