translator: Rory Lindsay, in collaboration with Khenpo Tashi Dorje
An influential teacher and author in Eastern Tibet, Drayab Lodro Gyaltsen (c. 1903–1963) was an abbot of Tibet’s famous Dzongsar monastery and a teacher of numerous important masters including Khenchen Appey Rinpoche and Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. After leaving Dzongsar, Lodro Gyaltsen spent his remaining years traveling around Eastern Tibet teaching and writing until his untimely passing in prison at the hands of Chinese forces.
Lodro Gyaltsen’s Opening the Treasury of the Profound Definitive Meaning begins by rejecting traditional Tibetan doxographical understandings of Indian Buddhist philosophical literature, arguing that treatises like those of Nagarjuna and the five works of Maitreya (byams chos sde lnga) can be explained according to Cittamatra, Svatantrika, and Prasangika frameworks, and thus cannot be neatly categorized as reflecting one of these perspectives exclusively. He then offers a detailed commentary on Nagarjuna’s Dharmadhatustava—an importantIndian work on buddha nature that is popular among Tibetan scholars championing the doctrine of “other-emptiness” (gzhan stong)—arguing,inter alia, that teachings on emptiness do not overturn teachings on the reality of buddha nature.