A Quick Introduction
by VENERABLE DR. BALANGODA ANANDA MAITREYA
AND JAYASAILI (JACQUETTE GOMES)
Size: 5.6” X 8.25”
Pages: 50 pages
This is book as it’s title suggests serves as a quick’s introduction to Buddhism for those seeking to learn about the religion. It is by no means a comprehensive guide to Buddhism but provides all the key essential doctrine (egg. The Triple Gem, the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, kamma and rebirth, etc.) Picking up from these fundamentals presented here, the reader may then embark on a more in-depth study using the materials suggested at the end of the book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya (August 24, 1896 - July 18, 1998), a Sri Lankan scholar-monk, was one of the great personalities of Theravada Buddhism in the twentieth century. Through his meditations, he was believed to have achieved the highest level of spiritual development within the Sri Lankan sangha (Buddhist monastic order). However, he lived a modest life in a secluded monastery and so is little known outside his native country.
Ananda Maitreya Thero wrote nearly fifty books on sutras (scripture), vinaya (monastic discipline), on abhidhamma (metaphysics), and on Pali and Sanskrit grammar. His book, Sakyasimhavadanaya hevat Buddha Charita (The Life of the Buddha), is considered a textbook. He wrote the book Dhammpada, which can also be found in English. Unusually for a Theravada teacher, he publicly studied practices of other traditions, especially esoteric yoga. This is understandable when one realizes that he was a [theosophy|theosophist] as well as a Buddhist. [source: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/his/influence-theosophy.html]
Ananda Maitreya Thero was known to have practiced meditation to reach Jhana and he was awarded the title 'Abidhadja Maharattaguru' by Thailand to praise his great achievements in Buddhist meditation and Buddhist literature. Buddhists believed him as a Bodhisattva.
Besides participating in the Sixth Buddhist Council (1954-1957) in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma, the Venerable was also an active missionary carrying the message of the Buddha Dhamma to the masses across the globe. Ananda Maitreya thero has done great service for Buddhism throughout his life.
Ananda Maitreya Thero was the first Dharmarcharya at Nalanda College Colombo when it was first established in 1924. Also the Venerable Thero named it 'Nalanda' and chose 'Apadana Sobhini Panna' meaning 'wisdom beautifies character' as Nalanda College's motto.
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