by George N. Roerich | 1949 | 382,646 words | ISBN-10: 8120804716 | ISBN-13: 9788120804715
This page relates ‘Kashmirian Scholar Shakyashri’ 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 15 (Monastic Systems).
[Full title: The Kashmirian Scholar [Śākyaśrī] and the ordination lineages of the four institutions descending from him (kha che pa chen dang / de las brgyud pa’i sde bzhi’i mkhan brgyud kyi skabs. Chandra 944; Chengdu 1237; Roerich 1062).]
The origin of religious schools, such as the four tshogs sde, and others. Queries and replies. The story of the printing of this edition.
I have already given in brief the story of the origin of the Holy Doctrine in the "Abode of Snows" (Tibet). Now (the story) of the monastic community, which practiced this Doctrine: all the Vinayadharas of Tibet belong to the school of the Sarvāstivādins. Among them (one finds) the so-called "Lower" Lineage of the mahā-upādhyāya Śantarakṣita, handed down by the great bla chen po (dgongs pa rab gsal), the so-called "Upper" Lineage of the East Indian paṇḍita Dharmapāla, who had ordained the three Pālas and others in mnga' ris, and the Lineage handed down by the Kashmirian paṇḍita Śakyaśrī (bhadra).
Of these three Lineages, the first two have already been mentioned by me. Now I shall ascertain the year in which the great Kashmirian paṇḍita Śakyaśrībhadra, who was destined to become the future Third Buddha Pradyota (rab gsal), was born and the year in which he came to Tibet, as well as the manner of his labours for the welfare of living beings.
Now the great paṇḍita himself had established the Buddhist Chronology at sol nag than po che in the year Fire Female Hare (me mo yos 1207 A.D.), in which he said:
"In the first half of the Kārttika month, exactly at midnight of the 8th day, when the Moon had set behind the mountains, Munīndra passed into Nirvāṇa. Since then, a thousand seven hundred and fifty years, two and half months and five days have passed:"
After dividing these years by sixty, a remainder of ten years is left over. Hence the first (year) of the Buddhist Chronology (as calculated by the mahā-paṇḍta) must have been the Fire Female Serpent year (me mo sbrul 1197 A.D.).
(One should remember that this calculation was made) three cycles of sixty years after the year Fire Female Hare (me mo yos 1027 A.D.), which is the first of the period of "current" ('das lo) years of the Kālacakra scholars. This means that 180 years had elapsed (since the year 1027 A.D.). From the Fire Hare year (me yos 1207 A. D.), which had been calculated (by the mahā-paṇḍita ) at thang, to the present Fire Male Ape year (me pho spre 1476 A.D.) four cycles of sixty years and 30 years have elapsed. Thus (this Fire Ape year) is the 2020th year after the Nirvāṇa of the Muni.
Such being the Chronology of the Doctrine, the birth-year of the mahā-paṇḍita must be the year Fire FemaleSheep (me mo lug 1127 A.D.).
For in a stotra composed by the khro phu lo tsa ba (in honour of the kha che pang chen), it is said:
"A thousand six hundred and ninety-two years after the Nirvāṇa of the (Buddha),
Now, after dividing 1692 by sixty, a remainder of 12 (years) is left over. The 12th year (i.e. The 1692nd year) is an Earth Male Dragon year (sa pho 'brug 1148 A.D.). The word "after" (in the text of the above stotra) means the next year, an Earth Female Serpent year (sa mo sbrul 1149 A.D.), which is the 23rd year of the mahā-paṇḍita (during which he received his pravrajyā ordination). The above being very clear, the mahā-paṇḍita ’s 25th year was without doubt an Iron FemaleSheep year (lcags mo lug 1151 A.D.).
