Shinran (third highest of the eight hereditary titles)

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.

Bhagavad GitaIndian thought, culture and history

Synopsis and Comments on "The Bhagavad Gita" - Hinduism's deepest secrets that live on today! And its connection to Mahayana Buddhism!

The Bhagavad Gita is quite compact, about 140 pages in paperback. Katsuhiko Uemura's translation is very easy to read, and there are more than 50 pages of commentary at the end of the book, which is very helpful.




〈文化〉としてのインド仏教史Buddhism in India

Yasuaki Nara, "History of Indian Buddhism as 'Culture'" - A great book that I highly recommend to monks who are troubled by criticism of funeral Buddhism!





大乗の仏の淵源Buddhism in India

Tomomichi Nitta, "The Abyss of the Buddha in the Mahayana" - There was no mythologizing of the Buddha! What is Gen Nakamura's Critique of the Historical View of Buddha? From "Series on Mahayana Buddhism, Volume 5: Buddha and Pure Land - Mahayana Buddhist Scriptures II




新田智通氏の衝撃的な論文が収録された『シリーズ大乗仏教 第五巻 仏と浄土—大乗仏典Ⅱ』は仏教を学ぶ全ての方におすすめしたいとてつもない一冊です。このシリーズの中でも圧倒的に印象に残った作品です。

ヒマラヤの寺院Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Southeast Asia

佐藤正彦『ヒマラヤの寺院 ネパール・北インド・中国の宗教建築』~カトマンズの仏教建築を詳しく知れる驚きの作品






ネパール仏教Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Southeast Asia







A History of the Rise and Fall of Indian ReligionsIndian thought, culture and history

Shunji Hosaka, "History of the Rise and Fall of Indian Religions" - A reference book to learn about the interrelationships not only with Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam, but also with Sikhism and Jainism!

This book is a much appreciated reference for learning about Indian religions.

This book is unique in that it does not look at each of India's many religions separately, but focuses on their interrelationships.

The relationship between Brahmanism, Buddhism, and Jainism in ancient India. What was the background from which Hinduism and Islam grew in power over time? Why did Buddhism decline, and why has Jainism, which is said to be its sister religion, been able to survive today? This book is very valuable because it allows us to look at these questions from the historical background and the interrelationships among religions. Religion is not only religion. History, culture, politics, and economics are all involved. This book is a very stimulating work that allows us to feel the dynamism of such history.


Mutsumi Yamashiro, "Dostoevsky" - A recommended reference book full of sharp explanations for deep reading of the five great works!

This work is an overwhelmingly deep and incisive discussion of the Five Great Lengths from a wide range of perspectives. I was immediately impressed by this book. In the beginning of the book, Futabatei Shimei talks about Dostoevsky and Russian literature. This book, which began with the words of Futabatei Shimei, is a wonderful work that is exactly as he said it would be.

In particular, Bakhtin's explanation of polyphony is very clear.

Mr. Yamashiro's explanation makes very clear the difficult concept that we often see in Dostoevsky's commentaries that "Dostoevsky's novels are polyphony," which seems to be understandable but not understandable. I recommend this book!