- The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy
- Introduction: Why Indian Philosophy? Why Now?
- Interpreting Indian Philosophy: Three Parables
- History and Doxography of the Philosophical Schools
- Philosophy as a Distinct Cultural Practice: The Transregional Context
- Comparison or Confluence In Philosophy?
- Nāgārjuna on Emptiness: A Comprehensive Critique of Foundationalism
- Philosophical Quietism in Nāgārjuna and Early Madhyamaka
- Habit and Karmic Result in the <i>Yogaśāstra</i>
- Vasubandhu on the Conditioning Factors and the Buddha’s Use of Language
- Buddhaghosa on the Phenomenology of Love and Compassion
- The Philosophy of Mind of Kundakunda and Umāsvāti
- Vātsyāyana: Cognition as a Guide to Action
- Bharthari on Language, Perception, and Consciousness
- Coreference and Qualification: Dignāga Debated by Kumārila and Dharmakīrti
- Reflexive Awareness and No-Self: Dignāga Debated by Uddyotakara & Dharmakīrti
- The Metaphysics of Self in Praśastapāda’s Differential Naturalism
- Proving Idealism Dharmakīrti
- Śāntideva’s Impartialist Ethics
- A History of Materialism From Ajita to Udbhaṭa
- Consciousness and Causal Emergence: Śāntarakṣita Against Physicalism
- Pushing Idealism Beyond its Limits: The Place of Philosophy in Kamalaśīla’s Steps of Cultivation
- Jayarāśi Against the Philosophers
- Two Theories of Motivation and Their Assessment by Jayanta
- Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta on the Freedom of Consciousness
- The Nature of Idealism in the <i>Mokṣopāyaśāstra/Yogavāsiṣṭha</i>
- Logic in the Tradition of Prabhācandra
- An Indian Philosophy of Law: Vijñāneśvara’s Epitome of the Law
- Śrīharṣa’s Dissident Epistemology: Of Knowledge as Assurance
- A Defeasibility Theory of Knowledge in Gaṅgeśa
- Jayatīrtha and the Problem of Perceptual Illusion
- Mādhava’s <i>Garland of Jaimini’s Reasons</i> as Exemplary Mīmāṃsā Philosophy
- Hindu Disproofs of God: Refuting Vedāntic Theism in the Sāṃkhya-Sūtra
- Raghunātha Śiromaṇi and the <i>Examination of the Truth about the Categories</i>
- Nīlakaṇṭha Caturdhara’s Advaita Vedānta
- Muḥibb Allāh Ilāhābādī on Ontology: Debates Over the Nature of Being
- Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohandas Gandhi, and the Contexts of Indian Secularism
- Freedom in Thinking: The Immersive Cosmopolitanism of Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya
- Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar’s Modern Moral Idealism: A Metaphysics of Emancipation
- Anukul Chandra Mukerji: The Modern Subject
Abstract and Keywords
This article argues that Buddhaghosa (fifth century ce), the chief commentator and systematizer of the Pali intellectual tradition, brings a distinctively phenomenological orientation to the study of Buddhist categories. He did not take Buddha’s doctrines, particularly the Abhidhamma, as metaphysical or ontological statements about what exists or does not exist, but rather as analytical methods for exploring and transforming human experience. The article demonstrates how his methods work in his treatment of four meditation topics, called the “sublime abidings” (brahmavihāras): loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. These practices collectively depict Buddhaghosa’s phenomenology and psychology of love. They entail a rigorous therapeutic regime of practical methods aimed at bringing about freedom.
Maria Heim is Professor of Religion at Amherst College. She is the author of The Forerunner of All Things: Buddhaghosa on Mind, Agency, and Intention (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Theories of the Gift in South Asia (Routledge, 2004). She wishes to thank Gilda Darlas and Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad for many enriching conversations about Buddhaghosa that shaped many of the ideas in this piece.
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