By Peter Harvey

During this new version of the best-selling advent to Buddhism, Peter Harvey presents a finished creation to the advance of the Buddhist culture in either Asia and the West. largely revised and entirely up-to-date, this re-creation attracts on fresh scholarship within the box, exploring the tensions and continuities among different kinds of Buddhism. Harvey evaluations and corrects a few universal misconceptions and mistranslations, and discusses key thoughts that experience frequently been over-simplified and over-generalised. the amount comprises targeted references to scriptures and secondary literature, an up to date bibliography, and a piece on internet assets. keyword phrases are given in Pali and Sanskrit, and Tibetan phrases are transliterated within the most simply pronounceable shape, making it is a actually available account. this can be a terrific coursebook for college students of faith, Asian philosophy and Asian reports, and can also be an invaluable reference for readers in need of an summary of Buddhism and its ideals.

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Extra info for An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices (Introduction to Religion)

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From approximately a hundred years after the death of Gotama, certain differences arose in the San˙ gha, which gradually led to the development of a number of monastic fraternities (nikāyas), each following a slightly different monastic code, and to different schools of thought (vādas). All branches of the San˙ gha trace their ordination-line back to one or other of the early fraternities; but of the early schools of thought, only that which became known as the Theravāda has continued to this day.

246). He then remembered a meditative state that he had once spontaneously entered, sitting at the foot of a tree while his father was working (the commentary says: ceremonially ploughing). He recollected that this state, known as the ‘first jhāna’ (Skt dhyāna), was beyond involvement in sense-pleasures, which he had been attempting to conquer by painful asceticism, but was accompanied by deep calm, blissful joy and tranquil happiness. He remembered having wondered whether it was a path to awakening, and as he now 20 An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices saw that it was, he resolved to use it.

The emphasis in Buddhism is on the teachings of the Buddha(s), and the ‘awakening’ of human personality that these are seen to lead to. Nevertheless, Buddhists do show great reverence to Gotama as a supreme teacher and an exemplar of the ultimate goal that all strive for, so that probably more images of him exist than of any other historical figure. In its long history, Buddhism has used a variety of teachings and means to help people first develop a calmer, more integrated and compassionate personality, and then ‘wake up’ from restricting delusions: delusions which cause attachment and thus suffering for an individual and those he or she interacts with.

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