reason and experience in tibetan buddhism mabja jangchub tsondru and the traditions of the middle way

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Reason And Experience In Tibetan Buddhism

Author : Thomas Doctor
ISBN : 9781317917328
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 67. 47 MB
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Based on newly discovered texts, this book explores the barely known but tremendously influential thought of the Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Mabja Jangchub Tsöndrü (d. 1185).This Tibetan Buddhist master exercised significant influence on the interpretation of Madhyamaka thinking in Tibet during the formative phase of Tibetan Buddhism and plays a key role in the religious thought of his day and beyond. The book studies the framework of Mabja’s philosophical project, holding it up against the works of both his own Madhyamaka teachers as well as those of central authors of the later "classical period". The emerging account of the evolution of Madhyamaka in Tibet reveals a striking pattern of transformative appropriations. This, in turn, affords us insights into the nature and function of tradition in Tibetan religious culture and Mahāyāna Buddhism at large. Innovation is demanded for both the advancement and consolidation of tradition. This ground-breaking book is an invaluable contribution to the study of Tibetan philosophy. It is of great interest to Buddhist practitioners, specialists in Buddhist philosophy and Tibetan Buddhism.

Teaching Buddhism

Author : Gary Deangelis
ISBN : 9780199373093
Genre :
File Size : 35. 56 MB
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Buddhist studies is a rapidly changing field of research, constantly transforming and adapting to new scholarship. This creates a problem for instructors, both in a university setting and in monastic schools, as they try to develop a curriculum based on a body of scholarship that continually shifts in focus and expands to new areas. Teaching Buddhism establishes a dialogue between the community of instructors of Buddhism and leading scholars in the field who are updating, revising, and correcting earlier understandings of Buddhist traditions. Each chapter presents new ideas within a particular theme of Buddhist studies and explores how courses can be enhanced with these insights. Contributors in the first section focus on the typical approaches, figures, and traditions in undergraduate courses, such as the role of philosophy in Buddhism, Nagarjuna, Yogacara Buddhism, tantric traditions, and Zen Buddhism. They describe the impact of recent developments-like new studies in the cognitive sciences-on scholarship in those areas. Part Two examines how political engagement and ritual practice have shaped the tradition throughout its history. Focus then shifts to the issues facing instructors of Buddhism-dilemmas for the scholar-practitioner in the academic and monastic classroom, the tradition's possible roles in teaching feminism and diversity, and how to present the tradition in the context of a world religions course. In the final section, contributors offer stories of their own experiences teaching, paying particular attention to the ways in which American culture has impacted them. They discuss the development of courses on American Buddhism; using course material on the family and children; the history and trajectory of a Buddhist-Christian dialog; and Buddhist bioethics, environmentalism, economic development, and social justice. In synthesizing this vast and varied body of research, the contributors in this volume have provided an invaluable service to the field

Tibetan Buddhism In Diaspora

Author : Ana Cristina O. Lopes
ISBN : 9781317572817
Genre : Religion
File Size : 86. 16 MB
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The imperialist ambitions of China – which invaded Tibet in the late 1940s – have sparked the spectacular spread of Tibetan Buddhism worldwide, and especially in western countries. This work is a study on the malleability of a particular Buddhist tradition; on its adaptability in new contexts. The book analyses the nature of the Tibetan Buddhism in the Diaspora. It examines how the re-signification of Tibetan Buddhist practices and organizational structures in the present refers back to the dismantlement of the Tibetan state headed by the Dalai Lama and the fragmentation of Tibetan Buddhist religious organizations in general. It includes extensive multi-sited fieldwork conducted in the United States, Brazil, Europe, and Asia and a detailed analysis of contemporary documents relating to the global spread of Tibetan Buddhism. The author demonstrates that there is a "de-institutionalized" and "de-territorialized" project of political power and religious organization, which, among several other consequences, engenders the gradual "autonomization" of lamas and lineages inside the religious field of Tibetan Buddhism. Thus, a spectre of these previous institutions continues to exist outside their original contexts, and they are continually activated in ever-new settings. Using a combination of two different academic traditions – namely, the Brazilian anthropological tradition and the American Buddhist studies tradition – it investigates the "process of cultural re-signification" of Tibetan Buddhism in the context of its Diaspora. Thus, it will be a valuable resource to students and scholars of Asian Religion, Asian Studies and Buddhism.

Women In P Li Buddhism

Author : Pascale Engelmajer
ISBN : 9781317617990
Genre : Religion
File Size : 57. 27 MB
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The Pāli tradition presents a diverse and often contradictory picture of women. This book examines women’s roles as they are described in the Pāli canon and its commentaries. Taking into consideration the wider socio-religious context and drawing from early brahmanical literature and epigraphical findings, it contrasts these descriptions with the doctrinal account of women’s spiritual abilities. The book explores gender in the Pāli texts in order to delineate what it means to be a woman both in the context in which the texts were composed and in the context of their ultimate goal - that of achieving escape from the round of rebirths. The critical investigation focuses on the internal relationships and dynamics of one tradition and employs a novel methodology, which the author calls "critical sympathy". This assumes that the tradition’s teaching is valid for all, in particular that its main goal, nibbāṇa, is accessible to all human beings. By considering whether and how women’s roles fit within this path, the author examines whether women have spiritual agency not only as bhikkhunīs (Buddhist nuns), but also as wives and mothers. It offers a new understanding that focuses on how the tradition construes women’s traditional roles within an interdependent community. It aims to understand how what many scholars have seen as contradictory and inconsistent characterizations of women in Buddhism have been accepted and endorsed by the Pāli tradition. With an aim to show that the Pāli canon offers an account of women that is doctrinally coherent and consistent with its sociological facts, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Buddhism and Asian Religion.

