Great Faith, Great Wisdom print + eBook


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

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

In this video, Ratnaghosha explains why he's been inspired by Great Faith, Great Wisdom.

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Paperback: 392 pages


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


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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.

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2 reviews for Great Faith, Great Wisdom print + eBook

  1. Ratnachuda

    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.

  2. convenientlylocated

    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.

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