By Reginald A. Ray
The difficulty of saints is a tricky and complex challenge in Buddhology. during this magisterial paintings, Ray bargains the 1st complete exam of the determine of the Buddhist saint in quite a lot of Indian Buddhist facts. Drawing on an intensive number of assets, Ray seeks to spot the "classical style" of the Buddhist saint, because it offers the presupposition for, and informs, different significant Buddhist saintly varieties and subtypes. Discussing the character, dynamics, and background of Buddhist hagiography, he surveys the ascetic codes, conventions and traditions of Buddhist saints, and the cults either one of dwelling saints and of these who've "passed beyond." Ray lines the position of the saints in Indian Buddhist heritage, analyzing the beginnings of Buddhism and the beginning of Mahayana Buddhism.
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Extra info for Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations
It should be noted that the written evidence of Buddhism is notoriously difficult to date with any precision. Manuscripts can, of course, be dated, but this does not tell us when a given text was written down for the first time nor when it may have been first assembled as a discrete (perhaps oral) entity. More important, it does not tell us when the different sections of the text or the material contained therein originated. The texts and portions o f texts that concern themselves with saints add special difficulties to the dating process because, as we shall see, although Buddhist texts not infrequently contain hagiographical material, this is often presupposed by the text as its assumed background.
41 Particularly important in the shift from charismatic to routinized authority is the development of an administrative structure. ” It im plies a fixed jurisdictional area, namely, the community of monks42 living in the monastery, which is “ ordered by rules, laws or administrative regulations” (We ber 1968c, 66-67). It also implies an official hierarchy based on a “ firmly ordered system of super- and subordination” (67) and a staff, possessing technical train ing, to manage the institution.
This is to acknowledge the essential impor tance of the large questions to our understanding of Buddhism and therefore the ongoing need to reflect upon and debate them, but to carry out that reflection and debate with an appreciation that they likely will remain beyond the reach of our individual or collective minds to resolve in any final sense. Notes 1. This introduction contains a general orientation to this study in the main body of the text and a discussion o f bibliographic and other more technical matters in the notes.
Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations by Reginald A. Ray