Three sets of vows
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The three sets of vows (Skt. trisaṃvara; Tib. སྡོམ་གསུམ་, dom sum, Wyl. sdom gsum) are:
- the vows of pratimoksha or of individual liberation (Tib. སོ་ཐར་གྱི་སྡོམ་པ་, sotar gyi dompa);
- the bodhisattva vows (Tib. བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའི་སྡོམ་པ་, changchub sempé dompa);
- the samayas of the secret mantrayana (Tib. གསང་སྔགས་ཀྱི་སྡོམ་པ་, sang ngag kyi dompa).
An alternative list is:
- The vows of pratimoksha;
- the dhyana vows; and
- the vows of undefilement.
Essence of the Vows
Dudjom Rinpoche said:
- To abandon entirely all negative intentions and actions of body, speech and mind that might cause harm to others is the essence of the pratimoksha, or vows of individual liberation.
- To practise wholeheartedly all types of virtue that bring benefit to others is the essence of the bodhisattva's vows.
- At the root of these two is taming one's own unruly mind by means of mindfulness, vigilance and conscientiousness, and training oneself to recognize the all-encompassing purity of appearance and existence. This is the essence of the vows of secret mantra.
- Ngari Panchen Pema Wangyal, Ascertainment of the Three Types of Vows
- Sakya Pandita, Clear Differentiation of the Three Sets of Vows
Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha
- Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Dharma Mati, Germany, 24 May 2018
- Geshe Sonam Rinchen, The Bodhisattva Vow, translated and edited by Ruth Sonam, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2000
- Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche, The Treasury of Knowledge, Book Five: Buddhist Ethics, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2003
- Lama Mipham's Commentary to Nagarjuna's Stanzas for a Novice Monk and Tsongkhapa's Essence of the Ocean of Vinaya, translated by Glen H. Mullin and Lobsang Rapgay, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1978
- Ngari Panchen, Perfect Conduct: The Absolute Certainty of the Three Vows with commentary by Dudjom Rinpoche, Boston: Wisdom, 1996
- Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen, A Clear Differentiation of the Three Codes: Essential Distinctions among the Individual Liberation, Great Vehicle, and Tantric Systems, translated by Jared Rhoton, New York: SUNY, 2002
- Sobisch, Jan-Ulrich. Three-Vow Theories in Tibetan Buddhism: A Comparative Study of Major Traditions from the Twelfth through Nineteenth Centuries. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 2002
- Tsongkhapa, Tantric Ethics: An Explanation of the Precepts for Buddhist Vajrayana Practice, translated by Gareth Sparham, Boston: Wisdom, 2005