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Stephen Gethin
On Maitreya's Mahāyānasūtrāṃkāra::
The Ornament of the Mahāyāna Sūtras
and Jamgön Mipham's commentary


Padmakara talks: Following Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche's advice, Padmakara translators have been asked to host study sessions on various classical texts. We had the first series of sessions with Wulstan Fletcher on the Madhyamakālaṃkāra last May, and now we are starting our second series. This is a joint venture between Padmakara (Portugal) and Maitrikara.


The second series of sessions will be given by Steve Gethin, who will present an overview of Ornament of the Mahāyāna Sūtras as explained in Jamgön Mipham's commentary, A Feast of the Nectar of the Supreme Vehicle. This is the longest of the five treatises that Maitreya taught to Ārya Asaṅga. It provides a glimpse of the bodhisattva’s world, beginning with a few chapters comparing the Mahāyāna to lower vehicles and continuing with a detailed account of the features that make up the bodhisattva path and how these relate to the Yogacāra view.

Asaṅga (c. 4th century) was the founder of the Yogacāra school and author of important commentaries on the sūtras and of treatises such as those contained in the Yogacārabhūmi (Stages of Spiritual Practice). His teachings are related to the Third Turning of the Dharma-Wheel and were propagated by Vasubandhu, Sthiramati, and others.

Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche (1846–1912) was a major figure in the Rimé or non-sectarian movement which, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, did so much to revive and strengthen the different traditions and schools of Tibetan Buddhism. His commentaries on both Sūtrayāna and Vajrayāna teachings are considered core texts in the Nyingma tradition, and in addition he wrote treatises on painting, poetics, sculpture, alchemy, medicine, and logic. His explanation of the Mahāyānasūtrāṃkāra, which is based on and condenses Sthiramati’s two-volume commentary in the Tengyur, was written in just forty days during the last year of his life.

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The text:

Ornament of the Mahāyāna Sūtras

(Mahāyānasūtrāṃkāra) by Maitreya, transmitted to Ārya Asaṅga, and its commentary, A Feast of the Nectar of the Supreme Vehicle, by Jamgön Mipham, translated from the Tibetan by Stephen Gethin with the help of other members of the Padmakara Translation Group (published by Shambhala Publications, 2018). 

The online course will consist of 4 study sessions over two consecutive weekends:


Saturday & Sunday, November 18th & 19th
Saturday & Sunday, November 25th & 26th


Every session will last 2 hours, starting at: 
18:00 GMT (London, Lisboa..)
19:00 CET (Madrid, Paris, Berlin,..)
13:00 EST (New York)
15:00 GMT-3 (Brasília, São Paulo)

The online sessions will be held in English with simultaneous translation to Portuguese, French,and Spanish. And take place via Zoom. Every session will be recorded and participants given the opportunity to watch any missed session.

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