What are some "must have" books?

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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby alwayson » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:35 am

Huifeng wrote:And Madhyamaka does not equal Prajnaparamita.


Thats a new one.

Madhyamaka is the summary of the Prajnaparamita Sutras.
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Huifeng » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:37 am

Astus wrote:I think one should see the difference between essential books and auxiliary ones. There are also introductory books and in depth works. Just before this becomes a list of all the books people like. :)


But Astus! This is internet Boodhism! :tongue:
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby ground » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:42 am

Jaidyn wrote:I have a sense that Mahayana has much to offer that I have missed.


That sense keeps the wheel turning ... always seeking something "better" ... be assured that you did not miss anything but you do not have understood what you have came across so far
But maybe Mahayana can help you to understand what you have come across so far. This then would not be the most efficient, direct way but if it is necessary ...


Kind regards
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Huifeng » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:15 am

alwayson wrote:
Huifeng wrote:And Madhyamaka does not equal Prajnaparamita.


Thats a new one.

Madhyamaka is the summary of the Prajnaparamita Sutras.


The core Madhyamaka text, the Mulamadhyamakakarika, does not mention the Prajnaparamita even once, and draws it's sources from the Agamas.
And likewise for the earliest commentary on the MMK that we have, which only mentions the Prajnaparamita twice, but mentions the Agamas on many occasions. This commentary does not introduce the text of the MMK as being any sort of summary of the Prajnaparamita, or having any other relationship with it at all.
Likewise, the Dvadasa sastra does not mention the Prajnaparamita, nor does the Sata sastra. Nor the Vigrahavyavatani.

It is only centuries later, by people like Candrakirti, that claims of the Madhyamaka being drawn from the Prajnaparamita are made. By this time, it appears that many were seldom familiar with the Agamas, and perhaps could not identify the Agama textual sources that Nagarjuna was using.

But, if you are a fan of Williams, this may have slipped past, in the rush to link Nagarjuna --> Candrakirti --> Tsong Khapa; while ignoring all the other stuff along the way (like the first few hundred years of so-called Madhyamaka itself). Williams often presents the Tibetan take - a thousand years after the event - without too much critical thought in the process.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jaidyn » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:41 am

Teachers seems to be important. Maybe I meet a teacher someone day in the future, but I am looking for one. After all, I'm not a Buddhist, but just a person looking for the Dhamma/Dharma (yes, they refer "it" by that name) ;)

Thanks for all the suggestions! And... interesting talk in this thread.

TMingyur wrote:
Jaidyn wrote:I have a sense that Mahayana has much to offer that I have missed.


That sense keeps the wheel turning ... always seeking something "better" ... be assured that you did not miss anything but you do not have understood what you have came across so far
But maybe Mahayana can help you to understand what you have come across so far. This then would not be the most efficient, direct way but if it is necessary ...


Kind regards


I wouldn't say something is better, but just a different aid. But I agree there can be craving for always getting something new because previous teachings (and maybe even teachers) have been "consumed".
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby maybay » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:34 pm

A lot of the suggestions don't seem to follow on from the Nikayas. If you want to work fairly systematically I suggest Edward Conze's running commentary of his own translations of the Diamond and Heart Sutra. Its short and very interesting.
http://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Wisdom-D ... 107&sr=1-1

You might also appreciate Vasubandhu's distillation of the Abhidharma, his Abhidharmakosa with bhasya. Its a mammoth work, comes in four expensive volumes. You really feel you've developed an arsenal of understanding after reading it.
We need arsenals these days. Can't have a war without an arsenal.
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:11 pm

maybay wrote:You might also appreciate Vasubandhu's distillation of the Abhidharma, his Abhidharmakosa with bhasya. Its a mammoth work, comes in four expensive volumes. You really feel you've developed an arsenal of understanding after reading it.

The Pāli Abhidhammapiṭaka is simpler, more straight forward, and complete. There's nothing necessarily wrong with knowing both systems, but for anyone who already knows the Theravāda (as the OP indicated), there is no pressing need to study the Abhidharmakośa in any great detail. One can enter the Mahāyāna directly through the Mahāyāna sūtras & śāstras.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:46 am

Actually there are so many must have books :rolling:

This is my list:
The words of my perfect teacher.
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment.
Boddhisattva Way of Life.
Natural Liberation.
The Flight of Garuda.
Heart Sutra
The Sun of Wisdom.

There are still many other books. But, those books can be your starting point.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby maybay » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:03 pm

Jnana wrote:
maybay wrote:You might also appreciate Vasubandhu's distillation of the Abhidharma, his Abhidharmakosa with bhasya. Its a mammoth work, comes in four expensive volumes. You really feel you've developed an arsenal of understanding after reading it.

The Pāli Abhidhammapiṭaka is simpler, more straight forward, and complete. There's nothing necessarily wrong with knowing both systems, but for anyone who already knows the Theravāda (as the OP indicated), there is no pressing need to study the Abhidharmakośa in any great detail. One can enter the Mahāyāna directly through the Mahāyāna sūtras & śāstras.

All the best,

Geoff


Vasubandhu did something very special with the Kosa. He took a valley of 10,000 dry bones and integrated them into a dialectical masterpiece that attended to the most difficult points raised over the centuries. Why slog through pre-christian era writing? You could have the whole subject wrapped up in 2 works.
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Do nothing and everything
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:24 pm

maybay wrote:Why slog through pre-christian era writing? You could have the whole subject wrapped up in 2 works.

