In writing about the times of the Buddha, Bani Basu composes a new Jataka, the traditional format in which the tales of the different births of the Buddha were written down. In this Jataka-as-a-novel, she grapples with history and the revolutionary ideas of the Buddha, who suggested new ways of living, new political formations, of a major change in belief, indeed, in thinking about God or the absence of one. Delving into history and biography, Sanskrit and Pali, her novel is intriguingly contemporary, though set in the sixth century BC
A moment of intense silence followed and then the Rigden spoke up, his voice even: ÔYou have all been called today before the sacred court and from now, in every breath, in every heartbeat, in the shadow of every moment, in the intensity of the thoughtless state, in life, and in not-life, in physical or subtle form, we declare you our emissaries, our sacred envoys to the world of men. Shambala has a task for youÉÕ Lama Ozer and hisÊnovitiate Tashi leave the hidden monastery where they have lived all their livesÊin answer to a call from the legendary kingdom of Shambala received by the lama while deep in trance. Battling the freezing cold and snow of high, mist-laden mountain passes and the many evil forces that thwart their progress, they trek through Sikkim and Tibet to arrive at the Silver Fortress. Here they meet a host of divine and dark celestial beings, including the golden dakini, Yeshe Nam Lha, daughter of the Goddess Tara; Prince A-KarO, heir to the Lha Empire; and Prince Narasimha, heir to the Rigdens and the Shambala legacy. Both the princes are YesheÕs guardians and suitors, and she must travel with them to Earth where it is decreed that her child, Maitreya, the saviour, will be born. But before that happens they have the Asur forces to combat, and the dark prince Arden, who holds Yeshe captive, enthralled by his brooding menace, bewitched by his spell. Drawing richly from the vast pantheon of otherworldly beings that populate the myths of the Mahayana school of Buddhism, Path of the Swan, the first part of the surreally beautiful Tibetan-Buddhist fantasy series The Maitreya Chronicles, is a mesmerizingÊsaga of the battle between celestials and dark forces, and the descent of the celestials to Earth.
The Ōjōyōshū, written by the monk Genshin (942–1017), is one of the most important texts in the history of Japanese religions. It is the first comprehensive guide to the doctrine and practice of Pure Land Buddhism written in Japan and so played a pivotal role in establishing this form of Buddhism in the country. In Genshin’s Ōjōyōshū and the Construction of Pure Land Discourse in Heian Japan, the first book in English on the Ōjōyōshū in more than forty years, Robert F. Rhodes draws on the latest scholarship to shed new light on the text, its author, and the tumultuous age in which it was written. Rhodes begins by providing substantial discussion on the development of Pure Land Buddhism before the Ōjōyōshū’s appearance and a thorough account of Genshin’s life, the full details of which have never before been available in English. Japan in the tenth century was marked by far-reaching political, social, and economic change, all of which had a significant effect on religion, including the emergence of numerous new religious movements in Kyoto. Pure Land was the most popular of these, and the faith embraced by the Tendai scholar Genshin when he became disaffected with the growing factionalism at Enrakuji, Tendai’s central temple. A significant portion of Rhodes’ study is a wide-ranging examination of the Ōjōyōshū’s Pure Land teachings in which he describes and analyzes Genshin’s interpretations of Pure Land cosmology and nenbutsu practice. For Genshin the latter encompassed an extensive range of practices for focusing the mind on Amida Buddha—from the simple recitation of Namu Amidabutsu (“recitative nenbutsu”) to the advanced meditative practice of visualizing the buddha (“meditative nenbutsu”). According to the Ōjōyōshū, all of these are effective means for ensuring birth in Amida’s Pure Land. This impressively researched and updated treatment of the formative text in the Japanese Pure Land tradition will be welcomed by all scholars and students of Japanese religions. It also offers a fascinating window into Heian (794–1185) religious life, which will be of interest to anyone concerned with medieval Japan.
Three mountains and the seven rivers is a collection of 56 essays to felicitate the sixtieth birthday of Doctor Musashi Techikawa, Professor at Aichi gakuin University in Nagoya. This volume consist of thirteen Sections; (1) Ancient Geography, (2) Buddhism, (3) Madhyamika, (4) Iconography, (5) Jainism, (6) Logic, (7) Poetics, (9) Social Practice, (10) Tibetan Themes, (11) Vedanta and Mimamsa, (12) Samkhya and Yoga and (13) Tantrism. these saetions throw new light on enduring themes in Indian studies as well as raises fresh issues.
Maitreya was known to early Indian Buddhists in three distinct roles --as a member of Sakyamuni's audience,as a great Bodhisattva who rules over the Tusita heaven and welcomes believers to share its joys and as the Buddha-to-be, who in future will attain the Enlightmen and leads countless hosts to salvation. The art and iconography of Maitreya throw on the material culture of India for various centuries. But barring a few excptions there was hardly any comprehensive study on Maitreya from the point of view of an art-historian and art-critic. This excellently illustrated the Maitreya Buddha in Literature, History and Art is a welcome beginning of specialised studies on Maitreya, the future Buddha.
The Book Highlights The Historical Evolution Of Different Phases Of Maitreya Iconography In Various Regions Of The Indian Subcontinent. Dr. Kim Combines Extensive Field-Work With Diverse Literary Sources To Thoroughly Explore Some Problematic Issues.
Buddhist priests by Ittâpāna Dhammālaṅkāra (Sthavira.)
The History of Indian Buddhism is undoubtedly Msgr. E. Lamotte's most brilliant contribution to the field of Buddhist exegesis. The work contains a vivid, vigorous and fully-detailed description of early Buddhism and its teachings, the material organization of the Community, the formation and further developments of the writings, the conciliar traditions, the evolution of Buddhist sculpture and architecture, the origins of the sects, the Buddhist dialects and the constitution of the legends, and sets them in the historical background in which buddhist doctrines originated and expanded in India and in the neighbouring countries. Using the material evidence provided by Indian epigraphy and archaeological remains on the one hand, and taking into account the data supplied by Western (Latin and Greek) and Far Eastern (Tibetan and Chinese) sources on the other, Msgr. E. Lamotte has succeeded in producing a lucid and basic book that is unanimously considered as a classic of contemporary Buddhist studies. After thirty years, the work has retained all its value, but, in order to meet the requirements of recent Buddhist scholarship, the History of Indian Buddhism has been supplemented with an additional bibliography, an index of technical terms and revised geographical maps.