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Title: The Sudden and Gradual Sūtric (and Tantric?) Approaches of the Rim gyis 'jug pa'i bsgom don and Cig car 'jug pa rnam par mi rtog pa'i bsgom don
Author(s): GRUBER, Joel
Journal: Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies
Volume: 39 Date: 2016
The Indian tāntrika Vimalamitra is said to have composed two texts that support the central arguments presented in the alleged eighth-century Bsam yas (Samyé) debate. The Cig car ’jug pa rnam par mi rtog pa’i bsgom don (Cig car ’jug pa) is believed to outline the efficacy of the Chinese sudden approach, and the Rim gyis ’jug pa’i bsgom don (Rim gyis ’jug pa) sets forth the Indian gradualist path to liberation. Despite the purported Indian victory over the Chinese at Samyé, some maintain that Vimalamitra’s texts present both approaches as being equally valid. Multiple scholars have worked with the Rim gyis ’jug pa and the Cig car ’jug pa, but previous studies have not considered the genealogy of early narratives describing Vimalamitra’s stay in Tibet. As a result, scholars have examined the authorial issues central to understanding these works without accounting for the gradual standardization of competing Vimalamitra biographies. The scope of past studies has also been limited to sūtric works, excluding the dozens of tantric texts ascribed to Vimalamitra that were previously unattributed or attributed to another author/translator. This article utilizes a more extensive body of data to determine whether the Rim gyis ’jug pa and the Cig car ’jug pa should be included among a list of numerous works that were attributed to Vimalamitra in order to establish the authenticity of ‘Indic’ views and practices that became central to the Nyingma tradition.