by Sayadaw U Silananda
Size: 5.6” X 5.5”
AT THE BEGINNING of most discourses (suttas), the word ‘Bhagava’ is commonly used to refer to the Buddha to mean ‘World-honored One’ or simply ‘Lord’. However the word ‘Tathagata’ although not so frequently used, is very significant as the Buddha employs this term whenever he wishes to refer to himself.
In the Buddhist commentaries, many meanings and nuances have been ascribed to this word ‘Tathagata’; with each meaning portraying different attributes of Buddha hood. By delving into the intricacies of this term, the reader may begin to appreciate the nature of the Buddha’s wisdom and spirituality, and grasp the true significance of the Buddha’s enlightenment.
In one particular verse, the Buddha says ‘Striving should be done by oneself; the Tathagatas only show the way’ to emphasize the importance of self-commitment in the spiritual path. This advice can be taken as a life long reminder to all practitioners of the Dhamma.
Reading this book, one not only gains a theoretical knowledge of the term ‘Tathagata’, but may also be inspired to work towards one’s liberation without further delay.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The Venerable Sayadaw U Silananda was selected by the late Most Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma to carry out the honourable task of spreading the Dhamma in the West, more than 30 years ago.
Today, the Venerable Sayadaw is the Abbot of Dhammananda Vihara in California and the Spiritual Director of the Theravada Buddhist Society of America, Dhammachakka Meditation Center, Berkeley and the Tathagata Meditation Center of San Jose. In Mynmar, the Venerable is also one of three spiritual directors (Ovadacariya Sayadaws) of the Mahàsã Meditation Center in Yangon.
Born to a devout Buddhist family in Mandalay on 16 December, 1927, the Venerable received his early education at Kelly High School, an American Baptist Mission School for boys. In 1943, at the age of 16, he ordained as a novice monk and began formal religious training with his preceptor and other renowned monks. Full bhikkhu ordination followed in 1947.
The Venerable holds two Dhammacariya (Master of Dhamma) degrees and has taught at the Athithokdayone Pali University. He was an External Examiner at the Department of Oriental Studies, University of Art and Sciences in Mandalay, Myanmar.
The Venerable was the Chief Compiler of the Tipitaka Pali-Burmese Dictionary and was one of the distinguished editors of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries at the Sixth Buddhist Council held in Rangoon (Yangon) from 1954 to 1956. He is the author of seven Burmese Buddhist books and nine in English. Three of his English books had been translated into Chinese.
Well-regarded as a compassionate, knowledgeable and wise teacher, the Venerable Sayadaw teaches Vipassana meditation, Abhidhamma and other aspects of Theravadian Buddhism in English, Burmese, Pali and Sanskrit. He has led meditation retreats throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Europe.
In 1993, the Venerable was awarded the title of Agga Maha Pandita by the Burmese religious authorities and in 1999 the title of Agga Maha Saddhamma Jotikadhaja. He was also appointed as Rector of International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University of Yangon in Myanmar. More recently, in 2000, he was conferred Honorary Doctorate (D.Litt.) by Yangon University.