The Buddhist Enumerations

The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: It’s Fundamentals & History by Dudjom Rinpoche is a must have for serious scholars or practitioners within Tibetan Buddhism.

It is two volumes combined into one book.  The first is the Fundamentals of the Nyingma School and the second is the History of the Nyingma School.  This is where you can find detailed accounts of lineage information and hagiographies of some important and wonderful masters.

One of the most useful parts within the book is the numerical categorization of Buddhism in general.  It sports 181 pages just for this section of the Glossary of Enumerations.  It progress from the two accomplishments all the way up to 6,400,000 verses of the great perfection teachings.

Here are some samples:


  • two accomplishments
  • two Buddha bodies
  • two truths
  • two kinds of selflessness


  • three kinds of discriminating awareness
  • three kinds of mandala
  • three uncompounded entities


  • four essential recollections
  • four eternalistic schools
  • four extremes
  • four fearlessness
  • four great modes of liberation
  • four guardian kings
  • four kinds of birthplace
  • four kinds of desire
  • four great axioms of madhyamaka
  • four perverted views


  • five buddha families


  • ten powers
  • ten sciences


  • twelve modes of dependent origination


  • seventeen form realms


  • eighteen distinct attributes of the Buddhas
  • eighteen schools


  • twenty-four pure lands
  • fifty-one mental events
  • eighty minor marks of a buddha
  • one hundred treasure-finders
  • two hundred and fifty disciplines of the vinaya
  • 21,000 kinds of desire, hatred, and delusion
  • 84,000 doctrines of the vehicles
  • 6,400,000 verses of the natural great perfection

Ascension of the masters:

One of the most intriguing categories is how a highly realized master dies in Tibetan Buddhism.  It is important to note that this is only explained in Vajrayana Buddhism.

This account has caused other faiths to investigate the dharma to determine the validity of Christ’s ascension into the sky.

Four ways of death:

  1. dissolving into space
  2. cremation
  3. death in the manner of an awareness holder
  4. celestial flight

Described respectively as follows: (1) the body and mind dissolve in the emptiness of the buddha-body of reality, (2) as the space within and without a vase merge when the vase breaks, (3) one passes away like a fire with no more fuel, space is filled with light and one dies like an awareness holder, (4) even though one dies, one need not relinquish the body and so one dies as a sky-farer

You can click here to order the book: The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism

Good Luck!


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