The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism

Gary Gach

Gary Gach is like that teacher you always wanted--easygoing, full of information, able to communicate in humorous and meaningful ways, and a little bit wacky. So he's the perfect author for The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism. In this trademark easy-to-read format, Gach introduces us to a very human Buddha, along with the rules for living that make a Buddhist a Buddhist. In addition to the various kinds of meditation, he shows us how to meditate at meals and be aware of the interconnections in life.

Embodying the Dharma

David Germano and Kevin Trainor

Embodying the Dharma explores the centrality of relic veneration in Asian Buddhist cultures. Long disregarded by Western scholars as a superstitious practice reflecting the popularization of "original" Buddhism, relic veneration has emerged as a topic of vital interest in the last two decades with the increased attention to Buddhist ritual practice and material culture. This volume includes studies of relic traditions in India, Japan, Tibet, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, as well as broader comparative analyses, including comparisons of Buddhist and Christian relic veneration.

Admirable Friendship


Kalyāṇa-mittatā (Pali; Skt.: -mitratā) is a Buddhist concept of "spiritual friendship" within Buddhist community life, applicable to both monastic and householder relationships. One involved in such a relationship is known as a "good friend," "virtuous friend," "noble friend" or "admirable friend" (kalyāṇa mitta, -mitra).

As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One,
“This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie.”


Professor Dharmavihari Thera

This book has gained a scholarly recognition for its critical examination and explanation on Man, Religion, Society and Governance in Buddhism.

Writings on the Dharma in this collection are classified under four headings: Man, Religion, Society and Governance. It is observed that all Buddhist studies are centre on the problem of the humans, referred to by the Buddha himself under the name ayam loko.

Early History of the Spread of Buddhism and the Buddhist Schools

Nalinaksha Dutt

Mr. Dutt's work is a compendium where all information connected with the progress of Buddha's work is available in a well-ordered form. Such a work, the details of which have been laboriously collected from the Buddhist scriptures and arranged in such a way as to enable one to see the large masses of details about Buddha's career in their logical and chronological relations, has certainly a great value not only for scholars but for ordinary readers interested in the history of the spread of Buddhism. This generally is the matter that forms the first part of this treatise.

History of Buddhism in Ceylon

Walpola Rahula

Chapter I. The Indian Background
II. Pre-Buddhist Ceylon I: Social Conditions
III. Pre-Buddhist Ceylon II: Religious Conditions
IV. The Establishment of Buddhism
V. Buddhism as State Religion
VI. Years of Development – I
VII. Years of Development – II
VIII. The Monastery I: Its Structure
IX. The Monastery II: Its Administration
X. The Monastic Life I: Its Developments
XI. The Monastic Life II: Its Activities
XII. The Monastic Life III: Its Ascetic Ideal
XIII. Arahants in Ceylon

Buddhist Economic Philosophy

Dr. Dharmasena Hettiarachchi

"It is no secret that the whole world is faced with an economic crisis, and this is so irrespective of the fact that whether the countries are developed or under-developed. On the face of this crises, the validity of traditional economic theories are being constantly challenged. The question, whether one should follow the socialist economic system or the capitalist economic system, has now become redundant. The experiences we have had, during the last century or so, have clearly shown that both these systems have failed to deliver the goods.

The Theravāda Abhidhamma

Prof. Y. Karunadasa

"The author, Professor Y. Karunadasa, is the ideal person to write such a work. He is perhaps the most erudite Sri Lankan scholar of Abhidhamma who combines breadth of learning with fluency in the English language. He is acquainted with almost the entire body of Abhidhamma literature in both Pali and Sinhala, as well as by contemporary Sri Lankan expositors of Abhidhamma. He knows the Sarvastivada Abhidharma and thus can draw comparisons between the Theravadin and Sarvastivadin systems.

Buddhist Monastic Life

Mohan Wijayaratna, Claude Grangier and Steven Collins

This book provides a vivid and detailed picture of the daily life and religious practices of Buddhist monks and nuns in the classic period of Theravada Buddhism. The author describes the way in which the Buddha's disciples institutionalized and ritualized his teachings about food, dress, money, chastity, solitude, and discipleship. This tradition represents an ideal of religious life that has been followed in India and South Asia for more than two thousand years.

The New Buddhism

James William Coleman

Today, many in western society find themselves seeking more satisfying spiritual lives. Faiths formerly seen as exotic have suddenly become attractive alternatives in our multicultural society. This is especially true of Buddhism, which is the focus of constant media attention, thanks in part to celebrity converts, major motion pictures, and the popularity of the Dalai Lama. Following this recent trend, James Coleman argues that a new and radically different form of this ancient faith is emerging.

Buddha in the Crown

John Clifford Holt

Historical, anthropological, and philosophical in approach, Buddha in the Crown is a case study in religious and cultural change. It examines the various ways in which Avalokitesvara, the most well known and proliferated bodhisattva of Mahayana Buddhism throughout south, southeast, and east Asia, was assimilated into the transforming religious culture of Sri Lanka, one of the most pluralistic in Asia.

A Philological Approach to Buddhism


For those who seek to follow the early teachings of the Buddha in the earliest of the suttas and those who follow the modern commentary of John Peacock and Stephen Batchelor, it is only fitting to research their shared resource, K. R. Norman. Mr. Norman, a former foremost distinguished professor of Middle Indo-Aryan or Prakrit at Cambridge, authors a most scholarly approach and commentary to the translation of the early Pali texts. With this as a starting point it becomes more apparent when later revisions or commentary by subsequent writers are added to the cannon.

Essential Buddhism

Jack Maguire

Essential of BuddhismFour hundred million people call themselves Buddhists today. Yet most Westerners know little about this powerful, Eastern-spawned faith. How did it begin? What do its adherents believe? Why are so many Westerners drawn to it?

In Defense of Dharma

Tessa J. Bartholomeusz

In Defence of DharmaThis is the first book to examine war and violence in Sri Lanka through the lens of cross-cultural studies on just-war tradition and theory. In a study that is textual, historical and anthropological, it is argued that the ongoing Sinhala-Tamil conflict is in actual practice often justified by a resort to religious stories that allow for war when Buddhism is in peril.

Locations of Buddhism:

Anne M. Blackburn

Locations of BuddhismModernizing and colonizing forces brought nineteenth-century Sri Lankan Buddhists both challenges and opportunities. How did Buddhists deal with social and economic change; new forms of political, religious, and educational discourse; and Christianity? And how did Sri Lankan Buddhists, collaborating with other Asian Buddhists, respond to colonial rule? To answer these questions, Anne M.