The Platform Sutra comprises a wide range of important Chan/Zen Buddhist teachings. Purported to contain the autobiography and sermons of Huineng (638-713), the legendary Sixth Patriarch of Chan, the sutra has been popular among monastics and the educated elite for centuries. The first study of its kind in English, this volume offers essays that introduce the history and ideas of the sutra to a general audience and interpret its practices. Leading specialists on Buddhism discuss the text's historical background and its vaunted legacy in Chinese culture.
Incorporating recent scholarship and theory, chapters include an overview of Chinese Buddhism, the crucial role of the Platform Sutra in the Chan tradition, and the dynamics of Huineng's biography. They probe the sutra's key philosophical arguments, its paradoxical teachings about transmission, and its position on ordination and other institutions. The book includes a character glossary and extensive bibliography, with helpful references for students, general readers, and specialists throughout. The editors and contributors are among the most respected scholars in the study of Buddhism, and they assess the place of the Platform Sutra in the broader context of Chinese thought, opening the text to all readers interested in Asian culture, literature, spirituality, and religion.
This impeccably edited volume offers an ideal introduction to the most important of the early Chinese Chan texts and features contributions by leading scholars covering such topics as the biography of Huineng, meditation, sudden enlightenment, transmission, the precepts, and human nature. All of the chapters are extremely useful for understanding the role the Platform Sutra has played in the broader context of Chinese Buddhist religious thought and practice. -- Steven Heine, Florida International University The Platform Sutra is a (if not the) seminal scripture of Chan/Zen/Seon Buddhism. Its influence in East Asia is enormous and its impact extends far beyond China, Japan, and Korea. Readings of the Platform Sutra is a judicious and generous presentation of the best scholarship on this unique and vital text. It is certain to prove a reliable guide for anyone with a serious interest in the history, meaning, and practice of early Zen. -- Victor Mair Reading through these essays, one gains both a sense of how Bodhidharma's lineage took root in East Asia as well as the dynamics at play between the early Chinese Buddhist masters. Buddhadharma [Readings of the Platform Sutra] offers much of value to Buddhist Studies scholars, undergraduate students, and general readers interested in Chan/Zen Buddhism. -- Stuart H. Young Religious Studies Review this volume delivers highly readable essays particularly suited for undergraduate courses. -- Natasha Heller Journal of the American Oriental Society
Series: Columbia Readings of Buddhist Literature
Tertiary; University or College
For Ages: 22+ years old
Number Of Pages: 220
Published: 23rd March 2012
Publisher: COLUMBIA UNIV PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.9 x 14.3
Weight (kg): 0.26