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New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:20 pm
by JohnK
Any thoughts on this book?
The "praise" seems to be exclusively from academics although the blurb says for general readers AND scholars.
https://www.wisdompubs.org/book/early-b ... ngs/praise
I am not an academic and am not familiar with the author or his writing style.

Re: New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:04 pm
by Javi
Those are a lot of heavy hitters in Buddhist studies it seems, its making me want to buy it myself.

Also, not sure if it is a new book, or a new edition or printing. It seems like the book has been around for awhile

https://www.buddhistdoor.net/features/e ... d-practice

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat ... tle=125274

Re: New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:18 am
by salayatananirodha
Cool. Thanks for sharing!

Re: New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:32 pm
by JohnK
Javi wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:04 pm
not sure if it is a new book, or a new edition or printing. It seems like the book has been around for awhile
I received an email titled 'New Releases" which included a pitch for this book -- hence my post here.
However, it appears that you are probably right -- just a "new release" for Wisdom.
I did call them and left a message with the question; if I hear back with anything more than that, I'll post.

Re: New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:30 am
by sphairos
I have the book, it's great. Something like a final say of a distinguished Sri Lankan Abhidhamma scholar on the topic of Early Buddhism ('s teachings).

Re: New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:45 am
by thomaslaw
sphairos wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:30 am
I have the book, it's great. Something like a final say of a distinguished Sri Lankan Abhidhamma scholar on the topic of Early Buddhism ('s teachings).
The book is in fact based on the Pali texts on the topic of early Buddhist teachings.

Re: New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:13 am
by mikenz66
From the available preview: https://www.wisdompubs.org/book/early-b ... -teachings it looks like an excellent analysis of the suttas.

:heart:
Mike

Re: New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:10 am
by sphairos
thomaslaw wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:45 am
sphairos wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:30 am
I have the book, it's great. Something like a final say of a distinguished Sri Lankan Abhidhamma scholar on the topic of Early Buddhism ('s teachings).
The book is in fact based on the Pali texts on the topic of early Buddhist teachings.
Why do you say that? Did I say something incorrectly ?

Re: New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:00 am
by mikenz66
Perhaps there was a misreading of what you posted:
sphairos wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:30 am
I have the book, it's great. Something like a final say of a distinguished Sri Lankan Abhidhamma scholar on the topic of Early Buddhism ('s teachings).
As you say, Prof Karunadasa is well known for his work on Abhidhamma, but this particular book concentrates on the Suttas. However, from what I can tell from the preview, he does give some insight into the connections between the Suttas and the Abhidhamma. It looks very interesting. Unfortunately, I can't quote it well as the preview is incomplete:
... citta an cetasika is not an Abhidhammic innovation. In one Buddhist discourse we read the perception and feeling are mental factors (cetasika dhamma) and that they are conjoined with consciousness (citta-patibaddha). [Ref 17] This shows that consciousness as that which constitutes the knowing or awareness of an object can never arise in its true separate condition. It always arises in immediate conjunction with mental factors, such as feeling, that perform more specialized tasks in the act of cognition.
Since I only have the preview, I'm not sure which sutta he's referring to in Ref 17. Presumably MN 44 https://suttacentral.net/mn44

:heart:
Mike

Re: New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:12 pm
by sphairos
(Dear All, note, that you can get a cheap paperback by BPS, like I did. Browse Abebooks.com -- mine was just $13)

Dear Mike, I couldn't find your preview (where is it?), but I identified the page by the reference: it's page 55, chapter 5 "The Analysis of Mind". You are correct: it's MN 44.

Let me explain why I worded my take on the book the way I did:

The Preface (p. X, literally the second phrase of the book):

"The present volume takes up the position that the best way to understand the early Buddhist teachings is to understand them as a critical response to the binary opposition between two world-views: spiritual eternalism (sassatavAda) and materialist annihilationism (ucchedavAda)."

