Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

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Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:12 pm

Hi

Didn't know where to put this, but have just finished reading Johannes Bronkhorst's book Buddhist Teaching in India, and am now on to Greater Magadha.
Just wondering if anybody else had read them or not, and was up for some discussion?
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:18 pm

Haven't read and not familiar with him. Some background, maybe?

Are the books worth reading?
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:25 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Haven't read and not familiar with him. Some background, maybe?


review of the former

Are the books worth reading?


1. Yes, and 2. appears to be yes.
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:50 pm

Paññāsikhara wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Haven't read and not familiar with him. Some background, maybe?


review of the former

Are the books worth reading?


1. Yes, and 2. appears to be yes.

I don't think I'll be buying Greater Magadha at $186 anytime soon, but the other one @ $20 looks possible.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:52 pm

Paññāsikhara wrote:Hi

Didn't know where to put this, but have just finished reading Johannes Bronkhorst's book Buddhist Teaching in India, and am now on to Greater Magadha.
Just wondering if anybody else had read them or not, and was up for some discussion?


Great Maghada
Beschreibung
Greater Magadha, roughly the eastern part of the Gangetic plain of northern India, has so far been looked upon as deeply indebted to Brahmanical culture. Religions such as Buddhism and Jainism are thought of as derived, in one way or another, from Vedic religion. This belief is defective in various respects. This book argues for the importance and independence of Greater Magadha as a cultural area until a date close to the beginning of the Common Era. In order to correct the incorrect notions, two types of questions are dealt with: questions pertaining to cultural and religious dependencies, and questions relating to chronology. As a result a modified picture arises that also has a bearing on the further development of Indian culture. [Brill]

unfortunately at around £100 out of my range to buy any time soon, but it does sound very interesting, and reminds me of something I read a while ago, about a place which was basically a hot spot for religious and philosophical teachers, much in the same way Athens market was (cant remember the name of the area in athens, or the place in the article although I think it was in Magadha).
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby Bankei » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:29 am

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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby Ben » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:43 am

Hi Bhante
I've had time to read the customer review of Greater Magadha on Amazon and it looks fascinating! I would love to be able to afford that book, but as Tilt says, at $US186, its out of my price range. On the other hand, Buddhist teaching in India might be less divorce-inducing!
Thanks for the recommendations Venerable!
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:11 am

Oh yeah, I forgot about the price tag on the big one, it is kind of scary! I've got the Uni library copy for now.
The Teaching one is very reasonable though. I'll maybe put a few highlights here, sometime later.
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby Ben » Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:55 am

Thank you Bhante!
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:46 am

Paññāsikhara wrote: have just finished reading Johannes Bronkhorst's book Buddhist Teaching in India
So, how does this compare to Gethin's FOUNDATIONS OF BUDDHISM?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:21 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote: have just finished reading Johannes Bronkhorst's book Buddhist Teaching in India
So, how does this compare to Gethin's FOUNDATIONS OF BUDDHISM?


Hmmm, I haven't read all of Gethin's Foundations, but what I recall,* Gethin's a bit Pali centric, lots more stuff on Buddhaghosa as a kind of default sectarian buddhism teaching. But, that's what we tend to expect from the English, good old Pali Text Society and all that. Bronkhorst uses more European scholarship, lot's of stuff from the Germans and French, which tends to be a bit more balanced. More Sanskrit too, which is his specialty, after all.

Bronkhorst just focuses on "buddhist teachings", and he gives a little explanation in his Methodology, and doesn't deal with who the Buddha was. (Though he never makes any comment doubting his existence, which he could easily do in a sentence or two.)

But in the end, the two kind of cover similar ground.

* If I recall correctly, that is!
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:25 am

Paññāsikhara wrote: Hmmm, I haven't read all of Gethin's Foundations, but what I recall,* Gethin's a bit Pali centric, lots more stuff on Buddhaghosa as a kind of default sectarian buddhism teaching. But, that's what we tend to expect from the English, good old Pali Text Society and all that. Bronkhorst uses more European scholarship, lot's of stuff from the Germans and French, which tends to be a bit more balanced. More Sanskrit too, which is his specialty, after all.

What is too bad is a lack of access to Japanese sources.

I ordered Bronkhorst's book. Should have it by Weds.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby seanpdx » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:18 pm

I've read most of "Buddhist Teachings", thinking about purchasing "Greater Magadha". Bronkhorst is great to read. If you've never read any of his work, you definitely should. He also wrote "The Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India", "The Buddha and the Jainas Reconsidered" (part of a back-and-forth with Gombrich), and "The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism", amongst others. "Buddhist Teachings" is an english translation of "Die buddhistische lehre" (2000). Swiss(?) uni professor. Where Gombrich more or less explains oddities in the canon via metaphor/allegory/skill-in-means, Bronkhorst sees considerable third-party influence (particularly via Jainism).
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:37 am

Bronkhorst: "We, cautiously, opt for the general principle that the teaching that the acient discourses ascribe to the buddha can indeed be ascribed to him, pages 7-8 BUDDHIST TEACHING IN INDIA.

The book looks intersting and to be worth reading. I am not sure as I have poked through it that is is better than Gethin's better oraganized book that covers the same ground.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:54 am

seanpdx wrote:I've read most of "Buddhist Teachings", thinking about purchasing "Greater Magadha". Bronkhorst is great to read. If you've never read any of his work, you definitely should. He also wrote "The Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India", "The Buddha and the Jainas Reconsidered" (part of a back-and-forth with Gombrich), and "The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism", amongst others. "Buddhist Teachings" is an english translation of "Die buddhistische lehre" (2000). Swiss(?) uni professor. Where Gombrich more or less explains oddities in the canon via metaphor/allegory/skill-in-means, Bronkhorst sees considerable third-party influence (particularly via Jainism).


