A compact summary like Probing the Sutras has been sorely needed for some time, as more and more Westerners have dipped into meditation without any understanding of its predominantly Buddhist scriptural underpinning. This concise, well-informed introduction to the history and contents of eleven seminal Buddhist sutras also provides suggestions for reflection, meditation, and practical applications related to the key teachings of each scripture. Readers of Probing the Sutras will be able to develop a framework for understanding Buddhist doctrines--and see the unique pearls of wisdom contained within each sutra.
The Buddhist masterpiece Ornament of the Great Vehicle Sūtras, often referred to by its Sanskrit title, Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra, is part of a collection known as the Five Maitreya Teachings, a set of philosophical works that have become classics of the Indian Buddhist tradition. Maitreya, the Buddha’s regent, is held to have entrusted these profound and vast instructions to the master Asaṅga in the heavenly realm of Tuṣita. The Ornament provides a comprehensive description of the bodhisattva’s view, meditation, and enlightened activities. Bodhisattvas are beings who, out of vast love for all sentient beings, have dedicated themselves to the task of becoming fully awakened buddhas, capable of helping all beings in innumerable and vast ways to become enlightened themselves. To fully awaken requires practicing great generosity, patience, energy, discipline, concentration, and wisdom, and Maitreya’s text explains what these enlightened qualities are and how to develop them. This volume includes commentaries by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham, whose discussions illuminate the subtleties of the root text and provide valuable insight into how to practice the way of the bodhisattva. Drawing on the Indian masters Vasubandhu and, in particular, Sthiramati, Mipham explains the Ornament with eloquence and brilliant clarity. This commentary is among his most treasured works.
Some 2000 years ago Buddhism experienced a major reformation through a movement called the Mahayana, or "Great Vehicle," which dominated religious through in much of Asia for many centuries and still exerts considerable influence. The basic Mahayana texts, sermons ascribed to the Buddha and called "sutras" in Sanskrit, discussed the "perfect wisdom." The "Large Sutra on Perfect Wisdom" took shape between 50 and 2000 A.D. in southern India during one of the most momentous outbursts of religious creativity in human history.
Often cited as perhaps the best-known Mahayana Buddhist sutra, the Heart Sutra has been chanted daily in Buddhist monasteries in Asia for more than a thousand years. This sutra, the “heart” of the larger Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Wisdom) Sutra, describes the experience of the liberation of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteśvara, through the insight gained from deep meditation into the fundamental emptiness of all phenomena. With commentary by the Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua, one of the foremost Tripitaka and Chan masters of Chinese Buddhism in the United States. Translated by Ronald Epstein, PhD.
A landmark new translation and edition Written almost two millennia ago, Patañjali's work focuses on how to attain the direct experience and realization of the purusa: the innermost individual self, or soul. As the classical treatise on the Hindu understanding of mind and consciousness and on the technique of meditation, it has exerted immense influence over the religious practices of Hinduism in India and, more recently, in the West. Edwin F. Bryant's translation is clear, direct, and exact. Each sutra is presented as Sanskrit text, transliteration, and precise English translation, and is followed by Bryant's authoritative commentary, which is grounded in the classical understanding of yoga and conveys the meaning and depth of the sutras in a user-friendly manner for a Western readership without compromising scholarly rigor or traditional authenticity. In addition, Bryant presents insights drawn from the primary traditional commentaries on the sutras written over the last millennium and a half.
The Lotus Sutra is regarded as one of the world's great religious scriptures and most influential texts. It's a seminal work in the development of Buddhism throughout East Asia and, by extension, in the development of Mahayana Buddhism throughout the world. Taking place in a vast and fantastical cosmic setting, the Lotus Sutra places emphasis on skillfully doing whatever is needed to serve and compassionately care for others, on breaking down distinctions between the fully enlightened buddha and the bodhisattva who vows to postpone salvation until all beings may share it, and especially on each and every being's innate capacity to become a buddha. Gene Reeves's new translation appeals to readers with little or no familiarity with technical Buddhist vocabulary, as well as long-time practitioners and students. In addition, this remarkable volume includes the full "threefold" text of this classic.
The title Lankavatara might mean entering Lanka (Perhaps referring to the temporary Mahayana period of Ceylon), suggesting that the doctrine of this scripture are possibly consistent with earlier Buddhism preserved in the Pali language. Suzuki has greatly helped the reader of the basic scripture by discussing the main ideas. He tells how to study this scripture, compares it with the popular Zen Buddhism discusses such typical and important doctrines as Mind-only the Triple body of the Buddha and many minor topics. Suzuki is both an exacting scholar and an understanding exponent of these difficult concepts. He adds a Sanskrit-Chinese-English Glossary, and also an Index. This work is essential for grasping the main ideas of the scripture.