HARVARD ORIENTAL SERIES
Cover: Guardian of a Dying Flame in HARDCOVER

Harvard Oriental Series 89

Guardian of a Dying Flame

Śāriputra (c. 1335–1426) and the End of Late Indian Buddhism

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HARDCOVER

$50.00 • £39.95 • €45.00

ISBN 9780674984356

Publication: June 2018

Available 05/07/2018

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Arthur McKeown presents the first full-length analysis of the continuation of Buddhism in India after the thirteenth century. This study describes later Indian Buddhism through a detailed examination of the life of Śāriputra (c. 1335–1426), the last known abbot of the Bodhgayā Mahāvihāra, whose very presence extends Indian Buddhism by two centuries. This work also provides a view into the legacy of Indian Buddhism in fifteenth-century Nepal, Tibet, and China. McKeown follows Śāriputra’s travels and works throughout pan-Buddhist Asia, from restoring the Swayambhunātha caitya in Nepal and establishing tantric lineages in Tibet to overseeing the rebuilding of the Mahābodhi temple in Ming Dynasty Beijing.

McKeown centers his examination on newly revealed Tibetan and Chinese biographies of Śāriputra, as well as looking at a collection of historical documents in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese. These sources point to a fundamental reconsideration of later Indian Buddhism, its relationship with Brahmanism and Islam, and its enduring importance throughout Central, East, and Southeast Asia.