Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pramana rant

This afternoon I spent about an hour fruitlessly paging through Mipham's Pramanavartika commentary (legs bshad snang ba'i gter) looking for the line "gzhal bya rang mtshan gcig kho na*" in root text by Dharmakirti. At debate I asked my classmates about this often quoted line, they assured me: "It is there! Look on page 46." I had indeed already checked that page a few times already- because it seemed that is exactly there that quote should be. After debate a classmate, determined to show me the quote was there, showed me the page. What we found a very similar line: "rang gi mtshan nyid gcig gzhal bya**". It was then that I started wondering if this was a quote from Pramanavartika or perhaps a certain other extremely well known Pramana text-- Sakyapandita's tshad ma rigs gter. I googled it - two verbatim hits, one citing Sapan. I paged through the root text of rig ter. There it was! So... unless Sapan is quoting Dharmakirti and I am too blind to see it, I believe Sapan may have said it first. Next time I'll google it first.

*the objects to be examined are individually characterized only

** individually characterized objects only are the objects to be examined

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Changes at our nunnery

What was once: Is now:

And now we see:
Which is hopefully laying the ground for:Instead of:

Although... Hmmm....

The last two images are courtesy of the Library of Congress Archives.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Not long ago we began studying the 3rd chapter of Mipham's commentary on tshad ma rnam 'grel aka pramanavartika. We study its four chapters over four years. Last year was awfully difficult. It was only through great effort, debate, and classroom discussion that we were able to figure out what Mipham and Dharmakirti were attempting to tell us. This year's installment has been enjoyable so far because it is continuing to discuss those topics, namely the nature of generally characterized phenomena and the way they are perceived by the conceptual mind.
Meanwhile we are almost finished our reading of Paltrul's General Commentary on the Perfection of Wisdom. In this case I fear the stuggle and subsequent understanding of the text still lie ahead of me.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Last week I didn't have classes so I managed to get some serious studying done. I can't say I know the subjects well, but certainly a bit better than before. A scary thought is: three months from now I'll have already written my last final exam for my sixth year of shedra. Until then I'll be spending a lot of time alternately feeling anxious about the impending exams and planning how to spend my winter vacation.