Dharmarakṣita (9th century)
Dharmarakṣita is a c. 9th century Indian Buddhist credited with composing an important Mahayana text called the Wheel of Sharp Weapons (Tib. blo-sbyong mtshon-cha 'khor-lo). He was the teacher of Atiśa, who was instrumental in establishing a second wave of Buddhism in Tibet.
'Wheel of Sharp Weapons' is an abbreviated title for 'The Wheel of Sharp Weapons Effectively Striking the Heart of the Foe.'
In the same way, Dharmarakṣita explains, the non-virtuous causes we create through our self-interested behavior come back to 'cut us' in future lives as the ripening of the negative karma such actions create.
Our suffering is not a punishment, merely a self-created karmic result. In most verses, Dharmarakṣita also offers a suggested alternative virtuous or positive action to substitute for our previous non-virtuous behavior, actions that will create positive karma and future pleasant conditions and happiness.
Despite the fact that Wheel of Sharp Weapons has come to be considered a Mahayana text, Dharmarakṣita is said to have subscribed to the Vaibhāṣika view. His authorship of the text is considered questionable by scholars for various reasons.
- Thupten Jinpa. The Book of Kadam: The Core Texts. (Wisdom Publications: Boston, MA. 2008), 628nn129
- Essential Mind Training by Thupten Jinpa Wisdom Publications (November 22, 2011) ISBN 0861712633 pg 44
- Essential Mind Training by Thupten Jinpa Wisdom Publications (November 22, 2011) ISBN 0861712633 pg 146-47