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Reconciling the Irreconcilable? Revisiting the Dunwu dasheng zhengli jue 頓悟大乘正理决 [The Judgement on Sudden Awakening Being the True Principle of Mahāyāna] and the Samyé Debate in the 8th Century

BuddhistRoad Guest Lecture


Online Event

Guest Lecture by Yi Allan Ding (Chicago)

The lecture is available live at Zoom. Please pre-register here until 21 July 2021, 12 pm.

Since Paul Demiéville published his study on the Dunwu dasheng zhengli jue 頓悟大乘正理决 [The Judgement on Sudden Awakening Being the True Principle of Mahāyāna] in Le concile de Lhasa in 1952, many scholars have contributed to the discussion about related issues by closely studying relevant Tibetan materials, which include PT 823/1, PT 827/2, PT 116, bSam gtan mig sgron [The Eye-Lamp for Meditation], Cig car ’jug pa rnam par mi rtog pa’i bsgom don [The Meaning of the Sudden Entry into Non-Conceptual Meditation], dBa’ bzhed [The Testament of Wa], etc. This presentation demonstrates that the Tibetan materials have enabled us to reevaluate the composite nature of the Judgement and to extrapolate a ‘debate’ process underneath the seemingly disorderly questions and answers. For instance, a large portion of the Judgement should be understood as Chinese translations of original Tibetan queries; owing to the existence of translation procedures, miscommunication between Kamalaśīla (ca. 740–795) and Moheyan (fl. 786–794, 摩訶衍) did at times happen. A more nuanced understanding of the Judgement also makes it possible to reconcile the narrative in the Judgement with some of the elements in the now well-studied dBa’ bzhed.

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