By Reginald A. Ray

The difficulty of saints is a tricky and intricate challenge in Buddhology. during this magisterial paintings, Ray bargains the 1st finished exam of the determine of the Buddhist saint in quite a lot of Indian Buddhist proof. Drawing on an in depth number of resources, Ray seeks to spot the "classical variety" of the Buddhist saint, because it offers the presupposition for, and informs, different significant Buddhist saintly varieties and subtypes. Discussing the character, dynamics, and historical past of Buddhist hagiography, he surveys the ascetic codes, conventions and traditions of Buddhist saints, and the cults either one of dwelling saints and of these who've "passed beyond." Ray lines the function of the saints in Indian Buddhist historical past, interpreting the beginnings of Buddhism and the starting place of Mahayana Buddhism.

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Bareau 1963 and 1970-71; Tambiah 1984; Migot 1954). 1. , Carrithers 1983; Tambiah 1984; Bunnag 1973). m. , Lamotte 1944-80; Reynolds 1981, 260-93; Couture 1988). 8. See Guy Welbon's discussion of this issue (1968, 194-295). 9. , 1923) and T. W. , 1877), held that the Buddha originally taught and that Buddhism most essentially is an ethical and/or philosophical teaching in which the mythic and cultic are secondary. This interpretation sees the Buddha as a human being who cultivated his own person through certain disciplines, won a state of moral and intellectual purity, and taught the sober path he had followed to others.

13. , de Jong). Schopen points out that texts—and, moreover, the kind of texts favored by buddhologists—tend to articulate abstract ideals rather than concrete religious practices. They show "what a small atypical part of the Buddhist community wanted that community to believe or practice" (3). Unfortunately, however, buddhology has tended to take these abstract ideals as if they reflected actual practice. The end result has been that the overriding textual orientation of Western buddhology has led to a picture of Buddhism that has no reliable relation to actual Buddhist practice (see Schopen 1991).

16 At the same time, it placed considerably less emphasis on samddhi. Thus, although many classical texts—both Buddha-word17 and commentaries18—recommend meditation as a necessary component of the Buddhist path,19 in monastic tradition, meditation has often remained a primarily theoretical ideal, followed more in the breach than in the observance (Bunnag 1973, 55-58; Maquet 1980). Progress in meditation necessitates intensive and sustained practice, and this, in turn, requires seclusion and absence of distraction.

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