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A Manual of Buddhist Monism by Obermiller E

A Manual of Buddhist Monism by Obermiller E

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07/09/2013

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EDIDERUN'l'
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B.A.TAVA
DANICA NORVEGICA
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F.
BUHL, HAVNIM,
C.
SNOUCK HUROlWNJE, LUGD.
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KONOW, OSLO,
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L.UGDUNI BATAVO}lUM
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1981
 
'rhe
l:)ublime
Science
of
the Great Vellicle
to
Salvation,
being
a
Manual
of
BuJJhist
.Monism.
'l'he
Work
of
Arya
:Maitreya with a
Commentary
by
Aryasang-a.
Translated
from
the Tibetan
with
introduction
and
notes
by
E.
Obermiller,
Leningrad.
Introduction.
I.
The 5
'freatlses
of
Maltreya
und
their
Subject-matter.
According to the Tibetan tradition, the foundation of all theexegetical literature connected with the Buddhist Scripture of thelatest and, partly, of the intermediate period
1
is contained m the
5
treatises ascribed to the Bodhisattva Maitreya. These
are:-
1)
The
Sutrala1hkaJ·a,
2
2) ,
Madhyanta-vibhanga,
3
3)
4)5)
n
"
"
lJ
tw·ma-dharmata-vib hang
a,'
AbhisamayiilwhkMa,
5
and
Uttaratant1'a.
6
'
Tih.
~tkhor-lo-tha-ma
=
antya-cakra-(y,.a'Vurtuna)
and
l)khor-lo-ba1'-ba
=
madhya-cakra-(pl'a'Vartana).
These
are
regarded
in general
as
the
foundation
of
the
two
branches of
the
Mahayiinistic
literature,
viz. 1)
the
idealistic,
maintainingtheunreality
of
the external
world
(biihya-artha-8iinyatii.)
i.e.the
Yogiicllra
system
of
Aryasauga
ll
V-
V
century
A.
u.)
and
2)
the
monistic
teaching
of
universal
non
substantiality
(aal•va-dhal'1na-sunyatii.)
i.e.
the
Mlidhyamika
system
founded by
Niigar
juna
(II
century
J..
o.).
The
ideasexpressed
in
these
2
branches
of
Mahayana are
much
older than
Aryii.sanga
and
Nagarjuna
who
have only established
regular
philosophical systems.• TiL. Mdo-sde-rgyan.
3
Tib.
Dhus-mtba\1-rnam-l;lbyed.
Tib.
Chos-dan-chos-uid-ruam·l}byed. 'l'ih. 1\lnon-rtogs-rgyan.
6
'l'ih.
Hgyud-bla-ma.
Acta orientalia. IX.
6
 
82
E.
Obermiller.
Of
these 5 treatises the original Sanskrit text of the
Sut1·almhkura
has been edited
by
Prof. Sylvain Levi, who has likewise given aFrench translation of it.
The
Sanskrit text of the
Abltisamayalmhk111·a
and its Tibetan translation have been recently edited by Prof. Th.Stcherbatsky and by myself in the Bibliotheca Buddhica and willbe followed
by
an analysis of the 8 subjects and the 70 topics whichform its contents.
The
3 other works have not, till now, met with thefull appreciation of European scholars.
The
reason perhaps
is
that wepossess only their Tibetan translations in the Tangyur (MDO XLIV), theoriginalSanscrit texts having not, up
to
this time, been discovered.
An
investigation of this branch of Buddhist literature according tothe Tibetan sources enables us
to
ascertain the exclusive importanceof the said 3 treatises as containing, in a very pregnant form, theidealistic and monistic teachings of later Buddhism.
In
particularthe Tibetan works draw our attention
to
the
Uttaratant1·a,
the translation and analysis of which forms the subject-matter of the presentwork.
It
is
indeed the most interesting of the three,
if
not of allthe five, being the exposition of the most developed monistic andpantheistic teachings of the later Buddhists and of the specialtheot·yof the Essence of
Buddhahood/
the fundamental element
2
of theAbsolute, as existing in all living beings. Before we commence aninvestigation of this theory, it is necessary to give a genernl summnryreview of the contents of all the 5 treatises.
The
Lamaist monasteriesof Tibet and Mongolia possess separate block-print editions (independently from the Tangyur) of all of them.
8
We
have moreoverworks of diverse Tibetan scholars containing a special analysis ofthem
en regm·d.'
Both these circumstances greatly facilitate a sum-
1
tathagata-ga1·bha
=
de-bzin-g6ega-pabi-Bfiin-po.
1
dhatu
=
khama.
a
In
Transbaikalia
we
have
two such editious, one issued
by the
Bde-chenlhun-grub-gliil (Aga),
and the
other
by
the
Gusinoozersky Monastery.' Among
these
works
it
will be sufficient to mention two, viz. 1)
The
Commen
tary
on
the
Abhisamayiilamkllra by Jam-yail-gll-bai-lo-411 (I,ljam-dbyails-dga\1-bal,tiblo-gros, edition
of the
Lo-sli.-liil section of
the
Brli.buil Monastery of
Tibet),
and
2)
the
investigation
of
the
contents
of
the
3 Prajfiii-pllramitii-sutras
by
the
celebrated
Loil·dol (Kloil-rdol)
Lama.

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