The title Buddha is given to a person who is an enlightened being. It comes from the root BUDH in Sanskrit, meaning “to know”. Buddha is a person who understands truth, he is a finder and a proclaimer of the truth. The historical Buddha that we know of is called “Siddhartha Gauthama” Gauthama, being his family name. He was born in 563 B.C in an area called Kapilawasthu. His father was Suddodana and the mother was Mahamaya. At the time of the birth the father called various famous astrologers to the palace to ask about the child’s destiny. Although all the people who were there agreed that he would either be a very great ruler or a very great sage, one of the ascetics there was quite convinced that he would be the future Buddha….


Before we come into an analysis of the four Noble truths we should have some idea about the meaning of the word “Dhamma”. Four Noble truths will also come under this Dhamma. The word Dhamma comes from the root word “Dara” which means uphold and this covers the fundamental rules operating in the universe and also the rules of righteousness or ethical element and all these are contained in the “Dhamma”.

Dhamma is called the medicine of all the medicines in the world, manifold and various, there is none like the medicine of Dhamma.

Buddhists are taught there are various great qualities of the ocean found in the Dhamma. They say that the great ocean slopes and inclines and there is no sudden precipice since the great ocean gradually shelves. The great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt. This is the sixth wonderful and marvelous quality of the great ocean. This is how they speak of the greatness of the Dhamma or the great teachings and they also believe that the Dhamma is to be realized by the wise and not by the foolish……



Prof.Lakshman’s talk on History and Culture of Sri Lanka which also contains details of Buddha’s three visits to Sri Lanka.

Click to read Mahavamsa– Mahavamsa is an important Buddhist document of the early history of Sri Lanka, beginning near the time of the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama. As it often refers to the royal dynasties of India, the Mahavamsa is also valuable to historians who wish to date and relate contemporary royal dynasties in the Indian subcontinent. It is very important in dating the consecration of the Maurya emperor Asoka, which is related to the synchronicity with the Seleucids and Alexander the Great.

Some deeper questions for doctoral students.

  • What is Alayavijnana? Is it the same as citta, manas or vijnana? Why is citta defined as mano-centered vijnana?
  • Is vitakka present in jhana. This is the subtle aspect of ‘thought’ that is carried over into jhana, when the coarse aspect, the verbalization, is left behind….Click to read
  • How do we remedy emotional imbalances in Conative, Attentional , Cognitive and Affective states?


………It just happened that during the age in which the word of the Buddha was preserved in writing, Buddhism had flourished and spread to several countries, becoming their state religion. Each country created an official version of the Pali Canon of its own and took care of it from generation to generation to ensure that it would remain unadulterated and complete. A case in point is Thailand, where there were rehearsals conducted in the reigns of King Tilokaràja (or Tilakaràja) of the Lanna Kingdom and King Rama I of the present Rattanakosin period.

In each recension of the Pali Canon, the participants will bring together the different versions from all the countries involved and cross-check them to see whether there are any discrepancies in wording down to the letter.

Theravàda Buddhism is, therefore, legitimately proud that the original Buddhism has been preserved. In contrast, as has been universally recognised by Buddhist scholars and academia worldwide, no matter whether they profess Mahàyana, Theravàda, or Vajrayàna Buddhism, the Mahàyàna sutras of the âcàryavàda school were composed later, not preserving the original, authentic teachings. The majority of these scriptures are now lost. As a result, it has been acknowledged that the most complete, original teachings of the Buddha that are still available today can only be found in the Pali Canon of Theravàda Buddhism……..Pali Canon by P A Payutto

In the early nineties I met Bikkhu Bodhi and Bikkhu Nyanaponika at the Forest Hermitage Kandy after which I completed the research in 1999 comparing Buddhagosa’s Vissudhimagga with Karl Bath’s Dogmatics dealing with  sin vs suffering. Featured Publications : Other Publications and Research : Religion Blog


………...I will touch on meanings that highlight Buddhagosa’s and Barth’s understandings of the fallen state of life, especially as we see differences between them.

This concerns a crucial aspect of contextual meaning as examined earlier, how we know about Unsatisfactory nature and sin. For Barth knowledge of soteriological wrong is unequivocally derived from knowledge of the soteriological solution. Knowledge of Jesus Christ precedes knowledge of sin just as the Word spoken in Jesus Christ precedes everything that has come into existence, including the introduction of sin into creation.  A relationship of priority, we might even say, causality exists here. Jesus Christ is prior to everything else God in Barth’s theology and this knowledge causes or gives rise to an awareness or knowledge of sin…………………


Selected Titles:

Buddhism and the God-idea,by Nyanaponika Thera (1994)

Buddhism in a Nutshellby Narada Thera (1982)

A Buddhist Response to Contemporary Dilemmas of Human Existence,by Bhikkhu Bodhi (1994)

A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma (Excerpt — Introduction only)ed. by Bhikkhu Bodhi (1993)

Courageous Faith,by Nyanaponika Thera (1994)Devotion in Buddhism,by Nyanaponika Thera (1994)

The Progress of Insight: A Modern Treatise on Buddhist Satipatthana Meditationby Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw (1994)

Seeing Things as They Are,by Nyanaponika Thera (1994))

Click for full list from Buddhist Publication Society




 Forest Hermitage, Udawattekelle, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Additional discussions covered many profound subjects such as janas, enlightenment, rebirth, mind & consciousness. We also participated in meditations that were held in the beautiful , serene settings of Nilambe, Sri Lanka.
Teaching Buddhism and other  religions at Haggai Institute , Hawaii , USAHaggai

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