MANI KABUM contains the history of the world’s evolution, including how Dharma came into this world, and how the sentient beings of snow Land was subdued. Prayer of Auspiciousness from the Mani Kabum PDF- Written by Dharma King Songtsen Gampo, translated by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. “Prayer of Auspiciousness . A Buddhist discussion forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Recommend, review and discuss dharma books here.. Mani Kabum.
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The collection as a whole is considered a treasure text gter maspecific portions of which were consecutively discovered by three treasure revealers gter ston from the middle of the twelfth to the middle of the thirteenth century.
It is especially unique for being “composed” by Songtsen Gampo rather than Padmasambhava, the famous 8th-century tantrika who would become so inextricably associated with the treasure tradition during the Renaissance period and afterwards. A third of the collection consists of ritual manuals sgrub thabs ; Skt. The last third of the text consists of doctrine, meditational and philosophical treatises no doubt utilized in monastic settings.
It is the central text for the most popular deity cult in Tibetan history, and its importance through multiple venues are explored further below. When we discuss issues of authorship relating to the creation and development of treasure texts, we find that the western concept of “authoring” a text does not correlate with this particular Tibetan literary genre.
Treasure revelation as a concept and as a textual tradition is somewhat difficult for a western audience to digest. In part, the idea is difficult to understand because from our vantage point, the idea of authorship is central to the creation of a text. Treasure texts are believed to be texts that were initially created by an enlightened being and then concealed in the ground, in someone’s mind, in a heaven, etc. Generally, the person or persons who became treasure revealers were deemed by the enlightened author of the text to be capable of comprehending and successfully translating the pith of the text for the consumption and benefit of the greater society.
The text is traditionally believed to have been taught by the Imperial King Songtsen Gampo; at this time the teachings were written down and concealed in multiple places in the Lhasa Jokhang temple Martin refers to it as the ‘phrul snang Temple; Martinp.
According to tradition, the text remained in these hidden places only to be later revealed by three treasure revealers. The first discovery is believed to have taken place around the middle of the twelfth century. Although authorship is traditionally attributed to the Imperial king, many people were involved in the development of the text. Furthermore, he was vocal about his perception of the chaotic time in which he lived as a period of general social erosion. This concern suggests that his “discovery” of the terma of King Songtsen Gampo was an attempt to help redevelop a sturdy foundation for society in the image of the Imperial period Davidsonp.
Originality was not rewarded in the creation of religious texts at this time because if a text could not be directly connected with either the Buddhism of India or the perceived golden age of the Buddhist Imperium of Tibet i. It is therefore easily understood why these treasure revealers did not take credit as the creators of original works note: For a further discussion of the use of the treasure text genre during the Renaissance period, see the History section of this essay.
We can conclude that the text would not have been considered legitimate had its authorship been solely attributed to its three discoverers. Rather than a concept of authorship, there is in this textual tradition a concern with tracing the history of a text as far back as possible, ideally to a Buddha. There is speculation among western scholars that before the texts were redacted by the above mentioned treasure revealers, the information that formed the foundation of the text was the result of a long history of an evolving popular narrative that had developed within the wider Tibetan community.
In other words, while treasure revealers were not necessarily developing these texts out of thin air, the information they included in their redactions probably resulted from an evolving community narrative, and not merely divine revelation bestowed by the spirit of the bodhisattva-king.
However, he concludes that the format and organization of the text as we know it today is probably the result of a longer process of textual evolution Kapsteinp. Hence, “authorship” as the creation of a coherent text by a specific individual who claims creative responsibility for the work does not fit with the Tibetan literary genre of treasure texts.
While we cannot therefore point to one specific “author,” we can understand that the collection was developed with the help of the mythologized Imperial King Songtsen Gampo, three Renaissance treasure revealers, and an unknown number of contributors and redactors to the popular Tibetan historical narrative. While the means of the discovery of each of these sections has been discussed above, the means of their concealing are equally important and should be elaborated further.
What is also worth noting in this translation is the brief mention of Padmasambhava highlighting the text’s authenticity to the second most important Buddhist king of the Tibetan empire, Trisong Detsen Khri srong lde btsan. Considering Padmasambhava’s central importance within the treasure tradition, this is particularly validating:.
The glorious, great one of O-rgyan [Padmasambhava] well revealed them to Lord Khri Srong-lde’u btsan, saying, “Your own ancestor Srong-btsan sgam-po has concealed such treasures in Ra-sa [i. Lastly, it is significant that these texts were discovered in the central temple of Lhasa, the Jokhang. This temple is not only kabjm ancient religious center at the very heart mni the Tibetan capital, but it was constructed in the time of Songtsen Gampo under his auspices.
Mani Kabum Translation by H.E. Trizin Tsering Rinpoche – Dharma Wheel
Furthermore, this ties into the great importance that sacred location has within the treasure text tradition. Like authorship, the concept of audience can be equally fluctuating and layered in the Tibetan context. These three can also overlap at times. These are the religious individuals that practice the text, usually in a monastic setting.
They perform the various ritual manuals it contains and write such manuals out of inspiration, they study its doctrinal texts and write commentaries, and they propagate its teachings to disciples and lay devotees. In the ritual manuals explicitly, the deity is entreated and requested to have an audience with the practitioner. As distinct as these three types of audiences may seem, they exist simultaneously in most instances. In public ceremonies, the practitioners reciting and employing the text are as much an audience to the process as they are bound up in it; and in such public activities, there is the overt audience of the lay participants.
Overall, the audience of the text may be shifting but it is constantly present. Even when the text is inactive it symbolizes a constant relationship between the practitioners, the laity, and the divine.
