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Sakya or Buddhist Origins
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Sakya or Buddhist Origins
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About the Book

Sakya or Buddhist Origins by Mrs. Rhys Davids is as relevant today as it was in 1928, the year of its first publication. Time has added to its value. The remarkable progress in the realm of Science has not abated man's yearning for the call of the quest.

As the title implies, its aim is to unravel the genuine message of Gotama, the Buddha, from the accretions in the Pali scriptures, by adopting the techniques of archaeologist. It is divided into two parts. Part one treats of "the discovery, the reconstruction, the rehabilitation of that which, at its birth, was a new and true word from very man to very man, true always and everywhere." Part two tells how this gospel came to be dressed "to suit a monastic set of ideals." An appendix dealing with Pali Pitakas is added.

Over the years, in spite of a large number of books, the horizons of knowledge about Buddhism have remained stationary. This book takes a further step in widening that Knowledge and thus provides an impetus for further research.

About the Author

Mrs. Rhys Davids (27 September 1857 - 26 June 1942), a well-known authority on Buddhism, undertook the difficult task of translating from original Pali a number of Buddhist works which justifiably earned her a place among the foremost scholars of Buddhism. She was a pupil of Prof. T.W. Rhys Davids whom she later married. Besides her translation of the Dhamma-Sangani undertook the translation and interpretation of a number of works on Abhidhamma. As the editor of the Pali Text Society, a number of other works were published under her guidance. She was also the author of a number of books and articles: the more well-known are: Buddhist Psychology, translation of Thera-Therigatha in English verse entitled Psalms of the Early Buddhist Brothers and Sisters and the Wayfarers' Words (in three Vols.) and What are the Original Gospel in Buddhism.

Introduction

This book is intended to be a help to those who would approach the study of a great religion with a very long history in the intensive way known as at first hand. Assuch it is not a supplement, but a complement to my other manual, Gotama the Man. In that work I sought to help the otherwise busy man and woman who have too little leisure or inclination to take up the history of that religion seriously, the study of its records, the study of their language. It is to those .who have the inclination and are carving out the leisure to consider that history more closely and, it may be, to further what is known of it that I turn here and now. . And to such I would at the outset say this.

You have the will to take up the study of what is called Buddhism, and more especially, just now at least, the study of the Buddhism to be got from what is known as Pali literature. You, in taking up this book, are asking to be told something about the beginnings of the one and the other: what was Buddhism at first? How did it come to be what it now is? Is it very like what at first it was?

To your first question I would say: Put away, for your origins, the word "Buddhism" and think of your subject as "Sakya". This will at once place you for perspective at a truer point. You are taken away from a quite modern term convenient, it is true, for inclusive import-and are deposited in the history of the first three or more centuries of the life of this religion. Emphasis for you shifts at once. You are now "concerned to learn less about" Buddha" and" Buddhism ", more about him whom India has ever known as Sakya-muni, and about his men who, as their records admit, were spoken of as the Sakya-sons, or men Of the Sakyas. It is only when Sakya was lingering on in India as a moribund cult, as a decadent quasi-philosophy, that Indian writers mentioned it as what the Bauddhas say".

In the next place, you will have been directed, for the carrying out your purpose, for the finding replies to your questions, to devote possibly your first inquiries to a study of the collection of books all, as books and not as manuscripts only, made accessible to you in this last half-century by the labours of a handful of scholars and by the gifts of a handful of donors I-the collection entitled the Pali Canon of the Three Pitakas, Of these three, the first two, containing respectively a mass of monastic rules and comments thereon (with a few straps of narrative), and an immense number of recorded sayings in verse and prose (with a book of commentary and one of folklore) are earlier than the third. This is internally admitted and is demonstrable. You will further be referred to two or three extra- Canonical books and to a number of commentaries on the Canonical books.' For these last a much later fixed wording, and writing down in such, is claimed, although as spoken comment they may be as •old as much in the canon itself.

Hence for a reply to your first question you will mainly concentrate on the first two Pitakas, the while you keep a watchful eye on the Commentaries. If herein you are first directed to the scraps of narrative in the second Pitaka and to a few more adduced in the first Pitaka (mainly to vindicate the main sanctions of a community of the Rule and the making of some particular rule), you will probably not, at this time of day, be first struck, as I was half a century ago, by this: that the appearance of a devoted Helper of Man, with an inspired mandate, becomes no longer for you a phenomenon that is unique. Your day is different; it has learnt more. F or you comes possibly a different first impression; one that belongs more to your second and third question. You may, as a child of your day, get the impression that what you read in the records is other than what a World-Helper will have said to the world-that is, to the men and women about him there and then. If not, what will he really have said there and then, and how will he have said it there and then?

