Thus Have I Seen: Visualizing Faith in Early Indian Buddhism by Andy Rotman

By Andy Rotman

Even supposing Buddhism is frequently depicted as a faith of meditators and philosophers, the various earliest writings extant in India provide a really varied portrait of the Buddhist practitioner. In Indian Buddhist narratives from the early centuries of the typical period, so much lay non secular perform is composed now not of studying, praying, or meditating, yet of visually attractive with yes forms of gadgets. those visible practices, in addition, are represented because the basic technique of cultivating religion, an important precondition for continuing alongside the Buddhist non secular direction. In Thus Have I Seen: Visualizing religion in Early Indian Buddhism, Andy Rotman examines those visible practices and the way they functionality as one of those skeleton key for commencing up Buddhist conceptualizations in regards to the global and the methods it's going to be navigated. Rotman's research is predicated totally on tales from the Divyavadana (Divine Stories), some of the most very important collections of historic Buddhist narratives from India. although discourses of the Buddha are renowned for his or her starting phrases, ''thus have I heard'' - for Buddhist teachings have been first preserved and transmitted orally - the Divyavadana provides a really various version for disseminating the Buddhist dharma. Devotees are enjoined to seem, not only listen, and visible legacies and lineages are proven to trump their oral opposite numbers. As Rotman makes transparent, this configuration of the visible essentially transforms the area of the Buddhist practitioner, altering what one sees, what one believes, and what one does.

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This page intentionally left blank 2 Getting and Giving Do you believe that ahead of you grief carries the flag of your destiny? And in the skull do you discover your ancestry condemned to bone? —Pablo Neruda, The Book of Questions S´raddha¯ and Bhakti: States of Mind In trying to determine what ´sraddha¯ is, it is helpful to determine what it isn’t, and the text makes it clear that one thing it isn’t is bhakti. 2 Instead of assessing these materials, however, I will examine how bhakti is delineated as a practice and a mental state within the Divya¯vada¯na.

Ita proceeds, he passes through three monasteries, each seemingly normal for half the day and then sites of misery for the other half of the day. In each case, the monks undergo terrible suffering: they begin to break each other’s skulls with hammers, douse each other with molten lead, and—in the third instance—all of them are torched and incinerated. As it is explained to . ita, these are the results of monks performing misdeeds within the confines of a monastery: fighting in the dining hall, wasting food that was given out of ´sraddha¯ (´sraddha¯deya), and lighting a fire in the monastery.

A-avada¯na, it is said that the householder Balasena didn’t have a son but desired one. a, Kubera, S´akra, and Brahma¯ , as well as a park deity, a forest deity, a crossroads deity, and a deity who received oblations. He also prayed to his hereditary deity, who shared the same nature as him and who constantly followed behind him. There is a popular saying that as a result of such prayers, sons are born and daughters as well. But this isn’t the case. If this were the case, then every man would have a thousand sons, just like a cakravartin king.

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