Blue Annals (deb-ther sngon-po)

by George N. Roerich | 1949 | 382,646 words | ISBN-10: 8120804716 | ISBN-13: 9788120804715

This page relates ‘Abhidharma lineages’ of the Blue Annals (deb-ther sngon-po)—An important historical book from the 15th century dealing with Tibetan Buddhism and details the spiritual doctrine and lineages of religious teachers in Tibet. This chapter belongs to Book 6 (The Origin of the Madhyamika (middle way)).

[Full title: Abhidharma lineages (mngon pa’i brgyud pa’i skabs. Chandra 306; Chengdu 419; Roerich 344).]

The lineage of the mngon pa kun btus (Abhidharmasamuccaya) Part I

The continuity of teaching of the Abhidharmasamuccaya[1] in the "Abode of Snows" (Tibet): The Buddha, Maitreya (byams pa), Asaṅga (thogs Vasubandhu (dbyig gnen), Sthiramati (blo brtan), Pūrṇavardhana (gang spel), the Kashmirian Jinamitra, ka ba dpal brtsegs, cog ro klu'i rgyal mtshan, zhang ye shes sde. The latter taught the system to lha lung dpal gyi rdo rje, nam nang zla ba'i rdo rje, dbas rgyal ba ye shes. The first two obtained realization as a result of their meditations.

Dbas, because of a popular revolt in dbus, had to leave for khams. The following have been his disciples: grub rgyal ba'i ye shes, gru mchog gi ye shes, se btsun, gar mi yon tan gyung drung, khu ston brtson 'grus gyung drung, rwa khri bzang 'bar, rgya tshul le and li bdud rtsi grags.

Lineage interjection about brang ti

brang ti dar ma snying po heard the Doctrine from rwa khri bzang. Brang ti had numerous disciples. When the great lo tsa ba of rngog visited paṇḍita 'bum phrag gsum pa (Sthirapāla) accompanied by three hundred monks, brang ti is said to have ordered that each of the lo tsa ba’s monks should be honoured by thirteen of his own disciples. Ko bo ye shes 'byung gnas (heard the text) from brang ti, and taught it to rog chos kyi brtson 'grus. Thanks to him the study of the Abidharmasamuccaya [Abhidharmasamuccaya] spread widely throughout the Upper and Lower yar klungs. His disciple yar rgyal ba'i shes rab composed an extensive Commentary on the (Abhidharma) samuccaya.

The lineage of the mngon pa kun btus (Abhidharmasamuccaya) Part II

Te lung se 'bar, bya sder ba, bye skyid pa, sbyin pa seng ge, skyi ston grags 'bum and bcom ldan ral gri heard it from rog. The All-knowing chos sku 'od zer (heard it) from bye skyid pa.

Further, brtson seng of 'chims, rgyang ro dar ma mgon, mchims brtson rgyal, shong blo brtan, lo tsa ba mchog ldan, dpang lo tsa ba, byang rtse, nya dbon po, kun dga' dpal, chos dpal mgon po, the Mahātman blo gros rgya mtsho, ko bo ye shes 'byung gnas, 'ban, tho gar gnam sde, bzang pa byang skyabs, 'jang pa gzhon byang, 'bring mchams zhang, bo dong rin rtse, khro phu rin po che bsod nams seng ge, tshad ma'i skyes bu, bu ston rin po che, the mahāpaṇḍita Dharmaśrī (heard the text from) brang ti, and Dharmaśrī preached it to numerous Tripiṭakadharas in dbus. The teachers of the Lineage, who preceded bu ston rin po che, have composed numerous commentaries (on the text). Most of the Piṭakadharas residing at bo dong, the seat of 'bum phrag gsum pa (Sthirapala), became learned in this text.

Findings on the lineages

Though I did not succeed in finding the history of the Lineage of the Abbots of bo dong, there cannot be any doubt that this monastery had many learned men with an extensive knowledge of the Scriptures, Logic, Abhidharma, Vinaya, Sanskrit Grammar, Prosody, etc. This monastery has been a remarkable place! During the early period of the propagation of the Doctrine, the Abhidharmakośa was translated together, with numerous explanatory commentaries. The exposition of the text (of the Abhidharmakośa) is known to have originated with the Paṇḍita Smṛti. Though the text (of the Abhidharmakośa) had a wide circulation throughout dbus and gtsang, the History of its Lineage has not been preserved.

The Chapter on the Lineage of the Abhidharma.

Footnotes and references:


mngon pa kun btus by Ārya Asaṅga, Tg. sems tsam, No. 4049 (R).

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