Jainism at Chula

Invitation for summer course in Jain Philosophy (Wed, 25 April – Sat, 12 May, 2012)

Program: Social Consciousness & Jainism

Buddhism and Jainism have a lot in common as both are contemporary religious of India belonging to the same Sramanik tradition. Both have much to share and learn from each other. Both complement and supplement each other and hence it is imperative that we start this study and dialog to further strengthen the cultural and educational ties between Thailand and India.

This summer program is available exclusively for the faculty, researchers and students who are involved in Buddhist studies, Indian studies, philosophy, religion, South Asian studies and anthropology. Expert faculty from India will conduct the program in English language.

All participants must be affiliated to a recognized university or college preferably. Applicants having demonstrable interest in Jain or Buddhist studies, South Asian studies, religions, philosophy or anthropology are preferred. Reasonably good English language skills (speaking, reading and writing) are essential for all applicants.

Since year 2005, International School for Jain Studies (ISJS) has also been inviting scholars from the field of Religion and Philosophy from various counties including Thailand to study Jain Philosophy in English language in India during the months of June and July each year. Many Thai scholars have already studied intensive summer course at ISSJS during past 4 years (2006-2011).

For more information please download the poster and the application form.

Fearlessness

Going Beyond Fear In This Dark Age

A Dharma Talk with Bruno Nua

“The Buddha taught that the mark of an enlightened being is fearlessness. Someone who has gone beyond fear is free from all the obscurations and obstacles that prevent us from manifesting as buddhas and ultimately benefitting others.
Fearlessness is that which literally gives birth to a buddha. It is the Mother of all the buddhas.”
[from BUDDHA’S FAVOURITE WORDS, Bruno Tashi Rabjay]
FEAR
Dwelling in the realm of ego breeds delusion. Not resting in our true nature gives rise to a vicious cycle of attachment and aversion, which manifests as afflictive emotions. These come in many forms such as addiction and anger, but they all boil down to the same disturbing forces: I want … I don’t want.
Also known as Hope and Fear, the chaotic emotions that spring from our ego-clinging are the very things that make us suffer. If we could only cut through any one of them, the whole deluded house of cards would crumble and fall. Then we would be liberated forever and enlightenment would flow like a river.
For this reason, the Buddha taught that the mark of an enlightened being is fearlessness. Someone who has gone beyond fear is free from all the obscurations and obstacles that prevent us from manifesting as buddhas and ultimately benefitting others.
We are deeply afraid of so many things: fear of the unknown, fear of losing our minds. We are all but completely paralysed, not living to our full potential. This fear comes from our utter distrust of letting go and opening up – it is also a primal fear of the openness and the emptiness of our Buddha Nature.
In this light, the high point of the Heart Sutra is said to be the line:
There is no fear.
The full name of this sutra is The Heart of Transcendent Knowledge. By definition, it teaches that the key to full enlightenment is fearlessness. The whole theme of this particular sutra [Skt. Prajnaparamita Sutra] is Going Beyond. The preamble describes the Buddha Nature as being ‘beyond words, beyond thought, beyond description. Prajnaparamita … unborn, unceasing, with nature like the sky’. The essence of the sutra is its mantra:
Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté, bodhi suaha.
It is the perfect utterance of one who has already gone completely beyond all fear: Gone, gone, gone all the way over, completely gone over to the other shore. Fully awake, Yes.
The openness and contentment it describes is a total fearlessness that is egoless. Because of this earth-shattering breakthrough, one is freed up to focus on the ultimate welfare of others. Consequently, the Mahayana lineages call the Prajnaparamita the Mother of all the buddhas. Fearlessness is that which literally gives birth to a buddha. Tibetan Buddhism even goes so far as to depict the fearless mother of all the buddhas in female form as Tara.
In this way, we come to an understanding of the essence of the Buddha’s teachings. The core message is not about elaborate philosophical treatises. Nor is it even about depicting the Buddha Nature in one form or another. All this serves a much simpler purpose. They lead us to a basic truth: Through meditation practice, we can awaken and connect with our true nature. By developing an unshakable conviction in our primordial purity, our aim is to go beyond all philosophies, all images, all concepts. Then we become completely free to lead others out of their suffering.

