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Discourses of the Ancient Nuns Print E-mail

Introduction

The growing interest in women's spirituality has led to a renewed focus upon the Therigatha, the Verses of the Elder Nuns, as the oldest existing testament to the feminine experience of Buddhism.

Despite this recent attention to the Therigatha, however, it seems that all but a few scholarly commentators have overlooked a short chapter in the Samyutta Nikaya that serves as an important supplement to the larger work.

This is the Bhikkhuni-samyutta, Chapter 5 of the Sagathavaggásamyutta, the Connected Discourses with Verses, Volume I of the Samyutta Nikaya.

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Maha Kaccana: Master of Doctrinal Exposition Print E-mail

Introduction

As a skilled and versatile teacher with mastery over pedagogic technique, the Buddha adopted different styles of presentation to communicate the Dhamma to his disciples.

Often he would explain a teaching in detail (vittharena). Having introduced his topic with a short statement, technically called the uddesa or synopsis, he would then embark on the detailed exposition, the niddesa, also called the analysis, the vibhanga. In this stage of the discourse he would break the subject introduced by the synopsis down into its component strands, define each strand in turn, and draw out its implications, sometimes attaching a simile to illustrate the message of the discourse.

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The Broken Buddha Print E-mail

Introduction

Most of this book was written in 2001 although I was still tinkering with it two years later. After its completion I hesitated for a long time about publishing it thinking that it might do more harm than good. Eventually, enough people, including a dozen or so Western monks and former Western monks, convinced me that many of the things I have said need saying and so I decided to take the plunge. I am fully aware that I am risking my reputation, the friendship of some people and perhaps a lot more by writing what I have and I expect to become the target of some very angry comments. My only hope is that The Broken Buddha will provoke wide-ranging, thoughtful and realistic discussion amongst Western Buddhists about the future of the Triple Gem in the West.

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The Life of Sariputta Print E-mail

Introduction

The story begins at two brahmanical villages in India, called Upatissa and Kolita, which lay not far from the city Rajagaha. Before our Buddha had appeared in the world a brahman lady named Sari, living in Upatissa village,1 conceived; and also, on the same day at Kolita village, did another brahman lady whose name was Moggalli. The two families were closely connected, having been friends with one another for seven generations. From the first day of their pregnancy, the families gave due care to the mothers-to-be, and after ten months both women gave birth to boys, on the same day. On the name-giving day the child of the brahman lady Sari received the name Upatissa, as he was a son of the foremost family of that village; and for the same reason Moggalli's son was named Kolita.

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Maha Kassapa: Father of the Sangha Print E-mail

Introduction

Among those of the Buddha’s disciples who were closest to him, there were two friends, Sāriputta and Mahā Moggallāna, who were the chief disciples of the Buddha, the exemplary pair of disciples. There were also two brothers, Ānanda and Anuruddha, who were likewise eminent

“Fathers of the Order.” In between these two pairs stands a great solitary figure, Pipphali Kassapa, who later was called Mahā Kassapa, Kassapa the Great, to distinguish him from the others of the Kassapa clan, such as Kumara Kassapa and Uruvela Kassapa.

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