Khentrul Rinpoché (2015), A Joyful Ocean of Precious Diversity

Khentrul Rinpoche, 2015. Ocean of Diversity.Shar Khentrul Jamphel Lodrö (ཤར་མཁན་སྤྲུལ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་འཇམ་དཔལ་བློ་གྲོས); Joe Flumerfelt, ed. 2015. A Joyful Ocean of Precious Diversity: An unbiased summary of views and practices, gradually emerging from the teachings of the world’s wisdom traditions (སྣ་ཚོགས་ནོར་བུའི་རོལ་མཚོ། །རིས་མེད་འཛམ་གླིང་རིག་པའི་གཞུང་ལུགས་བྱུང་རིམ་ལྟ་གྲུབ་ཉིང་བསྡུས།།). Belgrave, Australia: Tibetan Buddhist Rimé Institute, ISBN: 9780994445308. US$24.95.

OCLC: 978641292. Official site:

Acknowledgments … vii
Editor’s Preface … ix
Introduction … 1

1 The Nature of Belief … 15
2 The Rimé Philosophy … 29

Systems with an Extrinsic Focus
3 Ancient Wisdom Traditions … 49
4 Hinduism … 67
5 J​udaism … 89
6 Christianity … 107
7 I​slam … 129
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Di Castro & Templeman (eds), Asian Horizons (2015)

AsianHorizons1000519-3-2Angelo Andrea Di Castro and David Templeman (eds). Asian Horizons: Giuseppe Tucci’s Buddhist, Indian, Himalayan and Central Asian Studies. Serie Orientale Roma CVI / Monash Asia Series. Melbourne: Monash University Publishing, April 2015. xxvi+613 pp. AUD$99. ISBN (pb): 978-1-922235-33-6; (epub): 978-1-922235-34-3.

Contributors …… vii

Preface …… xi

Introduction …… xix


Gustavo Benavides. Giuseppe Tucci, Anti-Orientalist …… 3

Francesco D’Arelli. A Glimpse of some Archives on Giuseppe Tucci’s Scientific Expeditions to Tibet: 1929–1939 …… 16

Ruth Gamble. The problem with folk: Giuseppe Tucci and the transformation of folksongs into scientific artefacts …… 45

Alex McKay. ‘A very useful lie’: Giuseppe Tucci, Tibet, and scholarship under dictatorship …… 68

Francesco Sferra. The ‘thought’ of Giuseppe Tucci …… 83

II Continue reading “Di Castro & Templeman (eds), Asian Horizons (2015)”

Bentzen, ‘Origins of Religiousness: Natural Disasters’ (2013)

Nepal has earthquakes; Java has volcanoes; the United Kingdom has dreary weather. Is there a geographic correlation between religiosity and catastrophe?

Jeanet Sinding Bentzen. ‘Origins of Religiousness: The Role of Natural Disasters’. University of Copenhagen Department of Economics Discussion Paper 13-02, 2013. [official site / PDF]

From the Abstract

[…] Natural disasters are a source for adverse life events, and thus one way to interpret my findings is by way of religious coping. The results are robust to various measures of religiousness, and to inclusion of country fixed effects, income, education, demographics, religious denominations, and other climatic and geographic features. The results hold within Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, and across continents. […]

Viehbeck, Ju Mi pham vs. Dpa’ ris Rab gsal (2012)

Actual title:

Viehbeck, Markus. ‘The case of ‘Ju Mi pham (1846–1912) and Dpa’ ris Rab gsal (1840–1912): a study in Dgag lan Debate’. Dr. phil. Dissertation, Universität Wien, 2012. xxx+357 pp. [official site / PDF]

From the Abstract

The present dissertation is a case study in dgag lan debate, a specific form of debate that developed in Tibet, conducted through the exchange of texts. The dispute that is investigated evolved between the Rnying ma scholar ‘Ju Mi pham (1846–1912) and his Dge lugs opponent Dpa’ ris Rab gsal (1840–1912) and centres on the correct interpretation of the ninth chapter of the Bodhicaryāvatāra, an Indian work (7th–8th ct. CE) that is of pivotal importance to the understanding of Madhyamaka thought. Polemics were exchanged over a period of about 27 years and involved the composition of six treatises, which makes this particular debate one of the most extended cases of its kind.

International Conference on Tibetan History &c. (2013-7-13)

四川大学中国藏学研究所(会议主办)、哈佛燕京学社(会议协办): “7至17世纪西藏历史与考古、宗教与艺术国际学术研讨会”。 中国·成都·四川大学 2013年7月13-15日。

Center for Tibetan Studies of Sichuan University & Harvard-Yenching Institute (co-conveners). ‘International Conference On Tibetan History And Archaeology, Religion And Art (7th–17th c.)’. Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, July 13–15, 2013. [official site / 2nd circular w/ abstracts]

会议召集 人:霍 巍 教授(四川大学)、范德康 教授(哈佛大学)

Conference conveners: Prof. Huo Wei (Sichuan University) & Prof. Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp (Harvard University).