Engendering The Buddhist State

Author : Ashley Thompson
ISBN : 9781317218203
Genre : Religion
File Size : 79. 69 MB
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Drawing from more than a decade of field and archival research, this monograph concerns Cambodian cultural history and historiography, with an ultimate aim of broadening and deepening bases for understanding the Cambodian Theravadin politico-cultural complex. The book takes the form of an interdisciplinary analysis of performative and representational strategies for constituting social collectivities, largely developed at Angkor. The analysis involves extended close readings of a wide range of cultural artefacts including epigraphic and manuscript texts, sculpture and ritual practices. The author proposes a critical re-evaluation of dominant paradigms of Cambodian historiography in view of engendering new histories, or hybrid histories, which make room for previously absent perspectives and voices, while developing new theoretical tools engaging with and partially derived from "indigenous" narrative practices in the broadest sense. In this history-making process the historical event is shown to never be entirely separable from its aesthetic representation. Particular attention is paid to the roles of sexual difference in such (re)constructions of history. The book presents a theory of power capable of accounting for the historical phenomena by which vernacular cultures appropriate, subvert and submit to cosmopolitan forces. It charts out a novel approach to the study of classical Southeast Asian materials, and is of interest to students and scholars of Asian Art, Religion and Philosophy, Buddhism and Southeast Asian History.

The Fundamental Wisdom Of The Middle Way

Author : Nagarjuna
ISBN : 0199766320
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 36. 98 MB
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The Buddhist saint N=ag=arjuna, who lived in South India in approximately the second century CE, is undoubtedly the most important, influential, and widely studied Mah=ay=ana Buddhist philosopher. His many works include texts addressed to lay audiences, letters of advice to kings, and a set of penetrating metaphysical and epistemological treatises. His greatest philosophical work, the M?lamadhyamikak=arik=a--read and studied by philosophers in all major Buddhist schools of Tibet, China, Japan, and Korea--is one of the most influential works in the history of Indian philosophy. Now, in The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way, Jay L. Garfield provides a clear and eminently readable translation of N=ag=arjuna's seminal work, offering those with little or no prior knowledge of Buddhist philosophy a view into the profound logic of the M?lamadhyamikak=arik=a. Garfield presents a superb translation of the Tibetan text of M?lamadhyamikak=arik=a in its entirety, and a commentary reflecting the Tibetan tradition through which N=ag=arjuna's philosophical influence has largely been transmitted. Illuminating the systematic character of N=ag=arjuna's reasoning, Garfield shows how N=ag=arjuna develops his doctrine that all phenomena are empty of inherent existence, that is, than nothing exists substantially or independently. Despite lacking any essence, he argues, phenomena nonetheless exist conventionally, and that indeed conventional existence and ultimate emptiness are in fact the same thing. This represents the radical understanding of the Buddhist doctrine of the two truths, or two levels of reality. He offers a verse-by-verse commentary that explains N=ag=arjuna's positions and arguments in the language of Western metaphysics and epistemology, and connects N=ag=arjuna's concerns to those of Western philosophers such as Sextus, Hume, and Wittgenstein. An accessible translation of the foundational text for all Mah=ay=ana Buddhism, The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way offers insight to all those interested in the nature of reality.

Ornament Of Reason

Author : Mabja Jangchub Tsondru
ISBN : 9781559397421
Genre : Religion
File Size : 31. 62 MB
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In the Root of the Middle Way, Nagarjuna presents a magical method of reasoning, inviting everyone who encounters these lucid and fearless contemplations to follow him on a journey to the heart of transcendent insight. Inspired by the Buddha's teachings on profound emptiness in the Prajnaparamita Sutras, Nagarjuna sets out to probe what appears to be the most fundamental facts of the world, challenging us to question even our most deeply ingrained ideas and what seem to be self-evident facts. In a series of unassuming and penetrating investigations, he asks basic questions such as: "What does it mean for something to occur? What is meant by 'going' or by 'coming'? Does the eye see? Does fire burn fuel? What is an example of being right? What does it mean to be wrong? Nagarjuna extends an invitation to open-minded and unprejudiced inquiry, and from his reader he asks for nothing more and nothing less than sincere and honest answers. Yet where are our answers? Once we begin to follow Nagarjuna's clear and direct steps, the gateway to the inconceivable emerges—perhaps unexpectedly. The present work contains Nagarjuna's verses on the Middle Way accompanied by Mabja Jangchub Tsöndrü's famed commentary, the Ornament of Reason. Active in the twelfth century, Mabja was among the first Tibetans to rely on the works of the Indian master Candrakirti, and his account of the Middle Way exercised a deep and lasting influence on the development of Madhyamaka philosophy in all four schools of Buddhism in Tibet. Sharp, concise, and yet comprehensive, the Ornament of Reason has been cherished by generations of scholar-practitioners. The late Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen Rinpoche, a renowned authority on the subject, often referred to this commentary as "the best there is." A visual outline of the commentary has been added that clearly shows the structure of each chapter and makes the arguments easier to follow.

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