lotwell wrote:Dear forumers,
I have a question pertaining to what Buddhist text are actually available/known.
First, I understand that throughout Buddhism's long history there have been a plethora of various texts from various schools. However, due to obvious reasons, many of these have not survived. (I think this might be true of many original Sanskrit texts ... or maybe not?). We know some of these "original" texts solely through later translation into other languages (i.e. Tibetan).
So what I would love to have explained is a general description/overview of the field working with historical Buddhist literature. What are the main divisions (language?... time peroid?..). What work is being most focused on by scholars nowadays?
Many thanks in advance for your response
lotwell wrote:I think it is true to say that the oral tradition aspect of Buddhism is largely not dealt with due (especially by scholars) due to its speculative nature. There really is not anything tangible there to work with that does not involve large amounts of guess work. Its like filling in a large empty area of a puzzle without using any reference pieces.
But you raise an importnat point because this is true of all other religion's/culture's oral traditions. For example Islam places huge emphasis on oral tradition in the Sunnah and determining which stories of the Prophet are genuine or fabricated.
Perhaps Hui Feng could share a little more about his expereinces with oral tradition in Buddhism.
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