By Rupert Gethin

ISBN-10: 0192892231

ISBN-13: 9780192892232

Buddhism is an unlimited and complicated spiritual and philosophical culture with a historical past that stretches over 2,500 years, and that's now by way of round a hundred and fifteen million humans. during this advent to the principles of Buddhism, Rupert Gethin concentrates at the principles and practices which represent the typical history of different traditions of Buddhism (Thervada, Tibetan, and japanese) that exist on this planet this day. From the narrative of the tale of the Buddha, via discussions of elements equivalent to textual traditions, the framework of the 4 Noble Truths, the interplay among the monastic and lay methods of existence, the cosmology of karma and rebirth, and the trail of the bodhisattva, this booklet offers a stimulating creation to Buddhism as a faith and lifestyle.

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It is quite legitimate to hold that the Buddha was a genuine agnostic, that he had studied the various systems of ideas prevalent in his day without deriving any greater satisfaction from them than any of us to-day do from the study of modem systems, and that he had no reasoned or other conviction on the matter. " Keith: Buddhist Philosophy, p. 63. " ibid. p. 45· 2 As quoted by E. J. Thomas in his History of Buddhist Thought, p. 127. 3 This issue has been discussed in a previous Section. " 1 A fairly cogent solution of the problem is possible if all the passages, where the questions are discussed in the Buddhist records, are considered together with the characteristic interpretations of the Buddhist schools themselves.

It will not, however, do to pick up only those passages that are favourable to our theory and ignore the rest or call them interpolations and later accretions. For, it is possible to adduce against one textual citation which affirms the atman, ten or even twenty which deny it with vehemence. Reliance on isolated texts and those too considered out of their context, as is done by Mrs. Rhys Davids, is not calculated to lead to fruitful result. The chronological division of texts into primitive and later accretion is highly conjectural.

Vedanta (Advaita) accepts the unchanging alone as real and rejects the other as unreal. The Buddhists do the opposite. The difficulty is not confined to memory and moral responsibility alone. Even in such rudimentary experiences as sensation or feeling and in higher forms of experience, such as judgment and inference, synthesis and interpretation are involved. The given data have to be classified, compared, related, apperceived and synthesised into a unity; and yet the distinction has to be maintained.

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The Foundations of Buddhism (Opus) by Rupert Gethin


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