On the Authorship of the Tshad ma’i de kho na nyid bsdus pa





Document Type



Twenty years have passed since the publication in China of the book, Tshad ma’i de kho na nyid bsdus pa (“The Compilation of the Essential Nature of Epistemology,” henceforth, Tshad bsdus), by Sichuan People’s Press. This important work on Buddhist Epistemology is purported to be authored by the great, fourteenth century Nyingma scholar Klong chen Rab ’byams. Thanks to the careful scholarship carried out by Leonard van der Kuijp soon after the book’s publication, it has long been agreed by contemporary scholars of Tibetan epistemology that the Tshad bsdus was not in fact authored by Klong chen pa. Yet, identification of the real author of the Tshad bsdus has eluded researchers’ grasps. Thankfully, there is now enough evidence to put forward a highly credible thesis regarding the authorship of this text, and to clarify the author’s connection to the tradition of epistemological theorizing that was centered on gSang phu Monastery in central Tibet. The evidentiary support for this thesis, as well as an indication of the process by which this thesis was generated, will be presented in the following pages. To put the cards on the table straight away, however, the claim is this: the author of the Tshad bsdus is a Tibetan scholar named ’Jad pa gZhon nu byang chub (c. 1150-1210), a person whose main teacher—Byang chub skyabs—was a direct student of the critically important Tibetan thinker Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge (1109–1169).

Published in

Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines

Citation/Other Information

Stoltz, Jonathan. "On the Authorship of the Tshad ma’i de kho na nyid bsdus pa." Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines 56 (2020): 48-69.

This document is currently not available here.