Awakening: An Introduction to the History of Eastern Thought / Edition 5

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Overview

Provides an overview of the historical development of Eastern traditions of religious and philosophical thought.

Awakening: An Introduction to the History of Eastern Thought engages students with anecdotes, primary and secondary sources, an accessible writing style, and a clear historical approach.

The text focuses on India, China, and Japan, while showing the relationships that exist between Eastern and Western traditions. Patrick Bresnan consistently links the past to the present, so students may see that Eastern traditions, however ancient their origins, are living traditions and relevant to modern times.

Learning Goals

Upon completing this book readers will be able to:

  • Recognize the relationships among the traditions being taught
  • Appreciate the relevance of these traditions to modern times
  • Understand the major issues of interpretation regarding the traditions
  • Speculate about the future of each tradition
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of conflicting teachings

Note: MySearchLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MySearchLab, please visit: www.mysearchlab.com or you can purchase a ValuePack of the text + MySearchLab (at no additional cost): ValuePack ISBN-10: 0205887775 / ValuePack ISBN-13: 9780205887774.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
New edition of an introductory text for students of comparative and Eastern philosophic and religious thought. The 16 chapters deal with the human struggle to find a truth that transcends a world that sometimes seems chaotic and meaningless. Beginning with Hinduism, topics include India before the Vedas, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, Indian movements and eras, non-Buddhist systems of China and Japan, and Buddhism (the life and teachings of Buddha, and various forms of Buddhism in Tibet, China and Japan). Bresnan (DeAnza College) has provided new material on the Tantra, and has used his own b&w photographs for illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205242986
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 8/14/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 940,860
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Bresnan is a professor at DeAnza College in Cupertino, CA.

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Table of Contents

Found in this section:

1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents


1. BRIEF TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface

Part I Hinduism and Related Traditions of South Asia

Chapter 1 India Before the Vedas

Chapter 2 Veda and the Vedas

Chapter 3 Introduction to the Upanishads

Chapter 4 The Bhagavad Gita

Chapter 5 Ashtanga Yoga

Chapter 6 Darshana

Chapter 7 The Devotional Movement

Chapter 8 A Millennium of Strife

Part II Shakyamuni Buddha and the Early Development of Buddhism

Chapter 9 The Life of Shakyamuni Buddha

Chapter 10 Basic Teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha

Chapter 11 Theravada Buddhism

Chapter 12 Mahayana Buddhism

Part III Non-Buddhist Traditions of East Asia

Chapter 13 Confucius and Confucianism

Chapter 14 Daoism

Chapter 15 Shinto

Part IV Buddhism in China and Japan

Chapter 16 Early Buddhism in China

Chapter 17 Tibetan Buddhism

Chapter 18 Chan Buddhism

Chapter 19 Zen Buddhism

Works Cited

Index


2. FULL TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface

Part I Hinduism and Related Traditions of South Asia

Chapter 1: India Before the Vedas

The Lay of the Land

South Asia Before the Vedic Age

The Theory of Indo-Aryan Migrations

Varna: The Caste System

The Brahmin Caste

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 2: Veda and the Vedas

Yajna: The Vedic Sacrifice

The Vedic Pantheon

An Overview of Vedic Cosmology

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 3: Introduction to the Upanishads

The Sannyasin Tradition

Key Elements of the Upanishads

An Overview of Vedanta Cosmology

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 4: The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita and the Mahabharata

The Opening Scene

The Bhagavad Gita as Metaphor

The Awakened Person

Karma Yoga

Raja Yoga

Bhakti Yoga

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 5: Ashtanga Yoga

The General Nature of Yoga

The “Eight Limbs” of Ashtanga Yoga

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 6: Darshana

The Orthodox Darshanas

The Heterodox Darshanas

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 7: The Devotional Movement

The Trimurti

Ramanuja

The Hindu Temple

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 8: A Millennium of Strife

The Muslim Era

The Modern

Questions for Discussion

Part II Shakyamuni Buddha and the Early Development of Buddhism

Chapter 9: The Life of Shakyamuni Buddha

The Palace Youth

The Sadhu Years

The Awakening

The Teaching Years

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 10: Basic Teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha

