History of Indian Buddhism

E. Lamotte

Language: English

Pages: 924

ISBN: 2:00141027

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The History of Indian Buddhism is undoubtedly 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 Buddhist 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 neighbouring countries. Using material evidence provided by Indian epigraphy and archaeological remains on the one hand, and taking into account information supplied by Western (Latin and Greek) and Far Eastern (Tibetan and Chinese) sources on the other, 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 book has been supplemented with an additional bibliography, an index of technical terms and revised geographical maps.

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reasoning and discursive thought, he enters -the second ecstasy, inward peace, fixing of the mind on one point, free of reasoning and discursive thought, born of concentration, and which is joy and happiness. - By renouncing joy (pritl), he dwells in equanimity (upek~aka), mindful and fully aware; he experiences happiness (sukha) in his body; he enters the third ecstasy which is defined by the holy ones as being equanimity, mindfulness, dwelling in happiness. - By destroying happiness and

53 BUDDHIST MORALISM (52-53) transitory, finite or infinite? Does the holy one still exist after death or does he disappear with it? Is the vital principle identical to the body or different from it? 97 . The Buddha has classed all these questions among the indeterminate points (avycikrtavastu) concerning which he would not give an opinion. It is not because he does not know the solution, but because he considers any discussion regarding them to be useless for deliverance, dangerous to good

or "monastery" (saJ?1ghiiriima) and could be built of stone, bricks or wood. During the three or four months of the rainy season ( var~a), generally from the full moon of the month of A~ii"ha (June-July) to the full moon of the month of Kiirttika (October-November), the Buddhist monk, like the adherents of other non-Brahmanical sects, was compelled to go into retreat (var~opaniiyikii) and to remain in a set place 136 • Once the retreat was over, he could continue his peregrinations, but was not

ideal, close or distant, of all Buddhists indiscriminately : "Just as the river Ganges slopes, slants and proceeds towards the ocean, 87 so the congregation of Gautama, the laity as well as the religious, slopes, slants and proceeds towards Nirva~a" 199 . It was furthermore accepted without controversy that the layman living at home can reap the first three fruits of the religious life and accede to the state of srotaiipanna, sakrdagamin and aniigamin : "By means of the severing of the three

who claim that everything exists. These first schools each differed over the meaning (artha) and their theses (samaya) ... Then those five (sic) schools all got confused and disputes broke out, each claiming that its own meaning was true. King Asoka wondered how he could judge the true from the false, and he asked the Sarpgha how, according to the Law of the Buddha, the judgment should be passed. They all told him 'According to the Law, the majority must be followed'. The king said : 'If that is

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