With a foreword by Sanghasen Singh; xxx, 231p., Abb., Bib., Index, 23 cm. (Emerging Perceptions in Buddhist Studies No. 20)
CONTENTS:- 1. Theravada Conception of Gods and God; 2. The Buddha in the Theravada Literature; 3. Saddha and Bhatti in Theravada Buddhism; Part A - Saddha; Part B - Bhatti.
This is an analytical study of faith (saddha), devotion (bhatti) and worship (puja) in the Theravada school of Buddhism. It elucidates these concepts and deals with their objects, viz., gods in general, and Buddha in particular, as described in the Pali canonical, post-canonical and commentarial literature. The first chapter of this book examines the conception of the "the Deities" and "the supernatural"; the attribution, knowledge, powers and functions of Buddhist deities; their role as objects of meditation; how Theravada Buddhism is non-theistic and how its basic concepts are incompatible to the conception of Creator God. The second chapter discusses the special attributes, knowledge, powers and functions of the Buddha in the Theravada functions of the Buddha in the Theravada literature which establishes His supra-mundane character and spiritual eminence over gods, arhants and pratyekabuddhas. It throws light on the origins of Buddha's deification, his docetic conception and other Buddhological speculations which led him to become an object of highest reverence, adoration and devotion for the Buddha in Theravada literature; how and why he has been regarded as the object of absolute confidence (saddha), recollection and contemplation (Buddha-nussati), devotion (bhatti) and worship (puja) and thereby viewed as Bhagavan and compassionate Saviour. The book provides an authentic and comprehensive account of faith (saddha) and devotion (bhatti) in Pali canonical and post-canonical literature of Theravada Buddhist School. This work is an invaluable aid to students, teachers and researchers of Pali literature and Buddhist philosophy.