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Chapter 3: Verses 51-66

Chapter 3: Verses 51-66

Part of a series of teachings on Aryadeva’s 400 Stanzas on the Middle Way given on an annual basis by Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe from 2013-2017.

Verses 51-66

  • Why the exertion to satisfy our body with sensual pleasures is fruitless
  • We are not only never satisfied by sensual pleasures but our attachment keeps growing
  • It is inappropriate to desire someone who is physically attractive or has good qualities, even if we think these qualities are hard to find
  • Inappropriateness of having desire for someone attached to us
  • How social conventions encourage us to indulge in sensual pleasures since young age
  • Why people distracted by desire cannot find happiness
  • Desire is not pleasurable by nature; otherwise, we wouldn’t constantly seek sensual gratification
  • Refuting that people’s physical and verbal behavior is pleasurable
  • Desire is not pleasurable because it gives rise to jealousy and possessiveness

Questions and answers

  • Can aspects of the Cittamatra view be used to develop an awareness of emptiness in daily life?
  • Middle Way and the duality of pleasure and suffering
  • Meditation to reduce attachment to food
  • How aspirational prayers work
  • How the practice of six paramitas changes along the path and how bodhisattvas practice wisdom and concentration

Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe

Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe was born in 1930 in Lhokha, Central Tibet and became a monk at the age of 13. After completing his studies at Drepung Loseling Monastery in 1969, he was awarded Geshe Lharampa, the highest degree in the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism. He is an emeritus professor at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies and an eminent scholar of both Madhyamaka and Indian Buddhist studies. His works include Hindi translations of The Essence of Good Explanation of Definitive and Interpretable Meanings by Lama Tsongkhapa and Kamalasila's commentary on the Rice Seedling Sutra. His own commentary, The Rice Seedling Sutra: Buddha’s Teachings on Dependent Arising, was translated into English by Joshua and Diana Cutler and published by Wisdom Publications. Geshela has facilitated many research works, such as a complete translation of Tsongkhapa’s The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, a major project undertaken by the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in New Jersey where he teaches regularly.