Apparitions of the Self

Buddhist traditions

Book 46
Motilal Banarsidass Publ.
3
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Apparitions of the Self is a groundbreaking investigation into what is known in Tibet as secret autobiography , an exceptional, rarely studied literary genre that presents a personal exploration of intimate religious experiences. In this volume, Janet Gyatso translates and studies the outstanding pair of secret autobiographies by the famed Tibetan Buddhist visionary, Jigme Lingpa (1730-1798). Gyatso`s translation marks the first time that works of this sort have appeared in a Western language. It is only one of the many virtues of Janet Gyatso`s Apparitions of the Self that it gives us, at last, a full portrait of a Buddhist saint in all his self-admitted complexity and ambiguity...Lucid and literate...Significant points to ponder and subtle arguments to which to respond. This exceptional volume combines concise and felicitous translation with clear commentary and insightful analysis....What lends considerable interest to this work is the comparison Gyatso....makes between Tibetan literature and Western literary theory... (Apparitions of the Self) serves as a model of innovative scholarship.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Motilal Banarsidass Publ.
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Published on
Dec 31, 2001
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Pages
360
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ISBN
9788120817968
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Language
English
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This content is DRM protected.
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This work presents a survey of Indian Buddhism with detailed bibliographical notes. Besing itself on recent studies, it is intended to introduce studies in various aspects of Indian Buddhism carried on by Japanese scholars as well as Western and Asian, especially Indian, scholars. The main text constitutes a gengeral survey of the development of Indian Buddhism, and studies by scholars past and present are mentioned in full detail in copious footnotes with due evaluations. This work can be regarded, so to speak, as a development with revisions, of the Buddhist portion of M. Winternitz` History of Indian Literature. Major studies before and after Winternitz` work are exhaustively mentioned. As a reference work also this book is of extreme help to scholars and students alike. The work has been edited by Prof. Ramesh Mathur.

Contents

Foreword, Preface, I. General Survey of Buddhism, II. early Buddhism: 1. The Time of the Rise of Buddhism, 2. The Life of Gotama Buddha and his Disciples, The Scriptures of Early Buddhism, Aspects of Original Buddhism, The Thought of Early Buddhism, The Practice of Early Buddhism, The Worship of Buddhas and Faith, Social Thought, III. Conservative Buddhism and Transition to Mahayana: Historical background, Philosophical Schools, Philosophical Thought, Biographies of the Buddha, The Poet Asvaghosa and his school, The Avadana Literature, IV. Mahayana Buddhism: Historical Background, Mahayana Sutras, The Philosophical Schools of Mahayana, V. Logicians: Before Dignaga, Dignaga, Dharmakirti, Logicians at the Final Stage, Some Features of Indian Logic, VI. Esoteric Buddhism: the Beginning, Systematization, The Final Stage, Some Features of Esoteric Buddhism, Addenda et Corrigenda, Abbreviations and Periodicals, Index.

One of the fundamental tenets of Mahayana Buddhism animating and grounding the doctrine and discipline of its spiritual path, is the inherent potentiality of all animate beings to attain the supreme and perfect enlightenment of Buddhahood. This book examines the ontological presuppositions and the corresponding soteriological-epistemological principles that sustain and define such a theory. Within the field of Buddhist studies, such a work provides a comprehensive context in which to interpret the influence and major insights of the various Buddhist schools. Thus, the dynamics of the Buddha Nature, though non-thematic and implicit, is at the heart of Zen praxis, while it is a significant articulation in Kegon, Tendai, and Shingon thought. More specifically, the book seeks to establish a coherent metaphysics of absolute suchness (Tathata), synthesizing the variant traditions of the Tathagata-embryo (Tathagatagarbha) and the Storehouse Consciousness (Alayavijnana).The books` contribution to the broader field of the History of Religions rests in its presentation and analysis of the Buddhist Enlightenment as the salvific-transformational moment in which Tathata `awakens` to itself, comes to perfect slef-realization as the Absolute suchness of reality, in and through phenomenal human consciousness. The book is an interpretation of the Buddhist Path as the spontaneous self-emergence of `embryonic` absolute knowledge as it comes to free itself from the concealments of adventitious defilements, and possess itself in fully self-explicitated self-consciousness as the `Highest Truth` and unconditional nature of all existence; it does so only in the form of omniscient wisdom.
This book studies the diverse array of species of memory in Buddhism. Contributors focus on a particular school, group of texts, terms, or practices and identify a considerable range of types of mnemonic faculties in Buddhism. Included are discussions of Buddhist teaching, meditation, visualization, prayer, commemoration of the Buddha, dh?rani practice, the use of mnemonic lists to condense lengthy scriptures, and the purported recollection of infinite previous lives that immediately preceded Sakyamuni's attainment of Buddhahood. Even enlightened awareness itself is said by some Buddhist schools to consist in a “mnemic engagement” with reality as such.

The authors explore Buddhist views on mundane acts of memory such as recognizing, reminding, memorizing, and storing data as well as special types of memory that are cultivated in religious practice.One of the most striking discoveries is that perception is intimately related to certain types of memory. Several essays investigate if, and if so, how, meditative mindfulness and recollection of the past—both of which can be designated by the term smrti—are connected within the Buddhist tradition. The question of whether recollection of the past can be explained without violating the foundational Buddhist notions of radical impermanence and no-self is addressed by several of the contributing scholars.

Among the primary sources for the studies in this volume are the northern and southern Abhidharma literature, the M?tk?s, P?li and Mah?y?na s?tras, works of the Buddhist logicians, Yog?c?ra materials, the Tibetan Great Perfection (Rdzogschen) tradition, and Indian and Tibetan commentarial works. Affinities of Buddhist views on memory with those found in Western phenomenology, semiology, psychology, and history of religions are considered as well.
Love and Liberation reads the autobiographical and biographical writings of one of the few Tibetan Buddhist women to record the story of her life. Sera Khandro Künzang Dekyong Chönyi Wangmo (also called Dewé Dorjé, 1892–1940) was extraordinary not only for achieving religious mastery as a Tibetan Buddhist visionary and guru to many lamas, monastics, and laity in the Golok region of eastern Tibet, but also for her candor. This book listens to Sera Khandro's conversations with land deities, dakinis, bodhisattvas, lamas, and fellow religious community members whose voices interweave with her own to narrate what is a story of both love between Sera Khandro and her guru, Drimé Özer, and spiritual liberation.

Sarah H. Jacoby's analysis focuses on the status of the female body in Sera Khandro's texts, the virtue of celibacy versus the expediency of sexuality for religious purposes, and the difference between profane lust and sacred love between male and female tantric partners. Her findings add new dimensions to our understanding of Tibetan Buddhist consort practices, complicating standard scriptural presentations of male subject and female aide. Sera Khandro depicts herself and Drimé Özer as inseparable embodiments of insight and method that together form the Vajrayana Buddhist vision of complete buddhahood. By advancing this complementary sacred partnership, Sera Khandro carved a place for herself as a female virtuoso in the male-dominated sphere of early twentieth-century Tibetan religion.

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