The latest offering from a renowned translator in the Buddhist world of one of the most important texts in the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. This translation was made at the request of the head of the Sakya tradition.
Ornament to Beautify the Three Appearances is the first book of a two-volume set of works written by Ngorchen Könchok Lhundrup (1497–1557) to explain the Lamdré teachings, the most important system of tantric theory and practice in the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Lamdré, or Path with the Result, is based on the Vajra Lines of the great Indian adept Virupa (ca. seventh–eighth centuries). The first topic is the fundamental meditative practices of Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism. In the Lamdré teachings, these preliminary instructions are known as the Three Appearances. The guiding instructions on impure appearance are for the purpose of developing renunciation. These focus on the defects of samsara; the rarity, benefit, and transience of human life; and the nature of positive and negative actions and results. The guiding instructions on the appearance of the experiences are for the purpose of producing the altruistic intent. These focus on developing love, compassion, and bodhicitta, and on cultivating joy now about the uncommon experiences that will arise later when practicing the Vajrayana teachings. The guiding instructions on pure appearance are for the purpose of producing enthusiasm for the ultimate result of complete awakening. These briefly describe the inconceivable nature of a buddha’s enlightened body, speech, and mind.
Having absorbed these preliminary instructions, the practitioner may go on to the second volume of Ngorchen’s works, a restricted text that explains the main tantric practices of the Three Continua, intended for students who have at least received the great initiation of Hevajra. Volume 2 is available in a restricted box set that includes this first volume and may be obtained only on the Wisdom Publications website.
Ngorchen Könchok Lhundrup (1497–1557) was one of the greatest masters of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1534, after years of study and meditation, he became the tenth abbot of Ngor Monastery. His many writings, especially those concerning the Lamdré teachings, are famous for their clarity and eloquence, and remain indispensable for understanding Buddhist practice and theory in the Sakya tradition today, nearly five hundred years after they were composed.