Buton Rinchen Drub

Butön Rinchen Drup (Tibetan: བུ་སྟོན་རིན་ཆེན་གྲུབ་, Wylie: bu ston rin chen grub), (1290–1364), 11th Abbot of Shalu Monastery, was a 14th-century Sakya master and Tibetan Buddhist leader. Shalu was the first of the major monasteries to be built by noble families of the Tsang dynasty during Tibet's great revival of Buddhism, and was an important center of the Sakya tradition. Butön was not merely a capable administrator but he is remembered to this very day as a prodigious scholar and writer and is Tibet's most celebrated historian.

Buton Rinchen Drub
A 14th-century wall painting depiction of abbot Buton Rinchen (left) and his successor
Tibetan name
Tibetan བུ་སྟོན་རིན་ཆེན་གྲུབ་
Wyliebu ston rin chen grub
THLButön Rinchen Drup
Tibetan PinyinPudoin Rinqênzhub
Lhasa IPApʰutø̃ rĩtɕʰẽtʂup
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese布敦仁欽竹
Simplified Chinese布敦仁钦竹
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinBùdūn Rénqīngzhú


Buton was born in 1290, "to a family associated with a monastery named Sheme Gomne (shad smad sgom gnas) in the Tropu (khro phu) area of Tsang ... [his] father was a prominent Nyingma Lama named Drakton Gyeltsen Pelzang (brag ston rgyal btshan dpal bzang, d.u.). His mother, also a Nyingma master, was called Sonam Bum (bsod nams 'bum, d.u.)."[1]

Buton catalogued all of the Buddhist scriptures at Shalu, some 4,569 religious and philosophical works and formatted them in a logical, coherent order. He wrote the famous book, the History of Buddhism in India and Tibet at Shalu which many Tibetan scholars utilize in their study today.

After his death he strongly influenced the development of esoteric studies and psychic training in Tibet for centuries. The purpose of his works were not to cultivate paranormal magical abilities but to attain philosophical enlightenment, a belief that all earthly phenonoma are a state of the mind. He remains to this day one of the most important Tibetan historians and Buddhist writers in the history of Buddhism and Tibet.

Panchen Sönam Drakpa (1478-1554), the fifteenth abbot of Ganden monastery, became known as an incarnation of the great lama and historian, Bütön Rinchen Drupa.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Namgyal, Tsering (September 2012). "Buton Rinchen Drub". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  2. ^ Tales of Intrigue from Tibet's Holy City: The Historical Underpinnings of a Modern Buddhist Crisis Thesis by Lindsay G. McCune, p. 51 Archived 2012-02-14 at the Wayback Machine The Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences

Further readingEdit

  • Chandra, Lokesh ed. The Collected Works of Bu-ston 26v. (Śatapiṭaka Series 64) New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1971.
  • Rinchen Namgyal, Dratshdpa (Author), Van Der Bogaert, Hans (Translator) A Handful of Flowers: A Brief Biography of Buton Rinchen Drub. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1996. ISBN 81-86470-04-2
  • Ruegg, David Seyfort. The life of Bu ston Rin po che: With the Tibetan text of the Bu ston rNam thar, Serie orientale Roma XXXIV. Roma: Instituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1966.
  • Schaeffar, Kurtis R. “A letter to the editors of the Buddhist canon in fourteenth-century Tibet: the yig mkhan rnams la gdams pa of Bu ston Rin chen grub.” in The Journal of the American Oriental Society 01-APR-2004
  • Obermiller, E. (1931/1932) The History of Buddhism in India and Tibet. the Jewelry of Scripture, by Bu Ston, Translated from Tibetan. Leipzig: Harrassowitz. v.1 v.2.

External linksEdit