Bibliography Buddha-Dharma-Sangha

Lamrim Chenmo – Great Treatise on Stages of Path to Enlightenment by Tsongkhapa, Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee

Fair Use Source: B001ULD0M8 (LCTC), (LCTC1), (LCTC2), (LCTC3)

1188 pages of Buddha Dharma

  • Volume 1: Basics – B001ULD0M8, Snow Lion, 2015, 435 pages
  • Volume 2: Bodhichitta – B002W5G5NM, Snow Lion, 2015, 305 pages
  • Volume 3: Emptiness – B001XCW034, Snow Lion, 2012, 448 pages

The 15th-century spiritual classic that condenses Buddhist teachings into one easy-to-follow meditation manual

The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Tib. Lam rim chen mo) is one of the brightest jewels in the world’s treasury of sacred literature. The author, Tsong-kha-pa, completed it in 1402, and it soon became one of the most renowned works of spiritual practice and philosophy in the world of Tibetan Buddhism. Because it condenses all the exoteric sūtra scriptures into a meditation manual that is easy to understand, scholars and practitioners rely on its authoritative presentation as a gateway that leads to a full understanding of the Buddha’s teachings.

Tsong-kha-pa took great pains to base his insights on classical Indian Buddhist literature, illustrating his points with classical citations as well as with sayings of the masters of the earlier Kadampa tradition. In this way the text demonstrates clearly how Tibetan Buddhism carefully preserved and developed the Indian Buddhist traditions.

There are three volumes covering all the practices that are prerequisite for developing the spirit of enlightenment (bodhicitta).

About the Author and Translators

Je Tsong-Kha-Pa (1357–1419), founder of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, was one of Tibet’s greatest philosophers and a prolific writer. His most famous work, The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path, is a classic of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Lamrim Chenmo Translation Comittee is composed of José Cabezón, Daniel Cozort, Joshua W. C. Cutler, Natalie Hauptman, Roger R. Jackson, Karen Lang, Donald S. Lopez Jr., John Makransky, Elizabeth S. Napper, Guy Newland, John Newman, Gareth Sparham, B. Alan Wallace, and Joe B. Wilson.

Buddha-Dharma-Sangha History

Tenjur (bstan-gyur) Tibetan Buddhist Canon of Shastra Commentaries

“Tenjur (Tib., bstan-gyur). The second main division of the Tibetan canon (see KANjUR) of religious works mainly translated from Indic languages, it comprises around 225 volumes of commentarial and independent treatises written by the great masters of Indian *Buddhism. It is subdivided into a number of classificatory sections and additionally includes secular works on grammar, *medicine, and crafts.” (PDoB)

See also Kanjur


Fair Use Source: B00F8MIIIG PDoB


Fair Use Sources:

Buddha-Dharma-Sangha History

Kanjur (bka’-gyur). Tibetan Buddhist Canon of Sutras and Tantras

“Kanjur (Tib., bka’-gyur). The Tibetan *canon of the translated (gyur) instructions (bka’) of the *Buddha, it comprises around 100 volumes containing over 1,000 *sutras and *tantras, mainly translated from *Sanskrit and other Indic languages with a few texts from Chinese. This collection is of great value to scholars since it preserves faithful translations of many Indic texts lost in the original Sanskrit. See also Tenjur” (PDoB)


Fair Use Source: B00F8MIIIG PDoB


Fair Use Sources:

Buddha-Dharma-Sangha History


Philosophy (from Greek: φιλοσοφία, philosophia, ‘love of wisdom’[1][2][3]) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reasonexistenceknowledgeethics and morality, valuesmind, and language.[4][5] Such questions are often posed as problems[6][7] to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras (c. 570 – c. 495 BCE). Philosophical methods include questioningcritical discussionrational argument, and systematic presentation.[8][9][i] (WP)

“Philosophy is a study that seeks to understand the mysteries of existence and reality. It tries to discover the nature of truth and knowledge and to find what is of basic value and importance in life. It also examines the relationships between humanity and nature and between the individual and society. Philosophy arises out of wonder, curiosity, and the desire to know and understand. Philosophy is thus a form of inquiry-a process of analysis, criticism, interpretation, and speculation.

The term philosophy cannot be defined precisely because the subject is so complex and so controversial. Different philosophers have different views of the nature, methods, and range of philosophy. The term philosophy itself comes from the Greek philosophia, which means love of wisdom. In that sense, wisdom is the active use of intelligence, not something passive that a person simply possesses.

The first known Western philosophers lived in the ancient Greek world during the early 500’s B.C. These early philosophers tried to discover the basic makeup of things and the nature of the world and of reality. For answers to questions about such subjects, people had largely relied on magic, superstition, religion, tradition, or authority. But the Greek philosophers considered those sources of knowledge unreliable. Instead, they sought answers by thinking and by studying nature.

Philosophy has also had a long history in some non-Western cultures, especially in China and India. But until about 200 years ago, there was little interchange between those philosophies and Western philosophy, chiefly because of difficulties of travel and communication. As a result, Western philosophy generally developed independently of Eastern philosophy.

                The importance of philosophy 

Philosophic thought is an inescapable part of human existence. Almost everyone has been puzzled from time to time by such essentially philosophic questions as “What does life mean?” “Did I have any existence before I was born?” and “Is there life after death?” Most people also have some kind of philosophy in the sense of a personal outlook on life. Even a person who claims that considering philosophic questions is a waste of time is expressing what is important, worthwhile, or valuable. A rejection of all philosophy is in itself philosophy.

By studying philosophy, people can clarify what they believe, and they can be stimulated to think about ultimate questions. A person can study philosophers of the past to discover why they thought as they did and what value their thoughts may have in one’s own life. There are people who simply enjoy reading the great philosophers, especially those who were also great writers.

Philosophy has had enormous influence on our everyday lives. The very language we speak uses classifications derived from philosophy. For example, the classifications of noun and verb involve the philosophic idea that there is a difference between things and actions. If we ask what the difference is, we are starting a philosophic inquiry.

Every institution of society is based on philosophic ideas, whether that institution is the law, government, religion, the family, marriage, industry, business, or education. Philosophic differences have led to the overthrow of governments, drastic changes in laws, and the transformation of entire economic systems. Such changes have occurred because the people involved held certain beliefs about what is important, true, real, and significant and about how life should be ordered.

Systems of education follow a society’s philosophic ideas about what children should be taught and for what purposes. Democratic societies stress that people learn to think and make choices for themselves. Nondemocratic societies discourage such activities and want their citizens to surrender their own interests to those of the state. The values and skills taught by the educational system of a society thus reflect the society’s philosophic ideas of what is important.

                The branches of philosophy 

Philosophic inquiry can be made into any subject because philosophy deals with everything in the world and all of knowledge. But traditionally, and for purposes of study, philosophy is divided into five branches, each organized around certain distinctive questions. The branches are (1) metaphysics, (2) epistemology, (3) logic, (4) ethics, and (5) aesthetics. In addition, the philosophy of language became so important during the 1900’s that it is often considered another branch of philosophy.

Metaphysics is the study of the fundamental nature of reality and existence and of the essences of things. Metaphysics is itself often divided into two areas-ontology and cosmology. Ontology is the study of being. Cosmology is the study of the physical universe, or the cosmos, taken as a whole. Cosmology is also the name of the branch of science that studies the organization, history, and future of the universe.

Metaphysics deals with such questions as “What is real?” “What is the distinction between appearance and reality?” “What are the most general principles and concepts by which our experiences can be interpreted and understood?” and “Do we possess free will or are our actions determined by causes over which we have no control?”

