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Studies in The Origins of Buddhism

Govind Chandra Pande (Author)

The continued interest of my readers has encouraged me to bring out this fourth edition which has been updated where necessary but the work remains substantially unaltered. Buddhist studies have been noted in several bibliographical surveys in recent years among which Prof. Nakamura's Indian Buddhism (Delhi, 1987) deserves special mention. Nevertheless, much of the ongoing research is centred on the publication, translation or interpretation of post-canonical texts as understood or interpretation of post-canonical texts as understood within the several 'national' traditions of Buddhist scholarship a it obtains today. To the older national orthodoxies of Buddhist interpretation have been added new directions, provided by recent ideologies or methodologies. However, one may be permitted to state that neither orthodoxy, whether Southern or Northern, nor ideology, whether Marxist or positivist ought to be allowed to hinder the pursuit of historical truth.

The earlier historical-critical work on Buddhism extending from Oldenberg to Miss I. B. Horner was based on the recognition of the relative antiquity of the Pali canon and its unique value for the understanding of early Buddhism. The significance of this fact, however, has been sometimes disputed, overlooked or minimized in the light of the counter claims one finds in the northern traditions. These traditions depend for the most part on Chinese and Tibetan translations of Indian originals which are almost wholly lost. Some fragments of canonical texts in Sanskrit or Prakrit have undoubtedly been discovered but they are tantalizingly few. Ancient Chinese traditions too are tantalizingly few. Ancient Chinese translation too are not so literal as the much later Tibetan ones. Under the circumstances, it can-not be gainsaid that the best clue to the history of early Buddhism still continues to lie in the Pali canon.

Since the Buddha allowed his followers to remember his teachings in their own tongues, it must have facilitated the development of the canonical tradition in diverse dialects in diverse sects. That it is only the Pali cannon of the Theravadins which has been fully preserved is, thus, only a historical accident but nevertheless it does make that canon a unique window from which to glimpse the life and teachings of the Buddha.

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About the author

Govind Chandra Pande

Govind Chandra Pande (b. 1923) is a thinker, scholar and writer. He has taught as Professor in allahabad, Gorakhpur, Rajasthan (Jaipur) and B.H.U. He has lectured, travelled and published widely. He is a fellow of the sahitya Akademi. Prof. Pande has been awarded the degree of D.Lit. honoris causa of Several Universities and he has also been awarded the honorary degrees of Vidyavaridhi, Sahitya Vacaspati, Vakpati and Mahamahopa-dhyaya. He is the recipient of several national awards: Sankara Sammana, Vigyana Darsana,Saraswati Sammana, Murtidevi Sammana, Srivani Nyas-Alankarana, Mangala Prasad paritosika, Visva Bharati Sammana, Kabira Sammana etc. Among his philosophical writing most notable are Meaning and Process of Culture, Mulya-Mimamasa, Sankaracarya: Vicara aur Sandarbha, Life and thought of Sankaracarya, Baudha Dharma ke Vikasa ka Itihasa, Aspects of Mahayana, annotaged translations of Nyayabindu and Apohasiddhi. the three Vimarsas viz. Bhaktidarsana-Vimarsah, Saundaryadarsana-Vimarsah, Ekam Sadviprah Bahudha Vadanti are in Sanskrit. His contributions to culture and history include Studies in the Origins of Buddhism, Foundations of Indian culture, Bharatiya Paramapara ke Mulasvara, Vaidika Samskrit, Bharatiya Samaja. He is currently working in the well-known Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture for which he has edited several volumes. He was elected president of the Bharatiya Darshan Parishad, Baroda and Pune sessions, presided over the Indian Philosophy Congress at Madurai Session. He was a member of the ICPR and also its national lecturer of philosophy in 2000-2002. The ICPR organized a special National Seminar on his Thought and Works in 2003. He has been president of the Indian History and Cultural Society (1978), Indian Archaeological Society (1978), Indian Art History Society (1978), Indian Art History Society (2002). He was member, ICHR for two terms and its first national fellow (1985).

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Bibliographic information

Title Studies in The Origins of Buddhism
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2015
Edition 4th. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788120810167
length 624p., 8.7" X 5.7"