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The Buddhist philosophical tradition is vast, internally diverse,
and comprises texts written in a variety of canonical languages. It
is hence often difficult for those with training in Western
philosophy who wish to approach this tradition for the first time
to know where to start, and difficult for those who wish to
introduce and teach courses in Buddhist philosophy to find suitable
textbooks that adequately represent the diversity of the tradition,
expose students to important primary texts in reliable
translations, that contextualize those texts, and that foreground
specifically philosophical issues.
"The Lotus Sutra" (Taisho no. 262), translated by Tsugunari Kubo and Akira Yuyama from the fifth-century Chinese version by the scholar-monk Kumarajiva, is one of the most important and revered texts in East Asian Buddhism. With its vivid descriptions of cosmic events and large cast of characters, the Saddharmapundarika-sutra (Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Fine Dharma) unfolds like a magnificent drama. Its twenty-eight chapters offer a combination of doctrine, teachings, stories, and parables, devotional practices, and portraits of the many buddhas and bodhisattvas that inhabit the world of the Lotus Sutra. This text presents an emerging Mahayana vision that affirms the possibility of enlightenment for all.
This volume is the first in-depth study of a recently discovered Sanskrit dharani spell text from around the 5th century CE surviving in two palm-leaf and three paper manuscript compendia from Nepal. This rare Buddhist scripture focuses on the ritual practice of thaumaturgic weather control for successful agriculture through overpowering mythical Nagas. Traditionally, these serpentine beings are held responsible for the amount of rainfall. The six chapters of the Vajratundasamayakalparaja present the vidyadhara spell-master as a ritualist who uses mandalas, mudras and other techniques to gain mastery over the Nagas and thus control the rains. By subjugating the Nagas, favourable weather and good crops are guaranteed. This links this incantation tradition to economic power and the securing of worldly support for the Buddhist community.
Following on from the internationally bestselling The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler bring us the inspiring The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World. This inspirational book brings the successful East-meets-West pairing together again to provide a practical application of Tibetan Buddhist spiritual values to the fast-paced, unpredictable, stressful and demanding world we all live in today. In this wise, insightful and practical book, the Dalai Lama shows us how to follow the path that will lead us to fulfilment, purpose and happiness, even in our troubled modern times.
Why did some Buddhist translators in China interpolate terms designating an agent which did not appear in the original texts? The Chinese made use of raw material imported from India; however, they added some seasoningsA" peculiar to China and developed their own recipesA" about how to construct the ideas of Buddhism. While Indian Buddhists constructed their ideas of self by means of empiricism, anti-Brahmanism and analytic reasoning, the Chinese Buddhists constructed their ideas of self by means of non-analytic insights, utilising pre-established epistemology and cosmogony. Furthermore, many of the basic renderings had specific implications that were peculiar to China. For example, while shen in philosophical Daoism originally signified an agent of thought, which disintegrates after bodily death, Buddhists added to it the property of permanent existence. Since many Buddhists in China read the reinterpreted term shen with the implications of the established epistemology and cosmogony, they came to develop their own ideas of self. After the late 6C, highly educated Buddhist theorists came to avoid including the idea of an imperishable soul in their doctrinal system. However, the idea of a permanent agent of perception remained vividly alive even during the development of Chinese Buddhism after the 7C.
In the early twentieth century The Eastern Buddhist not only shared in pioneering presentations of Buddhism to the west but invited interaction with non-Japanese authors. This interactive process increased dramatically in the post-war period, when dialogue between Buddhist and Christian thought began to take off in earnest. Significant here was the philosophical Buddhism of the frequently cited Kyoto School, a tradition of thought and teaching named after Kyoto University where it was largely based. At the same time these debates and dialogues brought in not only Zen voices but also thinkers from the Shin Buddhist tradition. Both of these orientations are reflected here. While the contributions stem mainly from the fifties, sixties and seventies, they have significantly influenced subsequent Buddhist-Christian dialogue. It was still a time of exciting mutual discovery. Anybody wishing to enter into this process of dialogue and exchange will therefore find it of great interest and value to approach it by considering the ideas and insights presented here. Because of the wealth of materials the selection has been spread across two volumes in the series Eastern Buddhist Voices and the present volume includes contributions from the earlier part of the period (Interactions with Japanese Buddhism includes contributions from the later part).
