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A Few Translation Excerpts from Kalavinka Press Books

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The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation

By the Tiantai Mountain Shramana Zhiyi (Chih-i) - (538-597 ce).

Essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight and Dhyana Meditation is a calming-and-insight (samatha-vipasyana) meditation manual deeply rooted in the early Indian Buddhist meditation tradition. It offers perhaps the most reliable, comprehensive, and practically useful Buddhist meditation instruction currently available in English.

Prefaces: a) Song Dynasty Yuanzhao Preface; b) Tiantai Zhiyi's Original Preface

Chapter 1, Fulfillment of the Five Prerequisites

Chapter 2, Renunciation of Desires as Preventing Success in Meditation

Chapter 3, Elimination of the Hindrances to Success in Meditation

Chapter 4, Making Adjustments

Chapter 5, Implementation of Skillful Means

Chapter 6, The Actual Cultivation

Chapter 7, Manifestation of Roots of Goodness

Chapter 8, Recognition of the Work of Demons

Chapter 9, Treatment of Disorders

Chapter 10, Realization of the Fruits


The Six Dharma Gates to the Sublime

By the Tiantai Mountain Shramana Zhiyi (Chih-i) - (538-597 ce).

This ideal companion volume to The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation explains the six practices crucial to success in traditional Indian Buddhist breath (anapana) and calming-and-insight (samatha-vipasyana) meditation. Correctly implemented, these six "gates" lead the practitioner to realize the third of the four truths (cessation), of which the "sublimity" referenced in the title is one of the four canonically-described practice aspects.

Tiantai Zhiyi's Preface

Chapter 1, The Six Gates in Relation to the Dhyana Absorptions

Chapter 2, The Six Gates in Terms of Sequential Development

Chapter 3, The Six Gates in Accordance with Suitability

Chapter 4, The Six Gates as Means of Counteraction

Chapter 5, The Six Gates in Terms of Mutual Inclusion

Chapter 6, The Six Gates in Terms of Identities and Differences

Chapter 7, The Six Gates in Accordance with the Reversed Orientation

Chapter 8, The Six Gates According to Contemplation of Mind

Chapter 9, The Six Gates According to the Perfect Contemplation

Chapter 10, The Six Gates in Accordance with the Signs of Realization


Nagarjuna's Guide to the Bodhisattva Path

The Bodhisambhara Shastra with Abridged Bhikshu Vasitva Commentary.
Treatise by Arya Nagarjuna (ca 2nd c.); Commentary Abridgement by the Translator.
The Bodhisambhara Shastra (lit. "Treatise on the Provisions for Enlightenment") describes the essential prerequisites for realizing the complete enlightenment of a buddha.

Part 1, The Bodhisambhara Treatise, Excerpt 1

Part 1, The Bodhisambhara Treatise, Excerpt 2

Part 1, The Bodhisambhara Treatise, Excerpt 3

Part 2, The Abridged Commentary & Translator's Notes, Excerpt 1

Part 2, The Abridged Commentary & Translator's Notes, Excerpt 2

Part 2, The Abridged Commentary & Translator's Notes, Excerpt 3


The Bodhisambhara Treatise Commentary

The Sole Extant Commentary on Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara Shastra.

By the early Indian monk, Bhikshu Vasitva (ca 300-500 ce). 

This is a very detailed commentary on the meaning of each stanza comprising Arya Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Provisions for Enlightenment. It is the only extant traditional commentary on this important work by Nagarjuna.

Part 1, The Bodhisambhara Treatise, Excerpt 1

Part 1, The Bodhisambhara Treatise, Excerpt 2

Part 1, The Bodhisambhara Treatise, Excerpt 3

Part 2, The Vasitva Commentary, Excerpt 1

Part 2, The Vasitva Commentary, Excerpt 2

Part 2, The Vasitva Commentary, Excerpt 3

Part 2, The Vasitva Commentary, Excerpt 4

Part 2, The Vasitva Commentary, Excerpt 5

Part 2, The Vasitva Commentary, Excerpt 6


Nagarjuna on the Six Perfections

Chapters 17-30 of Exegesis on the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra.

By Arya Nagarjuna (ca 2nd c.).

In this long free-standing section of his Perfection of Wisdom Exegesis, Nagarjuna sets forth numerous stories, analogies, and analyses as he explores the deepest meaning of giving, moral virtue, patience, vigor, meditative discipline, and transcendent wisdom, the six primary practices forming the core of the Bodhisattva Path.

The Perfection of Giving, Excerpt 1

The Perfection of Giving, Excerpt 2

The Perfection of Giving, Excerpt 3

The Perfection of Giving, Excerpt 4

The Perfection of Moral Virtue, Excerpt 1

The Perfection of Moral Virtue, Excerpt 2

The Perfection of Moral Virtue, Excerpt 3

The Perfection of Patience, Excerpt 1

The Perfection of Patience, Excerpt 2

The Perfection of Vigor, Excerpt 1

The Perfection of Vigor, Excerpt 2

The Perfection of Dhyana Meditation, Excerpt 1

The Perfection of Dhyana Meditation, Excerpt 2

The Perfection of Wisdom, Excerpt 1

The Perfection of Wisdom, Excerpt 2


A Strand of Dharma Jewels

The Earliest Edition of Nagarjuna's Ratnavali.

By Arya Nagarjuna (ca 2nd c.).

This is Tripitaka Master Paramartha's earliest (ca 550 ce) complete edition of Nagarjuna's Ratnavali, a 500-stanza treatise on the Bodhisattva Path in the form of a spiritual advisor's letter to an Indian King. In it, Nagarjuna presents both abstruse teachings and practical advice to lay and monastic practitioners.

Chapter 1, On Gaining Happiness and Liberation, Excerpt 1

Chapter 1, On Gaining Happiness and Liberation, Excerpt 2

Chapter 2, Advice on Various Topics, Excerpt 1

Chapter 2, Advice on Various Topics, Excerpt 2

Chapter 3, The Provisions for Gaining Enlightenment, Excerpt 1

Chapter 3, The Provisions for Gaining Enlightenment, Excerpt 2

Chapter 4, Guidance Especially for Rulers, Excerpt 1

Chapter 4, Guidance Especially for Rulers, Excerpt 2

Chapter 5, On Right Practice for Monastics, Excerpt 1

Chapter 5, On Right Practice for Monastics, Excerpt 2


Letter from a Friend

The Three Earliest Editions of Nagarjuna's Suhrllekha.

Via Tripitaka Masters: Gunavarman, Sanghavarman, & Yijing.

This is a guide to right Buddhist practice presented in the form of a letter of spiritual counsel to an Indian King.

The Gunavarman Translation, Excerpt 1

The Gunavarman Translation, Excerpt 2

The Sanghavarman Translation, Excerpt 1

The Sanghavarman Translation, Excerpt 2

The Yijing Translation, Excerpt 1

The Yijing Translation, Excerpt 2


Marvelous Stories from the Perfection of Wisdom

As told by Arya Nagarjuna in his Exegesis on the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra.

This volume consists of 130 didactic stories and short Dharma anecdotes selected from Nagarjuna's immense commentary on the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra. Each story is "framed" by the inclusion of Nagarjuna's introductory  and summarizing Dharma discussions.

Excerpt 1,   Stories on the Perfection of Giving

Excerpt 2,   Stories on the Perfection of Moral Virtue

Excerpt 3,   Stories on the Perfection of Patience

Excerpt 4,   Stories on the Perfection of Vigor

Excerpt 5,   Stories on the Perfection of Dhyana Meditation

Excerpt 6,   Stories on the Perfection of Wisdom

Excerpt 7,   Stories on Various Topics

Excerpt 8,   Stories on Various Topics

Excerpt 9,   Stories on Various Topics

Excerpt 10, Stories on Various Topics


On Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha

Three Works on Bodhicitta:

      On Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha. By Arya Nagarjuna. (Chapter Six of his Ten Grounds Vibhasa)

       Exhortation to Resolve on Buddhahood. By dhyana master & pureland patriarch, Sheng'an Shixian. (1686-1734)

       Exhortation to Resolve on Buddhahood. By the Tang literatus, dhyana practitioner, and prime minister, Peixiu.  (797-870)

Nagarjuna's On Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha, Excerpt 1

Nagarjuna's On Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha, Excerpt 2

Shramana Sheng'an Shixian's Exhortation to Resolve on Buddhahood, Excerpt 1

Shramana Sheng'an Shixian's Exhortation to Resolve on Buddhahood, Excerpt 2

Peixiu's Exhortation to Resolve on Buddhahood, Excerpt 1

Peixiu's Exhortation to Resolve on Buddhahood, Excerpt 2


Vasubandhu's Treatise on the Bodhisattva Vow

By Vasubandhu Bodhisattva (ca 300 ce).

This is Vasubandhu's treatise on the meaning of the Sutra on Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha. In it, this famous and prolific treatise master presents an inspiring discussion of the essential nature and benefits of the bodhisattva vow along with a treatment of the six perfections through which bodhicitta is brought to fruition.

Excerpt 1:   Chapter 1,    Exhortation to Generate the Resolve

Excerpt 2:   Chapter 2,    Generating the Resolve

Excerpt 3:   Chapter 3,    The Establishment of Vows

Excerpt 4:   Chapter 4,    The Perfection of Giving

Excerpt 5:   Chapter 5,    The Perfection of Moral Virtue

Excerpt 6:   Chapter 6,    The Perfection of Patience

Excerpt 7:   Chapter 7,    The Perfection of Vigor

Excerpt 8:   Chapter 8,    The Perfection of Dhyana Meditation

Excerpt 9:   Chapter 9,    The Perfection of Wisdom

Excerpt 10: Chapter 10,  The Dharma Gateway of Accordance with Reality

Excerpt 11: Chapter 11,  Emptiness and Signlessness

Excerpt 12: Chapter 12,  On the Merit and Preservation of Dharma


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