introduction to tibetan buddhism debate

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Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism Debate. Written and photographed by Sally Zhang, Sept 24, 2009. My trip to Tibetan Welfare School. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism DebateWritten and photographed by Sally Zhang, Sept 24, 2009

  • My trip to Tibetan Welfare SchoolTibetan Sherig Norbu Welfare School, located in Lajia, Qinghai, China, is funded by principal Sherig Norbu and a few non-profit organizations. There are over a thousand students in the boys and girls schools ages 7 to 25 years old. The students said they are simply happy with what they have, and thankful for being given an opportunity to receive education. One of the most exciting things I learned was the Tibetan Debate

  • History of Tibetan Buddhism DebateTibetan Buddhism Debate has more than a thousand years of history:Originated from Indias scripture debateInvented and established by an eminent monk, Chos Kyi seng ge, in 1073 in Tibet

    Tibetan Buddhism debate is a unique characteristic of Tibetan Buddhism:One of the most important ways of studying Buddhism philosophyMastery of various Buddhist philosophical stances through debate is needed for a monk to be promoted to the next level

    Tibetan Buddhism debate is one commentarial tradition in Tibet:debate technique is used throughout Tibetan education

  • Concept of Tibetan Buddhism DebateComposition:Uses proposition, reason and metaphor to carry on logic reasoning and dialectics of Buddhism's religious doctrine

    Goal of debate:To clear up suspicions through asking questions and to eliminate thoughts of evil by answering questionsTo dispel contradictions one by one, eliminate all doubts, dig deep into philosophical ideas, obtain wisdom and discover true meaning

  • Significance of Tibetan Buddhism DebateIt is an important means of measuring knowledge level, dialectical ability and thinking acuity. It helps debaters to expand the mind, develop analytical capability and gain internal clarity.

  • Techniques used in Tibetan Buddhism DebateFormat of Tibetan Buddhism Debate:Two parties : a defender (answers questions) and a questionerDebate style : questioner stands and defender sits (most popular type)Defender can only answer yes, no, or not sure, or elaborate only when permittedStrict rules of behavior; no judge neededNo time limit for each round

    Procedure of Tibetan Buddhism Debate:Starts with a high pitched phrase and a clapping of the hands togetherQuestioner begins the questioning; defender answers yes, no, or not sureQuestioner raises doubts; defender present his thesis when permitted by questionerWhen the questioner can cause the defender to make errors in his answering, the questioner winsWhen the questioner cannot come up with any questions since he cannot find any flaws or weak points from the answers, the debaters switch positions

  • Motions and GesturesThe robe slung over the left shoulder is a sign of respectMoving hand from behind the head to other hand and slapping it means to start asking questionsExtending the hand further, symbolizing a liberation of unknowing

  • Motions and Gestures A slight touch of the head usually signifies an incorrect answer Stomping, clapping of the hands, or circling around the debater with Buddhist prayer beads also signifies that the debater lost

  • Tibetan Buddhism Debate at Tibetan SchoolsBuddhism debate technique is also used at Tibetan schools as a way for teachers and students to learn various academic subjectsStudents become questioners and defenders to learn and review By listening to the questions and answers between students, the teacher would know the progression and degree of students understanding of a subjectThis way of teaching allows the students to actively think and analyze their knowledge



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