In this Book

Luminous Bliss
summary
With an annotated English translation and critical analysis of the Orgyan-gling gold manuscript of the short Sukhāvativyūha-sūtra

Pure Land Buddhism as a whole has received comparatively little attention in Western studies on Buddhism despite the importance of “buddha-fields” (pure lands) for the growth and expression of Mahāyāna Buddhism. In this first religious history of Tibetan Pure Land literature, Georgios Halkias delves into a rich collection of literary, historical, and archaeological sources to highlight important aspects of this neglected pan-Asian Buddhist tradition. He clarifies many of the misconceptions concerning the interpretation of “other-world” soteriology in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and provides translations of original Tibetan sources from the ninth century to the present that represent exoteric and esoteric doctrines that continue to be cherished by Tibetan Buddhists for their joyful descriptions of the Buddhist path. The book is informed by interviews with Tibetan scholars and Buddhist practitioners and by Halkias’ own participant-observation in Tibetan Pure Land rituals and teachings conducted in Europe and the Indian subcontinent.

Divided into three sections, Luminous Bliss shows that Tibetan Pure Land literature exemplifies a synthesis of Mahāyāna sutra-based conceptions with a Vajrayana world-view that fits progressive and sudden approaches to the realization of Pure Land teachings. Part I covers the origins and development of Pure Land in India and the historical circumstances of its adaptation in Tibet and Central Asia. Part II offers an English translation of the short Sukhāvatīvyūha-sūtra (imported from India during the Tibetan Empire) and contains a survey of original Tibetan Pure Land scriptures and meditative techniques from the dGe-lugs-pa, bKa’-brgyud, rNying-ma, and Sa-skya schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Part III introduces some of the most innovative and popular mortuary cycles and practices related to the Tantric cult of Buddha Amitābha and his Pure Land from the Treasure traditions in the bKa’-brgyud and rNying-ma schools.

Luminous Bliss locates Pure Land Buddhism at the core of Tibet’s religious heritage and demonstrates how this tradition constitutes an integral part of both Tibetan and East Asian Buddhism.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-7
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-ix
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Preface by Series Editor
  2. pp. xi-13
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xvi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Buddhisms and Other Conventions
  2. pp. xvii-xviii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xix-xxi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Preface
  2. pp. xxiii-25
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xxv-xxx
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Part 1. Early Pure Land Traditions in India, Tibet, and Central Asia
  2. pp. 1-33
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 1: Indian Mahayana Origins and Departures
  2. pp. 3-34
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 2: Pure Lands and the Tibetan Empire
  2. pp. 35-83
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Part 2. Pure Land Texts in Tibetan Contexts
  2. pp. 85-117
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 3: The Dharma That Goes against the Ways of the World: The Short Sukhāvatīvyūha-sūtra with an English Translation from Tibetan
  2. pp. 87-100
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 4: Tibetan Pure Land Commentaries
  2. pp. 101-136
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Part 3. Pure Lands and Pure Visions
  2. pp. 137-169
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 5: Tantric Transfer in Sukhāvatī
  2. pp. 139-163
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 6: The Celestial Treasures of Buddha Amitābha
  2. pp. 165-185
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Epilogue: From Sukhāvatī to Tibet and Back
  2. pp. 187-192
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix 1: A Critical Analysis of the Orgyan-gling Gold bDe-mdo
  2. pp. 193-207
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix 2: The Means of Attaining the Sukhāvatī Kṣetra: Editions and Liturgical Texts
  2. pp. 209-212
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix 3: An Anthology of Pure Land Texts from the Treasure Tradition
  2. pp. 213-214
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 215-292
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. References
  2. pp. 293-322
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 323-335
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.