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The Lankavatara Sutra A Mahayana text trans. For the first time from the original Sanskrit with a foreword by Moti Lal Pandit

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Item Code: IDC889
Author: Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd
Edition: 2016
ISBN: 9788120816558
Pages: 356
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch
Weight 600 gm
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Book Description
About the Book
The title Lanhavatara might mean `entering Lanka' (perhaps referring to the temporary Mahayana period of Ceylon), suggesting that the doctrines of this scripture are possibly consistent with earlier Buddhism preserved in the Pali language. Suzuki's pioneer translation of the Lankavatara Sutra was based on the Sanskrit text (1923) edited by Bunyu Nanjo. It is a remarkable coverage of Mahayana Buddhist topics, especially of the type often associated with the Yogacara school of Buddhism, yet is of interest to everyone who desires an introduction to Mahayana Buddhism. Here, the world is like a mirage. The mind has poured out its impression of externals. To get liberated one must stop this outpouring. An advanced individual understands and comes to realize the self nature of the world which is really so.

About the Author
Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (1870-1966) was a famous Japanese author of books and essays on Buddhism, Zen and Shin that were instrumental in spreading interest in both Zen and Shin (and Far Eastern philosophy in general) to the West. Suzuki was also a prolific translator of Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit literature. His other works include Studies on the Lankavatara Sutra, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, Essays in Zen Buddhism (three volumes), Studies in Zen Buddhism and Manual of Zen Buddhism.

It is indeed a pleasure to have this famous translation of a work of incomparable content of matters important for Mahayana Buddhism appear in the Buddhist Tradition Series.

I have reservations about translation of certain terms of this work, but have no reservations about the importance of making this translation available to interested readers.

It is more than seven years now since I began the study of the Laiskavatara Sutra quite seriously, but owing to various interruptions I have not been able to carry out my plan as speedily as I wished. My friends in different fields of life have been kind and generous in various ways, and I now send out to the perusal of the English-reading public this humble work of mine. There are yet many deficit and obscure passages in the Sutra, which I have been unable to unravel to my own satisfaction. All such imperfections are to be corrected by competent scholars. I shall be fully content if I have made the understanding of this significant Mahayana text easier than before, even though this laxly be only to a very slight degree. In China Buddhist scholars profoundly learned and endowed with spiritual insights made three or four attempts extending over a period of about two hundred and fifty years to give an intelligible rendering of the Lankavattira. It goes without saying that these have helped immensely the present translator. May his also prove a stepping board however feeble towards a fuller interpretation of the Sutra!

The present English translation is based on the Sanskrit edition of Bunyu Nanjo's published by the Otani University Press in 1923.

I am most grateful to Mr. Dwight Goddard of Thetford, Vermont, U. S. A., who again helped me by typing the entire manuscript of the present book. To assist me in this way was indeed part of the object of his third visit to this side of the Pacific. Says Confucius "Is it not delightful to have a friend come from afar?" The saying applies most appropriately to this case.

It was fortunate for the writer that he could secure the support and help of the Keimeikwai, a corporation organized to help research work of scholars in various fields of culture; for without it his work might have dragged on yet for some time to come. There is so much to be accomplished before he has to appear at the court of Emma Daewoo, to whom he could say, "Here is my work; humble though it is, I have tried to do my part to the full extent of my power." The writer renders his grateful acknowledgment here to all the advisers of the Society who kindly voted for the speedy culmination of this literary task—a task which he tenderly wishes would do something towards a better appreciation by the West of the sources of Eastern life and culture.

Whatever literary work the present author is able to put before the reader, he cannot pass on without mentioning in it the name of his good, unselfish, public-minded Buddhist friend, Yakichi Ataka, wino is always willing to help him in every possible way. If not for him, the author could never have carried out his plans to the extent he has so far ac-accomplished. Materially, no visible results can be expected of this kind of undertaking, and yet a scholar has his worldly needs to meet. Unless we create one of these fine days an ideal community in which every member of it can put forth all his or her natural endowments and moral energies in the direction best fitted to develop them and in the way most useful to all other members generally and individually, many obstacles are sure to bar the passage of those who would attempt things of no commercial value. Until then, Bodhisattvas of all kinds are sorely needed everywhere. And is this not the teaching of the Larnakavatdra Sutra, which in its English garb now lies before his friend as well as all other readers?