In Davidson’s discussion of the rise of treasure texts during the Renaissance period, he asks why these texts became important at this time in Tibetan history. There are a few particularly important historical aspects to the development this text. The first is the significance of the text as a specifically Nyingma influenced product of the Renaissance. From this follows the issue of the text as treasure, and as an intentional connection to Tibet’s early Imperial period.
The history of the origination of the text reveals a great deal about the time when it was initially brought forth. Kapstein describes the Renaissance as a period of “chaos and uncertainty” and “grave political unrest” Kapsteinpp.
Societal power was greatly decentralized, and the last vestiges of the well-ordered imperial period had faded away. During such a chaotic time, Nyingma and Sarma communities were searching for some stabilizing force, and both looked to Buddhism. Although the kinds of Buddhism the groups embraced were different, they both sought to root the changes of their spiritual communities in legitimating historical ground.
There was a huge efflorescence of translation of texts from India on the part of the Sarma community. In this time of chaotic growth and development, the old imperially-based aristocracy and all things associated with it no longer held the sway that it once had. Davidson describes it well: With the emergence during the Renaissance period of a group of Sarma translators importing works and ideas from India, the authority of all things local was at risk.
Both groups were significantly threatened by the new translation movement. It is unclear as to whether the issue of new translations, or the nature of Indian Buddhism itself, was more of a catalyst for the rise of treasure texts.
The advent of the discovery of these new texts was at least in part a direct response to these unsettling changes. There is not really an Indian precedent for treasure texts, it is unique to Tibet. Most importantly, the initial wave of treasures focused on the long-lost Tibetan empire.
Mani Kabum : Prophecies and Teachings of Great Compassion : Oral…
The idea was that the previously concealed treasure texts would come forth from their place of concealment at the time when it was most needed by society Davidsonp. Thus, the various discoverers of the text formed links of historical association with the imperium.
For the Nyingma leaders of the Renaissance period, Songtsen Gampo represented a jabum of perceived stability, when Tibet kavum ruled by an enlightened bodhisattva-king who led his people according to the Dharma. In a sense it was as though Songtsen Gampo had appeared from the past to lead his people once more.
Kapstein’s explanation is that treasure texts were predicted to emerge during a chaotic period so as to redirect the community to the right spiritual path. He explains that “[t]here can be little doubt that the myth of the religious king did much to support the notion that worldly affairs might best be placed in the iabum of essentially spiritual leaders. And it is possible, too, that the Tibetan people came to expect their temporal woes to be set aright as before, by the timely intercession of the great bodhisattva” Kapsteinp.
The text was clearly perceived to fulfill these roles, since it was received as a teaching coming directly from the mouth of one of Kabuum greatest Kabkm kings. We can conclude that the text would not have been considered nearly as legitimate had its authorship been attributed to its three discoverers.
This idea was also indigenous to Tibet. This reinforced the association of treasure texts with the imperial period. Thus, we can understand both the later history of the text and its associative ties as a created connection with an earlier Imperial period. Treasure texts provided a direct link with the imperial legacy.
It was indigenous to Tibet, yet also claimed pre-historical descendence from Indian Buddhist origins Davidsonpp. Treasure texts aided the Nyingma community in simultaneously claiming authenticity of connection with both ancient Indian Buddhism and the Tibetan Empire in an attempt to reinstate the interdependence of temporal, secular power and Buddhist spiritual leadership.
Kapstein explains that later Tibetan historians i. There are accounts of the Third Karmapa referring to it as early as the 14th century Kapsteinp. The “Great Fifth” of the Geluk school was responsible for creating the most powerful governance organization Tibet had seen since the early Imperial period. As with all important textual traditions discussed in The Blue Annalsafter a brief historical and laudatory appraisal, there is an immediate enumeration of the lineage of the text, specifically of the The Cycle of Attainment:.
Though the Commentary by a teacher, who had followed on this Doctrine enunciated by the king, does not exist at present, there still exist parts of the book on propitiating rites. Rog shes rab ‘od obtained them at the monastery of spa rnams. He gradually handed them down to his own son, and disciples.
Further, the nirmanakaya myang ston obtained them from the saint dngos grub. He myang ston transmitted the Doctrine to the bla ma ras pa mi bkyod rdo rje, the bla ma sakya seng ge bzang po, the doctor lha rje dge ba ‘bum, the sister lcam mo ye shes mchog, byang sems chus gom, mtha’ bzhi bya bral, bsod nams seng ge, bkra shis rgyal mtshan, and the bla ma blo gros rgyal mtshan.
From the last two the bla ma bsod nams bzang po. The latter to rgod phrug grags pa ‘byung gnas.
The following example concerns the recognition of Candradhvaja, who is actually another bodhisattva, as one such emanation:. The temple keeper saw them and inquired: What are you doing here? We have come to make offerings to him. Many legends exist, such as for example the following: This might indicate a kind of reappropriation of other bodhisattva traditions beneath a new tradition growing in popularity and thus in power.
Such a process of divine acquisition is not uncommon in Asian contexts. Certainly, the subjugation of the indigenous Tibetan deities under the new Buddhist paradigm is one such example. He also called a medical practitioner to treat their wounds inflicted by snakes and torture. He paid him one golden srangs, mmani thus acquired the great fame of a Bodhisattva.
The lo tsa ba said: In keeping with the structure of The Blue Annalsthe remainder of the chapter has other short anecdotes like these and consists mainly of further lineage lists and the small biographies of lineage holders. This is a deity constantly engaged mami Tibetan affairs, especially when times are hard.