Setting Out on the Great Way - Essays on Early Mahāyāna Buddhism - Paul Harrison

Setting Out on the Great Way - Essays on Early Mahāyāna Buddhism - Paul Harrison

How the Unborn was Born: The Riddle of Mahāyāna Origins

Setting Out on the Great Way - Essays on Early Mahāyāna Buddhism - Paul Harrison

Peter Skilling [+-]
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok
Peter Skilling retired from the French School of Asian Studies (EFEO) in 2017. He lectures at the section of South Asian Languages, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. He recently published Imagination and Narrative: Lexical and Cultural Translation in Buddhist Asia (co-edited with Justin McDaniel, Silkworm Books, Chiang Mai, 2017). His interests include the archaeology of Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia and the evolution of Mahāyāna literature.

Description

As it developed in South Asia, ‘the Mahāyāna’ is a complex package made up of systems of thought, practice and training. In terms of practice and orientation, it encourages the individual to aim for Buddhahood by setting out on the bodhisatva path. Its signature product was a copious and exuberant literature, an outpouring of sūtras that is unparalleled in Indian or world literature. The production of sūtras began in the second to first centuries BCE, and soon enough was supplemented by cognate śāstras and treatises. In this chapter, the author ruminates on two distinctive and recurrent themes of Mahāyāna literature and ideology as possible clues to the riddle, ‘How was the unborn born?’

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Citation

Skilling, Peter. How the Unborn was Born: The Riddle of Mahāyāna Origins. Setting Out on the Great Way - Essays on Early Mahāyāna Buddhism. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 33-71 Jun 2018. ISBN 9781781798539. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=24511. Date accessed: 25 Jun 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.24511. Jun 2018

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