Phywa pa chos kyi seng+ge

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Wylie phywa pa chos kyi seng+ge
English Phonetics Chapa Chökyi Senge
Sort Name Chapa Chökyi Senge
Other names
  • ཆ་པ་ཆོས་ཀྱི་སེངྒེ་
  • ཕྱ་པ་ཆོས་ཀྱི་སེངྒེ་
  • གསང་ཕུ་ནེའུ་ཐོག་མཁན་རབས་༠༦་
  • cha pa chos kyi seng+ge
  • phya pa chos kyi seng+ge
  • gsang phu ne'u thog mkhan rabs 06
Birth:   1109
Death:   1169
Place of birth:   phywa yul (stag rtse khul)

Tibetan calendar dates

Dates of birth
Gender Female
Element Earth
Animal Ox
Rab Jyung 2
Religious Affiliation
Primary Professional Affiliation
Sangpu Neutok Monastery
gro lung pa blo gros 'byung gnas · byang chub grags · zhang tshe spong chos kyi bla ma
Karmapa, 1st · phag mo gru pa rdo rje rgyal po · bsod nams rtse mo · rma bya byang chub brtson 'grus · gtsang nag pa brtson 'grus seng+ge · 'jad pa slob dpon ston skyabs · slob dpon gtsang pa 'jam seng · nyang bran pa chos kyi ye shes · ldan ma dkon mchog seng+ge · dan 'bag pa smra ba'i seng ge
Biographical information
From shAkya mchog ldan a more detailed description of important students: དཔེ་འགྲེམས་ཀྱི་གྲྭ་པ་ལྔ་སྟོང་ཙམ་བྱུང་བར་གྲགས། དེའི་ནང་ནས་མཆོག་ཏུ་གྱུར་པ། གྲུབ་ཐོབ་མི་གསུམ། ཇོ་སྲས་མི་བཞི། ཤེས་རབ་ཅན་མི་གསུམ། སེང་ཆེན་བརྒྱད ་རྣམས་སོ། །དང་པོ་ནི། རྗེ་དུས་གསུམ་མཁྱེན་པ། ཕག་མོ་གྲུབ་པ། གསལ་སྟོ་ཤོ་སྒོམ་རྣམས་སོ། །ལ་ལ་ཞང་འཚལ་པ་ཡིན་ཞེས་ཟེར། གཉིས་པ་ནི། ས་ཇོ་སྲས་བསོད་ནམས་རྩེ་མོ། མཉོས་ཇོ་སྲས་དཔལ་ལེ། ཁུ་ཇོ་སྲས་ནེ་ཙོ། རྔོག་ཇོ་སྲས་ར་མོ་རྣམས་སོ། །གསུམ་པ་ནི། རྐོང་པོ་འཇག་ཆུང༌། ལྷོ་པ་སྒོག་གཟན། པར་བུ་བ་བློ་གྲོས་སེང་གེ་རྣམས་སོ། །སྒོག་གཟན་ནི་ལྷོ་པ་ཐམས་ཅད་མཁྱེན་པར་གྲགས་པ་སྟེ། ལྷོ་པ་དྷར་སེང་ངོ༌། །བཞི་པ་ནི། ཕྱྭ་པའི་རྗེས་སུ་གདན་ས་ལོ་ལྔ་མཛད་པའི་བརྩེགས་དབང་ཕྱུག་སེང་གེ་གཙང་ནག་པ་བརྩོན་འགྲུས་སེང་གེ་ རྨ་བྱ་རྩོད་པའི་སེང་གེ་ བྲུ་ཤ་བསོད་ནམས་སེང་གེ་ མྱང་བྲན་པ་ཆོས་ཀྱི་སེང་གེ་ དན་འབག་པ་སྨྲ་བའི་སེང་གེ་ འདམ་པ་དཀོན་མཆོག་སེང་གེ་ རྐྱང་དུར་བ་གཞོན་ནུ་སེང་གེ་ ལ་ལ་དག་འུ་ཡུག་པ་བསོད་ནམས་སེང་གེ ཞེས་ཟེར་ཡང་དུས་མི་འགྲིག་ Another list of the seng chen rgyad can be found in the Chos 'byung mkhas pa'i dga' ston, p. 729: སློབ་མ་ཐུགས་སྲས་སེང་ཆེན་བརྒྱད་ཅེས། གཙང་ནག་པ་བརྩོན་འགྲུས་སེང་གེ དན་འབག་སྨྲ་བའི་སེང་གེ བྲུ་ཤ་བསོད་ནམས་སེང་གེ རྨ་བྱ་རྩོད་པའི་སེང་གེ རྩགས་དབང་ཕྱུག་སེང་གེ ཉང་བྲན་ཆོས་ཀྱི་སེང་གེ འདན་མ་དཀོན་མཆོག་སེང་གེ གཉལ་པ་ཡོན་ཏན་སེང་གེ ཁ་ཅིག་གཙང་པ་འཇམ་དཔལ་སེང་གེ་ཡང་འདྲེན། And again in the Chos rnam kun btus, p. 1853: 1. gtsang nag pa brtson 'grus seng ge 2. dan 'bag pa smra ba'i seng ge 3. bru sha bsod nams seng ge 4. rmya ba rtsod pa'i seng ge 5. rtsags dbang phyug seng ge 6. myang bran chos kyi seng ge 7. ldan ma dkon mchog seng ge 8. gnyal pa yon tan seng ge
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Buddha Nature Project
Person description or short bio
Phywa pa [alt. Cha pa] Chos kyi Seng ge. (Chapa Chökyi Senge) (1109–1169). The sixth abbot of Gsang phu ne’u thog, a Bka' gdams monastery founded in 1073 by Rngog Legs pa'i shes rab. Among his students are included the first Karma pa, Dus gsum mkhyen pa and the Sa skya hierarch Bsod nams rtse mo. His collected works include explanations of Madhyamaka and Prajñāpāramitā. With his influential Tshad ma'i bsdus pa yid kyi mun sel rtsa 'grel he continued the line of pramāṇa scholarship started by Rngog Blo ldan shes rab, one that would later be challenged by Sa skya Paṇḍita. He is credited with originating the distinctively Tibetan bsdus grwa genre of textbook (used widely in Dge lugs monasteries) that introduces beginners to the main topics in abhidharma in a peculiar dialectical form that strings together a chain of consequences linked by a chain of reasons. He also played an important role in the formation of the bstan rim genre of Tibetan Buddhist literature, the forerunner of the more famous lam rim. (Source: "Phywa pa Chos kyi Seng ge." In The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, 644. Princeton University Press, 2014.

