Readings of Śāntideva's Guide to Bodhisattva Practice

Edited by Jonathan C. Gold and Douglas S. Duckworth

Columbia University Press

Readings of Śāntideva's Guide to Bodhisattva Practice

Pub Date: August 2019

ISBN: 9780231192675

320 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $30.00£25.00

Pub Date: August 2019

ISBN: 9780231192668

320 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00£74.00

Pub Date: August 2019

ISBN: 9780231549905

320 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $29.99£25.00

Readings of Śāntideva's Guide to Bodhisattva Practice

Edited by Jonathan C. Gold and Douglas S. Duckworth

Columbia University Press

Śāntideva’s eighth-century work, the Guide to Bodhisattva Practice (Bodhicaryāvatāra), is known for its eminently practical instructions and its psychologically vivid articulations of the Mahāyāna path. It is a powerful, succinct poem into which are woven diverse Buddhist traditions of moral transformation, meditative cultivation, and philosophical insight. Since its composition, it has seen continuous use as a ritual, contemplative, and philosophical manual, making it one of the crucial texts of the Buddhist ethical and philosophical tradition.

This book serves as a companion to this Indian Buddhist classic. The fifteen essays contained here illuminate the Guide’s many philosophical, literary, ritual, and ethical dimensions. Distinguished scholars discuss the historical significance of the text as an innovative piece of Indian literature, illuminate the important roles it played in shaping Buddhism in Tibet, and bring to light its contemporary significance for philosophy and psychology. Whether experienced or first-time students of Buddhist literature, readers will find compelling new approaches to this resonant masterpiece.
For more than a thousand years Śāntideva's Guide to Bodhisattva Practice has been a profound source of inspiration for Tibetan Buddhists. It was one of the six basic texts of Atiśa’s Kadam tradition. When teaching it to me, Khunu Lama Rinpoché told me that no other book explains the awakening mind of bodhicitta, the essence of the Buddha’s teachings, as effectively as this. Śāntideva describes how a self-centered attitude gives rise to disturbing emotions like anger and fear, but also how they can be countered by altruism and warm-heartedness. He shows how we can tackle our mental afflictions and achieve peace of mind, something that can be of benefit to everyone. The Guide is a book I read, I teach, and keep with me. The readings presented in this volume make clear how much of Śāntideva's advice can be of interest and benefit to readers today. His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Anyone familiar with Western ethical thinking, but not with the Indian Buddhist tradition or with Śāntideva’s remarkable text, will have much to learn from the connections made in this volume between these distinct ways of thinking about ethics. Peter Singer, author of The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically
Śāntideva's Guide is a poem, a liturgy, a meditation manual, a phenomenology of mind, a moral psychology, an explication of the distinctive Buddhist virtues, and an invitation to the Mahāyāna way of life. Gold and Duckworth’s volume is a set of essays by brilliant contemporary philosophers and religious studies scholars that provides deep and sensitive readings of this great text. Śāntideva comes alive for the twenty-first century in these pages. Owen Flanagan, James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy, Duke University
Śāntideva's Guide to Bodhisattva Practice has inspired Buddhist scholars and practitioners for more than a millennium. Dozens of commentaries have been written—and continue to be written—on this great work. In the last two decades European and American scholars have seriously engaged Śāntideva's work and its commentaries from many different perspectives, exploring its philological, ethical, metaphysical, and ritual dimensions, and analyzing the role it has played in Buddhist self-cultivation. This marvelous collection of essays, written by the very best Śāntideva scholars in the world, provides readers with a much-needed overview of state-of-the-art scholarship on the Guide. Sophisticated yet concise and accessible, this book is an indispensable resource for those of us who have pondered—or lost ourselves in—Śāntideva's beautiful poem. José Ignacio Cabezón, Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
The essays contain the richness of classical Buddhist writing and showcase the latest trends in Buddhist studies. This is an excellent volume, and a rare one at that. Jacob P. Dalton, author of The Gathering of Intentions: A History of a Tibetan Tantra
A Note to the Reader
Acknowledgments
Introduction. Participatory Authorship and Communal Interpretation: The Bodhicaryāvatāra as a “World Classic,” by Jonathan C. Gold
1. Śāntideva: The Author and His Project, by Paul Harrison
2. Reason and Knowledge on the Path: A Protreptic Reading of the Guide, by Amber Carpenter
3. On Learning to Overhear the “Vanishing Poet,” by Sonam Kachru
4. An Intoxication of Mouse Venom: Reading the Guide, Chapter 9, by Matthew T. Kapstein
5. Seeing from All Sides, by Janet Gyatso
6. Bodies and Embodiment in the Bodhicaryāvatāra, by Reiko Ohnuma
7. Ritual Structure and Material Culture in the Guide to Bodhisattva Practice, by Eric Huntington
8. Bodhicaryāvatāra and Tibetan Mind Training (Lojong), by Thupten Jinpa
9. Taming Śāntideva: Tsongkhapa’s Use of the Bodhicaryāvatāra, by Roger Jackson
10. The Middle Way of the Bodhisattva, by Douglas S. Duckworth
11. Seeing Sentient Beings: Śāntideva’s Moral Phenomenology, by Jay L. Garfield
12. Śāntideva’s Ethics of Impartial Compassion, by Charles Goodman
13. Śāntideva and the Moral Psychology of Fear, by Bronwyn Finnigan
14. Innate Human Connectivity and Śāntideva’s Cultivation of Compassion, by John Dunne
Appendix 1: A Guide to Guide Translations: Advice for Students and Instructors
Appendix 2: Index of Guide Verses Cited
Bibliography
Contributors
Index

About the Author

Jonathan C. Gold is associate professor in the Department of Religion at Princeton University. He is the author of The Dharma’s Gatekeepers: Sakya Paṇḍita on Buddhist Scholarship in Tibet (2007) and Paving the Great Way: Vasubandhu’s Unifying Buddhist Philosophy (Columbia, 2015).

Douglas Duckworth is associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Religion at Temple University. His latest works include Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy of Mind and Nature (2019) and a translation of an overview of the Wisdom Chapter of the Guide to Bodhisattva Practice by Künzang Sönam, entitled The Profound Reality of Interdependence (2019).