CategoriesBuddha and BuddhismMahayana Sutras Buddhist Wisdom: The Diamond Sutra and The Heart Sutra

Buddhist Wisdom: The Diamond Sutra and The Heart Sutra

Product no.: 0-375-72600-4
A landmark publication from its first appearance more than forty years ago. Edward Conze's extensive commentary illuminates these key texts for phrase by phrase appreciation.

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Publisher's Synopsis

With its appearance in the Vintage Spiritual Classics series, this definitive translation by the Western scholar of Buddhism Edward Conze is now available to a new generation of readers. Conze, who until his death in 1979 was a powerful force for introducing Buddhism to the West, translated and wrote the introduction to this breakthrough edition in which extensive commentary is interleaved with the text for the easiest possible appreciation of the core ideas on the page. The result is a work of permanent value, a classic for anyone interested in the way to wisdom.

"The various Prajnaparamita, Heart and Diamond Sutras or Perfection of Wisdom texts are compelling masterpieces of double-talk which gravely misinterpreted the Buddha's highly ambiguous teachings on sunyata (emptiness), yet ironically established the superior path of the Bodhisattva, the Eastern counterpart of the Christian Saint. Influenced by Advaita Vedanta, the Hindu school of non-duality, Nagarjuna's misperception of Buddhism further 'refined' the primary tenets of maya (illusion) to claim that even Brahman, the Supreme Being (i.e., a Buddha or Tathagata), was a misnomer."     ~Mandala Books

"The collection of Prajnaparamita Sutras, over 40 in number, originate in India and were written in an Indic or Central Asian language other than Sanskrit. The first sutra was the Prajnaparamita Sutra in 8,000 lines in 32 chapters. The development of this particular version, and subsequent versions, can be divided into four distinct phases of development:

1. Development of the basic 8,000 line version (ca. 100 BC to 100 AD)

2. Enlargement of the basic text (ca. AD 100 to 300)

3. Development of shorter sutras and 'versified summaries' (ca. 300-500)

4. The influence of Tantra and the writing of commentaries (ca. 500-1200)

The Heart Sutra was created in the third stage of development and is 'the best known of all Prajnaparamita texts.' It is recited daily by almost every Buddhist school, except for Pure Land and Nichiren. The Heart Sutra contains the essence of Mahayana Buddhism (the essence of Buddhism itself if you ask a Mahayana Buddhist master), including the four noble truths, the five skandhas, and the method for realizing enlightenment.

The most important and often cited quote from the Heart Sutra is: 'form is emptiness and the very emptiness is form...' This essential Mahayana doctrine is the Madhyamaka philosophical affirmation that all dharmas (fundamental elements of reality) are impermanent, and that this impermanence is the basis for all dharmas."     ~Gary L. Ray

"Therefore one should know the prajnaparamita as the great spell, the spell of great knowledge, the utmost spell, the unequaled spell, allayer of all suffering, in truth - for what could go wrong? By the prajnaparamita has this spell been delivered. It runs like this:

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.

Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond, O what an awakening, all-hail!"

Author Nagarjuna
Translator Conze, Edward
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 129 pp.
Publisher Vintage Spiritual Classics 2001
Browse these categories as well: Mahayana Sutras, Northern Buddhism, Hinduism: Gurus and Advaita Vedanta, Noteworthy Releases 2001

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