Three types of Words of the Buddha

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There are three types of words of the Buddha (Tib. སངས་རྒྱས་ཀྱི་བཀའ་གསུམ་, Wyl. sangs rgyas kyi bka' gsum), in terms of their medium of transmission (more literally, the dominant condition). They are sometimes translated as the "three transmitted precepts". They are:

  1. the oral teachings (Tib. sungwé ka);
  2. the teachings given through blessings (Tib. chinji labpé ka), as when while in meditation the Buddha blessed Avalokiteshvara and Shariputra and the Heart Sutra arose; and
  3. the repeated teachings (Tib. rjes su nangwé ka), at the beginning of which teaching it says, "Thus have I heard" and at the end, "This is how the Buddha spoke".