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Yuan, Ci (2005) The Bodhisattva ideal in selected Buddhist scriptures (its theoretical and practical evolution). PhD thesis. SOAS University of London.

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Abstract

This thesis consists of seven chapters. It is designed to survey and analyse the teachings of the Bodhisattva ideal and its gradual development in selected Buddhist scriptures. The main issues relate to the evolution of the teachings of the Bodhisattva ideal. The Bodhisattva doctrine and practice are examined in six major stages. These stages correspond to the scholarly periodisation of Buddhist thought in India, namely (1) the Bodhisattva's qualities and career in the early scriptures, (2) the debates concerning the Bodhisattva in the early schools, (3) the early Mahayana portrayal of the Bodhisattva and the acceptance of the six perfections, (4) the Bodhisattva doctrine in the earlier prajnaparamita-sutras, (5) the Bodhisattva practices in the later prajnaparamita texts, and (6) the evolution of the six perfections (paramita) in a wide range of Mahayana texts. Chapter seven analyses the developed theories of three perfections: sila, dhyana and prajna. The debate on the Bodhisattva ideal which occurred in the second century is also examined in each chapter. During the formation of the Bodhisattva practices, two systems of perfections (paramitas) arose in Buddhist scriptures and history. In all probability, the system of six perfections was formed before that of ten perfections, and became more diffused in Mahayana scriptures. The Bodhisattva ideal evolved for different reasons, but chiefly in response to religious tendencies, demands, and necessities of the cultures and historical periods in which the Bodhisattva ideal flourished. The Bodhisattva's wisdom and compassion as ideology and method in generating the benefit of sentient beings, arguably constitute the basis of Bodhisattva philosophy and practice. The scriptures selected for investigation not only present diversified teachings and features of the Bodhisattva ideal, but result in a systematic model that improves our understanding of their evolution.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:01
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/28706

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