Early Buddhism

Early Buddhism

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Book Specification

Item Code: UAM994
Author: Prof. Durga Nandan Pd. Tiwari
Publisher: Prachya Vidya Bhawan, Varanasi
Language: English
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9789387306028
Pages: 90
Other Details 8.90 X 5.90 inch
Weight 270 gm

Book Description

The summary of the main features of his system of beliefs which Gotama is said, in our earliest authorities, to have put before his five friends at Benares, gives us what those authorities held to be most important in his teaching. We may possibly go even further. It is not very probable, after the long and careful course of instruction they had received from him, that the early disciples can have misunderstood him on such a point. There are distinct traces in our earliest documents of a development of thought in the views of his followers regarding the personality of their master, in their Buddhology.

No such traces have yet been found of development in fundamental doctrine. The balance of probability is therefore in favour of the tradition having preserved the actual views of Gotama himself; and very possibly the expressions he used. But even if we adopt the more difficult hypothesis, and suppose that the tradition embodies the views of the early disciples, and that they invented these utterances, put forward by them as the first discourse of their Master even then we have in these words the oldest and most authoritative statement of Buddhist doctrine that we possess.

The country was politically split up into small communities, usually governed under republican institutions, some more aristocratic, some more democratic in character. But in four or five of these republics tyrants had succeeded in enforcing their power over their compatriots, and an irresistible tendency was leading to the absorption of all the small republics in the neighbouring larger kingdoms. Thus the Sakiya clan was already under the suzerainty of the adjoining kingdom of Kosala.

Simeon, by the acclaim of the populace, became a saint even before he died. Diogenes, and his parallel in India, Mahavira the Jain, founded important schools that have left their mark in history. In Greece it was the sophists and the philosophers, rather than the ascetics, who came to be the acknowledged leaders of opinion. In India, it was the newer method of the Wanderers that received, and mainly, as we shall see, through the influence of Buddhist teaching, the higher recognition.

There was a strong feeling on the part of the Aryans of the superiority of their race. But this feeling had not prevented, and did not then prevent, a intermarriage.

This was a pleasaunce half way between Kapilavastu and the chief town of the Koliyans, neighbours and relatives of the Sakiyas. The later explanation, that his mother was then on her way to be confined at her mother's house, sounds very probable. The exact spot assigned by tradition to this event has lately been rediscovered.

The topmost height of insight will he reach, this child, he will see that which is most pure, and will set rolling the chariot wheel of righteousness, he who is full of compassion for the multitude.

There is nothing miraculous in it all, nothing supernatural. Supranormal it undoubtedly is. But recent researches in psychology, such as are summed up, for instance, in James's Varieties of Religious Experience, show that phenomena of a similar kind, though not quite the same, are well authenticated in the lives of men of deep religious experience. And no one of all the experiences described in these accounts is, in the canonical books, confined to the Buddha.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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