A History of Buddhist Philosophy: Continuity and by David J. Kalupahana

By David J. Kalupahana

The current paintings has, on account that its unique book in 1976, provided an unequaled advent to the philosophical ideas and ancient improvement of Buddhism. Now, representing the end result of Dr. Kalupahana's thirty years of scholarly examine the mirrored image, 'A heritage of Buddhist Philosophy' builds upon and surpasses that past paintings, supplying a totally reconstructed, distinct research of either early and later Buddhism.

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This involved an enterprise that no Indian 32 EARLY B U D D H IS M philosopher before him had attempted. Neither do any of his contempo­ raries elsewhere in the world, either in China or in Greece, seem to have engaged in anything comparable. In short, this involved him in a detailed analysis of human psychology. 7 Even though his statement explaining the process of sense experience is rather brief, its implications are wide-ranging: Depending upon the visual organ and the visible object, O m onks, arises vis­ ual consciousness; the meeting together of these three is contact; condi­ tioned by contact arises feeling.

The answer is obvious: sense experience has not provided satisfactory information. The Brahmanical thinkers had lost confidence in sense experience as a valid source of knowledge. At this stage the Buddha was simply following their methodology in order to evaluate its signficance and relevance. It is natural to remain satisfied with any experience or conception until one reaches a problematic situation. One could remain satisfied with the reflection on “space” and be unruffled by notions of multiplicity, for space is vast and usually empty.

As in the case of sensory experience, we here encounter the first ever detailed statement regarding the psychol­ ogy of yoga. After being a critic of yoga as well as its beneficiary, the Buddha paid attention to all the minute details at every step of the way. He realized that a strong moral life is a prerequisite for mental concentration. Exces­ sive desire (kdma) and unwholesome mental tendencies (akusala dham­ ma) naturally obstruct concentration. Therefore, during the initial stage a person is expected to cultivate aloofness from such tendencies.

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