Atiśa’s Pith Instructions on the Middle Way and Commentary by Prajñāmoksha
Audio Download $95
Video Stream $108
September 19 – 20, 2020
Sponsored By Santa Barbara Institute
Atiśa Dīpaṃkaraśrījñāna (982-1055) was one of the greatest paṇḍits and mahāsiddhas in the history of Indian Buddhism, and he was seminal in revitalizing Buddhism in Tibet after its decline in the ninth century under the oppressive reign of King Langdarma. He was trained academically in the great monastic universities of Vikramaśīla and Nalandā and contemplatively by the Mahāsiddhas Avadhūtīpada and Nāropā in India, as well as by Dharmakīrtiśrī (Serlingpa) in Indonesia. In his text Pith Instructions on the Middle Way he presents an interpretation of ultimate and deceptive realities, and his Indian disciple Prajñāmoksha gives a detailed commentary on this root text. They are both thoroughly based on the writings of Nāgārjuna and Candrakīrti, but Atiśa takes a different view of the role of logic and epistemology in the realization of emptiness than later Tibetan masters of the New Translation School, such as Sakya Pandita and Tsongkhapa. In this regard, his approach seems far more in line with Dzogchen meditative practices and views of the nature of appearances and reality. Tsongkhapa was a follower of the Kadampa tradition founded by Atiśa, and both were deeply trained in both Prāsaṅgika-Madhyamaka and Mahāmudrā. So upon careful investigation, we may find their approaches to be profoundly complementary rather than contradictory. This two-day seminar will be comprised of Alan Wallace’s oral commentaries and guided meditations, as well as times for discussion and questions and answers.