Won Buddhism, one of the major religions of modern Korea, was established in 1916 by Pak Chung-bin (1891-1943), later known as Sot'aesan. In 1943 Sot'aesan published a collection of Buddhist writings, the Correct Canon of Buddhism (Pulgyo chongjon), which included the doctrine of his new order. Four years later, the second patriarch, Chongsan (1900-1962), had the order compile a new canon, which was published in 1962. This work, translated here as The Scriptures of Won Buddhism (Wonbulgyo kyojon), consists of the Canon (a redaction of the first part of the Pulgyo chongjon) and the analects and chronicle of the founder known as the Scripture of Sot'aesan. The present translation incorporates critical tenets from the 1943 Canon that were altered in the redaction process and offers persuasive arguments for their re-inclusion.
"A rich and fascinating study of Tibetan monastic life, from an author who is not only a leading scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, but who spent many years as a Buddhist monk."--Donald Lopez, author of "Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West
"Georges Dreyfus, extraordinary person and writer, gives us crucial insights into the structure and practices of higher Tibetan education as well as his own fascinating journey leading to his becoming the first Westerner to achieve the highest rank in Tibetan education. This book both peals away myths and reveals the true depths of Tibetan techniques to train the mind."--Jeffrey Hopkins, author of "Emptiness in the Mind-Only School of Buddhism
"A remarkable tour de force. Georges Dreyfus merges personal memoir and outstanding scholarship to draw us into the intellectual life of the Tibetan monastic college, and in so doing he transforms forever our understanding of education and the cultivation of reason in traditional and pre-modern societies. If you read no other book on Tibetan Buddhism, immerse yourself in this one and applaud."--Matthew T. Kapstein, author of "The Tibetan Assimilation of Buddhism
"Buddhism and Science" brings together distinguished philosophers, Buddhist scholars, physicists, and cognitive scientists to examine the contrasts and connections between the worlds of Western science and Eastern spirituality. This compilation was inspired by a suggestion made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, himself one of the contributors, after one of a series of cross-cultural scientific dialogues in Dharamsala, India, sponsored by the Mind and Life Institute. Other contributors such as William L. Ames, Matthieu Ricard, and Stephen LaBerge assess not only the fruits of inquiry from East and West but also shed light on the underlying assumptions of these disparate worldviews. Their essays creatively address a broad range of topics: from quantum theory's surprising affinities with the Buddhist concept of emptiness, to the increasing need in the West for a more contemplative science attuned to the first-person investigation of the mind, to the important ways in which the psychological study of "lucid dreaming" maps similar terrain to the cultivation of the Tibetan Buddhist discipline of dream yoga.
Reflecting its wide variety of topics, "Buddhism and Science" is comprised of three sections. The first presents two historical overviews of the engagements between Buddhism and modern science or, rather, how Buddhism and modern science have defined, rivaled, or complemented one another. The second describes the ways Buddhism and the cognitive sciences inform each other; the third addresses points of intersection between Buddhism and the physical sciences. On the broadest level this work illuminates how different ways of exploring the nature of human identity, the mind, and the universe at large can enrich and enlighten one another.
"At last an anthology that fills the need for a set of informed, authoritative descriptions of Buddhism as it is lived and practiced in the world today! Textbooks focussing on Buddhist ritual are few; this is easily the best and most usable of them. Carbine and Reynolds have done us all a great service. Their selection of significant excerpts from the writings of a variety of anthropologists and historians of religion covers the gamut of Buddhist practice. The examples come from a diversity of Buddhist traditions. While each piece is grounded in a concrete and culturally specific situation, taken together they act as effective springboards to a more general consideration of the reality of Buddhist ritual life. I look forward to using this reader in the classroom." --John Strong, author of "The Experience of Buddhism
"Spanning many Buddhist cultures, the reader gets an exciting tour of Buddhist practices, rituals, and life experiences, focusing on both the monastic and lay traditions. This book will prove to be valuable reading for the classroom and beyond."--Charles S. Prebish, author of "Luminous Passage"
"Whereas traditional scholarship has focused on voices of elite groups, philosophies of different sects, and textual ideals, "The Life of Buddhism presents a wide range of Buddhist practice in relatively contemporary contexts. The book represents a step forward by emphasizing the iconography, individualized and communal rituals, in addition to diverse practices and devotional expressions of both monastic and lay communities, and will make a significant contribution to the field of both religious studies and Buddhist studies. "--Bernard Faure, author of "The Red Thread: BuddhistApproaches to Sexuality, The Rhetoric of Immediacy: A Cultural Critique of Chan/Zen Buddhism, and "Visions of Power: Imagining Medieval Japanese Buddhism.
"This volume is a treasure-trove of issues currently being debated in Buddhist studies. Carbine and Reynolds's compilation breaks through the belief-centered, artificially purified world apparent in other anthologies. "The Life of Buddhism will help redirect pedagogical attention to the many ways in which the historical and cultural setting help to make sense of Buddhist beliefs."--Stephen F. Teiser, D.T. Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies, Princeton University
Genealogies of Mahayana Buddhism offers a solution to a problem that some have called the holy grail of Buddhist studies: the problem of the "origins" of Mahayana Buddhism. In a work that contributes both to a general theory of religion and power for religious studies as well as to the problem of the origin of a Buddhist movement, Walser argues that that it is the neglect of political and social power in the scholarly imagination of the history of Buddhism that has made the origins of Mahayana an intractable problem. Walser challenges commonly-held assumptions about Mahayana Buddhism, offering a fascinating new take on its genealogy that traces its doctrines of emptiness and mind-only from the present day back to the time before Mahayana was "Mahayana." In situating such concepts in their political and social contexts across diverse regimes of power in Tibet, China and India, the book shows that what was at stake in the Mahayana championing of the doctrine of emptiness was the articulation and dissemination of court authority across the rural landscapes of Asia. This text will be will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students and scholars of Buddhism, religious studies, history and philosophy.
This true account of the scandal that enveloped the discovery in 1898 of an inscribed casket said to contain the ashes of the Buddha, is set against the background of the high noon of the British Raj. In January 1898 a British landowner, William Claxton Peppe, excavated a large Buddhist brick stupa on his estate close to India's border with Nepal. At a depth of 24 feet he uncovered a huge stone coffer. What made this discovery so important was an inscription found on the top of one of the reliquary caskets - declaring it to contain ashes of the Buddha. This news aroused world-wide interest since no other so well authenticated relics of the Buddha had ever been found. But almost immediately it became known that a German archaeologist, Dr Anton Fuhrer, working nearby at the same time had not only made bogus claims and faked his results but had also been associated with the dig. Fuhrer was quickly unmasked by a British magistrate who himself had a stake in the excavation.
An ideal starting-point for those interested in Buddhism, "Being
Peace contains Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings on peace and meditation.
Using real examples from his own life, as well as poems and fables,
Nhat Hanh explains his key practices for living "right in the
moment we are alive." These lessons are taught with fine writing
and sparkling phrases that draw the reader in and make "Being Peace
a book that encourages multiple readings, both alone and in
In this sixth and final volume in the "Foundation of Buddhist
Thought" series, Geshe Tashi Tsering brings his familiar, helpful
approach to the esoteric practices of Buddhist tantra. Anticipating
the many questions Westerners have upon first encountering tantra's
colorful imagery and veiled language, "Tantra" uses straight talk
to explain deities, initiations, mandalas, and the body's subtle
physiology of channels and chakras.
Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism fundamentally rethinks the nature of the transgressive theories and practices of the Buddhist Tantric traditions, challenging the notion that the Tantras were marginal or primitive and situating them instead -- both ideologically and institutionally -- within larger trends in mainstream Buddhist and Indian culture. Critically surveying prior scholarship, Wedemeyer exposes the fallacies of attributing Tantric transgression to either the passions of lusty monks, primitive tribal rites, or slavish imitation of Saiva traditions. Through comparative analysis of modern historical narratives -- that depict Tantrism as a degenerate form of Buddhism, a primal religious undercurrent, or medieval ritualism -- he likewise demonstrates these to be stock patterns in the European historical imagination. Through close analysis of primary sources, Wedemeyer reveals the lived world of Tantric Buddhism as largely continuous with the Indian religious mainstream and deploys contemporary methods of semiotic and structural analysis to make sense of its seemingly repellent and immoral injunctions.Innovative, semiological readings of the influential Guhyasamaja Tantra underscore the text's overriding concern with purity, pollution, and transcendent insight -- issues shared by all Indic religions -- and a large-scale, quantitative study of Tantric literature shows its radical antinomianism to be a highly managed ritual observance restricted to a sacerdotal elite. These insights into Tantric scripture and ritual clarify the continuities between South Asian Tantrism and broader currents in Indian religion, illustrating how thoroughly these radical communities were integrated into the intellectual, institutional, and social structures of South Asian Buddhism.