I expect you to agree wth me that that is a very unusual way of opening a scholarly inquiry into early Buddhist teachng(s). Most scholars would refrain from such straightforward and philosophical claims (which are in my personal view more than true , and I personally wrote the same in one of my articles). And that opening immediately gives out a philosopher's attitude, which you are to expect from a scholar whose famous themes are "Time and Space", "The Nominal and the Conceptual", "The Material Clusters", "Conditional Relations" (from his "The TheravAda Abhidhamma" and other works).

Then lets proceed to the first chapter (1. Some Preliminary Obseervations):

(p.4)

"The Dhamma is a conceptual, theoretical model which describes the nature of actuality through a series of propositons. We find this idea formally expressed in an Abhidhamma compendium when it says: It is by not going beyond concepts (pan~n~atti) that the nature of actuality has been presented," (Reference 13: Mohavicchedani. 266 ...) Here the term "concept" denotes both concept-as-naming (nAma-pan~n~ati) and concept-as-meaning (attha-pan~n~atti). (Reference 14: VisuddhimaggaTika. 225, Paramattha-Vinicchaya. V. 1066)"

Go further:

(p. 5)

"From the Buddhist perspective, therefore, wrongly hypostatized entities and objects of reification are nothing but conceptual constructs, logical abstractions , or pure denominations with no corresponding objective counterparts." Later goes Reference 18 to KathAvatthu ATThakathA.

(p.6)

"..."the nominative expression" (kattu-sAdhana) in Buddhist exegesis, gives rise to the false notion that corresponding to the grammatical subject there is an ontological concept as well. An example given in this in this connection is: "cognition arises" (vin~n~aNaM vijAnAti). This kind of definition is made by superimposing a distinction on where there is no such distinction (abhede bhede-parikappanA)..." At the end the reference 20 follows: AbhidhammathavikAsinI. 156.

(p. 7)

"if... one were to say "the five aggregates eat" (khandhA bhun~jAti), instead of saying "a person eats," "a person walks," such a situaton would result in "breach of convention" (vohAra-bheda), leading to a breakdown of meaningful communication."" Reference 22, SaMyutta ATThakathA I 51.

(p. 9)

"Here we find an instance of inferential (inductive) knowledge (anvaye n~ANa), which is one of the means of knowledge recognized in Early Buddhist epistemology (Refernence 30 : DIgha and other texts, icluding VibhaNga of Abhidhamma). Having first understood the fact of suffering and its cause? in the immediate present, through personal verification, one draws and inference (nayaM neti) with regard to the future as follows:"

While some chapters are devoted mainly to the NikAya material, each chapter that deals with "philosophical problems" includes complex Abhidhammic and commentarial concepts.

And that is great, because it allows us to understand the depth of NikAyas.

Re: New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:50 pm
by mikenz66
sphairos wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:12 pm
Dear Mike, I couldn't find your preview (where is it?), but I identified the page by the reference: it's page 55, chapter 5 "The Analysis of Mind". You are correct: it's MN 44.
Hi, The preview link is at the bottom of this page: https://www.wisdompubs.org/book/early-b ... -teachings and Amazon also has a preview.

Thank you for your summary. From skimming the previews it looks very good. Parts of it seemed similar to some of Ven Nananada's analysis of nama-rupa and so on.

:heart:
Mike

Re: New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:28 am
by sphairos
mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:50 pm
sphairos wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:12 pm
Dear Mike, I couldn't find your preview (where is it?), but I identified the page by the reference: it's page 55, chapter 5 "The Analysis of Mind". You are correct: it's MN 44.
Hi, The preview link is at the bottom of this page: https://www.wisdompubs.org/book/early-b ... -teachings and Amazon also has a preview.

Thank you for your summary. From skimming the previews it looks very good. Parts of it seemed similar to some of Ven Nananada's analysis of nama-rupa and so on.

:heart:
Mike
Most welcome. :anjali:

Re: New book by Y. Karunadasa

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:29 am
by Polar Bear
The book is available for $9.95 from Pariyatti here: https://store.pariyatti.org/Early-Buddh ... _4988.html

:anjali: