Old News Archive
July 2005

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(2005-07-30) More Jataka stories

These two booklets continue Ken & Visakha Kawasaki's delightful series of retellings of Jataka tales (stories from the Buddha's previous lifetimes):

  • Jataka Tales of the Buddha, Part IV [pdf icon]
    retold by Ken & Visakha Kawasaki (Buddhist Publication Society Bodhi Leaves No. 144; 1998; 42k/14pp.)
    Three Jataka tales: Mahasupina Jataka (The Sixteen Dreams; Jat 77), Manicora Jataka (The Virtuous Wife; Jat 194), and Dabbhapuppha Jataka (The Jackal's Judgment; Jat 400).
  • Jataka Tales of the Buddha, Part V [pdf icon]
    retold by Ken & Visakha Kawasaki (Buddhist Publication Society Bodhi Leaves No. 158; 2002; 32k/11pp.)
    Four Jataka tales: Nalapana Jataka (The Case of the Hollow Canes; Jat 20), Vattaka Jataka (The Baby Quail; Jat 35), Pañcavudha Jataka (Prince Five-weapons; Jat 55), and Alinacitta Jataka (The Elephant Who Saved a Kingdom; Jat 156).


  • Ideal Solitude: An Exposition on the Bhaddekaratta Sutta [pdf icon]
    by Bhikkhu Ñanananda (Buddhist Publication Society Wheel Publication No. 188; 1973; 77k/26pp.)
    In the Bhaddekaratta Sutta (MN 131) the Buddha presents a magnificently concise statement of the life-and-death importance of keeping one's attention firmly rooted in the present moment. Despite the sutta's overall clarity and brilliance, the climax to its central verse hinges on the Pali phrase bhaddekaratta, whose meaning has eluded translators since the time of the early Commentaries. Drawing on evidence from throughout the Canon, the author here presents a cogent argument that the phrase reflects the solitary devotion of the earnest meditator: the "ideal lover of solitude." This book will be of particular interest to students of the Pali language.


  • A Happy Married Life: A Buddhist Perspective, by Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda (Kuala Lumpur: Buddhist Missionary Society, 1987; 84k/27pp.)
    Practicing Buddhists living as married householders face countless challenges in their day-to-day lives with their partners: What responsibilities does one have to one's spouse and children? How can sexuality be reconciled with the Buddha's teachings on celibacy? What are the Buddhist views on contraception? On divorce? How can couples maintain a loving, committed, and mutually supportive relationship that stays true to the Buddha's teachings? In this book the author, who writes from a classical Theravada Buddhist perspective, uses clear and direct language to help strip away much of the confusion that often clouds these issues of vital importance to householders.

(2005-07-14) Four essays by Ven. Nyanatiloka Mahathera

  • Fundamentals of Buddhism: Four Lectures, by Nyanatiloka Mahathera (Buddhist Publication Society Wheel Publication No. 394/396; 1994; 180k/50pp.)
    In this booklet one of the 20th century's great scholar-monks addresses some of the most fundamental but difficult issues in the correct understanding of the Buddha Dhamma. Bringing together his wide scholarship and practical experience with a gift for clear communication, Ven. Nyanatiloka explains the Four Noble Truths, Kamma and Rebirth, Dependent Origination, and Meditation. His treatment of these topics will be illuminating not only for newcomers, but also for longtime students of the Dhamma dissatisfied with the vague, wistful versions of the Teaching that have become so widespread today. [Notes adapted from the back cover.]

(2005-07-13) Essay on the Buddhist attitude towards Nature

  • The Buddhist Attitude Towards Nature, by Lily de Silva (from Buddhist Perspectives on the Ecocrisis, Wheel Publication No. 346; 1987).
    In this essay de Silva reviews the Buddha's teachings regarding humankind's relationship to the natural world. More than just laying the foundation for a Buddhist understanding of contemporary environmental issues, this essay also reveals the vital role that nature and wilderness played in early Buddhism. The book includes copious footnotes with references to source passages from the suttas.

(2005-07-10) Two more booklets for newcomers to Buddhism

  • Buddhist Culture, The Cultured Buddhist, by Robert Bogoda (Buddhist Publication Society Bodhi Leaves No. 139; 1996; 36k/10pp.)
    Four short essays on what it means for a layperson to live in line with the Buddha's teachings. These essays ("Buddhist Culture," "The Balanced Personality," "Knowing Oneself," and "Buddhism and Other Religions") all share a common message: through Buddhist practice it is possible to refine one's character, ennoble one's life, and become "cultured" in the highest sense of the word.
  • Our Reactions to Dukkha, by Dr. Elizabeth Ashby (Buddhist Publication Society Bodhi Leaves No. 26; 1965; 32k/8pp.)
    Although dukkha (unsatisfactoriness, suffering, stress) is an inescapable part of life, we humans demonstrate a remarkable talent at finding ways to hide from it and mask its effects. In this essay the author addresses the many ways — skillful and otherwise — in which we can choose to respond to dukkha.

(2005-07-07) From the Samyutta Nikaya

(2005-07-06) New transcription of a BPS booklet:

  • Bhikkhu Tissa Dispels Some Doubts, by Leonard Price (Buddhist Publication Society Bodhi Leaves No. 102; 1985; 50k/16pp.)
    In this delightful fictional dialogue, an earnest but perplexed newcomer to Buddhism brings his basic questions to the wise and patient monk Tissa. A good read for the newcomer or for the veteran meditator who wants a light-hearted back-to-basics pick-me-up.

(2005-07-03) Verses from the Mahaniddesa...

... and from the Cullavvagga:

  • Cullavagga 5.6 — A Wish of Loving Kindness [Olendzki]. These lesser-known verses of metta (loving kindness, good will) illustrate the Buddha's skill at adapting an existing tradition (here, protective charms against snake bites) to serve as a vehicle for a more universal teaching.

(2005-07-01) New transcription of a classic BPS book:

  • Thoughts on the Dhamma, by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw (Buddhist Publication Society Wheel Publication No. 298/300; 1983; 77k/26pp.)
    This collection of short excerpts from Dhamma talks by Mahasi Sayadaw sketches in broad strokes the essence of his teachings. Topics covered include the nature of the five aggregates (khandha), the role of virtue (sila), the relationship between concentration and insight, and how the persistent application of mindfulness towards nama-rupa (mental and physical phenomena) can eventually lead to the arising of liberating insight.