Sacred Texts  Buddhism 

Açvaghosha's Discourse on the Awakening of Faith in the Mahâyâna

tr. by Teitaro Suzuki


Asvaghosa's The Awakening of Faith is one of the most concise works on Mahayana Buddhism, and was translated at an early date from the Sanskrit to the Chinese. The original Sanskrit text is lost. The Awakening of Faith has been used as a textbook for Buddhist priests. This translation was the first into English; it is by Teitaro Suzuki, one of the principal writers on Buddhism of the 20th century. Suzuki, a Zen Buddhist scholar, manages to convey the difficult sense of this work, which sometimes requires inventive English neologisms. For the perplexed, there is a glossary at the end of the book.

Production notes: This text requires a unicode-compliant browser. For more information see the Unicode page. Chinese characters have been converted to image files and embedded in the text.--John Bruno Hare 12/9/2004

Title Page
Publisher's Preface
Translator's Preface
Table of Contents
Note on Transliteration


Nativity and Peregrinations
Lists of Patriarchs
As an Artist
Works in Chinese Translations
Chinese Translations of the ''Discourse on the Awakening of Faith.''
Outlines of the ''Discourse on the Awakening of Faith.''

The Awakening of Faith

I. Introductory
II. General Statement
III. The Explanation
1. The Revelation of the True Doctrine
A. The Soul as Suchness
B. The Soul as Birth-and-Death
C. The Threefold Significance of the Mahâyâna Explained
2. The Refutation of False Doctrines
A. Five False Views Held by Those Who Believe in a Personal Atman
B. Belief in the Existence of Atman in Things
3. Ways of Practising the Right Path
IV. Practice of Faith
V. Benefits