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In this beautifully illustrated book, eminent art historian John Rosenfield explores the life and art of the Japanese Buddhist monk Hozan Tankai (1629-1716). Through a close examination of sculptures, paintings, ritual implements, and primary documents, the book demonstrates how the Shingon prelate's artistic activities were central to his important place in the world of late-seventeenth-century Japanese Buddhism. At the same time, the book shows the richness of early modern Japanese Buddhist art, which has often been neglected and undervalued.
Tankai was firmly committed to the spiritual disciplines of mountain Buddhism--seclusion, severe asceticism, meditation, and ritual. But in the 1680s, after being appointed head of a small, run-down temple on the slopes of Mount Ikoma, near Nara, he revealed that he was also a gifted artist and administrator. He embarked on an ambitious campaign of constructing temple halls and commissioning icons, and the Ikoma temple, soon renamed H?zanji, became a vibrant center of popular Buddhism, as it remains today. He was a remarkably productive artist, and by the end of his life more than 150 works were associated with him.
A major reconsideration of a key artistic and religious figure, "Preserving the Dharma" brings much-needed attention to an overlooked period of Japanese Buddhist art.
The rise, fall, and modern resurgence of an enigmatic book revered by yoga enthusiasts around the world Consisting of fewer than two hundred verses written in an obscure if not impenetrable language and style, Patanjali's Yoga Sutra is extolled by the yoga establishment as a perennial classic and guide to yoga practice-except it isn't. Virtually forgotten in India for hundreds of years and maligned when it was first discovered in the West, the Yoga Sutra has been elevated to its present iconic status only in the course of the past forty years. David Gordon White retraces the strange and circuitous journey of this confounding work from its ancient origins to today, bringing to life the improbable cast of characters whose interpretations and misappropriations of the Yoga Sutra led to its revered place in contemporary popular culture.
From the early years of the Common Era to 1700, Indian intellectuals explored with unparalleled subtlety the place of emotion in art. Their investigations led to the deconstruction of art's formal structures and broader inquiries into the pleasure of tragic tales. Rasa, or taste, was the word they chose to describe art's aesthetics, and their passionate effort to pin down these phenomena became its own remarkable act of creation. This book is the first in any language to follow the evolution of rasa from its origins in dramaturgical thought-a concept for the stage-to its flourishing in literary thought-a concept for the page. A Rasa Reader incorporates primary texts by every significant thinker on classical Indian aesthetics, many never translated before. The arrangement of the selections captures the intellectual dynamism that has powered this debate for centuries. Headnotes explain the meaning and significance of each text, a comprehensive introduction summarizes major threads in intellectual-historical terms, and critical endnotes and an extensive bibliography add further depth to the selections. The Sanskrit theory of emotion in art is one of the most sophisticated in the ancient world, a precursor of the work being done today by critics and philosophers of aesthetics. A Rasa Reader's conceptual detail, historical precision, and clarity will appeal to any scholar interested in a full portrait of global intellectual development. A Rasa Reader is the inaugural book in the Historical Sourcebooks in Classical Indian Thought series, edited by Sheldon Pollock. These text-based books guide readers through the most important forms of classical Indian thought, from epistemology, rhetoric, and hermeneutics to astral science, yoga, and medicine. Each volume provides fresh translations of key works, headnotes to contextualize selections, a comprehensive analysis of major lines of development within the discipline, and exegetical and text-critical endnotes, as well as a bibliography. Designed for comparativists and interested general readers, Historical Sourcebooks is also a great resource for advanced scholars seeking authoritative commentary on challenging works.
Echoes of Enlightenment: The Life and Legacy of Soenam Peldren explores the issues of gender and sainthood raised by the discovery of a previously unpublished "liberation story" of the fourteenth-century Tibetan female Buddhist practitioner Soenam Peldren. Born in 1328, Peldren spent most of her adult life living and traveling as a nomad in eastern Tibet until her death in 1372. Existing scholarship suggests that she was illiterate, lacking religious education, and unconnected to established religious institutions. That, and the fact that as a woman her claims of religious authority would have been constantly questioned, makes Soenam Peldren's overall success in legitimizing her claims of divine identity all the more remarkable. Today the site of her death is recognized as sacred by local residents. In this study, Suzanne Bessenger draws on the newly discovered biography of the saint, approaching it through several different lenses. Bessenger seeks to understand how the written record of the saint's life is shaped both by the specific hagiographical agendas of its multiple authors and by the dictates of the genres of Tibetan religious literature, including biography and poetry. She considers Peldren's enduring historical legacy as a fascinating piece of Tibetan history that reveals much about the social and textual machinations of saint production. Finally, she identifies Peldren as one of the earliest recorded instances of a historical Tibetan woman successfully using the uniquely Tibetan hermeneutic of deity emanation to achieve religious authority.
