The Ideal Bodhisattva

The Bhikkhu Analayo was born in Germany in 1962. Currently member of the Centre for Buddhist Studies, University of Hamburg, he is an ordained Buddhist monk as well as a doctorate from the University of Peradeniya where he studied the Satipatthana-sutta. His habilitation was at the University of Marburg in 2007; he compared the Majjhima-nikaya discourses with their Chinese, Sanskrit, and Tibetan counterparts.

He brings this considerable scholarship to a new book from the Hamburg University Press, The Genesis of the Bodhisattva Ideal. In this book, Bhikkhu Analayo investigates the genesis of the bodhisattva ideal, one of the most important concepts in the history of Buddhist thought. He brings together material from the corpus of the early discourses preserved mainly in Pali and Chinese that appear to have influenced the arising of the bodhisattva ideal. Analayo convincingly shows that the early sources do not present compassionate concern for others as a motivating force for the Buddha's quest for awakening. He further offers an analysis of the only reference to Maitreya in the Pali canon, showing that this reference is most likely a later addition. In sum, Bhikkhu Analayo is able to delineate a gradual genesis of central aspects of the bodhisattva ideal by documenting (1) an evolution in the bodhisattva concept reflected in the early discourses, (2) the emergence of the notion of a vow to pursue the path to buddhahood, and (3) the possible background for the idea of a prediction an aspirant to buddhahood receives from a former buddha.

The book, which is in English, 179 pages, is available in print, (write to us!) but the electronic form can be downloaded free of charge, here. ISBN: 9783937816623