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The Sound of Two Hands ClappingThe Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk$
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Georges B.J. Dreyfus

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520232594

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520232594.001.0001

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Two Curricular Models

Two Curricular Models

(p.111) 6 Two Curricular Models
The Sound of Two Hands Clapping

Georges B. J. Dreyfus

University of California Press

So far, the author's descriptions of the structure of Tibetan scholasticism have not yet provided a full view of monastic intellectual culture in Tibet, for particular monastaries do not strictly follow the general model of the five sciences. This chapter provides a more detailed examination of actual Tibetan monastic curricula. It starts with the curriculum of the three Ge-luk seats, focusing on the study of the Vinaya. It then considers the curriculum of other traditions, particularly the Nying-ma and the Sa-gya. It argues that these curricula reduce to two basic models: that of the debating institution, found in the Ge-luk monastic seats, and that of the commentarial institution, found in the three non-Ge-luk traditions. The central part of central exoteric studies is subdivided into two phases. The first and more important is the study of three texts that summarize the main aspects of non-tantric Buddhism as understood by the Ge-luk tradition. The final portion of esoteric (tantric) studies concerns the tantras, a part of the Ge-luk tradition not included in the official curriculum of monastic seats.

Keywords:   Tibet, scholasticism, monasteries, curriculum, Ge-luk, Vinaya, Nying-ma, Sa-gya, debating institution, commentarial institution

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