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Buddhism and Science
Buddhism and Science
Description
From the Jacket

Buddhism and Science is a compilation of a few learned articles on the subject. The book co-ordinates modern scientific thought with the Buddha Dharma and how the revolutionary theories of Charles Darwin and others blend with the Dharma (Buddha's Teachings). It recognizes that the world, or even the mighty universe was not created by a god rather it is a steady state of the universe with no beginning and end.

The work has shown how the Buddhist philosophy of Anicca (Impermanence) , Dukkha (suffering), and Anatta (ego-lessness) blends with modern science, with remarkable clarity. It also states that atomic science and Buddhism seem to be entirely different, yet they are tackling the same problem of energy and releasing of energy, breaking the highly concentrated form of energy, the so-called atom, in one case, and ego, in the other.

Dr. Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe., a well-known interplanetary biologist and evolutionary scientist, edited the volume and further enriched it with his contributions.

"The common tone of the essays is carried by the persuasion that Buddhism, insofar as it is not at variance with modern science, can bring unity and peace."

Archiv Orientalni, 55, 1987

"….tries to show how the Buddhist philosophy of Anicca (impermanence), Dukkha (suffering) and Anatta (ego-lessness) blends with modern science with remarkable success."

Journal of Dharma,
Bangalore, Feb, 1987

"…..intended to project the thesis that there is an intimate relationship between Buddhism and Science, not merely in the methodology but also in respect of the basic content."

D.C. Bhattacharya
Haryana Sahitya Akademi,
Journal of Indological Studies,
Spring, 1986, No. 1, Vol. 1

"…work is a highly readable book which includes articles by well known Buddhist scholars and scientists. It does not make any tall claims about Buddhism being an exact science, but tries to show that in its outlook and approach Buddhism is more akin to science than to religion…"

Punjab University Research Bulletin

Excerpts From Reviews

"Buddhism and Science", a collection of articles by several writers edited by Dr. Buddhadasa Kirthisinghe, is an attempt to look at Buddhism through this newer way of thinking. The main focus of all these articles is to discuss how relevant Buddhism is in regards to the modern knowledge.

…..Along with psychology this book discusses subjects such as genetics, cosmology, nuclear physics in relation to Buddhism. Altogether there are 23 articles written by experts in these various areas and Buddhism.

…..the articles have the potential of making the reader look at Buddhism in a different angle.

Ven. Seeliwamala,
Wheel of Dharma, Vol. 12, May 85, Issue 5

Dr. Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe…a well known interplanetary biologist and evolutionary scientist….has shown remarkably well how the revolutionary theories of Charles Darwin and others blend with the Dharma (Buddha's Teachings).

Professor Fred Hoyle of Cambridge University believes in a steady state of the universe, with no beginning and no end. These concepts have fascinated the Buddhists from very early times…Some cosmologists believe our own galaxy has over 300,000,000 civilizations which confirms Buddhist beliefs, modern and ancient.

Gerald Du Pre has shown how the Buddhist philosophy of Anicca (impermanence), Dukkha (suffering), and Anatta (ego-lessness) blends with modern science, with remarkable clarity.

Upasaka Wu Shu (Dr. Loo Yung Tsung), a great physicist, states that atomic science and Buddhism seem to be entirely different, yet they are tackling the same problem of energy and releasing of energy, breaking the highly concentrated form of energy, the so-called atom, in one case, and ego, in the other.

Dr. Shanti Tayal, a practicing psychotherapist trained in the U.S.A., states that many early mental diseases can be controlled by practicing the Buddha's Middle Path, recognizing the Four Noble Truths, and gradually practicing the Eight-fold Noble Path.

World Fellowship of Buddhist,
Vol. xxii, No. 1. 1, Jan-March, 1985

Foreword

We do not generally speak about religion and science in the same or amiable context. In fact, science and religion are, rightly or wrongly, still being considered as opposite poles.

When, therefore, Buddhism, which is very often and somewhat erroneously regarded as a religion instead of an ethical way of life and mode of thinking, is compared in its underlying philosophical and metaphysical teachings with the concepts of modern physics and biology, most people with assume a skeptical attitude. They may refer to such attempts graciously as a mistake, and ungraciously as absurdity.

