Distinguishing Phenomena from Their Intrinsic Nature
Special features on our blog, the Wheel:
- Translating the Maitreya Texts: An Interview with Thomas Doctor
- A Guide to the Five Maitreya Texts: The "Zip Files" of the Mahayana by Karl Brunnhozl
The Buddhist masterpiece Distinguishing Phenomena from Their Intrinsic Nature, often referred to by its Sanskrit title, Dharmadharmatāvibhaṅga, is part of a collection known as the Five Maitreya Teachings, a set of philosophical works that have become classics of the Indian Buddhist tradition. Maitreya, the Buddha’s regent, is held to have entrusted these profound and vast instructions to the master Asaṅga in the heavenly realm of Tuṣita. Outlining the difference between appearance and reality, this work shows that the path to awakening involves leaving behind the inaccurate and limiting beliefs we have about ourselves and the world around us and opening ourselves to the limitless potential of our true nature. By divesting the mind of confusion, the treatise explains, we see things as they actually are. This insight allows for the natural unfolding of compassion and wisdom. This volume includes commentaries by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham, whose discussions illuminate the subtleties of the root text and provide valuable insight into the nature of reality and the process of awakening.
"In his Five Teachings the protector Maitreya, the Regent who has mastered the ten grounds, reveals fully and flawlessly the view, meditation, conduct, and fruition that are accomplished through the Great Vehicle. With utmost profundity his teachings reach far and wide; they are a treasury of scripture, reasoning, and oral instruction." —Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche
"A crucial manual for students of awakening, Maitreya’s Distinguishing Phenomena from Their Intrinsic Nature elegantly imparts the theory and practice of meditation and awareness that transform human beings into buddhas. The Tibetan commentaries of Khenpo Shenga and Mipham provide remarkably clear explanations, and this English translation makes these texts not only accessible but a joy to read." —John Makransky, Associate Professor of Buddhism, Boston College