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Studies in the Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita and other Essays

Studies in the Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita and other Essays
Item Code: IDH572
Author: Linnart Mall
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 8120827479
Pages: 237
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.7" X 5.8"
From the Jacket

A considerable part of this book is devoted to the study of the Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita, one of the most important scripture of Mahayana Buddhism. This text marks a breakthrough in Buddhism, since it provides an explanation for the emergence of written texts, which gradually replaced the previously predominant oral tradition. The analysis of the text is based on the key terms of the sutras: Dharma, bodhisattva and prajnaparamita.

In focusing the terms dharma Author states that dharma is both a text and an element of a text that , in its turn, is also an element of the mind-since the mind manifests itself through an act of text-generation. Dharma can also be regarded as a text that generates other texts, i.e. as a text generating mechanism. Descriptions of bodhisttvas who have reached different levels are also quite interesting. The term prajnaparamita refers both to a text created according to certain rules and to an aspect of the highest state of mind.

Other Buddhist texts are discussed as well, for example the Heart Sutra is used to explain the mechanism of the process of text-generation in Buddhism, and an analysis of the Bodhicaryavatara by Santideva explicates the role of the dialogue in the structure of the text.

Also some non-Buddhist texts are treated in the book, the Bhagavad-Gita and the Daodejing are compared as the light path and the dark path, respectively; the Daodejing is separately analysed as a schematic text what offers new possibilities of translation.

The last part of the book presents the concept of the humanistic base texts. It focuses on some of scriptures that have emerged from Indian, Chinese, and Mediterranean cultures and observes their formation process, structure and influence throughout the history following the principle that all these texts convey-the humanism.

Mail gives also an overview of Buddhist mythology and Tibetan cultural model.

About the Author

LINNART MALL graduated at University of Tartu and received his PhD at institute of Oriental studies. He currently works as Head of the Centre for Oriental studies in University of Tartu. He is also founder and President of the Estinian Institute of Buddhism.

Preface 6
Introductory Remarks 8
The Zero Way 13
The Possible Approach Towards Understanding Sunyavada 16
Some Aspects of the Emergence of Mahayana 25
Studies in the Atasahasrika Prajnaparamita 30
1 Dharma 30
1.1 Dharma in European Buddhist studies 30
1.2 Two meanings of the term dharma 33
1.3 Three operations with dharmas 44
1.4 Sunyata 48
2 Bodhisattva 53
2.1 Bodhisattva and Three yanas 54
2.2 Bodhisattva-Mahasattva 56
3 Prajnaparamita 62
3.1 Nirvana 62
3.2 Prajnaparamita 64
3.3 Sarvajnata 80
3.4 Anuttara Samyaksambodhi 83
3.5 Tathata 85
4 Text as a Teacher 88
4.1 Terms denoting shock 89
4.2 Marakarma 93
Heart sutra of Transcending Awareness 96
Dialogue in the Bodhicaryavatara 102
The light Path and the Dark Path 105
The Course of Translation 119
Buddhist Mythology 138
The cultural Model of Tibet 151
Once More about Yamantaka 165
1,8 and 0 as Text Generators and states of Mind 168
Semiotics as a possibility for the study of Religious Texts Under Communist Dictatorship 170
The Concept of Humanistic Base Texts 175
Linnart Mal's Contribution to Oriental and Buddhist studies in Estonia by Mart Laanemets 194
Notes and References 198
Bibliographical Data 224
Indexes by Teet Toome 228

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