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The Surangama Sutra:Leng Yen Ching Hardcover – 31 Dec 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers; New edition edition (31 Dec 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8121510023
  • ISBN-13: 978-8121510028
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ShiDaDao Ph.D on 10 Nov 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Surangama Sutra (Hero Method Teaching), is presented here by Charles Luk (Upasaka Lu Kuan Yu), translated from the Chinese text known as 'Leng Yen Ching'. It is believed within the Mahayana Buddhist tradition that in the Dharma ending age, which many believe is now, the Surangama Sutra will be the first of the Buddhist Sutras to disappear. This makes this translation all the more poignant for Buddhist practitioners. Ths version contains much, but not all of Ch'an master Han Shan's (1546-1623) enlightened commentary, which appears as ample footnotes to the main text itself. Luk's translation carries the following dedication:

'Respectfully dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Aitkins who are fervent Canadian Buddhists and whose very valuable and generous support has made possible my presentation of the important sermon which, according to the Buddha, will be the first sutra to disappear in this Dharma ending age.'

Luk has used the Chinese text that was translated from the Sanskrit by master Paramiti in 705AD. Master Paramiti lived in central north India, at Chih Chih monastery. In this sutra, The Lord Buddha asks Manjusri to choose the meditative method best suited for human beings. He chooses the method favoured by Avalokitesvara, which detaches the organ of hearing from its object, and then turns that organ in toward the stream of concentration. Pursued to its ultimate degree, the duality of 'movement' and 'stillness' is transcended. The sutra has 8 sections:

Part I. The Noumenon in the Tathagata Store.
Part II. The Phenomenon in the Tathagata Store.
Part III. The Tathagata Store Containing Both Noumenon and Phenomenon.
Part IV. Self-Enlightenment.
Part V. The Enlightenment of Others.
Part VI.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A valuable guide for Buddhist meditation 23 Nov 2004
By Hakuyu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This text is a meaningful guide to Mahayana meditation practice. The Famous Ming Ch'an (Zen)master, Han-shan, used the Surangama Sutra to check his own progress with meditation - and wrote an extensive commentary on its practical meaning. What makes this particular translation valuable, is that incor-porates key-elements from Master Han-shan's commentary.

The Surangama Sutra is very complementary to the Lankavatara Sutra, explaining much left unexplained, in the former - concerning the role of the 'Alaya-vijnana' (store conscious-ness). In the Surangama Sutra, the Buddha asks twenty five bodhisattvas to outline their favoured methods of meditation, which all converge - insofar as they entail transforming sense-data into wisdom, breaking up the influence of the alaya

or 'store consciousness' - to reveal the true mind.

This all quite practical. It is impossible to concentrate on - and sublimate,all six sense-organs and sense data, at once. Skilfully, then, this sutra teaches that - if one source of sense/data is sublimated - the other five will also be subli-mated, for they share one and the same root. Each Bodhisattva thus details a method of meditation, focusing on sight, touch, taste etc. The method most praised by the Buddha - and reco- mmended for the present Dharma-age,is that of sublimating the sense of 'hearing' - as advocated by Avalokitesvara. The sense of 'hearing' is the most pervasive, and therefore, likely to maximize the opportunity for insight. Viewed negatively, of course - the impact of 'sound,' unwelcome 'noise,' is what many meditators wish to avoid, most of all. It is fascinating then, to find that it is this very 'devil' - which has been singled out - as especially helpful. It blows large holes in the misguided notion that Buddhist meditation is about AVOIDING sense data. It is not - it is about SUBLIMATING sense data. In fact, eminent masters like Han-shan purposely chose to prac-tice by roaring cataracts - to develop their meditation. The optimistic note here, then, is that very the 'things' which SEEM to be obstacles to Buddhist meditation, may well prove to be the biggest boon, if we direct our meditation aright. This is brilliant stuff and pre-eminently useful. It helps explain those Ch'an (Zen) stories, recounting experiences of awakening, upon the impact of a random noise, shout etc. But this has its own dynamic. Without the direct 'inner-cause' - the inner potentiality aroused by Ch'an or parallel methods, no amount of external 'causes' could trigger enlightenment).
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
enlightenment found with a dead donkey 20 July 2006
By TOM CORBETT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this work and it challenged me to think about deconstructing the five sense data, starting by unravelling one, you can unravel all five. i began with taste, realizing that my sense of taste was changable and therefore empty ultimately. a subjective experience that being subject to change is ultimately empty. the buddha gave a sermon on the the five sense data as being like five knots in a handkerchef, if you are able to unravel the five knots, you still have the handkerchief, and yet once able to unravel the five knots, ultimately you are able to unravel the handkerchief itself... resulting in having emptiness.

