Text: The Jewel Ornament of Liberation: The Wish-fulfilling Gem of the Noble TeachingsThe Udānavarga is an early Buddhist collection of topically organized chapters of aphoristic verses that were spoken by the Buddha on a range of subjects such as the afflictive emotions, mind training, ethics, conduct, concentration and so forth. The text is included within the Sanskrit Buddhist Canon and shares many verses and section headings in common with the shorter length Dhammapada of the Pali Canon, and it is for this reason that it is often referred to as the Sanskrit or Tibetan Dhammapada. Geshe Tsondu will guide us through seven of the thirty-three chapters of the work, chapters four through ten which explore the themes of conscientiousness, beauty, ethics, upright conduct, speech, actions, and faith.
Recommended Text: The Tibetan Dhammapada: Sayings of the Buddha—A Translation of the Tibetan Version of the Udānavarga, translated by Gareth Sparham, Wisdom Publications (In Tibetan: Books 13 and 14 of the LTWA’s Dharma Series).
Additional Reading: The Dhammapada and the Udanavarga, translated by F. Max Muller and William Woodville Rockhill The Sutra of the Wise and Foolish, translated by Stanely Frye, LTWA.
Date: May 15—December 15
Text: The Ornament of the Great Vehicle Sutras (mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra, mdo sde rgyan)
The Ornament of the Great Vehicle Sutras is a major work of Buddhist philosophy that is part of a collection known as the Five Treatises of Maitreya. Maitreya, the Buddha’s regent, is held to have entrusted these profound and vast instructions to the master Asaṅga in the heavenly realm of Tuṣita. The text, comprised of twenty-two chapters laid out in 800 verses, presents the Great Vehicle path from the Mind-Only school’s perspective. It begins by first establishing the authenticity of the Great Vehicle and then goes on to systematically cover such subjects as going for refuge, buddha-nature, how to develop the altruistic mind of enlightenment, emptiness, the development of faith, the bodhisattva’s practice of the six transcendent perfections, the enlightenment and many other topics essential to gaining an understanding of how to travel the bodhisattva’s path leading to the ultimate destination of perfect Buddhahood.
Recommended reading: The Universal Vehicle Discourse Literature, by Maitreya/Asanga, translated by L. Jamspal, R. Clark, J. Wilson, L. Zwilling, M. Sweet, R. Thurman, published by the American Institute of Buddhist Studies.
Ornament of the Great Vehicle Sutras, by Maitreya, commentary by Mipham and Khenpo Shenga, translated by the Dharma Chakra Translation Committee, published by Snow Lion. Cutting Through Appearances, by Geshe Lhundup Sopa and Jeffrey Hopkins, published by Snow Lion. Emptiness in the Mind-Only School of Buddhism: Dynamic Responses to Dzong-ka-ba’s The Essence of Eloquence: Volume 1, by Jeffrey Hopkins, published by University of California Press. The Three Natures and Non-Natures in the Mind-Only School: Dynamic Responses to Dzong-ka-ba’s The Essence of Eloquence: Volume 2 by Jeffrey Hopkins, published by University of California Press.