Thanks are also due to the writer's wife who went over the whole manuscript to give it whatever literary improvement it possesses, to Mr. Hokey Adzuki who gave helpful suggestions in the reading of the original text, and to Professor Yenga Termite for his ungrudging cooperation along the line of Tibetan knowledge.

For those who have already read my Studies in the Lanakavatara Sfdra, 1 no special words are needed here. But to those who are not yet quite familiar with the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism an expository introduction to the principal theses of the Lanka may be welcome. Without something of preliminary knowledge as to what the Sutra proposes to teach, it will be difficult to comprehend the text intelligently. For thoughts of deep signification are presented in a most unsystematic manner. As I said in my Studies, the Lanka is a memorandum kept by a Mahayana master, in which he put down perhaps all the teachings of importance accepter by the Mahayana followers of his day. He apparently did not try to give them any order, and it is possible that the later redactors were not very careful in keeping faithfully whatever order there was in the beginning, thus giving the text a still more disorderly appearance. The introduction that follows may also serve as one to Mahayana Buddhism generally.


The Classification of Beings

From the Mahayana point of view, beings are divisible into two heads: those that are enlightened and those that are ignorant. The former are called Buddha’s including also Bodhisattvas, Arhats, and Pratyekabuddhas while the latter comprise all the rest of beings under the general designation of bah or balaprithagjana—bala meaning "undeveloped", "puerile", or "ignorant", and prithagjana "people different" from the enlightened, that is, the multitudes, or people of ordinary type, whose minds are found engrossed in the Published by George Rutledge and Sons, London. 1930. Pp. mail + 464.

pursuit of egotistic pleasures and unawakened to the meaning of life. This class is also known as Sarvasattva, "all beings" or sentient beings. The Buddha wants to help the ignorant, hence the Buddhist teaching and discipline.

The Buddha

All the Buddhist teachings unfold themselves around the conception of Buddha hood. When this is adequately grasped, Buddhist philosophy with all its complications and super additions will become luminous. What is the Buddha? According to Mahamati the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, who is the interlocutor of the Buddha in the Lanka, the Buddha is endowed with transcendental knowledge (prajfia) and a great compassionate heart (karond). With the former he realizes that this world of particulars has no reality, is devoid of an ego-substance (an atman) and that in this sense it resembles Maya or a visionary flower in the air. As thus it is above the category of being and non-being, it is declared to be pure (vi4uddha) and absolute (vivekta) and free from conditions (animate). But the Buddha's transcendental wisdom is not always abiding in this high altitude, because being instigated :)3T an irresistible power which innerly pushes him back into a region of birth and death, he comes down among us and lives with us, who are ignorant and lost in the darkness of the passions (klesa). Nirvana is not the ultimate abode of Buddha hood, nor is enlightenment. Love and com-passion is what essentially constitutes the self-nature of the All-knowing One (sarvajlia).

The Buddha as Love

The Buddha's love is not something ego-centered. It is a will-force which desires and acts in the realm of twofold agelessness, it is above the dualism of being and non-being, it rises from a heart of non-discrimination, it manifests itself in the, conduct of purposelessness (anabhogaearya). It is the Tathagata’s great love (mahakarund) of all beings, which never ceases until every one of them is happily led to the final asylum of Nirvana; for he refuses as long as there is a single unsaved soul to enjoy the bliss of Samadhi to which he is entitled by his long spiritual discipline. The Tathagata is indeed the one who, endowed with a heart of all-embracing love and compassion, regards all beings as if they were his only child. If he himself enters into Nirvana, no work will be done in the world where discrimination (vikalpa) goes on and multitudinousness (vicitrata) prevails. For this reason, he refuses to leave this world of relativity; all his thoughts are directed towards the ignorant and suffer-ing masses of beings, for which he is willing to sacrifice his enjoyment of absolute reality and self-absorption (samadhi-sukhabhdtakotya vinivdrya).

Skilful Means

The essential nature of love is to devise, to create, to accommodate itself to varying changing circumstances, and to this the Buddha' love is no exception. He is ever devising for the enlighten4ent and emancipation of all sentient beings. This is technically known as the working of Skilful Means (upayakausalya). Upaya is the outcome of Prajfia and Karuna. When Love worries itself over the destiny of the ignorant, Wisdom, so to speak, weaves a net of Skilful Means whereby to catch them up from the depths of the ocean called Birth-and-Death (samsdra). By Upaya thus the oneness of reality wherein the Buddha's enlightened mind abides transforms itself into the manifoldness of particular existences.

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