In this connection it is found stated in the works by spyi bo lhas pa and others that the mahā-paṇḍita had come to Tibet in his 65th year. However this is a mistake. For the lo tsa ba (khro phu) has stated that, the year of the mahā-paṇḍita ’s coming to Tibet was the Wood Male Mouse year (shing pho byi ba 1204 A.D.). This Wood Male Mouse year was the 78th year of the mahā-paṇḍita. He spent ten years (in Tibet), till the year Water Female Hen (chu mo bya 1213 A.D.). He left Tibet in the year Wood Male Dog (shing pho khyi 1214 A.D.). In the year Wood Female Hen (shing mo bya 1225 A.D.) of the next Cycle of Sixty Years (lo skor) he reached the age of 99. He passed into Nirvāṇa on Saturday, the 5th day of the sgrog zla (Śatabhiṣā, Aquarī).
The same was stated as follows:
"Aged a hundred years, less one, in the year of the Hen (bya to 1225 A.D.), in the month of sgrog (Śatabhiṣā), in its first half, on Saturday, the fifth day, the Sun of living beings manifested (his) setting".
This Saturday could be clearly calculated with the help of the astrological tables called "1nga bsdus" composed by the mahā-paṇḍita himself. In short, the mahā-paṇḍita was born in the year Fire Female Sheep (me mo lug 1127
A.D.). He was ordained in the year Earth Female Serpent (sa mo sbrul 1149 A.D.). He came to Tibet at the age of 78 in the year Wood Male Mouse (shing pho byi ba 1204 A.D.). He spent ten years in Tibet, till the year Water Female Hen (chu mo bya 1213 A.D.). He left Tibet in the year Wood Male Dog (shing pho khyi 1214 A.D.), and laboured extensively for the welfare of living beings in Kāśmīra. He passed into Nirvāṇa at the age of 99, in the year Wood Female Hen (shing mo bya 1125 A.D.).
The story of his invitation to Tibet and that of his labours for the welfare of living beings: The holy man named khro phu lo tsa ba (byams pa'i dpal) proceeded towards Nepal and India in order to study the work of a translator, and stopped at skyi rong.
One day he offered one and half silver srang to one named don zhags pa chen po, a disciple of rin po che rgyal tsha, and requested him to examine the omens of the following three, (possibilities):
"If I go to India and Nepal, would accidents befall me? Shall I be able to benefit living beings? Will the good work which I intend doing, be successful?"
Don zhags pa said:
"I couldn't tell whether the three will be successful. I shall examine (the omens) addressing myself to Amoghapaśa".
Then the lo tsa ba himself having arranged a large offering, examined the dreams. At dawn he saw in his dream an a tsa ra with teeth similar to a conch.
He inquired: "Who was it?"
In reply he heard: "Look at the writing on the back?"
He saw the letters dvi-bhā-śī. Again the a tsa ra gave him a leaf of the Bodhi tree on which he found an image of a paṇḍita with a bird-like face. On the back he read: “Mahāmaitrī”. Again the a tsa ra handed him a mirror in which he saw a paṇḍita who was similar to a god and an inscription which read: "Mañjuśri". Then (he saw) the image of a white man, made from the outside of rough woollen cloth, and from the inside of silk, inscribed “Maṇipadme”. These four objects influenced his mind greatly, and he thought of keeping them in a temple.
He took them there but the a tsa ra exclaimed: "Give them back! I shall reverse the order", and added:
"Let the lion made of conch run towards all directions! You may leave the leaf and mirror, but take the image of the man made of silk. After you may take the mirror. After that you may take the leaf also."
On awakening, he could not understand the dream, though he felt that it was auspicious.
At that time he did not understand the meaning of the four inscriptions. But later he found out that the lion made of a conch indicated the lo tsa ba himself, the white man -the Lord Mitra, the paṇḍita seen in the mirror - Buddhaśrī, the paṇḍita drawn on the leaf -the Kashmirian paṇḍita.
