The Buddhist Canon in China, as it was arranged between the years 67 and 1285 A.D., includes 1440 distinct works, comprising 5586 books. But these form only a fractional part of the entire Buddhist Literature. The present books is divided into parts. In the beginning the book contains an informative introduction.Part I contains Legends and Myths which includes-The origin of the rivers; The Navel of the earh; The Habitable world; the four great continents; on the Karma that leads to birth in these worlds: On the causes of the earthquakes; on the eight cold Hells; on the abode of the king Yama. The superior Heaven; The thirty tthree heavens; the occupants of the Heaveans; General summary;The collective Universe; The extent of the different systems of the worlds; on the length of time called a Kalpa; On the kalpa of perfection; on the various tiers of the world; on the names of the great numbers used in Buddhist books; Lgend of Sakya; Origin of the Sakya family; Memoirs by Wang Puh; the various scenes of Sakya teaching; his methods of teaching ; the various developments of his doctrine; the eternity of his law; his successors; the epitome of Buddha's life. Part II deals with Buddhism as a Religion-The necesity of meditiation; Buddhism as a atheisitic system; as a nihilistic system;The Nirvana-The character of Nirvana; Chinese definitions; the discussion found in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra.
The Sutra of the Forty-Two Sections, The Pratimoksha, The Daily Mannual of the Shaman., The Tian T'ai School of Buddhism. Part III is on the Scholastic period-General division of the Buddhist development; Translation of Sutras. Part IV. Mystic period-Definition of Mysticism; the convent at Nalanda; the worship of Kwan-yin; Part.V. Decline and Fall-Naga worship.
In the end the book contains Additional Notes, General Index, and Index of Proper Names, arranged Phonetically.
Of the translations found in this book, several have already appeared in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.Having revised these and added others to complete what I conceive to be the cycle of the Buddhist development, I now publish the entire series as a contribution toward a more general acquaintance with Buddhist Literature in china.
The Buddhist Canon in that country, as it was arranged between the year 67 and 1285 A.D., includes 1440 distinct works, comprising 5586 books. But these form only a franctional part of the entire Buddhist Literature which is spread throughout the Empire. And yet of all this we have been content, hiththerto, to remain profoundly ignorant. It is difficult to understand how we can claim, under these circumstances, to have any precise idea as to the religious condition of the Chinese people, or even to appreciate the phraseology met with in their ordinary books. Our first duty, surely, should be to turn our attention to the study of some portion at least of these extensive Scriptures.
I could have wished that this subject had been taken up by some one more competent than I am to do it justice, or at least by some one possessed of better opportunities than I have, for thoroughly investigating it. In the absence of any promise of such an event, however I have compiled the present work and now publish it.
The Book itself represents the result of some years of patient labour. I am solely responsible for the defects and errors which will be found in it. If it deserves any commendation, that also I shall gratefully accept for myself, as my re-assurance after many misgivings.But in any case I have found my reward in the delight which the study itself has afforded me, and the insight which I seem to have gained into the character of one of the most wonderful movements of the human mind in the direction of Spiritual Truth, such as I trace in the History of Buddhism.
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