If this comes over you, you are at the right standpoint to take up the historical study, the one and only right study, of" Buddhism". And if this be not your impression, it is what I seek to give you in this book. What he, called" Buddha", is made to say; what it is likely he will have willed to say; what it is unlikely he will have willed to say; what it is impossible he can ever have said and yet is made to say: here is sound outlook; here is the attitude of the man or woman bent on a quest of high worth. Your quest is one of high worth. It concerns so much more, in your own growth, than the eliciting truth from a dead past. It is a quest in what is true in your own nature, your own life, when you seek, as now you are seeking, wherein lay; in the long-ago delivered message of this Man to the Man in everyone about him, what he will really have said, what he tried to say, what a want of new words hindered him from saying, which was of new meaning, new light; what these old records you are now sifting may in course of time have made him out as not saying, as saying differently.

You ask: How am I to distinguish? How can I possibly know? M y son, you have not entered upon a light matter of just gleaning the contents of a mass of old books, and then saying you know from them what were the origins of Buddhism. That would be as if you were to reconstruct a Roman basilica from the materials prepared for a late Gothic church; or, from the elaborate Glastonbury Abbey of the twelfth century, a model of the little" vetusta ecclesia" wherein St. Joseph and his Keltic converts foregathered fraternally. Yours it is to follow our archaeologists and to dig for the' original Troy beneath more than one superimposed city. For that which was Sakya is not that which you find displayed in category and formula, in Sermon and reiterated refrain in the Pitakas, I would go so far as to say in utmost seriousness, that could you now put into the hands of, say, Sariputta any portion of Vinaya or Surra, he would tell you it was hard for him to recognize in it anything that he taught as the right- hand man of Gotama! Yet you have no reason therefore to despair of getting at something of original purport beneath these many palimpsests, Nay, your position as serious student becomes so much more interesting. Yours it is, not to follow in a newly made" by- pass road ", but to aid in the road-making. You are coming to this study just when he labours of a generation and more of pioneers have cut a clearing for the Road of the True through the jungle of our ignorance about Sakya and its birth. The Road has now to be made.

To leave figure, this is the position: Pali literature has just won a claim to be considered as, so far, containing, among much that is later, the most archaic records we yet have available for reconstructing Buddhist origins. The quest is now goilc further east, to seek whether n Chinese and other literature we may possibly find translations-made by men who bore eastward earlier versions of Sakya than the version which we have derived- from Ceylon, recast into the form of literary Prakrit called Pali by the missionary monk centres of Ceylon. I have given reasons at the end of this book to show that this hope is not ill founded. Nor is this the only quest of the future into other sources of Sakya. Not as yet has even a beginning been made to sift the contents of the oldest known Sinhalese literature written in Sinhalese, yet quoting doctrine of" the Men of Old" as often in Sanskrit as in Pali: doctrine, that is to say, which was first taught in India more likely in Prakrit than in either of these tongues. But meanwhile you and others who have as yet not turned eastward or southward have all your work cut out for you to winnow, in the Pali Pitakas, the older grain from all the later chaff.

Contents

  Introductory I
 
Part I
 
1 THE BIRTH OF A NEW RELIGION 7
2 THE WORLD AWAITING SAKYA 22
3 THE MESSAGE OF THE SAKYAN 53
4 Dharma, Dhamma 66
5 MAN'S WILL IN SAKYA 75
6 THE WAY AND BECOMING 89
7 THE FIRST "SONS OF THE SAKYA 115
8 THE MANDATE ON CAUSE 133
9 MUSING (Dhyana) IN SAKYA 163
10 SAKYA, SANKHAYA, AND THE SELF 186
11 THE WARDING OF MAN (Brahma-vihara) 214
12 Rddhi, OR THE MAN AS MORE 235
13 Abhijna, OR THE MAN ADVANCING 257
14 THE WORLDS IN SAKYA 271
15 THE CROWN IN THE MANDATE: COMPASSION 289
16 THE MAN OF THE NEW WORD 304
17 THE TEACHING OF THE FIRST MEN OF SAKYA 312
 
PART II
 
18 SAKYA ORPHANED. 339
19 SAKYA IN CONFERENCE 348
20 BUDDHA-CULT AND THE NOT-MAN (anatta) 364
21 SAKYA AND THE RECORDS 380
22 SAKYA AND ABHIDHAMMA 401
23 SAKYA REVIVED IN ASOKA 406
24 EPILOGUE 425
 
APPENDIX
 
1 PALI 429
2 BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY 431
3 CONCLUDING PORTIONS IN THE FIRST UTTERANCES 433
4 THE DATE OF THE BIRTH OF SAKYA 434
5 THE PALI PITAKAS 435
  Index 437
Sample Pages
















Sakya or Buddhist Origins

Item Code:
NAN622
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2017
ISBN:
9788121513142
Language:
English
Size:
8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Pages:
245
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 650 gms
Price:
$55.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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About the Book

Sakya or Buddhist Origins by Mrs. Rhys Davids is as relevant today as it was in 1928, the year of its first publication. Time has added to its value. The remarkable progress in the realm of Science has not abated man's yearning for the call of the quest.

