Mangalam Research Center Fall Programs in Yogacara Studies

Alexander von Rospatt rospatt at BERKELEY.EDU
Thu Jul 14 00:27:46 UTC 2011

Dear Colleagues,
please take a note of the below announcement that I post on behalf of Jack Petranker, Director of the Mangalam Research Center at Berkeley.

Alexander von Rospatt

Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages in Berkeley, CA is pleased to announce three separate but related programs in the field of Yogācāra and Sanskrit studies, to be held from October 31-November 22. The programs are open to scholars and advanced graduate students. The details are as follows:
Seminar on the Triṁśikā (Oct. 31 – Nov, 3, 2011), to be led by Jowita Kramer (Oxford University) and Alexander von Rospatt (University of California). See below for a more detailed description. Drs. Charles Muller, William Waldron, and Florin Deleanu will participate in both programs, together with Drs. Luis Gómez and Michael Hahn, MRC’s Academic Directors. Graduate students interested in the seminar and symposium should have a good working knowledge of Sanskrit. Knowledge of Tibetan and/or Chinese is helpful. This seminar can be attended separately.
Symposium on Yogācāra Terminology (Nov. 4 – 6, 2011). This program is part of MRC’s ongoing program of research into terminology suitable for translating canonical Buddhist texts and the creation of an online database to facilitate such work. It will build on the work done during the Triṁśikā Seminar, and all the scholars listed above will take part. Seminar participants are welcome to stay on for the Symposium.  
MRC also invites advanced graduate students who enroll in the seminar and symposium to stay on for a Residential Program to run from November 7-22. The program will be led by Professors Hahn and Gómez and our Senior Research Fellows.  The Residential Program is intended primarily for ABD students writing a dissertation on a topic related to Yogācāra whose schedule allows them to be absent from their university for this length of time. It will provide an opportunity to work closely with senior scholars, postdoctoral fellows, and other students engaged in similar research. Students will learn skills and receive advice that will lead directly to a better dissertation and contribute in the long-term to their abilities as translators, teachers, and editors.
Description of the Triṁśikā Seminar:
In his Thirty Verses (Triṁśikā) Vasubandhu (4th/5th c.) gives a short but comprehensive overview of key concepts of the Yogācāra tradition. In the first part of the text Vasubandhu summarizes the multiple functions of the mind, including actual perception, the so-called store-house conciousness (ālayavijñāna), and the conceit 'I am' identified with the kliṣṭamanas. The second section of the Triṁśikā is dedicated to the treatment of the three “natures” (svabhāva) of phenomena -- conceptualized, dependent, and perfected -- and to the three ways of not having an intrinsic nature (niḥsvabhāvatā). In the last part of his work Vasubandhu analyzes the concept of “representation only” (vijñaptimātratā) and investigates its relation to the realization of true reality. Participants will read Vasubandhu's Thirty Verses in the Sanskrit original and examine the meaning of key Yogācāra terms and concepts, and how to best render them in English. Passages from Sthiramati’s commentary Triṃśikāvijñaptibhāṣya will also be consulted.
For details on how to apply, costs, housing options, etc. please see the MRC website,
Jack Petranker
Director, Mangalam Research Center

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