About the Book:
The field of non-Tantric Buddhism still has many problems and debated issues. The present volume includes numerous solutions of these problems by the senior author Alex Wayman. The categories of the twenty-four essays are Heroes of the System, Theory of the Heroes, Buddhist Doctrine, Buddhist Practice, and Hindu- Buddhist Studies. Among these essays are one of his earliest, from the late 1950's "Studies in Yama and Mara," as well as examples of his recent mature writing, e.g. "The Buddha date and era" and "The 'no-self' of Buddhism within Indian cultures." Most of the essays have been previously published in whole or part. Some essays were written especially for this volume, e.g. "Core teachings." The entire corpus of essays is devoted to issues that concern present-day scholars of Buddhism in Particular, but also specialists of Indian philosophy and religion in general.
About the Author:
Alex Wayman became Professor of Sanskrit at Columbia University in 1967 and has the title Professor Emeritus of Sanskrit, effective July 1991. Among his awards are the honorary D. Litt at Nalanda University, India (April, 1978); and a work in his honor Researches in Indian and Buddhist Philosophy (Delhi, 1993). His main contribution to Sanskrit per se is his translation of the Visvalocana lexicon (published in Japan, 1994). Otherwise, his publication have been in non-Tantric and Tantric Buddhism, using the Sanskrit and Tibetan languages, with a stream of books and articles now over a hundred and fifty, and which steadily increase. Now he is busy completing a two-volume treatise on Buddhist logic, on which he had worked as time allowed for many years; and is continuing to write essays on important topics of Indian lore.
The series editor is happy to present these essays in the same series whose quality standard had the good omen of starting with professor Hajime Nakamura’s bibliographical survey Indian Buddhism. Since then the series has maintained a general excellence. Readers of the preceding work of my essays Buddhist insight (ed. By Geroge R. Elder) should appreciate the present collection as a companion volume. The attentive peruser of the present essays may notice that they are more devoted to solving basic problems of Buddhism, even with a restrained type of contention. Scholars who had held that Prof. Wayman’s contributions are mainly in the field of Tantra should be surprised to find these numerous well argued essays in non-tantric Buddhism. They illustrate the range of the author’s interests.
There are two kinds of articles in the present work ones previously published and ones not previously published. In the latter group there are those prepared for special purposes and those composed especially for the present work.
May I thank jointly the various editors and organizations, etc. who or which have given permission for reprinting various articles in the present volume.
Especially must I thank Marisusai Davamony editor of the annual periodical Studia Missionalia in Rome for the numerous invitations to contribute essays and permission to reprint certain ones for this volume namely with their dates of original publication Sakyamuni, founder of Buddhism 1984. Nagarjuna reformer of Buddhism (1985) Vasubandhu Teacher Extraordinary (1988) The Guru in Buddhism (1987) The Buddhist (1991).
Indian books center Delhi India for permission to reprint Doctrinal affiliation of Asanga from the Prof. P.V. Bapat Felicitation volume Amala Prajna Aspects of Buddhist Studies (1989).
V.C. Srivastava Dept of ancient Indian History culture & chaeology, Banaras Hindu University for permission to reprint ‘Parents of Buddhist Monks” from Bharati, 1966-68, Nos. X & XI.
Philosophy East and West (Hawaii), for reprinting “Tathagata Chapter of Ndgarjuna’s Madhyamaka-karika,” from its Vol. 38 (1988), pp. 47-57; and for “The Meaning of Unwisdom” [now “The meaning of Nescience” with other corrections], from its Vol. 7 (1957), pp. 21-5.
The American Oriental Society for permission to use my translation of Madhyamaka-karika, Chap. II, from my article The gait (gati) and the Path (marga)—.Reflections on the Horizontal,” Journal of the American Oriental Society, 105.3 (1985).
The Adyar Society Bulletin for permission to use the article “The Vedic Three Worlds in Early and Later Times,” from its Vol. 50, 1986.
The Faculty of Asian Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra for permission to reprint “Vedantic and Buddhist Theory of Nama-rupa,” from the J.W. de Jong volume Indological and Buddhist Studies (Canberra, 1982).
The Central Institute of. Higher Tibetan Studies, Samath, Varanasi for permission to use the article (cf. my essay No. 13) “A Prajñãpãramit’A Scripture within a Tantra,” from ramana Vidya (1987).
Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands for permission to reprint (although with a few deletions) my “Studies in Yama and Mara,” Indo-Iranian Journal, 1959, 3:1. pp. 44-75; 3:2, pp. 112-131.
Genjun H. Sasaki, D. Litt., who gave permission on behalf of the publisher Shimizukobunda Ltd., Tokyo, for reprinting “Purification of Sin in Buddhism by Vision and Confession” from the work he edited A Study of Klea (1975).