Philosophers have developed a number of theories in metaphysics. These theories include materialism, idealism, mechanism, and teleology. Materialism maintains that only matter has real existence and that feelings, thoughts, and other mental phenomena are produced by the activity of matter. Idealism states that every material thing is an idea or a form of an idea. In idealism, mental phenomena are what is fundamentally important and real. Mechanism maintains that all happenings result from purely mechanical forces, not from purpose, and that it makes no sense to speak of the universe itself as having a purpose. Teleology, on the other hand, states that the universe and everything in it exists and occurs for some purpose.

Epistemology aims to determine the nature, basis, and extent of knowledge. It explores the various ways of knowing, the nature of truth, and the relationships between knowledge and belief. Epistemology asks such questions as “What are the features of genuine knowledge as distinct from what appears to be knowledge?” “What is truth, and how can we know what is true and what is false?” and “Are there different kinds of knowledge, with different grounds and characteristics?”

Philosophers often distinguish between two kinds of knowledge, a priori and empirical. We arrive at a priori knowledge by thinking, without independent appeal to experience. For example, we know that there are 60 seconds in a minute by learning the meanings of the terms. In the same way, we know that there are 60 minutes in an hour. From these facts, we can deduce that there are 3,600 seconds in an hour, and we arrive at this conclusion by the operation of thought alone. We acquire empirical knowledge from observation and experience. For example, we know from observation how many keys are on a typewriter and from experience which key will print what letter.

The nature of truth has baffled people since ancient times, partly because people so often use the term true for ideas they find congenial and want to believe, and also because people so often disagree about which ideas are true. Philosophers have attempted to define criteria for distinguishing between truth and error. But they disagree about what truth means and how to arrive at true ideas. The correspondence theory holds that an idea is true if it corresponds to the facts or reality. The pragmatic theory maintains that an idea is true if it works or settles the problem it deals with. The coherence theory states that truth is a matter of degree and that an idea is true to the extent to which it coheres (fits together) with other ideas that one holds. Skepticism claims that knowledge is impossible to attain and that truth is unknowable.

Logic is the study of the principles and methods of reasoning. It explores how we distinguish between good (or sound) reasoning and bad (or unsound) reasoning. An instance of reasoning is called an argument or an inference. An argument consists of a set of statements called premises together with a statement called the conclusion, which is supposed to be supported by or derived from the premises. A good argument provides support for its conclusion, and a bad argument does not. Two basic types of reasoning are called deductive and inductive.

A good deductive argument is said to be valid–that is, the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises. A deductive argument whose conclusion does not follow necessarily from the premises is said to be invalid. The argument “All human beings are mortal, all Greeks are human beings, therefore all Greeks are mortal” is a valid deductive argument. But the argument “All human beings are mortal, all Greeks are mortal, therefore all Greeks are human beings” is invalid, even though the conclusion is true. On that line of reasoning, one could argue that all dogs, which are also mortal, are human beings.

Deductive reasoning is used to explore the necessary consequences of certain assumptions. Inductive reasoning is used to establish matters of fact and the laws of nature and does not aim at being deductively valid. One who reasons that all squirrels like nuts, on the basis that all squirrels so far observed like nuts, is reasoning inductively. The conclusion could be false, even though the premise is true. Nevertheless, the premise provides considerable support for the conclusion.

Ethics concerns human conduct, character, and values. It studies the nature of right and wrong and the distinction between good and evil. Ethics explores the nature of justice and of a just society, and also one’s obligations to oneself, to others, and to society.

Ethics asks such questions as “What makes right actions right and wrong actions wrong?” “What is good and what is bad?” and “What are the proper values of life?” Problems arise in ethics because we often have difficulty knowing exactly what is the right thing to do. In many cases, our obligations conflict or are vague. In addition, people often disagree about whether a particular action or principle is morally right or wrong.

A view called relativism maintains that what is right or wrong depends on the particular culture concerned. What is right in one society may be wrong in another, this view argues, and so no basic standards exist by which a culture may be judged right or wrong. Objectivism claims that there are objective standards of right and wrong which can be discovered and which apply to everyone. Subjectivism states that all moral standards are subjective matters of taste or opinion.

Aesthetics deals with the creation and principles of art and beauty. It also studies our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes when we see, hear, or read something beautiful. Something beautiful may be a work of art, such as a painting, symphony, or poem, or it may be a sunset or other natural phenomenon. In addition, aesthetics investigates the experience of engaging in such activities as painting, dancing, acting, and playing.

Aesthetics is sometimes identified with the philosophy of art, which deals with the nature of art, the process of artistic creation, the nature of the aesthetic experience, and the principles of criticism. But aesthetics has wider application. It involves both works of art created by human beings and the beauty found in nature.

Aesthetics relates to ethics and political philosophy when we ask questions about what role art and beauty should play in society and in the life of the individual. Such questions include “How can people’s taste in the arts be improved?” “How should the arts be taught in the schools?” and “Do governments have the right to restrict artistic expression?”

The philosophy of language has become especially important in recent times. Some philosophers claim that all philosophic questions arise out of linguistic problems. Others claim that all philosophic questions are really questions about language. One key question is “What is language?” But there are also questions about the relationships between language and thought and between language and the world, as well as questions about the nature of meaning and of definition.

The question has been raised whether there can be a logically perfect language that would reflect in its categories the essential characteristics of the world. This question raises questions about the adequacy of ordinary language as a philosophic tool. All such questions belong to the philosophy of language, which has essential connections with other branches of philosophy.

                Philosophy and other fields 

One peculiarity of philosophy is that the question “What is philosophy?” is itself a question of philosophy. But the question “What is art?” is not a question of art. The question is philosophic. The same is true of such questions as “What is history?” and “What is law?” Each is a question of philosophy. Such questions are basic to the philosophy of education, the philosophy of history, the philosophy of law, and other “philosophy of” fields. Each of these fields attempts to determine the foundations, fundamental categories, and methods of a particular institution or area of study. A strong relationship therefore exists between philosophy and other fields of human activity. This relationship can be seen by examining two fields: (1) philosophy and science and (2) philosophy and religion.

Philosophy and science. Science studies natural phenomena and the phenomena of society. It does not study itself. When science does reflect on itself, it becomes the philosophy of science and examines a number of philosophic questions. These questions include “What is science?” “What is scientific method?” “Does scientific truth provide us with the truth about the universe and reality?” and “What is the value of science?”

Philosophy has given birth to several major fields of scientific study. Until the 1700’s, no distinction was made between science and philosophy. For example, physics was called natural philosophy. Psychology was part of what was called moral philosophy. In the early 1800’s, sociology and linguistics separated from philosophy and became distinct areas of study. Logic has always been considered a branch of philosophy. However, logic has now developed to the point where it is also a branch of mathematics, which is a basic science.

Philosophy and science differ in many respects. For example, science has attained definite and tested knowledge of many matters and has thus resolved disagreement about those matters. Philosophy has not. As a result, controversy has always been characteristic of philosophy. Science and philosophy do share one significant goal. Both seek to discover the truth–to answer questions, solve problems, and satisfy curiosity. In the process, both science and philosophy provoke further questions and problems, with each solution bringing more questions and problems.

Philosophy and religion. Historically, philosophy originated in religious questions. These questions concerned the nature and purpose of life and death and the relationship of humanity to superhuman powers or a divine creator. Every society has some form of religion. Most people acquire their religion from their society as they acquire their language. Philosophy inquires into the essence of things, and inquiry into the essence of religion is a philosophic inquiry.

Religious ideas generated some of the earliest philosophic speculations about the nature of life and the universe. The speculations often centered on the idea of a supernatural or superpowerful being who created the universe and who governs it according to unchangeable laws and gives it purpose. Western philosophic tradition has paid much attention to the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God.

