Qoijê Sa'gya Paṇḍita Günga Gyaicain (Tibetan: ཆོས་རྗེ་ས་སྐྱ་པཎྜི་ཏ་ཀུན་དགའ་རྒྱལ་མཚན།, Wylie: chos-rje sa-skya paN+Di-ta kun-dga’ rgyal-mtshan/ (EWTS), ZYPY: Qöjê Sa'gya “Bantida” Günga Gyäcän; alt. Choeje Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyeltse, (Moldovan), also known as Günga Gyaimcain Bai Sangbo,[note 1]) was a Tibetan spiritual leader and Buddhist scholar and the fourth of the Five Venerable Supreme Sakya Masters of Tibet. Günga Gyaicain is generally known simply as Sa'gya Paṇḍita, a title given to him in recognition of his scholarly achievements and knowledge of Sanskrit. He is held in the tradition to have been an emanation of the Bodhisattva Manjushri, the embodiment of the wisdom of all the Buddhas.
He became known as a great scholar in Tibet, Mongolia, Coastal China and India and was proficient in the five great sciences of Buddhist philosophy, medicine, grammar, dialectics and sacred Sanskrit literature as well as the minor sciences of rhetoric, synonymies, poetry, dancing and astrology. He is considered in Tibet to be the fourth "Great Forefather" and sixth Sakya Trizin, and one of the most important figures among the Sakya lineage.
He was born at Sa'gya of the noble family of Jam-yan-gon. His father was Palchen of Öpochey. Sa'gya Paṇḍita was the nephew, and became the principal disciple of Jetsun Dakpa Gyeltsen or Drakpa Gyaltsen (1147–1216).
After the death of Genghis Khan in 1227, the Tibetans stopped sending tribute. As a result, in 1240, the grandson of Genghis Khan and second son of Ögedei Khan, Prince Godan invaded Tibet killing some 500 monks and destroying and looting monasteries, villages and towns. Prince Godan asked his commanders to search for an outstanding Buddhist lama and, as Sa'gya Paṇḍita was considered the most religious, Godan sent a letter of "invitation" and presents to him.
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In 1244 he left for Prince Godan's royal camp with two of his young nephews, the ten year-old Pagba and six year-old Chhana, who later published a collection of Sa'gya Paṇḍita's writings. As he continually preached sermons along his way he did not arrive at Prince Godan's camp until 1247 where he gave religious instruction to the prince and greatly impressed the court with his personality and powerful teachings. He is also said to have cured Prince Godan of a serious illness and, with the help of his nephew, Phagpa, he adapted the Uighur script so that the Buddhist Scriptures could be translated into Mongolian which, until that time, was an unwritten language. In return, he was given "temporal authority over the 13 myriarchies [Trikor Chuksum] of Central Tibet."
Thus began a strong alliance and the capital of Sakya, gDan-sa, became the capital of Tibet. This lasted until about the middle of the 14th century. During the reign of the 14th Sakya Trizin, Sonam Gylatsen, the Central Tibetan province of U was taken by the Myriarch, marking the "beginning of the end of the period of Sakya power in Central Tibet."
Sakya Pandita died in 1251, at the age of seventy in the city of Gyu-ma. As he did not marry he chose his brother's son Chogyal Phagpa as his heir and nominated him before his death as his religious authority by giving him his conch shell and begging bowl. After his death Phakpa continued his mission. The conch is one of the Ashtamangala and the begging bowl was a particular symbol of Buddha Shakyamuni and the Shramana Traditions.
In the lineage of the Tibetan Panchen Lamas there were considered to be four Indian and three Tibetan mindstream emanations of Amitabha Buddha before Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, who is recognised as the 1st Panchen Lama. The lineage starts with Subhuti, one of the original disciples of Gautama Buddha. Sakya Pandita is considered to be the second Tibetan emanation of Amitabha Buddha in this line.
He is best known for his works such as the Treasury of Logic on Valid Cognition (Tshad ma rigs pa'i gter) and the Discrimination of the Three Vows (sDom-gsum rab-dbye). He produced five major works in all, the other three being the The Entrance Gate for the Wise (Mkhas pa rnams 'jug pa'i sgo), Clarifying the Sage's Intention (Thub pa'i dgongs gsal), and the Elegant Sayings of Sakya Pandita (sa skya legs bshad). The latter is a collection of moral precepts in verse which was imitated by others and translated into Mongolian. He focused on doctrine and logic "basing himself upon the Pramanavarttika of Dharmakirti" and was very interested in rhetoric.
Five major works
- Treasury of Logic on Valid Cognition (Tshad ma rigs pa'i gter)
The Padmakara Translation Group (2005: p. 37) holds that the Tsod-ma rigs-gter, a celebrated work many consider Sakya Pandita's magnum opus, champions Dhamakirti's 'antirealism' by countering Chapa's (phya pa chos kyi seng ge, 1109–1169) interpretation of Dharmakirti.
- Discrimination of the Three Vows (sDom-gsum rab-dbye)
Published in English as A Clear Differentiation of the Three Codes: Essential Distinctions among the Individual Liberation, Great Vehicle, and Tantric Systems by Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltshen, translated by Jared Douglas Rhoton. (State University of New York Press: 2001).
