The Buddhist Vision of Ultimate Reality

by Sangharakshita

It is all very well to expect Buddhism to be meaningful to where we are here and now — but where is here and when is now?

Ever since the Buddha’s lifetime, people have been trying to express the ultimate meaning of Buddhism in a form that makes complete, rational sense. The Prajnaparamita, or “Perfection of Wisdom”, teachings offer a giddying counterbalance to this exercise, and a sophisticated slap in the face to anyone undertaking it.

Emerging two thousand years ago as the core teachings of Mahayana Buddhism, texts such as the Ratnaguna-samcayagatha, the Diamond Sutra, and Heart Sutra were to give new impetus to the ideal of the Bodhisattva: one whose entire energies are dedicated to the attainment of Enlightenment for the sake of all beings. They are unique, extraordinary teachings, addressing the practical, everyday concerns of Buddhists, but in a way that can leave the rational mind spinning.

Sangharakshita has a rare combination of scholarship, intellectual clarity, and insight. As founder of the Triratna Buddhist Community he is necessarily alive to the immediate concerns of Buddhists practicing in the West.

This perspective is crucial in a guide to texts that seem to express the goal and justification for Buddhist practice in “a breath of nonsense, a touch of Lewis Carroll.” Dangerously disorienting to the unwary student, they can offer a fast route to some well-trodden blind alleys — or to the very heart of Reality.

Paperback, 304 pages
September 2001
List Price: $25.00

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Believe nothing merely because you have been told it… Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to and take it as your guide.
The Buddha

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