Nagarjuna's renowned 27-chapter 'Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way' ('Mulamadhyamakakarika'), the definitive, touchstone presentation of the doctrine of emptiness, is the foundational text of the Madhyamaka school of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy. Professors Siderits and Katsura prepared this translation using the four surviving Indian commentaries in an attempt to reconstruct an interpretation of its enigmatic verses that adheres as closely as possible to that of its earliest proponents.
25th Anniversary Edition Over 3 Million Copies Sold 'I couldn't give this book a higher recommendation' BILLY CONNOLLY Written by the Buddhist meditation master and popular international speaker Sogyal Rinpoche, this highly acclaimed book clarifies the majestic vision of life and death that underlies the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It includes not only a lucid, inspiring and complete introduction to the practice of meditation, but also advice on how to care for the dying with love and compassion, and how to bring them help of a spiritual kind. But there is much more besides in this classic work, which was written to inspire all who read it to begin the journey to enlightenment and so become 'servants of peace'.
This volume offers a critical analysis of one the most ambitious editorial projects of late Victorian Britain: the edition of the fifty substantial volumes of the Sacred Books of the East (1879-1910). The series was edited and conceptualized by Friedrich Max Muller (1823-1900), a world-famous German-born philologist, orientalist, and religious scholar. Muller and his influential Oxford colleagues secured financial support from the India Office of the British Empire and from Oxford University Press. Arie L. Molendijk documents how the series has become a landmark in the development of the humanities-especially the study of religion and language-in the second half of the nineteenth century. The edition also contributed significantly to the Western perception of the 'religious' or even 'mystic' East, which was textually represented in English translations. The series was a token of the rise of 'big science' and textualized the East, by selecting their 'sacred books' and bringing them under the power of western scholarship.
In this book, the author presents in historical outline, the genesis, development and structural analysis of the Tantric tradition in India and its place in the Indian religious and philosophical systems. It studies the different aspects of Tantrism, its vastness and intricacies, its heterogeneous and contradictory elements and gives a historical perspective to the conglomeration of ideas and practices through space and time. After an introduction to the meaning of Tantra, the work outlines the various texts which comprise Tantric literature. The development of Tantrism is traced from pre-Vedic times through the Vedic, post-Vedic, early Buddhist and Jain periods down to the evolution of the concept of Sakti in Indian religious thinking. The sequence is carried forward by a study of the development of Tantric Buddhism in India and Tantric Ideas and practices in medieval religious systems. The Lokayata tradition and its connection with Tantrism and finally the emergence of sophisticated Tantras with Sakta orientation completes this historical study of Tantrism through the ages. This important work also incorporates a review on Tantric art and a glossary of Tantric technical terms with reference to text, and intermeniaries.
Buddhism is one of the major world religions today, with approximately 500 million followers worldwide and nearly 300,000 in the UK. Following the Buddha's Enlightenment in north India in the 5th century, Buddhism was adopted across Asia and is now widely practised in the West, where many people embrace a Buddhist lifestyle or select practices such as meditation. Accompanying the largest ever display of the British Library's Buddhist treasures, Buddhism introduces the history, philosophy, geographical spread and practices of Buddhism, exploring its relevance in the modern world. Illustrated throughout with astonishingly beautiful scrolls, manuscripts and printed books, Buddhism presents the idea of the `Middle Path' - promoting mindfulness, compassion, tolerance and non-violence - with a renewed relevance for a 21st-century reader.
'The ten pillars of Buddhism' are ten ethical principles which together provide a comprehensive moral guide. Considered in the first part collectively and in the second individually, Sangharakshita highlights the depth of these apparently simple teachings. This work features a new introduction. With a timeless design and brand new introductions, "Sangharakshita Classics" refreshes these important and beloved works by Sangharakshita. First published twenty years or more ago, they are as relevant now as when they were first written.
