Seminar: Reading Tibetan Buddhist Texts

This seminar, which will be led by Dylan Esler (Institut Orientaliste, Université catholique de Louvain) and will take place in Louvain-la-Neuve from January to May 2014, will be devoted to the reading and translation of Buddhist texts in classical Tibetan. The texts to be studied this year are the rGyal-sras lag-len (“37 Bodhisattva Practices”) of Thogs-med bzang-po, and the Bodhicaryāvatāra of Śāntideva in Tibetan translation, ch. 1 and 2.

This seminar is intended for students of Buddhism having already garnered a basic knowledge of classical Tibetan grammar. The seminar will enable them to deepen their knowledge of Tibetan grammar and Buddhist philosophy and to hone their skills in translating this type of texts.

For students of the UCL or of other Belgian universities, this seminar can be validated as part of the « Questions spéciales d’indologie » (LGLOR2902, 5 credits) through a final evaluation and/or through a certificate of participation.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Das, Sarat Chandra, Tibetan-English Dictionary, Delhi: Book Faith India, 1992.
  • Jäschke, H.A., A Tibetan-English Dictionary, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1980.
  • Thomas, Dominique, Les 37 Pratiques de bodhisattvas: Grammaire et Vocabulaire, Les cahiers de tib’études, vol. 3, Editions Dzambala, 1997.

The Teacher 

Dylan Esler is a scholar and translator of Tibetan Buddhist texts. He holds an MA in Buddhist Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and is currently a doctoral research scholar at the Institut Orientaliste of the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). He is working on a translation and study of an important tenth-century Tibetan text on the subject of contemplation. His research interest focuses on early rNying-ma expositions of rDzogs-chen and Tantra. He is also an associate member of the Ghent Centre for Buddhist Studies.

Practical Information

The sessions of the seminar will take place at the Collège Erasme (Fac. des Lettres), Place Blaise Pascal 1, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (the exact room is yet to be determined). There will be 12 or 13 sessions. These will take place once a week during the second semester of the academic year (January to May 2014) and will last two and a half hours each. They are likely to take place on Tuesday afternoons: the final decision will be made according to the possibilities of the various participants.

Attendance at the seminar is free, but participants are required to register in advance with the teacher.

For further information, please contact: Dylan Esler

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