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

Is Buddha-nature considered definitive or provisional?
Position: Definitive
Notes: He usually considers it to be definitive with some exceptions:
  • "Chapa also asserts that the Uttaratantra is a definitive work. He uses phrases such as "the supreme meaning" (mchog gi don) and "the secret of the Mahāyāna" (theg pa chen po'i gsang ba) to refer to the Uttaratantra." Wangchuk, Tsering. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, p. 18.
  • "While Chapa shows that the Uttaratantra is definitive, he demonstrates that certain phrases in the Uttaratantra are not necessarily definitive—such as the passage teaching the buddha-element as cause. This is because for Chapa being a cause in this context entails being conditioned and conventional and something that exists only on the causal state of enlightenment, whereas the buddha-element is unconditioned and ultimate and something that exists pervasively as the ultimate nature on both the causal and resultant levels of enlightenment." Wangchuk, Tsering.The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, p. 19.
All beings have Buddha-nature
Position: Qualified Yes
If "Qualified", explain: "...both Ngok and Chapa argue that sentient beings do not have tathāgata-essence on the basis of the first reason because they do not have the purified enlightened body of a buddha, rather they have the potential to achieve an enlightened state. However, they agree that sentient beings have the tathāgata-essence from the perspective of the second reason, which is that such-ness is indivisible or nondual. As Ngok states, 'That both a tathāgata and ordinary beings have [tathāgata] essence is actually the case.' The first reason is true only for enlightened beings, but only designated for ordinary beings; the second reason applies to both enlightened beings and sentient beings. Therefore, the two Kadam masters argue that sentient beings do not have the tathāgata-essence from the perspective of either the first reason of the resultant essence or the third reason of the causal essence. Rather it is the second reason that becomes the central point for establishing the link between enlightenment and sentient beings. It is the middle reason that shows that sentient beings and tathāgatas are the same in their ultimate nature. In other words, the only thing that sentient beings have in common with enlightened beings is the ultimate nature of their minds."
Notes: Wangchuk, Tsering. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, pp. 17-18.
Which Wheel Turning
Position: Third Turning
Notes: "Therefore, for both Ngok and Chapa, the Uttaratantra is a definitive work, and it is also a treatise that explains the meaning of the last-wheel sutras such as the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra and the Śrīmālādevīsūtra." Wangchuk, Tsering. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, p. 20.
Yogācāra vs Madhyamaka
Position: Madhyamaka
Notes: "For him, the fact that the Uttaratantra teaches all sentient beings as having the buddha-nature shows that the Uttaratantra is a Madhyamaka text, not Cittamātra. Wangchuk, Tsering. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, p. 23.
Zhentong vs Rangtong
Notes: He predates this debate.
Promotes how many vehicles?
Analytic vs Meditative Tradition
Position: Analytic Tradition
Notes: Chapa was clearly a participant in the rngog lugs.
  • "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.
  • Wangchuk's wording of this is confusing or perhaps mistaken, see Wangchuk, Tsering. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, p. 8.
What is Buddha-nature?
Position: Tathāgatagarbha as the Latent State of Buddhahood that is Obscured in Sentient Beings
Notes: "Tathāgata-essence must not be connected to either the first reason—the notion that the resultant buddha-body pervades all beings—or the third reason which is that causal buddha-nature exists in all beings. Therefore, tathāgata-essence is neither the resultant buddha-body nor the causal buddha-nature, rather it is the ultimate nature of suchness." Wangchuk, Tsering. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, p. 16.
Svātantrika (རང་རྒྱུད་) vs Prāsaṅgika (ཐལ་འགྱུར་པ་)
Position: Svātantrika (རང་རྒྱུད་)
Notes: Wangchuk, Tsering. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows, p. 14, quotes van der Kuijp.
Causal nature of the vajrapāda