Anyone who is interested may take this course, however, it is recommended that studens have finished Nitartha Institute’s Foundation and Intermediate curricula, or Mind and Its World I and II at a minimum.

BUD 692

Treasury of Valid Cognition and Reasoning

Faculty: Acharya Lama Kelzang Wangdi

Course Description:

This is the first of a series of teachings by Acharya Lama Kelzang Wangdi on Sakya Paṇḍita’s entire Treasury of Valid Cognition and Reasoning. Starting February 7, 2023, he will teach on chapter 1, “Investigation of the Object.” This chapter sets forth the major terminology of the tradition of valid cognition:

  • valid cognition and mistaken cognition,
  • their related objects that are things, non-things, and clearly appearing non-existents, and
  • the modes of engagement of objects as appearing objects, referent objects, and objects of engagement.

The theories of perception of the Vaibhāṣikas and Sautrāntikas are analyzed with a critique from the Mahāyāna schools, using the reasoning of one and many.

About Sakya Pandita

Sakya Paṇḍita (1182–1251) is one of the great scholars of Tibet. He was renowned for the breadth of his knowledge, but particularly for his expertise in epistemology or valid cognition (pramāṇa). His Treasury of Valid Cognition and Reasoning was so esteemed that it was translated into Sanskrit and circulated in India. Non-Buddhist Indian scholars even came to Tibet to debate him, and were consistently defeated by him.

Sakya Pandita’s text has continued to be a major text in the study of pramana in the Tibetan tradition to this day. It is a source of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche’s Lorik or Classifications of Mind root text, which is taught in Nitartha’s Mind and Its World I and II courses. Studying Sakya Pandita’s text is thus crucial to deepening one’s exploration of the valid cognition tradition.



Any interested student may take this course. However, since this is an Advanced Curriculum course at the Nitartha Institute, it is recommended for students who have completed the Institute’s Foundation and Intermediate Curriculums . In particular it is recommended that students have completed the Mind and Its World I and II courses that are based on the Lorik (Classifications of Mind) root text by Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, or have had equivalent detailed study elsewhere.


Sakya Paṇḍita’s Treasury of Valid Cognition and Reasoning, Chapter 1, “Investigation of the Object.”

The text is an important Sakya Commentary by Blo gter dbang po (“Lo ter wang po”). The commentary is called Lamp that Illuminates the Seven Treatises [of Dharmakīrti]: A Word-by-Word Commentary on [Sakya Paṇḍita’s] Treasury of  Valid Cognition and Reasoning.

The translation of this text will be provided to registered students by Nitartha Institute, courtesy of the Milinda Program. 


Tuesdays 2月 7, 2023 – 6月 27, 2023, 9:00 am–11:00 am Pacific Time



Nitartha’s Payment Plan and Financial Assistance (PPFA) program is funded by fellow students to support those who would not be able to attend the Institute’s courses without this assistance. To request aid, please fill out the PPFA application before you register for the course.


Acharya Lama Kelzang Wangdi is the resident lama and spiritual leader of Kamalashila Institute, the European seat of His Holiness Ogyen Trinley Dorje near Cologne, Germany. Acharya Kelzang studied at the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim from 1989 to 2001, where he obtained a master’s degree in Buddhist philosophy and the academic title of Acharya. He had already begun teaching junior students at Karma Shri Nalanda Institute in 1995 and continued teaching there until 2003. He received many teachings from H.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche and Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche on the doctrine and the practice of the buddhadharma. In the early part of 2004 Lama Kelzang Wangdi went to the USA to teach at Nitartha Institute, where he continues to teach once a year. Acharya Kelzang also teaches at various other Buddhist centers throughout Germany, France, Austria, and Switzerland.