The point is this: There's no need for anyone aspiring to enter the Mahāyāna to learn two different Sthaviravāda abhidharma systems. If one has already learned the Theravāda system there is no need whatsoever for learning the Sarvāstivāda system.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby maybay » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:28 pm

Jnana wrote:
maybay wrote:Why slog through pre-christian era writing? You could have the whole subject wrapped up in 2 works.

The point is this: There's no need for anyone aspiring to enter the Mahāyāna to learn two different Sthaviravāda abhidharma systems. If one has already learned the Theravāda system there is no need whatsoever for learning the Sarvāstivāda system.

All the best,

Geoff


first thing you learn in Mahayana - its not about what you don't need
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:24 pm

maybay wrote:first thing you learn in Mahayana - its not about what you don't need

Contrarian nonsense.
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:03 pm

Jnana wrote:The point is this: There's no need for anyone aspiring to enter the Mahāyāna to learn two different Sthaviravāda abhidharma systems. If one has already learned the Theravāda system there is no need whatsoever for learning the Sarvāstivāda system.

All the best,

Geoff


Hi, Geoff:

This is not really the case. There is a continuity of ideas that run through Sarvastivada right up through both wings of Mahāyāna and on into Vajrayāna.

Thervāda and Sarvastivāda tenets are very different in a number of important ways.

N
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:19 pm

Namdrol wrote:This is not really the case. There is a continuity of ideas that run through Sarvastivada right up through both wings of Mahāyāna and on into Vajrayāna.

Thervāda and Sarvastivāda tenets are very different in a number of important ways.

The only Sarvāstivāda ideas that a bodhisattva aspirant would need to understand on any level is the Sarvāstivāda version of causes and conditions and the Sarvāstivāda version of the intermediate state. And in each case, one doesn't have to be a Sarvāstivāda scholar. Other areas such as the sixteen aspects of the four noble truths and the defilements eliminated at each of the four arya stages aren't really relevant to the Mahāyāna.

In fact, there are a number of areas where the Theravāda accords well with Mādhyamaka, such as attaining the path of seeing in a single moment, and the gnosis of the signlessness of dharmas realized at that time, and so on.
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Virgo » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:21 pm

Namdrol perhaps you could briefly list a couple of the important differences? People like myself that do not know a great deal about the Kosha might find that beneficial.


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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Virgo » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:25 pm

Jnana wrote:In fact, there are a number of areas where the Theravāda accords well with Mādhyamaka, such as attaining the path of seeing in a single moment, and the gnosis of the signlessness of dharmas realized at that time, and so on.

Hi Geoff. May I ask what you mean when you say the "signlessness" of dharmas?

Thanks,

Kevin
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:04 pm

Virgo wrote:May I ask what you mean when you say the "signlessness" of dharmas?

For example, the Paṭisambhidāmagga Vimokkhakathā

    Gnosis of contemplation of the signlessness of form... feeling... recognition... fabrications... consciousness is signless deliverance because it liberates from all signs. (Rūpe ... pe ... vedanāya ... pe ... saññāya ... pe ... saṅkhāresu ... pe ... viññāṇe animittānupassanāñāṇaṃ sabbanimittehi muccatīti animitto vimokkho.)

And the Paṭisambhidāmagga Suññatākathā:

    What is the ultimate meaning of emptiness [as it relates to] all kinds of emptiness, which is the terminating of occurrence in one who is fully aware?... Through the contemplation of signlessness one who is fully aware terminates the occurrence of signs.
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Virgo » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:14 pm

Jnana wrote:For example, the Paṭisambhidāmagga Vimokkhakathā

    Gnosis of contemplation of the signlessness of form... feeling... recognition... fabrications... consciousness is signless deliverance because it liberates from all signs. (Rūpe ... pe ... vedanāya ... pe ... saññāya ... pe ... saṅkhāresu ... pe ... viññāṇe animittānupassanāñāṇaṃ sabbanimittehi muccatīti animitto vimokkho.)
...

I just don't get it. Are you talking about nibbana as the signless? Or are you talking about emptiness?

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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:21 pm

Virgo wrote:I just don't get it. Are you talking about nibbana as the signless? Or are you talking about emptiness?

Both. But this isn't the place to discuss the subtleties of the Paṭisambhidāmagga. I would suggest studying the text.
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Virgo » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:30 pm

Jnana wrote:
Virgo wrote:I just don't get it. Are you talking about nibbana as the signless? Or are you talking about emptiness?

Both. But this isn't the place to discuss the subtleties of the Paṭisambhidāmagga. I would suggest studying the text.

Hi Geoff.

I don't understand your comment that "In fact, there are a number of areas where the Theravāda accords well with Mādhyamaka, such as ... and the gnosis of the signlessness of dharmas realized at that time, and so on."

What signlessness of dharmas from the Abhidhamma are you speaking of? Is it the three characteristics? Paramattha Dhammas are said to truly exist on an ultimate level, very briefly when they come into being. Panatti, or concepts, are said to not exist ultimately. The only thing that is realized by panna on the level of vipassana (according to the Abhidhamma) is the three characteristics of existing dharmas. Real dhammas are "empty" of self (anatta) but they have three signs. Nibbana is a real (ultimate) dhamma, that shares anatta, but not anicca, or dukkha, since it does not arise or fall.

What I am saying is, in Theravada paramattha dhammas have sabhava. They are said to really exist.
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