This book is a historical study of the Buddhist cosmology which was formulated in its perfect form by the Mahayana school of the Yogacaryas at the end of the Kushan period. The essence of this concept did not exceed the main channel of Mahayana thought and amounted to the idea of an inner metalogical unity of samsara and niravana, and forms the 'psycho-cosmic' system which may be termed the 'Buddhist cosmos'. The Buddhist cosmic model has constructed on the principle of the psycho-cosmogram which is a visual and symbolic representation of cosmic forces as psychic processes. It is based on two basic principles of Buddhism: the concepts of the 'wheel of becoming' (bhava-cakra) which turns in the endless round of birth and death, and of the 'wheel of the doctrine' (dharma-cakra) by following which one may attain release from the never-ending round of transmigration.
BUDDHIST COSMOLOGY: Philosophy and Origins by Hajime Nakamura and Akira Sadakata
This extensively researched and illustrated volume offers Western readers a rare introduction to Buddhism's complex and fascinating views about the structure of the universe. The author also shows how this ancient philosophy resembles the modern scientific view of the cosmos, and how even today it can help us lead more fulfilling lives.
THE TREASURY OF KNOWLEDGE, Book Five: Buddhist Ethics trans. by the Kalu Rinpoche Translation Group, under the direction of Ven. Bokar Rinpoche
Jamgon Kongtrul's monumental Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Treasury of Knowledge) contains a complete account of the major lines of thought and practice that comprise Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhist Ethics is the fifth part of that work and considered by many scholars to be its heart.
Spiritual growth in a Buddhist context is a process of discovering a perfect quality that is already within ourselves. Ethical discipline-the essence of which is the commitment to a life of nonviolence and service to others-is regarded as the indispensable foundation for this process. Buddhist ethics are not regarded as prohibitory rules, but rather the source of freedom.
This text presents the three major systems of ethics found in the Tibetan tradition. Widely known simply as the "three vows," these are the vows of personal liberation (pratimoksa), universal liberation (bodhisattva), and secret mantra (tantra).
Jamgon Kongtrul explains the need for and nature of an authentic teacher-student relationship as the support for one's training in each system. He then provides the complete code of personal liberation as it applies to both monastic and lay persons, the precepts for those aspiring to the life of a bodhisattva, and the exceptional pledges for practitioners on the tantric path of pure perception.
THE TREASURY OF KNOWLEDGE, Book Six (Part Four): Systems of Buddhist Tantra by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye, trans. by Ingrid McLeod and Elio Guarisco
The Indestructible Way of Secret Mantra In Tibetan religious literature, Jamgon Kongtrul's Treasury of Knowledge in ten books stands out as a unique encyclopedic masterpiece embodying the entire range of Buddhist teachings as they were preserved in Tibet.
The tantric path is often referred to as "the indestructible way of secret mantra," the essence of which is the indestructible union of wisdom (the understanding of emptiness) and method (immutable great bliss). This volume sets forth the various systems that constitute this path, both those of the ancient tantra tradition and of the new tradition.
TO SEE THE BUDDHA: A Philosopher's Quest for the Meaning of Emptiness by Malcolm David Eckel
Malcolm David Eckel takes us on a contemporary quest to discover the essential meaning behind the Buddha's many representations. Eckel's bold thesis proposes that the proper understanding of Buddhist philosophy must be thoroughly religious - an understanding revealed in Eckel's new translation of the philosopher Bhavaviveka's major work, The Flame of Reason . Eckel shows that the dimensions of early Indian Buddhism - popular art, conventional piety, and critical philosophy - all work together to express the same religious yearning for the fullness of emptiness that Buddha conveys.
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.
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.
ART OF ENLIGHTENMENT: A Perspective on the Sacred Art of Tibet by Tarthang Tulku
"Art is uniquely human expression. Through art we communicate our most subtle perceptions, and give structure and order to the world we perceive around us. While the forms art represents are drawn from our natural surroundings, the structure we give them reflects the structure of our mind. Arising from mind and conditioned by mind, art is a mirror of our consciousness.[...]" - Excerpt from page 1
MIND IN BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY by Ye-shes rGyal-mthan / Herbert Guenther, tr.
The Necklace of Clear Understanding by Ye-shes rGyal-mtshan
What is the mind? And how does it function? Of what does personality consist? And what gives personality its direction and character? From the meditative and analytical tradition of Tibet comes this penetrating insight into the human mind, the basis for self-knowledge. Mind in Buddhist Psychology investigates in clear, simple terms the recurring patterns of human experience, describing which patterns lead to emotional imbalance and which lead to peace and calm. In striking contrast with contemporary Western theories of consciousness and motivation, Mind in Buddhist Psychology presents a practical guide to the functioning of the mind in daily life situations.
MIND IN TIBETAN BUDDHISM by Lati Rinpoche, trans., ed., & intro. by Elizabeth Napper
In the great Tibetan monasteries of Lhasa, monks seeking to purify their minds and develop the understanding necessary for final enlightenment began their inquiry into mind and consciousness by studying The Presentation of Awareness and Knowledge. Through understanding the nature of the mind and the process of cognition, inner peace can be attained. This text plus Lati Rinbochay's rich and extensive commentary give a comprehensive explanation of the nature and function of the mind, the different types of mind and mental factors, and how we develop knowledge and understanding. In her introduction, Elizabeth Napper gives an overview of the principal divisions of consciousness and mind.