Reading Recommendations

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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maranadhammomhi
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Reading Recommendations

Post by maranadhammomhi » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:52 pm

A recent comment in here suggesting (& I do not know if this is true) that the works of Early Mahāyāna thinkers such as Nagarjuna & Vasubhandu were based primarily on the early buddhist texts as opposed to uniquely Mahayana doctrines has piqued my interest in expanding my range of study...now, presently I am as Orthodox as can be, but before reaching this point I had a long on & off fling with Mahayana & here & there still think there is some value in texts formulated by various teachers. Based on that & on my general interest in Early Buddhism, plus the feeling that I'm soon exhausting the range of canonical & post-canonical Theravādin texts, I'd like to request recommendations for:

1) whichever english translations of EBTs exist & significantly differ from what is found in theravāda
2) any works, early buddhist or not, that are dominantly based off of the views in EBTs, such as those akin to what I mentioned above re: Nagarjuna & Vasubhandu.
3) commentaries on the above, comparisons of early buddhist doctrines, historical overviews, or anything at all that can expand my knowledge of the early buddhist dhamma beyond the range of what is offered by theravāda

With metta & karuna :)
Dylan
facebook.com/noblebuddhadhamma

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retrofuturist
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Re: Reading Recommendations

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:17 am

Greetings Dylan,
maranadhammomhi wrote:2) any works, early buddhist or not, that are dominantly based off of the views in EBTs, such as those akin to what I mentioned above re: Nagarjuna & Vasubhandu.
In this context, I would recommend the works of Ven. Nanananda, because he addresses the types of Buddhist knowledge traditionally associated with the likes of Nagarjuna & Vasubhandu, but unlike Mahayana practitioners, he approaches it primarily through the perspective of the Early Buddhist Texts and is unafraid to disagree with the commentaries where necessary.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

thomaslaw
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Re: Reading Recommendations

Post by thomaslaw » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:05 am

maranadhammomhi wrote: like to request recommendations for:

1) whichever english translations of EBTs exist & significantly differ from what is found in theravāda
2) any works, early buddhist or not, that are dominantly based off of the views in EBTs, such as those akin to what I mentioned above re: Nagarjuna & Vasubhandu.
3) commentaries on the above, comparisons of early buddhist doctrines, historical overviews, or anything at all that can expand my knowledge of the early buddhist dhamma beyond the range of what is offered by theravāda

Dylan
Dear Dylan, and all,

I would like to recommend the following:

- Choong Mun-keat. 2000. The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism: A comparative study based on the Sutra-anga portion of the Pali Samyutta-Nikaya and the Chinese Samyukta-agama (Beitraga zur Indologie Band 32, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden).

- Choong Mun-keat. 2010. 'Problems and Prospects of the Chinese Samyukta-agama: Its Structure and Content' in Translating Buddhist Chinese: Problems and Prospects (East Asia Intercultural Studies: Interkulturelle Ostasienstudien 3, edited by Konrad Meisig, Harrassowitz Verlag), pp. 53-63.

The subject items of the Sutra-anga portion of Samyukta/Samyutta are evidently the core teachings of early Buddhism, early Abhidharma Buddhism, and also fundamental to Mahayana Buddhism (such as Nagarjuna and the Yogacara Buddhist tradition). But the teachings of the Sutra-anga portion of Samyukta/Samyutta are 'not entirely' the same as Theravada, early Abhidharma (including Theravada Abhidhamma), and Mahayana Buddhism. It seems to me the contents of the Sutra-anga portion of Samyukta/Samyutta are the early Buddhist dhamma beyond the range of what is offered by Theravada (cf. above Choong Mun-keat, 2010, pp. 61-62).

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Thomas
Last edited by thomaslaw on Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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polarbear101
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Re: Reading Recommendations

Post by polarbear101 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:27 am

See this thread here: Early Buddhism Resources

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

Derek
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Re: Reading Recommendations

Post by Derek » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:36 am

maranadhammomhi wrote:historical overviews, or anything at all that can expand my knowledge of the early buddhist dhamma beyond the range of what is offered by theravāda
For many years, Richard H. Robinson's Buddhist Religions has been a standard college-level survey of the development of Buddhism.

Caodemarte
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Re: Reading Recommendations

Post by Caodemarte » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:37 pm

Oldies, but goodies: T.R.V. Murti's The Central Conception of Buddhism or Mulamadhyamakakarika of Nagarjuna: The Philosophy of the Middle Way by the late Professor David J. Kalupahana. (Professor David J. Kalupahana was criticized as a bit of Theravada triumphalist :smile: here and in some of his many other works of Buddhist history and philosophy, but his approach may be quite useful for you.)

These two seem to be exactly what you are looking for.

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aflatun
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Re: Reading Recommendations

Post by aflatun » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:25 pm

maranadhammomhi wrote:A recent comment in here suggesting (& I do not know if this is true) that the works of Early Mahāyāna thinkers such as Nagarjuna & Vasubhandu were based primarily on the early buddhist texts as opposed to uniquely Mahayana doctrines has piqued my interest in expanding my range of study...now, presently I am as Orthodox as can be, but before reaching this point I had a long on & off fling with Mahayana & here & there still think there is some value in texts formulated by various teachers. Based on that & on my general interest in Early Buddhism, plus the feeling that I'm soon exhausting the range of canonical & post-canonical Theravādin texts, I'd like to request recommendations for:

1) whichever english translations of EBTs exist & significantly differ from what is found in theravāda
2) any works, early buddhist or not, that are dominantly based off of the views in EBTs, such as those akin to what I mentioned above re: Nagarjuna & Vasubhandu.
3) commentaries on the above, comparisons of early buddhist doctrines, historical overviews, or anything at all that can expand my knowledge of the early buddhist dhamma beyond the range of what is offered by theravāda

With metta & karuna :)
Dylan
I second retro's recommendation

As far as #2 goes, my recommendations won't directly draw a correlation to EBTs (but its nevertheless there in my opinion). I would highly recommend starting with Professor Eviatar Shulman who's writings on Nagarjuna and Vasubhandu can be found on academia.edu. For Nagarjuna you could start with "Creative Ignorance: Nagarjuna on the Ontological Significance of Consciousness."

For Vasubhandu: "Vasubhandu on Truth and Subjectivity."

He has a chapter in a book comparing the two which is wonderful (not available on academia). Let me know if you're interested in that.

I would recommend avoiding other resources on Nagarjuna until you've read Shulman, and after you've done so the reason why I say this might become obvious (and you'll benefit more from the other resources).

I did it backwards, starting with Garfield, Kalupahana, etc, and it required a large dose of Shulman (and indirectly Nanananda) to 'unlearn' what I now hold to be later accretions and distortions of Nagarjuna's teachings and begin to approach what I think is a more correct understanding (I am not a scholar or an expert, this is merely an opinion). This will sound insane to some but I think Nagarjuna often appears incomprehensible precisely because of these later accretions and distortions. What he's saying is quite straight forward (I should cover my head as I say this, I can almost feel the mud being hurled at me).

Dan Lusthaus is highly praised for his works on Vasubhandu but I can't comment as that's been on my to do list for months.

metta

aflatun
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Reading Recommendations

Post by Pseudobabble » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:03 am

You may like Asanga's Abhidharmasamuccaya.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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Will
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Re: Reading Recommendations

Post by Will » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:15 pm

This breath meditation text by Tian-tai Master Chih-i (6th c.) is based on early Dhamma teachings. Translator gives sources which say Buddha used breath method under the Bodhi Tree.

http://kalavinka.org/kp_book_pages/sgs_book_page.htm
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
Nietzsche

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