Friday, February 18, 2011

Suramgamasamadhisutra By Etienne Lamotte

The Buddhist scripture containing teachings  that bestow heroic progress on the path
 to  Enlightenment

The Suramgamasamddhisutra is an early  Mahayana Buddhist scripture. Within a  narrative framework provided by a  dialogue between the Buddha and the  bodhisattva Drdhamati, it airs central issues  of Mahayana Buddhism by means of  philosophical discussion, edifying anecdote,  marvellous feat, and drama. At its core is  a description of the seeming conversion  of Mara, the embodiment of all malign  tendencies that obstruct advancement, and  the prediction that he too will become a  Buddha.

Concentration, samddhi, is understood  to denote the altered mental states  attainable through Buddhist meditation  techniques, in particular that in which  discursive thought is allayed, the mind is  calm and is capable of sustained awareness  of a single object.

The present volume comprises the first  full English translation Kumarajiva's  Chinese translation of the Suramgamasamddhisutra,  with an extensive explanatory  introduction and annotations. Lamotte's  French version appeared in 1965 and now  Sara Boin-Webb's English rendering of that  gives the English speaking world access  both to an important Buddhist scripture  and also to a classic work of Buddhist  Studies scholarship.

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