As the title implies, its aim is to unravel the genuine message of Gotama, the Buddha, from the accretions in the Pali scriptures, by adopting the techniques of archaeologist. It is divided into two parts. Part one treats of "the discovery, the reconstruction, the rehabilitation of that which, at its birth, was a new and true word from very man to very man, true always and everywhere." Part two tells how this gospel came to be dressed "to suit a monastic set of ideals." An appendix dealing with Pali Pitakas is added.

Over the years, in spite of a large number of books, the horizons of knowledge about Buddhism have remained stationary. This book takes a further step in widening that Knowledge and thus provides an impetus for further research.

About the Author

Mrs. Rhys Davids (27 September 1857 - 26 June 1942), a well-known authority on Buddhism, undertook the difficult task of translating from original Pali a number of Buddhist works which justifiably earned her a place among the foremost scholars of Buddhism. She was a pupil of Prof. T.W. Rhys Davids whom she later married. Besides her translation of the Dhamma-Sangani undertook the translation and interpretation of a number of works on Abhidhamma. As the editor of the Pali Text Society, a number of other works were published under her guidance. She was also the author of a number of books and articles: the more well-known are: Buddhist Psychology, translation of Thera-Therigatha in English verse entitled Psalms of the Early Buddhist Brothers and Sisters and the Wayfarers' Words (in three Vols.) and What are the Original Gospel in Buddhism.

Introduction

This book is intended to be a help to those who would approach the study of a great religion with a very long history in the intensive way known as at first hand. Assuch it is not a supplement, but a complement to my other manual, Gotama the Man. In that work I sought to help the otherwise busy man and woman who have too little leisure or inclination to take up the history of that religion seriously, the study of its records, the study of their language. It is to those .who have the inclination and are carving out the leisure to consider that history more closely and, it may be, to further what is known of it that I turn here and now. . And to such I would at the outset say this.

You have the will to take up the study of what is called Buddhism, and more especially, just now at least, the study of the Buddhism to be got from what is known as Pali literature. You, in taking up this book, are asking to be told something about the beginnings of the one and the other: what was Buddhism at first? How did it come to be what it now is? Is it very like what at first it was?

To your first question I would say: Put away, for your origins, the word "Buddhism" and think of your subject as "Sakya". This will at once place you for perspective at a truer point. You are taken away from a quite modern term convenient, it is true, for inclusive import-and are deposited in the history of the first three or more centuries of the life of this religion. Emphasis for you shifts at once. You are now "concerned to learn less about" Buddha" and" Buddhism ", more about him whom India has ever known as Sakya-muni, and about his men who, as their records admit, were spoken of as the Sakya-sons, or men Of the Sakyas. It is only when Sakya was lingering on in India as a moribund cult, as a decadent quasi-philosophy, that Indian writers mentioned it as what the Bauddhas say".

In the next place, you will have been directed, for the carrying out your purpose, for the finding replies to your questions, to devote possibly your first inquiries to a study of the collection of books all, as books and not as manuscripts only, made accessible to you in this last half-century by the labours of a handful of scholars and by the gifts of a handful of donors I-the collection entitled the Pali Canon of the Three Pitakas, Of these three, the first two, containing respectively a mass of monastic rules and comments thereon (with a few straps of narrative), and an immense number of recorded sayings in verse and prose (with a book of commentary and one of folklore) are earlier than the third. This is internally admitted and is demonstrable. You will further be referred to two or three extra- Canonical books and to a number of commentaries on the Canonical books.' For these last a much later fixed wording, and writing down in such, is claimed, although as spoken comment they may be as •old as much in the canon itself.

Hence for a reply to your first question you will mainly concentrate on the first two Pitakas, the while you keep a watchful eye on the Commentaries. If herein you are first directed to the scraps of narrative in the second Pitaka and to a few more adduced in the first Pitaka (mainly to vindicate the main sanctions of a community of the Rule and the making of some particular rule), you will probably not, at this time of day, be first struck, as I was half a century ago, by this: that the appearance of a devoted Helper of Man, with an inspired mandate, becomes no longer for you a phenomenon that is unique. Your day is different; it has learnt more. F or you comes possibly a different first impression; one that belongs more to your second and third question. You may, as a child of your day, get the impression that what you read in the records is other than what a World-Helper will have said to the world-that is, to the men and women about him there and then. If not, what will he really have said there and then, and how will he have said it there and then?

