Mahayana

  1. Vasubandhu's Treatise on the Bodhisattva Vow

    This is a treatise on the meaning of "The Sutra on Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha." It was written by the famous early Indian shastra master and bodhisattva, Shramana Vasubandhu (ca 300 ce). In this text, Vasubandhu discourses on the causality behind the origination of the bodhisattva vow (bodhicitta) and on each of the six perfections through which that vow reaches its fruition in buddhahood. This volume includes facing-page source text in both traditional and simplified scripts, variant-readings from other editions, and translator's notes.

  2. On Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha

    In this volume, Bhikshu Dharmamitra presents translations of three classic works on the bodhisattva vow (bodhicitta) authored by: The early Indian monastic eminence, Arya Nagarjuna (2nd c.); The Dhyana Master and Pureland Patriarch, Sheng'an Shixian (1686-1734); The Tang Dynasty literatus and prime minister, the Honorable Peixiu (797-870). Given that the bodhisattva vow constitutes the very essence of the path to buddhahood, this text can be said to be dedicated to the most important topic in all of Mahayana Buddhism. The translation and notes are by the American monk, Bhikshu Dharmamitra.

  3. Marvelous Stories from the Perfection of Wisdom

    This volume consists of 130 stories and short Dharma anecdotes selected from Nagarjuna's immense commentary on The Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra (Mahaprajnaparamita-upadesa). Each story is "framed" by the inclusion of Nagarjuna's introductory and summarizing Dharma discussions which place the stories in the context of the Bodhisattva Path to buddhahood. The translation and story selection are by the American monk, Bhikshu Dharmamitra. This volume includes facing-page source text in both traditional and simplified scripts.

  4. Letter from a Friend

    In this volume, Bhikshu Dharmamitra presents his translations of the three earliest editions of Arya Nagarjuna's "Letter from a Friend" (Suhrllekha), a work on the layman's practice of the Buddhist path. This text was written by Nagarjuna in the form of a letter of spiritual counsel to the early Indian monarch, King Satakarni. These three editions were produced in the middle part of the first millennium by Tripitaka Masters Gunavarman, Sanghavarman, and Yijing. English translations and notes by Bhikshu Dharmamitra.

  5. A Strand of Dharma Jewels

    This is Tripitaka Master Paramartha's earliest (ca 550 ce) complete edition of The Ratnavali, one of Arya Nagarjuna's most important works. In its five 100-verse chapters, Nagarjuna presents both abstruse teachings and practical advice to lay and monastic practitioners while also describing in considerable detail the short-term and long-term terrains of the Bodhisattva Path. This very early edition is particularly useful in shedding light on difficult passages in the much-later Tibetan "revised translation" edition, the only other complete edition of this work.

  6. Nagarjuna on the Six Perfections

    This text is a translation of chapters 17-30 of Arya Nagarjuna's immense "Exegesis on the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra" (Mahaprajnaparamita-upadesa). It is a free-standing section of that commentary exclusively devoted to analyzing and explaining the various levels of practice of the bodhisattva's six perfections.

  7. The Bodhisambhara Treatise Commentary

    This is a very detailed commentary on the meaning of each stanza comprising Arya Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara Shastra ("Treatise on the Provisions for Enlightenment") wherein Nagarjuna explains the essential prerequisites for achieving the enlightenment of a buddha and explains as well the most important practices to be undertaken by bodhisattvas. This is the only extant commentary on one of the most important works of Arya Nagarjuna, the 2nd century Indian monk who figured most importantly in articulating the terrains of the Bodhisattva Path.

  8. Nagarjuna's Guide to the Bodhisattva Path

    This is The Bodhisambhara Shastra ("Treatise on the Provisions for Enlightenment"), written by Arya Nagarjuna, the early Indian monk (ca 2nd c.) who is one of the most famous figures in the history of Indian Mahayana Buddhism. This work describes the essential prerequisites for achieving the complete enlightenment of a buddha while also describing the most important practices to be undertaken by bodhisattvas.

  9. The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation

    "The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation" is a classic Buddhist meditation instruction manual deeply rooted in the Indian Buddhist "calming-and-insight" meditation tradition. Within its tradition, it is the universally-acknowledged standard beginning-to-intermediate meditation manual, one which offers perhaps the most reliable, comprehensive, and practically-useful Buddhist meditation instruction currently available in English.

