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A translation with commentary of one of the earliest of the surviving Buddhist texts, which reveals the teachings to be remarkably simple and free of religious trappings.
The Aṭṭhakavagga, or “Book of Eights,” is believed by scholars to be among the earliest of written Buddhist texts, and in it we find the Buddha’s teaching pared down to its most uncomplicated essence. Gil Fronsdal’s translation and commentary reveals the text’s central concern to be the joy that comes from recognizing and letting go of attachment to the illusory views that create suffering. It’s simple medicine that works for us today as well as it did for the Buddha’s first listeners.
|Product dimensions:||4.90(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.60(d)|
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Table of Contents
1 The Discourse on Desire 39
2 The Eightfold Discourse on the Hiding Place 43
3 The Eightfold Discourse on the Corrupt 48
4 The Eightfold Discourse on the Pure 52
5 The Eightfold Discourse on the Ultimate 57
6 The Discourse on Old Age 62
7 The Discourse to Tissa Metteyya 66
8 The Discourse to Pasura 70
9 The Discourse to Magandiya 74
10 The Discourse on Before Breaking Apart 81
11 The Discourse on Quarrels and Disputes 87
12 The Shorter Discourse on the Dead End 99
13 The Greater Discourse of the Dead End 107
14 The Discourse on Being Quick 115
15 The Discourse on Being Violent 122
16 The Discourse to Sariputta 129
Appendix: Knowing and Seeing in the Book of Eights 149
Select Bibliography 178
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Buddhism Before Metaphysics This book presents a new translation of the "Book of Eights," a collection of short poems from the Buddhist Pali canon. The poems have a simple message: that the Buddhist sage achieves inner peace by not clinging to anything at all -- including religious and metaphysical doctrines. Appropriately, the poems exhibit little or no doctrinal baggage about karma, rebirth, the Four Noble Truths, the supernatural powers of the Buddha, etc. Instead, they offer a spare, gem-like, and eloquent picture of what human liberation looks like. The commentary by Gil Fronsdal does a great job of situating the poems in the context of Indian culture in the Axial Age. Fronsdal thinks it's likely that the poems capture the genuine early teachings of the Buddha, but he admits that we can't know for sure because the chronology of the canon is obscure. This book is excellent but complete newcomers to Buddhism shouldn't take the poems as the last word on the religion.