This is a collection of stories woven from the many accounts which exist of things the author did and experienced. Most of the stories have been inspired by the author's various trips to Ladakh, Nepal and many places in India. This book takes us to a fantasy world where there are animals, insects, birds and trees that talk and behave like human beings. The stories are presented in an unusual but interesting style. As in Buddhist teachings, most of the characters mentioned in these stories are also animals. The book relates the journey of Buddhism from India to China, Japan and Tibet. The stories of the soul in this book elucidate the philosophy of reincarnation, which is the spiritual entrance to salvation, describe the eight sacred places of the Buddha and dispel myths about the Tibetan medical philosophy. Some of the stories are based on the Lotus Sutra and have been combined with Nepali traditions and culture. These stories provide a perfect blend of various rituals of Buddhism and its history.
This is an enlightening guide for students of Buddhism from the different schools and traditions. This long awaited book, from leading expert Anil Goonewardene, is an insightful, lively and readable account of Buddhism. Drawing on over twenty years of teaching experience, Goonewardene sets out to demonstrate that the three key traditions of Buddhism (Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana) are all routed in the same foundations and that the central teachings of these different schools are the same. This unique book presents Buddhism as a living, practical religion, giving readers an enlightening insight into an often mystifying tradition. "Buddhayana: Living Buddhism" offers a fascinating perspective on Buddhism, in all its beauty and nobility, though the eyes of a practicing Buddhist born and raised in the tradition that has guided millions of people since its beginnings. Divided into five parts, covering all aspects of Buddhism - from the lives of the Buddha to the various sections of the Buddhist community - the book also includes two appendices focusing on the Buddhist view of death, and a case study of Buddhist rebirth.
The Mahamudra path of direct perception is the pre-eminent method of the Dakpo Kagyu tradition. This definitive manual systematically explains its approach to meditation, complete with definitions, pointing-out instructions, and advice for the many pitfalls and errors that beset practitioners. Central to these errors is our failure to acknowledge the difference between understanding and experience, and our tendency to fixate on meditative experiences and mistake them for realisation. This translation conveys the freshness and immediacy of these instructions. Belonging to the generation of teachers to first bring Tibetan Buddhism across cultures, Traleg Kyabgon (1955-2012) presents these Mahamudra instructions in a direct, relaxed, and intimate style. His own sense of certainty and his confidence that Westerners are unspoilt enough to benefit from these direct teachings resonates on every page. Traleg Kyabgon's mastery of the English language and his insight into Western culture make for a very approachable translation of this magnum opus of the Kagyu tradition.
A monumental work in the history of religion, the history of the book, the study of politics, and bibliographical research, this volume follows the making of the Chinese Buddhist canon from the fourth century to the digital era. Approaching the subject from a historical perspective, it ties the religious, social, and textual practices of canon formation to the development of East Asian Buddhist culture and enlivens Chinese Buddhist texts for readers interested in the evolution of Chinese writing and the Confucian and Daoist traditions. The collection undertakes extensive readings of major scriptural catalogs from the early manuscript era as well as major printed editions, including the Kaibao Canon, Qisha Canon, Goryeo Canon, and Taisho Canon. Contributors add fascinating depth to such understudied issues as the historical process of compilation, textual manipulation, physical production and management, sponsorship, the dissemination of various editions, cultic activities surrounding the canon, and the canon's reception in different East Asian societies. The Chinese Buddhist canon is one of the most enduring textual traditions in East Asian religion and culture, and through this exhaustive, multifaceted effort, an essential body of work becomes part of a new, versatile narrative of East Asian Buddhism that has far-reaching implications for world history.
Buddha was a revolutionary. His practice was subversive; his message, seditious. His enlightened point of view went against the norms of his day--in his words, "against the stream." His teachings changed the world, and now they can change you too.
Presenting the basics of Buddhism with personal anecdotes, exercises, and guided meditations, bestselling author Noah Levine guides the reader along a spiritual path that has led to freedom from suffering and has saved lives for 2,500 years. Levine should know. Buddhist meditation saved him from a life of addiction and crime. He went on to counsel and teach countless others the Buddhist way to freedom, and here he shares those life-changing lessons with you. Read and awaken to a new and better life.
The Buddhist monk Ashva-ghosha composed Life of the Buddha in the first or second century CE probably in Ayodhya. This is the earliest surviving text of the Sanskrit literary genre called kavya and probably provided models for Kali-dasa's more famous works. The most poignant scenes on the path to his Awakening are when the young prince Siddhartha, the future Buddha, is confronted by the reality of sickness, old age, and death, while seduced by the charms of the women employed to keep him at home. A poet of the highest order, Ashva-ghosha's aim is not entertainment but instruction, presenting the Buddha's teaching as the culmination of the Brahmanical tradition. His wonderful descriptions of the bodies of courtesans are ultimately meant to show the transience of beauty.
Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation
For more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit http: //www.claysanskritlibrary.org
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