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Rdzogs Chen Theories And Their Origins

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Chapter Summary

As in many religious philosophies, rDzogs chen proposes first of all to reflect upon the sems, “mind” which constitutes the central problem in Buddhism. It is the sems which creates the world of illusion and through its activities it has obscured its own real nature from time immemorial. The real nature of the sems has been the leaven for formulating various theories concerning the spiritual basis in many different schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The acceptance of the theory of the kun gzhi rnam shes by the different Buddhist philosophical schools is a subject of debate among the Tibetan scholastics. In the early texts on rDzogs chen no physical presentation of any kind is made of the Primordial Basis apart from the symbolical name, Kun-tu bzang-po. However, certain rDzogs chen tantras whose precise dates mostly remain uncertain describe the absolute aspect of the sems as if it were an actual person.

Keywords: Buddhist philosophical schools; Primordial Basis; rDzogs chen tantras; sems; Tibetan Buddhism; Tibetan scholastics



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