This course aims at students without any previous knowledge of Mahāyāna Buddhism. It provides an introduction to Mahāyāna Buddhism in the widest sense. After a brief look at the development of Buddhism in India after the death of the Buddha, this course concentrates on the historical, philosophical and religious origins of Mahāyāna Buddhism in India. These include the Bodhisattva ideal; Buddhological developments; the philosophical systematizations of the Mādhyamaka and Yogācāra schools; the reasons for the dominant position of Mahāyāna Buddhism in China and an investigation on the features of the newly emerged Mahāyāna modernism (i.e., Japanese Buddhism).
2nd Semester, Academic Year 2012/2013 (December 2012 - March 2013)
The Visudhimagga written by Ven. Buddhaghosa could be recognized as the Manual of Theravāda Buddhist Psychology due to its salient psychological theories discussed therein. Psychotherapeutic strategies revealed by commentator Buddhaghosa are centered on three fold training (morality, concentration, and wisdom). This Threefold training elaborated in Visuddhimagga, in terms of sattavisuddhi (sevenfold purification), tries to transform three aspects of the individual as a therapeutic means. And on the other hand, various psychotherapeutic strategies advocated by the commentary show us various significances that are so relevant to this modern world.
On December 13, 2008, Kathmandu University, Centre for Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute hosted its 6th Annual Symposium on Buddhist Studies. This year the title of the Symposium was "Buddhism Translated: Language, Transmission and Transformation". Dr. Tom Tillemans (University of Lausanne): "Why are translations of philosophical texts so often misleading or even downright incomprehensible?"
1st Semester, Academic Year 2012/2013 (July 09- November 10, 2012)
Ven. Dr. Yuan Liu 释源流 法师 博士
阿毗达磨佛教时期对于从整体上正确认识印度佛教的发展具有重要意义。从根本上讲，这正是佛教首次涉及“哲学化”的时期。传统上公认的阿毗达磨学派/部派一 共有十八个，它们有时也被视为小乘部派。这门课程首先略述这些学派的历史演变，强调那些导致不同部派分裂的教义上的争论。接着将概论北传中一些更为重要的 部派的根本教义，特别是说一切有部、经量部、大众部和正量部。