(Following these indications) the lo tsa ba at first proceeded to Nepal and the border-country of India. Afterwards he invited the Lord Mitra to Tibet. After that the mahā-paṇḍita Buddhaśrī was invited. On the 7th day of the month of mchu (the Sixth month) of the year Wood Male Mouse (shing pho byi ba 1204 A.D.) of the Chinese chronology the lo tsa ba proceeded to invite (the mahā-paṇḍita). He met a kalyāṇa-mitra named rgya who had been a direct disciple of the bla ma zhang, residing at rgyang ro gun chung. Though the latter was staying in seclusion, on hearing about the lo tsa ba’s coming, he suddenly broke his retirement and went out to receive him. From him the lo tsa ba obtained the Cycles of the Doctrine of zhang.
"To invite the mahā-paṇḍita it won't do to act humbly and irresolutely! Behave in a noisy manner! The Sun may rise from the West, but you will surely succeed in your purpose."
(Journeying) by stages, he (khro phu lo tsa ba) reached gro mo. The natives of gro mo showed reverence to him and his provisions increased in quantity. Though he intended going to the Indian market place of be dur , he lost the road and wandered about in the forests, which were full of brigands, poisonous snakes, wild beasts, and spirits (mi ma yin).
Without being harmed by them, he reached the market-place of be dur, and sent two Indians, the junior paṇḍita Jayaśrī and Vārāṇasī pa, accompanied by two Tibetans - jo sras nyi ma and khams pa byang grags, as messengers to convey the invitation to the mahā-paṇḍita at Jagattara of the East.
With them he sent the following letter written in Sanskrit:
"Salutation to the Buddha Amoghasiddha! To the one who has been born as son of Sakya, in the Doctrine of Śākya, bearing the name of Śākya, the crown of the heads of those who have mastered the five (sciences) and firmly observe the immaculate vows of morality, etc."
As presents to accompany the letter he sent a Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya written in gold, five golden srangs, a pair of silk garments and a canopy (bla re) made of good quality silk of 'iu.
When the messengers reached a place called la drug, after a journey of 34 days, the mahā-paṇḍita and his retinue, having been forewarned of the Tibetan invitation, came there in advance. Having failed to find the messengers, they were preparing to return, and were packing their luggage, when the Tibetan messengers arrived and presented to the mahā-paṇḍita the letter and thee presents.
The mahā-paṇḍita said:
"When having had a premonition after that an invitation was due to arrive from Tibet, I came here well in advance of time, we found that the messengers had not arrived and were preparing to return. Didn't I tell you to stay on for a while, for the invitation was surely to come? Now you must advise us what to do,"
(said the mahā-paṇḍita addressing himself to the Junior paṇḍitas.)
The Junior paṇḍitas replied:
“The Dharmasvamin should himself decide the matter! How are we to understand it with our minds?"
The mahā-paṇḍita then said:
"I have one to whom I can put a question."
He then stayed in seclusion for five days, and asked the Venerable One.
Then numerous great sthaviras of Eastern India came to beg the mahā-paṇḍita not to proceed to Tibet. They brought with them the images of the Great Merciful One and the Tārā consecrated by the acārya Nāgārjuna as solicitors (ngo chen). (The Tibetans) bribed the Kashmirian who was in charge of the images, and he pulled out the box of the chariot’s wheel and made the images face backwards (in order to create the semblance of a bad omen), and thus helped the Tibetans.
The lo tsa ba (khro phu) having come from be dar met the Dharmasvāmin at Vaneśvara.
The Dharmasvāmin said:
"I thought the lo tsa ba knew many doctrines, and was an elderly man endowed with the ability of erecting large images, but he is young. Most probably he will be unable to act as a translator. After I had bestowed on him the cittotpāda rite and several sādhanas, are we, Teacher and disciples, to return?"
The paṇḍita Jayaśri told (the lo tsa ba):
"The Teacher and (his) disciples despise you, because of your age. You should take measures, and put questions on the Doctrine."
At the request of Jayaśri, the mahā-paṇḍita permitted the lo tsa ba to ask questions on the Doctrine. Then the lo tsa ba put two questions to each of the nine Junior paṇḍitas (of the mahipaṇḍita’s retinue), and they discussed them throughout the evening till midnight.
