Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and by Reginald A. Ray

By Reginald A. Ray

The problem of saints is a tough and intricate challenge in Buddhology. during this magisterial paintings, Ray deals the 1st accomplished exam of the determine of the Buddhist saint in a variety of Indian Buddhist facts. Drawing on an in depth number of assets, Ray seeks to spot the "classical variety" of the Buddhist saint, because it presents the presupposition for, and informs, different significant Buddhist saintly kinds and subtypes. Discussing the character, dynamics, and historical past of Buddhist hagiography, he surveys the ascetic codes, conventions and traditions of Buddhist saints, and the cults either one of residing saints and of these who've "passed beyond." Ray strains the function of the saints in Indian Buddhist heritage, interpreting the beginnings of Buddhism and the starting place of Mahayana Buddhism.

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Similarly, when Hsuan-tsang wants to criticize a certain monastery in northwest India, he remarks that its members are “ very defective in their observance of the rules of their Order” and are “ without definite learning” (Watters 1904-5, 1:240; see also 2:73-74). , 146-47]). There is another preoccupation of the ideal monk that, although appearing in the texts, is less commonly found among the past and present priorities of main­ line Theravádin monasticism (and other forms of Nikáya monasticism)—namely, the practice of meditation.

From an examination of the evidence one compiles an inventory of elements of the saint, a kind of statistical picture detailing the features that are contained by all, most, some, or only a few saints of the type one is seeking. This picture reveals no more than how the texts explicitly represent the type. b. In the second level of analysis, one attempts to put together the various images of the type into a coherent picture. This level requires arriving at an understanding of the significance of the Introduction 11 members of the inventory of images.

Further, the two-tiered model has a virtually unlimited field of opera­ tion, something shown in a curious dynamic in the way the model works. Whereas the monastic ideal is given a relatively clear and careful definition based on certain normative texts, the lay ideal tends to be defined as whatever does not fit into the ideal of the monk. 37 The Buddhist Saints and the Two-Tiered M odel o f Buddhism 23 Some Ideological Features of the Two-Tiered Model The two-tiered model is thus proposed as a hermeneutic for interpreting Indian Buddhism as a whole, including the Buddhist saints.

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