SOAS University of London

Centre of Buddhist Studies

Kamalaśīla’s Bhāvanākramas – selected passages on reasoning and meditation (Seminar)

Prof Birgit Kellner (The Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, IKGA)

Date: 25 May 2019Time: 10:00 AM

Finishes: 25 May 2019Time: 1:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Seminar


Please not that the seminar requires registration. To register, please email 


The seminar complements the lecture “Philosophy and Soteriology in late Indian Mahāyāna Buddhism: Kamalaśīla on reasoning and meditation” held two days earlier. After a brief introduction to Kamalaśīla’s three Bhāvanākramas and the state of research, central passages from these works will be discussed that shed light on the relationship between reasoning and meditation. Materials will be presented in Sanskrit as well as English translation. It is possible toparticipate in the seminar without having attended the talk, but the talk should enable  participants to better appreciate the points made in the texts


Birgit Kellner conducts research on the history of Buddhist philosophy and its literature in South Asia and Tibet at the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia of the Austrian Academy of Sciences; she also serves as director of the institute.

She previously held positions at the Universities of Vienna and Heidelberg, where she held the Chair of Buddhist Studies 2020 2015, and visiting appointments at Universities of California (Berkeley), Hamburg, Kyōto and Naples (L’Orientale). Kellner also conceived and directed projects in digital humanities, and was involved in several larger-scale interdisciplinary projects in comparative and transcultural studies in Germany and Austria. 

In her research she combines philological and text-critical studies, making new manuscript material accessible through editions and close readings, with historical contextualization and philosophical analysis. Most of her work concentrates on the South Asian Buddhist tradition of logic and epistemology that centers on the works of Dignāga and Dharmakīrti, and its larger intellectual environment. In this field, she contributed studies on the ontology and epistemology of nonexistence, and more recently turned to topics from the philosophy of mind and consciousness.

Her most recent publications in this area explore the refutation of the external world and arguments for idealism in Buddhist epistemological literature (“Proofs of Idealism in Buddhist Epistemology : Dharmakīrti’s Refutation of External Objects”, in: Joerg Tuske (ed.): Indian Epistemology and Metaphysics, London 2017: Bloomsbury Academic Publishing, 103-218; “Proving Idealism in Indian Buddhist Philosophy: Vasubandhu and Dharmakīrti”, in: Jonardon Ganeri (ed.): Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy, New York, etc.: Oxford University Press, 307- 326).

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Buddhist Studies

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Sponsor: The Khyentse Foundation