The Dharmasvāmin was pleased, though it interrupted his usual meditation, and said:
"It is wonderful that in Tibet there should exist such, speakers on religious subjects!"
Then a border king closed the road, and as the Junior paṇḍitas also required litters , this caused great hardships.
On arrival at phag ri, countless Tibetan monks and laymen gathered there from the four quarters, and attended on the mahā-paṇḍita in every possible way, begged for religious instructions, and the mahā-paṇḍita preached to them numerous kinds of precepts. From rgyang ro as far as mgur mo his religious preaching spread and his wealth increased immeasurably. From tshon 'dus as far as chu mig numerous monks gathered round the mahā-paṇḍita, so that laymen had difficulties in seeing his face. The inmates of khro phu arrived in great state at chu mig to receive them.
After they had reached khro phu, many thousands of learned monks gathered there. The mahā-paṇḍita spent his summer retreat there. There were more than 8oo voters (tshul 'shing len pa). In connection with it, the   mahā-paṇḍita preached the Aṣṭasāhasrik1956ā-Prajñapāramitā, as well as the Priātimokṣa and the Sūtrālaṃkāra .
After that the mahā-paṇḍita proceeded to klas mo che of snar (1957thang). There he preached the Commentary on the Pañcaviṃśatisāhasrikā . When he reached the chapter of the Tathatā-pariccheda, his book of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā-Prajñapāramitā was taken away by the Tārā who made many offerings to it and proceeded towards the East.
The mahā-paṇḍita said:
"This indicates that I am to go towards dbus."
(It was said that when the mahā-paṇḍita was reciting the text, a crow, a manifestation of Tārā, snatched away some of the pages of the palm-leaf manuscript, and took them away towards the East. These leaves, believed to have been brought by the crow, were discovered at spo khang, and are now preserved in the monastery of spo khang). When he had come to the last chapter of the Prajñapāramitā, he saw a goddess, worshipping this book which was placed inside the maṅḍala of the offerings, and then the goddess proceeded towards the West.
The mahā-paṇḍita said:
"This indicated that in my old age I was to go to Kāśmīra.”
After that the mahā-paṇḍita spent his summer retreat at klas mo che of snar, and spent some time there. After performing the ceremony of the end of the rainy season  , many sthaviras invited him to 1960 chu mig ring mo. There he preached the Mādhyamaka-ratna-mālā and the dpe'I rgyan . After that he was invited by the inmates of srin po ri , and then proceeded to 'tshur phu and lha sa via Upper gzhu snye. The mahā-paṇḍita made large offerings to the two images of the Lords (of lha sa). Then the mahā-paṇḍita reached srin po ri escorted by numerous horsemen of 'tshur phu.
The mahā-paṇḍita said to the escort:
"At the time of my visit to your monastery, I discovered there were three images of divinities which were mentioned in the Tantra of sangs rgyas thod pa . Your former Teachers knew them, but had no faith. If I were to introduce you to these gods, and preach to you their precepts, numerous yogins would later appear (among you)."
These three gods were: Saṃvara and (his) Śakti in the yuganaddha posture, Śakyamuni in the aspect of Nirmāṇa-kāya with his Śakti Vajra-Dākinī, and Vajra with the bell as his Śakti (rdo rje dril bu mnyam sbyor). He spent the summer retreat, at srin po ri, and translated the commentary on the Abhidharmasamuccaya by the acārya Jñānamitra.
As general doctrine, he preached the Ārya-Aśokadattavyākaraṇa-nāma , the dpe brgya pa , the las kyi 'khor lo bstan pa , as well as the Analysis of the Five Treatises of Maitreya and the Six Treatises of the Mādhyamaka (dbu ma rigs tshogs). The exposition of the Five Treatises of Maitreya was bestowed by him at the request of the Abbot of srin po ri. Gnyal zings po che pa and others practiced the rgyal sras lam rim.
