Readings in Eastern Philosophy

An Open Source Text

Edited by

Lee Archie

John G. Archie


The current version, Version 0.1, of this open source textbook in philosophy is a work-in-progress and is being released in draft form. The collaborators would be grateful for corrections or other suggestions to this preliminary draft. Please address comments to

Permission is granted to copy, distribute, and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version, published by the Free Software Foundation, with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

Preface, Why Open Source?". Tabulae Rudolphinae : quibus astronomicae… by Johannes Kepler, 1571-1630, NOAA Photo Library. Historic C&GS Collection,.

Chapter 1, Bhagavad Gita. India—Benares—Monkey Temple, Frank and Francis Carpenter Collection [LC-USZ62-125561]; Ruins in Delhi, Caleb Wright, India and Its Inhabitants, 1869; Ornate Royal Carriage, Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-35122]; An Expanding Bubble in Space (alt-detail) [HSTI #PROO-04], GRIN National Aeronautics and Space Administration; An Expanding Bubble in Space (alt-detail) [HSTI #PROO-04]; The Cat's Eye Nebula (alt-detail) [HSTI #PRC 95-01A] National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Golden Temple, India, Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection [LC-USZ62-5828]; Village in Punjab, Farm Security Administration [LC-USW33-043106-ZC]; Temples of Jammu from distance, World's Transportation Commission, William Henry Jackson [W7-483].

Chapter 2, Paper On Hinduism. Vivekananda; City on the Mountains—India, William Henry Jackson, World Transportation Commission, Library of Congress [W7-471]; Delhi—Ruins of Shershak, William Henry Jackson, World Transportation Commission, Library of Congress [W7-506]; Riverfront, William Henry Jackson, World Transportation Commission, Library of Congress [W7-587]; Delhi—Cashmere Gates, William Henry Jackson, World Transportation Commission, Library of Congress [W7-507].

Chapter 3, The Four Noble Truths. Yogi, View of Benares, and Crossing Over, from William Butler, Land of the Veda: Being Personal Reminiscences of India, New York: Calton & Lanahan, 1872; Deer Park, Library of Congress.

Chapter 4, The Noble Eightfold Path. Brahmin Reading, Caleb Wright, India and Its Inhabitants, Cincinnati, Ohio: J.A. Brainerd, 1858. Indonesia-—Java-—Jogjakarta [i.e. Yogyakarta]. Temple ruins—details of sculpted figures, Frank and Francis Carpenter Collection, Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-95443]; Buddhist Temple, Cambodia, French Postcard, 1905; Photographic Views of Thailand—Temple Wat Prakeu-—Bangkok, Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-5322]; Rice boat on the Irrawaddy heading for Rangoon, World's Transportation Commission, Library of Congress [W7-599]; Buddhist Room, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass., Library of Congress [LC-D4-72635].

Chapter 5, Dhammapada. Bronze Buddha, The American Cyclopædia; China, Kiangsu Province, Soochow, Frank and Francis Carpenter Collection, Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-104037]; China-Burma Highway, U. S. Public Health Service, Library of Congress [USW33-043086-ZC]; Chinese Built Suspension Bridge, Szechwan Province, ChinaFrank and Francis Carpenter Collection, Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-104037]; Bronze Statue of Amida Nyorai, Denjiro Hasegawa, photographer, Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-98646]; Hong Kong Dock Workers, Frank and Francis Carpenter Collection, Library of Congress [LC-US262-118505]; Reclining Buddha, Views of Thailand, Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-5320]; Hong Kong Sampans, Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection, Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-118501]; Hong Kong Rickshaw, Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection, Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-118508]; F. Boileau, Photograph album of the Boileau family's voyage from England to Australia (1894-1895).

Chapter 6, Doctrine Of the Mean.Confucius, Thoemmes Press; Chinese Gentleman's Garden, A Pavilion in Pun-Ting-Qua's Garden; One of the Inner Gates of Peking; Temple of the Five Hundred Gods, The Willow-Pattern Bridge, Great Gateway, Temple of Confucius, from J. Thompson. The Straits of Malacca, Indo-China, and China; or, Ten years' travels, adventures, and residence abroad New York: Harper & Brothers, 1875. Wood engravings by J. D. Cooper.

Chapter 7, Tao Te Ching. Lao Tzu, 18th century French Print; Thirty Spokes, Library of Congress; China Vases, James D. McCabe, The Illustrated History of the Centennial Exhibition Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: National Publishing Company, 1876; Street Scene, Chefang China U. S. Public Health Service [LC-USW33-043083-ZC]; Lotus Flower, Library of Congress; Eddies [theb2710]

Chapter 8, The Ten Oxherding Pictures. Ox, Gottsho-Schleishner Collection, Library of Congress [US-USZC2-4153]; Both sets of Ten Oxherding Pictures are from Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, Manual of Zen Buddhism, 1934.

