In this course, Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Losang Jampa will explain the second chapter of Dharmakirti’s commentary on Dignaga’s work Compendium of Valid Cognition. The entire chap-
ter is a detailed analysis of the statement of homage:
Having bowed to the One who became a true authority, the one who desires to help the world,
The Teacher, the One who has gone well, and the Savior,
I will collect together here numerous points dispersed throughout my works
In order to prove what the nature of knowledge is.
[Engle, Artemus B. (2009). The Inner Science of Buddhist Practice. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications]
We can not simply accept the assertion that Buddha Shakyamuni was Enlightened based on blind faith, but rather we must intimately familiarize ourselves with the logical analysis that proves it to be true. Due to our minds being obscured by ignorance, understanding the nature of Enlightened beings is a hidden phenomenon -- one that we can not perceive directly. But Dharmakirti teaches it is still possible for us to grasp this truth: through the usage of inferential cognizers that are deduced via correct syllogisms and logical reasoning. When one comes to realize this, the meaning of taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha becomes vastly more profound.
While the pramanavarttika is one of the core subjects in the Tibetan monastic curriculum, it is rarely taught in the West and yet has particular relevance. As Westerners, we tend to believe that faith and reason are distinct. Dr. Art Engle who will be translating for Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche emphasizes that this is not the case in Buddhism. In Inner Science he writes, “In the Buddhist tradition, faith as well as other virtuous states, can be fostered and strengthened by reason and understanding. Many techniques of Buddhist mental training appeal to reason as a means of controlling the mental afflictions, by providing a basis for recognizing their inappropriateness and harmfulness. A similar process is used for evoking such positive emotions as patience, loving-kindness, equanimity, and the like.”
Pramanavartika is an extensive work that covers many topics. Gyumed Khensur may choose to explain:
(1) the nature of valid coginition (pramāṇa) (2) how a Buddha is understood to be "one who became an authoritative spiritual being" (pramāṇabhūta). (3) how the existence of past and future lives is proven (4) the possibility of developing spiritual qualities such as compassion and wisdom to their highest extent; (5) the unique characteristics of a Buddha represented by the epithet Sugata ("one who has attained the state of ultimate well-being"); (6) an extensive discussion of the Four Noble Truths.
Jackson, Roger (1993) Is Enlightenment Possible?: Dharmakirti and Gyaltsap Je on Rebirth, No-Self and Liberation. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications.
Geshe Kelsang Wangmo (2014 - 2018). Teachings on Pramanavartika given at the Institute for Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala, India. Visit the website for course materials.
Day 1 (Saturday August 10th) - Day 8 (Saturday August 17th): Am Session 10:00 - 12:00, Lunch 12:00 - 1:30, PM Session 1:30 - 3:30
Day 9 (Sunday August 18th): Am Session 10:00 - 12:00 (Followed by Lunch)
Local Discounted Hotels:
Days Inn by Wyndham Bethel - Danbury
18 Stony Hill Rd, Bethel, CT 06801
Contact: Mayur Patel
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one bed: $73+tax weekday, $80+tax weekend
two bed: $82+tax weekday, $89+tax weekend ($41.00+tax, and $44.50+tax/person, respectively)
80 Benedict Rd, Bethel, CT 06801
regional manager: Alexia
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4 singles rooms - $75/room/night
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