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Echoes From An Empty Sky: The Origin Of The Buddhist Doctrine Of The Two Truths Paperback – March 17, 2005

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"In Echoes from an Empty Sky, John Buescher offers a clear and accessible translation of an early nineteenth-century Tibetan overview of one of the most famous doctrines in Buddhist philosophy: the two truths. In a substantial introduction, he traces the history of the relation between language and truth in ancient India, focusing especially on the question of the conventional and ultimate nature of the Buddha's words."—Donald S. Lopez Jr., Carl W. Belser Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, University of Michigan

"A terrific book crucial for understanding and penetrating the false veils of appearance."—Jeffrey Hopkins, Professor, University of Virginia

From the Publisher

The doctrine of the two truths--conventional and ultimate--evolved as early Buddhists struggled to reconcile apparent contradictions within the collected sayings of the Buddha. Over time, the teachings on the two truths have taken their place at the heart of the Buddhist view of reality. Buddhist philosophers have made them central to the elaboration of an abhidharma, a "higher teaching" that explains how the mind apprehends and misapprehends the world. It is through the two truths that we understand how mind attaches itself to objects having no intrinsic existence, thereby creating suffering. Understood as a teaching on reality as opposed to merely a linguistic distinction, the doctrine played a key role for the followers of Mahayana in articulating the essential differences between their own view and what they called the Hinayana view-especially in defining the central ideas of selflessness and emptiness. Echoes from an Empty Sky, for the first time, eschews an exclusively Mahayana standpoint for the exploration of the two truths in order to examine the doctrine in the context of the Hinayana.

John B. Buescher received his Ph.D in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. He currently heads the Voice of America's Tibetan Broadcast Service to Tibet and South Asia. He is the author of numerous books and articles.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Snow Lion (March 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559392207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559392204
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,565,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Written by the head of the Voice of America's Tibetan Broadcast Service to Tibet and South Asia, Echoes From An Empty Sky: The Origins Of The Buddhist Doctrine Of The Two Truths is a technical and spiritual evaluation of the fundamental Buddhist doctrine of two truths - conventional truth and ultimate truth - portrayed not as strict constructs of language, but rather as realities which language strives to accurately portray. The first truth referred to the true statements that the Buddha made; the second referred to the sorts of objects in the world. Sections discuss "Ancient Indian Speculation on Language and Reality", "Early Buddhist Views on Language, Truth, and Interpretation", "The Buddha's Word", and the two truths themselves especially in context of the Vaibhasika School and the Sravaka Schools. A scholarly study of Buddhist scripture, tenets, philosophy, and contextual reference, Echoes From An Empty Sky is especially recommended for intermediate to advanced Buddhist Studies reference shelves and supplemental reading lists.
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Echoes From An Empty Sky: The Origin Of The Buddhist Doctrine Of The Two Truths
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