Vajrasamadhi-Sutra: Wonhyo’s Exposition

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Wonhyo (617-686 A.D.) was the dominant figure in the history of Korean Buddhism and one of the most influential thinkers in the Korean philosophical tradition. He was also a prolific writer, whose works cover the gamut of Indian and Sinitic Buddhist materials.

Wonhyo’s Exposition of the Vajrasamadhi-Sutra is one the finest examples of a scriptural commentary ever written in the East Asian Buddhist tradition. The Exposition is the longest of Wonhyo’s extant works and is widely regarded as his masterpiece. His commentary is especially important for understanding the crucial role that the notion of the inherence of enlightenment played in the development of East Asian Buddhist thought and the ways in which this notion influenced Buddhist meditative practice.

This book is one of the first attempts to translate the complete text of an indigenous East Asian Buddhist sutra commentary into English. The translator has deliberately chosen to err on the side of literalness in order to convey the substance and flavor of the text. In order to help guide the reader through the labyrinth of interlocking sections that make up Wonhyo’s Exposition, he has superimposed an outline schema over his translation of Wonhyo’s text.

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About the Author(s)

Robert E. Buswell Jr. is prof. and former chair of the department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and founding director of UCLA’s Center for Buddhist Studies and Center for Korean Studies. He is the author or editor of several books on Buddhism and Korean religions.

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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 10 × 11 × 12 cm
Book Author

Robert E. Buswell Jr.

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