The Monk as Bodhisattva: A Tibetan Integration of Buddhist Moral Points of View

Journal of Religious Ethics 24 (2):377-402 (1996)
Tsong kha pa's Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, completed in 1402, set the agenda in regard to the nature of and role for morality, meditation, and a correct understanding of ultimate reality for many Tibetan Buddhist thinkers and practitioners. The arguments move from reliance on scriptural authority to reliance on personal investigation, in the beginning by logic, but in the end by meditative insight. However, the model of the ascetic monastic remains basic, providing little justification for claims by some modern apologists that Tibetan Buddhism relegates monasticism to the background. While it is undeniable that Tibetan civilization embraces a number of visions of Buddhism and thus a number of Buddhist lifestyles and moral points of view, Tsong kha pa attempts in the Stages of the Path to show that monastic and bodhisattva viewpoints need not be at odds.
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