Introducing Buddhism is the ideal resource for all students beginning the study of this fascinating religious tradition. It explains the religion's key teachings and traces its historical development and geographical spread of from its foundations up to present day. Charles S. Prebish and Damien Keown, two of today's leading Buddhist scholars, devote a chapter each to the major regions where Buddhism has flourished - India, South-east Asia, East Asia and Tibet. In addition, contemporary concerns are discussed, including important and relevant topics such as Engaged Buddhism, Buddhist Ethics, Buddhism and the Western World and Meditation.
This new edition includes more material on the different schools of Buddhism including explanations in graphic form, monastic life, popular religion, Buddhist ethics, ritual, the Bodhisattva Path, the Jatakas, the transmission of Buddhism, and class, gender and race.
Introducing Buddhism includes illustrations, extracts from original sources, summary boxes, questions for discussion, suggestions for further reading and a companion website at www.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415550017
Charles S. Prebish is Charles Redd Chair of Religious Studies at Utah State University. Damien Keown is Professor of Buddhist Ethics at Goldsmith's College, University of London. They are the editors of the Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Routledge, 2007).
How can we bring more sense of significance into our lives? What meaning does life have in the face of suffering or death? Do we have a 'why' to live for? Sarvananda takes us from the challenge of finding meaning to a need to engage with the wider world, by drawing a parallel with the Buddha's own quest. Using references from the 20th Century, Sarvananda covers many of the ways in which we seek meaning, citing writers & thinkers such as Akira Kurosawa, Wordsworth and Woody Allen. In so doing he moves from individual understanding to the principles of Buddhist teaching & demonstrates in a calm, friendly way how to apply the teachings practically, before finally taking the reader to the deeper reality of clear vision. It is a concise, witty exploration of what truly matters.
The Bhagavad Gita is the best known of all the Indian scriptures, and Eknath Easwaran's best-selling translation is reliable, readable, and profound. Easwaran's 55-page introduction places the Bhagavad Gita in its historical setting, and brings out the universality and timelessness of its teachings. Chapter introductions clarify key concepts, and notes and a glossary explain Sanskrit terms. Easwaran grew up in the Hindu tradition in India, and learned Sanskrit from a young age. He was a professor of English literature before coming to the West on a Fulbright scholarship. A gifted teacher, he is recognized as an authority on the Indian classics and world mysticism. The Bhagavad Gita opens, dramatically, on a battlefield, as the warrior Arjuna turns in anguish to his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, for answers to the fundamental questions of life. Yet, as Easwaran points out, the Gita is not what it seems - it's not a dialogue between two mythical figures at the dawn of Indian history. "The battlefield is a perfect backdrop, but the Gita's subject is the war within, the struggle for self-mastery that every human being must wage if he or she is to emerge from life victorious." Arjuna's struggle in the Bhagavad Gita is acutely modern. He has lost his way on the battlefield of life and turns to find the path again by asking direct, uncompromising questions of his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, the Lord himself. Krishna replies in 700 verses of sublime instruction on living and dying, loving and working, and the nature of the soul. Easwaran shows the Gita's relevance to us today as we strive, like Arjuna, to do what is right. "No one in modern times is more qualified - no, make that 'as qualified' - to translate the epochal Classics of Indian Spirituality than Eknath Easwaran. And the reason is clear. It is impossible to get to the heart of those classics unless you live them, and he did live them. My admiration of the man and his works is boundless." - Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions.
In this deeply learned work, Toshihiko Izutsu compares the metaphysical and mystical thought-systems of Sufism and Taoism and discovers that, although historically unrelated, the two share features and patterns which prove fruitful for a transhistorical dialogue. His original and suggestive approach opens new doors in the study of comparative philosophy and mysticism. Izutsu begins with Ibn 'Arabi, analyzing and isolating the major ontological concepts of this most challenging of Islamic thinkers. Then, in the second part of the book, Izutsu turns his attention to an analysis of parallel concepts of two great Taoist thinkers, Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu. Only after laying bare the fundamental structure of each world view does Izutsu embark, in the final section of the book, upon a comparative analysis. Only thus, he argues, can he be sure to avoid easy and superficial comparisons. Izutsu maintains that both the Sufi and Taoist world views are based on two pivots--the Absolute Man and the Perfect Man--with a whole system of oncological thought being developed between these two pivots. Izutsu discusses similarities in these ontological systems and advances the hypothesis that certain patterns of mystical and metaphysical thought may be shared even by systems with no apparent historical connection. This second edition of Sufism and Taoism is the first published in the United States. The original edition, published in English and in Japan, was prized by the few English-speaking scholars who knew of it as a model in the field of comparative philosophy. Making available in English much new material on both sides of its comparison, Sufism and Taoism richly fulfills Izutsu's motivating desire "to open a new vista in the domain of comparative philosophy."
