This short treatise was originally conceived as a contribution to the Royal Asiatic Society's journal. The work explains in detail the principle of Radical Pluralism which asserts that the elements alone are realities while every combination of them is a mere name covering a plurality of separate elements. The principle has been elucidated by its contrast with Arambhavada which maintains the reality of the whole as well as of the elements and with Parinamavada which ascribes absolute reality to the whole.
The work is divided into sixteen sections dealing with the Skandhas, Ayatanas, Dhatus, Elements of mind, Pratiyasamutpada, Karma, Impermanence in Sankhya Yoga, Theory of Cognition, Pre-Buddhaic Buddhism etc.
It has two appendices dealing with the views of Vasubandhu on the fundamental principles of Sarvastivada and the classification of all elements of existence according to the Sarvastivadins. The two indices record proper names and Sanskrit terms occurring in the work.
About the Author:
TH. STCHERBATSKY (1866-1942) one of the pioneering scholars of Buddhist Studies who wrote, edited and translated several works like - Nyayabindu, Abhisamayalamkara Prajnaparamitopadesa Sastra, Buddhist Logic (2 Vols), The Conception of Buddhist Nirvana, Erkenntnistheorie and Logic nqch der Lehre der Spateren Buddhisten and so on and so forth.
This short treatise was originally conceived as a contribution to the Royal Asiatic Society’s Journal its size induced the council to publish it as a monograph and my best thanks are due to the council for this kind decision. I must also express my gratitude to Mrs. C.A. F. Rhys Davids who was always ready to help with her vast knowledge of Pali literature. Prof. H. Jacobi kindly went through the proofs and to him I am indebted for many a valuable suggestion. Dr. McGovern contributed some of the references to Chinese sources. But my deepest gratitude is due to Dr. F.W. Thomas who devoted much of his precious time to the revision of my work and to carrying it through the press.
In transliteration I have usually not distinguished the guttural etc nasals when occurring before the consonants of their respective classes.
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