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Emms, Two Mūlasarvāstivādin Vinaya Traditions (2012)

Christopher D. Emms. Evidence for Two Mūlasarvāstivādin Vinaya Traditions in the Gilgit Prātimokṣa-sūtras. M.A. thesis, McMaster University, 2012. 127 pp. Open Access Dissertations and Theses, Paper 7337. [URI/PDF]

From the abstract

The Sanskrit prātimokṣa-sūtras contained in the Gilgit Buddhist manuscripts have been identified as belonging to the Mūlasarvāstivāda school. However, the identification of these manuscripts as Mūlasarvāstivādin texts is problematic. A key factor for determining the school affiliation of a prātimokṣa is the rule order. The Gilgit prātimokṣa-sūtras, however, differ in their rule order. In this thesis, I explore the relationship of these Gilgit prātimokṣa-sūtras to Mūlasarvāstivādin literature. […] I argue that we have evidence for two distinct Mūlasarvāstivādin Vinaya traditions within the Gilgit prātimokṣa-sūtras.

Park, Korean-Chinese-Sanskrit-English dictionary (2012)

Park_2012_cover-med박 종매 (Pak Chong-mae). 현대 한·영 불교용어사전 (Hyeon-dae Han-yeong Bul-gyo yong-eo sa-jeon). 푸른 향기. 2012-05-19. 28,000원 [official announcement]

Jongmae Kenneth Park. Modern Korean-Chinese-Sanskrit-English Buddhist dictionary. Seoul: Prunbook Publishing, 2012. 642 pp. ISBN 9788992073929.

The Sanskrit terms are typeset without diacritics, unfortunately. A scholarly Buddhist dictionary of Korean and Sanskrit is yet to be produced.

Pandey’s Siddham Script in Unicode proposal (2012/8)

Anshuman Pandey. ‘Proposal to Encode the Siddham Script in ISO/IEC 10646’. ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 N4294 L2/12-234R. PDF. 2012/08/01.

Mr. Pandey’s proposal – now no longer preliminary – promises to fill yet another gaping hole in the standard encoding of important Indic scripts. Now would be an appropriate time to comment, if you haven’t already commented.

(I would hope, at minimum, for the addition of a full set of ten digits in the final proposal. Often such basics fall through the gaps because the corpus of readily available primary material is so limited. Here‘s a nice “7-8th century” bilingual manuscript with a varṇamālā (no digits, though) which is both in good condition and readable online, thanks to the care of its Japanese custodians. Incidentally, this clearly confirms that two of the “Punctuation and ornaments” in Pandey’s Fig. 33 are ornamental final anusvāra [अं字].)

Comments should be emailed to Anshuman Pandey, whose address is given in the N4294 proposal (link above) and at the bottom of his personal website (link).

ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 N4294 Fig.1. Proposed code chart.

Fletcher, Hunter, Supomo & Worsley, ‘Sumanasāntaka’ (2013)

Fletcher, Margaret; Hunter, Th.; Supomo; Worsley, Peter. Sumanasāntaka – Death by a Sumanasa Flower: An Old Javanese Epic Poem, Its Indian Source and Balinese Illustrations. KITLV Press: January 2013. 1,000pp. USD$125.00. ISBN: 978-90-6718-394-9. [distributed in the United States by UH Press].


“This five-part study of a previously unpublished Old Javanese Kakawin contributes to the history of a narrative that had its origins on the Indian subcontinent and was reworked in the form of epic poems and paintings in Java and Bali.”

Irreplaceable Balinese painting of the Sumanasāntaka (now in a private collection).

Science: animals are sentient (7/7/2012)

Guess what, theists? Animals have feelings too. That’s what Cambridge scientists are now confident in saying in the wake of the recent Francis Crick Conference. Science and reason are important in a modern society, so it just became that much harder to inflict scripturally sanctioned harm on sentient beings.

This reminds me of a discussion I once had in Germany. Prof. Schmithausen, you were right to think that something was up with theistic contempt for animals. The priests you knew may have been accurate on the detail – animals don’t have souls – but they were wrong on the big picture: they don’t either. Both humans and animals have “homologous subcortical brain networks” and share “primal affective qualia”. Every body hurts; and that suppressed observation was obvious long before it became a hipster anthem.

‘Are you hungry, Buddha? Because I know how that feels.’ Ancient Buddhist story of animal sentience, illustrated in an 11th-century Newar manuscript now kept at Cambridge.