Category Archives: Asia

JETSUN MILAREPA
(c. 1052-c. 1135)

from Songs of Milarepa

  Milarepa was a major figure in Tibetan Buddhism and one of Tibet’s most famous yogis and poets. His writings, often referred to as the Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, are canonical Mahayana Buddhist texts. Milarepa was born Mila Thöpaga … Continue reading

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(c. 1052-c. 1135)

from Songs of Milarepa

Filed under Asia, Buddhism, Middle Ages, Milarepa, Jetsun, Selections

BANA
(c. 595-c. 655)

from Harsha-Carita, The Death of the    Great King: On Sati
from Kadambari

  Bana, also known as Banabhatta, a Sanskrit author and poet, was born in the latter part of the 6th century in Brahmanadhivasa, or Pritikuta, northern India, into a Brahmin family. Bana’s mother died when he was a child, and … Continue reading

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(c. 595-c. 655)

from Harsha-Carita, The Death of the    Great King: On Sati
from Kadambari

Filed under Asia, Bana, Hinduism, Middle Ages, Selections

BHAGAVAD-GITA
(3rd century)

from The Way to Eternal Brahman

  The Bhagavad-Gita, perhaps the best-loved of the Hindu religious texts, was probably composed in the 3rd century A.D. and later inserted into the great work of the Hindu epic period, the Mahabharata. The Mahabharata, a poem of some 100,000 … Continue reading

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LOTUS SUTRA
(c. 50 A.D.-c. 200 A.D.)

from Former Affairs of the Bodhisattva Medicine King

  The Lotus Sutra, or Saddharma Pundarika Sutra, is one of the earliest Mahayana Buddhist texts and is considered to be the principal Mahayana sutra. Developing somewhat after Hinayana, the more ancient form of Buddhism that later evolved into modern … Continue reading

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(c. 50 A.D.-c. 200 A.D.)

from Former Affairs of the Bodhisattva Medicine King

Filed under Ancient History, Asia, Buddhism, Lotus Sutra, Selections

THE QUESTIONS OF KING MILINDA
(c. 100 B.C.)

On Suicide

  The Milindapañha, or The Questions of King Milinda, sometimes assigned to one of the “three baskets” of the Pali canon of early Buddhist texts by the Burmese edition, is usually understood as a paracanonical text of Theravada Buddhism, the … Continue reading

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Filed under Afterlife, Ancient History, Asia, Buddhism, Milinda, King, Selections

SIMA QIAN
(c. 145/135-86 B.C.)

Records of the Grand Historian
   The Basic Annals of Xiang Yu
   The Assassin and his Sister
Letter in Reply to Ren Shaoqing

  Sima Qian (Ssu-ma Ch’ien), whose father had been Grand Historian of China and who in 107 B.C. himself assumed that role, spent most of his life at the court of the Emperor Wu, the strong-willed emperor who brought the golden … Continue reading

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QU YUAN
(c. 340-278 B.C.)

Embracing Sand

  Qu Yuan (Ch’ü Yüan, also known as Ch’ü P’ing), is traditionally recognized as the chief author of the poetry from the Chu Ci anthology (The Songs of the South). This anthology is a collection of Chu poetry edited by … Continue reading

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MENCIUS
(c. 372-c. 289 B.C.)

from The Mencius

  Meng Ke, the Chinese Confucian philosopher whose honorific name Mengzi (Meng-tzu) is Latinized as “Mencius,” was, like Confucius [q.v.], born in what is now Shandong province. Also like Confucius, Mencius’ profession was primarily teaching; he is said to have … Continue reading

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CONFUCIUS
(551-479 B.C.)

from The Analects
from The Book of Filial Piety

  Confucius (Kongzi), often regarded as the greatest of the Chinese sages and as the most profound influence on Chinese civilization in general, was born in 551 B.C. in the state of Lu, in modern Shandong, where his descendants still … Continue reading

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THE JAIN TRADITION
(599-527 B.C. to 5th century A.D.)

Acaranga Sutra: The Seventh Lecture,    called Liberation
Upasaka-Dashah: Ten Chapters on Lay    Attenders: The Story of Ananda
Tattvartha Sutra: Passionless End is    Not Suicide

  Although the origins of the Jain tradition are unknown, some have speculated that, like Buddhism, it developed within Hinduism. Mahavira, the figure recognized by the Jain tradition as the last of a chain of twenty-four omniscient teachers or Jinas, … Continue reading

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