The Doctrine of Anatman

The Four Noble Truths

The Noble Eightfold Path

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 11: Theravada Buddhism

The Early Centuries

Ashoka

Theravada Buddhism

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 12: Mahayana Buddhism

Diversity and Religious Elements in Mahayana

The Nature of Buddha

Madhyamaka

Yogacara

The Bodhisattva

Artistic Expression in Early Mahayana

Questions for Discussion

Part III Non-Buddhist Traditions of East Asia

Chapter 13: Confucius and Confucianism

Confucius

Mencius

Other Voices from the Period of a Hundred Philosophers

Later Developments in the Evolution of Confucianism

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 14: Daoism

The Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching)

Zhuang Zi (Chuang Tzu)

Religious Daoism

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 15: Shinto

The Shinto Creation Story

The Shinto Shrine and Festival

Historical Development of Shinto

Questions for Discussion

Part IV Buddhism in China and Japan

Chapter 16: Early Buddhism in China

Buddhism in the Tarim Basin

Tiantai Buddhism

Huayan Buddhism (Hua-Yen)

Pure Land Buddhism

Persecution and Recovery

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 17: Tibetan Buddhism

The Establishment of Buddhism in Tibet

The General Character of Buddhism in Tibet

A Historical Overview of Buddhism in Tibet

The First Period: The Era of the Yarlung Empire

The Second Period: The Sakya Era

The Third Period: The Era of the Dalai Lama

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 18: Chan Buddhism

Bodhidharma

Huineng (Hui-Neng)

After Huineng

Questions for Discussion

Chapter 19: Zen Buddhism

Japan Before Zen

Rinzai and Soto Zen

The Zen Monastery

Zen and the Arts

Questions for Discussion

Works Cited

Index

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Preface

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION

We humans struggle to make sense out of a world that often seems chaotic and meaningless. In every age men and women—at least some men and women—have sought to go beyond the appearances of everyday life and discover a transcendent truth in which reality is seen as it really is. Such an experience is often called "awakening"—it is the opening of consciousness to the light of perfect understanding.

This great quest has been an important part of the history of both East and West, and in both worlds much attention has been given to uncovering a fundamental principle of unity that underlies the manifold expressions of nature. There has, however, been a difference in emphasis. Speaking very broadly, the West has emphasized the rational and scientific approach, whereas the East, again speaking very broadly, has tended to emphasize the introspective approach, an intuitive opening of consciousness that goes beyond the limits of the rational mind. Such a state of consciousness, in which the underlying oneness of Being is personally experienced, is known as the "unitive state." The search for a way of life that will result in this kind of awakening is at the heart of the history of Eastern thought.

This book tells the story of that search. It is a search that unfolds slowly over nearly four millennia. And, of course, it is still unfolding today; the present age is merely the cutting edge. There is something especially exciting about the present age, though. As the global village takes form, the traditions of East and West are coming together. Who can imagine what wondrous offspring may result from this marriage?

Theevolution of Eastern thought grows from many roots. Those of India and China are especially strong and deep, reaching back before the beginnings of recorded history. We will take up this study at the source of the tradition, in India. It is appropriate to begin in India because so much of the spiritual and philosophical foundation of Eastern thought is to be found there. And, it was out of the amazingly fertile Hindu tradition that Buddhism was born. From India, Buddhism would spread to all parts of the Eastern world, sometimes merging with other evolving traditions to create new directions of growth. In China, Buddhism would confront the already established traditions of Confucianism and Daoism, and in Japan, the ancient tradition of Shinto. These too are important parts of this study.