Both sides are wrong, wrong in their assumptions and wrong in their conclusions. All the more astounding it is that few will raise their eyebrows when some of the intellectual and scientific elite of this 20th century profess to see no difficulty in citing Western religious scriptures as authority even though scientifically, sociologically and ethically we have far transcended the old traditional contentions and standards. In science this is most obvious and we need only to refer to the creation stories. In social theories few would go alone with the theocratic, patriarchial and kin-dominated family system. Our moral sensibilities also have improved in many areas, such as the treatment of animals and the obsolescence of words like righteousness and justification. The articles included in this book suggest that the Buddha announced some 25 centuries ago principles which we can glean from an examination of the latest contributions by experts in biology, physics, psychology and psychiatry. If these were haphazard comparisons, our position might still be polite aloofness. But the remarkable fact is that if reduced to general principles, many statements in the Buddhist scriptures can be brought in line with modern scientific theories and hypotheses.

Perhaps one reason is that Buddhist thinking has always enjoyed the greatest freedom untrammeled by dogmatism and authority of any kind, not even that of the Buddha himself. We have his words in the Kalama Sutta which should be given into the hands of any who write and pronounce judgment on Buddhism.

This collection of articles edited by Dr. Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe, a devoted and knowledgeable Buddhist and a scientist in the field of microbiology, should not only prove interesting, but thought-provoking, and create a desire to pry more deeply into the many-faceted Buddhist literature.

Preface

When the 1966 World Buddhism Wesak Annual brought out my essay on "Buddhism, Biology and Exobiology," the Venerable Nyanaponika Maha Nayaka Thera, Editor of the Buddhist Publications Society in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Encouraged me to enlarge on the theme and show the close relationship between Buddhism and science in other fields also. The present volume is the result.

I am particularly grateful to a few scientists and other scholars who have made their essays available for inclusion in this collection of essays. Dr. Shanti Tayal a clinical psychologist, contributed "The Buddha's Middle Way and Western Psychotherapy," Dr. Loo Yung Tsung contributed "Buddhism and Nuclear Physics," and Gerald Du Pre of Great Britain his 8 essays published in the Middle Way, the Journal of the Buddhist Society of London, England, on various aspects of Buddhism and science.

Also included is an essay on Biochemistry and Buddhism by Dr. Aung Thein; an essay on Buddhism and science by the late Professor K. N. Jayatilleke and furthermore, an essay on the science and philosophy of Aniccam by the Venerable Bhikkhu Nanajivako, both of Sri Lanka; an essay on the relationship between Buddhism and modern science by Robert F. Spencer and between Buddhism and Cosmology by Frederick M. Davis. The last two authors are from the U.S.A.

It is hoped that it would be evident from a reading of these diverse essays that Buddhist philosophy blends well with science in its various fields. Just as Buddhist views in regard to the universe do not clash even with the most modern concepts, similarly Buddhist ideas on philosophy do not clash with the concepts in the various religions, provided they are analyzed correctly.

It is a pleasant duty to acknowledge with thanks the help I have received in this compilation. Despite heavy duties the Venerable Nyanaponika, Editor, Buddhist Publications Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, Mr. Gerald Du Pre of Great Britain and Dr. Kurt F. Leidecker, President of the Friends of Buddhism, read the manuscript carefully and made many valuable suggestions. Miss Betty M. Knight and Mrs. Eileene M. Barham of England, assisted in the typing of the manuscript. To all of them, my heartfelt thanks.

CONTENTS

Foreword ix
Preface xi
1 Introduction-Buddhism and Science 1The Editor
2 Buddhism and the Scientific Revolution 8K.N. Jayatilleke
3 The Relation of Buddhism to Modern Science 17Robert F. Spencer
4 Aniccam-The Buddhist Theory of Impermanence 21Bhikkhu Nanajivako
5 The Buddha's Middle Way and Western Psychotherapy 40Shanti Tayal
6 Buddhism and Nuclear Physics 45Loo Yung Tsung
7 Atom and Anatta 49Upasaka Wu Shu
8 Buddhist Meditation and Bioscience 55U. Aung Thein
9 Buddhism and Cosmology 60F. Mark Davis
10 Buddhism, Biology and Exobiology 72Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe
11 Natural Selection and Evolution75Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe
12 Karma, Rebirth and Genetics 80Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe
13 The Universe and Cosmology 85Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe
14 Galaxies and Sunyata 89Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe
15 Buddhism and Science 92Gerald Du Pre
16 Buddhism and Psychotherapy 97Gerald Du Pre
17 The Buddhist Philosophy of Science 103Gerald Du Pre
18 Buddhism and psychology 111Gerald Du Pre
19 Science and the Skandhas 119Gerald Du Pre
20 Science and the Wheel of Life 128Gerald Du Pre
21 Science and the Way to Nirvana 137Gerald Du Pre
22 Scientific Buddhism 146Gerald Du Pre
23 Index157

Buddhism and Science

Item Code:
IDC119
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1999
Publisher:
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited
ISBN:
8120808037
Language:
English
Size:
8.8" X 5.5"
Pages:
173
Other Details:
Weight of the Book:364 gms
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$22.50
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From the Jacket

Buddhism and Science is a compilation of a few learned articles on the subject. The book co-ordinates modern scientific thought with the Buddha Dharma and how the revolutionary theories of Charles Darwin and others blend with the Dharma (Buddha's Teachings). It recognizes that the world, or even the mighty universe was not created by a god rather it is a steady state of the universe with no beginning and end.

