The Three Vehicles of Buddhist Practice

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Item Code: NAC548
Author: Ken Holmes
Publisher: Sri Satguru Publications
Language: English
Edition: 1995
ISBN: 8170304571
Pages: 115
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.8 Inch X 5.8 Inch
Weight 280 gm
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Book Description

From the Jacket

In 1969 Thrangu Rinpoche was invited to the West and began a series of yearly visits to Samye Ling in Scotland where he shared his vast knowledge with Western students. He first taught the Uttara Tantra and the Jewel Ornament of Liberation. Interspersed with commentaries on these great works, he gave teachings on dharma topics for Western students. This book on the Three Vehicles of Buddhist Practice or The Three Yanas was part of these teachings.

In The Three Vehicles of Practice Thrangu Rinpoche takes the reader through the Theravada level of teachings and explains in detail the four noble truths and the meditation methods of this level. He then describes the path of the bodhisattva— that Buddhist practitioner who has vowed to help all beings reach enlightenment before he or she reaches enlightenment. Here Thrangu Rinpoche gives a very clear and lucid account of that hard-to-define topic of “emptiness” and “non-self.” Finally, he gives a clear and lucid description of what is perhaps the most misunderstood level of Buddhist practice—the vajrayana. Being an accomplished vajrayana practitioner, he is able to describe this level of practice in practical terms.

Throughout this book Thrangu Rinpoche points out that all three of these vehicles of practice were practiced and preserved in Tibet. He also makes the, important observation that no level is superior or “higher” than any other level. These levels are just three different ways that the Buddha gave for individuals to practice the Buddhist dharma. Which level one takes depends entirely on one’s own needs, inclinations, and capabilities.

Khenpo Thrangu Rinpoche was horn in Kham in 1933. At the age of five he was formally recognized by the Sixteenth Karmapa and the previous situ Rinpoche as the incarnation of the great Thrangu tulku. At the age of sixteen he began the study of the three vehicles of Buddhism under the direction of Khenpo Lodro Rabsel. He also spent time in retreat. At the time of the Chinese military takeover, Rinpoche left Tibet for Rumtek monastery in Sikkim where the Karmapa had his seat in exile. At the age of thirty-five he took the geshe examination and was awarded the highest degree of Geshe Rabjam. He was one of the first Kagyu lamas to receive this degree. On his return to Rumtek he became abbot of Rumtek monastery and the Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist studies also at Rumtek. He has been the personal teacher of the four principle Kagyu tulkus: Shamar Rinpoche, Situ Rinpoche, Jamgon Kong-tul Rinpoche, and Gyaltsab Rinpoche.

Thrangu Rinpoche has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Far. East, and North America. He is the abbot of Gampo Abbey, in Nova Scotia Canada and of Thrangu House in England.

Rinpoche is known for taking very complex teachings and making them accessible to students and is the author of The Practice of Tranquility and Insight, Buddha Nature, and The King of Samadhi. Available from this publisher is The Uttara Tantra and The Four Ordinary Foundations of Buddhist Practice. He has also published a commentary on The Song of Lodro Thaye, Differentiating Consciousness from Wisdom, and a series of outstanding texts on mahamudra meditation.

Foreword

The Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche has been recognized as an outstanding teacher by His Holiness the Dalai Lama who gave him his Ceshe degree in the early 1960’s. He was then asked to establish the Buddhist curriculum for the Shedra at Rumtek Monastery by His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa. There he spent almost two decades teaching the lamas of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

In 1969 Thrangu Rinpoche was invited to the West and began a series of yearly visits to Samye Ling in Scotland where he shared his vast knowledge with Western students. He first taught the Uttara Tantra and the Jewel Ornament of Liberation. Interspersed with commentaries on these great works, he gave teachings on dharma topics for Western students. This book on the Three Vehicles of Buddhist Practice or The Three Yanas was part of these teachings.

In The Three Vehicles of Practice Thrangu Rinpoche takes the reader through the Theravada level of teachings and explains in detail the four noble truths and the meditation methods of this level. He then describes the path of the bodhisattva—that Buddhist practitioner who has vowed to help all beings reach enlightenment before he or she reaches enlightenment. Here Thrangu Rinpoche gives a very clear and lucid account of that hard-to-define topic of “emptiness” and “non-self.” Finally, he gives a clear and lucid description of what is perhaps the most misunderstood level of Buddhist practice—the vajrayana. Being an accomplished vajrayana practitioner, he is able to describe this level of practice in practical terms.

Throughout this book Thrangu Rinpoche points out that all three of these vehicles of practice were practiced and preserved in Tibet. He also makes this important observation that no level is superior or “higher” than any other level. These levels are just three different ways that the Buddha gave for individuals to practice the Buddhist dharma. Which level one takes depends entirely on one’s own needs, inclinations, and capabilities.

Contents

Foreword vii
1. The Theravada Path 1
2. The Mahayana 36
3. The Vajrayana 64
The Glossary 105
Appendix A 113
About the Author 115
Index 116
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