Who is the Buddha

Who is the Buddha

The image of the Buddha, cross-legged and meditating, appears increasingly in magazines and on television in the West. But who was the Buddha?

Author: Sangharakshita

Publisher: Windhorse Publications

ISBN: 9781907314537

Category: Religion

Page: 184

View: 629

The image of the Buddha, cross-legged and meditating, appears increasingly in magazines and on television in the West. But who was the Buddha? Here we see the Buddha as a historical figure, a warrior prince searching for the truth; in the context of the evolution of the human race, as the pinnacle of human perfection, and as an archetype, in the context of both time and eternity.
Categories: Religion

The Doctrine of the Buddha

The Doctrine of the Buddha

It represents not only the flower of Indian religious feeling and philosophy but also the crowning summit of religious introspection in general. The book deals with Truth as the theme and basis of the doctrine of the Buddha.

Author: George Grimm

Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publ.

ISBN: 8120811941

Category: Religion

Page: 413

View: 326

The present edition, revised and enlarged by the author himself, presents the old genuine Buddha doctrine with the aim of developing a new type of man, free from prejudices and intent on working out his own future with his self as the light. It represents not only the flower of Indian religious feeling and philosophy but also the crowning summit of religious introspection in general. The book deals with Truth as the theme and basis of the doctrine of the Buddha. It explains (1) Truth, Critrine, World and subject of suffering, (2) Truth of the arising of suffering, (3) Truth of the annihilation of suffering, (4) Truth of the path leading to the annihilation of suffering. The author presents the highest knowledge, the supreme reality to which Buddha is awakened, in so cogent a form, free from mythological and mythical clothing that it becomes positively self-evident to the reader. The study is prefixed with an Introduction and Appendix--as important as the text itself. Introduction answers the queries 'Who was the Buddha?' 'What is a Buddha?' and depicts the method of handing down the 'Marvel'. The Appendix deals with the Doctrine, the Metaphysics of the Buddha, Right cognition etc. There are four indexes: (1) Index of quotations from the Pali texts, (2) General Index, (3) Index of proper names (4) Pali and Sanskrit Index. An exhaustive Bibliography supplies the gap in our knowledge of Buddhist literature.
Categories: Religion

Under the Bodhi Tree

Under the Bodhi Tree

Under the Bodhi Tree is the story of a boy and his journey for understanding that eventually led him to the path of peace.

Author: Deborah Hopkinson

Publisher: Sounds True

ISBN: 9781683642497

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 32

View: 505

Who was the Buddha? Once upon a time in ancient India, a prince was born. His name was Siddhartha, and one day he would inherit a powerful kingdom. His father tried to protect him from the suffering and hardship beyond the palace walls, but just like children everywhere, the prince longed to see the world. Under the Bodhi Tree is the story of a boy and his journey for understanding that eventually led him to the path of peace. Told in lyrical language, this excellent introduction to the story of the Buddha is beautifully illustrated and perfect for children who are curious about the real people who made history.
Categories: Juvenile Nonfiction

The Buddha from Babylon

The Buddha from Babylon

The Buddha from Babylon: The Lost History and Cosmic Vision of Siddhartha Gautama uncovers new evidence that solves this ages-old mystery and discovers Babylonian influences in the Buddha's revelations.

Author: Harvey Kraft

Publisher: SelectBooks, Inc.

ISBN: 9781590792612

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 528

View: 498

The sudden death of the Persian Emperor in 522 BCE is one of history’s great mysteries. Was his demise self-inflicted, accidental, an assassination or due to natural causes? The author contends that during this incident Siddhartha Gautama may have been the leader of Babylon's Magi, an interfaith order that assumes governance of the region. The situation explodes when Darius the Great seizes the throne. Simultaneously the Magi Order is purged as Siddhartha, prince of the Saka nation, heads back east to the Indus. Could this event have inspired the creation of Buddhism as a pacifist movement dedicated to the pursuit of self-transformation, goodwill, and universal compassion? The Buddha from Babylon: The Lost History and Cosmic Vision of Siddhartha Gautama uncovers new evidence that solves this ages-old mystery and discovers Babylonian influences in the Buddha's revelations.
Categories: Body, Mind & Spirit

Relics of the Buddha

Relics of the Buddha

The book is structured around the life story of the Buddha, starting with traditions about relics of previous buddhas and relics from the past lives of the Buddha Sakyamuni.

Author: John Strong

Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishe

ISBN: 812083139X

Category: Buddhismus

Page: 290

View: 512

Buddhism is popularly seen as a religion stressing the truth of impermanence. How, then, to account for the long-standing veneration, in Asian Buddhist communities, of bone fragments, hair, teeth and other bodily bits said to come from the historic Buddha? Early European and American scholars of religion, influenced by a characteristic Protestant bias against relic worship, declared such practices to be superstitious and fraudulent, and far from the true essence of Buddhism. John Strong`s Book, by contrast, argues that relic veneration has played a serious and integral role in Buddhist traditions in south and Southeast Asia and that it is in no way foreign to Buddhism. The book is structured around the life story of the Buddha, starting with traditions about relics of previous buddhas and relics from the past lives of the Buddha Sakyamuni. It then considers the death of the Buddha, the collection of his bodily relics after his cremation, and stories of their spread to different parts of Asia. The Book ends with a consideration of the legend of the future parinirvana (extinction) of the relics prior to the advent of the next Buddha, Maitreya. Throughout, the author does not hesitate to explore the many versions of these legends and to relate them to their ritual, doctrinal, artistic, and social contexts. In 1561, an interesting ceremony ing a military operation in Sri Lanka, Portuguese troops had captured what local idolaters (i.e., Buddhists) claimed was the tooth of the Buddha, and had delivered it as a prize to their viceroy, Don Constantino da Braganca. The viceroy had hoped to hold it for ransom, but now the archbishop of Goa, Don Gaspar, was insisting that it be destroyed. On a porch overlooking the river, in the presence of a great crowd of Christians and pagans, he called for the tooth and placed it in a mortar, and with his own hand reduced it to powder, and cast the pieces into a brazier which stood ready for the purpose; after which the ashes and the charcoal together were cast into the river, in sight of all those who were crowding the verandahs and windows which looked upon the water (Tennent 1859, 2:215. See also chapter 7 in this book). As benighted as such an action may seem to us today, it can at least be said that the Portuguese archbishop appreciated the nature of relics. Conscious of the power of holy objects from his own tradition, he felt that the tooth had to be utterly and permanently eradicated. In his mind, this was not just a piece of bone that he was destroying but a relic of the devil (reliquia do demonio) something alive that had to be killed (Tennent 1859, 2:214; text in De Couto 1783, 17:429) Rather different were the attitudes of some of Don Gaspar`s Protestant contemporaries in Europe. John Calvin, to my knowledge, never said anything about Buddhist relics, but in 1543 he wrote a whole treatise on Roman Catholic ones (Calvin 1970). And although he too, given the chance, would probably have crushed the Buddha`s tooth to bits, he would have done so for different reasons. For him, relics embodied no sacred or even demonic presence, and it was wrong and exploitative to pretend that they did. Relics were nothing but material things, as he pointed out when he got rid of what had been two of Geneva`s prized relics-the arm of Saint Anthony and the brain of Saint peter; the one, he proclaimed, was but the bone of a stag, and the other a piece of pumice (Calvin 1970:53) Contents List of Tables, Preface, Note and Abbreviations, Introduction: Relics of the Buddha, Relics and the Biographical process, Types of Buddha Relics, Bones and Books, Bones and Beads, Relics, Bones, and Burial Practices in India and Beyond, Bones and Bodies, Relics and images, Limitations of this study, outline, 1. Relics of previous buddhas, 2. Relics of the Bodhisattva, 3. Relics of the Still-Living Buddha: Hairs and Rootprints, 4. The Parinirvana of the Buddha, 5. Asoka and the Buddha Relics, 6. Predestined Relics: The extension of the Buddha's life story in some sri lankan traditions, 7. Further Extensions of the Buddha's Life Story: Some Tooth Relic Traditions, 8. Relics and Eschatology, Conclusions, Bibliography, index.
Categories: Buddhismus

The Buddha s Teachings on Prosperity

The Buddha s Teachings on Prosperity

Shares specific recommendations on how to incorporate Buddhist teachings into busy lifestyles, counseling readers on the practice of applying spiritual philosophies to a range of everyday concerns, from money management and relationships to ...