The chief goal of some philosophers is not understanding and knowledge. Instead, they try to help people endure the pain, anxiety, and suffering of earthly existence. Such philosophers attempt to make philosophic reflection on the nature and purpose of life perform the function of religion.

                Oriental philosophy 

There are two main traditions in Oriental philosophy, Chinese and Indian. Both philosophies are basically religious and ethical in origin and character. They are removed from any interest in science.

Traditionally, Chinese philosophy has been largely practical, humanistic, and social in its aims. It developed as a means of bringing about improvements in society and politics. Traditionally, philosophy in India has been chiefly mystical rather than political. It has been dominated by reliance on certain sacred texts, called Vedas, which are considered inspired and true and therefore subject only for commentary and not for criticism. Much of Indian philosophy has emphasized withdrawal from everyday life into the life of the spirit. Chinese philosophy typically called for efforts to participate in the life of the state in order to improve worldly conditions.

Chinese philosophy as we know it started in the 500’s B.C. with the philosopher Confucius. His philosophy, called Confucianism, was the official philosophy of China for centuries, though it was reinterpreted by different generations. Confucianism aimed to help people live better and more rewarding lives by discipline and by instruction in the proper goals of life. Candidates for government positions had to pass examinations on Confucian thought, and Confucianism formed the basis for government decisions. No other civilization has placed such emphasis on philosophy.

Other philosophic traditions in China were Taoism, Mohism, and Realism. Beginning in the 1100’s, a movement known as Neo-Confucianism incorporated elements of all these doctrines.

We do not know exactly when Indian philosophy began. In India, philosophic thought was intermingled with religion, and most Indian philosophic thought has been religious in character and aim. Philosophic commentaries on sacred texts emerge during the 500’s B.C. The Indian word for these studies is darshana, which means vision or seeing. It corresponds to what the ancient Greeks called philosophia.

In India, as in China, people conceived of philosophy as a way of life, not as a mere intellectual activity. The main aim of Indian philosophy was freedom from the suffering and tension caused by the body and the senses and by attachment to worldly things. The main philosophies developed in India were Hinduism and Buddhism, which were also religions. Yet some Indian philosophers did develop a complex system of logic and carried on investigations in epistemology. Some Indian philosophic ideas have been influential in the West. One such idea is reincarnation, the belief that the human soul is successively reborn in new bodies.

                The history of Western philosophy 

The history of Western philosophy is commonly divided into three periods-ancient, medieval, and modern. The period of ancient philosophy extended from about 600 B.C. to about the A.D. 400’s. Medieval philosophy lasted from the 400’s to the 1600’s. Modern philosophy covers the period from the 1600’s to the present.

Ancient philosophy was almost entirely Greek. The greatest philosophers of the ancient world were three Greeks of the 400’s and 300’s B.C.-Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Their philosophy influenced all later Western culture. Our ideas in the fields of metaphysics, science, logic, and ethics originated from their thought. A number of distinctive schools of philosophy also flourished in ancient Greece.

The pre-Socratics were the first Greek philosophers. Their name comes from the fact that most of them lived before the birth of Socrates, which was about 470 B.C. The pre-Socratic philosophers were mainly interested in the nature and source of the universe and the nature of reality. They wanted to identify the fundamental substance that they thought underlay all phenomena, and in terms of which all phenomena could be explained.

Unlike most other people of their time, the pre-Socratic philosophers did not believe that gods or supernatural forces caused natural events. Instead, they sought a natural explanation for natural phenomena. The philosophers saw the universe as a set of connected and unified phenomena for which thought could find an explanation. They gave many different and conflicting answers to basic philosophic questions. However, the importance of the pre-Socratics lies not in the truth of their answers but in the fact that they examined the questions in the first place. They had no philosophic tradition to work from, but their ideas provided a tradition for all later philosophers.

Socrates left no writings, though he was constantly engaged in philosophic discussion. Our knowledge of his ideas and methods comes mainly from dialogues written by his pupil Plato. In most of the dialogues, Socrates appears as the main character, who leads and develops the process of inquiry.

Socrates lived in Athens and taught in the streets, market place, and gymnasiums. He taught by a question-and-answer method. Socrates tried to get a definition or precise view of some abstract idea, such as knowledge, virtue, justice, or wisdom. He would use close, sharp questioning, constantly asking “What do you mean?” and “How do you know?” This procedure, called the Socratic method, became the model for philosophic methods that emphasize debate and discussion.

Socrates wanted to replace vague opinions with clear ideas. He often questioned important Athenians and exposed their empty claims to knowledge and wisdom. This practice made him many enemies, and he was put to death as a danger to the state. He thus became a symbol of the philosopher who pursued an argument wherever it led to arrive at the truth, no matter what the cost.

Plato believed that we cannot gain knowledge of things through our senses because the objects of sense perception are fleeting and constantly changing. Plato stated that we can have genuine knowledge only of changeless things, such as truth, beauty, and goodness, which are known by the mind. He called such things ideas or forms.

Plato taught that only ideas are real and that all other things only reflect ideas. This view became known as Idealism. According to Plato, the most important idea is the idea of good. Knowledge of good is the object of all inquiry, a goal to which all other things are subordinate. Plato stated that the best life is one of contemplation of eternal truths. However, he believed people who have attained this state must return to the world of everyday life and use their skills and knowledge to serve humanity. Plato also believed that the soul is immortal and that only the body perishes at death. His ideas contributed to views about the body, soul, and eternal things later developed in Christian theology.

Aristotle, Plato’s greatest pupil, wrote about almost every known subject of his day. He invented the idea of a science and of separate sciences, each having distinct principles and dealing with different subject matter. He wrote on such topics as physics, astronomy, psychology, biology, physiology, and anatomy. Aristotle also investigated what he called “first philosophy,” later known as metaphysics.

Aristotle created the earliest philosophic system. In his philosophy, all branches of inquiry and knowledge are parts of some overall system and connected by the same concepts and principles. Aristotle believed that all things in nature have some purpose. According to his philosophy, the nature of each thing is determined by its purpose, and all things seek to fulfill their natures by carrying out these purposes.

Aristotle’s basic method of inquiry consisted of starting from what we know or think we know and then asking how, what, and why. In his metaphysics, he developed the idea of a first cause, which was not itself caused by anything, as the ultimate explanation of existence. Christian theologians later adopted this idea as a basic argument for the existence of God. Aristotle taught that everyone aims at some good. He said that happiness does not lie in pleasure but in virtuous activity. By virtuous activity, he meant behaving according to a mean between extremes. For example, courage is the mean between the extremes of cowardice and foolhardiness. The highest happiness of all, Aristotle believed, was the contemplative use of the mind.

Stoic philosophy and Epicureanism were the two main schools of Greek philosophy that emerged after the death of Aristotle in 322 B.C. Both schools taught that the purpose of knowing is to enable a person to lead the best and most contented life.

Stoic philosophy was founded by Zeno of Citium. He taught that people should spend their lives trying to cultivate virtue, the greatest good. The Stoics believed in strict determinism-the idea that all things are fated to be. Therefore, they said, a wise and virtuous person accepts and makes the best of what cannot be changed. Stoicism spread to Rome. There, the chief Stoics included the statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero, the emperor Marcus Aurelius, and the teacher Epictetus.

Epicureanism was founded by Epicurus. Epicurus based his philosophy on hedonism-the idea that the only good in life is pleasure. However, Epicurus taught that not all pleasures are good. The only good pleasures are calm and moderate ones because extreme pleasures could lead to pain. The highest pleasures, Epicurus said, are physical health and peace of mind, two kinds of freedom from pain.

Skepticism was a school of philosophy founded by Pyrrho of Elis about the same time that Stoic philosophy and Epicureanism flourished. Pyrrho taught that we can know nothing. Our senses, he said, deceive us and provide no accurate knowledge of the way things are. Thus, all claims to knowledge are false. Because we can know nothing, in this view, we should treat all things with indifference and make no judgments.

Neoplatonism was a revived version of some of Plato’s ideas as adapted by Plotinus, a philosopher who may have been born in Egypt in the A.D. 200’s. Neoplatonism tried to guide the individual toward a unity-a oneness-with God, which is a state of blessedness. Plotinus believed that the human soul yearns for reunion with God, which it can achieve only in mystical experience. Neoplatonism provided the bridge between Greek philosophy and early Christian philosophy. It inspired the idea that important truths can be learned only through faith and God’s influence, not by reason.

Medieval philosophy. During the Middle Ages, Western philosophy developed more as a part of Christian theology than as an independent branch of inquiry. The philosophy of Greece and Rome survived only in its influence on religious thought.

Saint Augustine was the greatest philosopher of the early Middle Ages. In a book titled The City of God (early 400’s), Augustine interpreted human history as a conflict between faithful Christians living in the city of God and pagans and heretics living in the city of the world. Augustine wrote that the people of the city of God will gain eternal salvation, but the people in the city of the world will receive eternal punishment. The book weakened the belief in the pagan religion of Rome and helped further the spread of Christianity.

A system of thought called Scholasticism dominated medieval philosophy from about the 1100’s to the 1400’s. The term Scholasticism refers to the method of philosophic investigation used by teachers of philosophy and theology in the newly developing universities of western Europe. The teachers were called Scholastics. The Scholastic method consisted in precise analysis of concepts with subtle distinctions between different senses of these concepts. The Scholastics used deductive reasoning from principles established by their method to provide solutions to problems.

Scholasticism was basically generated by the translation of Aristotle’s works into Latin, the language of the medieval Christian church. These works presented medieval thinkers with the problem of reconciling Aristotle’s great body of philosophic thought with the Bible and Christian doctrine. The most famous Scholastic was Saint Thomas Aquinas. His philosophy combined Aristotle’s thought with theology, and it eventually became the official philosophy of the Roman Catholic Church.

The great contributions of the scholastics to philosophy included major development of the philosophy of language. The Scholastics studied how features of language can affect our understanding of the world. They also emphasized the importance of logic to philosophic inquiry.

Modern philosophy. A great cultural movement in Europe called the Renaissance overlapped the end of the Middle Ages and formed a transition between medieval and modern philosophy. The Renaissance began in Italy and lasted from about 1300 to about 1600. It was a time of intellectual reawakening stemming from the rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman culture. During the Renaissance, major advances occurred in such sciences as astronomy, physics, and mathematics. Scholars called Humanists stressed the importance of human beings and the study of classical literature as a guide to understanding life. Emphasis on science and on humanism led to changes in the aims and techniques of philosophic inquiry. Scholasticism declined, and philosophy was freed of its ties to medieval theology.

One of the earliest philosophers to support the scientific method was Francis Bacon of England. Most historians consider Bacon and Rene Descartes of France to be the founders of modern philosophy. Bacon wrote two influential works, The Advancement of Learning (1605) and Novum Organum (1620). He stated that knowledge was power and that knowledge could be obtained only by the inductive method of investigation. Bacon imagined a new world of culture and leisure that could be gained by inquiry into the laws and processes of nature. In describing this world, he anticipated the effects of advances in science, engineering, and technology.

Rationalism was a philosophic outlook that arose in the 1600’s. The basic idea of Rationalism is that reason is superior to experience as a source of knowledge and that the validity of sense perception must be proved from more certain principles. The Rationalists tried to determine the nature of the world and of reality by deduction from premises themselves established as certain a priori. They also stressed the importance of mathematical procedures. The leading Rationalists were Rene Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.

Descartes was a mathematician as well as a philosopher. He invented analytic geometry. Descartes’s basic idea was to establish a secure foundation for the sciences, a foundation of the sort he had found for mathematics. He was thus much concerned with the foundations of knowledge, and he started philosophy on its persistent consideration of epistemological problems. Descartes was a mechanist-that is, he regarded all physical phenomena as connected mechanically by laws of cause and effect. Descartes’s philosophy generated the problem of how mind and matter are related.

Spinoza constructed a system of philosophy on the model of geometry. He attempted to derive philosophic conclusions from a few central axioms (supposedly self-evident truths) and definitions. Spinoza did not view God as some superhuman being who created the universe. He identified God with the universe. Spinoza was also a mechanist, regarding everything in the universe as determined. Spinoza’s main aim was ethical. He wanted to show how people could be free, could lead reasonable and thus satisfying lives, in a deterministic world.

Leibniz believed that the actual world is only one of many possible worlds. He tried to show how the actual world is the best of all possible worlds in an effort to justify the ways of God to humanity. Thus, he attempted to solve the problem of how a perfect and all-powerful God could have created a world filled with so much suffering and evil. Leibniz and Sir Isaac Newton, an English scientist, independently developed calculus. Leibniz’s work in mathematics anticipated the development of symbolic logic-the use of mathematical symbols and operations to solve problems in logic.

Empiricism emphasizes the importance of experience and sense perception as the source and basis of knowledge. The first great Empiricist was John Locke of England in the 1600’s. George Berkeley of Ireland and David Hume of Scotland further developed Empiricism in the 1700’s.

Locke tried to determine the origin, extent, and certainty of human knowledge in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Locke argued that there are no innate ideas-that is, ideas people are born with. He believed that when a person is born, the mind is like a blank piece of paper. Experience is therefore the source of all ideas and all knowledge.

Berkeley dealt with the question “If whatever a human being knows is only an idea, how can one be sure that there is anything in the world corresponding to that idea?” Berkeley answered that “to be is to be perceived.” No object exists, he said, unless it is perceived by some mind. Material objects are ideas in the mind and have no independent existence.

Hume extended the theories of Locke and Berkeley to a consistent skepticism about almost everything. He maintained that everything in the mind consists of impressions and ideas, with ideas coming from impressions. Every idea can be traced to and tested by some earlier impression. According to Hume, we must be able to determine from what impression we derived an idea for that idea to have meaning. An apparent idea that cannot be traced to an impression must be meaningless. Hume also raised the question of how can we know that the future will be like the past-that the laws of nature will continue to operate as they have. He claimed that we can only know that events have followed certain patterns in the past. We cannot therefore be certain that events will continue to follow those patterns.

The Age of Reason was a period of great intellectual activity that began in the 1600’s and lasted until the late 1700’s. The period is also called the Enlightenment. Philosophers of the Age of Reason stressed the use of reason, as opposed to the reliance on authority and scriptural revelation. For them, reason provided means of attaining the truth about the world and of ordering human society to assure human well-being. The leading philosophers included Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. They also included Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, and other members of a group of French philosophers called the Philosophes.

Locke’s philosophic ideas were characteristic of the Age of Reason. Locke sought to determine the limits of human understanding and to discover what can be known within those limits that will serve as a guide to life and conduct. He tried to show that people should live by the principles of toleration, liberty, and natural rights. His Two Treatises of Government (1690) provided the philosophic base for the Revolutionary War in America and the French Revolution in the late 1700’s.

The philosophy of Immanuel Kant, a great German philosopher of the late 1700’s, became the foundation for nearly all later developments in philosophy. Kant’s philosophy is called Critical Philosophy or Transcendental Philosophy. Kant was stimulated by the Skeptical philosophy of Hume to try to bring about a synthesis of Rationalism and Empiricism. In his Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Kant tried to provide a critical account of the powers and limits of human reason, to determine what is knowable and what is unknowable. Kant concluded that reason can provide knowledge only of things as they appear to us, never of things as they are in themselves. Kant believed that the mind plays an active role in knowing and is not a mere recorder of facts presented by the senses. The mind does this through basic categories or forms of understanding, which are independent of experience and without which our experience would not make sense. Through such categories and the operations of the mind, working on sense experience, we can have knowledge, but only of things that can be experienced.

Kant criticized the traditional arguments for the existence of God. He argued that they are all in error because they make claims that go beyond the possibility of experience and thus go beyond the powers of human reason. In his Critique of Practical Reason (1788), Kant argued that practical reason (reason applied to practice) can show us how we ought to act and also provides a practical reason for believing in God, though not a proof that God exists.

Philosophy in the 1800’s. Kant’s philosophy stimulated various systems of thought in the 1800’s, such as those of G. W. F. Hegel and Karl Marx of Germany. Hegel developed a theory of historical change called dialectic, in which the conflict of opposites results in the creation of a new unity and then its opposite. Hegel’s theory was transformed by Marx into dialectical materialism. Marx believed that only material things are real. He stated that all ideas are built on an economic base. He believed that the dialectic of conflict between capitalists and industrial workers will lead to the establishment of communism, which he called socialism, as an economic and political system.

Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher, was an atheist who proclaimed in Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-1885) that “God is dead.” Nietzsche meant that the idea of God had lost the power to motivate and discipline large masses of people. He believed that people would have to look to some other idea to guide their lives. Nietzsche predicted the evolution of the superman, who would be beyond the weakness of human beings and beyond the merely human appeals to morality. He regarded such appeals as appeals to weakness, not strength. He felt that all behavior is based on the will to power–the desire of people to control others and their own passions. The superman would develop a new kind of perfection and excellence through the capacity to realize the will to power through strength, rather than weakness.

The dominant philosophy in England during the 1800’s was Utilitarianism, developed by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. The Utilitarians maintained that the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people is the test of right and wrong. They argued that all existing social institutions, especially law and government, must be transformed to satisfy the test of greatest happiness. In The Subjection of Women (1869), Mill wrote that the legal subordination of women to men ought to be replaced by “a principle of perfect equality.” That idea was revolutionary in Mill’s time.

Philosophy in the 1900’s saw five main movements predominate. Two of these movements, Existentialism and Phenomenology, had their greatest influence in the countries on the mainland of western Europe. The three other movements, Pragmatism, Logical Positivism, and Philosophical Analysis, were influential chiefly in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Existentialism became influential in the mid-1900’s. World War II (1939-1945) gave rise to widespread feelings of despair and of separation from the established order. These feelings led to the idea that people have to create their own values in a world in which traditional values no longer govern. Existentialism insists that choices have to be made arbitrarily by individuals, who thus create themselves, because there are no objective standards to determine choice. The most famous of the Existentialist philosophers is the French author Jean-Paul Sartre.

Phenomenology was developed by the German philosopher Edmund Husserl. Husserl conceived the task of Phenomenology, hence the task of philosophy, as describing phenomena-the objects of experience-accurately and independently of all assumptions derived from science. He thought that this activity would provide philosophic knowledge of reality.

Pragmatism, represented in the 1900’s by William James and John Dewey of the United States, maintains knowledge is subordinate to action. The meaning and truth of ideas are determined by their relation to practice.

Logical Positivism, developed in Vienna, Austria, in the 1920’s, believes philosophy should analyze the logic of the language of science. It regards science as the only source of knowledge and claims metaphysics is meaningless. It bases this claim on the principle of verifiability, by which a statement is meaningful only if it can be verified by sense experience.

Philosophical Analysis generally tries to solve philosophic problems through analysis of language or concepts. Some versions of this philosophy attempt to show that traditional philosophic problems dissolve-that is, disappear-on proper analysis of the terms in which they are expressed. Other versions use linguistic analysis to throw light on, not dissolve, traditional philosophic problems. The most influential philosophers practicing Philosophic Analysis have been Bertrand Russell of England and Ludwig Wittgenstein, who was born in Austria but studied and taught in England.”

Contributor: Marcus G. Singer, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Who are considered the cofounders of modern philosophy?

How do mechanism and teleology differ?

Who were the Scholastics?

Which branch of philosophy concerns human knowledge?

What is a priori knowledge? Empirical knowledge?

How did traditional Chinese and Indian philosophy differ?

What have been the main philosophic movements in the 1900’s?

How do a society’s philosophic ideas influence education?

In Friedrich Nietzsche’s thought, who was the superman?

What is the Socratic method?

                Additional resources

Blackburn, Simon.The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford, 1994.

Edwards, Paul, ed.The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 8 vols. 1967. Reprint. Macmillan, 1972.

McLeish, Kenneth, ed.Key Ideas in Human Thought. Facts on File, 1993.

Parkinson, G. H. R., ed.The Handbook of Western Philosophy. Macmillan, 1988.


(978-0716601036 WBE)


Fair Use Sources:

Buddha-Dharma-Sangha Buddhist Ayurvedic Medicine History


Tibet (/tɪˈbɛt/ (listen); Tibetan: བོད་, Lhasa dialect[/pʰøː˨˧˩/]Chinese: 西藏; pinyinXīzàng) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about 2.5 million km2. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as MonpaTamangQiangSherpa, and Lhoba peoples and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 5,000 m (16,000 ft).[1] Located in the Himalayas, the highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth’s highest mountain, rising 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level.

The Tibetan Empire emerged in the 7th century, but with the fall of the empire the region soon divided into a variety of territories. The bulk of western and central Tibet (Ü-Tsang) was often at least nominally unified under a series of Tibetan governments in LhasaShigatse, or nearby locations. The eastern regions of Kham and Amdo often maintained a more decentralized indigenous political structure, being divided among a number of small principalities and tribal groups, while also often falling more directly under Chinese rule after the Battle of Chamdo; most of this area was eventually incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Qinghai. The current borders of Tibet were generally established in the 18th century.[2]

Following the Xinhai Revolution against the Qing dynasty in 1912, Qing soldiers were disarmed and escorted out of Tibet Area (Ü-Tsang). The region subsequently declared its independence in 1913 without recognition by the subsequent Chinese Republican government.[3] Later, Lhasa took control of the western part of Xikang, China. The region maintained its autonomy until 1951 when, following the Battle of Chamdo, Tibet was occupied and incorporated into the People’s Republic of China, and the previous Tibetan government was abolished in 1959 after a failed uprising.[4] Today, China governs western and central Tibet as the Tibet Autonomous Region while the eastern areas are now mostly ethnic autonomous prefectures within SichuanQinghai and other neighbouring provinces. There are tensions regarding Tibet’s political status[5] and dissident groups that are active in exile.[6] Tibetan activists in Tibet have reportedly been arrested or tortured.[7]

The economy of Tibet is dominated by subsistence agriculture, though tourism has become a growing industry in recent decades. The dominant religion in Tibet is Tibetan Buddhism; in addition there is Bön, which is similar to Tibetan Buddhism,[8] and there are also Tibetan Muslims and Christian minorities. Tibetan Buddhism is a primary influence on the artmusic, and festivals of the region. Tibetan architecture reflects Chinese and Indian influences. Staple foods in Tibet are roasted barleyyak meat, and butter tea. (WP)

“Tibet, pronounced tih BEHT, is a land in south-central Asia. It is often called the Roof of the World. Its snow-covered mountains and windswept plateau are the highest in the world. The world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, rises in southern Tibet. Gar, in western Tibet, is believed to be the highest town in the world. It is more than 15,000 feet (4,570 meters) above sea level. Valley bottoms in Tibet are higher than the mountains of most countries. Lhasa is Tibet’s capital.

Tibet has been part of China since the 1950’s. However, for much of its history Tibet was an independent or semi-independent state. Although Tibet carried on some trade with other lands, its mountain ranges isolated the country from outside peoples. Tibet was traditionally a religious kingdom. Buddhist monks had a strong voice in the rule of Tibet before China took control.

The land. The Tibet Autonomous Region of China has an area of 471,662 square miles (1,221,600 square kilometers). Prior to the Chinese take-over, Tibet covered about 965,000 square miles (2,500,000 square kilometers). Much of this area now falls in neighboring provinces. The Plateau of Tibet covers much of the land. Along the southern end of the plateau, the Himalaya rises higher than any other mountain chain in the world. Mount Everest (29,035 feet, or 8,850 meters, above sea level) is in the Himalaya. In the north, peaks of the Kunlun range rise more than 20,000 feet (6,000 meters). Tibet has an average elevation of 16,000 feet (4,880 meters).

Large parts of Tibet are wastelands of gravel, rock, and sand that cannot be farmed. But there are also fertile valleys and other areas suitable for farming. In addition, Tibet has grasslands and forests. More than 5,000 different kinds of plants grow in Tibet. Tibet’s wild animals include gazelles, tigers, bears, monkeys, pandas, and wild horses. Tibet has hundreds of lakes and streams, but many have barren shores and a high salt content. Some of Asia’s great rivers begin in the mountains that border the Plateau of Tibet. These include the Brahmaputra, Indus, Mekong, Salween, and Yangtze rivers.

Climate. Much of Tibet receives less than 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain annually. The Himalaya shuts out moisture-bearing winds from India. Sudden blizzards and snowstorms are common. Violent winds sweep Tibet in all seasons. January temperatures average 24 °F (-4 °C). July temperatures average 58 °F (14 °C).

The people and their work. The Tibet Autonomous Region has a population of over 2 million. The majority of the people are Tibetans. Most of the rest are Chinese. About 6 million Tibetans live throughout the plateau. Most of the people live in southern Tibet or along the eastern edge of the plateau. Both regions have fertile land for farming and raising livestock. Nomads raise sheep and yaks in the grasslands scattered across the plateau. About 140,000 people live in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital and largest city. Some of these people work in jobs in government, light industry, construction, or tourism.

Tibet’s main traditional language is Tibetan. All Tibetans speak Tibetan at home. Mandarin Chinese is also an official language of Tibet. Both Tibetan and Mandarin Chinese are taught in the schools.

Before China seized Tibet, the government, the nobility, and the monasteries owned the farmland and governed the country. Most farmers were bound peasants. They often were not free to leave the land, and they had to give much of what they produced to the landowners. China, a Communist country, broke up the large estates and distributed them among farmers. Later, China took the land back and created collective farms.

Traditional Tibetan homes have stone or brick walls and flat roofs. Few of these houses have more than two floors. The ground floor is used to house animals. Rural Tibetans still live in traditional houses, but many urban Tibetans live in more modern buildings.

Barley is Tibet’s chief crop, and barley flour is the main food. Tibetans mix barley flour with tea and butter. Milk and cheese are also important parts of the diet. Chinese tea is the chief beverage. Tibetans flavor the tea with salt, soda, and yak butter.

The yak, a hairy ox, serves many purposes in Tibet. It provides cloth, meat, milk, and transportation. It is also used as a beast of burden. Its hair is used to make tents, and its hide for shoe leather and boats.

Traditional Tibetan clothing includes a long robe with long sleeves and a high collar. Wool, felt, and sheepskin are used to make cold-weather clothes. Today, many Tibetans wear more modern styles of clothing.

Cloth weaving and carpet making are important household industries in Tibet. Exports include carpets, furs, leather, salt, timber, and wool. Many of these products are exported to other parts of China.

Religion and culture. Tibetans are intensely religious. People turn prayer wheels and recite prayers on the streets. Religious rites are an important part of life. Festivals are religious in character. Long pilgrimages to important temples in Lhasa and elsewhere are popular.

Tibet’s religion is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism called Lamaism. The Dalai Lama, leader of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism, ruled Tibet prior to China’s take-over. The word dalai is Mongolian for ocean, and the title Dalai Lama means a spiritual teacher of great depth. Another important Tibetan lama is the Panchen Lama, whom many hold second only to the Dalai Lama. Since 1959, the Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India with a large community of Tibetan refugees.

Tibetans believe that when a lama dies, he is reincarnated-he returns to life as another person. They seek a lama’s reincarnation among children born after his death. The child thus selected becomes the lama’s successor. Tibetans believe the Dalai Lama and many other lamas are previous religious masters or divine figures.

In the past, large numbers of Tibetan men became monks, and a smaller number of women became nuns. Every town and valley had a monastery or convent, and some had several. Before the Chinese take-over, as many as 20 percent of Tibetan males may have been monks. Monks engaged in agriculture and handicrafts. The monasteries were centers of education, art, and public worship. Traditional Tibetan art reflected Chinese and Indian influences, and presented Buddhist themes.

During the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Chinese Communists closed or destroyed most of the monasteries in Tibet. As a result, the religious emphasis of life in Tibet decreased a great deal. During the 1980’s, some monasteries were allowed to reopen and to recruit new monks.

Today, Tibet has fewer monasteries than it had in the past, but thousands of Tibetans still become monks. However, China continues to tightly control religious activity. China has instituted its own programs of political education in the monasteries to encourage monks to follow Communist principles.

Cities. Lhasa is the political and religious center of Tibet. The Potala Palace is the most impressive landmark in Lhasa. It is a grand, castlelike structure with gold roofs and more than 1,000 rooms. China preserves the palace, formerly a residence of the Dalai Lama and other monks, as a museum and tourist attraction. Other cities include Gyangze, Xigaze, and Yadong.

History and government. From the A.D. 600’s to the 800’s, Tibet ruled a powerful kingdom. Buddhism and writing were introduced from India, and Lhasa was founded. The Dalai Lama became the ruler of Tibet in the 1600’s. In the early 1700’s, Tibet fell under the control of China.

In 1904, a British mission fought its way into Lhasa against Tibetan resistance. The British and Tibetans signed a treaty, setting up trading posts in Tibet.

Tibet remained in Chinese hands until 1911, when Tibetans forced out the Chinese troops stationed there. Even after 1911, China claimed Tibet as an area within the Chinese domain. In the 1920’s, rivalry grew between the Dalai and Panchen lamas over political affairs. The Panchen Lama fled to China with his court. He remained there until his death in 1937. A new Panchen Lama was enthroned in China in 1944, but he was not officially recognized in Tibet until 1949. The Dalai Lama died in 1933. According to custom, a boy was chosen as his successor. The successor, a peasant boy, was officially installed as Dalai Lama in 1940.

Communists gained control of China’s government in 1949. In 1950, Chinese forces entered Tibet. In 1951, Tibetan representatives signed an agreement with China in which Tibet surrendered its sovereignty to the Chinese government but kept its right to regional self-government. The agreement promised no immediate change in the political system of Tibet and guaranteed the Tibetans freedom of religious belief.

In 1956, the Preparatory Committee for the Tibetan Autonomous Region was formed with the Dalai Lama as chairman, and a Chinese general and the Panchen Lama as two of the vice chairmen. This committee was set up to establish Tibet as an autonomous (self-governing) region. Despite these measures, China’s harsh rule of Tibet sparked an uprising in 1959. The uprising failed, and the Dalai Lama fled to India. The Panchen Lama became head of the Preparatory Committee, but he was later imprisoned for over 10 years.

By 1965, when Tibet officially became an autonomous region, the large estates of landlords and monks had been broken up. Peasants were required to grow wheat rather than barley and to sell a fixed amount of grain to the government to feed the Chinese soldiers. Chinese took over a majority of such jobs as local government administrators and teachers. Tibetans faced discrimination by Chinese soldiers and settlers.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, China’s Cultural Revolution wreaked havoc in Tibet. Religious monuments were destroyed, and thousands of Tibetans died.

In the 1980’s, the Chinese government adopted a more liberal policy. Some religious shrines and monasteries were reopened. Farmers were again allowed to decide which crops to grow and to sell them as they chose. But in the late 1980’s, Tibetans demonstrated against Chinese rule in the Lhasa area and demanded independence. In 1989, the Panchen Lama died. He had supported some of China’s policies in Tibet and favored unity with China, but he had also criticized many Chinese policies.

While living in exile, the Dalai Lama worked to end China’s domination of Tibet through nonviolent means. He won the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize for his peaceful campaign. In 1995, the Dalai Lama announced the selection of a new Panchen Lama. But the Chinese government refused to recognize his selection and installed its own candidate.”

Contributor: Elliot Sperling, Ph.D., Professor of Tibetan Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington.


(978-0716601036 WBE)


Fair Use Sources:

Bibliography Buddha-Dharma-Sangha History

The World of Tibetan Buddhism

The World of Tibetan Buddhism: An Overview of Its Philosophy and Practice

With characteristic humility, His Holiness the Dalai Lama begins this landmark survey of the entire Buddhist path by saying, “I think an overview of Tibetan Buddhism for the purpose of providing a comprehensive framework of the path may prove helpful in deepening your understanding and practice.” In this book, the Dalai Lama delivers a presentation that is both concise and profound, accessible and engaging. As readers explore Tibetan Buddhism more fully than ever before, they will find in His Holiness a great friend and authority.


Fair Use Sources:


Buddha-Dharma-Sangha History

Unbroken Lineage in Buddhist Sects-Schools-Traditions

See Ch’an – Zen School, Pure Land School, Five Types of Buddhist Study and Practice

Unbroken Lineage in Buddhist Sects-Schools-Traditions

List of Lineages — Homage Namo to the Lineage Masters – Gurus:

Buddha Dharma Teachings, Buddha-Dharma-Sangha, Buddhist Japan – Zen-Rinzai-Soto – Nichiren-Tendai – Shingon Schools of Japanese Buddhism, Buddhist Lineages-Sects-Schools-Traditions, Buddhist Masters, Buddhist Monks Sangha Bhikshu-Bhikkhu, Buddhist Moral Precepts Vinaya Regulation School, Buddhist Sangha, Buddhist Scholastic Teaching Schools, Five Types of Buddhist Study and Practice, Gelugpa Tsongkhapa-Dalai Lama Scholastic Teaching School of Tibetan Buddhism, Huayan or Flower Adornment Avatamasaka Sutra Scholastic Teaching School of Buddhism, Kagyu Tilopa-Naropa-Marpa-Milarepa Mahamudra Karmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism, Madhyamaka Middle Way School of Buddhism, Mantrayana Vajrayana Tantra Esoteric Secret Schools, Nyingma Padmasambhava Nyingma Longchenpa Dzogchen School of Tibetan Buddhism, Prasangika Madhyamaka Middle Way School of Buddhism, Rimé Non-Sectarian Eclectic Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo – Jamgon Kongtrul Scholastic Teaching School of Tibetan Buddhism, Sakya Hevajra School of Tibetan Buddhism, Sarvastivada-Vaibhashika School of Buddhism, Sarvastivadin School of Buddhism, Sautrantika School of Buddhism, Svatantrika Madhyamaka Middle Way School of Buddhism, Tiantai Lotus Sutra Scholastic Teaching School of Buddhism, Yogachara Vijnanavada Consciousness-Only Mind-Only School of Buddhism

Fair Use Source: B007JWL3CQ


Fair Use Sources:

Bibliography Buddha-Dharma-Sangha History

Bibliography of Buddhist Texts – The Buddha Dharma

Abbreviations of BTTS Publications

Texts from Ven. Buddhist Master Hsuan Hua

ASAmitābha Sutra (AS)
BNSBrahma Net Sutra (BNS)
BRFBuddha Root Farm (BRF)
CLCherishing Life (CL)
CPLCh’an and Pure Land Dharma Talks (CPL) (reprinted in LY, vol. 2)
DFSDharma Flower SutraLotus Sutra or Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra – White Lotus of the True Dharma (DFS)
DSDhāraṇī Sutra – Dharani Sutra – Thousand Handed Thousand Eyed Dharani Sutra – The Sutra of the Vast, Great, Full, Unimpeded Great Compassion Heart Dhāraṇī of the Thousand-Handed, Thousand-Eyed Bodhisattva Who Regards the World’s Sounds (Avalokiteshvara Guanyin) – 千手千眼陀羅尼經 (DS)
EDREntering the Dharma Realm (EDR) (FAS, ch. 39)
FASFlower Adornment Sutra – Avatamsaka – Mahāvaipulya Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra (FAS)
FASPFlower Adornment Sutra Prologue (FASP)
FASVPFlower Adornment Sutra Verse Preface (FASVP)
FHSFiliality: The Human Source (FHS)
HRHuman Roots (HR)
HSHeart Sutra – Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra – Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra (HS)
LYListen to Yourself, Think Everything Over (LY)
NSNirvana Sutra (NS), also called Maha Parinirvana Sutra – (unpublished draft translation)
NTCNews from True Cultivators (NTC)
OYEOpen Your Eyes, Take a Look at the World (OYE)
PBPictorial Biography of the Venerable Master Hsu Yun (PB)
PDSProper Dharma Seal (PDS)
PSSixth Patriarch’s Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra (PS)
RHCity of 10,000 Buddhas Recitation Handbook (RH)
RHSRecords of High Sanghans (RHS)
RLRecords of the Life of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua (RL)
S42Sutra in Forty-two Sections (S42)
SESong of Enlightenment (SE)
SMŚūraṅgama Mantra – Shurangama Mantra Commentary (SM)
SPVSutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva – Ksitigarbha Sutra (SPV)
SSŚūraṅgama Sutra – Shurangama Sutra (SS)
SVShramanera Vinaya (Pratimoksha) Śrāmaṇera Vinaya and Rules of Deportment (SV)
TDThe Ten Dharma Realms Are not Beyond a Single Thought (TD)
TSThree Steps One Bow (TS)
TTHerein Lies the Treasure Trove (TT)
UWUniversal Worthy’s Conduct and VowsKing of Prayers Samantabhadra from Avatamsaka Sutra Chapter 40 Buddhist Text (FAS, ch. 40) (UW)
VBSVajra Bodhi Sea (VBS)
VSVajra SutraDiamond Sutra (VS)
WMWater Mirror Reflecting Heaven (WM)
WOHWith One Heart Bowing to the City of 10,000 Buddhas (WOH)
WPGWorld Peace Gathering (WPG)

Volume numbers are indicated by roman numerals.

CWSLHsüan-tsang. Ch’eng Wei-shih Lun; The Doctrine of Mere-Consciousness (CWSL)
DPPNMalalasekera, G.P., ed. Dictionary of Pāli Proper Names (Pali Text Society) (DPPN) — see Buddhist Dictionaries
EBMalalasekera, G.P., ed. Encyclopedia of Buddhism (EB) – see Buddhist Encyclopedias
HYSCHuayan Shuchao (National Master Qingliang’s Commentary on the Flower Adornment Sutra) (HYSC)
PTSDRhys Davids, T. W., ed. The Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary. (PTSD)
T.Takakusu and Watanabe, eds. Taisho shinshu Daizokyo. (T. nnnn)

Fair Use Sources:

Fair Use Sources:

Bibliography Buddha-Dharma-Sangha History

Lama Thubten Yeshe of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)

Lama Thubten Yeshe was born in Tibet in 1935 not far from Lhasa in the town of Tölung Dechen. Two hours away by horse was the Chi-me Lung Gompa, home for about 100 nuns of the Gelug tradition. It had been a few years since their learned abbess and guru had passed away when Nenung Pawo Rinpoche, a Kagyü lama widely famed for his psychic powers, came by their convent. They approached him and asked, “Where is our guru now?” He answered that in a nearby village there was a boy born at such and such a time, and if they investigated they would discover that he was their incarnated abbess. Following his advice they found the young Lama Yeshe to whom they brought many offerings and gave the name Thondrub Dorje.

