October 13-19

Letter to a Friend by Nagarjuna

Narayan Prasad Rijal

The great Indian Buddhist master Nagajuna wrote his celebrated poem “Letter to a friend” as a gift of advice to a South Indian king, and it has since become a monument in the Indian Shastra tradition.

Despite its short length (only 123 verses), it covers the whole Mahayana path, combining a practical approach to daily conduct with a theoretical exposition of the different stages leading to enlightenment. It is addressed to anyone, whether an ordained monk or nun or a lay person, who sincerely wishes to practice the Buddha’s teaching as a means to become free from samsara.

Nagarjuna is generally considered with Asanga to be the most important figure in Mahayana Buddhist philosopher. Acknowledged as the father of Madhyamika and as a principle abbot of Nalanda University, he contributed significantly to the Buddhist doctrine and benefited many sentient beings throughout his life.

The program schedule will be:

Morning session:
9:00-12:00 Noon
With a half hour tea break in between.

Afternoon session:

This course will include the daily prayers chant in Sanskirt and an optional morning and evening group meditation.

Teacher: Mr. Narayan Prasad Rijal, a Nepali Buddhist teacher and translator of Sanskrit and Tibetan texts. A member of the Byomakusuma sangha (www.byomakusuma.org), he was granted the title Sahayak Dharmadhara (assistant holder of the Dharma) in 2008 by Acharya Mahayogi Sridhar Rana Rinpoche. He teaches Buddhist meditation and comparative philosophy of Buddhism and Hinduism. The son of a Nepali pandit, Narayan has been steeped in Sanskrit studies from an early age and has translated numerous texts from Sanskrit and Tibetan into Nepali. He is also a lecturer of physics at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu.

He is teaching at Deer Park on the invitation of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. He has studied under various Buddhist teachers, including H.H. Sakya Trizin, Chogye Trichen Rinpoche and Acharya Mahayogi Sridhar Rana Rinpoche.