A Survey of Buddhism

Its Doctrines and Methods Through the Ages

by Sangharakshita

“It would be difficult to find a single book in which the history and development of Buddhist thought has been described as vividly and clearly as in this survey… For all those who wish to ‘know the heart, the essence of Buddhism as an integrated whole’, there can be no better guide than this book.”

So wrote Lama Anagarika Govinda of A Survey of Buddhism when it was first published in 1957. Now in its ninth edition, this book continues to provide an indispensible study of the entire field of Buddhist thought and practice. Covering all the major doctrines and traditions, both in relation to Buddhism as a whole and to the spiritual life of the individual Buddhist, Sangharakshita places their development in historical and cultural context. This is an objective but sympathetic appraisal of Buddhism’s many forms, that clearly demonstrates the underlying unity of all its schools.

The first section concentrates on basic doctrines and methods common to all of Buddhism, while later sections discuss the teachings and practices of its specific schools. The book closes appropriately with the practical aspects of Mahayana Buddhism — which stresses the unity of compassion and wisdom — as exemplified by the Bodhisattva Ideal, “the perfectly ripened fruit of the whole vast tree of Buddhism.”

“I recommend Sangharakshita’s book as the best survey of Buddhism.”
– Dr. Edward Conze
Paperback, 544 pages with bibliography
List Price: $24.95

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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