Super Knowledge For Busy People : Buddhism 101 – Ep. 159

In this recording from his early days at Columbia University Professor Thurman explores Indo-Tibetan Buddhism in the intellectual setting of ancient India and Tibet, how it relates to modern philosophical thought and to the mindfulness revolution in popular culture.

Focusing on the Dialecticist Centrism found in the writings of Aryadeva, Dharmakīrti, Dignāga, Tsongkhapa, Vasubandhu & in the teachings of the 14th Dalai Lama Robert Thurman provides an academic perspective on the Buddha’s teachings on Karma, The Subtle Body system, Reincarnation and the Yogācāra school’s “Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma” framework as the ground work for a frank exploration of the esoteric concept of super knowledge.

Professor Thurman begins this podcast by detailing the cultural understanding + social context of the seemingly fantastical descriptions of psychic or super normal events found in Buddhist teachings + commentaries and a teaching on the indestructible drop or the “spiritual gene” residing in the heart chakra in the esoteric tantric system.

Second half of podcast includes a comparison of the different Buddhist logicians and their perspectives on the five aggregates or Skandhas, a suggestion of Bruce Lamb’s “Wizard of the Upper Amazon: The Story of Manuel Manuel Córdova-Rios” and a guided thought experiment for busy people of any era.

"Buddhist Inner Sciences: Super Knowledge For Busy People - Episode 159 of the Bob Thruman Podcast" photo, Created with love by Ryan McGuire“Buddhist Inner Sciences: Super Knowledge For Busy People – Episode 159 of the Bob Thruman Podcast” photo, Created with love by Ryan McGuire via

The song ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved.

“Buddhist Inner Sciences: Super Knowledge For Busy People” podcast is an excerpt from a course taught by Robert A.F. Thurman at Columbia University, focusing mainly on his book “The Central Philosophy of Tibet” – a study and translation of Jey Tsong Khapa’s “Essence of True Eloquence” (tib: drang nges legs bshad snying po)’, but also addressing material in Jey Tsong Khapa’s “Ocean of Reasoning” translated by Geshe Ngawang Samten & J Garfield, and in Aryadeva’s “Four Hundred Stanzas” translated by Ruth Sonam.

To listen to the full, unedited thirteen class series please visit:

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Podcast Extra

The Central Philosophy of Tibet

This is the first full study, translation, and critical annotation of the Essence of True Eloquence by Jey Tsong Khapa (1357-1419), universally acknowledged as the greatest Tibetan philosopher. Robert Thurman's translation and introduction present a …