If this comes over you, you are at the right standpoint to take up the historical study, the one and only right study, of" Buddhism". And if this be not your impression, it is what I seek to give you in this book. What he, called" Buddha", is made to say; what it is likely he will have willed to say; what it is unlikely he will have willed to say; what it is impossible he can ever have said and yet is made to say: here is sound outlook; here is the attitude of the man or woman bent on a quest of high worth. Your quest is one of high worth. It concerns so much more, in your own growth, than the eliciting truth from a dead past. It is a quest in what is true in your own nature, your own life, when you seek, as now you are seeking, wherein lay; in the long-ago delivered message of this Man to the Man in everyone about him, what he will really have said, what he tried to say, what a want of new words hindered him from saying, which was of new meaning, new light; what these old records you are now sifting may in course of time have made him out as not saying, as saying differently.

You ask: How am I to distinguish? How can I possibly know? M y son, you have not entered upon a light matter of just gleaning the contents of a mass of old books, and then saying you know from them what were the origins of Buddhism. That would be as if you were to reconstruct a Roman basilica from the materials prepared for a late Gothic church; or, from the elaborate Glastonbury Abbey of the twelfth century, a model of the little" vetusta ecclesia" wherein St. Joseph and his Keltic converts foregathered fraternally. Yours it is to follow our archaeologists and to dig for the' original Troy beneath more than one superimposed city. For that which was Sakya is not that which you find displayed in category and formula, in Sermon and reiterated refrain in the Pitakas, I would go so far as to say in utmost seriousness, that could you now put into the hands of, say, Sariputta any portion of Vinaya or Surra, he would tell you it was hard for him to recognize in it anything that he taught as the right- hand man of Gotama! Yet you have no reason therefore to despair of getting at something of original purport beneath these many palimpsests, Nay, your position as serious student becomes so much more interesting. Yours it is, not to follow in a newly made" by- pass road ", but to aid in the road-making. You are coming to this study just when he labours of a generation and more of pioneers have cut a clearing for the Road of the True through the jungle of our ignorance about Sakya and its birth. The Road has now to be made.

To leave figure, this is the position: Pali literature has just won a claim to be considered as, so far, containing, among much that is later, the most archaic records we yet have available for reconstructing Buddhist origins. The quest is now goilc further east, to seek whether n Chinese and other literature we may possibly find translations-made by men who bore eastward earlier versions of Sakya than the version which we have derived- from Ceylon, recast into the form of literary Prakrit called Pali by the missionary monk centres of Ceylon. I have given reasons at the end of this book to show that this hope is not ill founded. Nor is this the only quest of the future into other sources of Sakya. Not as yet has even a beginning been made to sift the contents of the oldest known Sinhalese literature written in Sinhalese, yet quoting doctrine of" the Men of Old" as often in Sanskrit as in Pali: doctrine, that is to say, which was first taught in India more likely in Prakrit than in either of these tongues. But meanwhile you and others who have as yet not turned eastward or southward have all your work cut out for you to winnow, in the Pali Pitakas, the older grain from all the later chaff.

Contents

  Introductory I
 
Part I
 
1 THE BIRTH OF A NEW RELIGION 7
2 THE WORLD AWAITING SAKYA 22
3 THE MESSAGE OF THE SAKYAN 53
4 Dharma, Dhamma 66
5 MAN'S WILL IN SAKYA 75
6 THE WAY AND BECOMING 89
7 THE FIRST "SONS OF THE SAKYA 115
8 THE MANDATE ON CAUSE 133
9 MUSING (Dhyana) IN SAKYA 163
10 SAKYA, SANKHAYA, AND THE SELF 186
11 THE WARDING OF MAN (Brahma-vihara) 214
12 Rddhi, OR THE MAN AS MORE 235
13 Abhijna, OR THE MAN ADVANCING 257
14 THE WORLDS IN SAKYA 271
15 THE CROWN IN THE MANDATE: COMPASSION 289
16 THE MAN OF THE NEW WORD 304
17 THE TEACHING OF THE FIRST MEN OF SAKYA 312
 
PART II
 
18 SAKYA ORPHANED. 339
19 SAKYA IN CONFERENCE 348
20 BUDDHA-CULT AND THE NOT-MAN (anatta) 364
21 SAKYA AND THE RECORDS 380
22 SAKYA AND ABHIDHAMMA 401
23 SAKYA REVIVED IN ASOKA 406
24 EPILOGUE 425
 
APPENDIX
 
1 PALI 429
2 BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY 431
3 CONCLUDING PORTIONS IN THE FIRST UTTERANCES 433
4 THE DATE OF THE BIRTH OF SAKYA 434
5 THE PALI PITAKAS 435
  Index 437
Sample Pages
















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