MA English

ME6206 Special Topic in Buddhist Studies: Theory of Buddhist Meditation: From Early Buddhism to Early Mahāyāna

A study of Buddhist meditation as an integral part of the Buddhist religious doctrine which is directed to mental purification and liberation. The study will involve Buddhist meditational practices in the Early Buddhism (Pāli Nikāya and Chinese Āgama), Theravāda, Sarvāstivāda and Early Mahāyāna, the therapeutic effects and psychological aspects of Buddhist meditation, and the higher reaches of mind in Jhanic experience and their relevance to Buddhist spiritual life.

ME6102 - Mahāyāna Buddhism

This course aims at students without 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.

ME6205 A Survey of the Doctrines of the Abhidharma Schools

The period of Abhidharma Buddhism is of great importance for a proper perspective of the development of Indian Buddhism in general. It was essentially in this period that Buddhist ‘philosophy’ first evolved. Traditionally, there were said to be eighteen Abhidharma schools, sometimes also referred to as the Hīnayāna schools. This course will begin with an outline of the historical evolution of these schools, highlighting the doctrinal controversies that led to the schism at different schools.

ME6209 - Mahāyāna Buddhist Literature

The course will consist of a study of the following themes : (1) the literary and philosophical treatises of such authors as Asvaghoṣa, Āryadeva, Asańga, Nāgārjuna, Vasubandhu, etc. (2) Prajñāpāramitā literature : its origin and development ; life and teachings of the Buddha as represented in works such as Buddhacarita, Mahāvastu, Lalitavistara, Saddharmapuṇḍarīka and the Avadāna Literature; Bodhisattva concept and the related notions as found in Jātakamālā, Bodhicaryāvatāra, Bodhisattvabhūmi, Samādhirāja Sūtra and Raṣtrapālaparipṛccha; a brief introduction to the Dhāraṇīs and Tantras. (3) An analysis of one of the following works: Lalitavistara, Saddharmapuṇḍarīka, Mahāvastu, Laṅkāvatāra- with special emphasis on the discourse structure and contents. (4) Selected readings from the following texts: Mahāvastu Lalitavistara, Saddharmapuṇḍarīka, Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra.

ME6210 - Special topics in Buddhist studies II: Bodhicharyavatara

Treasured by Buddhists of all traditions, The Way of the Bodhisattva (Bodhicharyavatara) is a guide to cultivating the mind of enlightenment, and to generating the qualities of love, compassion, generosity, and patience. This text has been studied, practiced, and expounded upon in an unbroken tradition for centuries, first in India, and later in Tibet. Presented in the form of a personal meditation in verse, it outlines the path of the Bodhisattvas - those who renounce the peace of individual enlightenment and vow to work for the liberation of all beings and to attain buddhahood for their sake.

ME6217 - Lam Rim Chen Mo: The Path to Enlightenment in the Tibetan Tradition

In all Tibetan Buddhist schools – Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug – practices are basically classified into Sūtra and Mantra paths. All four schools have instructive literature to both Sūtra and Mantra. The present course will survey the most elaborate Guide on Sūtra: Lam rim Chen mo (“A Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path”) produced by the founder of the Gelug School, Tsongkhapa Lobsan Drakpa (1357-1419), with references to the corresponding literature of other schools.

ME6210 - Special Topic in Buddhist Studies (2): Ratnavali ("The Jewel Garland") of Nagarjuna

Nagarjuna is renowned for his penetrating analysis of reality. In the Precious Garland, he offers intimate counsel on how to conduct one's life and how to construct social policies that reflect Buddhist ideals. The advice for personal happiness is concerned first with improving one's condition over the course of lifetimes, and then with release from all kinds of suffering, culminating in Buddhahood. Nagarjuna describes the cause and effect sequences for the development of happiness within ordinary life, as well as the practices of wisdom, realizing emptiness, and compassion that lead to enlightenment. He describes a Buddha's qualities and offers encouraging advice on the effectiveness of practices that reveal the vast attributes of Buddhahood.

ME6219 - The Chan (Dhyāna) School - A Historical Survey

This course is a historical survey of the Ch’an (Dhyāna) school of Chinese Buddhism, one of the most influential Buddhist schools in China. The survey includes the most important periods in the development of this school, such as the introduction of Patriarch Ch’an into China for the first time, the establishment of Patriarch Ch’an as a separate School, and the divisions of Patriarch Ch’an over time.

ME6206 - Special topics in Buddhist studies I: Buddhist Psychotherapy for Buddhist Studies

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).

ME6101 - Theravāda Buddhism

The Buddha’s teachings recorded in the Pāli literature will be the main focus on this study. Attention is drawn to the definition of Theravāda Buddhism and the differences existing between Theravāda Buddhism and Early Buddhism, Early Buddhism and Pāli Buddhism. Candidates are expected to study the basic concepts of Theravāda Buddhism in comparison with the concepts of early Indian culture.

ME6217 Lam Rim Chen Mo

In all Tibetan Buddhist schools – Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug – practices are basically classified into Sūtra and Mantra paths. All four schools have instructive literature to both Sūtra and Mantra. The present course will survey the most elaborate Guide on Sūtra: Lam rim Chen mo (“A Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path”) produced by the founder of the Gelug School, Tsongkhapa Lobsan Drakpa (1357-1419), with references to the corresponding literature of other schools.

SK401 Sanskrit Grammar and Syntax II

Conjugation of the athematic verb classes II, V and VIII; more declensional cases of nouns and pronouns of the three genders with vowel and consonant endings; the denominative; the imperfect tense; the conditional tense; the periphrastic future; the locative and genitive absolutes; the future passive participles (gerundive); the present participles; further forms of bahuvrīhi samāsa; the avyayībhāva samāsa; possessive and adjective suffixes; past active participles.