Notes from BPU Sri Lanka - Third Year

BPG. 301 – History of Indian Buddhist Philosophy 


A survey, under the following topics of the historical development of the Indian Buddhist philosophy from its inception up to the emergence of Mahāyāna is expected here.

 I. Early Buddhist teachings and trends which paved the way for the emergence of Abhidhammic traditions
 II. Abhidhammic theory of dhamma and its off-shoots: Puggalavāda, Sarvastivāda and Vibhajjavāda
 III. The emergence of Sautrantic tradition as a reaction to the Abhidhamma; critical approach and mind- oriented trends that arose from it.
 IV. Lokottaravāda developments of the concept of the Buddha; contribution made thereto by the Mahāsaghikas and allied Nikāyas.
 V. Mahāyāna and the impact of Buddhist thought in pre-Mahāyāna schools on its emergence.
 VI. The two philosophical traditions of Madhyamika and Yogācāra and their basic concepts.
 VII. Tantrism and its historical background.

* Special attention should be paid to the germinal teachings embodied in the suttas of the Dhammavāda of the Abhidhammikas; Sūnyatavāda of the Madhyamakas and Vijñāṇavāda of the Yogācārins.

Recommended Reading:
  1. Abhidhamma Dipika (Introduction) Ed. P. S. Jaini, Patna, 1959
  2. Abhidhamma Studies Nyanaponika, Colombo, 1949
  3. Buddhist Analysis of Matter Y. Karunadasa, Colombo, 1967
  4. The Buddhist Manual of Ethics (Dhammasangani)  Tra. Mrs. Rhys Davids, London, 1923
  5. Buddhist Psychology of Perception E. R. Saratchandra, Colombo, 1958
  6. Central Conception of Buddhism K. Stcherbatsky, Calcutta, 1956
  7. Compendium of Philosophy (Abhidhammattha Sangaha)  Tra. S. Z. Aung, London, 1910
  8. Early Hustory of the Spread of Buddhism and Buddhist Schools  N. Dutt, New Delhi, 1980
  9. Guide through the Abhidhamma Piṭaka Nyanatiloka, Colombo, 1957
  10. Indian Buddhism A. K. Warder, Delhi, 1980
  11. Philosophy and Psychology in the Abhidhamma  H. V. Guenther, Delhi, 1974
  12. The Psychological Attitude of Buddhist Philosophy Early Lama Anagarika, Govinda
  13. System of Buddhist Thought Yamakami Sogen, Calcutta, 1952

Examination Questions