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The Concentrations and Formless Absorptions in Mahayana Buddhism: Ge-Luk Tibetan Interpretations
Author Zahler, Leah
PublisherUniversity of Virginia
Publisher Url
LocationCharlottesville, VA, US [夏律第鎮, 維吉尼亞州, 美國]
Content type博碩士論文=Thesis and Dissertation
InstitutionUniversity of Virginia
Publication year1994
KeywordMahayana Buddhism; Tibet; Interpretations; 禪定=Concentration=Dhyana; Meditation; Mahayana; Ge-Luk; Tibetan Buddhism
AbstractThis dissertation discusses presentations of Buddhist meditative states known as the concentrations (dhyana) and formless absorptions (arupyasamapatti) in monastic textbooks (yig cha) of the Ge-luk (dge lugs) order of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsong-kha-pa. These meditations, known from Buddhist scriptures and Indian commentaries, were not practiced in Tibet; thus, the dissertation deals with an aspect of Tibetan Buddhist scholasticism. It shows how Ge-luk presentations of these meditative states function as a general theory of religious paths (marga) from within a Mahayanist perspective.

The first section discusses reasons for the continued study of these meditative states--their significance in accounts of the life of Sakyamuni Buddha and in relation to traditional Buddhist cosmology--and the place of their study in Ge-luk monastic education as part of the topic of the Perfections (phor phyin, paramita). The second section provides an overview of Ge-luk systematic presentations of the concentrations and formless absorptions, including major points of debate among Ge-luk-ba scholars. It discusses the relationship of the translated texts to their sources and to each other; the types of sentient beings traditionally considered capable of attaining the concentrations and formless absorptions; the cultivation and attainment of calm abiding (samatha), which precedes attainment of the first concentration; the preparations (samantaka) for the concentrations and formless absorptions--that is, the meditations that are the means of progressing to the next-higher level; and the structure of the concentrations and formless absorptions themselves. The final section presents translations of Tsong-kha-pa's Notes on the Concentrations and Formless Absorptions (bsam gzugs zin bris) and of longer texts, by Pan-chen So-nam-drak-ba (pan chen bsod nams grags pa) and Gon-chok-jik-may-wang-bo (dkon mchog 'jigs med dbang po), that are based on it.
Created date2006.07.21
Modified date2016.10.07

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