The present work provides the first complete annotated translation into English of the Chinese version of Dharmatrata's fourth century Samyuktabhidharmahrdaya. Samyuktabhidharmahrdaya (Heart of Scholasticism with Miscellaneous Additions) is the last of a series of expository treatises that summarized the Sarvastivada philosophy as it was prevailing in Bactria and Gandhara and that were based on Dharmasresthin's Abhidharmahrdaya. The next work in the series, is a Sautrantika revision of Dharmatrata's Vaibhasika-influenced treatise.
The introduction to the present work gives a general description and a doctrinal comparison of the Bactrian and
Gandharan Sarvastivada Abhidharma works. In the notes to the English translation of Samghavarman's fifth century Chinese version of the Indian text, the work is placed both geographically and historically within Sarvastivada Abhidharma (Bactria-Gandhara/Kasmira). The work is supplemented with indexes, glossaries and a concordance to the Hrdaya treatises and the Kosa.
About the Author
Graduated from the 'Rijksuniversiteit Gent' (Ghent National University, Belgium) in 1987, Bart Dessein (b.1965) has been working in the field of Buddhist Studies at the same university since 1990, first as research assistant with the National Fund for Scientific Research (Belgium), at present as assistant professor in the department of Chinese Language and Culture.
In 1994, he obtained his Ph.D. in Oriental Languages and Cultures from the Ghent National University.
Bart Dessein mainly published on Sarvastivada philosophy and Sarvastivada textual history (articles in Asiatische Studein; monograph with Charles Willemen and Collett Cox: Sarvastivada Buddhist Scholasticism, Handbuch der Orientalistik, 2. Abteilung. Indien, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1998).
It is indeed a pleasure to have Bart Dessein's work in this Buddhist Tradition series. This author has an admirable coverage of Abhidharma topic, and an intelligible, well argued Introduction on both doctrinal and historical issues. He appears to have good control of Chinese sources, and of previous Western scholarly attention to these issues. Besides, he has accurate English equivalents for the technical terms. One could not ask for more than he has furnished us herein on these matters.
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