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

David and Nancy Reigle dnreigle at
Wed May 13 01:17:01 UTC 2015

Dear Joseph,

Sorry I did not specify that the statement I quoted from Prof.
Bhattacharya's Preface is translated from his 1973 French Preface. He did
not write a new preface for the English edition. Yes, I think Buddhist
scholars, for the most part, took his French book fairly well. At least,
that is what I deduce from the four reviews of it that I read. On the other
hand, from a statement that he made in an article published two years
later, he apparently did get a fair amount of negative reflex-type
responses to it. He wrote in 1975 (p. 3):

"It is sometimes said that although the texts that have been used prove
that the Buddha did not deny the Upaniṣadic *ātman*, or even that he
accepted it, there are others, thousands of others, which prove just the
opposite. Well, since the names of those texts have not been revealed so
far, I will stick to my position until it is *proved* wrong."

He continued to write on this topic throughout his life, in at least ten
articles from 1975 to 2006. I have gathered these articles and posted scans
of them, along with the brief biography and full bibliography published in
1999 in “Guruvandana: Essays in Indology in Honour of K. Bhattacharya,”

I have also scanned and posted the original 1973 French book here:

Thanks for asking about a Kindle version. This will spur me on to get one
set up. Hopefully this will not take very long.

Best regards,

David Reigle

Cotopaxi, Colorado, U.S.A.

On Tue, May 12, 2015 at 1:05 PM, Walser, Joseph <Joseph.Walser at>

>  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?
> Best,
> -j
>  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.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list