Alex Wayman, since his essay No. 16 “Asañga on Food” is from his own Analysis of the Sravakabhumi Manuscript (Berkeley, California, 1961) and after this work went out of print, one need not ask the publisher for permission.
Articles prepared for specific purposes: “Aniconic and iconic art of the Buddha” was delivered in a panel of the College Art Association, during its 1989 San Francisco meeting.
“Prophecies for Persons” was delivered as a Faculty lecture at the University of Hawaii, Fall 1992.
“The ‘no-self’ of Buddhism within Indian Culture” after being written in full extent was reduced for presentation at a meeting of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy at New York City, in Dec., 1991.
Articles written especially for the present volume: “Asañga’s Three Pratyeka Buddha Paths” is based on my published edition of Asañga’s Pratyeka buddhabhumi in Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, 7:1 (Tokyo, 1960).
“Core Teachings: suffering, karma, seed consciousness, dharma” was especially composed for the present volume.
The articles “The Buddha date and era” and “Virtue consignment (parinamana)” were composed for the present volume, but while in Varanasi a few years back, I allowed Prof. A.K. Narain to include the former one in a seminar volume on the date of the Buddha he was editing; and allowed Prof. N.H. Samtani to include the latter in a seminar volume on Buddhist terminology he was editing, informing both scholars that the two essays were meant for the volume Untying the knots. I have no information as to whether either of those seminar volumes was published.
Also composed especially for the present volume were in essay no. 13, on voidness, the translation from Pãli of the Culasunhatäsutta; in essay no. 14, the scripture’ part translated from the Tibetan prologue to the Aksayamatinirde.a-sutra; in essay no. 20, additions to the Buddhist theory of the three worlds; and in essay no. 24, the pan -the meaning of omniscience”.
After accounting for the essays in this volume, may I take this opportunity to thank Shree N. Prakash Jam, Director, Motilal Banarsidass. Delhi. India, for undertaking to publish the present work in the Buddhist Tradition Series for which I am the general editor.
The present volume of twenty four essays is intended as a companion to the previous volume of twenty four essays published under the title Buddhist Insight that was edited by George Elder and published by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi (in 1984). The present volume is necessarily edited by myself since various articles had to be modified from their original forms and also since there has been a number of article substitutions in the volume as it was originally conceived some years ago. It would have been easier for the author to have used previously published articles to fill up the volume but the author engaged in a considerable amount of further writing so as to achieve an integrated volume rather than a collection of miscellaneous essays.
In the final form of this text the first two groups of essays emphasize the Buddha and his Samgha among the three Jewels of Buddhism the next two groups go with the Dharma Jewel. The fifth group of essays (Hindu Buddhist Studies) is pursuant tot eh author’s position that Buddhism cannot be divorced from its origin amidst the currents of Indian culture.
The superimposition of the number twenty four is certified by words of the Sanskrit Language siddha (perfect) is a name of the number 24 and the term parama in the meaning highest point is in the compound catur vimasti parama at the utmost 24.
The title’s expression untying the knots has two applicable interpretations (1) Solving Problems. The author claims to untie knots by trying to solve problems of Buddhism whether of biography history or doctrine. This is a procedure that tacitly opposes the frequent copying of previous theories without evaluation although admittedly many previous theories about Buddhism are correct indeed (2) Loosening the previous fixation. Here untying the knots is equivalent to the scripture title Samdhinirmocana the basic scripture of the Yogacara school. The title implies the charting of a new course. While the present volume reflects such a procedure to some extent namely a new approach the author admits his own effect cannot compare with that of the named scripture.
The attentive readers will probably notice repetition of some citations in these essays. While the writer tried to suppress such repetitions some probably remain due to the length of years that separate various essays as the writer returned to certain problems in a different context. On the positive side it may be an evidence of essay compatibility.
The transcription of Tibetan words should be mentioned. In my early essays. I used the system employed by the Russian Buddhologist Obemiller. Later I have adhered interpretations (1) Solving problems the author claims to untie knows by trying to solve problems of Buddhism, whether of biography history or doctrine. This is a procedure that tacity opposes the frequent copying of previous theories without evaluation although admittedly many previous theories about Buddhism are correct indeed. (2) Loosening the previous fixation. Here untying the knots is equivalent to the scripture title Sambhinirmocana the basic scripture of the Yogacara scholl. The title implies the charting of a new course. While the present volume reflects such a procedure to some extent namely a new approach the author admits his own effect cannot compare with that of the named scripture.
The transcription of Tibetan words should be mentioned. In my early essays I used the system employed by the Russian Buddhologist Obemiller. Later I have adhered to the library of Congress official transcription system for Tibetan language. More recently I have used the Wilie system which dispenses with most diacritics. The author must apologize to the reader for such inconsistencies in the present set of essays but readers of the Tibetan language will find little difficulty in recognizing the words by such transcriptions.
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