This book gives an account of the life of the Buddha and an exposition of the religion and philosophy the Buddha propounded. This also analyzes the origins of Buddhist thought and traces its development from Hindu philosophical systems. Development in Buddhist thought since the death of the Buddha are also dealt with as are Buddhist literature, sculpture and painting, both in India and in other parts of the world to which Buddhism spread.
"The aim of this, "says the author, "is to set forth as simply as possible the Gospel of Buddhism according to the Buddhist scriptures and to consider the Buddhist systems in relation, on the one hand, to the Brahmanical systems in which they originate and on the other hand, to those systems of Christian mysticism which afford the nearest analogies. At the same time the endeavour has been made to illustrate the part which Buddhist thought has played in the whole development of Asiatic culture, and to suggest a part of the significance it may still possess for modern thinkers."
Dr. Coomaraswamy, has succeeded in achieving this objective as only he could. With his genius for lucid exposition and with a beauty of style and expression characteristically his own, he has succeeded in presenting some of the most complex concepts of Indian philosophy in terms which make them understandable even to the layman.
Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, the greatest among the Indian Art-historians, was born in Colombo on August 22, 1877. After graduating from the University of London he became the Director of the Mineralogical Survey of Ceylon. Between 1906 and 1917, when he joined as the Curator of Indian Art in the Boston Museum he was busy lecturing on Indian art and formed societies for the study of Indian Art. In 1938, he became the Chairman of National Committee for India's Freedom. His contributions on Indian Philosophy, religion, art and iconography, painting and literature are of the greatest importance as were his contributions on music. science and Islamic art. He died on September 9, 1947.
'HE aim of this book is to set forth as simply as THE possible the Gospel of Buddhism according to the Buddhist scriptures, and to consider the Buddhist systems in relation, on the one hand, to the Brahmanical systems in which they originate, and, on the other hand, to those systems of Christian mysticism which afford the nearest analogies. At the same time the endeavour has been made to illustrate the part which Buddhist thought has played in the whole development of Asiatic culture, and to suggest a part of the significance it may still possess for modern thinkers.
The way of the Buddha is not, indeed, concerned directly with the order of the world, for it calls on higher men to leave the market-place. But the order of the world can only be established on a foundation of know ledge: every evil is ultimately traceable to ignorance. It is necessary, then, to recognize the world for what it truly is. Gautama teaches us that the marks of this life are imperfection, transcience, and the absence of any change less individuality. He sets before us a summum bonum closely akin to the Christian mystic conception of 'self naughting.' Here are definite statements which must be either true or false, and a clearly defined goal which we must either accept or refuse. If the statements be false, and if the goal be worthless, it is of the highest importance that the former should be refuted and the latter discredited. But if the diagnosis be correct and the aim worthy, it is at least of equal importance that this should be generally recognized: for we cannot wish to perpetuate as the basis of our sociology a view of life that is demonstrably false or a purpose demonstrably contrary to our conception of the good.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Language & Literature (440)
Sacred Sites (103)
Tantric Buddhism (85)
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