Teachings on Ratnavali
– A Precious Garland of Advice for a King –
10. – 20. August 2014
After the Buddha himself Arya Nagarjuna (ca. 1st century AD) must certainly be considered the most influential master of the Buddhist Mahayana tradition, whose clear exposition of conventional and ultimate reality has been able to lead scholars and yogis to deep insights, liberation and enlightenment.
One of his major scriptures, the famous „Ratnavali“ (Raja-parikatha-ratnavali), a treatise in 500 verses, which has been composed in the form of a letter of advice to a king, contains ample instruction about compassionate, ethical, wise modes of leading one’s life and governing a country, such that the king as well as those under his governance might attain the happiness of high status and liberation. At the same time the text goes far beyond the scope of personal happiness. It contains complete down-to-earth and at the same time most profound presentations of the whole bodhisattva path, comparable perhaps to the most beloved „Guide to a bodhisattva’s way of Life“ (Bodhicaryavatara) by master Shantideva.
The text in five chapters begins with a detailed presentation of how to achieve the correct understanding of reality, thereby enabling the practitioner to develop the wisdom realizing selflessness which eliminates the ignorance that wrongly grasps to the extreme of true existence, the root of all suffering in cyclic existence.
The second chapter follows with miscellaneous instructions on topics like the importance of the holy dharma, appreciating it, the significance of honesty, charity inner stability and wisdom for those in influential positions, topics such as the disastrous effects of hunting, alcohol, sexual endulgement as well as the beneficial effects of compassion and the practice of the dharma for the king and his country.
The third chapter is dedicated to the accumulations of merit and wisdom, the causal collections for the attainment of enlightenment, by way of providing education and medical care, furthering sciences, agriculture, social welfare and religious institutions, care for the sick, the poor and the destitute, care for animals, insects and spirits, in short, instructions regarding the six perfections which are the bodhisattvas’ all-encompassing means to attain the state of a buddha.
The fourth chapter provides special advice for those in positions of authority, their particular difficulties and responsibilities, the importance of their motivations and their aims, how to relate to ministers, goods, finances, law, compassionate and righteous imposition of penalties, the fragility of worldly honours and the reliability of the Dharma.
The fifth and last chapter contains instructions for the practice of ordained and lay bodhisattva practitioners, importance of ethical discipline, avoidance of harmful conduct and mental attitudes, the practice of compassion, the ten bodhisattva grounds and the resultant buddha ground. The text ends with the generation and adoption of the bodhisattva vow and highly inspirational verses, in which the author offers himself as support for all suffering sentient beings eternally.
This wonderful, precious and most profound text is rarely taught. And it is much rarer even that highly renowned, fully qualified masters such as H. E. Kyabje Dagri Rinpoche will afford the time to bestow extensive teachings on them. Therefore we are highly honoured and delighted that Rinpoche has agreed to confer this text, together with the commentary by Gyeltsab Dharma Rinchen, in its entirety from august 2014 and to be continued in the year(s) to come.
We are particularly pleased that the spacious Kamalashila-Institut at Langenfeld / Eifel with it’s peaceful location has kindly agreed to host the event.
 L’ho tradotto come “eccessi sessuali”. Era questo il tuo intento?