Belgium: Shedrup Tengyel Ling in Belgium organised a conference on Tibetan Buddhist philosophy yesterday afternoon in Antwerp. The Centre was established last year as a centre for Tibetan Buddhism by Ven. Tseten Phuntsok. He gave the introduction to the four-hour conference. He said that it was his attempt to implement the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and spread the teachings of Tibetan Buddhist tradition in the region. He welcomed the eminent guests and speakers.
The conference was addressed by seven tulkus, geshes and experts on Tibetan philosophy from different Tibetan Buddhists schools. They were: Ven. Metok Rinpoche, Ven. Geshe Jampa Rabten from Switzerland, Ven. Ragyak Paltrul Rinpoche, Geshe Dasang, Tashi Tsering, Golok Gebe and Losang Tseten. Except Geshe Jampa Rabten all are from Belgium. The presentations were on profound philosophical issues of Shunyata, Interdependence, Madhyamika etc and the Terma tradition of Nyingmapa. After each presentation, a lively question and answer session followed.
Before the formal debate commenced, Representative Tashi Phuntsok, as the Chief Guest, spoke. As requested by Ven. Tseten Phuntsok, he spoke briefly in English for the benefit of the some of the non-Tibetan members of the audience. He said that the Tibetan tradition, based on Nalanda Pandit’s teachings, is essentially based on debate and logic. It has its fundamental basis on what Buddha said: O bhikshus and the wise/ Just as a goldsmith tests his gold/By burning, cutting and rubbing it/So you must examine my words/And accept them/But not merely out of reverence.
Phuntsok briefly outlined the development of Buddhist logico-epistemology through the periods of Nalanda masters. He drew an outline of it from the times of Nagarjuna to Vasubandhu, Dignaga to Dharmakirti. He recalled His Holiness’ fourth commitment to revive the ancient Indian knowledge in this context. Therefore, dialectics has been encouraged by him for many decades in the Tibetan community. In recent times he has specially launched a worldwide campaign to spread this aspect.
At the conclusion of the conference Representative Phuntsok once again reiterated above in Tibetan. He also encouraged Ven. Testen Phuntsok in his efforts. He suggested that similar conferences could be organised for ordinary Tibetans and other Buddhists where the discussion could be on a simpler level and more understandable format.