Buddhism/Philosophy of Mahayana Buddhist Schools

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Philosophy of Mahāyāna Buddhist Schools[edit]

A critical study of the origin, expansion and philosophy of Mahayana Buddhist schools are emphasised. Reference to the original sources is done with special attention drawn to the following:

  • Canonical evidence of the causes that led to the emergence of Mahayana;
  • The interpretation of the word Mahayana and the nature of its philosophy
  • Origin and development of Madhyamaka philosophy; concept of Sunyata and its interpretations;
  • Madhyamaka viewpoint of voidness; interdependent origination; Middle path;
  • Samsara and Nirvana;
  • Dialectical method and its adaptation;
  • Nature and realization of unconditioned realities;
  • Rangtong vs. Shentong.

Special attention are paid to the concepts of Trikaya, Bodhicitta, Bodhisattva pranidhana, ideal of Bodhisattva, perfections (paramita) and ten states (dasabhumi); the causes that led to the emergence of Yogacara vignanavada; analysis of Citta matrata and Vignanamatrata; various divisions, nature and function of vignanta and how vignana differs from cittamatrata.

A general knowledge of the basic tenets and nature of Tantrayana which is an offshort of Mahayana is also explored in this module.

Recommended Reading:[edit]

  • Prajna Paramita Hrdaya Sastra (with text and notes) - Ed. E. Conze, Buddhist wisdom book, 1958
  • The Central Philosophy of Buddhism - T. R. V. Murti, London, 1955
  • Buddhist Thought in India - E. Conze, London
  • The Yogacara Idealism – A. K. Chaterjee, varanasi, 1975
  • The Bodhisatva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature - Har Dayal, Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi
  • Mahayana Buddhism - Nalinaksha Dutt, Mortilal Banarasidas, Delhi, 1978
  • An introduction to Mahayana Buddhism – W.M. McGovern, Delhi
  • Perfection of Wisdom - R. C. Jamieson, New York, 2000, 0670889342 0711215103
  • Meditation on Emptiness - Jeffrey Hopkins, Wisdom PublicationS