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BUD 700
Madhyamakāvatāra-I: Entrance to the Middle Way

Advanced Curriculum

Course Code: BUD 700

Course Description: This course is an in-depth study of Chandrakīrti’s Madhyamakāvatāra based on the commentary by the Eight Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554). We will begin with the presentation of the Madhyamaka of the model texts followed by a close examination of the first five Madhyamakāvatāra’s chapters correlated with the first five bodhisattva bhūmis. Several difficult points will be covered such as the three reasons which prove that arhats realize selflessness of person.

Prerequisites: This course can be taken for Nitartha Institute credit as well as for non-credit. If taken for credit, completion of the foundation and intermediate Nitartha curriculum is a prerequisite.

Class Topics
  • Madhyamaka lineages in India and Tibet
  • Title, homage, three noble ones
  • Three types of compassion
  • Ten bodhisattva bhūmis
  • Three reasons why arhats realize both selflessnesses
  • Prāsaṅgika view of the two obscurations
  • Pāramitā of generosity
  • Concluding 1st bhūmi
  • 2nd bhūmi: The Stainless; pure discipline
  • Pure and faulty discipline
  • Concluding 2nd bhūmi
  • 3rd bhūmi: The Luminous
  • Concluding 3rd bhūmi
  • 4th bhūmi: The Radiant
  • 5th bhūmi: Difficult to Overcome
Required Texts
  • Commentary on the Entrance to the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara) Chapters 1 – 5, by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Volume 1, Nitartha Institute Publications
  • The Karmapa’s Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate, A Commentary on Chandrakirti’s Madhyamakāvatāra by Wangchuk Dorje, translated by Tyler Dewar, 2008 Snow Lion Publications

Available for purchase by emailing bookstore@nitarthainstitute.org

Mode of Instruction: Self-Paced Online Course (SPOC) with weekly discussions

This course is the first in a series of advanced courses that Nitartha Institute will be offering online. It consists of 1997 teachings given by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.

During the 2020 winter/spring semester, students will view one class recording each week and Nitartha faculty member Dr. Phil Stanley will lead online weekly discussion groups on each class. Click here for information about the courses that are currently being offered.