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The Lankavatara Sutra: Translation and Commentary
     

The Lankavatara Sutra: Translation and Commentary

4.6 3
by Red Pine (Translator)
 

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Having translated The Diamond Sutra and The Heart Sutra, and following with The Platform Sutra, Red Pine now turns his attention to perhaps the greatest Sutra of all. The Lankavatara Sutra is the holy grail of Zen. Zen’s First Patriarch, Bodhidharma, gave a copy of this text to his successor, Hui-k’o, and told him everything

Overview


Having translated The Diamond Sutra and The Heart Sutra, and following with The Platform Sutra, Red Pine now turns his attention to perhaps the greatest Sutra of all. The Lankavatara Sutra is the holy grail of Zen. Zen’s First Patriarch, Bodhidharma, gave a copy of this text to his successor, Hui-k’o, and told him everything he needed to know was in this book. Passed down from teacher to student ever since, this is the only Zen sutra ever spoken by the Buddha. Although it covers all the major teachings of Mahayana Buddhism, it contains but two teachings: that everything we perceive as being real is nothing but the perceptions of our own mind and that the knowledge of this is something that must be realized and experienced for oneself and cannot be expressed in words. In the words of Chinese Zen masters, these two teachings became known as “have a cup of tea” and “taste the tea.”

This is the first translation into English of the original text used by Bodhidharma, which was the Chinese translation made by Gunabhadra in 443 and upon which all Chinese Zen masters have relied ever since.
In addition to presenting one of the most difficult of all Buddhist texts in clear English, Red Pine has also added summaries, explanations and notes, including relevant Sanskrit terms on the basis of which the Chinese translation was made. This promises to become an essential text for anyone seeking to deepen their understanding or knowledge of Zen.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for The Lankavatara Sutra

"Buddhism can be daunting to the casual Western reader—daunting in its antiquity, the strangeness and profusion of its names, and the complexity of some of its concepts . . . Red Pine eases the path to the Lankavatara Sutra with plentiful notes, explanations, and study questions, as well as his plainspoken translation. Through his work, seekers may get closer to the notions of perception and experience of perception the sutra teaches." —Library Journal

Library Journal
Buddhism can be daunting to the casual Western reader—daunting in its antiquity, the strangeness and profusion of its names, and the complexity of some of its concepts. Although it is a nontheistic religion, it relies, like so many others, on a host of texts. Red Pine (Zen Baggage: A Pilgrimage to China, published under his birth name, Bill Porter) eases the path to the Lanakvatara Sutra with plentiful notes, explanations, and study questions, as well as his plainspoken translation. Through his work, seekers may get closer to the notions of perception and experience of perception the sutra teaches. VERDICT This Buddhist scripture, which purports to contain words spoken by the Buddha, is crucially important to the Zen tradition and the Mahayana tradition generally; Red Pine's translation makes it more accessible to a wide range of readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582437910
Publisher:
Counterpoint Press
Publication date:
01/24/2012
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

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The Lankavatara Sutra: Translation and Commentary 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
American Buddhist writer and autodidact Red Pine provides a readable and well annotated modern translation of an important and philosophically difficult text of the meditation school of Buddhism, based on Chinese translations and compared with the Sanskrit, with a credible explanation of what it means. He thinks the dominant forms of Buddhist practice are "Zen, Pure Land, Tantric, Vipassana," a particularly 20th-century British or US view.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot recommend this book enough! If you practice Buddhism, especially Zen, read the Lankavatara Sutra. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wisdom that will never be exceeded.