Sunday, July 16, 2006

lam 'bras

Another term, from the Sakya tradition, is lam 'bras, path and result. This teaching system preceeded the Gelug tradition's lam rim, and is based on both a sutra and tantra section.

lam as was mentioned earlier is path, and 'bras means result or fruit. Fruit is sometimes used as a way to express a result. However, in this case there's no hidden genitive particle, it is stages and results. Each stage provides a specific result. This practice is much related to the model of a pracitioner getting experiences along the path (the lam rim model is based on defining the foundation for practices).

A key concept in lam 'bras is the snang gsum, the three visions: sentient beings have impure visions, enlightened beings have pure visions, and the practitioner on the path will get a taste of the pure vision by experience. If you want to read more about this, you could read Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrup's Lamdre commentary called "The Three Levels of Spiritual Perception". You could even order the Tibetan text from TBRC and compare the translation, if you are interested.

sa skya, by the way, means grey earth, sa means earth, skya means gray. It's the location of the area where the first Sakya temple was built by the Khon family. Read this dharmadictionary entry in case you are more interested in the history of the Sakya tradition, it also has links to various Sakya masters and texts, and it's an ongoing project (of mine) to expand it over time.

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