The Dharma's Gatekeepers

Sakya Pandita on Buddhist Scholarship in Tibet

Jonathan C. Gold
eISBN-13: 9780791479711

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The Dharma's Gatekeepers offers an incisive analysis of one of the most important works in Tibetan Buddhist intellectual history: Sakya Paṇḍita's Gateway to Learning (Mkhas pa 'jug pa'i sgo). Writing in a time when a distinctively Tibetan tradition of Buddhism was first emerging, Sakya Paṇḍita wanted to present Tibetan intellectuals with what he took to be an authentically Indian (and therefore, authentically Buddhist) understanding of the nature and tasks of intellectual life—with a view of how scholarship was understood and practiced in the great monastic colleges of India.

In The Dharma's Gatekeepers, we see Sakya Paṇḍita building the intellectual foundation for Tibetan scholasticism through a series of subtle, brilliant, and quintessentially Buddhist arguments about the nature of learning itself, with his elaboration of a model of scholastic education skillfully drawing together ideas in Buddhist epistemology, philosophy of language, translation theory, hermeneutics, and literary theory. In this study of Sakya Paṇḍita's remarkable work, Jonathan C. Gold shows that the Gateway to Learning addresses issues that remain of concern to contemporary intellectuals; this thirteenth-century work has much to contribute to our understanding of such issues as translation and translatability, theories of reading and authorship, the connections between religious values and academic institutions, and theories of language and literary aesthetics. The book includes a translation of significant parts of Sakya Paṇḍita's text.

ISBNs 9780791471661, 0791479714, 9780791479711
Language English