While Buddhism has no central text comparable to the Bible or Koran, there is a powerful body of scripture from across Asia that encompasses the dharma, or the teachings of the Buddha. In this rich anthology, eminent scholar Donald S. Lopez, Jr., brings together works from a broad historical and geographical range, and from such languages as Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese. There are tales of the Buddha's past lives, a discussion of qualities and qualifications for a monk, and an exploration of the many meanings of enlightenment. Together they provide a vivid picture of the Buddha and of the vast and profound nature of the Buddhist tradition.
Donald Lopez is Professsor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan. He is the author of Buddhism (Penguin, 2000, r/i 2002) and Modern Buddhism (Penguin, 2002).