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Teachings Of The Compassionate Buddha [Paperback]

E Burtt
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 13 2000
With its origins in ancient India, Buddhism is a system of thought that has enriched the religious lives of billions--and in more recent times, swept through the Western world as well. Now anyone who wants to learn more about Buddhism can go directly to the source, with this collection of original documents--edited, with commentary, by a Cornell University professor of philosophy.

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Thus have I heard: at one time the Lord dwelt at Benares at Isipatana in the Deer Park. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Introduction Jan. 11 2002
Format:Paperback
Originally published in 1955, E. A. Burtt's "Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha" remains in print nearly half a century later for a very simple reason - it is a concise yet comprehensive introduction to Buddhist thought.
The book is divided into two sections:
Book One - The Early Scriptures of Buddhism
Book Two - Buddhist Thought Through Later Centuries
Book one includes basic doctrines such as the sermon at Benares (in which Gautama Buddha expounds for the first time upon the "Four Noble Truths" and the "Eightfold Path") and selections from the treasure that is "The Dhammapada" ("Way of the Truth").
The remaining thirty odd pages of this section contain material from the Therevada (or "Lesser Vehicle") school of Buddhism, which claims to follow the uncorrupted tradition of Buddha himself, focusing upon clearing of the mind and attainment of Nirvana.
Book two concerns itself with the Mahayana (or "Greater Vehicle") ideal, the core of which holds that since "all are one", universal salvation is the goal of Buddhist practice - as opposed to the Therevada notion of individual pursuit of Nirvana. Among other things, you will find here materials from the Chinese and Japanese Pure Land and Meditation (Zen) schools.
Both sections consist of translations (Burtt used the best he could find at the time) of actual Buddhist texts (such as the above mentioned "Dhammapada", "The Lotus Sutra", various philosophical and devotional treaties, etc.) so that the reader is receiving information more or less directly from the source. Also included is a helpful and illuminating introduction by Mr.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Introduction Jan. 11 2002
By Richard Cody - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Originally published in 1955, E. A. Burtt's "Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha" remains in print nearly half a century later for a very simple reason - it is a concise yet comprehensive introduction to Buddhist thought.
The book is divided into two sections:
Book One - The Early Scriptures of Buddhism
Book Two - Buddhist Thought Through Later Centuries
Book one includes basic doctrines such as the sermon at Benares (in which Gautama Buddha expounds for the first time upon the "Four Noble Truths" and the "Eightfold Path") and selections from the treasure that is "The Dhammapada" ("Way of the Truth").
The remaining thirty odd pages of this section contain material from the Therevada (or "Lesser Vehicle") school of Buddhism, which claims to follow the uncorrupted tradition of Buddha himself, focusing upon clearing of the mind and attainment of Nirvana.
Book two concerns itself with the Mahayana (or "Greater Vehicle") ideal, the core of which holds that since "all are one", universal salvation is the goal of Buddhist practice - as opposed to the Therevada notion of individual pursuit of Nirvana. Among other things, you will find here materials from the Chinese and Japanese Pure Land and Meditation (Zen) schools.
Both sections consist of translations (Burtt used the best he could find at the time) of actual Buddhist texts (such as the above mentioned "Dhammapada", "The Lotus Sutra", various philosophical and devotional treaties, etc.) so that the reader is receiving information more or less directly from the source. Also included is a helpful and illuminating introduction by Mr. Burtt in which he provides an analysis of the religious impulse in general and an overview of the Indian traditions from which Buddhism sprang and which it altered. In fact, Mr. Burtt provides commentary throughout the book, clarifying the distinctions between the Therevada and Mahayana schools and generally shining an erudite light on the various texts.
As an introduction to Buddhism this collection is ideal. As a refresher or reference for those already acquainted with Buddhist thought, this book is a valuable addition to any would be arhat's or bhikshu's library.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha Aug. 6 2012
By A. Walters - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are interested in getting to what scholars know to be the "actual" teachings of the Buddha, before it grew with dogma and practices, this book is a good reference. For the most part it is decipherable as to what his teachings were, as back then some were written in hymns, and I am not that scholarly to make sense of those. But for the most part, the author adds valuable notes and gives the reader some background. I've been studying Buddhism on my own for several years and just wanted to get down to the basic origination point for what the Buddha taught. This book is good for that.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Met expectations. Jan. 11 2014
By Anna - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would give it 4 stars because I would have wanted a better condition for the book, however, you get what you pay for and it's respectable. A lot of annotations.... but all the pages are there and it's exactly the book I need for class. Cover is in good condition but I would like to not have so many "used" stickers on it.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Skip the Introduction Feb. 13 2013
By SherdNerd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Skip the introduction. Anyone with any training in history, anthropology or archaeology will be irritated by the outdated concepts of religion and civilization presented by Burtt in the introduction. Granted, the book was written in the 1950s, but I was still irritated. So then, why read this book? The book provides a great compilation of writings on and by the Buddha. Some of Burrt's commentary provides an insightful context into the culture and practice. For example, Burrt describes where Theravada Buddhism is practiced and the differences between the original teachings, Mahayana, and Theravada Buddhism as an introduction for the Buddhist texts. I enjoyed being able to read the original writings and the fundamental teachings from which Buddhism grew.
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro To The Ideas of a Great Thinker---Mr. Buddha Aug. 25 2007
By John Boland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the "original" "self-help books" written by a great thinker. You will benefit by reading this book. Recommended. boland7214@aol.
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