The translation of Erich Frauwallner's Die Philosophie des Buddhismus, first published in 1956, opens up a classic introduction to Buddhist thought to a broader English language readership. The book covers the period of early canonical literature with examples of its philosophically relevant ideas followed by the principal philosophical concepts of systematic Sravakayana Buddhism. In the main part of the book, Frauwallner presents the first survey of the development of the philosophical systems of Mahayana Buddhism. He was well aware of the limitations in presenting only the Buddhist philosophy of the "classical", i.e., the systematic period and does not seem to have been ready to add the philosophically creative new post systematic tradition of Buddhist epistemology and logic, a major subject of his subsequent years of research. Frauwallner's way of translating was straightforward: to remain as close as possible to the original text while presenting it in a clear and readable way in order to convey an accurate impression of its meaning. For technical terms in the source materials, he maintained a single translation even when various meanings were suggested. For clarity regarding such variations of meaning he relied on the context and his explanation The same approach was taken by the translator of the present book. Although his translation attempts to be faithful to the 1994 edition of Die Philosophie des Buddhismus, he inserted helpful additional headlines into the text and considerably enlarged the index. All other additions by the translator are given within square brackets. Besides this, he created an appendix, which contains one of Frauwallner's more important articles "Amalavijnana and Alayavijnana" (1951) to complement the long Yogacara section of the book, a bibliography of selective publications after 1969. The URLs for many of the source materials were also conveniently provided.
Gelong Lodro Sangpo (Jurgen Balzer)-the translator-is a student of the late Ven. Trungpa Rinpoche. Born in 1953, Germany, he received his first ordination in the Karma Kagyu Sangha in 1984, France, and then moved to Gampo Abbey, Canada. From 1985-2002 he served as Secretary of International Kagyu Sangha Association of Buddhist Monks and Nuns and Published its magazine The profound Path of Peace.
He completed the traditional three-year retreat in 1996 and a four-year study retreat in 2003. Hee also served for a few years as Acting Director of Gampo Abbey. He Was one of the Co-founders of Nitartha Institute and is a senior teacher at the Vidyadhara Institute, the monastic college of Gampo Abbey, since its inception.
His focus of the study is on the systematic traditions of Buddhist Abhidharma. In recent years, he has translated and published under the supervision of Prof.Ernst Steinkellner-Erich Frauwallner's The philosophy of Buddhism (Motilal Banarsidass). At present, he is finalizing a translation of various books and articles by La Vallee Poussin and is also engaged in the project of translating the collected writings of Prof.Lambert Schmithausent from German into English.