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Lecture | Lecture Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies

Metrics, Mantra, and Madhyamaka: Aspects of the Buddhist Intellectual Culture of Vikramaśīla

Tuesday 8 October 2019
Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 3
2311 BZ Leiden
1.04 (Verbarium)

Lecture Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies

Many of the most celebrated Indian Buddhist teachers of the tenth to twelfth century CE were associated with Vikramaśīla (identified by many modern scholars as the large monastery excavated at Antichak, in Bhagalpur District). The intellectual culture at this great Pāla centre of Buddhism has been the main subject of two projects led by Prof. Taiken Kyuma of Mie University, and supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, from 2010-2017.

Drawing in part on work done within these projects, and making use of materials which have become available within the last decade, such as the Sanskrit texts of some of the major works of Abhayākaragupta (fl. early 12th century CE), this talk will explore some of the aspects of the intellectual culture in this centre, including philosophy and tantric practice, and will demonstrate that for a deeper understanding of this culture the ‘secular’ sciences of metrics and poetics must not be neglected.

Ruins of Vikramaśīla (Antichak, Bhagalpur District, India)
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