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Break­ing News: after 17 years of work, ‘Bud­dhad­ham­ma’ has final­ly been pub­lished (see blog).

Radiance

This web­site sprung pri­mar­i­ly from a wish to share the teach­ings and trans­la­tions of Ven­er­a­ble Luang Por Payut­to (Phra Payut­to; Somdet Phra Bud­dhaghosacariya), one of Thailand’s most respect­ed and revered monks. His mon­u­men­tal work titled Bud­dhad­ham­ma is con­sid­ered by many to be one of the most impor­tant com­pendi­ums of the Bud­dhist teach­ings of the mod­ern era. An ambi­tious project has been under­way to com­plete the trans­la­tion of this text into Eng­lish. It is my priv­i­lege to be at the fore­front of this project, after hav­ing spent some time liv­ing with Ven. Payut­to when I was a monk and now receiv­ing his bless­ing to trans­late his books.

The Bud­dhad­ham­ma Foun­da­tion in Bangkok, a non-prof­it pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny, invit­ed me to work for them for five years, with the aim of pub­lish­ing this trans­la­tion. Just this past week, the fin­ished book has returned from the print­ers. I, as much as any­one, am delight­ed to final­ly hold the com­plet­ed book in my hands. Up till now, four chap­ters of Bud­dhad­ham­ma have been pub­lished as sep­a­rate vol­umes. Excerpts from all of these books are avail­able on this web­site. I am slow­ly adding excerpts from oth­er chap­ters (the com­plete Eng­lish trans­la­tion has nine­teen chap­ters).

In addi­tion, I hope this web­site can be a resource for infor­ma­tion on the Buddha’s teach­ings. It is my inten­tion to use the blog to dis­cuss such ques­tions as:

  • What is Bud­dhism? Is it a reli­gion or a phi­los­o­phy?
  • What is the role of med­i­ta­tion in the Bud­dhist teach­ings? Is there a con­flict between insight med­i­ta­tion (vipas­sanā) and tran­quil­li­ty med­i­ta­tion (samatha)?
  • What are some of the chal­lenges of trans­lat­ing Bud­dhist texts? For exam­ple, is it more effec­tive to use Pali terms (e.g., Dham­ma, kam­ma, Nib­bā­na), or prefer­able to use the more com­mon­ly encoun­tered San­skrit ver­sions (e.g., Dhar­ma, kar­ma, Nir­vana)?
  • What are the Bud­dhist teach­ings on enlight­en­ment and awak­ened beings (the noble Sang­ha)?
  • What are the chal­lenges for con­tem­po­rary Bud­dhists and what are the solu­tions?
  • What are the unique attrib­ut­es of tra­di­tion­al Thai Bud­dhism, and what are some of the chal­lenges it faces today.

 

Robin