Kan Sasaki, "Mahayana Buddhism: Where is Buddha's Teaching Headed?" - An important book for considering Japanese Buddhism in the first place!

Mahayana Buddhism Sasaki Kan Buddhism in India

Kan Sasaki, "Mahayana Buddhism: Where is Buddha's Teaching Headed?" Summary and Comments - An important book for considering Japanese Buddhism in the first place!

I am pleased to present "Mahayana Buddhism: Where is Buddha's Teaching Headed?" by Kan Sasaki, published by NHK Publishing in 2019.

Let's take a quick look at the book.

A leading Buddhist scholar approaches the essence of Mahayana Buddhism through "dialogue!
Prajnaparamita Sutra, Lotus Sutra, Kegon Sutra, Pure Land Buddhism, and Esoteric Buddhism. ...... When, where, why, and how did the Buddha's Buddhism, which aimed at "self-discipline," change to Mahayana Buddhism, which aimed at "saving sentient beings?" And where is this teaching headed? This is the ultimate overview of Buddhism, a book that has been extensively revised from a separate volume of NHK's "100 Minutes de Meitoku" (Intensive Lectures on Mahayana Buddhism) and newly written with details on the "Mahayana Kishin Theory Problem," which overturns 150 years of common knowledge of Mahayana Buddhism.

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We have been discussing Dr. Kan Sasaki's books on this blog for some time now.The Birth of Buddhism.The book, "Mahayana Buddhism: Where is Buddha's Teaching Headed?

The Birth of Buddhism.In the following section, as the title suggests, it explains how Buddhism was born in the period in which the Buddha lived,What is ordained?In the "The Meaning of Ordination and Precepts in the Indian Order of Buddha," he explained the significance of ordination and the meaning of the precepts.

In this book, "Mahayana Buddhism: Where is Buddha's Teaching Heading?

The author states the following about this book in the "Introduction".

The theme of this book is "Mahayana Buddhism. This project was originally inspired by a conversation I had with a working student who was auditing a class at Hanazono University, where I work. He came to my laboratory after class and asked me the following question.

Why are there so many different sects of Buddhism in Japan?"

To which I responded, "Because they each have a different sutra that they follow," to which he asked, "Why are there so many different sutras?" He then asks, "Why are there so many different sutras?

Then I said, "Sutras came from China, but most of them were originally created in India. I said, "Various types of sutras were created in India, which were then introduced to China, and then to Japan, which led to the creation of many different sects in both China and Japan. The questions kept coming. I decided to give private lectures to him once a month for a total of six times.

In a university lecture, I speak one-sidedly in front of dozens of students, but in a one-on-one dialogue, questions are asked that catch me by surprise, and the conversation develops rapidly. Each time, we were able to have a dialogue that got to the heart of the matter with just the right amount of tension, which was unexpectedly satisfying.

So when NHK Publishing asked me about a project on the theme of Buddhism, I decided that I would definitely like to write a book about the scene at that time. It was quite a difficult task to put into print as faithfully as possible the breath of the dialogue between the two, but we managed to publish it in April 2005 as a mook titled "Bessatsu NHK 100 min de Meitai: Intensive Lectures on Mahayana Buddhism" (Separate Volume of NHK's 100-minute Meitai). The content of the book is an unprecedented commentary on the various Mahayana teachings, which are based on the foundation of the Buddha's teachings and are read and interpreted individually.

That mook fortunately received a great response from readers, who wanted to know more about the details and asked many questions. We know the term "Mahayana Buddhism," and we know that Japan, where we live, is a Mahayana Buddhist country. However, I had no idea what kind of teachings this Mahayana Buddhism was. Many of you have told us that you were able to understand the outline of Mahayana Buddhism by reading this mook book.

In this new edition of the mook, we have taken such comments into consideration, added new questions and answers and illustrations, reorganized parts that were a bit rushed in the mook, and written a new chapter (lecture) to explain the flow of Japanese Buddhism in a more understandable way. We hope that this book will be of help to those who wish to "know the correct meaning of Mahayana Buddhism.

NHK Publishing, Kan Sasaki, "Mahayana Buddhism: Where is Buddha's Teaching Headed?

I knew the term Mahayana Buddhism, and I knew that Japan was a Mahayana Buddhist country, but I had no idea what this Mahayana Buddhism was all about. But I had no idea what this Mahayana Buddhism was all about.

This is not only true for general readers, but in fact, many monks themselves may feel the same way.

As Buddhist monks, we also learn the basics of Buddhism, but our studies tend to focus on the doctrines of our own sect. Of course, we learn what Mahayana Buddhism is and the characteristics of the major Japanese sects, but it is difficult for us to go into the details of their formation process, scriptures, and doctrines.

In this aspect, this book is a very significant commentary for monks of all sects.

What is taught in this book is from the standpoint of Buddhist studies, and it is not written in a way that promotes any particular sect. And since the teachings in this book are different from what we, Japanese Buddhists, have always believed and believed, they may be painful to listen to. However, we cannot turn our eyes away from such facts. As long as such research results are being produced, we must accept them, even if they are painful to hear, and then we will be tested on how we think about Buddhism and how we live as monks.

I highly recommend this book not only to general readers, but also to those of us who are monks.

This is "Kan Sasaki, Mahayana Buddhism: Where is Buddha's Teaching Heading? This is "Where is Mahayana Buddhism headed?

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