The Profound Reality of Interdependence: An Overview of the Wisdom Chapter of the Way of the Bodhisattva

ISBN : 9780190911911

Kunzang Soenam
328 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
May 2019
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The Way of the Bodhisattva, composed by the monk and scholar Santideva in eighth-century India, is a Buddhist treatise in verse that beautifully and succinctly lays out the theory and practice of the Mahayana path of a bodhisattva. Over one thousand years after Santideva's composition, Kunzang Soenam (1823-1905) produced the most extensive commentary on the Way of the Bodhisattva ever written. This book is the first English translation of Kunzang Soenam's overview of Santideva's notoriously difficult ninth chapter on wisdom. The ninth chapter of the Way of the Bodhisattva is philosophically very rich but forbiddingly technical, and can only be read well with a good commentary. Kunzang Soenam's commentary offers a unique and complete introduction to the view of Prasangika-Madhyamaka, the summit of Buddhist philosophy in Tibet, as articulated by Tsongkhapa. It brings Santideva's text, and Tsongkhapa's interpretation of Prasangika-Madhyamaka, into conversation with a vast Buddhist literature from India and Tibet. By articulating the integral relationship between emptiness and interdependence, this text formulates a sustained and powerful argument for emptiness as a metaphysical basis of bodhisattva ethics. This volume makes the ninth chapter accessible to English-speaking teachers and students of the Way of the Bodhisattva.


Part I: Translator's Introduction
The Way of the Bodhisattva
Life of Kunzang Sonam
Wisdom: The Ninth Chapter
Part II: The Translation

About the author: 

Douglas Duckworth is Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Temple University. He is the author of Mipam on Buddha-Nature: The Ground of the Nyingma Tradition (2008) and Jamgon Mipam: His Life and Teachings (2011). He also introduced and translated Distinguishing the Views and Philosophies: Illuminating Emptiness in a Twentieth-Century Tibetan Buddhist Classic by Botrul (2011). He is the author of Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy of Mind and Nature (OUP 2019).

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