Monday, December 19, 2005

Reading Title Texts - SGRUB THABS

Continuing learning how to figure out what titles mean, another common form of scriptural literature is sgrub thabs. Many might know this by the Sanskrit name, sadhana. The figurative translation is 'means of achievement method'. The sgrub thabs is a set of instructions, if followed correctly, then results will manifest. Most of sgrub thabs are Tantra texts, I better say most, as there might be Sutra-level sgrub thabs I'm not aware of.

Some Tibetan teachers were very profilic sgrub thabs authors, sometimes they took existing ones, and recombined them, or rearranged them, shortened them requested by practitioners, or creatively rearranged them, even combining multiple sgrub thabs texts into a single one.

Going back to Je Tsongkhapa's listing of works over at TBRC, there are some sgrub thabs listed. dbyangs can ma'i sgrub thabs , this is a practice text related to dbyangs can ma, or Saraswati in Sanskrit. Saraswati is the Tantric practice related to learning, music and creativity.

gsang 'dus sgrub thabs is a Guhyasamaja (gsang 'dus) practice text. Guhyasamaja is a very important Tantric practice in the Gelug tradition; the Tantric system is taught based on this Tantra.

'jigs byed chen po'i sgrub thabs is the practice of Bhairava, also known as Yamantaka, rdo rje 'jigs byed. 'jigs means to be terrifying, fearsome, byed as we looked before was to coming to, make, create. So you could roughly translate this as the one who becomes fearsome, the fearsome one. Anyone seen a picture of Yamantaka knows this. Now, the terror is not directed as poor sentient beings, rather towards stamping out the mental afflictions in the practitioners mind. By the way, 'jig means broken, and rten means basis, so 'jig rten is the physical world, or the broken world -- as changing things constantly change...

Here's a link to TBRC to look at more sgrub thabs. Note that practice texts are also sometimes called las byang. Another name used for ritual texts is cho ga, this related to performing a specific ritual.

No comments: