Approaching the Land of Bliss

Approaching the Land of Bliss

Religious Praxis in the cult of Amitabha

ISBN: 9788120831940

Author: Richard K. Payne, Kenneth K. Tanaka

Subject: Buddhism

Language: English

Binding: Hard Back

Pages: 304

Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass

Availability: In Stock


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INR 495.00


About Book:

The discourse on Buddhist studies has traditionally been structured around texts and nations (the transmission of Buddhism from India to China to Japan). And yet, it is doubtful that these categories reflect in any significant way the organizing themes familiar to most Buddhists. It could be argued that cultic practices associated with particular buddhas and bodhisattvas are more representative of the way Buddhists conceive of their relation to tradition. This volume aims to explore this aspect of Buddhism by focusing on one of its most important cults, that of the Buddha Amitabha. Approaching the land of bliss is a rich collection of studies of texts and ritual practices devoted to Amitabha, ranging from Tibet to Japan and from early medieval times to the present. The cult of Amitabha is identified as an integral part of Tibet's Mahayana Buddhist tradition in the opening essay by Matthew Kapstein. Next, Daniel Getz Jr., locates the Pure Land patriarch Shengchang more firmly in a Huayan context and his pure Conduct Society not so much in the propagation of pure land praxis but as a means of modifying anti-Buddhist sentiments. Jacqueline Stone's study of the practice of reciting nenbutsu at the time of death gives us an understanding of both the practice itself and the motivating logic behind it. Kakuban-the founder of the one major "schism" in the history of the Shingon tradition-isplaced in a typology of Japanese Pure Land thought in James Sanford's study of Kakuban's Amida Hishaku. Hank Glassman contributes an essay on the "subsidiary cult" of Chujohime, which derived from the cult of Amitabha but grew to such importance that it displaced the latter as the focus of worship in medieval Japan. In his examination of "radical Amidism," Fabio Rambelli discusses different forms of Japanese Pure Land thought that constitute divergences from the main stream or normative forms.

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