  10. Awakening of the Heart

    Awakening of the Heart is a comprehensive, single volume collection of the Buddha’s key sutras, translated with contemporary commentary by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. It is an essential complement to Happiness, the bestselling collection of meditation and mindful practices released in 2009. Awakening of the Heart captures the heart of Buddhist wisdom and Thich Nhat Hanh’s unique talent to make the Buddha’s teachings accessible and applicable to our daily lives and times. This is a wonderful gift for anyone looking to deepen their practice and understanding of the teachings, as well as a unique resource to understand the fundamentals of Buddhism from its source.

  11. The Lotus Sutra

    Since its appearance in China in the third century, the Lotus Sutra has been regarded as one of the most illustrious scriptures in the Mahayana Buddhist canon. The object of intense veneration among generations of Buddhists in China, Korea, Japan, and other parts of East Asia, it has attracted more commentary than any other Buddhist scripture and has had a profound impact on the great works of Japanese and Chinese literature. Conceived as a drama of colossal proportions, the text takes on new meaning in Burton Watson's translation.

  12. The Concept of Bodhicitta in Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara

    This book explores an important concept within the Buddhist Mahayana tradition, bodhicitta. This term appears frequently in Sanskrit literature relating to the spiritual practices of the bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism and has been variously translated as "thought of enlightenment" or "desire of enlightenment". Francis Brassard offers a contextual analysis of bodhicitta based on the presuppositions underlying the spiritual practice of the bodhisattva. Since the understanding that emerges involves how one ought to view the process of spiritual transformation, this work contributes to Buddhist psychology and soteriology in particular, and to comparative religions in general. The book surveys the various interpretations of the concept of bodhicitta, analyzes its possible functions in the context of the spiritual path of the aspirant to enlightenment, and discusses an understanding of bodhicitta in the context of the Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara.

  13. Text as Father

    This beautifully written work sheds new light on the origins and nature of Mahayana Buddhism with close readings of four well-known texts--the Lotus Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Tathagatagarbha Sutra, and Vimalakirtinirdesa. Treating these sutras as literary works rather than as straightforward philosophic or doctrinal treatises, Alan Cole argues that these writings were carefully sculpted to undermine traditional monastic Buddhism and to gain legitimacy and authority for Mahayana Buddhism as it was veering away from Buddhism's older oral and institutional forms. His sophisticated and sustained analysis of the narrative structures and seductive literary strategies used in these sutras suggests that they were specifically written to encourage devotion to the written word instead of other forms of authority, be they human, institutional, or iconic.

  14. Popular Buddhist texts from Nepal

    This book demonstrates how popular ritual texts and story narratives have shaped the religious life and culture of the only surviving South Asian Mahayana Buddhist society, the Newars of Kathmandu. It begins with an account of the Newar Buddhist community's history and its place within the religious environment of Nepal and proceeds to build around five popular translations, several of which were known across Asia: the Srngabheri Avadana, the Simhalasarthabahu Avadana, the Tara, the Mahakala Vratas, and the Pancaraksa.

  15. Opening to Our Primordial Nature

    This book provides clear and deep explanations of how to uncover our inherent wisdom and compassion. The authors explain how our minds function and what our primordial nature is; they show us how to go about cultivating insight, bodhichitta, and devotion so that our true nature can manifest. They give detailed instructions on how to meditate using the tantric techniques of visualization, mantra, and formless meditation. At the same time, the book is simple and accessible, pointing out how we can see our fundamentally enlightened nature.

  16. Wisdom Nectar

    Dudjom Rinpoche was one of the seminal figures in Tibetan Buddhism in the twentieth century, yet very few of his religious writings have been translated into English. This volume contains a generous selection of his inspiring teachings and writings, the core of which is a lengthy discussion of the entire path of Dzogchen, including key instructions on view, meditation, and conduct, along with direct advice on how to bring one's experiences onto the path.

  17. The Wisdom of Nagarjuna

    All Buddhist schools have denied the existence of the self as an identical permanent substance. They have also universally rejected the notion of a supreme God. They have however accepted the reality of pre-existence and subsequent rebirth as well as the provisional efficiency of actions (Karma). Those who adhere to the doctrine of the self have opposed this view, because as they contend, denial of an identical permanent self controverts the efficiency of actions and the doctrine of rebirth.

  18. Apocryphal Scripture

    This text, the Bequeathed Teaching Sutra (Fo chui ban nie pan liao shuo jiao jiejing, or Yijiaojing for short), was translated into Chinese around 400 C.E. and became an influential text often cited and commented on among Chinese Buddhists in the Tang, Song, and Ming dynasties. In Chan (Zen) communities in particular, it was considered a basic reference, taught and studied through the ages.

  19. Karmasiddhiprakarana

    Valuable companion work to the Abhidharmakosa, re-translated from the French work of the master scholar Lamotte, and dealing with a variety of philosophical problems connected with the law of karma.

