Main content start

"The Impact of the Thunderbolt: Reading in and around Kamalaśīla’s Commentary on the Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā"

Friday February 23rd 2024, 9:00AM - Tuesday February 27th 2024, 5:00PM
Kamalashila, the 12th abbot of Nalanda University, India

This is a set of two workshops led by Professors Paul Harrison (Stanford University) and Birgit Kellner (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna), designed to bring together an international group of scholars working on Kamalaśīla’s Vajracchedikāṭīkā and related texts. The first of these will be held at Stanford  23–27 February 2024, and the second at the IKGA in Vienna (Austrian Academy of Sciences), either before or after the next IABS conference in Leipzig (10–15 August 2025), the specific date yet to be determined. 

Kamalaśīla (ca 740–795) played a significant role in the introduction of Indian Buddhism to Tibet, and is remembered as a key interpreter of Mahāyāna doctrine and practice and as a mediator between the Indic and Tibetan cultural worlds. The workshops will address Kamalaśīla’s Ṭīkā itself (which is preserved only in Tibetan translation), its principal themes and emphases, its forerunners and sources (especially the earlier commentaries attributed to Asaṅga and Vasubandhu), the Ṭīkā’s relation to other works by Kamalaśīla (including the Avikalpapraveśadhāraṇīṭīkā and the Bhāvanākramas), the context of its composition, and other such matters. The meetings will not involve the presentation of papers as such, but a series of readings and discussions of selected texts or text passages in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese, each one prepared and introduced by a workshop participant with a brief introduction (no more than 30 minutes). Editions of the texts to be read, ideally with draft translations, are to be circulated prior to the meetings.It is intended that the workshops will broaden and deepen our understanding of the Buddhist commentarial tradition as well as of the specific context in which Kamalaśīla worked in Tibet.  

Workshop Participants:

Paul Harrison, Co-Organizer  (Stanford University)

Birgit Kellner, Co-Organizer (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Allan Ding (DePaul University)

Pei-Lin Chiou (University of Vienna)

Yan Ma (University of Vienna)

Hiroko Matsuoka (University of Vienna)

Serena Saccone (University of Naples)

Gareth Sparham (Indpendent Scholar)

This workshop is by invitation only.