Tenth Sangye Nyenpa’s verbal pith instructions on the 8th Karmapa’s Shentong Madhyamaka

I am currently in the process of translating an ‘Empty-of Other’ (gzhan stong) commentary on Mahāmudrā, written by the 10th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, called Music of the Ultimate Sphere (Nges don dbying kyi rol mo).  In this text, Rinpoche explains how the Mahāmudrā  Aspiration Prayer of the 3rd Karmapa is related to the ‘Empty-of-Other’ view.  In this contemporary commentary, the 8th Karmapa Mikyo Dorje (Mi bskyod rdo rje (1507–1554), who was a devoted student of the 1st Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, Tashi Paljor[i]) is cited as a proponent of the ‘Empty-of-Other’ view, which considering he composed one well-known text, The Lamp that Excellently Discerns the Proponents of Empty-of-Other Madhyamaka (dbu ma gzhan stong smra ba´i srol legs par phye ba´i sgron me)[ii] is undisputable.  However, some scholars have asserted that the 8th Karmapa refutes or criticises this view in his other works, in particular, an extensive commentary he wrote on Madhyamaka.  In this short note I will briefly consider this intellectual speculation, in the context of direct verbal comments recently given by the 10th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche. For the full note click here.

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