THE UNIVERSAL VEHICLE DISCOURSE LITERATURE (MAHAYANASUTRALAMKARA) trans. by Robert A.F. Thurman
Universal Vehicle Discourse Literature (Mahayanasutralamkara) was transmitted from the bodhisattva Maitreyanatha to Arya Asanga, the fourth century Indian Buddhist scholar-adept. The most foundational of the set of the famous Five Teachings of Maitreya, the Discourse Literature is considered the wellspring of what the Tibetans call the "magnificent deeds trend of the path," the compassion side, which balances the "profound view trend of the path," the wisdom side. The Discourse Literature is also considered to be metaphysically aligned with and foundational for the Idealist (Vijnanavadin) school of Mayahana thought.
ON KNOWING REALITY: The Tattvartha Chapter of Asanga's Bodhisattvabhumi by Asanga / Janice Dean Willis, tr.
On Knowing Reality is the first English translation with commentary of a crucial chapter of the Bodhisattvabhumi, composed in Sanskrit in the late fourth century by the philosopher-sage Asanga, founder of the Yogacara school of Mahayana Buddhism. The chapter is the core of Asanga's theoretical teachings: it deals with the central epistemological question of how to judge and validate knowledge, and how confusions about "reality" arise.
DISTINGUISHING DHARMA AND DHARMATA BY ASANGA AND MAITREYA by Thrangu Rinpoche
Asanga in the fourth century meditated on Maitreya for twelve years and then was able to meet the Maitreya Buddha (next Buddha) directly, who gave him five works including this text. Asanga then went on to found the Mind-only or Chittamatra school of Buddhism.
This text, which contains both the root verses of Maitreya and a commentary on these verses by Thrangu Rinpoche, begins by giving the characteristics of dharma which is ordinary phenomena as perceive it as unenlightened beings. Phenomena is described in detail by giving its characteristics, its constituents or elements, and finally its source which is the mind. Discussed are the eight consciousnesses especially the alaya consciousness and how it creates the appearance of this world. Understanding dharma allows us to understand how we build up a false illusion of this world and this then leads to our problems in samsara.
Next, the text discusses dharmata or phenomena as it really is, not as it appears, in detail. In describing this sphere of reality or pure being, the text gives the characteristics of dharmata, where it is located, and the kinds of meditation needed to develop a perception of the true nature of reality.
Finally, there is a discussion of how one transforms ordinary dharma into dharmata, i.e. how one reaches awakening or enlightenment. This is discussed in ten famous points and this is actually a guide or a map to how to proceed along the Buddhist path.
This text has been extensively studied in Tibet, particularly among the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions. Now the student can read this profound work and a clear commentary on it by a world-renowned scholar who has been studying and also putting this text into practice for the last half century.
MAITREYA'S DISTINGUISHING PHENOMENA AND PURE BEING with Commentary by Mipham trans. by Jim Scott under the guidance of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
Distinguishing Phenomena and Pure Being was composed by Maitreya during the golden age of Indian Buddhism. Mipham's commentary supports Maitreya's text in a detailed analysis of how ordinary confused consciousness can be transformed into wisdom. Easy-to-follow instructions guide the reader through the profound meditation that gradually brings about this transformation. This important and comprehensive work belongs on the bookshelf of any serious Buddhist practitioner--and, indeed, of anyone interested in realizing their full potential as a human being.
A TREASURE TROVE OF BLESSING AND PROTECTION: The Seven Chapter Prayer of the Great Teacher Padmasambhava trans. by Mike Dickman, intro. by Tulku Thundup
In the eighth century, Guru Padmasambhava - the Lotus Born - came to Tibet from India and became known as Guru Rinpoche, the Precious Teacher. He transmitted many esotieric teachings to his disciples and concealed them as Ter or Terma - hidden Dharma treasures - for the sake of future disciples. From the eleventh century till today, thousands of volumes of those concealed teachings have been discovered by hte reincarnations of his chief disciples through their discernment. This volume contains eleven texts. Most are prayers to Guru Rinpoche.
BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY: A Perspective from the Nyingma Tradition by Khenpo Palden Sherab
This volume consists of edited transcripts of a series of talks given at the Kagyu E-Vam Buddhist Institute by Khenpo Sherab and translated by Traleg Rinpoche.
1. The Three Baskets
4. The Sravakayana: Vaibhasika and Sautrantika
5. Mahayana: Yogacara
6. Svatantrika Madhyamika
7. Prasangika Madhyamika
8. Tantric Philosophy
9. The Outer Cycle of Tantra: Kriyatantra
10. The Outer Cycle of Tantra: Upaya and Yogatantra
This abridgment of the "Milinda Panha" provides a concise presentation of this masterpiece of Buddhist literature. It presents Buddhist doctrine in a very attractive and memorable form as a dialogue between a Bactrian Greek king, Milinda, who plays the "Devil's Advocate" and a Buddhist sage, Nagasena. The introduction outlines the historical background against which the dialogues took place, indicating the meeting of two great cultures- that of ancient Greece and the Buddhism of the Indus valley which was a legacy of the great Emperor Asoka. Topics include questions commonly asked by Westerners such as "If there is no soul, what is it that is reborn?" and "If there is no soul, who is talking to you now?"
The I of the Beholder
Building on the author's previous published work, this book focuses on the relationship between identity and perception in early Buddhism, drawing out and explaining the way they relate in terms of experience. It presents a coherent picture of these issues in the context of Buddhist teachings as a whole and suggests that they represent the heart of what the Buddha taught. This book will be of primary interest to scholars working within all fields of Buddhist studies.
EXPERIENCE OF BUDDHISM: Sources and Interpretations by John S. Strong
This comprehensive anthology provides translations of texts illustrative of Buddhist philosophy and doctrine as well as descriptive, concrete accounts of Buddhist practices, rituals, experiences, and life situations. This approach does not neglect one dimension of the religion in favor of another and allows instructors to choose what they wish to emphasize in the classroom. The book also covers the development of Buddhism in a wide variety of geographical and cultural areas (India, Southeast Asia, Tibet, China, and Japan), and gives a sense of the historical evolution of the tradition in these areas.
RATIONALITY AND MIND IN EARLY BUDDHISM by Frank J. Hoffman
Here is a study of rationality and mind based on the earliest recorded stratum of Buddhism, the Pali Nikayas. The author makes a distinction between what can be said from within the context of the Buddhist texts themselves and what can be spoken of from the point of view of contemporary philosophy of religion.
Insights from philosophy of religion are employed to elucidate the texts without any overall imposition of any foreign 'ism' onto Buddhism.