using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : March 2019
Was this some sort of bizarro version of Buddhism that denied the fundamental precepts of the dharma as we know it? When taken in the context of the sur- rounding text, though, it becomes clear this is not the case. The scroll contain- ing these shocking claims was a polemic Abhidhamma treatise framed as a formal debate between the unnamed writer and an opponent representing the Sarvasti- vadin school. The long-defunct sect held that, with reference to the workings of karma, “everything exists at all times,” a premise the writer attempted to discredit, showing how this fundamental principle implied the existence of things any Bud- dhist should agree do not really exist. The “fifth noble truth,” then, was noth- ing but a rhetorical trick, not the mes- sage of some hitherto unknown radical dissident. Returning to the question of what, if anything, the discovery of these ancient texts means for modern Buddhist prac- titioners, there are no answers that will appease everyone. Each individual prac- titioner must determine how to proceed for him or herself. On one hand, one can safely ignore the new material with- out missing anything essential to the theory or practice of Buddhism. On the other hand, Buddhists may wish to dip a toe—or even plunge headfirst—into these previously uncharted waters. Mod- ern Buddhists may be inclined to see the diversity that characterized Buddhism throughout its history as an emblem of strength rather than cause for doubt or confusion, a source of richness rather than conflict. The insights that the Gandharan manuscripts provide into the wealth and variety of thought and belief during a formative stage of Buddhist his- tory, and the perspective they provide on the overall question of what Buddhism is, offer personal enrichment for those who seek it out. ♦ PROFESSOR RICHARD SALOMON of the University of Washington is a leading figure in the field of early Buddhist studies. NINE GATES MYSTERY SCHOOL LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2019 26 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE