Publication Date: AUGUST 2009
CONTACT: Rose Carrano (NYC)
Buddhism, the First Millennium
“This book provides a general overview of the first thousand years of one of the world’s largest and most influential religions…and clearly defines the original ideas underlying Buddhism.” —Los Angeles Times
How and why did Buddhism come to be a major world religion? In Buddhism, The First Millennium (Middleway Press/August 2009/$14.95), Daisaku Ikeda, a leading Buddhist thinker and founder of the world’s most diverse and engaged lay Buddhist organization, addresses this question and casts a new light on a period in the history of Buddhism that, because of the lack of reliable data, is shrouded in uncertainty.
Beginnning with the events immediately following the dark days after the death of Shakyamuni, the author covers a vast and complex series of events and developments that occurred over the next 1,000 years -- including the formation of the Buddhist canon, the differences of interpretations and the resulting schisms that arose, the movement to restore the original meaning of Buddhism, and the spread of Buddhism to western cultures – all anchored with references to the rich historical tapestry of the time.
In the final portion of this volume the author discusses the rise of Mahayana Buddhism, the formation and spirit of the Lotus Sutra and expounds upon why the Lotus Sutra is regarded by Buddhist and non-Buddhist scholars as the preeminent and most important teaching of the Mahayana tradition.
By piecing together the fabric of events from the distant past and citing the numerous schools of thought that surround the Lotus Sutra – the last teaching of Shakyamuni and the one that clearly propounds the principle that all beings are capable of attaining the exact state of Buddhahood as Shakyamuni himself – Daisaku Ikeda brings the relevance and spirit of the Buddha beyond the confines of Indian society and into the world and humankind as they are now.
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BUDDHISM, THE FIRST MILLENNIUM
Daisaku Ikeda / Translated by Burton Watson
$14.95 Trade Paperback
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