Written By Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro
Translated By Dzonsar Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Gyatso

The Limitless Vehicles Of The Buddha
THE LIMITLESS VEHICLES OF THE BUDDHA present the Dharma in many different ways, all of which are beyond concept. Therefore, it is difficult to find the power or ability to express these. Nevertheless, briefly and with a few words, I shall attempt to explain some of the differences here.

The All-Knowing Guide, Lion of the Sakya clan, turned the Wheel of the Dharma on three successive occasions. The first turning taught the elimination of non-virtue, the middle taught the elimination of the view of self-identities and the last, the elimination of all grounds for views.

The subjects of these teachings are the Three Trainings, and the words explaining these are found in the Sacred Writings (Sanskrit: Pitaka), where they are gathered into Twelve Scriptural Categories. Some people have said that the Tantra of the Mahayana should be classified as an inner Abhidharma teaching. However, it has been taught that it is good to classify the Sacred Writings for Tantric Yogis separately, in a section of their own.

We find barely more than one hundred volumes of the Buddha's Teachings translated into Tibetan. But actually, there is no power which could capture the infinite significance of the Buddha's speech. There are a great many Commentaries explaining the meanings of these teachings of the Buddha. In the Hinayana, we find the Mahavibhasa Sastra and many others; in the Mahayana, such Scholars and Pandits as the Six Ornaments of this earth and the Extraordinary Master etc., all of whom composed a large number of explanations. These is also a great quantity of sadhanas and commentaries to all the Sacred Writings of Secret Tantra. All the important advice which exists is beyond the mind's estimation. But due to the great kindness of these ancient translators and pandits, more than two hundred volumes of such commentaries have been translated into Tibetan. It is these texts (of the Kangyur and Tangyur) which form the foundation for Buddhism in Tibet.

In India, the land of the Noble Beings, there was never any division of Buddhism into old and new. In Tibet, however, as some translations occurred earlier and some later, we find such a division. Any translations which came before the time of Rinchen Zangpo (958 - 1055 A.D.) came to be called or 'old ones', and texts translated by Rinchen Zangpo and the majority of translations which followed, came to be called or 'new ones'.

Almost all of the texts of the Vinaya, Sutra, Abhidharma and of the Secret Tantra's three outer Tantras (Kriya, Carya and Yoga) were translated into Tibetan during the early flourishing of Buddhism in Tibet, (in the 'old' translation period). The majority of the texts of Highest Yoga Tantra, such as Chakrasambhava, Hevajra, Kalachakra, Yamantaka etc. were 'new' translations, although a great quantity of translations of Highest Yoga Tantra texts were also prepared during the 'old' translation period.

Some scholars of the 'new' period say that these 'old' translations are not valid Tantras. But those who are non-sectarian and non-partisan praise these old translations for their authenticity, and I think their conclusion is in accordance with the actual facts because these translations convey exactly the profound and vast meaning of the Buddha's Teachings and their Commentaries. Therefore, they may be placed upon the crown of your head and be respected.

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