The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch

The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch

Paperback Translations from the Asian Classics (Paperback)

Translated by P.H. Yampolsky

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  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 212 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 226mm x 15mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 1 June 1978
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0231083610
  • ISBN 13: 9780231083614
  • Edition: 6, Revised
  • Edition statement: 6th Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: Ill.
  • Sales rank: 1,527,405

Product description

The Platform Sutra records the teachings of Hui-neng, the Sixth Patriarch, who is revered as one of the two great figures in the founding of Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism. This translation is the definitive English version of the eighth-century Ch'an classic. Phillip B. Yampolsky has based his translation on the Tun-huang manuscript, the earliest extant version of the work. A critical edition of the Chinese text is given at the end of the volume. Dr. Yampolsky also furnishes a lengthy and detailed historical introduction which contains much information hitherto unavailable even to scholars, and provides the context essential to an understanding of Hui-neng's work. He gives an account of the history and legends of Ch'an Buddhism, with particular attention to the traditions associated with Hui-neng, quoting or summarizing the most important narratives. He then discusses the various texts of the Platform Sutra, and analyzes its contents.

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Author information

Phillip B. Yampolsky was Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University until his death in 1996.

Review quote

(This) translation of one of the most famous of all Chinese Ch'an texts is certainly the best rendition so far. Without sacrificing scholarly accuracy, Yampolsky has produced a lucid and idiomatic translation which even the layman can enjoy. Books Abroad Remarkable... Dr. Yampolsky's study is characterized by a clarity of presentation and a thoroughness of exploration of Chinese and Japanese sources. Literature East and West As an initiation into the international field of foundational scholarly research on the Platform Sutra Yampolsky's detailed and illuminating introductory remarks to his carefully nnotated translation remain indispensable... -- T.H. Barrett, SOAS, University of London Journal of Bulletin of School of Oriental and African Studies Vol 76, No 2

Back cover copy

The Platform Sutra records the teachings of Hui-neng, the Sixth Patriarch, who is revered as one of the two great figures in the founding of Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism. This translation is the definitive English version of the eighth-century Ch'an classic.

Table of contents

Introduction: CH' AN IN THE EIGHTH CENTURYI. The Formation of the LegendThe Lanka ~ vata ~ ra SchoolShen-huiII. The Birth of a Patriarch: Biography of Hui-nengIII. The Making of a Book: The Platform SutraIV. Content AnalysisTHE PLATFORM SUTRA OF THE SIXTH PATRIARCHTHE TUN-HUANG TEXT