The Essentials of Buddhist Philosophy

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Buddhism had already spread far into other countries before it declined in India in the eleventh century A.D. Hinayana flourished in Ceylon, Burma, Siam and Cambodia; Mystic Buddhism developed in Tibet; Mahayana grew in China. In Japan, the whole of Buddhism became the living and active faith of the masses.

The present study relates to Japanese Buddhism, as in Japan alone the whole of Buddhism is preserved. The author presents Buddhist Philosophy in an ideological sequence and not in its historical sequence as Prof. Stcherbatsky has done in his Buddhist logic. But the ideological sequence as presented by the author is not the sequence in the development of ideas; it is rather the systematization of the different schools of thought for the purpose of an easier approach.

Divided into fifteen chapters, the book deals with different schools of Buddhist Philosophy. The author has grouped these schools under two heads: (1) the schools of negative rationalism, i.e. the religion of Dialectic Investigation, and (2) the schools of Introspective Intuitionism, i.e. the Religion of Meditative Experience. The author treats these schools in the most scientific and elaborate way.

About the Author(s)

(1866-1945) JUNJIRO TAKAKUSU studied Sanskrit and was appointed Professor at Tokyo University and Director of Tokyo School of foreign languages simultaneously. In 1930, he became the President of Tokyo University. He was a member of the Imperial Academy of Japan, a Fellow of the British Academy, recipient of the Asahi Cultural Prize and Cultural Order. At the time of his death in June 1945, he was Professor Emeritus of Sanskrit at Tokyo University.


   I. Introduction
  II. Indian Background 
 III. Fundamental Principle of Buddhist Philosophy
  IV. The Kusha School (Realism, Abhidharmakosa, 
   V. The Jojitsu School (Nihilism, Satyasiddhi, 
  VI. The Hosso School (Idealism, Mere-Ideation, 
      Vijnaptimatravada, Yogacara, Fa-hsiang)
 VII. The Sanron School (Three Treatises, Negativism, 
      Madhyamika, San-Iun)
VIII. The Kegon School (Totalism, Wreath, Avatansaka, 
  IX. The Tendai School (Phenomenology, Lotus, 
      Saddharmapundarika, Tien-tai)
   X. The Shingon School (Mysticism, True Word, Mantra, 
  XI. The Zen School (Pure Intuitionism, Meditation, 
      Dhyana, Chan)
 XII. The Jodo School (Amita-pietism, Pure Land, 
      Sukhavati, Ching-tu)
XIII. The Nichiren School (Lotus-pietism, New Lotus)
 XIV. The New Ritu School (Disciplinary Formalism, 
      Vinaya, Lu)
  XV. Conclusion

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