A revealing look at the Jewish American encounter with Buddhism Today, many Jewish Americans are embracing a dual religious identity, practicing Buddhism while also staying connected to their Jewish roots. This book tells the story of Judaism's encounter with Buddhism in the United States, showing how it has given rise to new contemplative forms within American Judaism-and shaped the way Americans understand and practice Buddhism. Taking readers from the nineteenth century to today, Emily Sigalow traces the history of these two traditions in America and explains how they came together. She argues that the distinctive social position of American Jews led them to their unique engagement with Buddhism, and describes how people incorporate aspects of both into their everyday lives. Drawing on a wealth of original in-depth interviews conducted across the nation, Sigalow explores how Jewish American Buddhists experience their dual religious identities. She reveals how Jewish Buddhists confound prevailing expectations of minority religions in America. Rather than simply adapting to the majority religion, Jews and Buddhists have borrowed and integrated elements from each other, and in doing so they have left an enduring mark on the American consciousness. American JewBu highlights the leading role that American Jews have played in the popularization of meditation and mindfulness in the United States, and the profound impact that these two venerable traditions have had on one another.
In this original study, Joshua Brown seeks to demonstrate the fruitfulness of Chinese philosophy for Christian theology by using Confucianism to reread, reassess, and ultimately expand the Christology of the twentieth-century Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. Taking up the critically important Confucian idea of xiao (filial piety), Brown argues that this concept can be used to engage anew Balthasar's treatment of the doctrine of Christ's filial obedience, thus leading us to new Christological insights. To this end, Brown first offers in-depth studies of the early Confucian idea of xiao and of Balthasar's Christology on their own terms and in their own contexts. He then proposes that Confucianism affirms certain aspects of Balthasar's insights into Christ's filial obedience. Brown also shows how the Confucian understanding of xiao provides reasons to criticize some of Balthasar's controversial claims, such as his account of intra-Trinitarian obedience. Ultimately, by rereading Balthasar's Christology through the lens of xiao, Balthasar in Light of Early Confucianism employs Confucian and Balthasarian resources to push the Christological conversation forward. Students and scholars of systematic theology, theologically educated readers interested in the encounter between Christianity and Chinese culture, and comparative theologians will all want to read this exceptional book.
This wide-ranging and powerful book argues that Theravada Buddhism provides ways of thinking about the self that can reinvigorate the humanities and offer broader insights into how to learn and how to act. Steven Collins argues that Buddhist philosophy should be approached in the spirit of its historical teachers and visionaries, who saw themselves not as preservers of an archaic body of rules but as part of a timeless effort to understand what it means to lead a worthy life. He contends that Buddhism should be studied philosophically, literarily, and ethically using its own vocabulary and rhetorical tools. Approached in this manner, Buddhist notions of the self help us rethink contemporary ideas of self-care and the promotion of human flourishing. Collins details the insights of Buddhist texts and practices that promote the ideal of active and engaged learning, offering an expansive and lyrical reflection on Theravada approaches to meditation, asceticism, and physical training. He explores views of monastic life and contemplative practices as complementing and reinforcing textual learning, and argues that the Buddhist tenet that the study of philosophy and ethics involves both rigorous reading and an ascetic lifestyle has striking resonance with modern and postmodern ideas. A bold reappraisal of the history of Buddhist literature and practice, Wisdom as a Way of Life offers students and scholars across the disciplines a nuanced understanding of the significance of Buddhist ways of knowing for the world today.
The Upanisads are the central scriptures of Hinduism. They represent some of the most important literary products in the history of Indian culture and religion, both because they played a critical role in the development of religious ideas in India and because they are our greatest source for the religious, social, and intellectual history of ancient India. Composed at a time of great social, economic, and religious change, the Upanisads document the transition from the archaic ritualism of the Veda into new religious ideas and institutions. The first major English translation of the ancient Upanisads for over half a century, Olivelle's work incorporates the most recent historical and philological scholarship. The introduction and detailed notes make this edition ideal for the non-specialist as well as for students of Indian religions. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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