The work has shown how the Buddhist philosophy of Anicca (Impermanence) , Dukkha (suffering), and Anatta (ego-lessness) blends with modern science, with remarkable clarity. It also states that atomic science and Buddhism seem to be entirely different, yet they are tackling the same problem of energy and releasing of energy, breaking the highly concentrated form of energy, the so-called atom, in one case, and ego, in the other.

Dr. Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe., a well-known interplanetary biologist and evolutionary scientist, edited the volume and further enriched it with his contributions.

"The common tone of the essays is carried by the persuasion that Buddhism, insofar as it is not at variance with modern science, can bring unity and peace."

Archiv Orientalni, 55, 1987

"….tries to show how the Buddhist philosophy of Anicca (impermanence), Dukkha (suffering) and Anatta (ego-lessness) blends with modern science with remarkable success."

Journal of Dharma,
Bangalore, Feb, 1987

"…..intended to project the thesis that there is an intimate relationship between Buddhism and Science, not merely in the methodology but also in respect of the basic content."

D.C. Bhattacharya
Haryana Sahitya Akademi,
Journal of Indological Studies,
Spring, 1986, No. 1, Vol. 1

"…work is a highly readable book which includes articles by well known Buddhist scholars and scientists. It does not make any tall claims about Buddhism being an exact science, but tries to show that in its outlook and approach Buddhism is more akin to science than to religion…"

Punjab University Research Bulletin

Excerpts From Reviews

"Buddhism and Science", a collection of articles by several writers edited by Dr. Buddhadasa Kirthisinghe, is an attempt to look at Buddhism through this newer way of thinking. The main focus of all these articles is to discuss how relevant Buddhism is in regards to the modern knowledge.

…..Along with psychology this book discusses subjects such as genetics, cosmology, nuclear physics in relation to Buddhism. Altogether there are 23 articles written by experts in these various areas and Buddhism.

…..the articles have the potential of making the reader look at Buddhism in a different angle.

Ven. Seeliwamala,
Wheel of Dharma, Vol. 12, May 85, Issue 5

Dr. Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe…a well known interplanetary biologist and evolutionary scientist….has shown remarkably well how the revolutionary theories of Charles Darwin and others blend with the Dharma (Buddha's Teachings).

Professor Fred Hoyle of Cambridge University believes in a steady state of the universe, with no beginning and no end. These concepts have fascinated the Buddhists from very early times…Some cosmologists believe our own galaxy has over 300,000,000 civilizations which confirms Buddhist beliefs, modern and ancient.

Gerald Du Pre has shown how the Buddhist philosophy of Anicca (impermanence), Dukkha (suffering), and Anatta (ego-lessness) blends with modern science, with remarkable clarity.

Upasaka Wu Shu (Dr. Loo Yung Tsung), a great physicist, states that atomic science and Buddhism seem to be entirely different, yet they are tackling the same problem of energy and releasing of energy, breaking the highly concentrated form of energy, the so-called atom, in one case, and ego, in the other.

Dr. Shanti Tayal, a practicing psychotherapist trained in the U.S.A., states that many early mental diseases can be controlled by practicing the Buddha's Middle Path, recognizing the Four Noble Truths, and gradually practicing the Eight-fold Noble Path.

World Fellowship of Buddhist,
Vol. xxii, No. 1. 1, Jan-March, 1985

Foreword

We do not generally speak about religion and science in the same or amiable context. In fact, science and religion are, rightly or wrongly, still being considered as opposite poles.

When, therefore, Buddhism, which is very often and somewhat erroneously regarded as a religion instead of an ethical way of life and mode of thinking, is compared in its underlying philosophical and metaphysical teachings with the concepts of modern physics and biology, most people with assume a skeptical attitude. They may refer to such attempts graciously as a mistake, and ungraciously as absurdity.

