Two Truths Series
Buddhist Philosophy › Two Truths
Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
The Dharma taught by the Buddhas
Entirely depends on the two truths:
The relative truth of the world and
The truth of the ultimate meaning.
Texts on the subject of the two truths (dvayasatya/satyadvaya; bden pa gnyis):
One of Mipham's best known works, this treatise in 104 verses was written in just a single day in 1885. It is structured around the four principles of reasoning (rigs pa bzhi)—of causal efficiency, dependence, nature and establishing a proof—and the four reliances (rton pa bzhi), i.e., Rely not on the individual but the Dharma; Rely not on the words but the meaning; Rely not on the provisional but the definitive meaning; Rely not on ordinary consciousness but wisdom.
One of Patrul Rinpoche's better known works, this pithy presentation of the two levels of truth is more than just a guide to what "relative" and "absolute" signify; it is also a practical instruction on how to apply such understanding in meditation.
In this brief text, the celebrated Dzogchen scholar and adept Khenpo Ngawang Palzang summarizes the four main Indian Buddhist tenet systems traditions (according to Tibetan doxographers): 1) Vaibhāṣika, 2) Sautrāntika, 3) Cittamātra (Mind Only) and 4) Mādhyamika (Middle Way), which is further divided into Svātantrika and Prāsaṅgika.