  20. The Universal Vehicle Discourse Literature (Mahayanasutralamkara)

    This is a fully annotated, critical English translation of Maitreyanatha's Universal Vehicle Discourse Literature (Mahayanasutralamkara), as transmitted to the fourth-century Indian Buddhist scholar-adept Ärya Asanga, along with its commentary (bhasya) by Asanga's brother Vasubandhu. A wellspring of the "magnificent deeds trend of the path," the Discourse Literature emphasizes the compassion side of Buddhist thought. Includes an introduction covering essential historical and philosophical topics, a bibliography, and detailed index.

  21. Mahayana Buddhism

    Originating in India, Mahayana Buddhism spread across Asia, becoming the prevalent form of Buddhism in Tibet and East Asia. Over the last twenty-five years Western interest in Mahayana has increased considerably, reflected both in the quantity of scholarly material produced and in the attraction of Westerners towards Tibetan Buddhism and Zen.

  22. Maitreya's Distinguishing Phenomena and Pure Being

    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.

  23. Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra

    .One of the most popular Asian classics for roughly two thousand years, the Vimalakirti Sutra stands out among the sacred texts of Mahayana Buddhism for its conciseness, its vivid and humorous episodes, its dramatic narratives, and its eloquent exposition of the key doctrine of emptiness or nondualism. Unlike most sutras, its central figure is not a Buddha but a wealthy townsman, who, in his mastery of doctrine and religious practice, epitomizes the ideal lay believer.

  24. The Bodhidharma Anthology

    In the early part of this century, the discovery of a walled-up cave in northwest China led to the retrieval of a lost early Ch'an (Zen) literature of the T'ang dynasty (618-907). One of the recovered Zen texts was a seven-piece collection, the Bodhidharma Anthology. Of the numerous texts attributed to Bodhidharma, this anthology is the only one generally believed to contain authentic Bodhidharma material. Jeffrey L. Broughton provides a reliable annotated translation of the Bodhidharma Anthology along with a detailed study of its nature, content, and background.

  25. Abhisamayalankara

    Some two thousand years ago Buddhism experienced a major reformation through a movement called the Mahayana, or "Great Vehicle," which dominated religious thought in much of Asia for many centuries and still exerts considerable influence. The basic Mahayana texts were sermons ascribed to the Buddha, called "Sutras" in Sanskrit. The earliest and most influential of these Mahayana Sutras had the "perfection of wisdom" as its main subject matter.

  26. The Jewel Ornament of Liberation

    The Jewel Ornament of Liberation is a masterwork of Tibetan Buddhism. For more than eight centuries, this text has provided a complete foundation for Buddhist study and practice - covering the initial entry into the path and continuing through to the achievement of Buddhahood. It includes teachings on Buddha-nature, finding a spiritual master, impermanence, karma, the cultivation of bodhicitta, the development of the six perfections, the ten Bodhisattva bhumis, Buddhahood, and the activities of a Buddha.

  27. The Lankavatara Sutra

    The present translation of D.T. Suzuki is based upon the Sanskrit edition of Bunyu Nanjo (1923). This edition reflects those fundamental themes of Buddhism which the Mahayana in general cherishes and upholds. It looks at existence from the absolute and relative realms, and thinks that suffering will be experienced so long as one confines oneself to the realm of the relative. Since the relative cannot be ultimately realm, it has to be seen as nothing more than a projection of the mind.

  28. Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka

    The Indian philosopher Acharya Nagarjuna (c. 150-250 CE) was the founder of the Madhyamaka (Middle Path) school of Mahayana Buddhism and arguably the most influential Buddhist thinker after Buddha himself. Indeed, in the Tibetan and East Asian traditions, Nagarjuna is often referred to as the 'second Buddha.' His primary contribution to Buddhist thought lies is in the further development of the concept of sunyata or 'emptiness.' For Nagarjuna, all phenomena are without any svabhaba, literally 'own-nature' or 'self-nature', and thus without any underlying essence.

  29. Engaging in Bodhisattva Behaviour

    Engaging in Bodhisattva Behaviour (sPyod-‘jug, Bodhisattvacharya-avatara) by Shantideva is text translated from Tibetan by Alexander Berzin, 2005. It was composed by the teacher Shantideva (first half of the eighth century C. E.). It was translated into Tibetan,edited, and settled upon from a Kashmiri manuscript by the learned Indian master Sarvajna-deva and the editor-translator monk Peltseg (early ninth century C. E.).

