A History of Indian Buddhism, the summation of a lifetime of research on Indian Buddhism, is an exceptionally comprehensive discussion of Indian Buddhism, with detailed chapters on its history, doctrine and bibliography. The text also presents some of the debates on Indian Buddhism that have occurred in the Japanese academic community and emphasizes issues that have often been treated only in passing in India and the West. Hirakawa's extensive use of Chinese translations of Indian Buddhist sources and his references to Japanese studies of these works are particularly noteworthy. Finally, the book includes an extensive bibliography of Western scholarship compiled by the translator. Contents: Foreword, Translator's Preface, Author's Preface, Abbreviations, Introduction, PART ONE: Early Buddhism: Indian Religion at the time of the buddha, The life of the Buddha, Early Buddhist Doctrine, The organization of the order, The establishment of the early buddhist canon, The Development of the Buddhist order, The Buddhism of king Asoka, PART TWO: Nikaya Buddhism: The Development of Nikaya Buddhism, Abhidharma Literature, The Organization of the Dharmas in the Abhidharma, Buddhist Cosmology and the Theory of Karma, Karma and Avijnapti-rupa, The Elimination of Defilements and the Path to Enlightenment, PART Three: Early Mahayana Buddhism, The Evolution of the order after Asoka, Mahayana Texts Composed during the Kusana Dynasty, The Origins of Mahayana, The Contents of early Mahayana Scriptures, Theory and Practice in Early Mahayana Buddhism, Notes, Bibliographical Essay, Bibliography, Index. Review(s) It is indeed a pleasure to include Hirakawaês third work for English readers in the Buddhist Tradition series. Paul Groner, who translated it from the Japanese original, has adequately described the contents in a factual sense. I may add that the extraord About the Author(s)
Hirakawa Akira (b. 1915), is Professor Emeritus of Indian Philosophy at Tokyo University. He has also taught at Waseda, Komazawa, and Tohoku universities. In 1983, he was elected President of the Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies, the most important academic organization for Buddhist studies in Japan. Hirakawa is the author or editor of over twenty books on Buddhism and has written more than 240 scholarly articles and reviews on Indian Buddhism. Among his most important books are studies of monastic discipline and the rise of Mahayana Buddhism. In addition, he has directed several major research projects in Buddhist studies, including a concordance of the Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese versions of the Abhidharmakosa, and is currently in charge of the compilation of a Chinese-Sanskrit dictionary of Buddhist terms. He is widely recognized as one of the most eminent scholars of Indian Buddhism in Japan today. Paul Groner received his Ph. D. from Yale University and is currently Associate Professor at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Saicho: The Establishment of the Japanese Tendai School and a number of articles on early Japanese Buddhism.