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Tibet House
Cultural Centre of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Six-month Certificate Course
(Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way)
Arya Nagarj una
Course details:
As a part of the endeavour to further the serious study of Buddhist philosophy, Tibet House is launching
a certificate course on Mulamadhyamikakarika. The course will be a six month program, culminating in the
award of a certificate to successful graduates.
The course is designed to consolidate and expand the philosophical grounding of the students and
introduce them to key concepts and arguments related with the philosophy of emptiness as expounded by
the Madhyamika school of philosophy. In particular it will give students an in-depth and thorough
understanding of the key aspects of Arya Nagarjunas philosophy and dialectical method through which
he exposes the relative and empty nature of empirical reality.
Arya Nagarjuna, the greatest philosopher and spiritual master of the 2
century AD, was prophesied by
the Buddha in many sutras, such as the Lankavatara, Manjusrimulakalpa, Mahamegha, and Mahabheri. He
wrote extensively on various philosophical topics such as vinaya and shunyata (emptiness) and his
teachings resulted in the formation of the Madhyamika or the Middle Way School. The
Mulamadhyamikakarika (Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way), his major work in the sutra system, is
a magnus opus and is the root of all the six writings on the middle way by Arya Nagarjuna. The great
Indian Madhyamika masters based their intellectual enquiry and meditation on the wisdom of emptiness
on this work. Extensive commentaries have been written on it by various masters, such as:
Buddhapalita, 470 AD - 550 AD (Title of Commentary: Buddhapalita)
Bhavaviveka, 500 AD - 578 AD (Title of Commentary: Jnana Pradipa)
Chandrakirti, 600 AD - 650 AD (Title of Commentary: Prasannapada)
Mulamadhyamikakarika was originally composed in Sanskrit. The text is still available in the original
Sanskrit, as well as in Tibetan and English and is studied extensively by all the four schools of Tibetan
The Course will be taught by Geshe Dorji Damdul, Director of Tibet House.

Course structure:
The course will focus on chapters 1, 18, 22, 24 and 26 of Mulamadhyamikakarika and graduates of the
course will then be eligible to attend Series II of this course.

Chapter 1 Examination of Conditions
This chapter refutes the inherent arising of outer and inner phenomena through an examination of causes
and conditions, in order to negate the existence of the object of ignorance.

Chapter 18 Examination of the Self and Phenomena
This chapter demonstrates the non-existence of the object of the ignorance that grasps the self of the
person and the self of objects and establishes the two selflessnesses.

Chapter 22 Examination of the Tathagata
This chapter refutes the objective existence of the tathagata, as a part of the broader presentation of the
emptiness of the continuum of life in the sense of cyclic existence and afflictions.

Chapter 24 Examination of the Four Noble Truths
This chapter is a response to the critique that if it is true that all phenomena are empty of true existence,
the four noble truths do not make sense. Arya Nagarjuna argues that they do make sense. In fact if they
were not empty of true existence they would not make sense.

Chapter 26 Examination of the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination
This chapter focuses on dependent origination through an examination of the twelve links of dependent
There will be one class per week, spread out over six months. Successful completion of the course will
culminate in the award of a certificate. This will require at least 75% attendance along with submission of
an assessment.

Course dates and time:
The course will start on Sunday, August 4
, 2013 and classes will take place every Sunday.
Time: 12:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

Entry requirements:
Commitment to attending a minimum of 75% of classes

Application procedure:
Those interesting in participating in this course should contact Tibet House through the contact details
given below to obtain the application form. The completed application form should then be returned to
Tibet House by email or post.

Suggested Reading:
Ocean of Reasoning, A Great Commentary on Nagarjunas Mulamadhyamikakarika by Je Tsongkhapa, Translated by
Geshe Ngawang Samten and Jay L. Garfield (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)

For further information, please contact:
Tibet House,
1 Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003
Tel: +91-11-2461 1515 E-mail: office@tibethouse.in Website: www.tibethouse.in