EMPTY VISION: METAPHOR AND VISIONARY IMAGERY IN MAHAYANA BUDDHISM by McMahan
This volume examines the complex functions of visual metaphor in Indian Mahayana Buddhism. McMahan argues that the symbolic role of sight in Mahayana Literature shapes the traditions epistemic paradigm and concepts of enlightenment, as well as its visionary literature, symbolic imagery and visualization practices.
Visual metaphors in a number of Mahayana sutras construct a discourse in which visual perception serves as a model for knowledge and enlightenment. In the Perfection of Wisdom(prajnaparamita) and other Mahayana literature, immediate access to reality is symbolized by vision and set in opposition to language and conceptual thinking, which are construed as obscuring reality. In addition to its philosophical manifestations, the tension between vision and language also functioned as a strategy of legitimation in the struggle of the early heterodox Mahayana movement for authority and legitimacy. This emphasis on vision also serves as a resource for the abundant mythical imagery in Mahayana sutras, imagery that is ritualized in Vajrayana visualization practices.
McMahan brings a wide range of literature to bear on this issue, including a rare analysis of the lavish imagery of the Gandavyuha Sutra in its Indian context. He concludes with a discussion of Indian approaches to visuality in the light of some recent discussions of 'ocularcentrism' in the west, inviting scholars to expand the current discussion of vision and its roles in constructing epistemic systems and cultural practice beyond its exclusively European and American focus. The book will be of interest to historians of religion and students and scholars of Buddhism and South Asia, as well as those interested in cross-cultural philosophy and cultural studies.
This book is an annotated translation of one of the great Tibetan classics of Mahayana Buddhist thought, mKhas grub rje's sTong thun chen mo. The text is a detailed critical exposition of the theory and practice of emptiness as expounded in the three major schools of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy: the Yogacara, Svatantrika, and Prasangika. Used as a supplement to the scholastic debating manuals in some of the greatest monasteries of Tibet, the sTong thun chen mo is a veritable encyclopedia of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, dealing with such topics as hermeneutics, the theory of non-duality, the linguistic interpretation of emptiness, the typology of ignorance, logic, the nature of time, and the perception of matter across world spheres. This book is an indispensable source for understanding the Tibetan dGe lugs pa school's synthesis of the Middle Way (Madhyamaka) and Epistemological (Pramanika) traditions of Indian Buddhism. In addition, it is an unprecedented source for the philosophical polemics of fifteenth century Tibet.
DISTINGUISHING DHARMA AND DHARMATA by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
Distinguishing Dharma and Dharmata is a text that is very brief and direct in its presentation and is included within the class of oral instructions. It is a work which clearly portrays the character of nothing less than non-conceptual original wisdom, the point of utmost profundity within the Mahayana.
With regard to meditation, there are the particular traditions, views and practices of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, the basis of which are the teachings of the Buddha and the commentaries or shastras on those by the great masters. In order to achieve the high view of Mahamudra or Dzogchen we need to cut our doubts, hinderances and aberrations, which is accomplished by listening to and contemplating the Mahayana dharma.
Realizing dharmata or the nature of mind is what is to be known and this we understand through hearing and thinking about it. Nevertheless, due to the obstruction of conventional appearances we are not able to realize this. If we can realize this profound nature then we will naturally separate from confusion and conventional appearances. Thus, this text, Distinguishing Dharma and Dharmata,is devoted to identifying exactly what is conventionally true and what is ultimately true. So this text is extremely important for all those who wish to practice the meditations of Mahamudra and Dzogchen.
FEW GOOD MEN: The Bodhisattva Path according to The Inquiry of Ugra (Ugrapariprccha) by Jan Nattier
This book is a study and translation of The Inquiry of Ugra (Ugrapariprccha), one of the most influential Mahayana sutras on the bodhisattva path, but also one of the most neglected texts in Western treatments of Buddhism.
Based on the seminar "The Complete Teachings of Mahayana" this book presents the mahayana path in the engaging and provocative style of Tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa. Included among many topics is an in-depth look at buddha nature in all its aspects, the notion of embryonic enlightenment, and the discovery that we are heir to a deep and profound compassion which we can discover if we just "Look!"
THE HOLY TEACHING OF VIMALAKIRTI: A Mahayana Scripture by Robert Thurman
Called the "Jewel of the Mahayana Sutras", this book presents the major teachings of Mahayana Called the "Jewel of the Mahayana Sutras", this book presents the major teachings of Mahayana Buddhism in a precise, dramatic, and even humorous form. For two millennia this Sutra has enjoyed immense popularity among Mahayana Buddhists in India, central and southeast Asia, Japan, and especially China, where its incidents were the basis for a style in art and literature prevalent during several centuries.
Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations by Paul Williams
This volume provides an up-to-date and accurate account of the principles of Mahayana Buddhism as they are found in both the Indo-Tibetan and East Asian forms of Mahayana. Throughout, the book places Buddhist doctrine within a historical and cultural context, and provides a basis for students to engage in their own further research into Buddhist theory and practice.
The book Mahayana Buddhism is an excellent piece of outstanding work of Dr. Nalinaksha Dutt consisting of detailed and dependable account of various historical events relating to the growth and development of philosophy and doctrines of Buddhism in general and Mahayana in particular propagated and flourished in India and abroad from the reign at the Great Buddhist King Ashoka and upto the 12 century.
The comparison of important and essential aspects of Mahayana and Hinayana with special reference to the advance stages of Arhat and Bodhisattva undertook by the author are quite magnificent and appreciable.
Mahayanasutralamkara by Asanga, Surekha Vijay Limaye
The Mahayanasutralamkara by Asanga is a landmark in the development of Vijnanavada absolutism. This is a gigantic work on Mahayana Buddhism. The title itself indicates its manifold features of Mahayana. Putting it in Asanga's own words, its an embelishment of Mahayana sutras. There is no Buddhist topic which is not touched by Asanga. Various topics of Buddhism are discussed on the lines of Mahayana in twenty-one chapters called Adhikasas with commentary.
A Study in Vijnanavada Buddhism. The main aim of this work is to bring out the full significance of the Philosophy of Mahayanasutralankara of Asanga. Asanga is one of the most important philosophical personalities in the history of Buddhism, and his contribution to the Vijnanavada school of thought is unparalleled.