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Hardback: $60.00
ISBN-13: 9781886439689
Published: September 2018
333 pages

The Canonical Book of the Buddha’s Lengthy Discourses, Volume 3

  • This is the third and concluding volume in this translation of The Canonical Book of the Buddha’s Lengthy Discourses (Taisho 1). Volume 3 contains sutras 21–30 and was preceded by Volumes 1 (sutras 1–10) and 2 (sutras 11–20). The importance of the work may be signified by its position as the first work to lead off the Taisho edition of the canon.

    The BDK English Tripitaka Series is an ongoing project to translate the complete Taisho edition of the Chinese Mahayana canon.

    The work is translated by Shohei Ichimura from the Chinese Chang ahan jing. The Chang ahan jing was translated into Chinese from the Sanskrit Dirgha Agama in the fifth century by the monks Buddha yasas and Zhu Fonian.

    One of the four Agamas upheld by the orthodox Dharmagup-taka school, the Dirgha Agama has many parallels with the Pali Digha Nikaya preserved in the Theravada tradition, but it is unique in two ways. First, the Agama editors organized the sutras in four major sections, reflecting their major concerns: (1) the centrality of Shakyamuni Buddha as the primary subject, (2) the importance of the Dharma and doctrine, (3) the resultant practice, discipline, and advanced spiritual states, and (4) a record of the cosmological origins of the world. Second, the “Sutra of Cosmology,” which is not found in the Pali Digha Nikaya, was added as the last text in the collection in order to present the Buddha’s teaching more effectively and attractively to a non-Buddhist audience. Some scholars suggest that the underlying principle of the Chang ahan jing reflects a conciliatory impulse intended to bridge the early Buddhist teachings with Mahayana Buddhist teaching and scriptures.

    • Shohei Ichimura (1929-2018) was a Zen monk and scholar of Indian Buddhist philosophy. He is the translator of many important works in Buddhism, both for BDK America and other publishers.