Advertisement

Dao

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 39–51 | Cite as

Knowledge and Devotion in the Bhagavad-Gītā: A Suggestive Parallel from Chinese Buddhism

  • Michael S. AllenEmail author
Article
  • 265 Downloads

Abstract

How is devotion (bhakti) related to knowledge (jñāna)? Does one lead to the other? Do they correspond to different paths for different people? Commentators on the Bhagavad-Gītā have debated these questions for centuries. In this essay I will suggest, as many Indian commentators have, that the paths of devotion and knowledge described in the Gītā can be harmonized. I will not draw from Indian texts, however, but from a suggestive parallel in the history of Chinese religions: namely, the development of a tradition of “dual cultivation” of Pure Land and Chan 禪. I will focus in particular on the works of Yunqi Zhuhong 雲棲祩宏 (1535–1615) and his use of the distinction between principle (li 理) and phenomenon (shi 事) to reconcile seemingly divergent religious paths. I will conclude by considering the implications of this synthesis for nondualist interpretations of the Gītā.

Keywords

Advaita Vedānta Pure Land Chan Zhuhong 祩宏 Nondualism 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ādidevānanda, Svāmī, trans. 1991. Śrī Rāmānuja Gītā Bhāṣya. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math.Google Scholar
  2. Brook, Timothy. 2005. “Institution.” In Critical Terms for the Study of Buddhism, edited by Donald S. Lopez, Jr. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Chan, Wing-tsit, trans. 1963. A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Chappell, David W. 1996. “The Formation of the Pure Land Movement in China: Tao-ch’o and Shan-tao.” In The Pure Land Tradition: History and Development, edited by James Foard, Michael Solomon, and Richard K. Payne. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Buddhist Studies Series.Google Scholar
  5. Cleary, J. C., trans. 1992. Meditating with Koans. Berkeley, CA: Asian Humanities Press.Google Scholar
  6. _____, trans. 1994. Pure Land, Pure Mind: The Buddhism of Masters Chu-hung and Tsung-pen. New York: Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada.Google Scholar
  7. Cook, Francis H. 1977. Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dimock, Edward C., Jr., and Tony K. Stewart, trans. 1999. Caitanya Caritāmṛta of Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja. Cambridge, MA: Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  9. Edgerton, Franklin. 1924. “The Meaning of Sānkhya and Yoga.” American Journal of Philology 45.1: 1–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fujita, Kōtatsu. 1996. “Pure Land Buddhism in India,” trans. by Taitetsu Unno. In The Pure Land Tradition: History and Development, edited by James Foard, Michael Solomon, and Richard K. Payne. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Buddhist Studies Series.Google Scholar
  11. Gambhīrānanda, Swāmī, trans. 1995. Bhagavadgītā, with the Commentary of Śaṅkarācārya. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama.Google Scholar
  12. _____, trans. 1998. Bhagavad-gītā, with the Annotation Gūḍhārtha-Dīpikā by Madhusūdana Sarasvati. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama.Google Scholar
  13. Godman, David, ed. 1985. Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. New York: Arkana.Google Scholar
  14. Gupta, Sanjukta. 2006. Advaita Vedānta and Vaiṣṇavism: The Philosophy of Madhusūdana Sarasvatī. London & New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Hurvitz, Leon. 1970. “Chu-hung’s One Mind of Pure Land and Ch’an Buddhism.” In Self and Society in Ming Thought, edited by Wm. Theodore de Bary. New York & London: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Inagaki, Hisao, and Harold Stewart, trans. 1995. The Three Pure Land Sutras. Berkeley, CA: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research.Google Scholar
  17. Ingram, Paul O. 1973. “The Zen Critique of Pure Land Buddhism.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 41.2: 184–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lusthaus, Dan. 1998. “Buddhist Philosophy, Chinese.” In Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by E. Craig, vol. 2. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Madhavananda, Swami, trans. 2005. Uddhava Gita, or The Last Message of Sri Krishna: Text with English Translation and Notes. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama.Google Scholar
  20. Marcaurelle, Roger. 2000. Freedom through Inner Renunciation: Śaṅkara’s Philosophy in a New Light. Albany: SUNY.Google Scholar
  21. Minor, Robert N., ed. 1986. Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavadgita. Albany: SUNY.Google Scholar
  22. Miura, Isshū, and Ruth Fuller Sasaki. 1966. Zen Dust: The History of the Koan and Koan Study in Rinzai (Lin-chi) Zen. Kyoto: First Zen Institute of America in Japan.Google Scholar
  23. Nelson, Lance. 1988. “Madhusudana Sarasvati on the ‘Hidden Meaning’ of the Bhagavadgītā: Bhakti for the Advaitin Renunciate.” Journal of South Asian Literature 23.2: 73–89.Google Scholar
  24. Nikhilananda, Swami, ed. 1953. Vivekananda: The Yogas and Other Works. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center.Google Scholar
  25. _____, trans. 1992. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center.Google Scholar
  26. Pradhān, V. G., trans. 1987. Jnāneshvari [Bhāvārthadipikā], edited by H. M. Lambert. Albany: SUNY.Google Scholar
  27. Sargeant, Winthrop, trans. 1994. The Bhagavad Gītā, edited by Christopher Chapple. Albany: SUNY.Google Scholar
  28. Sharf, Robert H. 2002. “On Pure Land Buddhism and Ch’an/Pure Land Syncretism in Medieval China.” T’oung Pao (second series) 88.4/5: 282–331.Google Scholar
  29. Sharma, Arvind. 1986. The Hindu Gītā: Ancient and Classical Interpretations of the Bhagavadgītā. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  30. Sprung, Mervyn, ed. 1973. The Problem of Two Truths in Buddhism and Vedānta. Dordrecht & Boston: D. Reidel.Google Scholar
  31. Suzuki, D. T. 1933. Essays in Zen Buddhism (Second Series). London: Luzac and Company.Google Scholar
  32. Welch, Holmes. 1967. The Practice of Chinese Buddhism, 19001950. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Yü, Chün-fang. 1981. The Renewal of Buddhism in China: Chu-hung and the Late Ming Synthesis. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard College Writing ProgramCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations