Great Faith, Great Wisdom: Practice and awakening in the Pure Land sutras of Mahayana Buddhism (Paperback)

Śraddhāpa
Ratnaguna

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)

Ratnaguna presents a commentary on the three Pure Land Sutras – the archetypal ‘land of bliss’ presided over by the Buddha Amitabha.

View the eBook
View the Paperback + eBook

New: Explore this Book

Sponsor this book

 

£13.99

In stock

SKU: 9781909314566 Categories: , , ,

Great Faith, Great Wisdom: Practice and awakening in the Pure Land sutras of Mahayana Buddhism

Ratnaguna and Śraddhāpa

The three Pure Land Sutras are a body of Mayahana scriptures that for centuries have played an important part in the spiritual life of East Asian Buddhists. These texts describe Sukhavati, the archetypal ‘land of bliss’ presided over by Amitabha or Amitayus, the Buddha of Infinite Life and Eternal Life.

These Buddhist texts – both ancient and perennial – put forward a path of faith and grace, as well as effort and practice. Using a practical and imaginative approach, Ratnaguna explores the main themes of the sutras, which are expressed through myth and magical imagery. This book will appeal to both practising Buddhists – whether from the East Asian Pure Land traditions or not – and anyone interested in Buddhism from a practical point of view.

Includes new translations of the three Pure Land sutras by Śraddhāpa.

New: Explore this Book

Sponsor this book

 

 

2 reviews for Great Faith, Great Wisdom: Practice and awakening in the Pure Land sutras of Mahayana Buddhism (Paperback)

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is a ‘Great’ book by Ratnaguna. He displays his in-depth knowledge of the three Sukhavati sutra’s interspersed with quotes from the pali canon and Sangharakshita.
    Thoroughly recommend to anybody interested in Buddhism as Ratnaguna takes us on a journey to the Pure Land of Amitabha. For myself familiar with another translation of the Shorter and Longer Sukhavati sutra’s I found Shraddhapa’s translations into a modern idiom less appealing. However I appreciated having a copy of the Contemplation sutra and I valued his scholarship.
    Ratnachuda

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    This book is a revelation.

    Ratnaguna argues that the development of faith is not an auxiliary practice, but tantamount to wisdom itself. Welcome words to anyone experiencing a crisis in their practice, as they move from a reliance on “self-power” to “other-power.”

    Could reliance on Amitābha be the more sophisticated form of practice?

    He also provides a new perspective for anyone struggling with the language of the sūtras.

    Instead of the literal-minded approach that sees only exaggeration & absurdity, Ratnaguna suggests ways to approach the writings on multiple levels. The result is an enriching & satisfying engagement with the Pure Land texts.

    Ratnaguna’s writing is approachable & engaging. With vast knowledge of his subject, he pre-empts the skepticism of the postmodern reader, & introduces us to a world of beauty that’s been there all the while.

Add a review

Endorsements

Ratnaguna beautifully explores these ancient texts, bringing out their significance for us today. Great Faith, Great Wisdom is a ground breaking work and it will appeal not only to Buddhists, particularly Mahayana Buddhists, but also to artists, poets, archetypal psychologists and historians of art. - Urgyen Sangharakshita, founder of the Triratna Buddhist Community

In locating these sutras as an aid to developing the imaginative faculty, Ratnaguna shows how their rich imagery evokes expansive mind-states which take us beyond the personal story into the greater realms of spiritual truth. - Caroline Brazier, author The Other Buddhism: Amida Comes West

Unshackled by the binding orthodoxy often found in East Asian Buddhism, the European authors of Great Faith, Great Wisdom offer perspectives that are refreshingly insightful and novel. By stressing the value of “imagination” over “understanding”, the book shows why Pure Land Buddhism has been a dominant stream of Mahayana Buddhism for two millennia. Readers will be fascinated by dimensions and sensibilities beyond the usual doctrines and meditations that the West has come to associate with Buddhism. Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka Professor, Musashino University, Tokyo President, International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies, author of The Dawn of Chinese Pure Land Doctrine

Great Faith, Great Wisdom offers a lively translation and thoughtful, readable commentary, inviting a rethinking of the role of imagination in Buddhism. It is a welcome contribution. David L. McMahan, Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, author of Empty Vision: Metaphor and Visionary Imagery in Mahayana Buddhism

Talks and Links

Explore the book and its story.

Read an eloquent review in Pure Land Notes.

Read an in-depth review in the Western Buddhist Review.

Access an interview with Ratnaguna on Great Faith, Great Wisdom, filmed by Clear Vision.

Listen to Opening the Mind's Eye, Ratnaguna's talk from the Cambridge Buddhist Centre on 24 May 2016

Watch Ratnaguna discuss life, Buddhist practice and Great Faith, Great Wisdom at the London Buddhist Centre on 9 May 2016.

Listen to The Pure Land and Imagination by Ratnaguna

Listen to Pure Land Buddhism and the Supra-Personal Force by Ratnaguna

Listen to The Sangha in the Pure Land Sutras by Ratnaguna