Nonsectarianism Series

English (14) | Español (3) | 中文 (1) | བོད་ཡིག (14)

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo with Jamgön Kongtrul and Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa

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Texts on the theme of nonsectarianism, impartiality or the absence of sectarian bias, a central ideal of the so-called nonsectarian or rimé (ris med) movement that blossomed in nineteenth-century Kham:


In an address to disciples, Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa sets out a vision of nonsectarianism, in which he emphasizes the commonality of traditions and decries the divisiveness that periodically plagues Tibet and constitutes an act of forsaking the Dharma.

The author makes a distinction between “instructions that apply more generally” and “teachings that are intended for specific individuals” in order to argue for a gradualist approach that culminates in Mahāmudrā or Dzogchen for all but those of the very sharpest faculties (who are able to proceed to the highest teachings directly).

Written in verse, this short text addresses some of the sectarian attitudes and activity attributed to the controversial Gelugpa teacher Phabongkha Dechen Nyingpo (1878–1941) and his supporters.

Among the best-known compositions of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, this short text in verse provides an introduction to the history and practice of Tibetan Buddhism and concludes with an appeal for nonsectarianism. It was written at the request of the Indian diplomat and author Apa Pant (1912–1992).

Properly titled Wondrous Talk Brought About by Conversing with a Friend (Grogs dang gtam gleng ba'i rkyen las mtshar gtam), this playful text pokes fun at followers of the Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyü and Gelug (or Gendenpa) schools, in order to highlight potential pitfalls associated with each tradition, while also pointing out the absurdity of sectarian prejudice in general.

In these six pithy verses, composed in 1896, Mipham explains the relative strengths of each of the four main Tibetan Buddhist Schools—Nyingma (rnying ma), Kagyü (bka' brgyud), Gelug (dge lugs) and Sakya (sa skya)—and appeals to their followers to tolerate and respect one another.

Aspiration Prayers