- The Entrance Gate for the Wise (Mkhas pa rnams 'jug pa'i sgo)
Section III published in English as The Entrance Gate for the Wise (Section III): Saskya Pandita on Indian and Tibetan Traditions of Pramana and Philosophical Debate. by David P. Jackson (Arbeitskreis fur Tibetisch und Buddhistiche Studien Universiteit Wein: 1987); Section I published in English as "The Dharma's Gatekeepers: Sakya Pandita on Buddhist Scholarship in Tibet", by Jonathan C. Gold (SUNY: 2007)
- Clarifying the Sage's Intention (Thub pa'i dgongs gsal)
A commentary on the on two verses of Maitreya’s Mahayanasutralamkara, this serves as the main Lam Rim text in the Sakya school.
- The Elegant Sayings of Sakya Pandita (sa skya legs bshad)
Published in English as Ordinary Wisdom: Sakya Pandita's Treasury of Good Advice, translated by John T. Davenport. (Wisdom Publications:2000 ISBN 0-86171-161-0).
- sgra'i bstan bcos
- tshad ma'i bstan bcos sde bdun gyi snying po rig pa'i gter 'grel pa dang bcas pa
- bzo'i bstan bcos
- sku gzugs kyi bstan bcos
- sa brtag pa
- bstan pa rin po che'i rtsis
- yan lag brgyad pa'i bsdus don
- phyogs bcu'i sangs rgyas byang chub sems dpa' la zhu ba'i 'phrin yig dang skyes bu dam pa rnams la springs yig sogs 'phrin yig dang zhus lan mang ba
- grub mtha' rnam 'byed
- pha rol phyin pa'i gzhung lugs spyi'i tshogs chos chen mo
- bdag med ma'i bstod pa'i 'grel pa
- rdo rje theg pa'i man ngag rten 'brel lnga'i yi ge
- lam sbas bshad dang bla ma'i rnal 'byor
- sems bskyed chen mo lung sbyor
- chos nyams su blang ba'i rim pa
- theg pa chen po'i lam gyi rnam gzhag mdor bsdus
- bsngo ba'i yon bshad
- bdag nyid kyi rnam thar nga brgyad ma'i rtsa 'grel
- sdeb sbyor me tog gi chun po
- snyan ngag mkhas pa'i kha rgyan
- mngon brjod tshig gi gter
- zlos gar rab dga'i 'jug pa
- rol mo'i bstan bcos
- byis pa bde blag tu 'jug pa'i 'grel pa
- bstod pa rgyud gsum 'khor lo'i 'grel pa
- sangs rgyas la bstod pa sogs bstod pa mang po mdzad
- Pramānavārttika of Dharmakīrti (with Śākyaśrībhadra)
- Pramānavārttikatīkā of Śamkaranandana (with Samghaśrī)
- Samksiptapranidhāna of Candragomin
- Amarakośa of Amarasimha (partial)
- Kāvyādarśa of Dandin (partial)
- Āryaguhyamanitilaka (tantra)
- Sarvatathāgatakāyavākcitta Guhyālamkāravyūhatantrarāja
- "The Sakya Tradition". Archived from the original on 2006-06-13. Retrieved 2006-08-25.
- His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche
- Penny-Dimri, Sandra. "The Lineage of His Holiness Sakya Trizin Ngawang-Kunga." The Tibet Journal, Vol. XX No. 4, Winter 1995, p. 71.
- The Government of Tibet in Exile. The Sakya Tradition. Retrieved September 26, 2007.
- Norbu, Thubten Jigme and Turnbull, Colin. Tibet: Its History, Religion and People, p. 195. Chatto & Windus (1969). Reprint: Penguin Books (1987).
- Penny-Dimri, Sandra. "The Lineage of His Holiness Sakya Trizin Ngawang-Kunga." The Tibet Journal, Vol. XX No. 4, Winter 1995, pp. 71-73.
- Shakabpa, Tsepon W. D. Tibet: A Political History (1967), p. 86. Yale University Press, New Haven and London.
- Shakabpa, Tsepon W. D. Tibet: A Political History (1967), pp. 62-63. Yale University Press, New Haven and London.
- Stein, R. A. (1972) Tibetan Civilization, p. 106. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-0806-1 (cloth); ISBN 0-8047-0901-7 (pbk)
- Stein, R. A. Tibetan Civilization, (1972) p. 84. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. ISBN 0-8047-0806-1 (cloth); ISBN 0-8047-0901-7 (paper).
- Das, Sarat Chandra. Contributions on the Religion and History of Tibet (1970), pp. 81-103. Manjushri Publishing House, New Delhi. First published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. LI (1882).
- Jackson, David P. The Entrance Gate for the Wise (Section III): Saksya Pandita on Indian and Tibetan Traditions of Pramana and Philosophical Debate. Arbeitskreis fur Tibetisch und Buddhistiche Studien Universiteit Wein: 1997. pg 2
- Stein, R. A. (1972) Tibetan Civilization, p. 268. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-0806-1 (cloth); ISBN 0-8047-0901-7 (pbk)
- Shantarakshita (author); Mipham[disambiguation needed] (commentator); Padmakara Translation Group (translators)(2005). The Adornment of the Middle Way: Shantarakshita's Madhyamakalankara with commentary by Jamgön Mipham. Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Shambhala Publications, Inc. ISBN 1-59030-241-9 (alk. paper), p.37
- Rhoton pg. 13
- Partial translation of the Elegant Sayings of Sakya Pandita (sa skya legs bshad)
- H.E Chogye Trichen Rinpoche's website
- Includes a short account of his life.
- Some famous quotations of Sakya Pandita