Yaroslav Komarovski

Associate Professor Classics & Religious Studies

Yaroslav Komarovski (Ph.D. University of Virginia, 2007) teaches and conducts research on Asian religions, in particular Tibetan Buddhism. His research focuses on Madhyamaka and Yogācāra interpretations of the nature of reality and related epistemological, philosophical, and contemplative issues. In particular, he focuses on writings of a seminal Tibetan Buddhist thinker Shakya Chokden (1428–1507) who articulated a startlingly new reconsideration of the core areas of Buddhist thought and practice, such as epistemology, ethics, tantric rituals, and the relationship between philosophy and contemplation. 



Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Visions of Unity: The Golden Paṇḍita Shakya Chokdens New Interpretation of Yogācāra and Madhyamaka. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2011.

 Three Texts on Madhyamaka by Shakya Chokden. Dharamsala, India: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 2000.


“‘If Apprehending Occurs, It is not the View’: Sakya Thinkers on the Madhyamaka View of Freedom from Proliferations.” Critical Review for Buddhist Studies, vol. 20 (2016): 139-170.

“From the Three Natures to the Two Natures: On a Fluid Approach to the Two Versions of Other-Emptiness from 15th Century Tibet.” Journal of Buddhist Philosophy, vol. 2 (2016): 78-113.

“Shakya Chokden’s History of Madhyamaka Thought in Tibet.” In Sources of Tibetan Tradition, ed. Schaeffer, Kurtis R., Matthew T. Kapstein, and Gray Tuttle, 373-380. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013. (Revised part of Three Texts on Madhyamaka by Shakya Chokden.)

“Buddhist Contributions to the Question of (Un)mediated Mystical Experience.” Sophia, vol. 51, no. 1 (2012): 87-115.

“Shakya Chokden’s Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhāga: ‘Contemplative’ or ‘Dialectical’?” Journal of Indian Philosophy, vol. 38, no. 4 (2010): 441-452.

“Review of Kenneth Liberman, Dialectical Practice in Tibetan Philosophical Culture: An Ethnomethodo-logical Inquiry into Formal Reasoning.” Sophia, vol. 48, no. 4 (2009): 513-515.

“Encountering Ineffability—Counting Ineffability: On Divergent Verbalizations of the Ineffable in 15th Century Tibet.” Acta Tibetica et Buddhica, vol. 1 (2008): 1-15.

“Reburying the Treasure—Maintaining the Continuity: Two Texts by Śākya Mchog Ldan on the Buddha-Essence.” Journal of Indian Philosophy, vol. 34, no. 6 (2006): 521-570.


Contesting the Ultimate Virtue: Tibetan Buddhist Inquiry into the Virtuous Dimension of Ultimate Reality focuses on polemics regarding ultimate reality as a virtue. Tapping into the intersection of the Buddhist ethics and ontology, it appraises how conflicting understandings of the ultimate reality by Tibetan thinkers affect their diverse approaches to virtue, and vice versa.

Effulgent Emptiness: Shakya Chokden’s Seminal Works on Self- and Other-Emptiness is an annotated translation of three texts on ultimate reality: Shing rta’i srol chen gnyis las ’byung ba’i dbu ma chen po’i lugs gnyis rnam par dbye ba / nges don rgya mtsho’i sprin gyi ’brug sgra zab moNges don rgya mtsho sprin gyi ’brug sgra zab mo’i rgyas ’grel bdud rtsi’i char ’bebs, and Zab zhi spros bral gyi bshad pa stong nyid bdud rtsi’i lam po che.


 RELG 108 World Religions

RELG 118 Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism

RELG 218 Buddhism

RELG 230 Tibetan Buddhism

RELG 335 Buddhist Scriptures

RELG 345 Buddhist Meditation

RELG 351 Death, Immortality, and Transcendence in Asian Religions

RELG 355 Buddhist Thought


Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Experience               Visions of Unity                ThreeTexts