The Noble One Called “Point of Passage Wisdom”

A Great Vehicle Sutra, with Other Emptiness explanations by Tony Duff

TitleThe Noble One Called “Point of Passage Wisdom”, A Great Vehicle Sutra
AuthorThe Word of the Buddha from the Kangyur, translated by Tony Duff and Sergey Dudko
Details32 pages, 0 colour plates, 5.5" X 8.5", US$15, available in PDF and Kindle e-book formats
ISBNpaper book 978-9937-572-58-3, e-book 978-9937-572-59-0
TextsTibetan text in Tibetan script

This book contains a translation of an actual sutra of the Buddha.  It is a very short but particularly important sutra from the Great Vehicle teachings given in the third turning of the wheel.  The sutra is important for two reasons.  Firstly, it is one of the five “condensed” sutras, sutras which sum up the five very large sutras of the Great Vehicle sutras—the Avatamsaka, and so on.  This sutra sums up the meaning of the major sutra called The Nirvana Sutra in which the Buddha gives many final instructions before passing away.  Therefore, it is regarded that the Point of Passage Wisdom sutra teaches final teachings of the Buddha in a very condensed way.  This sutra is so important that the early Dharma Kings of Tibet recited it daily.

Secondly, this sutra is one of the ten sutras cited by the Other Empty (Zhantong) school in support of their position.  These ten sutras are called the “Profound Meditation System” sutras by the Other Empty school because they are considered to convey the ultimate approach to view and meditation taught by the Buddha to his regent Maitreya.  Of the ten sutras, this sutra, despite is very short length, is one of the most interesting.  It gives, in an economy of words, a complete instruction on the view and meditation of the profound meditation system.  In doing so, it explicitly shows the ultimate meaning of the third turning sutras and explicitly shows that the Other Empty or Zhantong approach is the ultimate intent of the Buddha.  As a point of further interest, the seeds of Mahamudra and Dzogchen practice can be very clearly seen in this sutra and practitioners of those systems will also find it very interesting to see what the Buddha says about this.

All the pertinent threads of understanding are clearly brought out and tied together in a nice introduction by the author.  Anyone interested in these matters will find this book to be essential reading.  Amongst other things, it acts as a very nice, ultimate touch to our other books on Other Emptiness, such as Maitripa’s Writings on the View and Mipham’s Lion’s Roar that Proclaims Other Emptiness.  It is the ultimate touch because it is the word of the Buddha itself, the person who is the final arbiter of the view and meditation for Buddhists, and because his meaning is undeniable.

The book contains a translation of the following sutra:
The Noble One Called “Point of Passage Wisdom”, A Great Vehicle Sutra

Download Tibetan text in TibetD format: not available yet.