On November 1, 2017, Tashi Lhunpo Students Welfare Committee
On November 1, 2017, Tashi Lhunpo Students Welfare Committee held a symposium on Tatthvasamgraha (Compendium on the Quintessential Points of Valid Cognition). It is an event established to fulfill the wish of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama when His Holiness came to Tashi Lhunpo Monastery to inaugurate the new debate hall in 2013. He encouraged the monastic students to study Shantarakshita’s thesis on Tatthvasamgraha.
Five students: Thopten Tsultrim, Lobsang Norbu, Jamyang Gyaltsam, Thinley Wangchuk, and Sonam Gyurmey were selected from several classes by Kachen Lobsang Chokklang to present their papers for the purpose of discussion with kachens and junior monk students. The central theme was the non-Buddhist philosophy of Isvara or Wang Chuk in Tibetan. In brief, Isvara means the transcendental God who is the creator of all existence, tangible, permanent and worthy of an individual unquestionable worship and devotion.
Shantarakshita, the author of Tatthvasamgraha, was the 8th century Indian Buddhist Brahmin and abbot of Nalanda. He was one of the most influential figures in the early foundation of Buddhism in Tibet. He particularly encouraged his students to actively engage in discussion, critical analysis and contemplative study of both non-Buddhist and Buddhist philosophical positions. The symposium followed suit of his teaching of this centuries old tradition with presentations, exchanges and analysis of non-Buddhist philosophy.
In the Praise of the Exalted One:
The more and more I emphatically ponder over
The positions of the non-Buddhists.
In my mind, there arises
More and more confidence in you