Today’s Book Of The Day is Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 1: The Physical World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Thupten Jinpa (Editor).
This series of books, of which Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Vol. 1: The Physical World represents the first volume, will give the readers the fantastic opportunity to have a multi-cultural insight of science and philosophy as seen from a very privileged and authoritative source, the Dalai Lama.
I immensely enjoyed this book, which collects in one single point of reference many essential bits of knowledge coming from classical Indian Buddhists source.
The series has born thanks to the commitment and will of the Dalai Lama who wanted to supervise the task of offering to non-Indian readers, lecturers, or simply curious people, whether they are Buddhists or not, an extremely deep, yet extremely readable sample about the Buddhist knowledge, exploration, and understanding of key points in their culture.
His Holiness is convinced that bringing to the general public the knowledge and experience accumulated by great masters in the first millennium CE will positively impact today’s readers.
This first Volume is called “The Physical World”, and studies the deepest and most intimate nature of the material appearance of this world we live in, starting from an exploration of the external, visible part of it to reach its microscopic one.
The book has an introduction by the Dalai Lama and essays by Thupten Jinpa, one of the most known lecturers about the subject and founder of the Institute of Tibetan Classics.
It starts from the very basic elements of the Buddhist knowledge about this physical world, the five aggregates, that Buddhist philosophers and lecturers have used to examine and categorize the nature and scope of what we feel with our senses and call reality.
I appreciated the order of the presentation of the topics, which offers deep insights on the sources of knowledge, the nature, reason, and fundamental constituents of the world.
Regarding the philosophical aspect, you will find theories about the origin, development, and atomic structure of the Universe.
Furthermore, other themes are the evolution of life, the origin and nature of time, and the structure and function of our brain.
The book has texts from fundamental authors like Nagarjuna, Asanga, Vasubandhu, and Dharmakirti.
Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics gives the readers a rare, precious gift: a deep insight into a curated collection of the philosophy and science that built up an entire culture that developed in India and Tibet.
Surprisingly detailed, the volumes of this series will represent one of the key sources and references for everyone interested in building a cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural dialogue between Buddhism and the rest of the scientific community around the World.