  30. Middle Beyond Extremes

    Middle Beyond Extremes contains a translation of the Buddhist masterpiece Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes. This famed text, often referred to by its Sanskrit title, Madhyantavibhaga, is part of a collection known as the Five Maitreya Teachings. Maitreya, the Buddha's regent, is held to have entrusted these profound and vast instructions to the master Asanga in the heavenly realm of Tushita.

  31. A study on the Ratnagotravibhaga (Uttaratantra)

    The Ratnagotravibhāga is one of the treatises on the Mahāyāna doctrine written in Sanskrit. The Ratnagotravibhaga, elucidates the Third Turning of the Buddha's teachings on Buddha-essence - the inherent qualities and potential for Buddhahood present in all beings. This study includes a critical introduction, a synopsis of the text, a translation from the original in comparison with its Tibetan & Chinese versions and critical notes.

  32. A Historical Study of the Terms Hinayana and Mahayana and the Origin of Mahayana Buddhism

    The main book is divided into two parts. The first part is mainly devoted to a full discussion of the terms Hinayana and Mahayana from various points of view. In the second part the different applications of the terms Hinayana and Mahayana in the two periods of the making of Mahayana Buddhism and of Mahayana teachers are discussed.

  33. Gentling the Bull

    The Venerable Myokyo-ni is one of today’s most distinguished teachers in the Rinzai Zen tradition. In Gentling the Bull she offers an insightful explanation of the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures, showing how they are a metaphor of both one’s Zen training and spiritual journey. The Ten Ox-Herding Pictures, also known as the Ten Bull Pictures, are believed to have been drawn by Kakuan, a twelfth-century Chinese Zen master, but became widely used as a means of Zen study in fifteenth-century Japan.

  34. Yogacara Idealism

    In this book an attempt has been made to expound the metaphysics of the Yogacara school of Buddhism in all its aspects and bearings. Chapters are devoted to a critical and constructive discussion of its idealistic core as well as its spiritual discipline. According to Prof. T.R.V. Murti who occupied a conspicuous place in the galaxy of Indian philosophers, the author 'has utilized nearly all the sources available on the subject and has given a faithful and persuasive account of this system of thought'.

  35. How to Practice the Buddhadharma

    How to Practice the Buddhadharma with the subtitle: A Lamp Illuminating the Path to Liberation by Sera Je Lharam Geshe Tsulga is a practical explanation of how to put the Buddha’s teachings into practice, with emphasis on the early stages of the path, guru devotion and the importance of dharma in light of reincarnation. The book gives excellent and throughout instructions for meditations. Geshe Tsulga fled Tibet in 1959 after the Tibetan uprising against Chinese occupation. He arrived in USA in 1995 and is now teacher at Kurukulla Center in Boston.

  36. The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way

    The Buddhist saint Nagarjuna, who lived in South India in approximately the second century CE, is undoubtedly the most important, influential, and widely studied Mahayana Buddhist philosopher. His many works include texts addressed to lay audiences, letters of advice to kings, and a set of penetrating metaphysical and epistemological treatises. His greatest philosophical work, the Mulamadhyamikakarika—read and studied by philosophers in all major Buddhist schools of Tibet, China, Japan, and Korea—is one of the most influential works in the history of Indian philosophy.

  37. Zen Buddhism: A History

    This volume represents a newly revised and greatly expanded edition of Heinrich Dumoulin's acclaimed history of Zen Buddhism which was first published over 30 years ago. It has been updated to take into account the wealth of historical research that has gone on in the intervening years, insuring its place as a standard reference work in the field. This volume treats Zen from its roots in ancient Indian Buddhism and Yoga to its flowering in China under the influence of Taoism and Confucian thought.

  38. Nagarjuna in Context

    Aiming to overcome the limitations of our biographical knowledge about one of the most famous Indian philosophers, Joseph Walser's ambitious Nāgārjuna in Context seeks to locate the progenitor of the Madhyamaka school of Buddhist thought (generally taken to have flourished around 150 CE) with historical precision. Nāgārjuna's influential but enigmatic works were composed, Walser argues, “in a Mahāsāṅghika monastery in or near an urban center in the Lower Krishna River Valley in [what is now] modern Andhra Pradesh” (14), probably between 175 and 204 CE (86–87).

  39. Buddha Nature

    All sentient beings, without exception have buddha nature, the inherent purity and perfection of the mind, untouched by changing mental states. Thus there is neither any reason for conceit in deeming oneself better than others, nor any reason for self-contempt, thinking of oneself as inferior and unable to reach enlightenment. This seeing is obscured by veils which are removable and do not touch the inherent purity and perfection of the nature of the mind as such.