Translations of Buddhist Classics from the Indian and Chinese Traditions

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Kalavinka Buddhist Classics


Meditation Instruction Texts:

The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation

By Shramana Zhiyi (Chih-i) - (538-597 ce)

Master Zhiyi is the famous Tiantai Mountain meditation master, exegete, and teachings-school founder. His Essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight and Dhyana Meditation is a calming-and-insight (samatha-vipasyana) meditation manual deeply rooted in the early Indian Buddhist meditation tradition. It offers perhaps the most reliable, comprehensive, and practically-useful Buddhist meditation instruction currently available in English.

Translation by Bhikshu Dharmamitra. Includes facing-page source text.


The Six Dharma Gates to the Sublime

By Shramana Zhiyi (Chih-i) - (538-597 ce)

This classic, also by Master Zhiyi, serves as an ideal companion volume to The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation. It explains the six practices crucial to success in traditional Indian Buddhist breath (anapana) and calming-and-insight (samatha-vipasyana) meditation. Correctly implemented, these six "gates" lead the practitioner to realize the third of the four truths (cessation), of which the "sublimity" referenced in the title is one of the four canonically-described practice aspects.

Translation by Bhikshu Dharmamitra. Includes facing-page source text.


Bodhisattva Path Texts:

Nagarjuna's Guide to the Bodhisattva Path

By Arya Nagarjuna (ca 2nd c.)

Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara Shastra with Abridged Bhikshu Vasitva Commentary.

This is Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara Shastra ("Treatise on the Provisions for Enlightenment"). It describes the essential prerequisites for the complete enlightenment of a buddha. It is accompanied here by an abridged version of its only commentary, originally written by the early Indian Bhikshu Vasitva.

Translation, abridgement, and notes by Bhikshu Dharmamitra. Includes facing-page source text.

 


The Bodhisambhara Treatise Commentary

By the early Indian monk, Bhikshu Vasitva (ca 300-500 ce)

This is a very detailed commentary on the meaning of each stanza comprising Arya Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Provisions for Enlightenment. It is the only extant traditional commentary on this important work by Nagarjuna.

Translation and clarifying notes by Bhikshu Dharmamitra. Includes facing-page source text.

 

 



Nagarjuna on the Six Perfections

By Arya Nagarjuna

This is a translation of chapters 17-30 of Arya Nagarjuna's Exegesis on the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, a free-standing section exclusively devoted to analyzing and explaining the bodhisattva's six perfections. Nagarjuna sets forth stories, analogies, and analyses as he discourses on the six primary practices forming the core of the Bodhisattva Path.

Translation by Bhikshu Dharmamitra. Includes facing-page source text.



A Strand of Dharma Jewels

By Arya Nagarjuna

This is Tripitaka Master Paramartha's earliest (ca 550 ce) complete edition of Nagarjuna's Ratnavali, a 500-stanza treatise on the Bodhisattva Path presented in the form of a spiritual advisor's letter to an Indian King. In it, Nagarjuna presents both abstruse teachings and practical advice to lay and monastic practitioners.

Translation by Bhikshu Dharmamitra. Includes facing-page source text.

 



Letter from a Friend
The Three Earliest Editions of Nagarjuna's Suhrllekha, Nagarjuna's spiritual counsel to an Indian monarch.

By Arya Nagarjuna

As translated by Tripitaka Master Gunavarman      (ca 425)
As translated by Tripitaka Master Sanghavarman   (
ca 450)
As translated by Tripitaka Master Yijing               (
ca 675)

English translations with notes by Bhikshu Dharmamitra. Includes facing-page source text.

 



Marvelous Stories from the Perfection of Wisdom

As told by Arya Nagarjuna

This volume consists of 130 stories and short Dharma anecdotes selected from Nagarjuna's immense commentary on the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra. Each story is "framed" by the inclusion of Nagarjuna's introductory  and summarizing Dharma discussions.

Translation by Bhikshu Dharmamitra. Includes facing-page source text.

 


Resolve-for-Enlightenment / Bodhicitta Texts:


On Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha
Three Works on Bodhicitta

By Arya Nagarjuna, Patriarch Sheng'an Shixian, and the Tang-Dynasty literatus, Peixiu.

--On Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha. By Arya Nagarjuna. (Ch. 6 of The Ten Grounds Vibhasa)

--Exhortation to Resolve on Buddhahood. By Dhyana Master Sheng'an Shixian. (1686-1734)

--Exhortation to Resolve on Buddhahood. By the Tang Dynasty literatus, Peixiu.  (797-870)

Translations by Bhikshu Dharmamitra. Includes facing-page source text. 



Vasubandhu's Treatise on the Bodhisattva Vow

By Vasubandhu Bodhisattva (ca 300)

This is Vasubandhu's treatise on the The Sutra on Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha wherein Vasubandhu discourses on the causality behind the origination of bodhicitta and on the six perfections through which it reaches fruition.

Translation by Bhikshu Dharmamitra. Includes facing-page source text.