Guide to Buddhahood (Being A Standard Manual of Chinese Buddhism)

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Item Code: NAD705
Author: Timothy Richard
Publisher: Sri Satguru Publications
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 8170308720
Pages: 132
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch X 6.0inch
Weight 290 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

In this "Guide to Buddhahood" which the Chinese call Hsuan Fo Pu the reader will actually get Buddhism arranged in a definite and regular order, beginning with the lowest scale of existence and ascending regularly through the different stages of progress till finally Paradise and Buddhahood are attained.

The book contains fifteen chapters which deals with the Steps in departure from evil, Steps in imperfect religious life, Steps in the four states of existence, Steps in the realm of human sphere of existence, Steps in the visible and invisible realms of Brahma, Steps in doing good and suppressing evil, Steps in the growth of Discipline, Steps in the growth of Contemplation, Steps in the growth of Wisdom, Steps in the original {Hinayana} school, Steps in the Union School, Steps in the New {Mahayana } School, Steps in the Complete School, Steps in the Pure Land school, and The Highest attainment of the complete school Buddhahood.


DR. Eitel's "Three Lectures on Buddhism" and his "Sanscrit-Chinese and English Dictionary" are amongst the very best authorities on Buddhism in China but it was most unfortunate to have called his splendid Dictionary a "Hand-book on Buddhism" for you might as consistently call a standard English Dictionary a Hand-book of Christian Civilization! But this book and Dr. Eitel's Dictionary fit each other like a lock and it’s key.

Now in this "Guide to Buddhahood" which the Chinese call Hsuan Fo P’U you will actually get Buddhism arranged in a definite and regular order, beginning with the lowest scale of existence and ascending regularly through the different stages 'Of progress till finally Paradise and Buddh ahood are attained, and thus you find this book a true Hand- book of Buddhism a sort - of counterpart to the Dictionary, as the chapters and sub-divisions are arranged in a logical instead of an Alphabetical order.

I have read all the books of any note written in the English language on Buddhism, but I have never read any which gives a more complete view of Buddhism as I have found it in China than is given in this little book.

I translated it about ten years ago, avoiding only the detailed and rather tedious explanations of many of the sub-divisions. I had hoped to have leisure to revise it, but as increasing duties seem to put off that leisure indefinitely, and as many might be glad to have this outline of Buddhism as written by the Chinese themselves, I submit it, not withstanding its imperfections, to those who wish to study Buddhism as found in China.


Chinese Buddhism has three books which stand out pre-eminently among the rest, viz., the philosophic book called The A wakening of Faith translated into Chinese which is acknowledged to be the fountain from which modern Buddhism of the Far East arose, the• popular book which might be termed the Buddhist Pilgrim's Progress though the Chinese name of it is the Sacred book of the Goddess of Mercy, and the Guide to Buddhahood which is here translated and which gives a bird's eye view of the whole of Buddhism and the stages of progress in Buddhist learning from the lowest to the highest rung in the ladder, and in the various schools of Buddhism.

Old and New Buddhism
As the Christians have their Old and New Testament so have Buddhists their Old and New Form which differ as much from one another as Christianity differs from the Jewish religion with its repulsive slaughter houses in the tabernacle and temple. The Hindu names for these two forms are the Hinnyann and the Mabavana-the elementary and the advanced.

The former gives primitive atheistic views and th9 brotherhood of man in contrast with the polytheism and the caste system of Brahmanism but it practically failed to be acceptable to Mongolia and China. About the beginning of the Christian era, Buddhism underwent a grat change which was called the Advanced Buddhism with Amitabha, the God of endless age, at its root and became acceptable to all the nations of the Far East.

Confusion From Not Knowing the Difference
Some eminent writers on Buddhism like Olden berg thinking that the only way to get at Buddhism proper was by studying. the documents of the primitive .Hinayana school which is like a man trying to understand Christianity by the study of the Old Testament only, while others like Sir Edwin Arnold finding in the Mahayana school much that was similar to Christianity jumped to the conclusion that that was Buddhism which he called the Light of Asia with the result that the readers of Buddhist literature in the \Vest are bewildered by inexplicable contradictions not knowing that the essentials of the Mahayana school were mainly from the same source as Christianity. That foreigners should be bewildered by this is no wonder for the best students of Buddhism in the Far east themselves declare that it is impossible to reconcile the two and they therefore call the Mahayana form the New Religion or New Buddhism. This matter is fully discussed in the Introduction to the Author's translation of the A wakening of Faith published in Shanghai.

. Some Account of this Book
The Chinese copy of this book, was originally published in A.D. 1593 and is now republished in two vols. at Hangchow, .Soochow and Nanking. It is based on a previous smaller and imperfect book called Shing Fo Too on the model of an official book called Shing Kwan Too by which the various steps in the promotion and degradation of all classes of officials are made familiar; But the book is full of repetitions meant for thoroughly grounding beginners just as there are recapitulations and questions in textbooks for beginners in the West. As the readers of this book in English will not be tyros in study I have therefore thought it best to avoid the repetitions and even some unrepeated details and to give the gist of the whole book in as brief a manner as clearness of illustration will permit, only giving in full some parts which are peculiar in order to give a fair view of the whole.

The technical terms are given in Chinese as well as in English as they will be found useful in. the study of other. Buddhist literature in the Chinese language.

I made the translation in 1895 and hoped to have time to revise it before publication but as I see no prospect of getting such a time I publish it in the hope that it will save the students of Chinese Buddhism much time and labour.

The Awakening of Faith and this Guide to Buddhehood form a sort of Alpha and Omega of Chinese Buddhism. They are far more comprehensive and complete on their lines than anything yet published in English From these both the strength and weakness of Buddhism may be easily seen.


Translator's Preface.
Translator's Introduction.
Translator's Synopsis.
ISteps in departure from ,evil
IISteps in imperfect religious life
IIISteps in the four states of existence
IVSteps in the realm of human sphere of existence
VSteps in the visible and invisible realms of Brahma
VISteps in doing good and suppressing evil
VIISteps in the growth of Discipline
VIIISteps in the growth of Contemplation
IXSteps in the growth of Wisdom
XSteps in the original [Hinayana.] School
XISteps in the [Union] School
XIISteps in the New [Mahayana] School
XIIISteps in the [Complete] School
XIVSteps in the Pure Land [Cross-passage] School
XVThe Highest attainment of the [Complete ] school Buddhahood

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