Monday, July 13, 2009

Three Kinds of Persons

Understand there are three kinds of persons
Because of their small, middling and supreme capacities.
I shall write clearly distinguishing
Their individual characteristics.


  1. Lamp for the Path belongs to a class of literature known as lam rim, or stages of the path. Lam rim harmonizes the many different Buddhist teachings into a progressive series of steps. So the lam rim teaching form a path and, because it is a path, the steps depend upon the destination. Lamp for the Path describes three destinations, three possible goals one might have when practicing Buddhism. And it classifies them as lesser, middling, and greater. This classification is made on the basis of the benefit that comes from achieving that goal. So why three goals and not just the greater? Because the effort required to achieve the greater goal is correspondingly great, there are lesser goals one can practice towards until one is willing to make the effort required for the greater. Although Lamp for the Path describes three goals, the text only describes the path for the greater goal. Other, more extensive presentations of lam rim, such as the Lam Rim Chenmo, describe all three paths,

  2. Thankyou for this information, Jinzang.

    Are you happy for this discussion to free flow, or is it only based on the content posted. For example, what comes to mind is, in terms of the "greater" goal, perhaps this is a matter of lifetimes and not because the current goal is lesser.

    Anyway, regardless, will continue to peruse with interest. Thankyou for providing this space for us all to share.

  3. It's a discussion group, not a lecture. I'm posting stuff just to get the conversation going. If other people join in, I'd be glad to step back.

  4. Unfortunately I am on sabbatical at the moment so will not be able to contribute regularly. Regardless of outcome, thankyou for this offering, Jinzang.