China

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.

place sacred to BuddhismBuddhist Columns & Dharma Talks

The Life of Buddha (Shakyamuni Buddha) as Seen from Buddhist Courses and Local Photographs] Article List - Please use this list as a table of contents.

This series of articles will give you a sense not only of Buddha's life, but also of the atmosphere of Indian society at that time. I am sure this will be an exciting experience for all of you.

Although "learning about religion and Buddhism" may sound pretentious, I hope that you will take it easy and experience the life of the great Buddha.

IndiaBuddhist Columns & Dharma Talks

(25) A very brief history of Buddhism after Buddha's death - The history and propagation of the Buddhist cult. Also a few words on the introduction of Buddhism to Japan.

In this article, I will give a very brief overview of the history of Buddhism since the death of the Buddha, as well as a summary of the 21 articles in this series. Although it is too reckless to summarize more than 2,000 years of history spanning the globe in a single page, we believe that it will be useful for you to understand the flow of Buddhism.

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.

ラジオの戦争責任Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Southeast Asia

坂本慎一『ラジオの戦争責任』~メディアが煽るナショナリズム。戦争のメカニズムを学ぶためにも非常におすすめ!

かつて日本でもラジオにおいて仏教学者や演説、説法の達人が仏教を語り多くの人に強い影響を与えていたというのは驚きでした。

また、松下幸之助についての驚きの事実や、政治家松岡洋右の圧倒的な演説力、玉音放送を手掛け戦争を終結させた影の立役者下村宏の偉業など次から次へと驚異の事実をこの本では目にしていくことになります。

とにかく読んでみて下さい。それも一刻も早く!これほどの本に出会えるのはそうそうありません。世界が非常に不安定になっている今こそ読むべき名著中の名著です。

大唐西域記Buddhism in India

Xuanzang's Journey to the Western Regions of the Tang Dynasty - Xuanzang Sanzo's quest for Buddhism in India, which became the model for the "Journey to the West"!

The current work, "Datang Saiyuki" is the model for that "Journey to the West".

He is so famous in Japan that the name "Sanzang-hōshi" (a Buddhist monk) is synonymous with Genjo. He became world-famous for his feat of traveling all the way from China to India in search of the Sanzang (a group of sutras: sutra, law, and treatise) and safely bringing a large number of sutras back to China.

This work, "Records of the Western Regions of the Tang Dynasty," is a book that describes the journey of Xuanzang.

But as soon as you start reading this book, you realize that the narrative is so bland...

It's quite different from the exciting adventure stories we imagine...

高僧法顕伝Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Southeast Asia

The Biography of High Priest Hoken (Butsuguoki) - The earliest record of a trip to India by a Chinese monk! What was the grueling journey of Hoken, who also came to Sri Lanka to seek the Dharma?

今回私が法顕のこの作品を読もうと思ったのは、彼が400年代初頭にスリランカを訪れていたということに興味を持ったからでした。

『法顕伝』は非常に簡潔に書かれていながらも彼の人柄が見えてくるような素晴らしい紀行文です。前半の壮絶な旅路を終えると、今度は私達もよく知るインドの仏跡がどんどん出てきてわくわくしてきます。

法顕の旅は10年以上にも及ぶ長旅でした。帰国した頃にはほとんど80歳という驚異のバイタリティーです。信じられません!やはり世界史に名を残す偉人はスケールが違います。

Sri Lankan Politics after the End of the Civil WarBuddhism in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Southeast Asia

Etsuyo Arai, "Sri Lankan Politics after the End of the Civil War" - Recommended for understanding how the Rajapaksa regime deepened its relationship with China and what followed.

本書では1983年から2009年にかけて起きたスリランカでの内戦が終わってから2016年までの政治状況を知ることができます。

特に、本書の主要人物であるラージャパクサ大統領はほとんど独裁レベルで国を支配した政治家でその一族や側近は莫大な富と権力を手にすることになりましたが、この人物についての詳しい解説を聴けるのはとてもありがたいものがありました。まさにこの人物こそ2022年のスリランカの暴動で国外逃亡することになったあの人物です。ニュースでも2022年のスリランカの暴動はよく取り上げられていたことを私も記憶しています。