“Reason and Revelation” is the title of Steven Goodman’s first book. The lecture will begin with some reminiscences about Steve, noting the many developments in the field of Tibetan Buddhist Studies during the forty years of his academic career, a career that began with his work on revelation (terma) and ended with his work on reason (abhidharma). It will then turn to a perennial question in the study of religion, and in the study of Buddhism: Which came first, reason or revelation, and what is the relation between them? The lecture will be introduced by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.
This talk will discuss various concepts, words and rituals in the Pali and Buddhist Sanskrit literature and will attempt to show the indirect influence of Vedic ritualistic tradition on Buddhism. This influence can be termed as Vedism that can be observed in respect of other non-Vedic religious traditions as well.
The manuscripts discovered in the "Library Cave" near Dunhuang in northwestern China represent some of the earliest materials we have in Tibetan language. They shed light on both the early period of Tibetan Buddhism, when the Pugyel empire was at the height of its power and Tibetans were first encountering Buddhism, and the subsequent "age of fragmentation" that followed the empire's collapse. After a brief introduction to the Dunhuang collection in general, this lecture considers what these ancient treasures tell us about the early Tibetan assimilation of tantric Buddhism in particular, from the late eighth to the late tenth centuries.
As the most prolific historical Tibetan Buddhist woman prior to the 1950s, Sera Khandro Dewé Dorjé presents a candid and nuanced female perspective on what it means to embody Vajrayana Buddhist ideals. The eloquent and subtle Tibetan prose and verse that comprises her long autobiography is as inspiring as it is intensely expressive of a range of relatable human emotions, including rage, grief, love, and humor. In this talk I will share some tastes of a project I am currently immersed in to translate the richness of both the relatable and extraordinary elements of Sera Khandro’s writing from Tibetan into English.
In Chinese Buddhist art, Samantabhadra, representing Buddhist practice, forms a sacred Trinity along with Mañjuśrī and Vairocana. This Trinity was inspired by the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra, translated as Huayan jing華嚴經 into Chinese, and has been a popular object of worship up to the present. This lecture attempts to give a comprehensive understanding of the depiction of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva in Chinese Buddhist art and its role in Buddhist religious practice.