DanvaotuegiacPhat

Common Buddhist Text [1]: Background to this book, and its contributors – General introduction

CONTENTS

 

INTRODUCTION 8
General introduction 8
Introduction on the life of the historical Buddha 11
Introduction to the Sangha, or community of disciples 18
Introduction to the selections from Theravāda Buddhism 19
Introduction to the selections from Mahāyāna Buddhism 24
Introduction to the selections from Vajrayāna Buddhism 32
PART I: THE BUDDHA 37
CHAPTER 1: THE LIFE OF THE HISTORICAL BUDDHA 37
Conception, birth and early life: passages L.1–6 37
The quest for awakening: L.7–9 42
Attaining refined, formless states: L.10–11 44
The ascetic life of rigorous self-denial: L.12–14 46
The awakening and its aftermath: L.15–19 50
The achievements and nature of the Buddha: L.20–24 54
The Buddha as teacher: L.25–35 57
Praise of the Buddha: L.36 67
The Buddha’s appearance and manner: L37–39 68
Taming and teaching those who resisted or threatened him: L.40–45 72
The Buddha’s meditative life and praise for quietness and contentment: L.46–48 77
Physical ailments of the Buddha, and compassionate help for the sick: L.49–54 79
Sleeping and eating: L.55–57 81
Composing and enjoying poetry: L.58–59 83
The last months of the Buddha’s life: L.60–69 85
CHAPTER 2: DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON THE BUDDHA 94
Theravāda: Th.1–11 94
Qualities of the Buddha: Th.1 94
The Buddha’s relation to the Dhamma: Th.2–4 94
The nature of the Buddha: Th.5 95
The Buddha, his perfections built up in past lives as a bodhisatta, and his awakened disciples: Th.6–9 95
The status of the Buddha beyond his death: Th.10–11 97
Mahāyāna: M.1–13 99
Epithets and qualities of the Buddha: M.1–4 99
The nature of the Buddha: M.5–8 102
A Buddha’s three ‘bodies’: M.9–11 104
The Buddha-nature: M.12–13 106
Vajrayāna: V.1–6 108
The Buddha-nature: V.1 108
A Buddha’s three ‘bodies’: V.2 109
The five Buddha families: V.3–4 110
The Buddha within: V.5–6 112
PART II: THE DHAMMA/DHARMA 116
CHAPTER 3: CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TEACHINGS 116
Theravāda: Th.12–28 116
The qualities of the Dhamma: Th.12–13 116
Reasons for choosing to practise Buddhism: Th.14 116
Attitudes to other religions: Th.15 117
Disputes and tolerance: Th.16–20 117
The teachings as having a practical focus: Th.21–24 121
The way to liberating knowledge: Th.25–28 122
Mahāyāna: M.14–22 125
Qualities of the Dharma : M.14–16 125
Reasons for choosing to practise Buddhism: M.17 127
Disputes and tolerance: M.18–19 128
The teachings as means to an end: M.20–21 128
The teachings are pitched at different levels, to attract all: M.22 129
Vajrayāna: V.7–11 130
The qualities of the Dharma: V.7–9 130
Concise expositions of the Dharma: V.10–11 131
CHAPTER 4: ON SOCIETY AND HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS 137
Theravāda: Th.29–54 137
Good governance: Th.29–31 137
Peace, violence and crime: Th.32–36 139
Wealth and economic activity: Th.37–43 143
Social equality: Th.44–45 146
The equality of men and women: Th.46–48 148
Good human relationships: Th.49 150
Parents and children: Th.50 151
Husband and wife: Th.51–53 151
Friendship: Th.54 153
Mahāyāna: M.23–38 153
Good governance: M.23–25 153
Peace, violence and crime: M.26–29 154
Wealth and economy: M.30–31 155
Equality of men and women: M.32–33 156
Respect for and gratitude to parents: M.34–35 156
Sharing karmic benefit with dead relatives M.36–38 158
Vajrayāna: V.12–13 160
Advice on compassionate royal policy: V.12 160
Reflection on the kindnesses of one’s mother: V.13 163
