The method to be adopted in any kind of teaching should be the simplest possible. It should be such as would facilitate a student's understanding a subject. This is required specially for the study of the History and Philosophy of Buddhism as the nature of the Buddhist doctrines is so very complex that it is impossible for beginners to comprehend them easily. The want of a comprehensive manual has made it more difficult for the students of Buddhism to obtain a clear idea of the Buddhist doctrines as promulgated in diverse Buddhist Philosophers.
I have found it essentially necessary that some convement and at the same time effective method should be adopted to teach students of Buddhism. About the beginning of the last session I prepared some of these charts in order to see whether the students can profit by them in any way and whether I can thus base my lectures on them. My attempt fortunately was quite a successful one and I at once drew to it the attention of the Hon'ble the President Sir Asutosh Mookerjee, Kt., C. S. I., Sarasvati. He was kind enough to appreciate in the method adopted by me and to encourage me to continue it. Since then I have prepared several others. I am, now, at his suggestion, printing the charts so that students may be helped to some extent, in their study of Buddhism.
Some eight different sets of doctrines have been summarized here for the present. They are (i) The Original doctrines of Buddha, (ii) The Sthaviradin doctrines,(iii) The Mahasanghika doctrines,(iv) The doctrine of Asvaghosa I,(v) Those of Harivarman, (vi) Those of Nagarjuna,(vii) Those of Asanga and Vasubandhu,(viii) Asvaghosa II.
Each set of these doctrines has been dealt with as a separate topic in a separate chart according to the following scheme.
(2) Theory of human being
(3) Theory of Suffering
(4) Theory of Religious austerities
(5) Different stages of the Religieux
(6) Theory of Salvation
(7) Theory of Buddhakaya
There being no proper Sanskrit and Pali technical terms I had to undergo great difficulty in my restorations. This is why I have been compelled to give sometimes Pali terms and sometimes Sanskrit terms as appeared to be suitable.
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These remarkable charts provide the reader with an indispensable genealogical guide of the original Buddhist doctrines. The nature of Buddhist doctrines, as promulgated by the different Buddhist philosophers, is so very complex that it is impossible for beginners to understand them easily without that it is impossible for beginners to understand them easily without a clear and effective method to teach his students the history and philosophy of Buddhism. Students, teachers, researchers and writers will all find the charts invaluable.
Some eight different sets of doctrines have been summarized. They are: (I) The original doctrines of Buddha;
(II) The sthaviradin doctrines;
(III) The Mahasandhika doctrines;
(IV) The doctrine of Asvaghosa;
(V) The doctrines of Harivarman;
(VI) The doctrines of Nagarjuna;
(VII) The doctrines of Asanga and Vasubandhu;
(VIII) The doctrines of Asvaghosa II.
Each set of these doctrines has been dealt with as a separate topic in a separate chart as follows: (1) Cosmology- (i) Essentialism, (ii) Phenomena-rise [(a) Phenomenology]; (2) Theory of Human Being; (3) Theory of Suffering; (4) Theory of Religious Austerities; (5) Different Stages of the Religieux; (6) Theory of Salvation; and (7) Theory of Buddhakaya.
The author was Rearch Scholar of the Nichiren Shiu, Tokyo, and Lecturer in Indian Buddhist History and Mahayana Philosophy at Calcutta University. His other books included "A Historical Study of the Terms Hinayana and Mahayana and The Origin of Mahayana Buddhism."
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