Buddhism: The First Millennium

Buddhism: The First Millennium

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by Daisaku Ikeda
     
 

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Beginning with the events immediately following the dark days after the death of Shakyamuni and continuing over a period of 1,000 years, this dynamic tome covers a vast and complex series of events and developments in the history of Buddhism. Through a thorough examination of its early development in India, a new light is cast on little-known aspects of Buddhist

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Overview

Beginning with the events immediately following the dark days after the death of Shakyamuni and continuing over a period of 1,000 years, this dynamic tome covers a vast and complex series of events and developments in the history of Buddhism. Through a thorough examination of its early development in India, a new light is cast on little-known aspects of Buddhist history and its relevance to the understanding of Buddhism today. Topics include the formation of the Buddhist canon, the cultural exchange between the East and West, and the spirit of the Lotus Sutra.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Drawing on Japanese scholarship as well as close reading of Buddhist scriptures, Ikeda analyzes how a movement in turmoil after the death of the Buddha began to codify its teachings and split into two streams, the Theravada ("Teaching of the Elders") and the Mahayana ("Great Vehicle"). He acknowledges the speculative nature of this task due to the "fragmentary bits of information" that have survived, but draws conclusions about the complex development of Buddhist thought by examining historical evidence and classic texts like the Vimalakirti Sutra. Ikeda shows how Mahayana philosophy emerged as a reform movement that followers believed was closer than Theravada to the true wisdom of the Buddha. Founder and president of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a world-wide lay organization based on teachings of Nichiren Buddhism, Ikeda draws attention to Mahayana's emergence as a lay movement and to the importance of the Lotus Sutra. This thoughtful if sectarian introduction to Buddhism's origins describes how a movement interprets its founder's teachings, determines them to be authentic, and attempts to remain true to those ideals. An earlier version of this translation by scholar Burton Watson was published in 1977.
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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780977924530
Publisher:
Middleway Press
Publication date:
06/01/2009
Series:
Soka Gakkai History of Buddhism
Pages:
150
Sales rank:
1,041,268
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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Meet the Author


Daisaku Ikeda is the author and coauthor of more than 60 books on a wide range of topics, including the history of Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy. He is the founding president and leader of the Soka Gakkai International, one of the largest lay Buddhist organizations in the world with members in more than 190 countries and territories. He is the recipient of the United Nations Peace Award, the Rosa Parks Humanitarian Award, and the International Tolerance Award of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Burton Watson is a translator of Chinese and Japanese literature. A former professor at Columbia, Stanford, and Kyoto Universities, his translations include Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings, The Lotus Sutra, and The Vimalakirti Sutra, among others. He received the PEN Translation Prize in 1981.

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Buddhism: The First Millennium 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
wanderingguru426 More than 1 year ago
When I started reading this book, I was blown away by how the disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha memorized the Teachings and passed them on for generations before they were written and recorded. It's amazing the peaceful way(s) in which Buddhism spread from one country to another, through the vast reaches of time and place to be transmitted virtually all over the globe. If you are a student of Buddhism, world religions or history, your missing out if you don't read this great book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful read