I love Sutta Central!
Some of my studies on Dr. Ambedkar are bringing me to retrace and source his Mahayana inspirations, which are far less well footnoted in the only critical edition of the Buddha and His Dhamma… and I realize this is beyond the scope of this forum.
I am a little intimidated by Dharma Wheel because I see some unkind speech happening there, and am a bit nervous to post questions. Is that still my best shot for support? Any other suggestions?
Maybe a more targeted approach would work. If a Mahayana quote is from a Chinese Chan or Japanese Zen source, look specifically for that kind of online resource, etc.
Try r/Buddhism. There’s quite a few very knowledgable and active mahayana and vajrayana experts there.
u/animuseternal and u/nyanasagara are two of them.
Hello, I’m not very familiar with this subject (Dr. Ambedkar’s New Buddhism), but after looking a bit at the materials I’m finding online, I see two passages that look to come from Mahayana texts.
This passage on the Six Perfections appears to come from Edward Conze’s translation of some materials from one of the larger Prajñāpāramitā texts, namely the Pañcaviṃśatisāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra (the one in 25,000 lines). This is a fairly early Mahayana text that uses the framework of the Six Perfections, and focuses primarily on the Perfection of Wisdom.
The passage on Ten Stages seems to be in reference to the Daśabhūmika Sūtra. This is a somewhat later Mahayana sutra in which there are Ten Perfections and Ten Stages. This text was also the 26th chapter of the Mahāvaipulya Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra. The interpretation seen here of each stage taking one lifetime, though, seems very strange. I have not seen anything like that in the sutras themselves.
Hope this helps at least a little bit.
Thank you so much! Ambedkar does not reference his sources (he died before completing annotations) so I don’t always know where to look, but these are super helpful tips.
Is it the texts you’re looking for? I have most of the big-name ones (Lotus, Lankavatara, Perfection of Wisdom in both 8000 and 25000 lines, Avatamsaka, Surangama, Vimalakirti, Platform, and Diamond; maybe I can help with finding quotations in any of those. If the references are to records of Zen teacher’s Dharma talks, I have Hakuin, Dogen (Shobogenzo), and Lin Chi.
Thank you @AndyL, access to the texts is not the issue, but rather tracing which texts (or commentaries) Dr. Ambedkar might have been using in various places in his book. One of them is from the Yogachara, and that I have sorted out. But I have yet to figure out where he was drawing his approach to the Paramitas from in the first section of his book. Bit of a guessing game. I will keep looking!
The Six Paramitas are core Mahayana concepts. They will appear in many Mahayana sutras and commentaries. It will be hard to track down which exact text(s) he was drawing from unless there’s something unique about the wording or presentation of them.
The passage about the Six Perfections is from Edward Conze, as mentioned above, with an exact match. It was published in Selected Sayings from the Perfection of Wisdom in 1955, and also in The Maha Bodhi, in the same year.
Oh wow! @llt – Thank you so so much!! Yes his book is something of a collage and these sources would make total sense given the milieu and era. I will follow-up.