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Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 3: Philosophical Schools

Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 3: Philosophical Schools
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228 x 152
Deepen your understanding of meaning and truth with the third volume of the Dalai Lama's esteemed series Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics.

Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics compiles classical Buddhist explorations of the nature of the material world, the human mind, reason, and liberation, and puts them into context for the modern reader. This ambitious four-volume series—a major resource for the history of ideas and especially the history of science and philosophy—has been conceived by and compiled under the visionary supervision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself. It is his view that the exploratory thinking of the great masters of classical India still has much that is of interest to us today, whether we are Buddhist or not. These volumes make those insights accessible.

In this third volume the focus turns to exploring the philosophical schools of India. The practice of presenting the views of various schools of philosophy dates back to the first millennium in India, when proponents of competing traditions would arrange the diverse sets of philosophical positions in a hierarchy culminating in their own school's superior tenets. Centuries later, relying on the Indian Buddhist treatises, Tibet developed its own tradition of works on tenets ( grub mtha'), often centered on the four schools of Buddhist philosophy, using them to demonstrate the philosophical evolution within their own tradition, and within individual practitioners, as they progressed through increasingly more subtle expressions of the true reality.

The present work follows in this venerable tradition, but with a modern twist. Like its predecessors, it presents the views of seven non-Buddhist schools, those of the Samkhya, Vaisesika, Nyaya, Mimamsa, Vedanta, Jaina, and Lokayata, followed by the Buddhist Vaibhasika, Sautrantika, Cittamatra, and Madhyamaka schools, arranging them like steps on a ladder to the profound. But rather than following in the sharply polemical approach of its ancient predecessors, it strives to survey each tradition authentically, relying on and citing the texts sacred to each, allowing the different traditions to speak for themselves. What, it asks, are the basic components of the world we experience? What is the nature of their ultimate reality? And how can we come to experience that for ourselves? See how the rich spiritual traditions of India approached these key questions, where they agreed, and how they evolved through dialogue and debate.

This presentation of philosophical schools is introduced by His Holiness and is accompanied by an extensive introduction and survey by Professor Donald Lopez Jr. of the University of Michigan, who is uniquely qualified to communicate the scope and significance of this literary and spiritual heritage to modern readers.

Biographical Note:

Donald S. Lopez Jr. is the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and a beacon of inspiration for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. He has persistently reached out across religious and political lines and has engaged in dialogue with scientists in his mission to advance peace and understanding in the world. In doing so, he embodies his motto, "My religion is kindness."

Hyoung Seok Ham is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, South Korea.

Thupten Jinpa was educated in the classical Tibetan monastic academia and received the highest academic degree of geshe lharam (equivalent to a doctorate in divinity). Jinpa also holds a BA in philosophy and a PhD in religious studies, both from the University of Cambridge, England. Since 1985 he has been the principal translator to the Dalai Lama, accompanying him to the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has translated and edited many books by the Dalai Lama, including The World of Tibetan Buddhism, Essence of the Heart Sutra, and the New York Times bestseller Ethics for the New Millennium. Jinpa has published scholarly articles on various aspects of Tibetan culture, Buddhism, and philosophy, and books such as Songs of Spiritual Experience (co-authored) and Self, Reality and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy. He serves on the advisory board of numerous educational and cultural organizations in North America, Europe, and India. He is currently the president and the general series editor of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to translating key Tibetan classics into contemporary languages. And he also currently chairs the Mind & Life Institute and Compassion Institute.


"Philosophical Schools presents the seminal works of ancient Indian philosophy, bringing together the thoughts and views of both non-Buddhist and Buddhist schools. These ancient philosophical views can still enrich our understanding of how we humans engage with the world around us, particularly in our search for inner peace and in our understanding of the nature of experience, the origin of the world, and our role within it."
—Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering, abbot of Sera Me Monastery and author of the Foundations of Buddhist Thought series

"This remarkable series, presenting English translations from key texts in the Indian Buddhist tradition, is introduced by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who shares his vision of revealing the wisdom of the Indian Buddhist masters and scholars to bring benefit to many others."
—Richard J. Davidson, founder and director of the Center of Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison