Synopses & Reviews
This comprehensive, compact, lucid, and faithful account of the Buddha's teachings persistently enjoys great popularity in colleges, universities, and theological schools both here and abroad. "An exposition of Buddhism conceived in a resolutely modern spirit." from the Foreword.
"For years," says the Journal of the Buddhist Society, "the newcomer to Buddhism has lacked a simple and reliable introduction to the complexities of the subject. Dr. Rahula's What the Buddha Taught fills the need as only could be done by one having a firm grasp of the vast material to be sifted. It is a model of what a book should be that is addressed first of all to 'the educated and intelligent reader.' Authoritative and clear, logical and sober, this study is as comprehensive as it is masterly."
A classic introductory book to Buddhism, What the Buddha Taught, contains a selection of illustrative texts from the original Pali texts, including the Suttas and the Dhammapada (specially translated by the author), sixteen illustrations, and a bibliography, glossary, and index.
Dr. Rahula returns to the earliest recorded teachings of the Buddha to provide us with a solid foundation into a fascinating religion. . . . Provides a terrific introduction to the Buddhas teachings.” Paul Blairon, California Literary Review
Includes bibliographical references (p. 140-141) and index.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
1 CHAPTER I
The Buddhist Attitude of Mind
Man is supreme-One is one's refuge-Responsibility-Doubt-Freedom of Thought-Tolerance-Is Buddhism Religion or Philosophy?-Truth has no label-No blind faith or belief, but seeing and understanding-No attachment even to Truth-Parable of the raft-Imaginary speculations useless-Practical attitude-Parable of the wounded man
The Four Noble Truths
16 CHAPTER II
The First Noble Truth: Dukkha
Buddhism neither pessimistic nor optimistic, but realistic-Meaning of 'Dukkha'-Three aspects of experience-Three aspects of 'Dukkha'-What is a 'being'?-Five Aggregates-No spirit opposed to matter-Flux-Thinker and Thought-Has life a beginning?
29 CHAPTER III
The Second Noble Truth: Samudaya: 'The Arising of Dukkha'
Definition-Four Nutriments-Root cause of suffering and continuity-Nature of arising and cessation-Karma and Rebirth-What is death?-What is rebirth?
35 CHAPTER IV
The Third Noble Truth: Nirodha: 'The Cessation of Dukkha'
What is Nirvana?-Language and Absolute Truth-Definitions of Nirvana-Nirvana not negative-Nirvana as Absolute Truth-What is Absolute Truth?-Truth is not negative-Nirvana and Samsara-Nirvana not a result-What is there after Nirvana?-Incorrect expressions-What happens to an Arahant after death?-If no Self, who realizes Nirvana?-Nirvana in this life
45 CHAPTER V
The Fourth Noble Truth: Magga: 'The Path'
Middle Path or Noble Eightfold Path-Compassion and Wisdom-Ethical Conduct-Mental Discipline-Wisdom-Two sorts of Understanding-Four Functions regarding the Four Noble Truths
51 CHAPTER VI
The Doctrine of No-Soul: Anatta
What is Soul or Self?-God and Soul: Self-protection and Self-preservation-Teaching 'Against the Current'-Analytical and Synthetical methods-Conditioned Genesis-Question of Free-will-Two kinds of Truths-Some erroneous views-The Buddha definitely denies 'Atman'-The Buddha's silence-The idea of Self a vague impression-Correct attitude-If no Self, who gets the result of Karma?-Doctrine of Anatta not negative
67 CHAPTER VII
'Meditation' or Mental Culture: Bhavana
Erroneous views-Meditation is no escape from life-Two forms of Meditation-The Setting-up of Mindfulness-'Meditation' on breathing-Mindfulness of activities-Living in the present moment'-Meditation' on Sensations-on Mind-on Ethical, Spiritual and Intellectual subjects
76 CHAPTER VIII
What the Buddha Taught and the World Today
Erroneous views-Buddhism for all-In daily life-Family and social life-Lay life held in high esteem-How to become a Buddhist-Social and economic problems-Poverty: cause of crime-Material and spiritual progress-Four kinds of happiness for laymen-On politics, war and peace-Non-violence-The ten duties of a ruler-The Buddha's Message-Is it practical?-Asoka's Example-The Aim of Buddhism
91 Selected Texts
92 Setting in Motion the Wheel of Truth (Dhammacakkappavattana-sutta)
95 The Fire Sermon (Adittapariyaya-sutta)
97 Universal Love (Metta-sutta)
98 Blessings (Mangala-sutta)
99 Getting rid of All Cares and Troubles (Sabbasava-sutta)
106 The Parable of the Piece of Cloth (Vatthupama-sutta)
109 The Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipatthana-sutta)
119 Advice to Sigala (Sigalovada-sutta)
125 The Words of Truth (Dhammapada)
136 The Last Words of the Buddha (from the Mahaparinibbana-sutta)
140 Selected Bibliography