Both sides are wrong, wrong in their assumptions and wrong in their conclusions. All the more astounding it is that few will raise their eyebrows when some of the intellectual and scientific elite of this 20th century profess to see no difficulty in citing Western religious scriptures as authority even though scientifically, sociologically and ethically we have far transcended the old traditional contentions and standards. In science this is most obvious and we need only to refer to the creation stories. In social theories few would go alone with the theocratic, patriarchial and kin-dominated family system. Our moral sensibilities also have improved in many areas, such as the treatment of animals and the obsolescence of words like righteousness and justification. The articles included in this book suggest that the Buddha announced some 25 centuries ago principles which we can glean from an examination of the latest contributions by experts in biology, physics, psychology and psychiatry. If these were haphazard comparisons, our position might still be polite aloofness. But the remarkable fact is that if reduced to general principles, many statements in the Buddhist scriptures can be brought in line with modern scientific theories and hypotheses.

Perhaps one reason is that Buddhist thinking has always enjoyed the greatest freedom untrammeled by dogmatism and authority of any kind, not even that of the Buddha himself. We have his words in the Kalama Sutta which should be given into the hands of any who write and pronounce judgment on Buddhism.

This collection of articles edited by Dr. Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe, a devoted and knowledgeable Buddhist and a scientist in the field of microbiology, should not only prove interesting, but thought-provoking, and create a desire to pry more deeply into the many-faceted Buddhist literature.

Preface

When the 1966 World Buddhism Wesak Annual brought out my essay on "Buddhism, Biology and Exobiology," the Venerable Nyanaponika Maha Nayaka Thera, Editor of the Buddhist Publications Society in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Encouraged me to enlarge on the theme and show the close relationship between Buddhism and science in other fields also. The present volume is the result.

I am particularly grateful to a few scientists and other scholars who have made their essays available for inclusion in this collection of essays. Dr. Shanti Tayal a clinical psychologist, contributed "The Buddha's Middle Way and Western Psychotherapy," Dr. Loo Yung Tsung contributed "Buddhism and Nuclear Physics," and Gerald Du Pre of Great Britain his 8 essays published in the Middle Way, the Journal of the Buddhist Society of London, England, on various aspects of Buddhism and science.

Also included is an essay on Biochemistry and Buddhism by Dr. Aung Thein; an essay on Buddhism and science by the late Professor K. N. Jayatilleke and furthermore, an essay on the science and philosophy of Aniccam by the Venerable Bhikkhu Nanajivako, both of Sri Lanka; an essay on the relationship between Buddhism and modern science by Robert F. Spencer and between Buddhism and Cosmology by Frederick M. Davis. The last two authors are from the U.S.A.

It is hoped that it would be evident from a reading of these diverse essays that Buddhist philosophy blends well with science in its various fields. Just as Buddhist views in regard to the universe do not clash even with the most modern concepts, similarly Buddhist ideas on philosophy do not clash with the concepts in the various religions, provided they are analyzed correctly.

It is a pleasant duty to acknowledge with thanks the help I have received in this compilation. Despite heavy duties the Venerable Nyanaponika, Editor, Buddhist Publications Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, Mr. Gerald Du Pre of Great Britain and Dr. Kurt F. Leidecker, President of the Friends of Buddhism, read the manuscript carefully and made many valuable suggestions. Miss Betty M. Knight and Mrs. Eileene M. Barham of England, assisted in the typing of the manuscript. To all of them, my heartfelt thanks.

CONTENTS

Foreword ix
Preface xi
1 Introduction-Buddhism and Science 1The Editor
2 Buddhism and the Scientific Revolution 8K.N. Jayatilleke
3 The Relation of Buddhism to Modern Science 17Robert F. Spencer
4 Aniccam-The Buddhist Theory of Impermanence 21Bhikkhu Nanajivako
5 The Buddha's Middle Way and Western Psychotherapy 40Shanti Tayal
6 Buddhism and Nuclear Physics 45Loo Yung Tsung
7 Atom and Anatta 49Upasaka Wu Shu
8 Buddhist Meditation and Bioscience 55U. Aung Thein
9 Buddhism and Cosmology 60F. Mark Davis
10 Buddhism, Biology and Exobiology 72Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe
11 Natural Selection and Evolution75Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe
12 Karma, Rebirth and Genetics 80Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe
13 The Universe and Cosmology 85Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe
14 Galaxies and Sunyata 89Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe
15 Buddhism and Science 92Gerald Du Pre
16 Buddhism and Psychotherapy 97Gerald Du Pre
17 The Buddhist Philosophy of Science 103Gerald Du Pre
18 Buddhism and psychology 111Gerald Du Pre
19 Science and the Skandhas 119Gerald Du Pre
20 Science and the Wheel of Life 128Gerald Du Pre
21 Science and the Way to Nirvana 137Gerald Du Pre
22 Scientific Buddhism 146Gerald Du Pre
23 Index157

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