Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Wisdom of Buddha: The Samdhinirmochana Sutra - John Powers
Buddhist scholars everywhere should rejoice. This is the first full translation of the Samdhinirmocana Sutra, an important exposition on the nature of existence attributed to the Buddha. This sutra is one of the primary texts of Yogacara, a branch of Mahayana Buddhism. Powers has wisely reproduced the Tibetan text from which he translates on the facing page to aid scholars. Sutras, like all religious tracts, are difficult to read, especially for those unfamiliar with the theological foundation of this form of Buddhism. Luckily for the scholar, the translator has heavily footnoted the more arcane passages and includes a useful bibliography. After reading the text, one wishes that a more comprehensive introduction of Yogacara was included with the translation, but this is a minor criticism of an important addition to the study of Buddhism. Recommended for theological and academic libraries.