The mahā-paṇḍita was then invited to bsam yas by lha zhi ba 'od. He journeyed to bsam yas and 'chims phu. There he met dbon ston rin chen sgang pa. When the mahā-paṇḍita came to srin po ri, he received an invitation from the inmates of 'tshur phu, rgya ma and 'bri khung. Twice he failed to meet 'bri khung pa. On two occasions he visited rgya ma rin chen sgang and rwa sgreng.
After that he journeyed to gnyal, lo ro and lho brag, as well as to 'u gu do and thang po che. He especially spent a considerable time at thang po che, and preached there numerous sermons. Up to that time, in order to test the faith of the lo tsa ba (khro phu), he acted as an avaricious man, but later he gave away most of his wealth towards the erection of the image of Maitreya at khro phu. In the year Water Male Ape (chu pho spre'u 1212 A.D.), when the time had come to consecrate the image, they found themselves short of funds, and because of this, the mahā-paṇḍita proceeded again towards dbus and g. Yo, gnyal and lo, and lho brag (to gather funds). His entire income was presented to the great image of Maitreya. From the 3rd day till the 13th day of the dre month (dre'i zla ba) of the year Water Male Ape (chu pho spre'u 1212 A.D.) the Dharmasvāmin performed the consecration rite of the great image of Maitreya, and numerous wonderful signs accompanied (the rite).
After that numerous priests begged him to stay on in Tibet, but he did not agree to that, saying that he had important work to do in Kāśmīra. After that he journeyed through Southern la stod and benefited many disciples. The presents received by him, were distributed among the monks of each monastery.
On his arrival at gung thang, he presented 130 golden srangs (to khro phu lo tsa ba), and said:
"Give them as remuneration to the image makers".
After that the lo tsa ba escorted him to glo bo. One morning he (the mahā-paṇḍita) dismissed his entire retinue, and did not admit any one into his presence, but said: "Lo tsa ba come," The lo tsa ba having hurried into his presence, the mahā-paṇḍita said to him: "Open your hand!" and then gave him a big package of gold, the lo tsa ba’s hand almost reaching the ground under its weight.
The lo tsa ba said:
“You have already given me many presents for the image. You had better take this much with you to Kāśmīra."
An attendant then told him:
"It is better for you to accept the siddhi when given. You may feel regret if this gold gets into the hands of Kashmirian rogues."
So he accepted it, and escorted the mahā-paṇḍita to the foot of the mountain pass.
On his way to Kāśmīra, the mahā-paṇḍita was twice attacked by robbers, but as he had no gold with him, nothing harmed him. Then he reached Kāśmīra. Though the Doctrine had spread in Kāśmīra, the priests were few in numbers. The Dharmasvāmin increased the number of priests, and established the right path of the method of the Tantras and Sutras. The king who had become a heretic, was again established in the Doctrine. The mahā-paṇḍita repaired ruined vihāras and images. Amidst such labours he spent 12 years in Kāśmīra, and passed away in the year Wood Female Hen (shing mo bya 1225 A.D.) amidst wonderful signs.
This great paṇḍita preached numerous doctrines which belonged to the Āgamas and Sciences, Sūtras and Tantras. Great was the number of those whom he established in the vows of the Pratimokṣa, but the two men, who had taken the final monastic ordination in the presence of the mahā-paṇḍita and had taken the vow of a "single mat" (stan gcig gi brtul zhugs 'dzin pa), were rdo rje dpal and byang chub dpal.
Namo Maitrīnāthāya! Munīndra, Śāriputra, Rāhula, the kṣatriya, Rāhula, the brāhmaṇa, Nāgārjuna, Guṇamati, Ratna-mitra, Śrī Dharmapāla, Guṇasāgara, Dharmapāla, Ākaragupta, the mahā-paṇḍita Śākyaśrī, Vajraśrībhadra (rdo rje dpal bzang po), byang chub dpal bzang po , 'od zer dpal , chos kyi rgyal mtshan , sangs rgyas rin chen , bsod names dpal , ses rab mgon po, seng ge rgyal mtshan, bsod nams dbang phyug , bkra shis tshul khrims , tshul khrims rin chen , sangs rgyas blo gros , byang chub rgyal dbang , bkra shis seng ge , yon tan rin chen , byang chub bzang po , blo gros rgyal mtshan , don grub dpal 'byor , byang chub grags pa , and bkra shis byang chub .
