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Elaborations on Emptiness: Uses of the Heart Sutra

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Heart Sutra is perhaps the most famous Buddhist text, traditionally regarded as a potent expression of emptiness and of the Buddha's perfect wisdom. This brief, seemingly simple work was the subject of more commentaries in Asia than any other sutra. In Elaborations on Emptiness, Donald Lopez explores for the first time the elaborate philosophical and ritual uses of the Heart Sutra in India, Tibet, and the West.

Included here are full translations of the eight extant Indian commentaries. Interspersed with the translations are six essays that examine the unusual roles the Heart Sutra has played: it has been used as a mantra, an exorcism text, a tantric meditation guide, and as the material for comparative philosophy. Taken together, the translations and essays that form Elaborations on Emptiness demonstrate why commentary is as central to modern scholarship on Buddhism as it was for ancient Buddhists. Lopez reveals unexpected points of instability and contradiction in the Heart Sutra, which, in the end, turns out to be the most malleable of texts, where the logic of commentary serves as a tool of both tradition and transgression.

Synopsis:

"This scholarly book makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of the content and role of a key text. It also shows how the text has given rise to different interpretations over the centuries. It is of value for scholars and practitioners of Buddhism alike."--Sue Hamilton, Kings College, London

Synopsis:

The Heart Sutra is perhaps the most famous Buddhist text, traditionally regarded as a potent expression of emptiness and of the Buddha's perfect wisdom. This brief, seemingly simple work was the subject of more commentaries in Asia than any other sutra. In Elaborations on Emptiness, Donald Lopez explores for the first time the elaborate philosophical and ritual uses of the Heart Sutra in India, Tibet, and the West.

Included here are full translations of the eight extant Indian commentaries. Interspersed with the translations are six essays that examine the unusual roles the Heart Sutra has played: it has been used as a mantra, an exorcism text, a tantric meditation guide, and as the material for comparative philosophy. Taken together, the translations and essays that form Elaborations on Emptiness demonstrate why commentary is as central to modern scholarship on Buddhism as it was for ancient Buddhists. Lopez reveals unexpected points of instability and contradiction in the Heart Sutra, which, in the end, turns out to be the most malleable of texts, where the logic of commentary serves as a tool of both tradition and transgression.

Table of Contents

Technical Note and Acknowledgments
Introduction3
1Who Heard the Heart Sutra?19
2The Commentaries of Vimalamitra and Atisa47
3The Heart Sutra as Tantra78
4The Commentaries of Kamalasila and Srisimha105
5The Heart Sutra as Sadhana116
6The Commentaries of Jnanamitra and Prasastrasena141
7The Heart Sutra's Mantra165
8The Commentaries of Mahajana and Vajrapani187
9The Heart Sutra as Exorcism216
10Commentators Ancient and Postmodern239
Index261

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691001883
Author:
Lopez, Donald S., Jr.
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Lopez, Donald S., Jr. JR. JR. JR. JR. JR
Author:
Lopez, Donald S., Jr. JR. JR. JR. JR.
Author:
Lopez, Donald S.
Author:
Lopez, Donald S., Jr. JR. JR.
Author:
Lopez, Donald S., Jr. JR. JR.
Author:
Lopez, Donald S., Jr. JR. JR. JR. JR.
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Buddhism
Subject:
Meaning (philosophy)
Subject:
Sutras
Subject:
Buddhism - General
Subject:
Asian and Asian American Studies
Subject:
Mind, Body & Spirit
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Religion Eastern-Buddhism
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
October 1998
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Pages:
280
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 14 oz

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Middle Readers » General
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Religion » Eastern Religions » Buddhism » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Sutras
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Astrophysics

Elaborations on Emptiness: Uses of the Heart Sutra New Trade Paper
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$50.25 In Stock
Product details 280 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691001883 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "This scholarly book makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of the content and role of a key text. It also shows how the text has given rise to different interpretations over the centuries. It is of value for scholars and practitioners of Buddhism alike."--Sue Hamilton, Kings College, London
"Synopsis" by , The Heart Sutra is perhaps the most famous Buddhist text, traditionally regarded as a potent expression of emptiness and of the Buddha's perfect wisdom. This brief, seemingly simple work was the subject of more commentaries in Asia than any other sutra. In Elaborations on Emptiness, Donald Lopez explores for the first time the elaborate philosophical and ritual uses of the Heart Sutra in India, Tibet, and the West.

Included here are full translations of the eight extant Indian commentaries. Interspersed with the translations are six essays that examine the unusual roles the Heart Sutra has played: it has been used as a mantra, an exorcism text, a tantric meditation guide, and as the material for comparative philosophy. Taken together, the translations and essays that form Elaborations on Emptiness demonstrate why commentary is as central to modern scholarship on Buddhism as it was for ancient Buddhists. Lopez reveals unexpected points of instability and contradiction in the Heart Sutra, which, in the end, turns out to be the most malleable of texts, where the logic of commentary serves as a tool of both tradition and transgression.

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