Research Articles

Tibetan History: A Snippet

To inaugurate this Jonangpa blog, I thought it might be helpful to provide historical context for some of the socio-cultural and religious forces that eventually led to the founding of the Jonang as a distinct tradition of Buddhism in Tibet. What follows is an abbreviated outline of the early history of Tibetan Buddhism , highlighting some of the major figures and events that preceded the commencement of the Jonangpa.

A Chronology of Tibetan Buddhism [1]

c. 779 Emperor Tri Song Detsen establishes Samye, the first major monastery in South Central Tibet, beginning the "early dissemination" ( snga dar ) of the...

Intro. to the Jonang

We invite you to read our concise Introduction to the Jonang .

This one page description overviews the Jonang tradition of zhentong and the Kalachakra Tantra , giving you a summary of this distinctive tradition and its place in the wider world of Tibetan Buddhism.

History of the Jonang

A Brief History of the Jonang Tradition

This essay is a condensed chronological history of the Jonang Tibetan Buddhist tradition from its ancestors in India, up through its 17th century persecution in central Tibet, and on through the Jonangpa transmigration to the Amdo cultural region of northeastern Tibet, where they presently reside.

Download and read this essay (PDF).

Zhentong Supplication

A Supplication to the Profound Zhentong Madhyamaka Lineage

Composed by the great Jonang master Jetsun Taranatha (1575-1653) with added verses by the modern Jonang scholar Khenpo Ngawang Lodro Drakpa (1920-75), this supplication to the zhentong masters traces this unbroken and distinctive Zhentong Madhyamaka lineage from its ancient Indian ancestors up to the present living masters. Serving as a genealogical record for this sutra transmission line, these verses of poetic supplication to the generations of primary zhentong masters is an invaluable resource for understanding the history of this philosophical and contemplative tradition.

*This work is provided courtesy of the Ngedon Thartuk Translation...

Treatise on Awareness

Ordinary Awareness & Pristine Awareness: A Treatise on the Distinction

Composed by the 3rd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339), this treatise on the nature of awareness has been characterized by Tibetan masters as articulating a distinctive " zhentong " view. Rangjung Dorje's poetic work distinguishes the minds of buddhas from those of non-buddhas in clear and precise prose, giving us insights into the subtle movements and dynamics of awareness.

*This work is provided courtesy of the Ngedon Thartuk Translation Initiative .


Click to download and read this translation as a PDF file.

Essence of Zhentong

Taranatha's condensed text on the different schools and systems of Buddhist philosophy known as the " Essence of Zhentong " was recently published. This new book also includes a translation of Taranatha's " Twenty-one Profound Points ," differentiating the zhentong views of Shakya Chogden and Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen .


Title : " The Essence of Other Emptiness "
Translator : Jeffrey Hopkins, Professor Emeritus at UVA
Publisher : Snow Lion, 2007

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