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Glossae – Scholia – Commentarii

Studies on Commenting Texts in Antiquity and Middle Ages


Edited By Mieczyslaw Mejor, Katarzyna Jazdzewska and Anna Zajchowska

The role of commentary as a basic method of research used broadly in both Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages still awaits further analysis. Commentary as a research and didactic method becomes especially interesting in a multicultural perspective: were Buddhist and Arabic texts commented in the same way as it was done by late antique and medieval scholars? The extensive medieval commentary literature still awaits scholarly assessment from the perspective of theory of literature as well as methodology and history of various scientific disciplines.
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Marek Mejor: Buddhist Tradition in Quest of the Authenticity and the True Meaning of the ‘Word of the Buddha’ (buddha-vacana)


Buddhist Tradition in Quest of the Authenticity and the True Meaning of the ‘Word of the Buddha’ (buddha-vacana)

Marek Mejor

Research Centre of Buddhist Studies, University of Warsaw

§1. Buddhism is the most ancient of the great universal religions of the world, and it is both religion of the (spoken) Word and the (written) Scripture. For the believers, the Buddha, or the ‘Awakened One’, the Dharma, or his Doctrine, and the Saṅgha, or his monastic Order, constitute the so-called Three Jewels (tri- ratna), the triple foundation of their faith. The recitation of the triple formula of ‘taking refuge’ in the Three Jewels (‘I take refuge in the Buddha, etc.’, buddhaṃ śaraṇaṃ gacchāmi, dharmaṃ śaraṇaṃ gacchāmi, saṅghaṃ śaraṇaṃ gacchāmi) has been always regarded as a confession of faith.

§1.1. The Buddha, the founder of the religion, whose secular name was Siddhārtha Gautama (ca. 566–486 B.C.), became a buddha or ‘the awakened one’ (‘enlightened one’) after long and strenuous ascetic and spiritual efforts, when in a series of deepest meditations he attained the absolute ‘awakening’ (anuttara samyak-saṃbodhi), the highest and perfect knowledge. He discovered the ultimate truth (paramārtha-satya) and cognized the real nature of things (dharmatā).

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