Mo, 16.05. – 17.05.2022

Reading from the beginning – Indian and Tibetan Buddhist commentators on the statement of purpose

Hybrid international reading workshop

This workshop will explore the inquiries of Buddhist exegetes into the opening statements (Skt. ādivākya, Tib. ngag dang po) of the treatises they are commenting upon. In particular, it will focus on how the statements in these “beginnings” express the purpose of the treatise (Skt. prayojana, Tib. dgos pa) and the aim(s) of stating that purpose.

Building on earlier research on Indian materials, we will first look at the positions of Indian scholars, and then examine how Tibetan exegetes adapted and developed their analyses.

This workshop will consist of three half-day sessions, opening with introductory presentations, followed by the reading of chosen excerpts from primary sources.


Monday, 16 May

9:15–9:30            Welcome

9:30–10:00          Hiroko Matsuoka (IKGA)

Indian Buddhist scholars (8th–11th c.) on the initial statement (ādivākya)

10:00–11:15        Reading Session I:

Excerpts from Vinītadeva’s Nyāyabinduṭīkā, Kamalaśīla’s Tattvasaṅgrahapañjikā, etc. (Skt. & Tib.)

11:15–11:30        Coffee break

11:30–12:45        Reading Session I (continued)

12:45–14:00        Lunch break

14:00–14:30        Pascale Hugon (IKGA, TibSchol)

rNgog Blo ldan shes rab (1059–1109) on the statement of purpose

14:30–15:45        Reading Session II:

Excerpts from the Tshad ma rnam nges dka' gnas rnam par bshad pa (Tib.)

15:45–16:00        Coffee break

16:00–17:15        Reading Session II (continued) 

Tuesday, 17 May

9:30–10:00          Jongbok Yi (Stockton University, NJ)

Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge (1109–1169) on the statement of purpose

10:00–11:15        Reading Session III:

Excerpts from the dBu ma snang ba'i 'grel pa rgya cher bshad pa (Tib.)

11:15–11:30        Coffee break

11:30–12:45        Reading Session III (continued)

By participating in the event, you consent to the publication of photographs, video and audio recordings made during the event.

To register for on-site participation, please contact Hiroko Matsuoka (hiroko.matsuoka(at) before 13 May (the number of places is limited).

For online participation, please register here:


This workshop is being organized by Hiroko Matsuoka (IKGA) and Pascale Hugon (IKGA, project „The Dawn of Tibetan Buddhist Scholasticism (11th-13th c.)“, TibSchol) at the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW). The project TibSchol has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 101001002 TibSchol).

The event will take place in compliance with the current valid COVID-19 measures. You are requested to wear an FFP2 mask during the event.



Time: 16–17 May 2022

2nd floor, room 2.25, Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia
Hollandstraße 11-13, 1020 Vienna

and online via Zoom (registration link)

Pascale Hugon
Hiroko Matsuoka