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UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies

Education in Compassion and Wisdom

A Great Books Translation Project Publication

Ngag-wang-pal-dan's Explanation of the Treatise "Ornament for the Clear Realizations" From the Approach of the Meaning of the Words: the Sacred Word of Maitreyanātha by Jeffrey Hopkins and Jongbok Yi

Maitreya's Ornament for the Clear Realizations is a rendering of the hidden teaching on the path structure in the Perfection of Wisdom Sūtras that contains within it a veritable cornucopia of information on Buddhist practice. Studied in all orders of Tibetan Buddhism, this highly elaborate compendium on the paths enriches understanding of a complex structure of spiritual development providing an all-encompassing worldview. The structure of the path, presented in this seminal text, enhances the rubric of actual practice, much of its import being brought over to “stages of the path” literature. The more complex system provides a perimeter and horizon within which the more practical teachings are implemented.

Maitreya's Ornament for the Clear Realizations is written in poetry that is often cryptic, such that many stanzas are an abbreviation like an index, or even a code, outlining the path structure, and thus it spawned a renowned set of twenty-one commentaries in Sanskrit. The Mongolian scholar Ngag-wang-pal-dan provides an illuminating, concise commentary unraveling the import of Maitreya’s text to expose its meaning. His aim is to present a structured, introductory commentary on Maitreya's text without becoming too complex.

This volume contains Maitreya’s entire text of 274 stanzas with Ngag-wang-pal-dan’s commentary as well as his elaborate outline of the stanzas, valuably revealing the organization of Maitreya’s work, uncovering its structure like an organizational tree so that a reader can easily see the relation of the parts. Throughout the book additional explanations are drawn from five Tibetan authors.

Drawn from the syllabus of the renowned Go-mang College of Drepung Monastery, which has wide influence throughout Inner Asia—in Tibet, Mongolia, Kalmykia, and Buriatia, this book is a treasure of Buddhist spiritual insight.