Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities
This book presents an answer to the question: what is nirvana? Part I distinguishes between systematic and narrative thought in the Pali texts of Theravada Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia, arguing that nirvana produces closure in both, and setting nirvana in the wider category of Buddhist Felicities. Part II explores other Buddhist utopias (both eu-topias, 'good places', and ou-topias, 'no-places'), and relates Buddhist utopianism to studies of European and American utopian writing. The book ends with a close reading of the Vessantara Jataka, which highlights the conflict between the ascetic quest for closure and ultimate felicity, and the ongoing demands of ordinary life and society. Steven Collins discusses these issues in relation to textuality, world history and ideology in premodern civilizations, aiming to contribute to an alternate vision of Buddhist history, which can hold both the inside and the outside of texts together.
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Ajatasattu Arahant ascetic aspiration attained birth Brahmin Buddhahood Buddhavamsa Buddhist Burma called Chapter cited Collins commentary conditioned cultural death deﬁned deﬁnition Dhamma difﬁcult Dipankara discourse discussed dukkha Dutthagamani enlightenment eons existence felicity ﬁgure ﬁnal nirvana ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst ﬁve ﬂourished ﬂowers forest future Buddha give given gods Gombrich Gotama happiness heaven human idea ideology jataka karma kind king’s kingship live Maddi means Meditation Level Metteyya millennial Mode modern monastic monks moral Nanamoli narrated narrative nibbana nirvana non-repetitive one’s Pali imaginaire Pali texts past Path person premodem rebirth reborn refer reﬂection Saﬁjaya Sakka Sanskrit sense signiﬁcant Sivis social society soteriology Southern Asia speciﬁc Sri Lanka story suffering Sumedha Sutta temporal textual Theravada Theravada Buddhism things tion traditional translated Tusita Ud-a Unconditioned utopia Uttarakuru Vajjis verse Vessantara Vibh-a Vinaya Vism Visuddhimagga Wheel-turning king word