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The Buddha before Buddhism

Author: Gil Fronsdal
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
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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.


Ascetic Figures before and in Early Buddhism

Author: Martin G. Wiltshire
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
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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.


Before Buddha Was Buddha

Author: Rafe Martin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
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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 Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics

Author: Daniel Cozort
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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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.


The Buddha s Gospel

Author: Lindsay Falvey
Publisher: lindsay falvey
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Behold the Buddha

Author: James C. Dobbins
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Images of the Buddha are everywhere--not just in temples but also in museums and homes and online--but what these images mean largely depends on the background and circumstance of those viewing them. In Behold the Buddha, James Dobbins invites readers to imagine how premodern Japanese Buddhists understood and experienced icons in temple settings long before the advent of museums and the internet. Although widely portrayed in the last century as visual emblems of great religious truths or as exquisite works of Asian art, Buddhist images were traditionally treated as the very embodiment of the Buddha, his palpable presence among people. Hence, Buddhists approached them as living entities in their own right--that is, as awakened icons with whom they could interact religiously. Dobbins begins by reflecting on art museums, where many non-Buddhists first encounter images of the Buddha, before outlining the complex Western response to them in previous centuries. He next elucidates images as visual representations of the story of the Buddha's life followed by an overview of the physical attributes and symbolic gestures found in Buddhist iconography. A variety of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and other divinities commonly depicted in Japanese Buddhism is introduced, and their "living" quality discussed in the context of traditional temples and Buddhist rituals. Finally, other religious objects in Japanese Buddhism--relics, scriptures, inscriptions, portraits of masters, and sacred sites--are explained using the Buddhist icon as a model. Dobbins concludes by contemplating art museums further as potential sites for discerning the religious character of Buddhist images. Those interested in Buddhism generally who would like to learn more about its rich iconography--whether encountered in temples or museums--will find much in this concise, well-illustrated volume to help them "behold the Buddha."


Buddhism

Author: T. W. Rhys Davids
Publisher: Cosimo, Inc.
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The remarkable fact is, that we have here set forth a view of religion entirely independent of the soul theories, on which all the various philosophies and religions then current in India were based; entirely free from the idolatries and superstitions of the day.... We are struck at once with the analogy between it and the ideals of the last pagan thinkers in Europe before the rise of Christianity, and of some of the most advanced thinkers to-day. And the similarity is no mere chance.-from "The Signs, the Path, and the Fetters"What firsthand sources of information do we have about the life of the Buddha? What are the stages of the Wheel of Life? How well do modes of Eastern and Western thought mesh? One of the late 19th century's foremost experts on sacred Buddhist texts offered this layman's introduction to India's great religious tradition in a series of popular lectures delivered in 1894-1895 at a variety of highly respected educational institutions, including Cornell University, Columbia College, and the Lowell Institute. Published in book form in 1896, the lectures cover: .Religious Theories in India Before Buddhism.Authorities on Which Our Knowledge of Buddhism Is Based.Notes on the Life of the Buddha.The Secret of Buddhism.Some Notes on the History of BuddhismLucid and informative, this remains an excellent primer on Buddhistic beliefs and practices.British scholar THOMAS WILLIAM RHYS DAVIDS (1843-1922) was an expert in the ancient Indian language Pali and served as professor of Pali at the University of London from 1882 to 1904. He wrote numerous articles about and published many translations of sacred Buddhist texts.


What the Buddha Taught

Author: Walpola Rahula
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
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This clear and informative guide draws on the words spoken by the Buddha to convey the true nature of Buddhist wisdom. It also features an illustrative section of texts from the Suttas and the Dhammapada, a glossary of Buddhist terms and an up-to-date bibliography.


Indian Buddhism

Author: Hajime Nakamura
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publ.
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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.


Buddhism Buddhist origins and the early history of Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia

Author: Paul Williams
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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This eight-volume set brings together seminal papers in Buddhist studies from a vast range of academic disciplines published over the last forty years. With a new introduction by the editor, this collection is a unique and unrivalled research resource for both student and scholar. Coverage includes: - Buddhist origins; early history of Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia - early Buddhist Schools and Doctrinal History; Theravada Doctrine - the Origins and nature of Mahayana Buddhism; some Mahayana religious topics - Abhidharma and Madhyamaka - Yogacara, the Epistemological tradition, and Tathagatagarbha - Tantric Buddhism (Including China and Japan); Buddhism in Nepal and Tibet - Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia, and - Buddhism in China, East Asia, and Japan.