[INDOLOGY] New Book: A Less Traveled Path: Saddharmasmṛtyupasthānasūtra Chapter 2, with A Study on Its Structure and Significance for the Development of Buddhist Meditation

Birgit Kellner birgit.kellner at oeaw.ac.at
Wed Dec 23 07:47:30 UTC 2015

Dear colleagues,

Daniel Stuart's critical edition plus translation of the
Saddharmasmṛtyupasthānasūtra was just published by the Austrian Academy
of Sciences Press, as volume 18 in the series Sanskrit Texts from the
Tibetan Autonomous Region.

Details can be found at the publisher's website, where the book can also
be ordered:



/A Less Traveled Path/ brings to light unique textual evidence of an
important transitional moment in Indian Buddhism. In this book, Daniel
Stuart introduces the recently discovered Sanskrit manuscript of a
third- or fourth-century Buddhist Sanskrit text, the
/Saddharmasmṛtyupasthānasūtra, /which sheds light on the so-called
“Middle Period” of Indian Buddhism.

The book argues that meditative practice, rhetoric, and philosophy were
intimately tied to one another when the /Saddharmasmṛtyupasthānasūtra
/was redacted, and that it serves as an important historical touchstone
for understanding the development of a Buddhist mind-centered
metaphysics. The text offers perhaps the clearest available evidence for
the process through which philosophical developments grew organically
out of specific meditation practices rooted in the early canonical
Buddhist tradition. It also evidences an emergent historical ideology of
cosmic power, one that ties ethical conduct, contemplative knowledge,
and literary practice to a spiritual goal of selfless cosmographical
sovereignty. This development is historically significant because it
marks a major shift in Indian Buddhist religious practice, which
conditioned the emergence of fully developed Mahāyāna path schemes and
power-oriented tantric ritual traditions in the centuries that followed
the text’s compilation.

The study includes a critical edition and translation of the text’s
second chapter based on the recently discovered manuscript, the first
installment of a series of critical editions of the chapters of the

With best wishes,

Birgit Kellner

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