A History of Buddhist Philosophy: Continuities and by David J. Kalupahana

By David J. Kalupahana

David J. Kalupahana's Buddhist Philosophy: A old research has, due to the fact that its unique book in 1976, provided an unequaled advent to the philosophical ideas and ancient improvement of Buddhism. Now, representing the end result of Dr. Kalupahana's thirty years of scholarly examine and mirrored image, A historical past of Buddhist Philosophy builds upon and surpasses that past paintings, offering a very reconstructed, certain research of either early and later Buddhism.

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Siddhártha was to be the last of these major thinkers of the heterodoxy. Most of the six so-called heretical teachers were ascetics who had experimented with both reason and experience in order to understand the nature of human life and the world. With his critical attitude, Sid­ dhártha could not simply depend on the authority either of the tradi­ tionalists or of the heretics. Thus he was compelled to adopt the life of an ascetic against the will of his parents,2 who wanted him to remain a householder and be the next ruler of the Šákyans.

This involved an enterprise that no Indian 32 EARLY B U D D H IS M philosopher before him had attempted. Neither do any of his contempo­ raries elsewhere in the world, either in China or in Greece, seem to have engaged in anything comparable. In short, this involved him in a detailed analysis of human psychology. 7 Even though his statement explaining the process of sense experience is rather brief, its implications are wide-ranging: Depending upon the visual organ and the visible object, O m onks, arises vis­ ual consciousness; the meeting together of these three is contact; condi­ tioned by contact arises feeling.

Hence he needed a theory of psychology and morality that was as objective as bio­ logical determinism. His ingenuity lies in formulating a doctrine of action (kiriya) without simply returning to the Upani$adic notions of dtman and brahma, and thereby renouncing the Brahmanical conceptions of society and morals. Thus the conception of action (kiriya) emerges as the central conception in Jainism. Action (kiriya), according to Mahavira, is threefold: bodily, verbal, and mental. The most important feature of this theory is that all three forms are accorded equal status.

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