THE TREASURY OF KNOWLEDGE, Book Five: Buddhist Ethics trans. by the Kalu Rinpoche Translation Group, under the direction of Ven. Bokar Rinpoche
Jamgon Kongtrul's monumental Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Treasury of Knowledge) contains a complete account of the major lines of thought and practice that comprise Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhist Ethics is the fifth part of that work and considered by many scholars to be its heart.
Spiritual growth in a Buddhist context is a process of discovering a perfect quality that is already within ourselves. Ethical discipline-the essence of which is the commitment to a life of nonviolence and service to others-is regarded as the indispensable foundation for this process. Buddhist ethics are not regarded as prohibitory rules, but rather the source of freedom.
This text presents the three major systems of ethics found in the Tibetan tradition. Widely known simply as the "three vows," these are the vows of personal liberation (pratimoksa), universal liberation (bodhisattva), and secret mantra (tantra).
Jamgon Kongtrul explains the need for and nature of an authentic teacher-student relationship as the support for one's training in each system. He then provides the complete code of personal liberation as it applies to both monastic and lay persons, the precepts for those aspiring to the life of a bodhisattva, and the exceptional pledges for practitioners on the tantric path of pure perception.
PERFECT CONDUCT: Ascertaining the Three Vows commentary by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche
This book is a translation of an ancient exposition of the three levels of moral codes in Tibetan Buddhism- the vows of individual liberation; the vows of the bodhisattva, who selflessly strives for the enlightenment of all beings; and the vows of tantra, the esoteric path of Mahayana practice.
THE BODHISATTVA VOW by Geshe Sonam Rinchen, trans. and ed. by Ruth Sonam
Bodhisattvas, the great beings of Mahayana Buddhism, are those who have generated bodhicitta, resolving to gain enlightenment in order to bring about lasting happiness for all living beings. This volume of oral teachings by Geshe Sonam Rinchen explains the altruistic wish to attain enlightenment and the precepts of training which accompany it. Implementing the resolve to gain enlightenment for the sake of all living creatures involves engaging in the marvelous activities of Bodhisattvas.
CANDRAGOMIN'S TWENTY VERSES ON THE BODHISATTVA VOW by Sakya Dragpa Gyaltsen
Candragomini's Twenty Verses on the Bodhisattva Vow is short, clear and simple. Acharya Candragomin himself was a great Indian lay practitioner (upasaka)) of the 7th century, famous for his extensive learning and practice. The commentary to the Twenty Verses was also by a learned Tibetan lay practitioner of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism He was Sakya Dragpa Gyaltsen (1147-1216), the third son of Jetsun Kunga Nyingpo, and is believed to have been a direct disciple of Manjushri for seven lifetimes.
PROFOUND VIEW, FEARLESS PATH: The Bodhisattva Vow by The Dzogchen Ponlop, Rinpoche, trans. by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso
"The reason someone who take the Bodhisattva Vow is fit to be called a Bodhisattva is that simply taking the vow involves a tremendous amount of courage. You are accepting as your own individual responsibility the welfare and the eventual awakening of an inconceivable, possibly infinite, number of beings."
In this work, Bokar Rinpoche gives us a clear presentation of the Bodhisattva vow, its nature, and its implications. We learn of aspiring and realizing Bodhicitta (mind of awakening) and of the various stages of the Bodhisattvas and their activity. Bokar Rinpoche explains how to take the vow, the commitments, the precepts, and how to purify ourselves if we break the Bodhisattva vow.
A CLEAR DIFFERENTIATION OF THE THREE CODES: Essential Distinctions Among the Individual Liberation, Great Vehicle, and Tantric Systems by Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltshen, trans. by Jared Rhoton
A Clear Differentiation of the Three Codes presents the first English translation of the sDom gsum rab dbye, one of the most famous and controversial doctrinal treatises of Tibetan Buddhism. Written by Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltshen (1182-1251), a founder of the Sakya school and one of Tibet's most learned sages, The Three Codes strongly influenced subsequent religious and intellectual traditions in Tibet - and sparked a number of long-lasting doctrinal and philosophical disputes, some of which persist today.
TANTRIC ETHICS: An Explanation of the Precepts for Buddhist Vajrayana Practice by Tsongkhapa, trans. by Gareth Sparham, fore. by Jeffrey Hopkins
Central to Buddhism of Tibet are the esoteric techniques of the tantric, or Vajrayana, tradition. These practices involve recitation of matra and complex visualizations and are passed from teacher to student during sacred initiation ceremonies. Tantra constitutes the fabric of a Tibetan Buddhist's daily practice, but cannot be succesful without adherence to the tantric precepts, the code of ethical behavior for aspirants on the Vajrayana path. The tantric vows are the highest of the three complementary sets of vows in Tibetan Buddhism, following the Pratimoksha (monastic) and Mahayana vows.
The scholar and tantric adept Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), one of the greatest philosophers produced by Tibet's Buddhist culture, composed works on every aspect of Buddhist philosophy and practice. This book contains a translation of his Fruit Clusters of Siddhis, an explanation of the tantric vows, and provides a clear explanation of the nature of each vow and the criteria for determining when a downfall has occured.