Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

Mipham’s Beacon of Certainty - Table of Contents

Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection

CONTENTS

Foreword by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche           
Acknowledgments    
Source Abbreviations          
Annotations, Diacritics, and Transcription

1. Introduction       

1.1       Mipham Rinpoche and the Beacon of Certainty    
1.2       Outline          
1.3       The Beacon of Certainty: Context and Significance           
1.3.1    Dialectical Philosophy and the Great Perfection  
1.3.2    The Beacon’s Purpose          
1.3.3    The Beacon’s Comparative Method
1.4       Methods and Sources          
1.4.1    Tibetan Language Sources  
1.4.1.1 Editions of the Beacon         
1.4.2    English Language Sources  
1.5       The Contributions of this Work      

2. The Life and Works of Mipham Rinpoche   

2.1       Accounts of Mipham’s Life  
2.2       The Essential Hagiography by mKhan chen Kun bzang dpal ldan         

3. Indo-Tibetan Buddhism: An Overview          

3.1       Historical and Philosophical Dimensions of Buddhism    
3.2       Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna    
3.3       Important Teachings of Mahāyāna Scriptures     
3.3.1    Prajñāpāramitā        
3.3.2    The Saṃdhinirmocana and the “Essence Sūtras” 
3.3.3    Sources for Buddhist Hermeneutics
3.4       Traditions of Indian Madhyamaka
3.4.1    Origins of Prāsaṅgika and Svātantrika Madhyamaka      
3.4.2    Yogācāra and the Yogācāra Madhyamaka Synthesis       
3.4.3    Madhyamaka and Pramāṇa           
3.5       Vajrayāna: Buddhist Tantra           
3.5.1    Indian Origins          
3.5.2    Philosophical Dimensions of Tantra          
3.5.3    Styles of Tantric Practice     

4. Tibetan Buddhist Traditions and the Great Perfection     

4.1       The Yarlung Empire and the Introduction of Buddhism
4.2       Early Nyingma Teachers and Texts           
4.2.1    The Treasure Tradition       
4.2.2    The Great Perfection           
4.2.2.1 Origins           
4.2.2.2 The View of the Great Perfection   
4.2.2.3 The Three Classes of Great Perfection      
4.2.2.4 Great Perfection in Practice
4.2.3    The Great Perfection in Comparative Philosophical Texts          
4.2.3.1 Ch’an and the Great Perfection in the bSam gtan mig sgron      
4.2.3.2 Other Early Doxographies  
4.3       The New Translation Period and the Nyingma Tradition           
4.3.1    Rong zom Paṇḍita    
4.3.2    The Rise of Scholasticism    
4.3.3    Klong chen rab ’byams       
4.3.4    Nyingma Monasticism and the Ecumenical Movement (ris med)          
4.3.5    A Nyingma Philosophy?       

5. Philosophical Distinctions of Mipham’s Thought  

5.1       The Gelug Philosophical Tradition 
5.2       Theory, Practice, and Ultimate Reality       
5.3       Valid Cognition and Philosophical Analysis           
5.4       The Philosophy of Extrinsic Emptiness     
5.5       Mipham’s Interpretation of Extrinsic Emptiness and Tathāgatagarbha           
5.6       Mipham’s Position on the Tathāgatagarbha         

6. The Beacon of Certainty

6.1       Recapitulation of Earlier Discussions         
6.2       The Topics of the Beacon     
6.2.1    The Beacon and Tsongkhapa’s Eight Great Difficult Points          
6.2.2    Some Observations on Topics 5, 6, and 7  
6.3       View, Meditative Practice, and Ultimate Reality in the Beacon   
6.3.1    Anupakṣas and Pūrvapakṣas: An Overview          
6.3.1.1 Essential Issues and Arguments in Topics 1, 3, and 4     
6.3.1.2 Go ram pa’s Analysis of View and Meditation in the TSB
6.3.1.2.1          Go ram pa on the Ultimate View    
6.3.1.2.2          Go ram pa on Meditative Practice  
6.3.2    Topic 1: Philosophical View and Rational Negation         
6.3.2.1 Tsongkhapa on the Negandum and Its Substratum        
6.3.2.2 Mipham’s Theory of Negation        
6.3.2.2.1          Negation and the Definition of the Ultimate         
6.3.2.2.2          Mipham’s Analysis of Negation in the MAZL         
6.3.2.2.3          Mipham’s Theory of the Ultimate: Gnosis and Coalescence        
6.3.3    Topics 3 and 4: Tsongkhapa and Mipham on Modal Apprehension and Analytical Reasoning
6.3.3.1 Tsongkhapa on the Role of Conceptuality in Meditation 
6.3.3.1.1          Yon tan rgya mtsho on Modal Apprehension and Analysis

7. Ascertainment (nges pa) and Certainty (nges shes): Some Conclusions          

7.1       Mipham’s Place in Tibetan Philosophy     
7.2       Philosophical Texts and Human Relatedness       

8. The Translation of the Beacon of Certainty  

8.1       Terminology and Syntax     
8.2       Technical Terms       
8.3       Proper Names
8.4       On the Use and Disuse of Sanskrit Terms 
8.5       Outline of the Beacon and Khro shul ’jam rdor’s Commentary  
Abbreviations and Bibliography    

Introduction 
Topic 1          
Topic 2
Topic 3
Topic 4
Topic 5
Topic 6
Topic 7
Conclusion

9. Stainless Light: A Commentary on the Beacon of Certainty

Topic 1          
Topic 2          
Topic 3
Topic 4          
Topic 5          
Topic 6
Topic 7          
Conclusion    

10. The Lion’s Roar Proclaiming Extrinsic Emptiness         

Appendix: Explanatory Diagrams and Tables
Diagram 1: Conceptuality and True Existence According to Go ram pa and Mipham
Diagram 2: Conceptuality and True Existence According to Tsongkhapa
Table 1: Mipham’s System of Four Pramāṇas
Table 2: Traditions, Two-truth Paradigms, and Their Sources
Table 3: Pramāṇas and Their Paradigms of Truth and Negation
Table 4: The Role of Ascertainment and Conceptuality
According to Mipham and Gelug Philosophers

Notes to Tables
Glossary of Technical Terms           
Notes 
Bibliography of Works Consulted
Index