Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc.
 
In Praise of Dependent Origination
by Je Tsongkhapa
  July 25 - November 21, 2020
10:00 am to 4:00 pm *via ZOOM
Fourth Saturdays (except November which is the 3rd)
  Taught by
Geshe Dadul Namgyal
   
  An outstanding and profound text which explains and extols the meaning of dependent origination and emptiness from a place of the deepest respect and gratitude, in a way that only one who had full realization of emptiness, could.
   
 
“It is a text that bears the blessings of the hard work Tsongkhapa put into understanding emptiness.”
 

~His Holiness the Dalai Lama

 
By all measures, even before turning thirty, Tsongkhapa was already a well-established scholar, practitioner, and teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist world. However, there was still one area where Tsongkhapa did not feel content with his progress: his understanding of the view of emptiness, with its implications for Buddhist thought, practice, and the entire path to full enlightenment. Tsongkhapa entreated Arya Manjushri to confirm whether his understanding of the wisdom of emptiness had fidelity to the Prasangika School’s view. Arya Manjushri responded that if Tsongkhapa practiced most ardently with three causal factors, then soon he would have immaculate insight into emptiness.
 
These three causal factors were:
1) Fervent supplication to the Guru, perceived as inseparably one with one’s meditational deity;
2) Serious pursuit of the practices of purification and accumulation of merit;
3) Consistent studying, reflection, and meditation on authoritative writings on emptiness by Indian masters.
 
Following his advice, Lama Tsongkhapa, accompanied by a small group of his students, left for retreat to a hermitage in the Wölkha Valley. After almost a year of intensive practice incorporating the three causal factors, he finally had his breakthrough, profound experience of emptiness, cleared of all doubts, at age forty-one.
Enveloped in its wonder, on the morning of this realization, Tsongkhapa composed this hymn to the Buddha as a teacher of dependent origination. Popularly known as “In Praise of Dependent Origination” (Tendrel Töpa), this ode to the Buddha would become a classic over time, often recited and reflected upon, especially on special occasions, to commemorate the kindness and wisdom of Buddha, and to feel inspired by the dedication and hard work of Tsongkhapa. The Hymn conveys Tsongkhapa’s exuberant feelings of joy, wonder, gratitude, and deep reverence for the Buddha for having taught the wisdom of emptiness and dependent origination to liberate sentient beings from the vicious cycle of samsara.
Intermittently, the text also ponders on the subtle implications and nuances of the Buddha’s teaching on dependent origination such as finding the extremely fine line demarcating what is negated in emptiness and what is left untouched, thus averting any danger whatsoever, of ever collapsing into nihilism or withdrawing into some kind of ineffable absolutism. Paradoxically, instead of being demolished, the world of cause and effect, moral and immoral, samsara and nirvana seems to emerge even clearer and more regulated. All the writings of Tsongkhapa on the theme of dependent origination and emptiness, including his major works such as the two Great Treatises on Insight, Essence of True Eloquence, Ocean of Reasoning, and Elucidation of the Intent, all appeared in the wake of this immaculate awakening.
 
The Hymn is 58 stanzas long, and we will explore and examine approximately ten stanzas each session of five classes, spread over the next five months.
 
 
Retreat Schedule
1st Session:
10:00 am - 12:00 Noon • with a break for lunch
  Lunch Break:
Noon - 2 pm
2nd Session:
2:00 - 4:00 pm • retreat ends
 
Course Break-up

July 25
  Class 1: Stanzas 1–13
August 22
  Class 2: Stanzas 14–25
September 26
  Class 3: Stanzas 26–37
October 24
  Class 4: Stanzas 38–48
November 21
  Class 5: Stanzas 49–58

 
Suggested Readings:

1)
The Harmony of Emptiness and Dependent Arising  
by Ven. Lobsang Gyatso
  or
Tsongkhapa’s Praise for Dependent Relativity 
by Ven. Lobsang Gyatso & Graham Woodhouse
2)
Tsongkhapa A Buddha in the Land of Snows  
by Thupten Jinpa  pgs 159-188 (“The Breakthrough” chapter)
3)
Life and Teachings of Tsong Khapa  
edited by Robert Thurman  pgs 103-117
4)
The Rice Seedling Sutra  
by Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe
 
*Note: Prerequisite for taking " In Praise of Dependent Origination" is having completed the
"Foundation Series" or an equivalent.

Payment and early registration is four days before the event date.
To register for these courses please call the center at: 404-982-0051

Tuition:
  $58 per Class for DLM Members and $65 for non-members
Full Series: $245 for DLM Members and $275 non-members
    A voluntary offering to the teacher is customary in the Buddhist tradition.
Location:
  Via ZOOM


  Geshe Dadul Namgyal is an exceptional scholar and practitioner with extraordinary English language skills in communicating the Dharma at all levels. He received his Geshe Lharam, the highest degree of learning in Tibetan Buddhism, from Drepung Loseling Monastery in 1993. In addition to serving as the Editor of Lhaksam Tsegpa, a journal produced by the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, and Editor of Dreloma, a Drepung Loseling publication, he has also played a key role over the years as a convener, interpreter, and speaker for numerous conferences and forums exploring the interface of Buddhism with modern science, western philosophy and psychology, and other religious traditions, on both a national and international level. With this unique background and expertise in the interface between Buddhism and modern science, he will be an invaluable resource for the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative, which is developing a comprehensive science curriculum for Tibetan monks and nuns. Geshe Dadul-la also served for many years as the Principal of the Monastic School for Modern Education at Drepung Loseling Monastery, and then as a Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, India. In recent years, Geshe Dadul-la has served as the auxiliary English language translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and has traveled extensively in this capacity throughout the world.