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The Buddha’s Last Teachings: The Mahaparinibbana Sutta (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 1/16

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Lopon Rita M. Gross
Mahaparinibbana Sutta Online
The Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series
with Lopon Rita Gross, PhD
in the City Center dining room

Thursday, January 16, 2014
7:30 - 9 pm

The Mahaparinibbana Sutta is one of the longest and most important suttas in the records of the early Buddhist teachings collected and transmitted in the Pali canon. In this sutta, the Buddha deals with many questions about how to preserve and practice the dharma after his impending death. Especially, he deals with questions about how to evaluate future texts that people will claim were spoken by the Buddha himself, even though they are not yet in existence.

This question is especially important for Mahayana Buddhists, whose major texts were not taught by the historical Buddha during his earthly life. Studying carefully what the Buddha had to say about this question helps us evaluate the continual changes that are part of any living religious tradition. What kinds of change are acceptable and which should be rejected? The Mahaparinibbana Sutta gives guidance from the Buddha himself on how to deal with this issue.

Text: Please bring a copy of this text to follow along with in the lecture.

Other lectures in this series

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Related Bio(s):

Lopon Rita M. Gross
Lopon Rita M. Gross, PhD, is internationally known for her innovative work on gender and religion. She is also a Buddhist Dharma teacher, having been appointed to that position by Her Eminence Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche. Rita Gross gives original engaging talks on a wide variety of topics and can lead meditation retreats of varying lengths. She specializes in bringing together the values and perspective of academic research and Buddhist Dharma teachings.