Re: [INDOLOGY] New Book: The Ātman-Brahman in Ancient Buddhism

Walser, Joseph Joseph.Walser at
Tue May 12 19:05:24 UTC 2015

Too bad that Bhattacharya felt so apprehensive about his book's reception before he died. I would like to think that Buddhist scholars aren't really as grumpy as they sometimes appear to be.  You mentioned electronic input. Do you know if there will be a kindle version forthcoming?


Joseph Walser

Associate Professor

Department of Religion

Tufts University

From: INDOLOGY [indology-bounces at] on behalf of David and Nancy Reigle [dnreigle at]
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2015 8:25 PM
To: indology at
Subject: [INDOLOGY] New Book: The Ātman-Brahman in Ancient Buddhism

Kamaleswar Bhattacharya’s 1973 French book, L’Ātman-Brahman dans le Bouddhisme ancien, has just been published in English translation as The Ātman-Brahman in Ancient Buddhism. It is available from at: I do not know if the publication of this book was his last wish, because he died unexpectedly on March 16, 2014, but I have regarded it as such, as far as my duty in getting it published is concerned. Here follows some brief information about how this came about.

I first contacted him about an English translation of this book in 2001. At that time he already had a typescript English translation of it, made by someone other than himself, whose name we never learned. From this typescript, faint and nearly illegible in parts, with many handwritten corrections and changes added, my wife Nancy input an electronic copy. A printout of this was mailed to Prof. Bhattacharya for his corrections and revisions. Over the course of several years, due to his many other commitments, revised printouts went back and forth between France and the U.S.A. several times. In the end, he had the book as he wanted it. We were awaiting the four indexes when we learned of his passing.

As for the content of this book, its thesis is, as stated in his Preface: “the Buddha does not deny the Upaniṣadic ātman; on the contrary, he indirectly affirms it, in denying that which is falsely believed to be the ātman.”

He continues: “The one request I would make of such eminent scholars as have devoted their lives to the study of Buddhism is that they adopt a genuinely Buddhist attitude and read this book before saying, ‘That is impossible.’”

David Reigle
Cotopaxi, Colorado, U.S.A.

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