Dharamshala: His Holiness the Dalai Lama is giving five-day teachings in Dharamshala on Bhaviveka’s text ‘Essence of the Middle Way’ (Tib: དབུ་མ་སྙིང་པོ་), beginning today.
The teaching session being held at Tsuglagkhang, Main Temple was attended by more than 7000 devotees from 54 countries and counting.
Kundeling Rinpoche, Medium of Tibetan protector deity Tsering Ché-nga, Jadur Rinpoche and many other from the Namgyal Monastery were present at the teaching ceremony.
In his preliminary remarks, His Holiness the Dalai Lama exhorted his followers to be 21st century Buddhists.
“It is extremely important that those of us who follow the Buddha should have faith based on knowledge of his teaching. Therefore, we should examine the reasons for it with an unbiased and inquisitive mind, analysing it closely.”
His Holiness remarked that In India there were many competing schools of thought. “Bhavaviveka addresses the others’ points of view, which makes this book particularly valuable.”
In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Bhavaviveka is regarded as the founder of the Uma Ranguedpa tradition of the Madhyamaka school of Buddhism. As told by His Holiness, he was the first Madhyamaka master to write about rival schools of thought and the intellectual differences that stirred the Buddhist community. Madhyamakahrdayakārikā is an independent commentary on the Madhyamaka which describes the ultimate truth through a negation of all four possibilities of the catuskoti (Tibetan: མུ་བཞི).
His Holiness also emphasised the teachings of Master Atisha, an erudite Indian scholar, and his most renowned treatise, Lamp for the Path of Awakening (Tib. བྱང་ཆུབ་ལམ་སྒྲོན་).
“In the Lamp for the Path of Awakening, Master Atisha defined the three levels of spiritual capacity and, in just 68 verses, laid the foundation for the Lamrim tradition. This text is the basis of the most profound and fundamental teaching of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. There are words of praises in the Kadampa tradition for Master Atisha.”
The five-day teaching will conclude on Saturday, 24 February.