Download Buddhism: A Short History by Edward Conze PDF

By Edward Conze

Publish 12 months note: First released in 1980
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In this authoritative consultant, one of many world's so much distinct students of Buddhism presents a compact precis of the tradition's improvement, from the time of the Buddha to the 20 th century exile of the Dalai Lama.

Covering the entire Buddhist colleges from Maháyána to Zen, this complete, concise research is greatly stated because the vintage advent to the background of the Buddhist culture, excellent for college students and readers alike. Edward Conze studied Indian and comparative philosophy on the universities of Bonn and Hamburg.

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From the second century BC onwards it not only infused a spirit of nationalism into the Buddhism of Ceylon and made the monks prone to political intrigue, but it also led them to enthusiastically support the national wars of their kings. They assured king Dutta Gámaní (101–77 BC) that the killing of many thousands of enemies was of no account, because as unbelievers they were really no more than animals. They accompanied the army of the same king, “since the sight of bhikkhus is both blessing and protection for us”, and the king himself had a relic of the Buddha put into his spear.

They can be summarized under five headings: 1. As concerns the goal there is a shift from the Arhat-ideal to the Bodhisattva-ideal; 2. A new way of salvation is worked out, in which compassion ranks equal with wisdom, and which is marked by the gradual advance through six “perfections” (páramitá); 3. Faith is given a new range by being provided with a new pantheon of deities, or rather of persons more than divine; 4. “Skill in means” (upáyakausOalya), an entirely new virtue, becomes essential to the saint, and is placed even above wisdom, the highest virtue so far; 5.

These were the beliefs which helped to maintain the monastic institutions. The voluntary and sporadic support of a population tied to them by links as tenuous as these would, however, not have kept the Order going for long. The secret behind its social survival over the centuries lay in the ability of the Buddhists, repeated over and over again, to enlist the support of Asian rulers, who maintained the monastic institutions out of government funds. In default of this, the monks were driven to become large property owners in their own right and to dispense altogether with the capricious rewards of begging from house to house.

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