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Knowledge and Liberation: Tibetan Buddhist Epistemology in Support of Transofrmative Religious Experience

by Anne C. Klein

Buy the book: Anne C. Klein. Knowledge and Liberation: Tibetan Buddhist Epistemology in Support of Transofrmative Religious Experience

Release Date: September, 1998

Edition: Paperback


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Buy the book: Anne C. Klein. Knowledge and Liberation: Tibetan Buddhist Epistemology in Support of Transofrmative Religious Experience

A Buddhist Epistemological Model of the Mind

Professor Anne C. Klein's "Knowledge and Liberation" is an invaluable aid and resource for anyone interested in beginning to study the complex and fascinating philosophical tenet system of the Tibet tradition. I would recommend consulting a more general introduction before reading Prof. Klein's work, such as the first portion of Geshe Rabten's "Mind and Mental Factors" which gives the reader a basic understanding of the Sautrantika epistemological model of the mind, however the brave may choose not to do so. This book focuses primarily on the Gelukba's unique view of the Sautrantika's Following Reasoning (S.F.R.) and that "school's" assertions regarding the true nature of reality, classification of phenomenon, the way in which our mind interacts and perceives said phenomenon (direct perception, valid inference, etc), the S.F.R.'s version of the "Two Truths" as well as many other fascinating topics such as exclusions (apoha). Prof. Klein also reveals the rich history of debate and interpretation that has followed since their inception in ancient India. Scattered throughout the work one will find alternate readings of these ideas and their logical consequences as presented by Daktsan (a Sakya scholar), the great Je Tsonkhapa, as well as Jamyang Shayba and Janggya who are later Gelukba scholars. As stated earlier, the main focus of the book is the S.F.R.'s view points, however, it is through studying these that one gains a deeper insight into the more subtle philosophies of the higher systems, both Cittamatra and Madhyamika. As Prof. Klein points out, the study of the philosophies of the lower "schools" of Vaibasika and Sautrantika, along with much debate in the court yard, has traditionally been used pedagogically in the Tibetan monasteries to push the student to explore more deeply how they perceive and interact with the world around them, how "self", "other" and the "world" are interpreted as well as what, ultimately, is their true ontological status, and the same is recommended for the modern westerner. My reading of this book has helped greatly in understanding the arguments put forth in Cittamatra, as well as the profound Prasangika-Madhyamika teachings. Another aspect of this book is how these studies of the way that we name, label, and interact with mental and external phenomenon, which may seem like nothing other than conceptual games to some, can actually lead to liberation and freedom from suffering, but there isn't the space to go into that here. Although there are times when Prof. Klein introduces a phrase or technical term and waits until the next chapter to define it, overall I highly recommend this book as being an accessible and well written study of an otherwise complex aspect of Tibetan Buddhism that has not yet been widely disseminated, and also as a stepping stone that the serious student can use on their journey to the realization of the most profound of Lord Buddha's teaching, the emptiness and relativity of all phenomenon as found the in Pransangika-Madhyamika literature. TAYATA GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA!

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