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Sayings of the Buddha: New translations from the Pali Nikayas
 
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Sayings of the Buddha: New translations from the Pali Nikayas [Format Kindle]

Rupert Gethin

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Rupert Gethin's 'Sayings of the Buddha' [is] translated with an eye toward readability. (Buddhaharma)

This short volume is...a resource for teachers and students, and anyone interested in early Buddhist literature. (Buddhaharma)

Présentation de l'éditeur

As if someone were to hold up a lamp in the dark so that those with eyes could see - in exactly the same way Gotama has made the truth clear in various ways.'

Gotama the Buddha, who lived the life of a wandering ascetic in northern India during the fifth century BCE, is looked to as the founder of one of the world's major religions. One of the main sources for knowledge of his teachings is the four Pali Nikayas or 'collections' of his sayings. Written in Pali, an ancient Indian language closely related to Sanskrit, the Nikayas are among the oldest Buddhist texs and consist of more than one and a half million words. This new translation offers a
selection of the Buddha's most important sayings reflecting the full variety of material contained in the Nikayas: the central themes of the Buddha's teaching (his biography, philosophical discourse, instruction on morality, meditation, and the spiritual life) and the range of literary style (myth,
dialogue, narrative, short sayings, verse).
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1509 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 362 pages
  • Editeur : OUP Oxford; Édition : 1 (9 octobre 2008)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B006OISRX4
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°210.389 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 5.0 étoiles sur 5  4 commentaires
34 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent New Edition of Pali Suttas 13 mai 2009
Par Enamorato - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Unlike the Abrahamic religions, Buddhism does not have an equivalent to the Torah, the Bible or the Qur'an. What we know of the Buddha's teaching comes largely from a vast collection of writings called the Tipitaka ("three baskets") in an ancient Indian language called Pali (thus, the Tipitaka is also referred to as "the Pali canon"). Of these, the second basket - the Sutta Pitaka ("Basket of Well-Spoken Utterances") - is the most famous. It contains the purported discourses (in Pali: suttas) of the Buddha himself, and are the oldest remaining documents in an Indian language to preserve his philosophy. Readers now have at least three very good English-language anthologies of suttas to choose from. By far the most comprehensive is Bhikku Bodhi's In the Buddha's Words. The other anthology of note is John J. Holder's scholarly Early Buddhist Discourses.

This new anthology is by Rupert Gethin of the University of Bristol, and current president of the Pali Text Society. It also happens to be an especially attractive edition, part of the newly revamped Oxford World's Classics series. As one would expect from both Gethin's credentials and the Oxford series, the introduction, explanatory notes and supplementary materials are scholarly and insightful, aimed toward a discriminating general reader more so than a Buddhist practitioner. Gethin is positioned at the forefront of Buddhist scholarship and, if you are interested in historical Buddhism, you will find his insights extremely fascinating.

The book includes a highly informative general introduction in which Gethin bypasses the mythology surrounding the Buddha's life for a refreshingly spare exploration of the development of Buddhism in India. Each sutta is prefaced with an insightful introduction outlining its content as well as its relative importance within the Pali canon. The translations of the suttas themselves are beautiful: modern, vivid and refreshingly free of archaism. Buddhists as well as the general reader have much to gain from Gethin's transparent translations. Scholarly translations of Pali literature can sometimes be unreadable. See, for example, John Ross Carter and Mahinda Palihawadana's translation of The Dhammapada (also in the Oxford World's Classics series), which is probably among the most accurate available but unfortunately incomprehensible in places. Gethin strikes the right balance between readability and accuracy.

Readers new to Buddhist scripture may be surprised to find a rich and vivid literature of fascinating and compelling characters. Stories in which, for instance, a distraught king travels to the Buddha with five hundred wives each mounted on one of five-hundred she-elephants on a beautiful moonlit night. Or the Buddha's exhortation to his monks to observe the various stages in which a corpse decomposes. Or a vivid and touching portrayal of an aging and ailing Buddha anticipating the coming of his own death. What also comes across in Gethin's translations that sometimes gets lost in others is a characteristic humor. For example, in the discourse entitled "The Fruits of the Aescetic Life", the aforementioned king has asked guru after guru what the rewards of a life of renunciation would be in the here and now. All except the Buddha give him a longwinded exposition of their respective philosophies. The king remarks, "it is as if someone asked for an explanation of a mango gave and explanation of a breadfruit." (Get it? "Fruits" of the Ascetic Life? Well, I found it funny.)

The selection of suttas is strategic: included are the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta ("Turning the Wheel of Truth" - the Buddha's first teaching in which he outlines the middle path and the four noble truths, the Samannaphala Sutta ("The Fruits of the Ascetic Life"), the Mahaparinibbana Sutta ("The Buddha's Final Enlightenment"), as well as the invaluable Satipatthana Sutta ("Establishing Mindfulness") among many, many others. The anthology as a whole culls from four of the five of the nikayas ("collections"), opting to skip out on material from the Khuddaka Nikaya (the so-called "minor collection"). Gethin's aim appears to have been to offer a representation of Early Buddhism as a whole, as opposed to a streamlined collection for Buddhist practitioners. What emerges is a Buddhism that is somewhat intermediate between indigenous Indian spirituality (there is much talk of karma, reincarnation and gods and demons - largely missing from many of the more Westernized introductions to Buddhism) and the agnostic/nontheistic adaptations of Buddhism developing later.

Of the three anthologies mentioned, Holder's would probably make the best textbook for a university course. It is scholarly, but much better focused on the philosophical foundations of Buddhism. Bhikku Bodhi's collection is indispensable for practitioners - the commentary and translations are extremely insightful. Gethin's lies somewhere in between: not as scholarly as Holder's and not quite as focused and streamlined for the modern-day Buddhists as Bodhi's. Still, I recommend it to anyone interested in getting a more accurate view of what early Buddhism may have looked like. The readability of the translations themselves are certainly worth the price of the volume.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A wise choice 10 avril 2012
Par John L Murphy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
After reviewing Gethin's "The Foundations of Buddhism" I sought out this companion volume from the same press, Oxford. True to that institute's reputation, "Foundations" proved both rewarding and challenging; "Sayings" sustains the discipline applied by this scholar to his subject. Both books, taken together, in a comparatively brief study manage to cover the essentials of, respectively, the common doctrine and the earliest suttas.

Enamorato's review sums up Gethin's anthology alongside Bhikkhu Bodhi's "In the Buddha's Words" and John Holder's scholarly collection of teachings. So, mine will focus on the editorial framework. I came to Gethin's edition after Glenn Wallis' "Basic Teachings of the Buddha" (see my 2012 reviews of Bodhi and Wallis). I admired Dr. Wallis' reader-response theory and philosophical approach, conveyed well in his introduction and commentary. Similarly, Dr. Gethin constructs from a solid linguistic command of the earliest extant Nikaya collections from the Pali his own rigorous interpretation of the core of the Theravada, Southeastern Asian dharma teachings. Unlike more popularized collections, this can be used by a student in a class or on one's own to study the stories seriously--that is, with a guide taking one closer to the dialect in which the historical Buddha is said to have conveyed the teachings, as transmitted by monks into oral and then written form a few centuries later.

These are sorted traditionally as longer, middle-length, grouped, and numbered discourses. Gethin follows this organization and offers examples of all four from the vast number edited by scholars. He tries to give an accurate rendering, including the repetition that hammers home the point even if this may be strange to readers. He reasons that this oral feature embedded itself in the writing down, and this repeating of phrases offers its own pleasure in the recital of these passages and their inculcation.

As with Glenn Wallis' more compact but equally eloquent translation and commentary of sixteen essential suttas ("well-said" sayings), his fellow scholar Gethin captures in his introduction an enthusiasm for dharma. He may translate it as "Truth," "teaching," "practice," or "quality" to catch the most precise meaning of this all-encompassing term. He bases this on his own research into Pali.

The contents speak for themselves. Suffice to say that Gethin (as does Wallis) allows the suttas to sit as complete narratives, in their original form, so as to let readers appreciate the elaboration of points, their repetition, and their gradual unfolding in the words attributed to the historical Buddha. What in his "Foundations" study may become paraphrased, debated, and cited here, by contrast, emerges as if told by one person to others. You will find preaching, but you will also find dialogues and advice.

Each entry is preceded by an efficiently condensed preface and supported with precise end-notes. These may refer one to linguistic points, or other works elaborating topics here alluded to or compressed. Therefore, this is an excellent introduction that I'd recommend following up Wallis, and perhaps preceding Bhikkhu Bodhi's "In the Buddha's Words," for three variants on this wise teaching.
4 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great book 24 octobre 2010
Par dhamma learner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
IMO, if you are a Buddhist practitioner, you must read this book over and over and over again to really understand the teachings of the Buddha, no matter what school of Buddhist thoughts in which you were trained, Mahayana or Theravada. Highly recommended.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent 2 mars 2014
Par R. O'Donnell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Excellent survey of early Pali works- very inspiring. Wish there were an audiobook too- it would read so well out loud.
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