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CategorySection: Essays by Erick

Essays by Erick Tsiknopoulos

Review of David J. Kalupahana’s ‘Ethics in Early Buddhism’ (1995)

Well-written, thought-provoking, and often deeply perceptive, the late Sri Lankan scholar David J. Kalupahana’s Ethics in Early Buddhism is a concise introduction to the subject of Buddhist ethics in early Buddhism, based primarily on the Pāli textual sources thought to be historically earliest. It aims to provide a philosophical investigation, focused on history and epistemology, into the underlying principles of Buddhist ethics, as well as its relationship to other forms of Indian and Western ethical thought. Kalupahana’s core ethical analysis is centered on dependent arising (paṭiccasamuppāda) as a guiding reference point.

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Pith Instructions from the ‘Lam-rim Chen-mo’ on the Spirit of Awakening: Excerpts from the Bodhicitta Section of gTsong-kha-pa’s Lam-rim Chen-mo as summarized by sTag-bu Yongs-‘dzin Ye-shes rGya-mtsho in his ‘A Torch for Illumination: The Condensed Vital Points of Pith Instruction on the Stages of the Path for the Three Personal Scopes Via the Outline of the Great Exposition on the Stages of the Path to Awakening’

Pith Instructions from the Lam-rim Chen-mo on the Spirit of Awakening:

Excerpts from the Bodhicitta Section of gTsong-kha-pa’s Lam-rim Chen-mo as summarized by sTag-bu Yongs-‘dzin Ye-shes rGya-mtsho in his ‘A Torch for Illumination: The Condensed Vital Points of Pith Instruction on the Stages of the Path for the Three Personal Scopes Via the Outline of the Great Exposition on the Stages of the Path to Awakening ’ (byang chub lam rim chen mo’i sa bcad kyi thog nas skyes bu gsum gyi lam gyi rim pa’i man ngag gi gnad bsdus gsal ba’i sgron me)

By Erick Tsiknopoulos (2014)

Karmic Purification Via the ‘Four Powers’ in Mahāyāna Buddhist Scripture: A New Translation of the ‘Sūtra of the Teaching on the Four Dharmas’ (with Introductory Essay)

The ‘Four Dharmas’ (Tib: chos bzhi) of the title refer to the Four Powers (Tib. stobs bzhi), that is, the four powers of karmic purification. These same Four Powers later became extremely important for the Mahāyāna tradition in general and the Tantric Mahāyāna (or Vajrayāna) Buddhist tradition in particular, largely due to the popular purification practice of the deity Vajrasattva (Tib. rdo rje sems dpa’), in which the Four Powers play a central role as the main methodology of praxis. The Sūtra thus gives us a unique view into the early scriptural origins of an influential practice of ‘confession’ and ‘karmic purification’ in Mahāyāna and Tantric Mahāyāna Buddhism, one of the most wide-spread of its type.