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Books > Buddhist > Buddha > Taranatha's Commentary on the Heart Sutra
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Taranatha's Commentary on the Heart Sutra
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Taranatha's Commentary on the Heart Sutra
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About The Book

The present work is a translation and study of a commentary on the Heart Sutra by Taranatha (1575-1664), who is widely considered to be one of the most remarkable Buddhist scholars, translators and practitioners from Tibet.

In his commentary, Tarantha succinctly distils his vast studies of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist thought on prajnaparamica and Buddha-Nature with the philosophical view of ‘Empty-of-Other’. The leitmotif of the text is Taranatha’s five-fold assertion that the Sutra ‘clearly teaches the empty-of-Other Great Madhyamaka’. For Taranaha, this confirms that ‘the intention of all three Turnings in the Empty-of-Other Great Madhyamaka’.

Taranatha’s explanation is a valuable addition to the corpus of (Indian and Tibetan) translated commentaries on the Heart Sutra. As a concise distillation of the Jonang view of Empty-of-Other and its connection to prajnaparamita, it provides the reader with a reasoned analysis as to why prajnaparamita involves not only ‘seeing that all phenomena are empty of intrinsic existence, but also realizing, via primordial awareness, that the ultimate nature is ‘and’ permanent’, going beyond ’Impermanent’ conditioning, duality and mental elaborations.

About The Author

Adele Tomlin is an independent scholar and translator from England, with an MA in Philosophy from King’s College, London and an MA in Tibetan Buddhist Studies from the University of Hamburg. She has also spent years studying Buddhist Philosophy and the Tibetan language in Nepal and India.

Preface

The remarkable Tibetan scholar Taranatha first came to the attention of Western readers a century and half ago, thanks to the pioneering Russian and German translations of his famous History of Buddhism in India, by Vasil’ey and Schiefner respectively. The availability of his work quite revolutionized European understanding of Buddhist history and though it is now known that Taranatha’s narrative is not reliable in respect to many particular points, its appearance so significantly reoriented the broad conception of Indian Buddhism that this field of study generally may be said to partake of the great Jonangpa master ‘s legacy.

Knowledge and appreciation of Taranatha’s contribution has continued to grow since his history was first translated. However, it was only during the early 1990s, thanks to the publication of previously unknown editions of his preserved in Dzamthang, the Jonangpa stronghold in far eastern Tibet, that it became possible to begin the examination of the range of his prolific writings. Among the gems that because available for the first time were two commentaries on the Heart Sutra. Thanks to the efforts of Prof. Donald Lopez, Tibetan discussions of this well-known text had become widely known, but the distinctly Jonangpa approach to its interpretation that we find in Taranatha had remained completely out of view.

By providing us now with a text edition, translation, and study of the shorter of Taranatha’s two commentaries on the Heart Sutra, Ms. Adele Tomlin renders a valuable service to Tibetan Buddhist studies. Her work, originally written as her M.A. thesis, is clear and precise throughout, well-exemplifying the distinguished tradition of research on Buddhism at the University of Hamburg. This is a most welcome addition to the growing body of published research on the rich Jonangpa tradition, that not long ago was all but unknown and even thought to be extinct. Ms. Tomlin’s study may be recommended as a particularly attractive and accessible introduction to the Jonangpa’s distinctive doctrinal perspective. As many readers interested in Buddhism have encountered the Heart Sutra in one version or another, a familiar text may here serve as a passageway leading them to explore new terrain.

Contents

Acknowledgements v
Preface ix
Translator's Preface xi
1. The 'Empty-of-Other Great Madhyamaka' 1
2. Prajnaparamita and Empty-of-Other 15
3. Taranatha's Commentary on the Heart Sutra 23
4. The Commentary - English Translation 37
5. Tibetan Text 55
6. Appendix 73
Notes 77
Bibliography 147


Sample Pages









Taranatha's Commentary on the Heart Sutra

Item Code:
NAP118
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2017
ISBN:
9789387023017
Language:
Tibetan and English
Size:
8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Pages:
160
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 175 gms
Price:
$36.00
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About The Book

The present work is a translation and study of a commentary on the Heart Sutra by Taranatha (1575-1664), who is widely considered to be one of the most remarkable Buddhist scholars, translators and practitioners from Tibet.

In his commentary, Tarantha succinctly distils his vast studies of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist thought on prajnaparamica and Buddha-Nature with the philosophical view of ‘Empty-of-Other’. The leitmotif of the text is Taranatha’s five-fold assertion that the Sutra ‘clearly teaches the empty-of-Other Great Madhyamaka’. For Taranaha, this confirms that ‘the intention of all three Turnings in the Empty-of-Other Great Madhyamaka’.

Taranatha’s explanation is a valuable addition to the corpus of (Indian and Tibetan) translated commentaries on the Heart Sutra. As a concise distillation of the Jonang view of Empty-of-Other and its connection to prajnaparamita, it provides the reader with a reasoned analysis as to why prajnaparamita involves not only ‘seeing that all phenomena are empty of intrinsic existence, but also realizing, via primordial awareness, that the ultimate nature is ‘and’ permanent’, going beyond ’Impermanent’ conditioning, duality and mental elaborations.

About The Author

Adele Tomlin is an independent scholar and translator from England, with an MA in Philosophy from King’s College, London and an MA in Tibetan Buddhist Studies from the University of Hamburg. She has also spent years studying Buddhist Philosophy and the Tibetan language in Nepal and India.

Preface

The remarkable Tibetan scholar Taranatha first came to the attention of Western readers a century and half ago, thanks to the pioneering Russian and German translations of his famous History of Buddhism in India, by Vasil’ey and Schiefner respectively. The availability of his work quite revolutionized European understanding of Buddhist history and though it is now known that Taranatha’s narrative is not reliable in respect to many particular points, its appearance so significantly reoriented the broad conception of Indian Buddhism that this field of study generally may be said to partake of the great Jonangpa master ‘s legacy.

Knowledge and appreciation of Taranatha’s contribution has continued to grow since his history was first translated. However, it was only during the early 1990s, thanks to the publication of previously unknown editions of his preserved in Dzamthang, the Jonangpa stronghold in far eastern Tibet, that it became possible to begin the examination of the range of his prolific writings. Among the gems that because available for the first time were two commentaries on the Heart Sutra. Thanks to the efforts of Prof. Donald Lopez, Tibetan discussions of this well-known text had become widely known, but the distinctly Jonangpa approach to its interpretation that we find in Taranatha had remained completely out of view.

By providing us now with a text edition, translation, and study of the shorter of Taranatha’s two commentaries on the Heart Sutra, Ms. Adele Tomlin renders a valuable service to Tibetan Buddhist studies. Her work, originally written as her M.A. thesis, is clear and precise throughout, well-exemplifying the distinguished tradition of research on Buddhism at the University of Hamburg. This is a most welcome addition to the growing body of published research on the rich Jonangpa tradition, that not long ago was all but unknown and even thought to be extinct. Ms. Tomlin’s study may be recommended as a particularly attractive and accessible introduction to the Jonangpa’s distinctive doctrinal perspective. As many readers interested in Buddhism have encountered the Heart Sutra in one version or another, a familiar text may here serve as a passageway leading them to explore new terrain.

Contents

Acknowledgements v
Preface ix
Translator's Preface xi
1. The 'Empty-of-Other Great Madhyamaka' 1
2. Prajnaparamita and Empty-of-Other 15
3. Taranatha's Commentary on the Heart Sutra 23
4. The Commentary - English Translation 37
5. Tibetan Text 55
6. Appendix 73
Notes 77
Bibliography 147


Sample Pages









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