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Table of Contents
Why Open Source?
A Note about Selections
1. Bhagavad Gita retold by Harry Bhalla
Ideas of Interest from the Bhagavad Gita
The Reading Selection from Bhagavad Gita
Arjuna's Dilemma
Transcendental Knowledge
Path of Service
Path of Renunciation with Knowledge
Path of Renunciation
Path of Meditation
Self-Knowledge and Enlightenment
The Eternal Spirit
Supreme Knowledge and the Big Mystery
Manifestation of the Absolute
Vision of the Cosmic Form
Path of Devotion
Creation and the Creator
Three Modes of Material Nature
The Supreme Being
Divine and the Demonic Qualities
Threefold Faith
Salvation through Renunciation
Epilogue—Lord Krishna's Last Sermon
Topics Worth Investigating
2. "Paper on Hinduism" by Swami Vivekananda
Ideas of Interest from "Paper on Hinduism"
The Reading Selection from "Paper on Hinduism"
[The Vedas]
[The Concept of Creation]
[Soul, Karma, and Reincarnation]
[Soul and Nature]
[The Goal of Hinduism]
[The Unity of the Universe]
[Hinduism and World Religions]
Topics Worth Investigating
3. Buddha's "The Four Noble Truths"
Ideas of Interest from "The Four Noble Truths"
The Reading Selection from "The Four Noble Truths"
First Truth: The Noble Truth of Suffering
Second Truth: The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering
Third Truth: The Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering
Fourth Truth: The Noble Truth of the Path that Leads to the Extinction of Suffering—The Two Extremes and the Middle Path
Topics Worth Investigating
4. "The Noble Eightfold Path" by Buddha
Ideas of Interest from "The Noble Eightfold Path"
The Reading Selection from "The Eightfold Path"
The Eightfold Path
The Eightfold Path—First Step—Right Understanding
Second Step: Right Mindedness
Third Step: Right Speech
Fourth Step: Right Action
Fifth Step: Right Living
Sixth Step: Right Effort
Seventh Step: Right Attentiveness
Eighth Step: Right Concentration
Topics Worth Investigating
5. The Dhammapada (abridged)
Ideas of Interest from The Dhammapada
The Reading Selection from The Dhammapada
Chapter I: The Twin Verses
Chapter II: On Earnestness
Chapter III: Thought
Chapter IV: Flowers
Chapter V: The Fool
Chapter VI: The Wise Man (Pandita)
Chapter VII: The Venerable (Arhat)
Chapter VIII: The Thousands
Chapter IX: Evil
Chapter X: Punishment
Chapter XI: Old Age
Chapter XII: Self
Chapter XIII: The World
Chapter XIV: The Buddha (The Awakened)
Chapter XV: Happiness
Chapter XVI: Pleasure
Chapter XVII: Anger
Chapter XVIII: Impurity
Chapter XIX: The Just
Chapter XX: The Way
Chapter XXI: Miscellaneous
Chapter XXII: The Downward Course
Chapter XXIII: The Elephant
Chapter XXIV: Thirst
Chapter XXV: The Bhikshu (Mendicant)
Chapter XXVI: The Brahmana (Arhat)
Topics Worth Investigating
6. "The Doctrine of the Mean" by Confucius
Ideas of Interest from "The Doctrine of the Mean"
The Reading Selection from "The Doctrine of the Mean"
[Instruction for the Path of Duty]
[The Course of the Mean]
[Chün Tzu—The Superior Man]
[Hsiao—Filial Piety]
[Te—Power by which Men are Ruled; Moral Example]
[The Five Relationships]
[Rules of Government]
[Rules for Success and Sincerity]
[Institutions and Ceremony of the Ruler]
[Chün Tzu and Perfect Virtue]
Topics Worth Investigating
7. Selections from The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Ideas of Interest from The Tao Te Ching
The Reading Selection from The Tao Te Ching
Part I. The Tao Te Ching.
Part II. The Tao Ching.
Topics Worth Investigating
8. "The Ten Oxherding Pictures" by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki
Ideas of Interest from "The Ten Oxherding Pictures"
The Reading Selection from "The Ten Oxherding Pictures"
The Ten Oxherding Pictures, I. by Kaku-an
The Ten Oxherding Pictures, II.
Topics Worth Investigating