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The conjunction of chinese Chan and tibetan Rdzogs Chen thought: Reflections on the tibetan Dunhuang manuscripts Iol Tib J 689-1 and Pt 699

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Chapter Summary

This chapter contextualizes two Dunhuang manuscripts (IOL Tib J 689-1 and PT 699) in their historical and philosophical framework in order to shed new light on the relationship between Chinese Chan and Tibetan Rdzogs chen thought in the ninth and tenth centuries in the Sino-Tibetan border region. It concludes with a look at how later Tibetan scholars criticized this syncretic current of Inner Asian Buddhism, which in their view appeared to be attempting to pass itself off as Rdzogs chen teaching. The great tenth-century work Bsam gtan mig sgron (The Torch of the Eye of Meditation) by Gnubs chen Sangs rgyas ye shes, a treatise on dhyāna and the four approaches to realization that were popular in ninth to tenth century Tibet, appears in its critique to be pointing exactly to the view expressed in the Tibetan commentary PT 699.

Keywords: Bsam gtan mig sgron; Chinese Chan manuscript; IOL Tib J 689-1; PT 699; Tibetan Rdzogs chen thought



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