Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

A forum for those wishing to discuss Buddhist history and teachings in the Western academic manner, referencing appropriate sources.
Nikolay
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Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby Nikolay » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:20 pm

Hello,

I have been studying Western philosophy for some time, but gradually I lost most of my interest in the subject, especially since I discovered Buddhist philosophy. It really makes sense on a level I was unable to find in Western philosophy, maybe because it is so closely connected to practice. But I am afraid that my reading was, from an academic viewpoint, quite unsystematic and has a lot of blind spots.

So, my question for people who have been involved in academic studies of Buddhist philosophy: what books/articles would you consider to be mandatory reading if one wished to have a firm foundation in the subject as a scholar? I am mostly interested in Mahayana, both Tibetan and East Asian (especially Japanese).
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futerko
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby futerko » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:17 pm

I like "Journey to Certainty" by Anyen Rinpoche. It's a commentary on Mipham's Beacon of Certainty which attempts to systematise the various Tibetan traditions.

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Indrajala
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby Indrajala » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:13 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

JKhedrup
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:43 am

Maps of the Profound, Jeffrey Hopkins´translation of Jamyang Shaypa´s Great Exposition of Tenents, is a massive volume but it it gives you a very complete picture of the classical Tibetan worldview, including the views of other religions. It does lean to the Gelug side of things but I still think that it gives an excellent overall picture.http://www.amazon.com/Maps-Profound-Exp ... 155939207X

I also like Indo-Tibetan Buddhism by David Snellgrove, it is in some ways dated but an excellent overview. Other posters may not like it because Snellgrove converted to Catholicism but this does not bother me.

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tomamundsen
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby tomamundsen » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:21 am

I'll second the Abhidharmakosabhasyam, as recommended by Huseng. You can get an English version of it at . It costs $300, but I'd say it's worth it. There are PDFs floating around the internet, if one is inclined. :twisted:

Nikolay
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby Nikolay » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:02 am

Thank you everyone for your advice. Guess it's finally time for me to get serious about Abhidharma. It's pretty clear for me what root texts I should begin with (Vasubandhu and Nagarjuna mostly). Could you please tell me what academic scholars are considered to be the leading authorities in the field? I'd like some modern academic texts to use as examples of research method, for references, etc.
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Indrajala
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby Indrajala » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:54 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

Jnana
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby Jnana » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:10 pm


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Astus
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:40 pm

As for East Asian Buddhism, the Kuroda Institute has two series: , they contain many good works. Orthodox Chinese Buddhism by Ven. Shengyan is a good introduction to general Chinese Buddhism. Specifically about Zen, Steven Heine and Dale S. Wright edited a series published by Oxford University Press. Works by John R. McRae, Jan Nattier, Robert H. Sharp, Bernard Faure, Albert Welter, Robert E. Buswell Jr., Charles A. Muller, Taigen Dan Leighton and others are also recommended.

For the Abhidharmakosa, this is a useful blog: .
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



Michael_Dorfman
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby Michael_Dorfman » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:58 pm


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viniketa
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby viniketa » Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:33 pm

From an academic perspective and looking at a broad understanding of the historical context of Buddhist philosophy and Indian philosophy, the following are good sources:

An introduction to Buddhist philosophy in India and Tibet, Zahiruddin Ahmad
http://books.google.com/books?id=eGYwAA ... ddin+Ahmad

The classic works on Indian Philosophy by Surendranath Dasgupta & Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan are good, but long. Some shorter works include:

Outlines Of Indian Philosophy, M. Hiriyanna
http://books.google.com/books?id=9xGyRA ... navlinks_s

Critical Survey Of Indian Philosophy, C. D. Sharma
http://books.google.com/books?id=Y3gQVd ... navlinks_s

Logic, Language, and Reality: Indian Philosophy and Contemporary Issues, Bimal Krishna Matilal
http://books.google.com/books?id=V8SLH7 ... navlinks_s

:namaste:
. ~

Nikolay
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby Nikolay » Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:11 am

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Michael_Dorfman
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby Michael_Dorfman » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:54 pm


JKhedrup
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:14 pm

An excellent anthology that contains texts from all the major Buddhist traditions, expertly translated by a variety of scholars:

Buddhism in Practice, ed. Donald S. Lopez from Princeton University Press

http://books.google.nl/books/about/Budd ... edir_esc=y

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Tom
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby Tom » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:31 am


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viniketa
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Re: Recommended reading on Buddhist philosophy

Postby viniketa » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:32 pm

Just ran across this looking for something else. Looks like it may fit your interests:

A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana
A History of Indian Buddhism, the summation of a lifetime of research on Indian Buddhism, is an exceptionally comprehensive discussion of Indian Buddhism, with detailed chapters on its history, doctrine and bibliography. The text also presents some of the debates on Indian Buddhism that have occurred in the Japanese academic community and emphasizes issues that have often been treated only in passing in India and the West. Hirakawa`s extensive use of Chinese translations of Indian Buddhist sources and his references to Japanese studies of these works are particularly noteworthy. Finally, the book includes an extensive bibliography of Western scholarship compiled by the translator.

http://books.google.com/books?id=XjjwjC7rcOYC&d

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