This is the second in a four-part series based on Master Kamalashila’s commentary on the Diamond Cutter Sutra led by Geshe Michael Roach. This retreat provided a unique opportunity to delve deeply into rarely taught meditations on emptiness. The retreat consisted of morning sessions led by Geshe Michael Roach followed by individual practice in the student’s private retreat cabin.
Geshe Michael included a section from The Jewel of Realization, spoken by Lord Maitreya and written down by Arya Asanga describing the Buddha’s Marks and Signs, as well as a selection from A lamp Which Illuminates the Hidden Meaning composed of notes to a teaching by the great Konchok Tenpay Drunme of Gungtang, which explains the karmic correlations of the Buddha’s Marks and Signs.
This is a video playlist. Just click for the next video to see additional videos in the series.
There are two famous commentaries to The Diamond Cutter Sutra that were written in Sanskrit in India. The commentary to the Diamond Cutter Sutra that Geshe Michael is using for the basis of this teaching is by Master Kamalashila. It was written around 750 A.D., the other famous Indian commentary was done by by Master Vasubandhu around 350 A.D.
Here’s what Geshe Michael had to say about the two surviving Sanskrit commentaries:
“We have two left — one by Kamalashila, who lived around 750 C.E., and the other by Vasubandhu, who lived some four hundred years before. Kamalashila’s claim to fame was that he taught King Trisong Detsun of Tibet how to meditate properly.”
“Kamalashila’s commentary is an intense treatise that uses the Sutra to explain some very difficult positions held by one of the five philosophical schools of Buddhism.”
Master Kamalashila was the renowned 8th century Indian scholar and abbot of Nalanda University who was invited to teach in Tibet, and is probably best known for his classic text about meditation called The Steps of Meditation (Bhavanakrama in Sanskrit, Gompay Rimpa in Tibetan). Many of you know Master Kamalshila because this famous text forms the basis for much of ACI Course 3 on Meditation.