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Dalai Lama addresses first-of-kind conference of different Tibetan religious traditions

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the Conference on Tsongkhapa's ‘Essence of True Eloquence’ in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 19, 2018. (Photo courtesy: OHHDL/Lobsang Tsering)
His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the Conference on Tsongkhapa’s ‘Essence of True Eloquence’ in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on December 19, 2018. (Photo courtesy: OHHDL/Lobsang Tsering)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec21, 2018) – The Dalai Lama on Dec 19 addressed the inaugural event of a three-day Conference of Scholars of Different Traditions on Jé Tsongkhapa’s ‘Essence of True Eloquence’ at Bodh Gaya. Participating in it were scholars from all the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibet’s Pre-Buddhist religion Bon.

This is the first conference of its kind being held in India and has been initiated by Kirti Monastery.

Kirti Rinpoché has explained that a similar conference, attracting scholars from all Tibetan Buddhist traditions and Bön, had been held at Taktsang Lhamo, his home monastery in Tibet, in 2016.

He has said that at the current, Bodh Gaya conference, 62 papers will be presented, discussed and debated by Lharampa Geshes, 12 Geshemas and seven lay scholars.

Attending the conference are more than 700 participants, including 442 scholars from Ganden, Sera and Drepung monasteries. Taking part in the debates are representatives from the Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug, Jonang and Bön traditions.

Jé Tsongkhapa wrote ‘Essence of True Eloquence’ 610 years ago. Organizers have spoken of having found 89 commentaries and annotated editions as well as 125 contemporary scholarly papers on it.

Ganden Tri Rinpoché has said ‘Essence of True Eloquence’, based on the ‘Unravelling of Thought Sutra’ and the ‘Sutra of Akshyamati’, discusses both the Mind Only and Madhyamaka points of view. Noting that to study it from beginning to end is equivalent to studying the essence of the great classic texts, he has explained that Jé Rinpoché’s purpose in writing the book was to enable people to study and put what they learned into practice in order to reach the state of omniscience.

In his address, the Dalai Lama has recalled that his late tutor Kyabje Ling Rinpoché used to tell him that ‘Essence of True Eloquence’ was likened to a steel bow, hard to draw but capable of shooting a powerful arrow.

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