Buddhist Books Database

Indian thought, culture and history

Reading Zen'e Hotta: A Compass for Understanding the World" - Recommended introductory book by the great writer who also influenced Hayao Miyazaki.

This book is not only for those who are familiar with Yoshiemi Hotta's works, but rather for those who have never read his works. You will be surprised to know that there was such a wonderful writer in Japan!

This book will make you want to read Yoshiemi Hotta's works. I intend to read it from now on as well. I highly recommend this author!

What I thought about in IndiaIndian thought, culture and history

Yoshiemi Hotta, "What I Thought in India" - India has an "oopsie face"... A masterpiece travelogue of India by one of Japan's leading writers!

This book has not faded at all nearly 70 years after its publication. It is extremely interesting.

Not only are there deep insights into the depths of the human psyche, but there is also a sprinkling of humor that will make you chuckle. This is travel writing at its finest.

This book may invite you to "go to India" as well.

IndiaIndian thought, culture and history

List of recommended reference books to learn about Indian history, religion, and culture - The more you know, the more interesting the Indian swamp.

In this article I will present my recommendations for Indian reference books.

I am currently writing a series of articles on this blog entitled "[Travels to Buddhist Sites in India and Sri Lanka] A Journey to the Sacred Sites of Buddhism: What I Felt When I Was Called to India", and the books I am about to introduce have had a strong influence on me.

Sri LankaBuddhism in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Southeast Asia

A list of recommended books to learn about the Buddhist country of Sri Lanka - Buddhism, history, literature, and other unknown attractions!

I studied Buddhism in Sri Lanka and was left shocked. I keep coming across things that I never thought possible. I would say that it has overturned my view of Buddhism from the very foundation.

Sri Lanka is interesting! I have become completely absorbed in the very country's Buddhism, its history and culture. In this article, I will recommend some books about Sri Lanka.

Indian Buddhist siteBuddhism in India

Recommended books for those who want to know more about Indian Buddhism - From introductory to specialized books, here are some of the best books I would highly recommend.

This article will recommend some works as an introduction to the Buddha and Indian Buddhism, followed by a selection of reference books for those who want to learn more about Buddhism.

My selection of reference books is an unusual lineup for a Buddhist book, but I am sure that they will help you to discover something new.

Buddhist Thought 8Chinese Buddhism, Thought and History

Buddhist Thought 8: Anxiety and Joyousness in the Pure Land of China" - A recommended reference book that also provides information on the thought and life of Cloudyran, Dogen, and Zenko, as well as the historical background of their lives!

In this book, you can learn not only about the thought of Shinran, Dogen, and Zhenguang, but also their lives and historical backgrounds. It is clear that Buddhism was a result of the political situation in China at that time. It was very interesting to see how Chinese Pure Land Buddhism developed in the midst of repeated warfare and suppression of Buddhism, and how, during Zendo's time, Zendo's Pure Land Buddhism gained support in the prosperous downtown area of the international city of Chang'an. It is interesting to see the connection between great historical figures and their historical backgrounds. As a Jodo Shinshu monk, I tend to spend a lot of time with Shinran and Honen, but I feel that tracing back to their origins is also very significant. It is only by tracing back to the source that we can see Shinran's characteristics and uniqueness.

In this sense, this book is a very valuable work for studying Shinran.

Buddhist Thought 5Japanese Buddhism and its History

Buddhist Thought 5: Absolute Truth - A recommended commentary to learn about the thought of the Lotus Sutra and the Tendai currents in China and Japan!

When we Japanese think of Tendai, we usually think of the Tendai Sect founded by Saicho of Enryaku-ji Temple on Mount Hiei. The teachings of the Lotus Sutra were transmitted from India to Japan via China.

This book is a recommended work to learn about the history and thought content of the "Lotus Sutra".

In addition, this book also discusses the historical background of the period, so it is fascinating to look at Tendai Buddhism from a larger perspective. I also believe that it is very important to study Tendai Buddhism and the Lotus Sutra in order to understand the foundation of Japanese Buddhism. This book is an excellent introduction to the Tendai sect and the Lotus Sutra. It is very interesting.

Buddhist Thought 4Buddhism in India

Buddhist Thought 4: Recognition and Transcendence <唯識〉 - A recommended commentary on the highest level of Mahayana Buddhist thought!

While "Buddhist Thought 2: Analysis of Existence " introduced in the previous article explained Abhidharma, the pinnacle of Buddhist philosophy in Theravada Buddhism (or more precisely, Theravada Buddhism), this work, "Buddhist Thought 4: Recognition and Transcendence " is a recommended reference book on the philosophy of wisdom, considered the pinnacle of Mahayana Buddhist thought. The book is a highly recommended reference book on the highest level of Mahayana Buddhist thought.

In this book, we will first look at what materialism is in the first place and from what historical aspect it has emerged. For us readers, it would be too strict to start with an esoteric idea. Therefore, this book is an introductory book, so we will start by looking at the process of its formation rather than the esoteric philosophy of materialism and get a rough overall picture of it. This was very helpful to read.

Buddhist Thought 3 AbhidharmaBuddhism in India

Buddhist Thought 2: Analysis of Existence (Abhidharma)" - Why are Abhidharma and Kusha Theory important? What is their significance? Recommended commentary!

This book, "Buddhist Thought 2: Analysis of Existence (Abhidharma)" is the second volume in the "Buddhist Thought Series. This series has long been a favorite bestseller as an introduction to Buddhist thought, and my Buddhist studies professor recommends this series.

The theme of this book is Abhidharma, which is a huge obstacle not only for general readers but also for us monks. Although the image of "Abhidharma = difficult and complicated" has already been created, you will learn in this book how significant this Buddhist idea of Abhidharma is for the study of Mahayana Buddhism as well.

Mahayana Buddhism Sasaki KanBuddhism in India

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

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 monks, we too learn the basics of Buddhism, but we tend to focus on studying the doctrines of our own sect.
Of course, I have learned what Mahayana Buddhism is and the characteristics of the major Japanese sects, but to be honest, it is difficult to go into the details of the process of its formation, scriptures, and doctrines.
In this aspect, this book is a very significant commentary for monks of all sects.