This course is an in-depth study of Chandrakīrti's Madhyamakāvatāra based on the commentary by the Eight Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554). We will begin with the presentation of the Madhyamaka of the model texts followed by a close examination of the first five Madhyamakāvatāra's chapters correlated with the first five bodhisattva bhūmis. Several difficult points will be covered such as the three reasons which prove that arhats realize selflessness of person.

Prerequisite: It is very helpful to have studied the Foundation and Intermediate Curricula of Nitartha Institute before taking this course.

Required texts:

    • The Karmapa’s Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate, A Commentary on Chandrakirti’s Madhyamakāvatāra by Wangchuk Dorje, translated by Tyler Dewar, 2008  Snow Lion Publications
    • Commentary on The Entrance to the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara) Chapters 1 – 5, by  Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Nitartha Institute Publications

This course is a continuation of the in-depth study of Chandrakīrti’s Madhyamakāvatāra based on the commentary by the Eight Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554). We will study the first part of the sixth chapter on the pāramitā of prajñā, which is at the heart of the entire text, presenting the reasoning for realizing emptiness by refuting arising from the four extremes. This section also includes a presentation of the distinction between the Prāsangika and Svātantrika Schools of Madhyamaka.

Prerequisite: It is very helpful to have studied the foundation and intermediate curricula before taking this course. Having taken BUD700 on Madhyamakāvatāra chapters 1-5 is not required, though beneficial.

Required texts:

    • Commentary on the Entrance to the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara) Chapter 6, Part One, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Nitartha Institute Publications, 1st edition 1998, 2nd edition 2009.
    • The Karmapa’s Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate, A Commentary on Chandrakirti’s Madhyamakāvatāra, Wangchuk Dorje, translated by Tyler Dewar, Snow Lion Publications, 2008 (This text is also available as an e-book)

This course will explore Chandrakīrti’s extended presentation of the two truths and the introductory part of his refutation of Chittamātra view from the sixth chapter on Prajna, verses 6.24-6.47, of his Madhyamakāvatāra. This is the third course in an in-depth series of courses on this text based on the commentary by the Eighth Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554) and the oral teachings of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.

Prerequisite: It is very helpful to have studied the Foundation and Intermediate Curricula of Nitartha Institute before taking this course. Having taken BUD700 on Madhyamakāvatāra chapters 1-5 and BUD701 on chapter 6, verses 1-23, is not required, though also beneficial. This course can be taken for Nitartha Institute credit as well as for non-credit. If taken for credit, completion of the Foundation and Intermediate Nitartha curriculum is a prerequisite.

Required texts:

  • Wangchuk Dorje, The Ninth Karmapa, The Karmapa’s Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate, A Commentary on Chandrakirti’s Madhyamakāvatāra, translated by Tyler Dewar (Ithaca: Snow Lion Publications, 2008). (This text is also available as an e-book)
  • PLUS:

i) EITHER:

 a. Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Commentary on the Entrance to the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara) Chapter 6, Part One (Nitartha Institute Publications, 2nd ed. 2009). (This was the old 1st ed. 1998)

b. Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Commentary on the Entrance to the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara) Chapter 6, Part Two (Nitartha Institute Publications, 2nd ed. 2009).  (This was the old 1st ed. 1999.) (Note: The very first part of the 2009B 2nd edition is needed for this course, since it was included at the end of the 1st ed. 1998, but was moved to the beginning of the new 2009B 2nd edition.) PDF files will be provided for the 2009B text for this course so you do not need to buy it for this course, but it will be used for the next course in this series in Fall 2021 so you could go ahead and buy it if you like.

ii) OR:

a. Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Commentary on the Entrance to the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara) Chapter 6, Part One (Nitartha Institute Publications, 1st ed. 1998)