From the departure of the mahā-paṇḍita from Tibet in the year Water Female Hen (chu mo bya 1213 A.D.) to the present Fire Male Ape year (me pho spre'u 1476 A.D.) 264 years have passed.
The abbots of tshogs pa bya rdzong:
Dkon mchog rgyal mtshan, thugs rje dpal pa, dar ma dpal pa, kun dga' dpal pa, gzhon nu bzang po pa, tshul khrims dpal pa, the mahā-upādhyāya kun dga' dpal pa, sangs rgyas gzhon nu pa, dar ma bzang po pa, tshul mgon pa, bsod nams 'od zer, rin tshul pa, bsod names shes rab, sher mgon pa, grags bsod pa, sher ‘phags pa, shes tshul pa, rin she pa (rin chen shes rab), chos dpal pa, shes 'od pa, kun she pa, grags rgyal ba, dpal tshul pa (dpal 'byor tshul khrims), rin grub pa (rin chen grub), dcang she pa (dbang phyug shes rab), and zla rin pa (zla ba rin chen).
The abbots of dge 'dun sgang:
Lho brag byang chub dpal, gtsang pa dbang phyug grags, gzhon nu byang chub, 'dul tshad pa byang chub bzang po, 'jam dbyangs don grub dpal, yon tan rgyal mtshan, dpal grub pa, snyag phu ba, yon tan blo gros, brtson rgyal ba, seng ge dpal pa, chos grub pa, blo gros rgyal mtshan, yon tan lhun grub, nam mkha' dpal bzang, and dpal yon pa. Also nam mkha dpal bzang, nam mkha' lhun bzangs, and rab 'byor seng ge.
The abbots of chos lung:
[spos khang near Gyangtse (R)]
Dbu mdzad bsod names stobs, after him the maha-upādhyāya bde ba dpal, grags pa gzhon nu, byan sems bsod grags, bsod nams bzang po, gzhon nu mgon po, grags pa rgyal mtshan, grags pa bshe gnyen, nam mkha' rgyal mtshan, rin chen rgyal mtshan, bshes gnyen rgyal mchog, rgyal dbang grags pa, zla ba blo gros, rgyal ba phyag na, bshes gnyen bzang po, mgon po bkra shis, and nyi ma rgyal mtshan.
The Chapter on the Lineages of Abbots of the four monasteries which belonged to the Lineage of the Kashmirian mahā-paṇḍita, and about the mahā-paṇḍita himself.
Footnotes and references:
concerning the "Blue Annals"; zu lan (R).
Dvi bhā Sin (R).
dgag dbye -pravāraṇā (R).
performed at the end of the annual summer retreat (R).
dbu ma rin chen phreng ba, Tg. dbu ma, No- 3901 (R).
Dṛṣṭāntamalya, Tg. spring yig, No. 4196 (R).
near Gyangtse (R).
sangs rgyas thod pa'i rgyud, Śrī-Buddhakapāla-nāmayoginītantrarāja, Kg. rgyud 'bum, No. 424 (R).
mya ngan med lung bstan pa'i mdo, Kg. dkon brtsegs, No. 76 (R).
gang po la sops pa’i rtogs pa brjod pa brgya pa,
Pūrṇapramukhāvadānaśataka, Kg. mdo sde, No. 343 (R).
Karmaśataka, Kg. mdo sde, No. 340 (R).
Bodhiśrībhadra. The last two seem to be the two disciples of the mahā-paṅḍita: rdo rje dpal and byang chub dpal. The rest of the Teachers of the Lineage must be Tibetans (R).