A Buddhist Response to Contemporary Dilemmas of Human Existence, by Bhikkhu Bodhi (1994)
In this essay, presented at an interfaith conference in Sri Lanka, the author describes the "radical secularization" of human life that lies at the root of the manifold social problems in the modern world. Religious fundamentalism and spiritual eclecticism have emerged as two counterproductive reactions to this state of affairs. The author enumerates several fundamental tasks that practitioners from all the world's great religions must undertake as part of a sane response to the current crisis.
A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma (excerpt — Introduction only), edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi (1993; 61k/20pp)
This is the Introduction to the 1993 revision of Narada Mahathera's 1956 classic guidebook to Abhidhamma philosophy, A Manual of Abhidhamma. The Introduction provides an outline of Abhidhamma philosophy and of the seven books within the Abdhidhamma Pitaka and describes the relationship between the Abhidhamma and the suttas.
Dana: The Practice of Giving, edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Buddhist Publication Society "Wheel" No. 367/369; 1990; 114k/38pp.)
See its entry under "Various Authors".
Discourses of the Ancient Nuns, translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Buddhist Publication Society "Bodhi Leaves" No. 143; 1997; 41k/14pp.)
A translation of the Bhikkhuni Samyutta (Chapter 5 of the Samyutta Nikaya), consisting of ten suttas that describe Mara's failed attempts to upset the equanimity and resolve of meditating forest nuns. With Introduction and detailed notes.
The Discourse on Right View, by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli (trans.) and Bhikkhu Bodhi, (ed.). (Buddhist Publication Society "Wheel" No. 377; 1991; 148k/49pp.)
Translation of the Sammaditthi Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 9) and its Commentary. This discourse by Ven. Sariputta explains many aspects of kamma, the Four Noble Truths, and dependent arising.
Going for Refuge/Taking the Precepts, by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Buddhist Publication Society "Wheel" No. 282; 1981; 150k/50pp.)
An excellent introduction to the purpose, meaning, and fruits of taking refuge in the Triple Gem and of observing the precepts.
The Lion's Roar: Two Discourses of Buddha, by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli, trans.; Bhikkhu Bodhi, ed. (Buddhist Publication Society "Wheel" No. 390; 1993; 88k/29pp.)
The Shorter Discourse on the Lion's Roar (MN 11) deals with the delicate question of whether different spiritual paths all lead to the same ultimate goal. If not, the question arises of defining the critical line that distinguishes them, and it is this question that the Buddha attempts to answer in this sutta. The Great Discourse on the Lion's Roar (MN 12) is a text of awesome scope and power in which the Buddha discloses the greatness and loftiness of his own spiritual endowments. Spoken as a rebuttal to the charges of a renegade disciple, the sutta has had such a powerful impact that in ancient times it was also known as "The Hair-Raising Discourse." [From the back cover]
The Living Message of the Dhammapada, by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Buddhist Publication Society "Bodhi Leaves" No. 129; 1993; 33k/11pp.)
An invitation to the Dhammapada, Buddhism's most important collection of short inspirational verses.
Maha Kaccana: Master of Doctrinal Exposition, by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Buddhist Publication Society "Wheel" No. 405-6; 1995; 95k/31pp.)
The Venerable Maha Kaccana was one of the foremost disciples of the Buddha, appointed by the Awakened One as the monk most skilled in explaining in detail the meaning of his own brief utterances. Often the other monks turned to Maha Kaccana for help in clarifying the meaning of the Buddha's condensed statements, and thus we find in the Pali canon a sheaf of suttas, all of great importance, spoken by this eminent disciple. [This book] offers a short biographical sketch of the Venerable Maha Kaccana, followed by a more detailed survey of the discourses ascribed to him in the Pali canon. These texts, always methodically refined and analytically precise, help to bring to light the far-ranging implications and profund relevance of the liberating teachings of the Buddha. [From the back cover]
The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering, by Bhikkhu Bodhi (1994; first published in 1984 as WH 308/311; 238k/79pp)
Using simple and clear language, the author presents a concise yet thorough explanation of the Eightfold Path, the practical method the Buddha prescribed to uproot and eliminate the underlying causes of suffering. Basing himself solidly upon the Buddha's own words, the author examines each factor of the path to determine exactly what it implies in the way of practical training. Finally, in the concluding chapter, he shows how all eight factors of the path function together to bring about the realization of the Buddhist goal: enlightenment and liberation.
Nourishing the Roots: Essays on Buddhist Ethics, by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Buddhist Publication Society "Wheel" No. 259; 1990; 78k/26pp.)
Four essays concerning the role of Buddhist ethics, not as a guide to interpersonal relations and social action, but as an integral part of the quest for purification and liberation.
The Taste of Freedom, by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Buddhist Publication Society "Bodhi Leaves" No. 71; 1976; 19k/6pp.)
What is true freedom, and where can it be found? These questions have haunted humanity since the beginning of time, and are still with us today. The Buddha's teachings offer us a practical solution to this all-important riddle.
Transcendental Dependent Arising: A Translation and Exposition of the Upanisa Sutta, by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Buddhist Publication Society "Wheel" No. 277; 1980; 116k/38pp.)
The seldom-studied Upanisa Sutta contains an important alternative presentation of the principle of dependent arising, offering a "roadmap" of the entire path of practice as it progresses toward final liberation.
A Treatise on the Paramis from the Commentary to the Cariyapitaka, by Acariya Dhammapala (6th c.), translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Buddhist Publication Society "Wheel" No. 409/411; 1996; 172k/57pp.) [Browse]   [Download PDF file] [Download PDF file]
Although Theravada Buddhism explicitly advocates the attainment of arahantship as the ultimate goal, in the course of its historical evolution the Theravada tradition gave birth to a rich body of teachings on the practices of a bodhisatta, an aspirant to Supreme Buddhahood. In about the sixth century CE the great commentator Acariya Dhammapala collected and systematized these diverse teachings on the bodhisatta into a single treatise, which he included in his commentary on the late canonical work, the Cariyapitaka. This treatise, which draws freely from a Mahayana work entitled the Bodhisattvabhumi, provides a detailed examination of the ten paramis, the sublime virtues that a bodhisatta must practice over innumerable lives in order to reach the plane of supreme Supreme Buddhahood. This booklet contains a lucid and inspiring translation of this treatise, slightly abridged, which should throw a valuable sidelight on an aspect of the Theravada Buddhist often overlooked in popular accounts. [From the back cover.]
Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya: A Personal Appreciation, by Bhikkhu Bodhi (1998; 22k/7pp.)
Bhikkhu Bodhi recounts with fond appreciation his years with the late Ven. Ananda Maitreya (1896-1998), Sri Lanka's highest-ranking and widely-venerated scholar-monk. (Also included: a newspaper account of the state funeral for Ven. Ananda Maitreya.)

Cover essays from the BPS Newsletter: 1


1. Essays marked with an asterisk (*) will be primarily of interest to readers who are closely associated with the BPS and the Sri Lankan Buddhist community.