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Buddhist Scriptures


Buddhist Scriptures Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This selection of writings from the golden age of Buddhist literature (a.d. 100-400) focuses on texts intended for the layperson rather than for the monk and exhibits the humanity rather than the profundity of the scriptures. Passages from the Dhammapada, the Buddhacarita, the Questions of King Milinda, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead are included.

Table of Contents

Buddhist Scriptures Acknowledgments



Chapter 1. The Buddha's Previous Lives

Introductory Note

1. Shakyamuni's Meeting with Dipankara

2a. The Bodhisattva and the Hungry Tigress

2b. The Bodhisattva as the Preacher of Patience

3. Outline of a Bodhisattva's Progress

Chapter 2. The Legend of the Buddha Shakyamuni

Introductory Note

1. The birth of the Bodhisattva

2. Asita's visit

3. The Bodhisattva's youth and marriage

4. The awakening

5. Withdrawal from the women

6. The flight

7. The apparition of a mendicant

8. The dismissal of Chandaka

9. The practice of austerities

10. Nandabala's gift

11. The defeat of Mara

12. The Enlightenment

13. The meeting with the mendicant

14. The meeting with the five mendicants

15. Turning the wheel of Dharma

16. The meeting of father and son

17. Further conversions

18. Devadatta

19. The desire for death

20. The leave-taking from Vaisali, the final couch, instructions to the Mallas

21. Parinirvana

22. The Relics

23. The Scriptures


Chapter 1. Morality

Introductory Note

1. The Five Precepts, with Buddahghosa's commentary

2. Rules of monastric restraint

3. The monk's life

3a. The Buddha's advice to Sariputra (E.M.H.)

3b. The Rhinoceros (E.M.H.)

4. Verses from the Sanskrit Dharmapada

4a. The chapter on Karma

4b. The chapter on Morality

5. Popular Moral Buddhism

6. Laymen and Monks

6a. Their respective attainments

6b. Their respective tasks, and the question of the adoration of relics

Chapter 2. Meditation

Introductory Note

1. The advantages of meditation

2. The practice of introversion

3. The progressive steps of meditation

The restraint of the senses - How the senses cause bondage - Moderation in eating - The avoidance of sleep - Full awareness of the postures, etc. - The advantages of solitary meditation - Concentration and the forsaking of idle thoughts - How to deal with thoughts concerning family and homeland - How to be mindful of death - The four holy truths

4. The six types of persons

5. The five miraculous powers

6. Zen

6a. Sessan Amakuki. Zen Meditation (R.T.L.)

6b. Rosen Takashina. Controlling the Mind (R.T.L.)

Chapter 3. Wisdom

Introductory Note

1. The Questions of King Milinda

1. Introduction - 2. The doctrine of not-self: (a) The chariot, (b) Personal identity and rebirth, (c) personal identity and Karma - 3. The five cardinal virtues - 4. Emancipation and Nirvana: (a) Problems of Nirvana, (b) The nature of Nirvana, (c) The realization of Nirvana, (d) The saints and their bodies - 5. Conclusion

2. The Heart Sutra

3. From the "Diamond Sutra"

The Bodhisattva and Dipankara - The initial vow of a Bodhisattva - The practice of perfect giving - The practice of perfect patience - The Bodhisattva's final Nirvana - The Bodhisattva as a fully enlightened Buddha - The Buddha's physical body - The Buddha as the Tathagata - The Buddha as a Teacher - The Buddha as a Saviour - The application to the present day

4. Rabulabhadra. "Hymn to Perfect Wisdom"

5. Sent-ts'an. "On Believing in Mind" (D.T.S.)

6. From Saraba's "Treasury of Songs" (D.L.S.)

Chapter 4. Doctrinal Formulas

Introductory Note

1. Faith: The Triple Refuge - The Buddha - The Dharma - The Samgha

2. Vigour: The four right efforts - The Bodhisattva's Vow

3. Mindfulness: On guarding the senses

4. Concentration: The four trances - The four formless trances - The four Unlimited - Unlimited Friendliness

5. Wisdom: The four Holy Truths - Conditioned co-production - The view of self - The absence of self in everything - The illusory nature of the world

Chapter 5. Doctrinal Disputes

Introductory Note

1. The Personalist Controversy

2. Mahayana Polemics against the Hinayana

3. Can there be more than one Buddha at a time?

3a. The Hinayana position

3b. The Mahayana position

4. The Quietist Controversy


Chapter 1. Other Worlds

Introductory Note

1. The bliss of the heavens

2. The torments of the bells

3. Life after death, and the "Book of the Dead"

Preamble - I. The moment of death, and the clear light of Pure Reality. The emergence of a subtle body. - II. The experience of the spiritual realities - III. Seeking rebirth. The judgement. The desire for rebirth. The dawning of the lights of the six places of rebirth. Re-incarnation.

4. Celestial Paradises: The Pure Land of Amitabha

Chapter 2. Maitreya, the future Buddha

Introductory Note

"The Prophecy concerning Maitreya"


Glossary of Technical Terms

Product Details

Conze, Edward
Wyatt, Thomas
Conze, Edward
Conze, Edward
Penguin Books
Harmondsworth, Middlesex
Comparative Religion
Sacred books
Buddhist literature
Buddhism - General
Buddhism -- Sacred books.
Religion Eastern-Buddhism
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Penguin classics
Series Volume:
no. 68
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
7.78x5.11x.61 in. .41 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Religion » Eastern Religions » Sutras

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