Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Volume 1

The Physical World

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Dalai Lama XIV
Editor(s): 
Thupten Jinpa
Translator(s): 
Ian Coghlan
  • Sommerville, MA: 
    Wisdom Publications
    , November
     2017.
     552 pages.
     $29.95.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9781614294726.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

Explore the nature of our material world in a unique sourcebook, conceived by the Dalai Lama, collecting the scientific observations found in classical Buddhist treatises. 

Under the visionary supervision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics brings together classical Buddhist explorations of the nature of our material world and the human mind and puts them into context for the modern reader. It is the Dalai Lama’s view that the explorations by the great masters of northern India in the first millennium CE still have much that is of interest today, whether we are Buddhist or not.

Volume 1, The Physical World, explores of the nature of our material world—from the macroscopic to the microscopic. It begins with an overview of the many frameworks, such as the so-called five aggregates, that Buddhist thinkers have used to examine the nature and scope of reality. Topics include sources of knowledge, the scope of reason, the nature and constituents of the material world, theories of the atom, the nature of time, the formation of the universe, and the evolution of life, including a detailed explanation of the early Buddhist theories on fetal development. The volume even contains a brief presentation on early theories about the structure and function of the brain and the role of microorganisms inside the human body. The book weaves together passages from the works of great Buddhist thinkers like Asanga, Vasubandhu, Nagarjuna, Dignaga, and Dharmakirti. Each of the major topics is introduced by Thupten Jinpa, the Dalai Lama’s principal English-language translator and founder of the Institute of Tibetan Classics.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and a beacon of inspiration for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. He is admired also for his more than four decades of systematic dialogues with scientists exploring ways to developing new evidence-based approaches to alleviation of suffering and promoting human flourishing. He is the co-founder of the Mind and Life Institute and has helped to revolutionize traditional Tibetan monastic curriculum by incorporating the teaching of modern science. He is a great champion of the great Indian Nalanda tradition of science, philosophy, and wisdom practices.

Thupten Jinpa is a well-known Buddhist scholar and has been the principal English-language translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama for more than three decades. A former monk and a Geshe Lharampa, he also holds a BA in philosophy and a PhD in religious studies, both from Cambridge University. His is the author and translator of many books and teaches at McGill University in Montreal.

Keywords: 

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