By Akira Hirakawa
The current quantity is a translation of the 1st of Hirakawa's two-volume historical past. It
covers the interval from Sakyamuni* Buddha to Early Mahayana* earlier than Nagarjuna*
and contains the classes on which Hirakawa did such a lot of his personal previous examine. From
1960 to 1968, he released 3 very important experiences on Buddhist associations: Ritsuzo* no
kenkyu* (A research of the Vinaya-pitaka*), Genshi Bukkyo* no kenkyu (A examine of Early
Buddhism), and Shoki Daijo* Bukkyo no kenkyu (Studies in Early Mahayana Buddhism).
These stories, all popping out of his curiosity within the vinaya, established his mastery of
Indian Buddhist institutional historical past. This study used to be quite very important in his
formulation of a brand new thought of the increase of Mahayana *. via concentrating on the necessity to identify
an institutional base from which Mahayana arose, Hirakawa argued that stupa* worship
and the formula of Mahayana units of precepts supplied very important proof for the
development of Mahayana Buddhism.
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Additional resources for A History of Indian Buddhism, From Śākyamuni to Early Mahāyāna
Acco rdin g [o the d o tte d record / T h e a b o v e Theories were h ased p rim arily (in the Sri L a n k a n historical chronicles. c;,e. a n d m a in ta in e d th at rhe Sri L a n k a n c h ro tik le s slu>uEd be corrected to co n fo rm to evidence fo u n d in B rahm anica! , H ow ever, m a n y v a r ia n t theories arc found in the H in d u Ptirdnas a n d J a i n a texts. cs C o n seq u en tly , M u lle r's theory has few, if any, m o d ern su p p o rters. T h e p r o m in e n t m o d e m J a p a n e s e scholar U i H a k u ju (1882-1963} has criticized (he above theories.
It seem s, then, th at B ud d h ism had qualities th at en ab led it to b eco m e a w o rld religion a n d m ak e it significant to m ore th an just a lim ited n u m b e r o f tribes o r peoples T h ose qualities w ere alread y p resen t in the B u d d h a ’s e n lig h te n m e n t. If th at enlightenm e m had been a p h e n o m e n o n (hat could be ex p lain ed as a function of hts m e m b e rs h ip in a certain trib e, th en the tra n sfo rm a tio n o f B ud dh ism into a world religion w o u ld have re q u ire d som e m a jo r figure as a s p o k e sm a n .
1, p. 20), O u t o f co m p assio n , the B u d d h a w ished to co n v ey to c o m m o n people at least so m e o f the tru th s hi’ had realized. T h e B u d d h a sub seq u en tly re tu rn e d to M a g a d h a , w here he co n v erted m a n y peopEe T h e B u d d h a 's victory over a no ted religious teacher, L r u v tlv a K a sy ap a, th rou gh a d e m o n s tra tio n o f s u p e r h u m a n powers, resulted in the conversion to B u dd hism o r UruviLva K asy ap a, his two y o u n g er b ro th e rs, a n d th eir disciplcs.
A History of Indian Buddhism, From Śākyamuni to Early Mahāyāna by Akira Hirakawa