CHAPTER 5: ON HUMAN LIFE 168
Theravāda: Th.55–78 168
The cycle of rebirths (saṃsāra): Th.55–58 168
Precious human rebirth: Th.59–61 169
Our world in the context of the universe: Th.62–63 170
Karma: Th.64–72 170
The implications of karma and rebirth for attitudes to others: Th.73–74 177
This life and all rebirths entail ageing, sickness and death: Th.75–78 177
Mahāyāna: M.39–45 180
Our universe: M.39 180
Karma: M.40–42 181
Precious human birth: M.43 184
Impermanence: M.44–45 184
Vajrayāna: V.14–23 185
Precious human birth: V.14–16 185
The pains of saṃsāra: V.17–23 188
CHAPTER 6: THE BUDDHIST PATH AND ITS PRACTICE 194
Theravāda: Th.79–101 194
Individual responsibility and personal effort: Th.79–84 194
The need for virtuous and wise companions as spiritual friends: Th.85–88 195
The role and nature of faith: Th.89–92 196
Going for refuge to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha: Th.93 197
Devotional activities: Th.94 198
Chants on the qualities of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha that bring protection and blessing: Th.95–96 198
Ethical discipline, meditation, wisdom: Th.97–98 200
The noble eightfold path: the middle way of practice Th.99–101 201
Mahāyāna: M.46–76 203
Faith: M.46-48 203
Going for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha: M.49–55 205
Individual responsibility and personal effort: M.56–57 208
The middle way: M.58–63 209
The path of the bodhisattva as superior to those of the disciple and solitary-buddha: M.64–67 211
The need for a spiritual teacher: M.68–70 214
Developing the awakening-mind (bodhi-citta): M.71–76 215
Vajrayāna: V.24–40 219
Faith: V.24–26 219
Going for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha V.27–29 220
The spiritual teacher: V.30–31 221
Practising the middle way: V.32 222
The awakening-mind (bodhi-citta): V.33–9 223
Graded stages of the path: V.40 227
CHAPTER 7: ETHICS 229
Theravāda: Th.102–120 229
Wholesome and unwholesome actions: Th.102–104 229
Generosity: Th.105–109 230
Precepts of ethical discipline: Th.110–111 232
Right livelihood, and extra precepts: Th.112–113 233
Loving kindness and patient acceptance: Th.114–116 234
Helping oneself and helping others: Th.117–118 236
Caring for animals and the environment: Th.119–120 237
Mahāyāna: M.77–108 237
The power of goodness: M.77 237
Generosity: M.78–79 238
The precepts of ethical discipline: M.80–87 239
Right livelihood, and extra precepts: M.88–89 241
Helping oneself and helping others: M.90–94 242
Teaching others: M.95 243
Care for animals and the environment: M.96 243
Loving kindness and compassion: M.97–99 244
The bodhisattva perfections: M.100–106 245
The bodhisattva vows and precepts: M.107–108 250
Vajrayāna: V.41–54 254
Wholesome and unwholesome actions: V.41 254
The perfection of generosity: V.42–44 254
The perfection of ethical discipline: V.45–48 256
The perfection of patient acceptance: V.49–53 258
The perfection of vigour: V.54 260
CHAPTER 8: MEDITATION 262
Theravāda: Th.121–142 262
The purpose of meditation: Th.121–122 262
The mind’s negative underlying tendencies but also bright potential: Th.123–124 263
The five hindrances and other defilements: Th.125–128 263
The importance of attention: Th.129–131 265
Calm (samatha) and insight (vipassanā) meditations: Th.132–133 267
Recollection of the qualities of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, and of the reality of death: Th.134–135 268
Meditation on the four limitless qualities: loving kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity: Th.136–137 269
