Sunday, December 18, 2005

Reading Title Texts - BSTOD PA

OK, let's learn to read titles of pages, so when you look through indexes and listings of works, you get a feeling what the text contains.

The first interesting word is bstod pa, means praise, hymn, eulogy, praises in verse. It's amazing how many such texts the Tibetan scholars and lamas have produced, and still produce.

Let's look at two very famous Tibetan scholars and their works, Sakya Pandita and Je Tsongkhapa. Here's the listing of works by Sakya Pandita at TBRC. And here's the listing of works by Je Tsongkhapa at TBRC.

Let's go first and look at Sakya Pandita's works. There are plenty of bstod pa texts, let's see birwa pa la bstod pa. birwa pa is the Tibetan name for Virupa, a very important Indian mahasiddha in the Sakya tradition. Virupa's Vajra Verses is the foundation for the whole Lamdre cycle of instructions leading to full enlightenment. It is common to write hymns and praises to famous teachers in the lineage. Sakya Pandita also wrote a praise to his root guru, his uncle Jetsun Drakpa Gyetsen, grags pa rgyal mtshan gyi bstod pa . It is said that Sakya Pandita had the purest guru devotion and took care of his uncle by all means, and this lead to Sakya Pandita becoming the highest possible scholar later.

Another praise Sakya Pandita wrote is sgrol ma la bstod pa, this is a praise to Tara, a Tantric deity. This is another example of a praise to a Tantric deity.

Going to Je Tsongkhapa's bstod pa texts, a very, very famous one is rten 'brel bstod pa . This is the Praise to Dependent-Origination. Je Tsongkhapa wrote this at his later days, and supposedly it clarifies the positions he had about emptiness to avoid his view becoming too nihilistic. This is another example of a praise to a concept or idea! You could also find bstod pa texts praising famous texts, Perfection of Wisdom sutras, and so on.

You could take a look at other praises listed on these pages, and with a dictionary, online or offline (check out the earlier mentioned Tibscanner!) you could figure out what the praise texts are about.

For even more bstod pa texts, see this page at TBRC.

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