the Saddharma-smṛty-upasthāna-sūtra

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Leo Rivers
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the Saddharma-smṛty-upasthāna-sūtra

Post by Leo Rivers »

This is a wild combination of elements... :stirthepot: the platypus of Buddhist Sutras. Does anyone know about it?

A Less Traveled Path: Saddharmasmṛtyupasthānasūtra Chapter 2, with A Study on Its Structure and Significance for the Development of Buddhist Meditation
BOUT THE BOOK
A Less Traveled Path brings to light unique textual evidence of an important transitional moment in Indian Buddhism. In this book, Daniel Stuart introduces the recently discovered Sanskrit manuscript of a third- or fourth-century Buddhist Sanskrit text, the Saddharmasmṛtyupasthānasūtra, which sheds light on the so-called “Middle Period” of Indian Buddhism.
The book argues that meditative practice, rhetoric, and philosophy were intimately tied to one another when the Saddharmasmṛtyupasthānasūtra was redacted, and that it serves as an important historical touchstone for understanding the development of a Buddhist mind-centered metaphysics. The text offers perhaps the clearest available evidence for the process through which philosophical developments grew organically out of specific meditation practices rooted in the early canonical Buddhist tradition. It also evidences an emergent historical ideology of cosmic power, one that ties ethical conduct, contemplative knowledge, and literary practice to a spiritual goal of selfless cosmographical sovereignty. This development is historically significant because it marks a major shift in Indian Buddhist religious practice, which conditioned the emergence of fully developed Mahāyāna path schemes and power-oriented tantric ritual traditions in the centuries that followed the text’s compilation.
The study includes a critical edition and translation of the text’s second chapter based on the recently discovered manuscript, the first installment of a series of critical editions of the chapters of the Saddharmasmṛtyupasthānasūtra.
https://www.amazon.com/Less-Traveled-P ... 3700177631
cdpatton
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Re: the Saddharma-smṛty-upasthāna-sūtra

Post by cdpatton »

Leo Rivers wrote: Sun Dec 04, 2022 2:47 am This is a wild combination of elements... :stirthepot: the platypus of Buddhist Sutras. Does anyone know about it?

A Less Traveled Path: Saddharmasmṛtyupasthānasūtra Chapter 2, with A Study on Its Structure and Significance for the Development of Buddhist Meditation
I've looked at the Chinese translation a few times out of curiosity. In a word, it's HUGE. Probably the biggest, most elaborate tour de force of Buddhist cosmology that exists (AFAIK). And it stops abruptly while describing the Yama Heaven, I believe, so the original author apparently didn't finish it. Then someone wrote a conclusion for it and circulated it. Who knows how big it would've been if it were completed.
Dharma Pearls Translation Project

"Supposing is good. But finding out is better." -Mark Twain
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Leo Rivers
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Re: the Saddharma-smṛty-upasthāna-sūtra

Post by Leo Rivers »

Probably the biggest, most elaborate tour de force of Buddhist cosmology that exists (AFAIK).
Bigger than the Avatamsaka Sutra?


Who were these people? I think they focussed on repentence litergy. And how Mahayana are they? They seem to have been represented in Silk Road cave art.


Okay.
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Re: the Saddharma-smṛty-upasthāna-sūtra

Post by cdpatton »

Leo Rivers wrote: Sat Jan 07, 2023 1:19 am
Probably the biggest, most elaborate tour de force of Buddhist cosmology that exists (AFAIK).
Bigger than the Avatamsaka Sutra?

Who were these people? I think they focussed on repentence litergy. And how Mahayana are they? They seem to have been represented in Silk Road cave art.

Okay.
It (T721) is a little smaller than the larger Avatamsaka Sutra (T279) in Chinese. 417 pages vs. 444 pages. So, yeah, it's a big text.

As to who they were - well, it's a little mysterious today because a lot of history and texts were lost when Buddhist disappeared from India and Central Asia. All that remained, aside from archeological sites, were the late Mahayanists in Tibet and East Asia, and the Theravadins in Sri Lanka and Southest Asia. The authors of texts like these look like a kind of in-between stage of Buddhism. They had many of the ideas we associate with Mahayana Buddhism, but they were still traditionalists like Theravadins, too. I think Stuart's guess was that it was a Sarvastivadin text because it seems inspired by a sutra in the Madhyama Agama. But then after the opening chapters it embarks on an elaborate description of the realms of rebirth, from Hell to the Yama Heaven. That's the majority of the text.
Dharma Pearls Translation Project

"Supposing is good. But finding out is better." -Mark Twain
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Leo Rivers
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Re: the Saddharma-smṛty-upasthāna-sūtra

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Thanks for the reply. I was fascinated by the lush and fervent visualizations and the thought this was a yana bridge text like Ugraparipṛcchā Sūtra or Śālistamba Sūtra or the Mahāyāna Sūtras in Gandhāra bewilders me a little.

I don't know any other Buddhists in my local world who have any interest in these things.
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the Saddharma-smṛty-upasthāna-sūtra & Yogācāra

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Yogācāra Substrata? Precedent Frames for Yogācāra Thought Among Third-Century Yoga Practitioners in Greater Gandhāra

Journal of Indian Philosophy, 2018

https://www.academia.edu/attachments/5 ... Y1NzAyNg==
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