interestingly the gatha (poem by Buddha)which precedes the sermon on the handkerchief makes reference to the handkerchief sermon. i tend to view this gatha as a written poem that was directly written by the buddha himself, and find it very inspiring, unlike much of the material in the surangama sutra. infact the buddha would seem to have expressed himself much like a person well educated in chan or zen, showing the continuity of the zen transmission from that of the original buddha. the 'philosophical' (and thats probably not the right word to use!) side of his enlightenment would seem to have been preserved, which is remarkable!

i actually believe that this gatha is the gem that surangama sutra was written around and used as a form of setting for. of course i may be wrong and this will shock some to make such a statement, especially those who see the whole thing as the inspired words of the Buddha. at risk of sounding heterodox i would even go so far as to say that a jewel has been found in a rubbish tip! but... its often the case that that is just so. the rubbish tip in itself is also precious and has much to say to us about the nature of waste, arising and ceasing (especially mahayana buddhist orthodoxy at the time it was written).

some would say that we must kill the buddha and burn his sutras, this is not meant to sound arrogant, though to many it does sound so. this is merely a tool used in the liberating of ones mind. conversely one could say i have great respect for the sutras and bow before them. neither of these views is the 'true' view. what is true on mondays will not be true on tuesdays, so on and so forth. i would say that in order to find enlightenment the ability to challenge accepted truths and norms is important. nearly everything we preserve of the Buddhas teaching shows us that he challenged norms and was capable of making the impossible or ridiculous thoroughly acceptable, such is the complexly simple nature of reality.

my own position states simply that what you look for is what you find, seeking emptiness you will find it, paradoxically if you seek to prove fullness or total reality as the basis of all un/reality you can also do that. such a position takes faith to begin with, but faith begins to merge with reason as one explores further. it can thus be argued that if all emptiness is full of reason and everything is meaningful, all views true, what is the point of attaching to/having views and of taking sides, since fullness is empty. to me i see this kind of logic in the gatha expressed by the buddha in the surangama sutra. it leads to intelectual freedom.

this Buddha really was a clever guy, but i think it is sometimes hard to search out what he really said among the shrubs of modern tradition. in the Gatha (around which this book is written) the buddha says 'is' and 'isnt' both fall short of the mark. if we settle in the view that everything just is what it is, we limit ourselves- this is since 'is' and 'isnt' are dualistic opposites, and the base of any triangle always has an apex which is superior to the opposites at its base. this is the analogy Sakyamuni used of the point where the reed bundles meet... ie a triangle. some will be dazzled by the teaching of 'isness' or suchness as it is sometimes known. do not attach to this unjudgemental mind, beautiful though it is. follow your heart.

speaking too plainly... i think not, since even speaking plainly this is very hard to accept, and i find even in the most enlightened masters an entrenchly Buddhist air, this in my view needs to be broken free of in order to find greater liberation. ie leave the boat altogether and walk the last few feet on water, by your own strength and power. but much gratitude and respect does go towards the Buddha. and this surangama sutra is well worth a read, in order to ascertain what is enlightened and what in buddhism may be delusional. in truth, it is the gatha within that is really worth reading.

love, flakey, thurs June 16th 2008.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Good Abridged Version...... 28 April 2014
By Emon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Surangama Sutra is one of the most important works of Buddhist thought, so any translation is welcome. It is abridged; a more complete translation is to be had by the Buddhist Text Translation Society & titled "The Surangama Sutra - A New Translation with Excerpts.....". In the abridged version, though, Han Shan's commentary is extremely useful.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Profound Sutra 16 Jan 2014
By A Layman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Profound Sutra!. Please give it time and approach it meditatively as it can either appear confusing or we miss it's subtle meaning. The method of Meditation advocated in the text is most suited to Human Beings and is the a practical guide to any practitioner of Zen/Chan Meditation. Ananda had not cultivated his Samadhi enough, rather, relying on his great memory and the compassion of the Buddha to do the footwork for him, hence his temporary fall and confused thoughts and the reason for the occassion of this sermon. As described it is an important text in Buddhism and reveals the highest truth and urge any student to study this. Give it time, meditate and progress with patience and with other texts such as the Diamond Sutra, Hui-Neng's Altar Sutra, Vimalakirti Sutra.

May all beings cross to the other shore..................A Layman
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