The beginning of Great Magadha which I have read so far seems to also focus a fair bit on the two traditions of meditation in ancient india. He mentions a bit of this in Buddhist Teachings, too. The whole "Narada & Musila" debate to which it is closely related in the internal Buddhist traditions, which people like de la Vallee Poussin, Gombrich, Bodhi, Schmithausen and other great scholars have all had a go at - and often reached very different conclusions! - is a very interesting one.

Tilt wrote:Bronkhorst: "We, cautiously, opt for the general principle that the teaching that the acient discourses ascribe to the buddha can indeed be ascribed to him, pages 7-8 BUDDHIST TEACHING IN INDIA.

The book looks intersting and to be worth reading. I am not sure as I have poked through it that is is better than Gethin's better oraganized book that covers the same ground.


Thanks for the quote, viz that other thread... :thinking:

He tends to be quite skeptical, he is certainly not in the "true believer" category at all! And, as Sean says, sees much influence here and there. So, I find it interesting that somebody who is that skeptical, still holds that ("cautiously") their was a person called the Buddha, and those ancient discourses are pretty much what he taught.

Like a lot of things, but I still think that having a second (or third, fourth, etc.) opinion from somebody who knows what they are talking about, is always helpful. I though that Bronkhorst's book was also quite well organized, too.

As Norman said: "What hasn't been done, should be done, and what has been done, should be done again." (quote from memory, but should be pretty darn close).
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:32 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
Tilt wrote:Bronkhorst: "We, cautiously, opt for the general principle that the teaching that the acient discourses ascribe to the buddha can indeed be ascribed to him, pages 7-8 BUDDHIST TEACHING IN INDIA.




He tends to be quite skeptical, he is certainly not in the "true believer" category at all! And, as Sean says, sees much influence here and there. So, I find it interesting that somebody who is that skeptical, still holds that ("cautiously") their was a person called the Buddha, and those ancient discourses are pretty much what he taught.
That seems to be increasingly the way of things in the scholarship among buddhologists.

Like a lot of things, but I still think that having a second (or third, fourth, etc.) opinion from somebody who knows what they are talking about, is always helpful. I though that Bronkhorst's book was also quite well organized, too.
Agreed.

As Norman said: "What hasn't been done, should be done, and what has been done, should be done again." (quote from memory, but should be pretty darn close).
So it should be with translations as well.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby BlackBird » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:04 am

Tilt wrote:That seems to be increasingly the way of things in the scholarship among buddhologists.


Just waiting for the opportune time to break out with a turkey reference too I assume? :tongue:

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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:26 am

BlackBird wrote:
Tilt wrote:That seems to be increasingly the way of things in the scholarship among buddhologists.


Just waiting for the opportune time to break out with a turkey reference too I assume?

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Where I live as I look out my bathroom window I can often see wild turkeys, which I'd rather not have for dinner.

As for up to one's arm pit in turkeys, we will have to wait till after the 4th of Jan to see if that opportunity arises. In the meantime, I shall continue look at Bronkhorst's book. Might even read some of it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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People live in one another’s shelter.
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby seanpdx » Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:26 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote:Like a lot of things, but I still think that having a second (or third, fourth, etc.) opinion from somebody who knows what they are talking about, is always helpful. I though that Bronkhorst's book was also quite well organized, too.

As Norman said: "What hasn't been done, should be done, and what has been done, should be done again." (quote from memory, but should be pretty darn close).

So it should be with translations as well.


Funny that you two should mention this. I was just re-reading Norman, so I know exactly where I can find said quote. =)

K.R.Norman, A Philological Approach To Buddhism, p2 wrote:I am confronted with this tendency all the time. Prospective research students visit me or write to me and ask what they can do for their doctoral thesis in the field of Pali studies. I say: "What has not been done needs to be done, and what has been done needs to be done again". Of these the second is the more important, because, by and large, the most important Pali texts were published first, when little was known about the Pali language -- there were only inadequate dictionaries and grammars, and only a few manuscripts had come to Europe.
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Re: Bronkhorst: Greater Magadha, & Buddhist Teaching in India

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:30 am

seanpdx wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote:Like a lot of things, but I still think that having a second (or third, fourth, etc.) opinion from somebody who knows what they are talking about, is always helpful. I though that Bronkhorst's book was also quite well organized, too.

As Norman said: "What hasn't been done, should be done, and what has been done, should be done again." (quote from memory, but should be pretty darn close).

So it should be with translations as well.


Funny that you two should mention this. I was just re-reading Norman, so I know exactly where I can find said quote. =)

K.R.Norman, A Philological Approach To Buddhism, p2 wrote:I am confronted with this tendency all the time. Prospective research students visit me or write to me and ask what they can do for their doctoral thesis in the field of Pali studies. I say: "What has not been done needs to be done, and what has been done needs to be done again". Of these the second is the more important, because, by and large, the most important Pali texts were published first, when little was known about the Pali language -- there were only inadequate dictionaries and grammars, and only a few manuscripts had come to Europe.


haha! Thanks for that!
My memory is not bad, I just made "needs" into "should".
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