Author: Basnagoda Rahula

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780861715473

Category: Philosophy

Page: 200

View: 134

Shares specific recommendations on how to incorporate Buddhist teachings into busy lifestyles, counseling readers on the practice of applying spiritual philosophies to a range of everyday concerns, from money management and relationships to office conflicts and parenting. Original.
Categories: Philosophy

The Heart of the Buddha s Teaching

The Heart of the Buddha s Teaching

With poetry and clarity, Thich Nhat Hanh imparts comforting wisdom about the nature of suffering and its role in creating compassion, love, and joy – all qualities of enlightenment.

Author: Thich Nhat Hanh

Publisher: Harmony

ISBN: 9781101905739

Category: Religion

Page: 304

View: 715

“If there is a candidate for ‘Living Buddha’ on earth today, it is Thich Nhat Hanh.” – Richard Baker-roshi In The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, now with added material and new insights, Thich Nhat Hanh introduces us to the core teachings of Buddhism and shows us that the Buddha’s teachings are accessible and applicable to our daily lives. With poetry and clarity, Nhat Hanh imparts comforting wisdom about the nature of suffering and its role in creating compassion, love, and joy – all qualities of enlightenment. Covering such significant teachings as the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Three Doors of Liberation, the Three Dharma Seals, and the Seven Factors of Awakening, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching is a radiant beacon on Buddhist thought for the initiated and uninitiated alike. “Thich Nhat Hanh shows us the connection between personal, inner peace, and peace on earth.” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama “Thich Nhat Hanh is a real poet.” – Robert Lowell From the Trade Paperback edition.
Categories: Religion

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha

This volume offers a complete translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, the third of the four great collections in the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon.

Author:

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780861719730

Category: Religion

Page: 2080

View: 804

This volume offers a complete translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, the third of the four great collections in the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon. The Samyutta Nikaya consists of fifty-six chapters, each governed by a unifying theme that binds together the Buddha's suttas or discourses. The chapters are organized into five major parts. The first, The Book with Verses, is a compilation of suttas composed largely in verse. This book ranks as one of the most inspiring compilations in the Buddhist canon, showing the Buddha in his full grandeur as the peerless "teacher of gods and humans." The other four books deal in depth with the philosophical principles and meditative structures of early Buddhism. They combine into orderly chapters all the important short discourses of the Buddha on such major topics as dependent origination, the five aggregates, the six sense bases, the seven factors of enlightenment, the Noble Eightfold Path, and the Four Noble Truths. Among the four large Nikayas belonging to the Pali Canon, the Samyutta Nikaya serves as the repository for the many shorter suttas of the Buddha where he discloses his radical insights into the nature of reality and his unique path to spiritual emancipation. This collection, it seems, was directed mainly at those disciples who were capable of grasping the deepest dimensions of wisdom and of clarifying them for others, and also provided guidance to meditators intent on consummating their efforts with the direct realization of the ultimate truth. The present work begins with an insightful general introduction to the Samyutta Nikaya as a whole. Each of the five parts is also provided with its own introduction, intended to guide the reader through this vast, ocean-like collection of suttas. To further assist the reader, the translator has provided an extensive body of notes clarifying various problems concerning both the language and the mean
Categories: Religion

Stories Of The Buddha

Stories Of The Buddha

The stories about him reached the Buddha . The Buddha decided to meet him .
He came to the forest in which Angulimal lived and operated . The people of that
area looked grim and there was a mood of gloom and fear in the air . The Buddha
 ...

Author: Anita Khanna

Publisher: Children's Book Trust

ISBN: 8170119138

Category: Buddhist stories

Page: 79

View: 824

The Buddha Means The Enlightened. The Sakya Prince Did Not Reject Life Entirely But Returned To It, Declaring The Middle Path Or Moderation. This Collection Of 24 Stories Of The Buddha From His Birth To His Attaining Nirvana, Is Highly Recommended For Children Of All Ages.
Categories: Buddhist stories

From Stone to Flesh

From Stone to Flesh

Leading historian of Buddhism Donald S. Lopez Jr. tells the story of how various idols carved in stone—variously named Beddou, Codam, Xaca, and Fo—became the man of flesh and blood that we know simply as the Buddha.

Author: Donald S. Lopez Jr.

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226493213

Category: Religion

Page: 304

View: 474

We have come to admire Buddhism for being profound but accessible, as much a lifestyle as a religion. The credit for creating Buddhism goes to the Buddha, a figure widely respected across the Western world for his philosophical insight, his teachings of nonviolence, and his practice of meditation. But who was this Buddha, and how did he become the Buddha we know and love today? Leading historian of Buddhism Donald S. Lopez Jr. tells the story of how various idols carved in stone—variously named Beddou, Codam, Xaca, and Fo—became the man of flesh and blood that we know simply as the Buddha. He reveals that the positive view of the Buddha in Europe and America is rather recent, originating a little more than a hundred and fifty years ago. For centuries, the Buddha was condemned by Western writers as the most dangerous idol of the Orient. He was a demon, the murderer of his mother, a purveyor of idolatry. Lopez provides an engaging history of depictions of the Buddha from classical accounts and medieval stories to the testimonies of European travelers, diplomats, soldiers, and missionaries. He shows that centuries of hostility toward the Buddha changed dramatically in the nineteenth century, when the teachings of the Buddha, having disappeared from India by the fourteenth century, were read by European scholars newly proficient in Asian languages. At the same time, the traditional view of the Buddha persisted in Asia, where he was revered as much for his supernatural powers as for his philosophical insights. From Stone to Flesh follows the twists and turns of these Eastern and Western notions of the Buddha, leading finally to his triumph as the founder of a world religion.
Categories: Religion

World of the Buddha

World of the Buddha

Then said the Future Buddha to the charioteer, in the manner related in the
Mahāpadāna,— “Friend, pray, who is this man? Even his hair is not like that of
other men.” And when he heard the answer, he said, “Shame on birth, since to
every ...

Author: Lucien Stryk

Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic

ISBN: 9780802198259

Category: Religion

Page: 480

View: 176

Selections from the most significant texts in the body of Buddhist literature. For readers who want a deeper understanding of Buddhism, this is a rich, varied, and comprehensive collection in one volume. It includes the most significant texts from the vast body of Buddhist literature, and includes translations from Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Lao. For the benefit of the newcomer to Buddhism—or for those using it in an academic context—the pieces are arranged in chronological order, and each chapter is preceded by a separate commentary. In addition, there is a comprehensive description of life in India at the time of the Buddha and an outline of his life and mission. “The best available translations.” —Library Journal
Categories: Religion

In the Buddha s Words

In the Buddha s Words

It is full of suffering, full of tribulation. This one should wisely understand. One
should do good and live a pure life; for none who is born can escape death.' “But
at that time, O monks, the human lifespan was 206 In the Buddha's Words.

Author: Bodhi

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780861719969

Category: Religion

Page: 512

View: 686

This landmark collection is the definitive introduction to the Buddha's teachings - in his own words. The American scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi, whose voluminous translations have won widespread acclaim, here presents selected discourses of the Buddha from the Pali Canon, the earliest record of what the Buddha taught. Divided into ten thematic chapters, In the Buddha's Words reveals the full scope of the Buddha's discourses, from family life and marriage to renunciation and the path of insight. A concise, informative introduction precedes each chapter, guiding the reader toward a deeper understanding of the texts that follow. In the Buddha's Words allows even readers unacquainted with Buddhism to grasp the significance of the Buddha's contributions to our world heritage. Taken as a whole, these texts bear eloquent testimony to the breadth and intelligence of the Buddha's teachings, and point the way to an ancient yet ever-vital path. Students and seekers alike will find this systematic presentation indispensable.
Categories: Religion

The Buddha s Return

The Buddha s Return

Slipping between the menacing dream world of the student's fevered imagination, and the dark back alleys of the Paris underworld, The Buddha's Return is part detective novel, part philosophical thriller, and part love story.In typically ...

Author: Gaito Gazdanov

Publisher: Pushkin Press

ISBN: 9781782271109

Category: Fiction

Page: 224

View: 309

A millionaire is killed. A golden statuette of a Buddha goes missing. A penniless student, who is afflicted by dream-like fits, is arrested and accused of murder. Slipping between the menacing dream world of the student's fevered imagination, and the dark back alleys of the Paris underworld, The Buddha's Return is part detective novel, part philosophical thriller, and part love story.In typically crisp, unfussy prose, Gazdanov's delicately balanced novel is an irresistibly hypnotic masterpiece from one of Russia's most talented émigré writers. Gaito Gazdanov (1903-1971) joined the White Army aged just sixteen and fought in the Russian Civil War. Exiled in Paris from the 1920s onwards, he eventually became a nocturnal taxi-driver and quickly gained prominence on the literary scene as a novelist, essayist, critic and short-story writer, and was greatly admired by Maxim Gorky, among others. His 1949 novel The Spectre of Alexander Wolf was published by Pushkin Press to great acclaim in 2013.
Categories: Fiction

What the Buddha Taught

What the Buddha Taught

1 What the Buddha wanted to convey to Ānanda is quite clear. The latter was sad
and depressed. He thought that they would all be lonely, helpless, without a
refuge, without a leader after their great Teacher's death. So the Buddha gave
him ...

Author: Walpola Rahula

Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic

ISBN: 9780802198105

Category: Religion

Page: 192

View: 700

This indispensable volume is a lucid and faithful account of the Buddha’s teachings. “For years,” says the Journal of the Buddhist Society, “the newcomer to Buddhism has lacked a simple and reliable introduction to the complexities of the subject. Dr. Rahula’s What the Buddha Taught fills the need as only could be done by one having a firm grasp of the vast material to be sifted. It is a model of what a book should be that is addressed first of all to ‘the educated and intelligent reader.’ Authoritative and clear, logical and sober, this study is as comprehensive as it is masterly.” This edition contains a selection of illustrative texts from the Suttas and the Dhammapada (specially translated by the author), sixteen illustrations, and a bibliography, glossary, and index.
Categories: Religion

Great Disciples of the Buddha

Great Disciples of the Buddha

She then invited the Buddha and his monks to attend the opening ceremony for
the assembly hall. In his discourse the Buddha explained the kammic cause for
her skin ailment. In a previous life, he said,. 202 GREAT DISCIPLES OF THE ...

Author: Nyanaponika

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780861718641

Category: Religion

Page: 412

View: 180

A perennial favorite, Great Disciples of the Buddha is now relaunched in our best-selling Teachings of the Buddha series. Twenty-four of the Buddha's most distinguished disciples are brought to life in ten chapters of rich narration. Drawn from a wide range of authentic Pali sources, the material in these stories has never before been assembled in a single volume. Through these engaging tales, we meet all manner of human beings - rich, poor, male, female, young, old - whose unique stories are told with an eye to the details of ordinary human concerns. When read with careful attention, these stories can sharpen our understanding of the Buddhist path by allowing us to contemplate the living portraits of the people who fulfilled the early Buddhist ideals of human perfection. The characters detailed include: Sariputta Nanda Mahamoggallana Mahakassapa Ananda Isidasi Anuruddha Mahakaccana Angulimala Visakha and many more. Conveniently annotated with the same system of sutta references used in each of the other series volumes, Great Disciples of the Buddha allows the reader to easily place each student in the larger picture of Buddha's life. It is a volume that no serious student of Buddhism should miss.
Categories: Religion

If You See the Buddha

If You See the Buddha

Chapter One Bunin as Buddhist Disciple INTRODUCTION On 12 March 1910 ,
an angry Bunin complained to an interviewer : Critics . . . are extremely
conservative in their views about a writer . Early in his literary career , a writer is
branded by ...

Author: Thomas Gaiton Marullo

Publisher: Northwestern University Press

ISBN: 081011612X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 208

View: 338

This study establishes Bunin as a modern writer whose images were thoroughly rooted in the 20th century and shows that Bunin's interest in Buddhism was a major influence on his writing.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Buddhism

Buddhism

THE GROWING SANGHA A Chinese , Song - dynasty era 1960–1279 ) ,
polychrome bronze figurine of Kashyapa , one of the Buddha's first followers and
arhats . He is believed to have presided at the council held in Rajagriha in the
wake of ...

Author: Kevin Trainor

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0195173988

Category: Religion

Page: 256

View: 434

In this strikingly illustrated and authoritative volume, readers have an introduction to one of the world's greatest living faiths. 200 color photos, maps & drawings.
Categories: Religion

The Heart of the Buddha

The Heart of the Buddha

Entering the Tibetan Buddhist Path Chögyam Trungpa Judith L. Lief ... The
articles collected in The Heart of the Buddha exhibit the resulting variety of
editorial styles. Sherab Chodzin Kohn, who was the first Vajradhatu editor-in-
chief, was the ...

Author: Chogyam Trungpa

Publisher: Shambhala Publications

ISBN: 9781590307663

Category: Religion

Page: 208

View: 517

Chögyam Trungpa, Tibetan meditation master, discusses the open, inquisitive, and good-humored qualities of the “heart of the Buddha,” an “enlightened gene” that everyone possesses. The book is divided into three parts. In “Personal Journey,” the author discusses the qualities of openness, inquisitiveness, and good humor that characterize the enlightened Buddha-nature in everyone. In “Stages on the Path,” he presents the three vehicles—Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana—that carry the Buddhist practitioner toward enlightenment. In “Working with Others,” he describes the direct application of Buddhist teachings to topics as varied as relationships, drinking, children, and money. The Heart of the Buddhareflects Trungpa's great appreciation for Western culture and deep understanding of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which enabled him to teach Westerners in an effective, contemporary way.
Categories: Religion

Waking the Buddha

Waking the Buddha

Waking the Buddha tells the story of the Soka Gakkai International, the largest, most dynamic Buddhist movement in the world today—and one that is waking up and shaking up Buddhism so it can truly work in ordinary people’s lives.

Author: Clark Strand

Publisher: Middleway Press

ISBN: 9781938252525

Category: Religion

Page: 192

View: 547

Is there more to Buddhism than sitting in silent meditation? Is modern Buddhism relevant to the problems of daily life? Does it empower individuals to transform their lives? Or has Buddhism become too detached, so still and quiet that the Buddha has fallen asleep? Waking the Buddha tells the story of the Soka Gakkai International, the largest, most dynamic Buddhist movement in the world today—and one that is waking up and shaking up Buddhism so it can truly work in ordinary people’s lives. Drawing on his long personal experience as a Buddhist teacher, journalist, and editor, Clark Strand offers broad insight into how and why the Soka Gakkai, with its commitment to social justice and its egalitarian approach, has become a role model, not only for other schools of Buddhism, but for other religions as well. Readers will be inspired by the struggles and triumphs of the Soka Gakkai’s three founding presidents—individuals who staked their lives on the teachings of the Lotus Sutra and the extraordinary power of those teachings to help people become happy.
Categories: Religion

The History of the Buddha s Relic Shrine

The History of the Buddha s Relic Shrine

King Ka ̄vantissa, the father of this King Dut.uga ̈mun_u, will be the father to
Mete ̄ [Maitreya] Buddha, who will become a Buddha in the future. Viha
̄ramaha ̄de ̄vı ̄, the mother of King Dut.uga ̈mun_u, will be the mother to
that Mete ...

Author: Stephen C. Berkwitz

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198041269

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 268

Buddhist chronicles have long been had a central place in the study of Buddhism. Scholars, however, have relied almost exclusively on Pali works that were composed by elites for learned audiences, to the neglect of a large number of Buddhist histories written in local languages for popular consumption. The Sinhala Th?pavamsa, composed by Parakama Pandita in thirteenth-century Sri Lanka, is an important example of a Buddhist chronicle written in the vernacular Sinhala language. Furthermore, it is among those works that inform public discussion and debate over the place of Buddhism in the Sri Lankan nation state and the role of Buddhist monks in contemporary politics. In this book Stephen Berkwitz offers the first complete English translation of the Sinhala Th?pavamsa. Composed in a literary dialect of Sinhala, it contains a richly descriptive account of how Buddhism spread outside of India, replete with poetic embellishments and interpolations not found in other accounts of those events. Aside from being an important literary work, the Sinhala Th?pavamsa. is a text of considerable historical and religious significance. It comprises several narrative strands that relate the life story of the Buddha and the manner in which Buddhist teachings and institutions were established on the island of Sri Lanka in ancient times. The central focus of this work concerns the variety of relics associated with the historical Buddha, particularly how the relics were acquired and the presumed benefits of venerating them. The text also relates the mythological history of the Buddha's previous lives as a bodhisattva and concludes with a prediction about the future Buddha Maitreya. Reflection on Buddhist ethics and instruction on the Dharma, or the Buddha's teaching, are found throughout the work, indicating that this historical narrative was meant both to recall the past and give rise to religious practice among contemporary readers and listeners. This new translation makes a significant work more widely accessible in the West and adds to our knowledge of how local Buddhist communities imagined and represented their religious and cultural heritages in written works.
Categories: Religion