The Buddha before Buddhism

Wisdom from the Early Teachings

The Buddha before Buddhism

In the tradition of the best-selling Dhammapada: a translation with commentary of one of the earliest of the surviving Buddhist texts, which reveals the teachings to be remarkably simple and free of religious trappings. One of the earliest of all Buddhist texts, the Atthakavagga, or "Book of Eights," is a remarkable document, not only because it comes from the earliest strain of the literature--before the Buddha, as the title suggests, came to be thought of as a "Buddhist"--but also because its approach to awakening is so simple and free of adherence to any kind of ideology. Instead the Atthakavaggapoints to a direct and simple approach for attaining peace without requiring the adherence to doctrine. The value of the teachings it contains is not in the profundity of their philosophy or in their authority as scripture; rather, the value is found in the results they bring to those who live by them. Instead of doctrines to be believed, the Book of Eights describes means or practices for realizing peace. Gil Fronsdal's rigorous translation with commentary reveals the text to be of interest not only to Buddhists, but also to the ever-growing demographic of spiritual-but-not-religious, who seek a spiritual life outside the structures of religion.

Before Buddha Was Buddha

Learning from the Jataka Tales

Before Buddha Was Buddha

Discover how ordinary beings—a deer, a robber, a monkey, a parrot, and more—make up the past lives of the Buddha before he was Buddha. The jataka tales are ancient Buddhist stories found in both the Pali Canon and Sanskrit tradition, recounting the many past lives and ongoing spiritual work of Shakyamuni Buddha on his way to his final birth as Siddhartha Gautama. In them we find the Buddha facing difficulties, making tough choices, doing hard work, falling down and getting back up—the kind of continuing effort of spiritual practice that all beings face. Before Buddha was Buddha focuses on a selection of particular jataka tales in which the Buddha in past lives faces temptations and struggles with self-doubt as well as his own shortcomings. In these tales he’s not beyond life’s messes—its challenges and disasters—but is down in the mix, trudging through the mud with the rest of us. Each story, presented in brief, is followed by a commentary pointing to its relevance to our lives and practice-realization today.

The Buddha's Golden Path

The Classic Introduction to Zen Buddhism

The Buddha's Golden Path

In 1929, when author Dwight Goddard wrote The Buddha's Golden Path, he was breaking ground. No American before him had lived the life of a Zen Buddhist monk, and then set out to share what he had learned with his countrymen. The Buddha's Golden Path is a true classic. It has touched countless lives, and opened the door for future generations in this country to study and embrace the principles of Zen.

Living Kindness

Buddhist Teachings for a Troubled World

Living Kindness

"Living Kindness: Buddhist Teachings for a Troubled World" is an exploration of love, compassion, joy, and equanimity, the so-called "Brahmaviharas" or Divine Abodes. Combining a close reading of several suttas from the Pali Canon with personal reflections on trying to fulfill the Buddha's challenge to be free from ill-will, the book is at once intimate and far-reaching in its scope. "'In Living Kindness: Buddhist Teachings for a Troubled World, ' Kevin Griffin offers a clear and well-sourced reflection of the classical Buddhist teaching on loving-kindness practice. Skillfully contextualizing these teachings for our current time, Kevin shows that the teachings are as alive and relevant today as they were when they were first taught 2,600 years ago. Kevin has written an exceptional book, one that could serve equally well as a starting point for understanding the Buddhist teaching on kindness or to deepen your understanding in an already established meditation practice." Sharon Salzberg, author of "Real Happiness" and "Real Love." "Kevin has written a practical and accessible guide on how to take loving-kindness and transform it from an idea, into something we can truly live with and live by. This is a great support for practitioners in negotiating their experience of living in this world." Ajahn Pasanno, abbot Abhayagiri Monastery, and author of "Abundant, Exalted, Immeasurable." "'Living Kindness' is a liberating book, both for the intellect and the heart. Kevin Griffin is grounded in a deep understanding of what the Buddha taught, and he makes those teachings come alive with his personal stories and insights. 'Living Kindness' is not just a guide to the spiritual path; it is also a companion." Wes Nisker, author and Buddhist teacher. "Living Kindness is a delightful, inspiring, and profound book on one of the primary forms of love taught by the Buddha. Kevin Griffin's decades of living with these teachings come through in these honest and insightful reflections." Gil Fronsdal, author of "The Buddha before Buddhism: Wisdom from the Early Teachings"

Buddhism in Tibet

Illustrated by Literary Documents and Objects of Religious Worship, with an Account of the Buddhist Systems Preceding it in India

