Author IntroductionProf Walpola Sri Rahula Maha Thera was a Buddhist monk and an author. He was born in 1907 in a small village in the southern Sri Lanka. He attended the University of Ceylon and obtained a B.A Honors (London) and got a Doctorate of Philosophy.
When he was in university, he has started writing thesis on History of Buddhism. Then, he went to Calcutta University to study Indian Philosophy. Afterward, he went to Sorbonne studied the Mahayana Buddhism. When he was in Sorbonne, he produced his most well-known introductory text on Buddhism in the late 1950s. It is named ‘What the Buddha Taught', which is the book I want to introduce in this book report. After a period of time staying at the Sorbonne, he became Vice-Chancellor of Vidyodaya University. Remarkably, Dr.
Rahula is the first Buddhist monk who became a professor in a Western University. He left Vidyodaya University in 1969 due to political differences with the government in Sorbonne. He returned to Sri Lankain during his last days. He lived in a temple which near the New Parliament in Kotte until he passed away.SummaryThis book contains 8 chapters.
They are mainly categoried into ‘The Buddhist Attitude of Mind', ‘The Four Noble Truths', ‘The Doctrine of No-self', ‘Mediation' and ‘What the Buddha Taught in our world today'. In the beginning of all these chapters, it briefly introduced the story of the Buddha, Siddhattha Gautama. Gautama was born to be a prince. He lived in a palace with every luxury at his command. But all of a sudden, he felt that material wealth was not life's ultimate goal. At the age of 29, after the birth of his child, he left his kingdom and became an ascetic search for the solution of universal suffering.
In six years, he met many famous religious teachers. However, he was not satisfied for them. Therefore, he abandoned all the traditional religions and went his own way. When he was thirty-five, he attached to the Enlightenment. It was an evening when Gautama seated under a tree, which is now known as the ‘Bodhi-tree' and got the Enlightenment.
After then, he was known as the Buddha, ‘The Enlightenment One'. He delivered his sermons to all classes of men and women. At the age of 80, he passed away at Kusinara.
The Buddhist Attitude of MindIn this first chapter, it introduces the fundamental mind of thinking in Buddhism. In Buddhism, a man and only a man can become Buddha. Every man has within potential of becoming a Buddha. The Buddha's taught encouraged and stimulated each person to develop himself and liberate himself from all bondage through his own personal effort and intelligence..