About the author

Bruno is a Meditation Instructor, Dharma Educator, and a dabbler in the Creative Arts. He was born in 1965 in Dublin, Ireland where he later trained as a Philosophical Theologian at Trinity College. While still working as an educator in that area, Bruno encountered the heart of the Buddha’s teachings when he first met Sogyal Rinpoche in the early 1990s, which also quickly led to meeting Ringu Tulku Rinpoche and Thich Nhat Hanh.
Since then, while continuing to be a student of Buddhism, Bruno has taught meditation and presented the Buddha’s teachings in many Dharma centres, including Rigpa Dublin where he was Managing Director for some years. He has also engaged with presenting these teachings in prisons and hospices, education and training establishments, and in Non-Governmental Organisations dedicated to Caring in the Community.
He is the Founding Director of many pioneering projects such as Buddhist Network Ireland, Dublin International Buddhist Film Festival, Open Space and Lotus Temple, and has represented Irish Buddhists on the Inter-Religious Council of Ireland.
Nowadays, as well as teaching Meditation and various courses in Applied Mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism, Bruno is also very much committed to guest-lecturing a variety of programmes on Buddhism in Colleges and Universities.

Public Talk by Jan Nattier

ANNOUNCEMENT

Public Talk by Prof. Jan Nattier, Soka University, Japan

Topic: Authority and Authenticity: How Mahayana Literature Began

Date and Time: Monday, January 12, 2009, Room 706, Boromratchakumari Bldg., Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, 1 – 3 pm

Some information about Jan Nattier:

Professor, International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology, Soka University (beginning in January 2006)

Most recent major publication:

A Guide to the Earliest Chinese Buddhist Translations: Texts from the Eastern Han 東漢 and Three Kingdoms 三國 Periods (Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan: International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology, Soka University, 2008).

Malcolm David Eckel on “Learning from Bhavaviveka”

The Center for Ethics of Science and Technology, Chulalongkorn University, will organize a public talk by Malcolm David Eckel from Boston University on “Learning from Bhavaviveka: A Sixth-Century Buddhist Rationalist” at Room 608, Boromratchakumari Bldg., Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, 1 – 3 pm, Friday, December 26, 2008.

All are welcome.

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The following is some biodata of David Eckel from Wikipedia:

Malcolm David Eckel is the current Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University. He earned two bachelors degrees: one in English at Harvard University and another in Theology at Oxford University. Eckel received his masters in Theology at Oxford and his PhD at Harvard in Comparative Religion.

Eckel has held positions at Ohio Wesleyan University, Middlebury College in Vermont, and later at the Harvard Divinity School as the Acting Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions. He now teaches courses specializing in eastern religions. Eckel is also the head of Boston University’s Core Curriculum, a groundbreaking program for the development of the humanities. The Core Curriculum challenges its students with a rigorous course load while allowing students to explore the multifarious concepts of worldly philosophies.

The Metcalf Award for Teaching Excellence, Boston University’s highest award for teaching, was awarded to Eckel in 1998.

He is currently the director of The Institute for Philosophy and Religion Lecture Series, an educational forum on various philosophical and religious ideas and their application in contemporary society.

Among his publications are To See the Buddha: A Philosopher’s Quest for the Meaning of Emptiness (1994); Buddhism: Origins, Beliefs, Practices, Holy Texts, Sacred Places (2002); and Jnanagarbha’s Commentary on the Distinction Between the Two Truths (1987).

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Here is the abstract of the talk on the 26th:

Bhavaviveka (ca 500-560 CE) lived in a time of unusual ferment in the history of Indian Buddhist thought.  The Mahayana was developing as a vigorous and self-conscious intellectual force, while the traditions of the eighteen schools (nikaya) continued to resist the innovations of the Mahayana.  Bhaviveka’s “Verses on the Heart of the Middle Way,” along with their commentary, give a detailed and lively account of the controversies that shaped Buddhist thought in this period.  They illuminate aspects of Buddhist thought that, until now, have been poorly understood, and they challenge us to think of Buddhist philosophy in innovative ways.

(For further info about his book on “To See the Buddha” please visit the following blog post – https://soraj.wordpress.com/2008/11/23/malcolm-david-eckel-and-to-see-the-buddha/ )