December 6, 2009 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya
Teachings, Day Three:
His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa today tackled a number of complex debate issues, clearing the way for the examination of the main topic of this year’s winter debate teachings—how one person can keep all three types of vow. At the same time, he emphasized that the optimal Buddhist practitioner is one that does hold and preserve all three types of vow—pratimoksha, bodhisattva and tantric.
First, Gyalwang Karmapa explored the major points of contention that arise in defining and classifying pratimoksha and bodhisattva vows. Some texts mention traditions of conferring pratimoksha vows according to the Mahayana textual tradition, and His Holiness, who is fluent in Chinese and conversant with the Chinese Buddhist canon, noted that the Chinese canon preserves a number of texts that describe how to do so. By contrast, he pointed out, the Tibetan canon contains only scattered references and instances of such ritual texts, an example of which would be the Mahayana sojong vows offered each morning during the Kagyu Monlam.
Following the text, His Holiness moved on to a discussion of the ways the different types of vow are conferred, and how they are cancelled, or lost. He stressed that taking a Read the rest of this article