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Buddhānusmṛti between Worship and Meditation: Early currents of the Chinese Ekottarika-āgama


Legittimo, Elsa (2012). Buddhānusmṛti between Worship and Meditation: Early currents of the Chinese Ekottarika-āgama. Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 66(2):337-402.

Abstract

Certain forms of devotion to the Buddha existed at the beginnings of Buddhism, centuries before the Common Era, and others subsist till the present day. In tune with the current research on the ideational history of Buddhist devotion and meditation, this paper presents, among other arguments related to Buddha commemoration, recollection and concentration, the results of the first in-depth investigation from the standpoint of the numerical collection from Far East Asia: the Chinese Zengyi ahan jing. This is the only complete extant translation of a lost Indian Ekottarika-āgama. The study provides a choice of quotes from ancient sources relevant for the portrayal of devotional ideational currents, an overview of the early currents of Buddha invocation, especially namo buddhāya (honour to the Buddha) and buddhānusmṛti (commemoration of the Buddha) as found in the Chinese Ekottarika-āgama translation, a discussion on ‘Buddha commemoration samādhi sūtras’, an investigation of further literary generic sub-categories belonging to the later canonical strata that attest ‘meditations dedicated to the / a Buddha’. It examines the soteriological functions of devotional practices by furnishing new perspectives from ancient primary sources.

Certain forms of devotion to the Buddha existed at the beginnings of Buddhism, centuries before the Common Era, and others subsist till the present day. In tune with the current research on the ideational history of Buddhist devotion and meditation, this paper presents, among other arguments related to Buddha commemoration, recollection and concentration, the results of the first in-depth investigation from the standpoint of the numerical collection from Far East Asia: the Chinese Zengyi ahan jing. This is the only complete extant translation of a lost Indian Ekottarika-āgama. The study provides a choice of quotes from ancient sources relevant for the portrayal of devotional ideational currents, an overview of the early currents of Buddha invocation, especially namo buddhāya (honour to the Buddha) and buddhānusmṛti (commemoration of the Buddha) as found in the Chinese Ekottarika-āgama translation, a discussion on ‘Buddha commemoration samādhi sūtras’, an investigation of further literary generic sub-categories belonging to the later canonical strata that attest ‘meditations dedicated to the / a Buddha’. It examines the soteriological functions of devotional practices by furnishing new perspectives from ancient primary sources.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 66 (2012) > 2
Dewey Decimal Classification:950 History of Asia
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:27 Aug 2012 08:19
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:56
Publisher:Schweizerische Asiengesellschaft / Verlag Peter Lang
ISSN:0004-4717
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-64421

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