Afterwards the nuns would often take the young boy back to their convent to attend the various ceremonies and other religious functions held there. During these visits—which would sometimes last for days at a time—he often stayed in their shrine room and attended services with them. The nuns would also frequently visit him at his parents’ home where he was taught the alphabet, grammar and reading by his uncle, Ngawang Norbu, a student geshe from Sera Monastery.

Even though the young boy loved his parents very much, he felt that their existence was full of suffering and did not want to live as they did. From a very early age he expressed the desire to lead a religious life. Whenever a monk would visit their home, he would beg to leave with him and join a monastery. Finally, when he was six years old, he received his parents’ permission to join Sera Je, a college at one of the three great Gelug monastic centers located in the vicinity of Lhasa. He was taken there by his uncle, who promised the young boy’s mother that he would take good care of him. The nuns offered him robes and the other necessities of life he required at Sera, while the uncle supervised him strictly and made him study very hard.

He stayed at Sera until he was twenty-five years old. There he received spiritual instruction based on the educational traditions brought from India to Tibet over a thousand years ago. From Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, the Junior Tutor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he received teachings on the Lam-rim graded course to enlightenment which outlines the entire sutra path to buddhahood. In addition he received many tantric initiations and discourses from both the Junior Tutor and the Senior Tutor, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, as well as from Drag-ri Dorje-chang Rinpoche, Song Rinpoche, Lhatzün Dorje-chang Rinpoche and many other great gurus and meditation masters.

Such tantric teachings as Lama Yeshe received provide a powerful and speedy path to the attainment of a fully awakened and purified mind, aspects of which are represented by a wide variety of tantric deities. Some of the meditational deities into whose practice Lama Yeshe was initiated were Heruka, Vajrabhairava and Guhyasamaja, representing respectively the compassion, wisdom and skilful means of a fully enlightened being. In addition, he studied the famous six yogas of Naropa, following a commentary based on the personal experiences of Je Tsongkhapa.

Among the other teachers who guided his spiritual development were Geshe Thubten Wangchug Rinpoche, Geshe Lhundrub Sopa Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten and Geshe Ngawang Gedun. At the age of eight he was ordained as a novice monk by the venerable Purchog Jampa Rinpoche. During all this training one of Lama Yeshe’s recurring prayers was to be able some day to bring the peaceful benefits of spiritual practice to those beings ignorant of the Dharma.

This phase of his education came to an end in 1959. As Lama Yeshe himself has said, “In that year the Chinese kindly told us that it was time to leave Tibet and meet the outside world.” Escaping through Bhutan, he eventually reached Northeast India where he met up with many other Tibetan refugees. At the Tibetan settlement camp of Buxaduar he continued his studies from where they had been interrupted. While in Tibet he had already received instruction in prajnaparamita (the perfection of wisdom), Madhyamika philosophy (the middle way) and logic. In India his education proceeded with courses in the vinaya rules of discipline and the abhidharma system of metaphysics. In addition, the great bodhisattva Tenzin Gyaltsen, the Kunu Lama, gave him teachings on Shantideva’s Bodhisattvacat yavatara (Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life) and Atisha’s Bodhipathapradipa (Lamp of the Path to Enlightenment). He also attended additional tantric initiations and discourses and, at the age of twenty eight, received full monk’s ordination from Kyabje Ling Rinpoche.

One of Lama Yeshe’s gurus in both Tibet and Buxaduar was Geshe Rabten, a highly learned practitioner famous for his single-minded concentration and powers of logic. This compassionate guru had a disciple named Thubten Zopa Rinpoche and, at Geshe Rabten’s suggestion, Zopa Rinpoche began to receive additional instruction from Lama Yeshe. Zopa Rinpoche was a young boy at the time and the servant caring for him wanted very much to entrust him permanently to Lama Yeshe. Upon consultation with Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, this arrangement was decided upon and they have been together ever since.

Fair Use Sources:

Bibliography Buddha-Dharma-Sangha Cloud History

Lama Zopa Rinpoche of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)

One of the editor’s Buddhist teachers is the Venerable Master Lama Zopa Rinpoche, founder of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana. The editor ordained as a Buddhist Monk in the Sangha. The editor is a former monk and is now a Buddhist Upasaka (lay person).

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar and meditator who for over 30 years has overseen the spiritual activities of the extensive worldwide network of centers, projects and services that form the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) which he founded with Lama Thubten Yeshe.

Rinpoche has set in motion a host of Vast Visions for the FPMT organization that will span generations to accomplish. These include the proliferation of many charitable projects and beneficial activities. Among many projects dear to Rinpoche’s heart are the two Maitreya Projects: under Rinpoche’s guidance, FPMT plans to build two large statues of the future Buddha, Maitreya, in Bodhgaya and Kushinagar in India; The Sera Je Food Fund, which offered three vegetarian meals a day to all 2,500 monks studying at Sera Je Monastery in south India for twenty-six years, culminating into a large endowment fund, which now covers all the cost of food for all the monks for as long as the endowment fund remains; Animal Liberation events around the world, at which creatures, big and small, are freed from immediate harm or blessed every year– with hundreds of millions of animals liberated to date (by Lama Zopa Rinpoche or those inspired by him) and counting! Rinpoche is also utterly dedicated to fulfilling the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama wherever and whenever possible and holds this to be an utmost priority for FPMT.

More details of Rinpoche’s ongoing philanthropy can be followed through the Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund.

Rinpoche’s Life and Vision

Read a short biography, some of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s life accomplishments and Vast Visions for the FPMT organization.

Lama and Rinpoche, early Kopan

Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche on the steps of Kopan Monastery, Nepal, 1970. Photo courtesy Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

Born in the Mount Everest region of Thami in 1946, Rinpoche was recognized soon afterwards by His Holiness Trulshik Rinpoche and five other lamas as the reincarnation of the great yogi Kunsang Yeshe. Rinpoche was taken under the care of FPMT’s founder Lama Thubten Yeshe, soon after leaving Tibet, in Buxa Duar, India, in the early 1960’s. Rinpoche was with Lama Yeshe until 1984 when Lama Yeshe passed away and Lama Zopa Rinpoche took over as spiritual director of FPMT.

At the age of ten, Rinpoche went to Tibet and studied and meditated at Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s monastery near Pagri, until the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced him to forsake Tibet for the safety of Bhutan.

Rinpoche then went to the Tibetan refugee camp at Buxa Duar, West Bengal, India, where he met Lama Yeshe, who became his closest teacher. The Lamas met their first Western student, Zina Rachevsky, in 1967 then traveled with her to Nepal in 1968 where they began teaching more Westerners.

Over the next few years they built Kopan and Lawudo Monasteries. In 1971 Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave the first of his famous annual lam-rim retreat courses, which continue at Kopan to this day.

FPMT was established at the end of 1975. Lama Yeshe served as the organization’s spiritual director until he passed away in 1984, at which time Rinpoche took over. Since then, under his peerless guidance, the FPMT has continued to flourish.

Further Information and Biographies

Fair Use Source: