P. J. Saher's The Conquest of Suffering: George Grimm's Contributions to Buddhist Philosophy and Metaphysics - Download PDF
Conquest of Suffering: A Review of P.J. Saher's Book
If you are interested in learning more about Buddhism and its relevance to modern life, you might want to check out The Conquest of Suffering, a book by P.J. Saher. In this book, Saher presents an enlarged anthology of George Grimm's works on Buddhist philosophy and metaphysics, along with his own commentary and analysis. In this article, I will review the book and highlight its main features, themes, and arguments.
Who is P.J. Saher?
P.J. Saher (Purvezji Jamshedji Saher) was a scholar, mystic, and author who was born in Bombay (Mumbai) and studied in England and Germany. He gave up a career at the Bar to take up research in mysticism, mastered yoga, and came under the influence of Heidegger, Radhakrishnan, and Huxley. He published several books in German and English on spirituality, religion, and philosophy, including Eastern Wisdom and Western Thought, Zen-Yoga, and Happiness and Immortality.
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What is the book about?
The Conquest of Suffering is a book that explores the Buddhist approach to suffering and its solution. It is based on the works of George Grimm, a German scholar who was one of the first Westerners to study Buddhism in depth and to present it from a non-dogmatic perspective. Saher provides an overview of Grimm's life and writings, as well as his interpretation of the core teachings of Buddhism, such as the four noble truths, the concept of dukkha (suffering), and the practice of meditation and compassion. Saher also adds his own critique and analysis of Grimm's views, as well as his insights into the implications of Buddhism for modern society.
Why is the book important?
The book is important because it offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to Buddhism from a rational and scientific standpoint. It also shows how Buddhism can help us understand and overcome the problems and challenges that we face in our lives, such as stress, anxiety, depression, anger, greed, hatred, violence, and ignorance. The book also demonstrates how Buddhism can inspire us to cultivate wisdom, peace, happiness, and harmony in ourselves and in the world.
The Buddhist approach to suffering
The four noble truths
The foundation of Buddhism is the four noble truths, which are:
The truth of suffering: Life is full of suffering in various forms.
The truth of the origin of suffering: Suffering is caused by craving or attachment to things that are impermanent and unsatisfactory.
The truth of the cessation of suffering: Suffering can be ended by eliminating craving or attachment.
The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering: The way to eliminate craving or attachment is to follow the noble eightfold path, which consists of right understanding, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
The four noble truths are not dogmas or commandments, but rather observations and guidelines that can help us understand the nature of reality and how and context, as well as to provide his own perspective and evaluation. He also included some tables and diagrams to illustrate some of the key points and concepts.
His critique and analysis
Saher's critique and analysis of Grimm's works was both appreciative and critical. He praised Grimm for his originality, clarity, depth, and accuracy in presenting Buddhism from a non-sectarian and non-dogmatic angle. He also acknowledged Grimm's contribution to the advancement of Buddhist studies in the West. However, he also pointed out some of the limitations and weaknesses of Grimm's approach, such as his tendency to ignore or dismiss some of the later developments and traditions of Buddhism, his over-reliance on logic and reason at the expense of intuition and experience, his lack of attention to the ethical and social aspects of Buddhism, and his occasional misunderstanding or misinterpretation of some of the Buddhist terms and concepts.
His insights and implications
Saher's insights and implications of Grimm's works were mainly in his application of Buddhism to the contemporary world. He showed how Buddhism could offer a viable alternative to the materialistic, mechanistic, and individualistic worldview that dominates modern society. He also showed how Buddhism could address some of the pressing issues and challenges that humanity faces, such as war, poverty, injustice, violence, environmental degradation, and moral decay. He argued that Buddhism could inspire us to develop a holistic, organic, and interdependent vision of reality that respects the dignity and diversity of all forms of life. He also argued that Buddhism could empower us to transform ourselves and our society through the cultivation of wisdom, compassion, and altruism.
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Summary of the main points
In conclusion, The Conquest of Suffering is a book that introduces us to the Buddhist approach to suffering and its solution. It is based on the works of George Grimm, a German scholar who studied Buddhism in depth and presented it from a rational and scientific perspective. It also includes the commentary and analysis of P.J. Saher, an Indian scholar who synthesized Grimm's works and applied them to the modern world. The book covers the following topics:
The four noble truths: The basic teachings of Buddhism that explain the nature and cause of suffering, as well as the way to end it.
The concept of dukkha: The term that describes the various forms and levels of suffering that we experience in life.
The practice of meditation and compassion: The method that helps us to overcome suffering by developing mindfulness and kindness.
The works of George Grimm: The biography and background of the German scholar who explored Buddhism from a critical-historical approach.
His interpretation of Buddhism: His presentation and explanation of the core concepts of Buddhism, such as anatta, sunyata, nirvana, karma, rebirth, and dependent origination.
His contribution to Buddhist philosophy and metaphysics: His analysis and argumentation of the logical consequences and implications of the empirical observation of reality.
The synthesis of Saher: The style and method of the Indian scholar who compiled and edited Grimm's works in an enlarged anthology format.
His critique and analysis: His evaluation and criticism of Grimm's works, as well as his own perspective and opinion.
His insights and implications: His application and relevance of Buddhism to the contemporary world, as well as his suggestions and recommendations for readers.
Evaluation of the book's strengths and weaknesses
The book's strengths are its clarity, depth, breadth, and originality. It provides a clear and concise introduction to Buddhism that covers the essential aspects of its doctrine and practice. It also offers a deep and thorough analysis of the philosophical and metaphysical foundations of Buddhism that challenges and stimulates the reader's mind. It also covers a wide range of topics and issues that relate Buddhism to various fields of knowledge and areas of life. It also presents a unique and novel perspective on Buddhism that is based on the works of George Grimm, a pioneer and innovator in Buddhist studies.
The book's weaknesses are its complexity, bias, and incompleteness. It can be difficult and demanding for some readers who are not familiar with the technical terms and concepts of Buddhism or philosophy. It also reflects the personal views and preferences of the authors, who sometimes ignore or dismiss other interpretations or traditions of Buddhism that may have different or valid insights. It also leaves out some important aspects or dimensions of Buddhism, such as its ethical, social, cultural, historical, and artistic expressions.
Recommendation for readers
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about Buddhism or exploring its relevance to the modern world. It is especially suitable for those who are looking for a rational and scientific approach to Buddhism that does not rely on blind faith or dogma. It is also suitable for those who are looking for a comprehensive and accessible overview of Buddhism that covers its core teachings and practices, as well as its philosophical and metaphysical implications. However, I would also advise readers to keep an open mind and to consult other sources or perspectives on Buddhism that may complement or contrast with the views presented in this book.
What is the main message of the book?
The main message of the book is that suffering can be conquered by understanding and practicing the teachings of Buddhism.
Who are the authors of the book?
The authors of the book are P.J. Saher, an Indian scholar who compiled and edited the works of George Grimm, a German scholar who studied and wrote about Buddhism.
How is the book structured?
The book is structured in three parts: introduction, main body, and conclusion. The introduction provides some background information about the authors and the book. The main body presents an enlarged anthology of Grimm's works on Buddhism, along with Saher's commentary and analysis. The conclusion summarizes the main points, evaluates the book's strengths and weaknesses, and recommends it to readers.
What are some of the key concepts or terms used in the book?
Some of the key concepts or terms used in the book are:
Dukkha: The term that describes the various forms and levels of suffering that we experience in life.
Anatta: The concept that denies the existence of a permanent or independent self or soul.
Sunyata: The concept that denotes the emptiness or voidness of all phenomena.
Nirvana: The term that refers to the state of liberation or cessation from suffering.
Karma: The principle that explains the causal relationship between actions and their effects.
Rebirth: The process that describes the continuity of consciousness from one life to another.
Dependent origination: The doctrine that explains how all phenomena arise and cease in dependence on other phenomena.
Where can I find more information about the book or the authors?
You can find more information about the book or the authors by visiting their websites or reading their other books. You can also search for online reviews or articles about them. Some of the links are:
[P.J. Saher's website]
[George Grimm's biography]
[The Conquest of Suffering on Amazon]