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The All-Embracing Net of Views (The Brahmajala Sutta and its Commentaries)

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The All-Embracing Net of Views (The Brahmajala Sutta), one of the Buddha's most important and profound discourses, weaves a net of sixty-two cases capturing all the speculative views on the self and the world. This book contains an accurate and readable translation of this discourse, as well as of its massive commentary and the subcommentary, allowing for a close in-depth The All-Embracing Net of Views (The Brahmajala Sutta), one of the Buddha's most important and profound discourses, weaves a net of sixty-two cases capturing all the speculative views on the self and the world. This book contains an accurate and readable translation of this discourse, as well as of its massive commentary and the subcommentary, allowing for a close in-depth study of the work. It also contains translations of three commentarial treatises that throw valuable sidelights on rarely known aspects of Theravada Buddhism. The long introduction by Bhkkhu Bodhi is itself a modern philosophical commentary on the sutta. It elucidates the key points of the discourse and explains the place f the Brahmajala in the overall structure of Buddhist thought. The Brhamajala is more than merely the first item in a collection of discourses. It is the gateway to the entire Teaching of the Buddha itself. Its central message must be grasped to ensure a correct understanding of the Teaching.


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The All-Embracing Net of Views (The Brahmajala Sutta), one of the Buddha's most important and profound discourses, weaves a net of sixty-two cases capturing all the speculative views on the self and the world. This book contains an accurate and readable translation of this discourse, as well as of its massive commentary and the subcommentary, allowing for a close in-depth The All-Embracing Net of Views (The Brahmajala Sutta), one of the Buddha's most important and profound discourses, weaves a net of sixty-two cases capturing all the speculative views on the self and the world. This book contains an accurate and readable translation of this discourse, as well as of its massive commentary and the subcommentary, allowing for a close in-depth study of the work. It also contains translations of three commentarial treatises that throw valuable sidelights on rarely known aspects of Theravada Buddhism. The long introduction by Bhkkhu Bodhi is itself a modern philosophical commentary on the sutta. It elucidates the key points of the discourse and explains the place f the Brahmajala in the overall structure of Buddhist thought. The Brhamajala is more than merely the first item in a collection of discourses. It is the gateway to the entire Teaching of the Buddha itself. Its central message must be grasped to ensure a correct understanding of the Teaching.

32 review for The All-Embracing Net of Views (The Brahmajala Sutta and its Commentaries)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    An in-depth examination of the first of the Buddha's suttas, with some valuable ancillary texts included as well. Here again I'm up against the rating system for dharma books. This is a high-quality book that deserves to be read and studied by Buddhists and philosophers, but I try to keep my ratings based on my actual enjoyment of the read. But, thinking on, I may yet revise my rating up to 5 stars. The first aspect of the Buddha's Eightfold Path is Right View, which means, roughly, having the rig An in-depth examination of the first of the Buddha's suttas, with some valuable ancillary texts included as well. Here again I'm up against the rating system for dharma books. This is a high-quality book that deserves to be read and studied by Buddhists and philosophers, but I try to keep my ratings based on my actual enjoyment of the read. But, thinking on, I may yet revise my rating up to 5 stars. The first aspect of the Buddha's Eightfold Path is Right View, which means, roughly, having the right basic outlook on the world, or what we might call worldview. The view taught by the Buddha is, of course, the Right View, but in this sutta he lays out all of the wrong views. And when I say all, I mean he declares that these 62 "wrong views" are all the views there are. Whatever your worldview is, it is one of these 62; and if you change your worldview, you will necessarily be changing it to a different one of these 62, for there are no others. The Buddha says explicitly that his list is exhaustive; you can ransack your mind and the cosmos for a 63rd (wrong) view, but you will not find it, for there is no 63rd view. It's an intriguing and provocative notion, and I would say that anyone, Buddhist or not, who has metaphysical leanings would want to gives this work a read. For one thing, the Buddha is no minor figure of intellectual history, but the founder of a major world religion, and one who specifically stated that he had seen to the depths of reality and achieved omniscience. Of all the people in world history who might make such a claim, he is the one who is most entitled to the suspension of our skepticism, based on what we know about him and on the power and far-reaching effects of his teachings. So the number is 62, but in fact many of these views are actually the same; they are distinguished because they are held for different reasons. And what about our modern, Western, scientific worldview? Is it in here? Yes it is. As far as I can tell, we mostly embrace a couple of the listed views, since they are categorized by whether they refer to the past or to the future. With regard to the past, we, as a culture, tend to embrace a "doctrine of fortuitous origination, based on reasoning": that is, we believe that we (sentient beings) and the world came to be here by accident, and we believe this based on our own cogitation. With regard to the future, we tend to embrace a view of "annihilationism of the self composed of the four elements." That is, we think that we are mere physical bodies, and that our consciousness is annihilated upon death. These are modern, scientific views, but, according to the Buddha, they are wrong. Right View is the first component of the Eightfold Path. If we enter the Buddhist path, the path to the liberation from suffering, with a wrong view of the world, then we are handicapping ourselves. Indeed, we're walking in the wrong direction. And what is the Right View? Basically it is the Buddha's Four Noble Truths: the Truth of Suffering, the Truth of the Origin of Suffering, the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering, and the Truth of the Path to the Cessation of Suffering. These simple-sounding truths are like doors to a vast and interconnected array of teachings, but key aspects to them are that consciousness persists between endlessly repeating rebirths, and that the experiences of each consciousness are driven largely by karma--the consequences of our moral actions, good or bad. This book contains a couple of other very interesting texts: "A Treatise on the Paramis,>" the "perfections" of the bodhisattva, or the buddha-in-training who has vowed to help all other sentient beings attain enlightenment before he attains it himself. In the oldest lists there were 10 of these perfections, which eventually became consolidated down to 6, as they are given in the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism. Finally there is "The Meaning of the Word 'Tathagata,'" a detailed discussion of the shades of meaning of this term which was the one the Buddha generally used to refer to himself, often translated "the one thus come." If you're a Buddhist or a philosophical person, this book will be an important addition to your library.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kenose

  4. 4 out of 5

    A Little

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kaity

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mauricio Garcia

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steg Paw

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paul Vittay

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sachitra Mahendra

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Schmidt

  11. 5 out of 5

    Quinn

  12. 5 out of 5

    Zsebenci Klopédia

  13. 4 out of 5

    Billy Candelaria

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tara Outman

  15. 5 out of 5

    PP

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wm

  17. 4 out of 5

    Thiago Silva

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robert D-T. L. CHAU

  19. 5 out of 5

    Quang thich

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amyjo

  21. 4 out of 5

    Virgínia Brito

  22. 5 out of 5

    loser

  23. 5 out of 5

    xiao yun

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bhupinder Singh

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Gargallo

  26. 4 out of 5

    Yap Por

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dolphin Ganz

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bill

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sami

  30. 5 out of 5

    Πan

  31. 5 out of 5

    bookfondler

  32. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Kyritsis

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