The Bodhisattva Ideal in Selected Buddhist Scriptures: Its Theoretical & Practical Evolution

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This thesis consists of seven chapters. It is designed to survey
andanalyse the teachings of the Bodhisattva ideal and its gradual
developmentin selected Buddhist scriptures. The main issues related to
the evolution of the teachings of the Bodhisattva ideal. The Bodhisattva
doctrine andpractice are examined in six major stages. These stages
correspond to thescholarly periodisation of Buddhist thought in India,
namely (1)Bodhisattva's qualities and career in the early scriptures,
(2) the debatesconcerning the Bodhisattva in the early schools, (3) the
early Mahāyānaportrayal of the Bodhisattva and the acceptance of the six
perfections, (4)the Bodhisattva doctrine in the earlier
prajnāpārāmitā-sūtras, (5) theBodhisattva practices in the later
prajnāpārām texts, and (6) theevolution of the six perfections
(pāramitā) in a wide range of Mahāyānatexts. Chapter seven analyses the
developed theoriesof three perfections:sila, dhyāma an dpāramitā. The
debate on the Bodhisattva ideal in the secondcentury is also examined in
each chapter. During the formation of theBodhisattva practices, two
systems of perfections (pāramitās) arose inBuddhist scriptures and
history. In all probability the system of sixperfections was formed
before that of ten perfections, and became morediffused in
Mahpāramitāyana scriptures.. The Bodhisattva ideal evolved fordifferent
reasons, but chiefly in response to religious tendencies, demands,and
necessities of cultures and historical periods in which the
Bodhisattvaideal flourished. The Bodhisattva's wisdom artd compassion as
ideologyand method in generating the benefit of sentient beings,
arguably constitutethe basis of Bodhisattva philosophy and practice. The
scriptures selected forinvestigation not only present diversified
teachings and features of theBodhisattva ideal, but result in a
systematic model that improves ourunderstanding of their evolution.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: The Bodhisattva Doctrine And Career In Early
A. The bodhisattva concept in Pāli scriptures
A. 1 .The qualities of the bodhisattva in the Jātakas
A.2. The Jātakas illustrated onthe Bharhut Stūpa
A.3. The bodhisattva concept in the Buddhava .msa and
B. Bodhisattva bhūmis in the Mahāvasu
C. Assessments
Chapter Two: The Bodhisattva Concept In The Early BuddhistSchools
A. The definition and emergence of the term bodhisattva
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The Bodhisattva Ideal in Selected Buddhist Scriptures: Its Theoretical & Practical Evolution