Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha

Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha

Edited by: E. A. Burtt

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780451200778
  • 256 Pages
  • NAL
  • Adult


With its origins in ancient India, Buddhism is a system of thought that has enriched the religious lives of billions–and in more recent times, swept through the Western world as well. Now anyone who wants to learn more about Buddhism can go directly to the source, with this collection of original documents–edited, with commentary, by a Cornell University professor of philosophy.

Table of Contents

General Introduction

Book One: The Early Scriptures of Buddhism

Part I. Some Basic Doctrines of the Buddha
1. The Sermon at Benates
2. Questions Not Tending to Edification
3. Truth Is Above Sectarian Dogmatism
4. How Buddha Met a Schism Among His Disciples
5. The Parable of the Mustard Seed
6. Universal Love and Good Will
7. Buddha’s Farewell Address

Part II. Treading the Path to Nirvana
1. The Way of Truth
2. Songs of the Wayfarers

Part III. The Spirit of Theravada Buddhism
1. The Zenaka Story of Buddha’s Birth and Early Life
2. The Fire Sermon
3. On Health of Mind
4. What Is Gained by Abandoning the World and Becoming a Monk?
5. The Duties of the Theravada Layman
6. What Is Nirvana? (Theravada View)
7. The Nirvana of the Buddha
8. Crossing the Ford
9. Is the Buddha Equally Compassionate Towards All?
10. Is Adopting the Way of the Monk a Selfish Act?

Book Two: Buddhist Thought Through Later Centuries

Part IV. The Mahayana Religious Ideal
1. Hymn to the Buddha of Infinite Compassion and Wisdom
2. The Bodhisattva’s Vow of Universal Redemption
3. The Path of Light and Love
4. Famous Mahayana Parables
5. The Eternal Buddha of Countless Worlds
6. What Is Nirvana? (Mahayana View)

Part V. Some Mahayana Philosophies
1. Nagarjuna’s Analysis of Casualty and of Nirvana
2. Vasubandhu’s Argument for Subjective Idealism
3. Ultimate Reality Is Absolute Mind
4. Ultimate Reality Transcends What Can Be Expressed in Words

Part VI. Devotional and Institutional Buddhism in China and Japan
1. The Pure Land of Amitabha
2. The White Lotus Ode
3. Honen’s Letter and Poems
4. Shinran’s Songs to Amida
5. The Bodhisattva Who Saves Even from the Depths of Hell
6. Tao Sheng on Nirvana and the Buddha’s Way
7. Seng Ts’an’s Poem on Trust in the Heart
8. Shen Hui’s Sermon on Sudden Awakening
9. A Zen “Koan”
10. The Mahayana Layman’s Ideal

Epilogue: Buddha’s Pity