December 17, 2015

མཆིམས་ཕུའི་ཕྱག་བཞེས་དགུ། མཆིམས་ཕུའི་ཆོས་དགུ།

One encounters the expression mchims phu’i phyag bzhes dgu (“Nine [Ancient Tibetan Buddhist Tantric] Practices of mChims-phu”) or mchims phu’i chos dgu (“Nine [Ancient Tibetan Buddhist Tantric] Doctrines of mChims-phu”) a couple of times but its precise meaning remains obscure. From the context, it seems to refer to nine cycles or kinds of ancient Tibetan Buddhist Tantric practices but one cannot help wondering what the nine precisely are. For example, Bya-btang Padma-rdo-rje in his dPyal gyi gdung rabs (Lhasa: Bod-ljongs-mi-dmangs-dpe-skrun-khang, 2008, pp. 22, 23, 29) seems to suggest that mchims phu’i chos dgu contains rgyud ’grel or gzhung bshad, sgrub thabs or sgrub pa’i phyag bzhes and las byang associated with the *Guhyagarbhatantra, dGongs pa ’dus pa’i mdo, and Kun byed gyal po’i rgyud  (= mDo-rgyud-sems-gsum). But the core of the mchims phu’i phyag bzhes dgu or mchims phu’i chos dgu seems to be Yang-dag practice. Vajrakīla may be included as well. This would require more investigation.

Shing-bza’ in his Bod sog chos ’byung (pp. 494.15–495.2), which must certainly be based on an earlier source, states that the rGyud-sde (Tantric Sector) of Mahāyoga, was transmitted to rMa Rin-chen-mchog by Vimalamitra. rMa transmitted to gTsug-ru Rin-chen-gzhon-nu and Kye-re mChog-skyong. Both transmitted to Zhang rGyal-ba’i-rgyal-ba’i-yon-tan and Dar-rje dPal-gyi-grags-pa. Of the two, Zhang rGyal-ba’i-rgyal-ba’i-yon-tan propagated both in dBus-gtsang and later in Khams. The tradition of Zhang rGyal-ba’i-rgyal-ba’i-yon-tan is said to be called “bKa’-mchims-phu-ma” or “Man-ngag-brgyud-pa.” Is perhaps “mChims-phu’i-phyag-bzhes-dgu” or “mChims-phu’i-chos-dgu” the same as “bKa’-mchims-phu-ma”? Just a thought for now. 

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