TEXT AS FATHER: Paternal Seductions in Early Mahayana Buddhist Literature by Alan Cole
This beautifully written work sheds new light on the origins and nature of Mahayana Buddhism with close readings of four well-known texts--the Lotus Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Tathagatagarbha Sutra, and Vimalakirtinirdesa. Treating these sutras as literary works rather than as straightforward philosophic or doctrinal treatises, Alan Cole argues that these writings were carefully sculpted to undermine traditional monastic Buddhism and to gain legitimacy and authority for Mahayana Buddhism as it was veering away from Buddhism's older oral and institutional forms. His sophisticated and sustained analysis of the narrative structures and seductive literary strategies used in these sutras suggests that they were specifically written to encourage devotion to the written word instead of other forms of authority, be they human, institutional, or iconic.
This is the first Indian edition of Speyer's English translation of Aryasura's Gatakamala (Garland of Birth Stories), The work belongs to the Canon of the Northern Buddhists. It contains thirty-four Gataka legends woven into the ethical and religious discourses that either magnify the glory of the Buddha or illustrate Buddhist doctrine and precepts by appropriate examples. The book is a first-rate document for the study of Mahayana Buddhism.
THE THREE PRINCIPAL ASPECTS OF THE PATH by Geshe Sonam Rinchen, translated and edited by Ruth Sonam
The wish for freedom, altruistic intention, and the wisdom of emptiness constitute the three principal aspects of the path to enlightenment. The essential prerequisite is a strong wish for freedom. But to know how to attain freedom and cut the root of cyclic existence, it is necessary to have the correct understanding of reality. Even with a feeling of antipathy to this cycle of involuntary birth and death and an undistorted understanding of reality, supreme enlightenment will remain out of reach without the altruistic intention to act selflessly for the good and happiness of all living beings. These three are the key --everything that the Buddha thought necessary to attain enlightenment is contained in these teachings.
NAGARJUNA'S LETTER TO A FRIEND: with Commentary by Kangyur Rinpoche with commentary by Kangyur Rinpoche, translated by The Padmakara Translation Group
Nagarjuna's poetic presentation of the fundamental teachings of the Great Vehicle, or Mahayana--whose followers, driven by compassion, strive to attain Buddhahood for the sake of all beings--is remarkable for its concise style and memorable imagery, making it one of the most widely quoted sources in other commentaries on the Mahayana path. This work will appeal to readers with a general interest in Mahayana Buddhism, to those who wish to familiarize themselves with one of the great classics of Indian Buddhist literature, and to students who come across passages quoted in other Buddhist works and who wish to explore further.
COUNSELS FROM MY HEART by Dudjom Rinpoche, translated by The Padmakara Translation Group
There seems to be no end to the introductory books crammed onto the Buddhism bookshelves these days, but Counsels from My Heart offers novice practitioners earnest wisdom from a Tibetan master, Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-1987). He does a fine job of presenting basic concepts like samsara and the Four Noble Truths, along with some reflections on the importance of the Dalai Lama and the dream for a free Tibet.
To enter the Mahayana Buddhist path to enlightenment is to seek both to become free from our dualistic, deluded world and to remain actively engaged in that world until all others are free How are these two apparently contradictory qualities to be embodied in the attainment of buddhahood ( How can one's present practice accomplish that? These questions underlie a millennium old controversy over buddhahood in India and Tibet that centers around a cherished text, the Abhisamayalankara. Makransky shows how the Abhisamayalamkara's composite redaction, from Abhidharma, Prajnaparamita, and Yogacara tradtions permitted its interpreters to perceive different aspects of those traditions as cental in its teaching of Buddhahood This enabled Indians and Tibetans to read very different perspectives on enlightenment into the Abhisamayalamkara, though which they responded to the questions in startingly different ways. The author shows how these perspectives provide alternative ways to resolve a logical tension at the heart of Mahayana thought, inscribed in the doctrine that buddhahood paradoxically transcends and engages our world simultaneously.
HOW KARMA WORKS: The Twelve Links of Dependent-Arising by Geshe Sonam Rinchen
We all want to find happiness and be free from suffering. Happiness comes from positive mental states and actions and suffering from the opposite. The twelve-part process of dependent arising shows how actions underlain by ignorance propel us from one rebirth into another, keeping us trapped in suffering, and how through understanding reality correctly we can break this cycle. The twelve links that make up this chain of causes and effects are an extension of the four noble truths, the heart of the Buddha's teaching, and demonstrate in particular the connection between true suffering and true sources of suffering. This oral teaching by Geshe Sonam Rinchen is based on the Rice Seedling Sutra and the twenty-sixth chapter of Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Middle Way.
ABSORPTION IN NO EXTERNAL WORLD: 170 Issues In Mind-Only Buddhism by Jeffrey Hopkins
This book examines a plethora of fascinating points raised in six centuries of Tibetan and Mongolian commentary concerning the first two sections of Dzong-ka-ba's The Essence of Eloquence, the Prologue and the section on the Mind-Only School. by providing vivid detail, Jeffrey Hopkins reveals the liveliness of Tibetan scholastic controversies, showing the dynamism of thoughtful commentary and stimulating the reader's metaphysical imagination. In the process of examining 170 issues, this volume treats many engaging points on Great Vehicle presentations of the three natures and the three non-natures, including how to apply these to all phenomena, the selflessness of persons, and the emptiness of emptiness. It concludes with a delineation of the approaches through which the Mind-Only School interprets scriptures.
SKILFUL MEANS: A Concept in Mahayana Buddhism by Michael Pye
Skilful Means is the key principle of the great tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. First set out extensively in the Lotus Sutra, it originates in the Buddha's compassionate project for helping others to transcend the ceasless round of birth and death. His strategies or interventions are 'skilful means' - devices which lead into enlightenment and nirvana. Mich'l Pye's clear and engaging introductory guide presents the meaning of skilful means in the formative writings, traces its antecedents in the legends of early Buddhism and explores links both with the Theravada tradition and later Japanese Buddhism. First published in 1978, the book remains the best explanation of this dynamic philosophy, which is essential for any complete understanding of Buddhism.
PROFOUND BUDDHISM: From Hinayana to Vajrayana by Kalu Rinpoche
Teachings on emotions from a Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana point of view. Includes teachings on the nature of mind, the mind-body relationship, emptiness, compassion, the cycle of existence and karma.