The history of the development of Eastern thought is far too vast to be reduced to the pages of any single volume. The purpose of this work, therefore, is not to tell everything; that would be impossible. Rather, in this book my primary aim is to help you form a comprehensive overview of the subject, a "Big Picture." In the pages that follow I will introduce you to this important part of the story of humankind's search for awakening. It is my goal to include all that is essential to a broad understanding of the subject and to clarify all major concepts no matter how complex they may be, in a way that is clear and engaging. It is my deepest hope that you, the reader, will come away from this book hungry for more, and that you will choose to become a lifelong student of this fascinating subject.

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

In recent years the study of Eastern philosophical and spiritual traditions has become a very active field. Ongoing research is constantly generating new interpretations and understandings. And, my own involvement in the field has continued to grow as well. Out of this, a new edition of Awakening has emerged. It improves on the original by having a more accessible overall organization, by incorporating up-to-date scholarship, and by the addition of an expanded treatment of several topics, including the subject of Tantra, which encompasses a whole new section in this edition. In addition, I have used only my own photography for the photo illustrations. I believe that this will result in illustrations that fit more tightly with the text.

The growing threat of international mayhem in the present age underscores the need for greater understanding of and sensitivity for differing religious and philosophical traditions. By embarking on this study you are helping to achieve that goal. Thus, the overarching aim of Awakening remains essentially unchanged. If I may quote from the Preface to the First Edition: "It is my deepest hope that you, the reader, will come away from this book hungry for more, and that you will choose to become a lifelong student of this fascinating subject."

I am grateful to many people for their help in completing the second edition of Awakening. I wish to acknowledge before all else the valuable contributions of my students. They continue to be a rich source of insight and feedback. Everything is tried out on them initially; nothing goes into the book that doesn't pass the classroom test first. My wife, Elizabeth, also gets a special "thank you" for her patience and support. And, a big thanks to the folks at Nilgiri Press for their generous permission to quote extensively from Eknath Easwaren's excellent translations of the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.

It's been my good fortune to work with some exceptional people at Prentice Hall, and no doubt the book shows it. Ross Miller, Senior Acquisitions Editor for Philosophy and Religion, has been very helpful to me, and I appreciate it. Editorial Assistant Carla Worner has been unfailingly gracious and efficient.

The critical analysis and suggestions of the Prentice Hall reviewers provided invaluable insights for this revision. My sincere thanks to Maxine Freed, Monterey Peninsula College and Carla D. Grady, College of San Mateo.

I consider myself to be very fortunate to have been able to work again with Barbara DeVries, the Production Editor for this book, who also steered the first edition through the complicated process of production. Thank you, Barbara, for your sound advice, your good will, and your skillful handling of the entire process.

As a final note I'd like to thank the many people who have used the book and have communicated with me about it. Your support for the book, and your suggestions, have made a big difference. This book is dedicated to all students with an interest in this fascinating subject. Don't be reluctant to send me an email; I'd love to hear from you.

Patrick Bresnan
Los Gatos, California
January 6, 2002

BresnanPatrick@fhda.edu

Read More Show Less

Introduction

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION

We humans struggle to make sense out of a world that often seems chaotic and meaningless. In every age men and women—at least some men and women—have sought to go beyond the appearances of everyday life and discover a transcendent truth in which reality is seen as it really is. Such an experience is often called "awakening"—it is the opening of consciousness to the light of perfect understanding.

This great quest has been an important part of the history of both East and West, and in both worlds much attention has been given to uncovering a fundamental principle of unity that underlies the manifold expressions of nature. There has, however, been a difference in emphasis. Speaking very broadly, the West has emphasized the rational and scientific approach, whereas the East, again speaking very broadly, has tended to emphasize the introspective approach, an intuitive opening of consciousness that goes beyond the limits of the rational mind. Such a state of consciousness, in which the underlying oneness of Being is personally experienced, is known as the "unitive state." The search for a way of life that will result in this kind of awakening is at the heart of the history of Eastern thought.

This book tells the story of that search. It is a search that unfolds slowly over nearly four millennia. And, of course, it is still unfolding today; the present age is merely the cutting edge. There is something especially exciting about the present age, though. As the global village takes form, the traditions of East and West are coming together. Who can imagine what wondrous offspring may result from this marriage?

The evolution of Eastern thought grows from many roots. Those of India and China are especially strong and deep, reaching back before the beginnings of recorded history. We will take up this study at the source of the tradition, in India. It is appropriate to begin in India because so much of the spiritual and philosophical foundation of Eastern thought is to be found there. And, it was out of the amazingly fertile Hindu tradition that Buddhism was born. From India, Buddhism would spread to all parts of the Eastern world, sometimes merging with other evolving traditions to create new directions of growth. In China, Buddhism would confront the already established traditions of Confucianism and Daoism, and in Japan, the ancient tradition of Shinto. These too are important parts of this study.

The history of the development of Eastern thought is far too vast to be reduced to the pages of any single volume. The purpose of this work, therefore, is not to tell everything; that would be impossible. Rather, in this book my primary aim is to help you form a comprehensive overview of the subject, a "Big Picture." In the pages that follow I will introduce you to this important part of the story of humankind's search for awakening. It is my goal to include all that is essential to a broad understanding of the subject and to clarify all major concepts no matter how complex they may be, in a way that is clear and engaging. It is my deepest hope that you, the reader, will come away from this book hungry for more, and that you will choose to become a lifelong student of this fascinating subject.

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

In recent years the study of Eastern philosophical and spiritual traditions has become a very active field. Ongoing research is constantly generating new interpretations and understandings. And, my own involvement in the field has continued to grow as well. Out of this, a new edition of Awakening has emerged. It improves on the original by having a more accessible overall organization, by incorporating up-to-date scholarship, and by the addition of an expanded treatment of several topics, including the subject of Tantra, which encompasses a whole new section in this edition. In addition, I have used only my own photography for the photo illustrations. I believe that this will result in illustrations that fit more tightly with the text.

The growing threat of international mayhem in the present age underscores the need for greater understanding of and sensitivity for differing religious and philosophical traditions. By embarking on this study you are helping to achieve that goal. Thus, the overarching aim of Awakening remains essentially unchanged. If I may quote from the Preface to the First Edition: "It is my deepest hope that you, the reader, will come away from this book hungry for more, and that you will choose to become a lifelong student of this fascinating subject."

I am grateful to many people for their help in completing the second edition of Awakening. I wish to acknowledge before all else the valuable contributions of my students. They continue to be a rich source of insight and feedback. Everything is tried out on them initially; nothing goes into the book that doesn't pass the classroom test first. My wife, Elizabeth, also gets a special "thank you" for her patience and support. And, a big thanks to the folks at Nilgiri Press for their generous permission to quote extensively from Eknath Easwaren's excellent translations of the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.

It's been my good fortune to work with some exceptional people at Prentice Hall, and no doubt the book shows it. Ross Miller, Senior Acquisitions Editor for Philosophy and Religion, has been very helpful to me, and I appreciate it. Editorial Assistant Carla Worner has been unfailingly gracious and efficient.

The critical analysis and suggestions of the Prentice Hall reviewers provided invaluable insights for this revision. My sincere thanks to Maxine Freed, Monterey Peninsula College and Carla D. Grady, College of San Mateo.

I consider myself to be very fortunate to have been able to work again with Barbara DeVries, the Production Editor for this book, who also steered the first edition through the complicated process of production. Thank you, Barbara, for your sound advice, your good will, and your skillful handling of the entire process.

As a final note I'd like to thank the many people who have used the book and have communicated with me about it. Your support for the book, and your suggestions, have made a big difference. This book is dedicated to all students with an interest in this fascinating subject. Don't be reluctant to send me an email; I'd love to hear from you.

Patrick Bresnan
Los Gatos, California
January 6, 2002

BresnanPatrick@fhda.edu

Read More Show Less

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