The four foundations of mindfulness (satipaṭṭhāna) as ways to cultivate insight (vipassanā) and calm (samatha): Th.138 269
Mindfulness of breathing (ānāpāna-sati): Th.139 273
Meditative absorptions, higher knowledges and formless attainments: Th.140–142 275
Mahāyāna: M.109–128 278
Preparatory meditations: M.109 278
Not being attached to meditation: M.110 279
The radiant mind: M.111–112 279
Meditation on loving kindness and compassion: M.113 280
Recollecting the Buddhas: M.114 280
Mindfulness: M.115–116 282
Calm (śamatha) meditation and the four meditative absorptions: M.117–120 283
Insight (vipaśyanā) meditation: M.121–123 285
Chan/Zen meditation: M.124–128 286
Vajrayāna: V.55–70 291
Giving up distractions: V.55–56 291
Meditative concentration: V.57 293
Meditative antidotes for the various defilements: V.58–64 293
Meditation on the four limitless qualities: V.65–68 295
The four mindfulnesses: V.69 298
Meditation on the nature of mind: V.70 299
CHAPTER 9: WISDOM 301
Theravāda: Th.143–179 301
The nature of wisdom: Th.143–148 301
Suffering and the four Truths of the Noble Ones: Th.149–155 302
Dependent arising and how suffering originates: Th.156–168 306
Critical refledctions on the idea of a creator God: Th.169 311
The lack of a permanent, essential self: Th.170–179 312
Mahāyāna: M.129–150 317
The nature of wisdom: M.129 317
Dependent arising: M.130–131 317
Critical refledctions on the idea of a creator God: M.132 319
The lack of a permanent, essential self: M.133–136 320
Emptiness of inherent nature/inherent existence: M.137–141 323
Mind-only and emptiness of subject-object duality: M.142–143 327
The Buddha-nature as a positive reality : M.144–147 330
The radical interrelationship of all: M.148-150 332
Vajrayāna: V.71–76 335
The three types of wisdom: V.71–73 335
Dependent arising: V.74 336
Insight into the lack of identity: V.75–76 338
CHAPTER 10: THE GOALS OF BUDDHISM 343
Theravāda: 180–188 343
Happiness in this and future lives 343
Definitive spiritual breakthroughs 343
Nirvana: Th.180–188 343
Mahāyāna: M.151–159 346
Happiness in this and future lives 346
Definitive spiritual breakthroughs 347
Nirvana: M.151–155 347
Buddhahood: M.156–158 351
Pure Lands: M.159 353
Vajrayāna: V.77–83 355
Happiness in this and future lives: V.77 355
Definitive spiritual breakthroughs: V.78 356
Nirvana: V.79 356
Activities of the Buddha: V.80-83 357
PART III THE SANGHA OR SPIRITUAL ‘COMMUNITY’ 359
CHAPTER 11: MONASTIC AND LAY DISCIPLES AND NOBLE PERSONS 359
Theravāda Th.189–211 359
The Buddha’s community of monastic and lay disciples: Th.189–190 359
The monastic Sangha: Th.191–192 359
Monastic discipline: Th.193–198 360
Types of noble disciples: Th.199–204 363
Arahants: Th.205–211 366
Mahāyāna: M.160–164 368
Lay and monastic bodhisattvas: M.160–162 368
Monastic discipline: M.163–164 369
Vajrayāna: V.85 371
Monastic life: V.85 371
CHAPTER 12: EXEMPLARY LIVES 374
Theravāda: Th.212–231 374
Great arahant monk disciples: Th.212–219 374
Great arahant nun disciples: Th.220–225 378
Great laymen and laywomen disciples: Th.226–231 382
Mahāyāna: M.165–168 384
Great monastic disciples: M.165–167 384
Great lay disciples: M.168 389
Vajrayāna: V.86–91 390
Great accomplished ones: V.86–91 390
APPENDIXES 398
Buddhanet’s World Buddhist Directory 398
To hear some Buddhist chanting 398
Books on Buddhism 398
Printed translations and anthologies of translations 399
Web sources on Buddhism, including translations 410
Glossary/index of key Buddhist terms and names 411

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