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The Essence of Scholasticism Abhidharmahrdaya. T1550

Charles Willemen (Author)

The Essence of Scholasticism is a meditation manual, leading to arhatship. It is the central text of the westernmost part of the Gandharan cultural area, i.e. Bactria. Probably composed in the first century BCE, it was commented on and elaborated in several sastras, the best known being the Abhidharmakosabhasya of the fifth century. The Essence and the Astagrantha are the basic treatises of the non-vaibhasika sarvastivadins, i.e. of the sautrantikas, of the Gandharan cultural area. These texts were translated in China in the fourth century by Samghadeva from Jibin, i.e. the Gandharan area. The mahasamghikas and prajna-yoga reacted against such literature and practices of jnana-yoga. Vijnanavada developed from this kind of Buddhism to vijnana-yoga, taking in the earlier prajna-yoga reaction. Samghadeva is also linked with the introduction of pudgalavada in China. The work of Samghadeva is of crucial importance for Buddhism in East Asia. The Essence contains a completely new introduction taking into account the new insights since 1975, when the first English study appeared in Brussels.

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About the author

Charles Willemen

Charles Willemen, M.A. in Classics (Latin and Greek), M.A. and Ph.D. in Oriental Studies, all in Belgium, where he has been a full professor since 1977. he is lifelong member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Sciences, and has been visiting professor in Nalanda. Benares, Santineketan, Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Calgary. He has written extensively about the spread of Buddhism from India to East Asia, both in books and in such periodicals as the Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies, etc.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Essence of Scholasticism Abhidharmahrdaya. T1550
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2006
Edition Revi. ed.
Language: English
isbn 8120830946
length 360p., 8.7 " X 5.7"