Study the teachings of Arya Nāgārjuna, the founder of the Middle Way
6 February to 30 June 2023
Full-time course with Geshe Gyaltsen at Nalanda Monastery
Residential & Online
About the teacher
Geshe Gyaltsen was born in Tibet in 1968, in a village named Dzogang, located in the Tsawa region of the Kham province. At the age of 16 he received rabjung ordination in the local monastery of Sang Ngak Chö Khor Ling. At 19 he travelled to Lhasa and received getsül ordination from the Sera Je Geshe Gyaltsen Shakya. He then returned to Kham, where he began the study of philosophy in the monastery of Chamdo Jampa Ling.
Wishing to further his studies and meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Geshe Gyaltsen escaped from Tibet by walking over the Himalayan mountain range and reached India in 1990, at the age of 22. He then enrolled in Sera Je Monastery and became a member of the Tsawa college.
In 2007, after 17 years of intensive studies, he attained the qualification of Geshe Lharampa, the highest degree in the traditional Tibetan monastic education system. He then specialised in tantra in Gyümed monastery. After serving for two years as philosophy teacher in the Sera Je school, he became the director of Tsawa college for one year.
After some time spent in retreat, Geshe-la was requested by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to become the teacher of the residential Basic Program in Nalanda Monastery where he has taught since 2014.
Commencing in February 2023, Lharampa Geshe Gyaltsen has kindly agreed to comment on selected texts by Nāgārjuna, beginning with the “Precious Garland” (Rātnavalī). Composed for King Gautamīputra, a friend and benefactor of Nāgārjuna, the Precious Garland offers profound advice for cultivating personal, social and political policies through successful leadership and mentoring strategies consistent with the Buddha’s teachings on wisdom and compassion.
Unlike more philosophically abstract Madhyamaka texts, the Precious Garland reflects Nāgārjuna’s concern to demonstrate the application of the Buddha’s teachings in navigating the day-to-day circumstances of our family, business, and social lives in order to cultivate peace and harmony rather than conflict and division. In his Precious Garland, Nāgārjuna shows us how the systematic cultivation of wisdom and compassion enables us to become more skillful in all practical aspects of our lives, within the larger goal of attaining enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Geshe Gyaltsen has been teaching at Nalanda since 2014 and is widely admired for his deep and clear explanations and inspiring demeanour. The teachings will be offered in both residential and on-line modes and be complemented by review classes (in English and French), regular quizzes and guided meditations.
Receiving extensive commentaries on one of the great trailblazers of the Buddhist path and to study and practice within a monastic environment is a very rare and precious opportunity.
The great Indian pandit Nāgārjuna is considered as one of the most important Buddhist philosophers after the historical Buddha himself. He is regarded as the founder of the Madhyamaka philosophy of emptiness, and one of the Seventeen Great Pandits of the ancient Nalanda Monastery. Nāgārjuna´s teachings had a deep influence on the Mahāyāna, and especially Tibetan Buddhism, but is equally renowned in the Chinese and other East Asian traditions.
- 10:00 – 12:15 Monday to Thursday
- 10:30 – 12:15 Friday
English Review classes
- 08:30 – 09:40 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
French Review classes
- 08:30 – 09:40 Monday, Wednesday