June 8-12, 2015

Nagarjuna's Precious Garland

Khenpo Choying Dorjee

Precious Garland (Skt. Ratnāvalī or Ratnamāla; Tib. རིན་ཆེན་ཕྲེང་བ་Wyl. Rin chen phreng ba) — a shastra written by Nagarjuna and belonging to his Collection of Advice.

In the Precious Garland, Nagarjuna offers advice on how to conduct our lives and how to construct social policies that reflect Buddhist ideals.

The advice for personal happiness is concerned first with improving our condition over the course of lifetimes and then with release from all kinds of suffering, culminating in Buddhahood. Nagarjuna describes the cause and effect sequences for the development of happiness within ordinary life, as well as the practices that lead us to enlightenment--the practices for developing wisdom, or the realization of emptiness, and compassion. He also describes the qualities of the Buddhas.

In his advice on social and governmental policy, Nagarjuna emphasizes education and compassionate care for all living beings, and states his opposition to the death penalty, and appeals for charity for the homeless. Calling for the appointment of government figures who do not seek profit or fame, he advises that a selfish motivation will lead to misfortune.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche  "Noble Nagarjuna was like a second Buddha in this world. He composed commentaries explaining all the Buddha’s views. The six Ornaments and Two Supreme Ones of the noble land of India asserted that there is no difference between Nagarjuna’s commentaries and the Buddha’s teachings. This is because Nagarjuna’s commentaries cover all three turnings of the wheel as well as the secret-mantra vajrayana."


 Khenpo Choying Dorjee is one of the senior Khenpos and assistant principal at the renowned Buddhist college Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Institute. He received his Khenpo degree from Dzongsar Institute in 2002 after completing twelve years of study. He also received a special Khenpo degree from His Holiness Dalai Lama in 2004. 

Khenpo Choying Dorjer has been teaching at Dzongsar Institute since 1998 and he was the Sakya scholar representative at a number of international conferences and workshops. From 2007, he started giving teachings in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and USA. In response to an adornment project of Khyentse Foundation, Khenpo recently went to University of California in Berkeley for a 5-month stay as visiting scholar in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies. Khenpo’s teaching at Deer Park will be in English.