Buddhist Scriptures

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The Chinese Canon preserves the Vinaya texts of as many as seven different schools. The Tibetan Canon. This tendency is best reflected in the stratification of the Tibetan Canon which consists of two major divisions. The first of these, the Kanjur Bkahgyur which is said to consist of the words or the sayings of the Buddha has the following subdivisions..

4 Of The Most Essential Buddhist Texts For Deeper Inspiration And Insight

Dulva or Vinaya Mulasarvastivida version , Prajnaparamita, Avatamsaka, Ratnakuta, Sutra prominence and precedence being invariably given to Mahayana sutras , Tantra. The second, the Tanjur Bstan-gyur is a supplement to the former, or in other words, continuation of the tradition of the Kanjur. Among its contents are a collection of stories, the commentaries on the tantra section of the Kanjur and the commentaries on the sutra section. There are also works relating to Abhidharma and Vinaya as well as Madhyamika and Vijnanavada. Works coming under the sutra section of the Tanjur are not necessarily commentaries on the texts contained in the Mdo-section of the Kanjur.

They are believed to be authoritative works some of which, however, are not even Buddhist in character. They deal with logic, grammar, lexicography, poetry and drama, medicine and chemistry, astrology and divination, painting and biographies of saints. Their inclusion in this part of the Tibetan Canon is perhaps justified on the acceptance of the position that they are necessary aids and accompaniments in the practice of the religion.

It becomes clear from the foregoing analysis that speaking of a Buddhist Canon one has to admit that it is both vast in extent and complex in character.

Buddhist Scriptures

Geshe Sonam Rinchen has provided additional commentary to the sections on conventional reality, elucidating their relevance for contemporary life. It is a guide to cultivating the mind of enlightenment through generating the qualities of love, compassion, generosity, and patience.

We have a lot of resources on this site for this text - you can start with Way of the Bodhisattva Resource Page. In particular, we strongly recommend watching the immersive workshop from May of with esteemed translator Wulstan Fletcher who is part of the Padmakara Translation Group. In addition, we have the famous commentary on this text, The Nectar of Manjusri's Speech.

And then there are the five Maitreya texts that he imparted to Asanga.

For an explanation of these texts see two of the foremost translators of them explain them in this pair of interviews with Karl Brunnnholzl and Thomas Doctor. The Abhisamayalamkara summarizes all the topics in the vast body of the Prajnaparamita Sutras.

Resembling a zip-file, it comes to life only through its Indian and Tibetan commentaries. Together, these texts not only discuss the "hidden meaning" of the Prajnaparamita Sutras—the paths and bhumis of sravakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas—but also serve as contemplative manuals for the explicit topic of these sutras—emptiness—and how it is to be understood on the progressive levels of realization of bodhisattvas.

Thus these texts describe what happens in the mind of a bodhisattva who meditates on emptiness, making it a living experience from the beginner's stage up through buddhahood. Gone Beyond contains the first in-depth study of the Abhisamayalamkara the text studied most extensively in higher Tibetan Buddhist education and its commentaries in the Kagyu School. This study in two volumes includes translations of Maitreya 's famous text and its commentary by the Fifth Shamarpa Goncho Yenla the first translation ever of a complete commentary on the Abhisamayalamkara into English , which are supplemented by extensive excerpts from the commentaries by the Third, Seventh, and Eighth Karmapas and others.

Thus it closes a long-standing gap in the modern scholarship on the Prajnaparamita Sutras and the literature on paths and bhumis in Mahayana Buddhism. Groundless Paths takes the same material and looks at in the context of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. This study consists mainly of translations of Maitreya 's famous text and two commentaries on it by Patrul Rinpoche. These are supplemented by three short texts on the paths and bhumis by the same author, as well as extensive excerpts from commentaries by six other Nyingma masters, including Mipham Rinpoche.

Bodhisattvas are beings who, out of vast love for all sentient beings, have dedicated themselves to the task of becoming fully awakened buddhas, capable of helping all beings in innumerable and vast ways to become enlightened themselves.

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This volume includes commentaries by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham, whose discussions illuminate the subtleties of the root text and provide valuable insight into how to practice the way of the bodhisattva. Drawing on the Indian masters Vasubandhu and, in particular, Sthiramati , Mipham explains the Ornament with eloquence and brilliant clarity. This commentary is among his most treasured works. We have three works that explore this text.

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By divesting the mind of confusion, the treatise explains, we see things as they actually are. The Metta Sutta encourages you to generate love and goodwill even toward those who have wronged you. One of the best ways to put the Metta Sutta into practice?

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Buddhist Metta meditation. The Lankavatara Sutra is popular in Mahayana Buddhism — the largest and most prominent branch of Buddhism in the world.

1. Pratimokṣha Sūtra

The Lankavatara Sutra encourages Buddhist practitioners to recognize the unique nature of our reality. There is no such thing as a single objective reality. The Buddha was a big advocate of critical thinking. In fact, he encouraged his followers to question everything, including his own teachings. In the Kalama Sutta , he instructed the Kalama clan to use their instincts to decide what to believe and who to follow. If the old ideas are outdated, find new ones. Never be afraid to question the norm. Always stand up for what you know to be right.

Finding and using your voice is an essential part of living the life you came here to live. So, there you have it. Four of the most essential Buddhist texts for deeper insight and inspiration.

An Overview of Buddhist Scriptures

Which of these sutras spoke to you most? Let us know in the comments below. Shannon Terrell is a writer based in Toronto, Canada. She revels in the thrill of exploration, whether it be new cultures, new landscapes, or new ways to bring on the happy. What is the Buddhist holy book called?