Buddhism in Tibet


Indian Buddhism

A Survey with Bibliographical Notes

Indian Buddhism

This work presents a survey of Indian Buddhism with detailed bibliographical notes. Besing itself on recent studies, it is intended to introduce studies in various aspects of Indian Buddhism carried on by Japanese scholars as well as Western and Asian, especially Indian, scholars. The main text constitutes a gengeral survey of the development of Indian Buddhism, and studies by scholars past and present are mentioned in full detail in copious footnotes with due evaluations. This work can be regarded, so to speak, as a development with revisions, of the Buddhist portion of M. Winternitz` History of Indian Literature. Major studies before and after Winternitz` work are exhaustively mentioned. As a reference work also this book is of extreme help to scholars and students alike. The work has been edited by Prof. Ramesh Mathur. Contents Foreword, Preface, I. General Survey of Buddhism, II. early Buddhism: 1. The Time of the Rise of Buddhism, 2. The Life of Gotama Buddha and his Disciples, The Scriptures of Early Buddhism, Aspects of Original Buddhism, The Thought of Early Buddhism, The Practice of Early Buddhism, The Worship of Buddhas and Faith, Social Thought, III. Conservative Buddhism and Transition to Mahayana: Historical background, Philosophical Schools, Philosophical Thought, Biographies of the Buddha, The Poet Asvaghosa and his school, The Avadana Literature, IV. Mahayana Buddhism: Historical Background, Mahayana Sutras, The Philosophical Schools of Mahayana, V. Logicians: Before Dignaga, Dignaga, Dharmakirti, Logicians at the Final Stage, Some Features of Indian Logic, VI. Esoteric Buddhism: the Beginning, Systematization, The Final Stage, Some Features of Esoteric Buddhism, Addenda et Corrigenda, Abbreviations and Periodicals, Index.

The Life of the Buddha

According to the Pali Canon

The Life of the Buddha

Among the numerous lives of the Buddha, this volume may well claim a place of its own. Composed entirely from texts of the Pali Canon, the oldest authentic record, it portrays an image of the Buddha which is vivid, warm, and moving. Chapters on the Buddha's personality and doctrine are especially illuminating, and the translation is marked by lucidity and dignity throughout.

The Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics

The Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics

Many forms of Buddhism, divergent in philosophy and style, emerged as Buddhism filtered out of India into other parts of Asia. Nonetheless, all of them embodied an ethical core that is remarkably consistent. Articulated by the historical Buddha in his first sermon, this moral core is founded on the concept of karma—that intentions and actions have future consequences for an individual—and is summarized as Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood, three of the elements of the Eightfold Path. Although they were later elaborated and interpreted in a multitude of ways, none of these core principles were ever abandoned. The Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics provides a comprehensive overview of the field of Buddhist ethics in the twenty-first century. The Handbook discusses the foundations of Buddhist ethics focusing on karma and the precepts looking at abstinence from harming others, stealing, and intoxication. It considers ethics in the different Buddhist traditions and the similarities they share, and compares Buddhist ethics to Western ethics and the psychology of moral judgments. The volume also investigates Buddhism and society analysing economics, environmental ethics, and Just War ethics. The final section focuses on contemporary issues surrounding Buddhist ethics, including gender, sexuality, animal rights, and euthanasia. This groundbreaking collection offers an indispensable reference work for students and scholars of Buddhist ethics and comparative moral philosophy.

Ascetic Figures before and in Early Buddhism

The Emergence of Gautama as the Buddha

Ascetic Figures before and in Early Buddhism

Sinceits founding by Jacques Waardenburg in 1971, Religion and Reason has been a leading forum for contributions on theories, theoretical issues and agendas related to the phenomenon and the study of religion. Topics include (among others) category formation, comparison, ethnophilosophy, hermeneutics, methodology, myth, phenomenology, philosophy of science, scientific atheism, structuralism, and theories of religion. From time to time the series publishes volumes that map the state of the art and the history of the discipline.

Great Disciples of the Buddha

Their Lives, Their Works, Their Legacy

Great Disciples of the Buddha

A perennial favorite, Great Disciples of the Buddha is now relaunched in our best-selling Teachings of the Buddha series. Twenty-four of the Buddha's most distinguished disciples are brought to life in ten chapters of rich narration. Drawn from a wide range of authentic Pali sources, the material in these stories has never before been assembled in a single volume. Through these engaging tales, we meet all manner of human beings - rich, poor, male, female, young, old - whose unique stories are told with an eye to the details of ordinary human concerns. When read with careful attention, these stories can sharpen our understanding of the Buddhist path by allowing us to contemplate the living portraits of the people who fulfilled the early Buddhist ideals of human perfection. The characters detailed include: Sariputta Nanda Mahamoggallana Mahakassapa Ananda Isidasi Anuruddha Mahakaccana Angulimala Visakha and many more. Conveniently annotated with the same system of sutta references used in each of the other series volumes, Great Disciples of the Buddha allows the reader to easily place each student in the larger picture of Buddha's life. It is a volume that no serious student of Buddhism should miss.