Buddhism and Buddhists in China
By Lewis Hodus
Public Domain Books
Appendix I. Hints for the Preliminary Study of Buddhism in China
The student should read and inwardly digest the booklet of K. J. Saunders
He should follow the directions given in Appendix One of that book, This procedure is important because the HÓnay‚na Buddhism and the life of Buddha are the background of Buddhism in China.
Then he may take Hackmann’s Buddhism as a Religion (No. 15). This will give a general orientation. This may be followed with R. F. Johnston’s Buddhist China (No. 20). Along with this he may read Suzuki’s Awakening of Faith (No. 32), and also his Outlines of Mah‚yan‚ Buddhism (No. 33). McGovern’s Introduction to Mah‚yan‚ Buddhism (No. 23) will illuminate the philosophical background of Buddhism, and Eliot’s Hinduism and Buddhism (No. 13) will add historical perspective.
The translation of Mahdydna Sutras by Beal and in the Sacred Books of the East will give him some of the sources for the doctrines held in China. He may begin as the Buddhist missionaries did with the sutra of the Forty-two sections and then take up the Diamond Sutra, and then completing the sutras in Vol. 59 and the Catena of Buddhist Scriptures.
For the study of the ethical side he will find De Groot’s Le Code du Mah‚y‚na en Chine very helpful. For the study of the sects Eliot, Vol. III, pp. 303-320 Northern Buddhism (No. 14) will be helpful.
In all his study he will find Eitel’s Handbook of Chinese Buddhism (No. 12) indispensable. He must, however, make a Chinese index in order to be able to use the book.
Contact with monks will be helpful and is quite necessary in order to appreciate the human problems of the work.